At Lebanon Valley Speedway, winning both Big Block and Small Block
Modified features in the same night is a rare feat. Only five drivers
over the 60+ year history of the track have pulled off the feat. JR
Heffner added himself to that list just last week. Saturday night saw the
feat accomplished once again, although the man who pulled it off is no stranger
Denny Soltis led the
field to green from the pole and held off John Ruchel, who was racing with
confidence after a top 10 last week. It did not take long for the
defining moment of the evening to occur. On the second lap of the race,
Kolby Schroder appeared to slow suddenly in turn 2. That created a huge
crash as Schroder, Heffner and points leader Brett Hearn all piled in.
Keith Flach, Kyle Sheldon, Paul Gilardi were also involved. Heffner and
Schroder were out on the spot. Hearn’s crew attempted repairs, but could
not continue at a decent pace. Gilardi and Flach’s teams performed
similar repairs with similar results.
On the restart, Soltis
came immediate pressure from Ruchel, who had a very quick car. It took
only a couple of laps for Ruchel to dispatch of Soltis and pull away from the
pack. However, with Hearn’s demise, Tremont had the fastest car on the
track. Taking advantage of pace that allowed him to turn in the only
sub-20 second lap in the feature, Tremont made up his way up from tenth starting
spot to fifth by the time Ruchel took the lead. A couple of laps later,
he was second. Despite Ruchel’s quick pace, Tremont took only a couple of
laps to dispatch of Ruchel for the lead.
From there, Tremont pulled away from the pack until Eddie Marshall blew a
right rear tire to bring out the yellow with 13 laps to go. Contact with
Steve Hough earlier in the race may have been a root cause for the
failure. On the restart, Matt Pupello was able to get by Ruchel for
second, but could do nothing with the 13-time champion, who pulled away to take
his fourth Big Block win of the year.
Afterwards, Tremont promptly credited his crew’s hard work for the
"[The car] was actually good during the feature," Tremont said
in the pits. "The night didn’t start off that good. We really
weren’t that comfortable with it. We changed this and changed that
between warm-ups and the [heats], then again between the heat and hot laps and
again before the feature. We’ve really been working hard at it."
Behind Tremont and Pupello was Andy Bachetti in third. Ruchel held on for
a career-best fourth, while Kyle Armstrong was fifth.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Ryan Darcy led from the pole, but the action
started immediately. Kim LaVoy and Jason Herrington had contact in turn 1
on the first lap, creating a chain reaction incident that involved half a dozen
cars. Everyone involved continued, but it forced a complete restart.
Despite the rocky start, the rest of the feature was clean. Darcy led and
pulled away from the pack once the race restarted. Meanwhile, Brett Haas
was very aggressive early on, making moves to the inside, especially in turn 3,
to improve his position. Further back, Tremont managed to weave his way
through the wreck and was also on the move.
It took quite a while, but Haas ran down Darcy at the halfway
point. Haas took multiple laps to get past, but he made the move work on
lap 16. Tremont followed Haas by a lap later, then put the pressure on
Haas. Haas’ No. 55 was very fast, but started to falter late after the
right rear tire started to give up. That gave Tremont all he needed to
charge by with a lap and a half to go and claim the win.
Darcy held on to finish third, while Steven Hankle took a fine
fourth. Heffner finished fifth.
The Pro Stock feature saw Frank Twing sweep into the lead on the first lap from
the third starting spot. However, it also saw a big wreck in turn 3 that
ended the night for Chuck Towslee, who took a nasty hit on the wall.
Once the race settled down, there were a group of seven drivers that separated
themselves. Twing was leading, while Jon Routhier put the pressure on him
and Daniel Sanchez gave chase. Just after halfway, Sanchez bumped
Routhier in turn 2, causing the Connecticut native to spin out. Routhier
continued, but would finish 12th.
A big crash involving John Santolin and Scott Kilmer exiting turn 2 set up a
Green-White-Checker restart. Sanchez tried and tried and could not get by
Twing. Finally, on the final lap, Sanchez dove into turn 3 and pulled a
slide job. Sanchez admitted afterwards that the move was pure luck.
However lucky that the move was, it was enough to give him the advantage
necessary to take his first career Pro Stock win at Lebanon Valley.
Behind Sanchez and Twing was Rob Yetman in third. Rick Dempsey finished
fourth, while Chad Arsenault was fifth.
The Sportsman feature saw Nikki Ouellette lead early from the pole, but the man
on the move was Michael Sabia. Sabia’s team clearly figured out most of
the handling issues that they’ve had recently as he took a mere five laps to
charge to Ouellette’s bumper from ninth on the grid. Once there, Sabia
took next to no time to take the lead.
However, as is often the norm, cautions made sure that Sabia never got
that much of a lead. Spins for Ricky Davis, Brandon Lane and Matt Delfino
brought out a caution on lap 7. Ouellette had her own spin on lap 12 in
turn 3. Whitey Slavin, who won last week, capped off a disappointing
night by hitting Ouellette. He would continue and finish 14th.
The biggest crash of the night came with less than a lap to go as Phil Wood
crashed hard and rolled his No. 43s, while Ryan Heath was also involved.
Wood was ok, but his car clearly was not.
Wood’s crash set up a one-lap shootout for the win. John Virgilio
had one last chance to get Sabia, but he could not prevent Sabia from taking
the win. Cody Hunt finished in third spot, followed by points leader Matt
Pappa and Chris Lynch.
In Pure Stock, Brian Walsh, Jeff Meltz, Jr. and Jeff Meltz, Sr. each picked up
Bulldog Concrete Modified Feature Results: 1) Kenny Tremont, Jr., 2) Matt
Pupello, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) John Ruchel, 5) Kyle Armstrong, 6) Kyle Hoffman,
7) Steve Hough, 8) Kyle Sheldon, 9) Mike King, 10) Chad Jeseo, 11) Olden Dwyer,
12) Brian Berger, 13) Jeff Watson, 14) Eddie Marshall, 15) Denny Soltis, 16)
Elmo Reckner, 17) Keith Flach, 18) Paul Gilardi, 19) Brett Hearn, 20) Kolby
Schroder, 21) JR Heffner, 22) Tyler Chartrand. DNS: Dave McFeeters
Small Block Modified Feature Results: 1) Kenny Tremont, Jr., 2) Brett Haas, 3)
Ryan Darcy, 4) Steven Hankle, 5) JR Heffner, 6) Peter Carlotto, 7) Wayne
Jelley, 8) Demetrios Drellos, 9) Ray Hall, Jr., 10) Frank Harper, 11) Olden
Dwyer, 12) Shane Jablonka, 13) Alan Houghtaling, 14) Jason Herrington, 15) Kim
LaVoy, 16) Chad Pierce, 17) Frank Hoard, III, 18) Brian Sandstedt, 19) Dave
Hinsch, 20) Bryan McGuire, 21) Buddy Hencke, 22) David Schilling, 23) Mark
Pullen, 24) Ryan Charland, 25) Jason Tompkins, 26) Michael Malloy, 27) Kenny
Sportsman Feature Results: 1) Michael Sabia, 2) John Virgilio, 3) Cody Hunt, 4)
Matt Pappa, 5) Chris Lynch, 6) Chris Curtis, 7) Kevin Arnold, 8) Alissa Cody,
9) Ricky Davis, 10) Cody Ochs, 11) Ryan Stortini, 12) Greg Catlin, 13) Brandon
Lane, 14) Whitey Slavin, 15) Courtney Crews, 16) John Miller, 17) John Lutes,
18) Phil Wood, 19) Ryan Heath, 20) Matt Delfino, 21) Nikki Ouellette, 22) Kevin
Ward. DNS: Diana Huyck, Daniel Sanchez
Pro Stock Feature Results: 1) Daniel Sanchez, 2) Frank Twing, 3) Rob Yetman, 4)
Rick Dempsey, 5) Chad Arsenault, 6) Robbie Speed, 7) Jay Corbin, 8) Rick
Duzlak, 9) Steven LaRochelle, 10) Victor Hopkins, 11) Nick Hilt, Jr., 12) Jon
Routhier, 13) Joe LaFlamme, 14) Tom O’Connor, 15) Mike Bradley, 16) Tom Harkins,
17) Sparky Reilly, 18) Scott Kilmer, 19) John Santolin, 20) Paul LaRochelle,
21) Jeff Kelmel, 22) Danny Sanchez, 23) Hugh Page, 24) Chuck Towslee
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results: 1) Brian Walsh, 2) Doug Olds, 3) Gary
Vandenburg, 4) Travis Hengen, 5) Zach Sorrentino, 6) Joe Walcott, 7) Joe
Cheneil, 8) Aaron Fachini, 9) Dennis O’Connor
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results: 1) Jeff Meltz, Jr., 2) Dylan Fachini, 3) John
Tisko, 4) Larry Perez, 5) Tim Thompson, 6) Martina Martin, 7) Kevin Paul, 8)
Keri Vandenburg. DNS: Mike Eichstedt, Dave Hauser
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results: 1) Jeff Meltz, Sr., 2) Gary O’Brien, 3) Ed
Hatch, 4) Ray Hall, Sr., 5) Jason Meltz, 6) Jesse Murphy, 7) Lou Gancarz, 8)
Dave Stickles, 9) Clifford Booth, 10) Jim Groncki, 11) Dan Cote, 12) Shawn Perez
For more information, the 2015 schedule, and links to
what's on tap for 2015, visit our website at www.LebanonValley.com, and click on “Speedway”, or call the LVAR Offices during regular
business hours at (518) 794-9606 or (518) 794-9965.
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