Hearn Regains Form with 7th Win of 2015
by Phil Allaway
Saturday night was a rare occasion at Lebanon Valley. All
six of the track’s classes were in action on the same night. Regardless,
the Modified class came forth to put on a good show.
Denny Soltis started from the pole and pulled out to an early lead over Elmo
Reckner and Kolby Schroder. By virtue of his bad luck over the past
couple of races, Brett Hearn started in an uncharacteristic eighth and wasted
no time coming forward. He was already fourth by the fifth lap.
Then, Soltis had a mechanical failure and pulled off a couple of laps
later. A scramble ensued. When the field came back around, Hearn
had the lead.
Once out front, Hearn began opening his advantage quickly. By halfway,
his lead was over six seconds. Meanwhile, Modified points runner-up Kenny
Tremont, Jr. started 15th and charged through the field as quick as he
could. However, once he got up to fifth, he was embroiled in a fierce
battle for position with Reckner, Schroder and Kyle Hoffman. Tremont was
able to eventually get through, but not after spending nearly half the feature
in doing so.
Tremont did get to second, but trailed by nearly ten seconds when a yellow was
thrown with two laps to go due to Brian Berger stalling at the end of the
backstretch. On the resulting GWC, Hearn was able to get the jump on
Tremont and pulled away to take his seventh win of the year.
Afterwards, Hearn simply stated that he had to take advantage of the
“That was the closest I’ve started to the front [here] in probably three
years,” Hearn said. “It was a night that I needed to capitalize on, and
Behind Hearn and Tremont was Hoffman, who scooted past Schroder on the GWC to
take third. Schroder and Keith Flach rounded out the top 5.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Kenny Aanonsen, Jr. was supposed to start from
the pole. Unfortunately, his car came to a stop on the pace laps in turn
1. That misfortune gave the pole position to Alan Houghtaling, and
Houghtaling was not exactly in a giving mood Saturday night.
The race itself was a bit more of a start-and-stop affair. On the first
lap, Demetrios Drellos spun in turn 1 after contact with Brian Sandstedt.
While Drellos ended up undamaged and continued, a pile-up ensued that collected
Brett Haas, JR Heffner and others to bring out the first yellow. After
pit stops, everyone managed to continue. Later on, Ray Hall, Jr. and
David Schilling had contact exiting turn 4, forcing Hall into Frank
Harper. Both cars then slid into the inside wall, bringing out the second
Tremont once again had a very fast Small Block Modified. He took
advantage of the cautions to move up the order, then passed Kim LaVoy for
second. From here on out, Tremont tried to run down Houghtaling, but
Houghtaling would not be denied. Given the preferred line on the outside,
no one was going to keep Houghtaling away from his first win of 2015.
Behind Tremont and Houghtaling was Wayne Jelley in third. Heffner was
fourth, while Shane Jablonka rounded out the top-5.
The Sportsman class had some trouble getting started. On the initial
start, Alissa Cody spun in turn 4 and was then hit by Chris Curtis. Both
drivers would continue. The second attempt saw John Miller hit the wall
in turn 1 and bring out another yellow.
The third attempt finally saw a lap get completed, but shortly afterwards,
Christopher Delfino spun in turn 2 to bring out the third yellow. Delfino
tried to resume on his own, but couldn’t do so. The field slowed for the
caution and tried to go by him, but Ricky Davis and points leader Matt Pappa
ended up piling in. The crash ended Davis’ night, but Pappa continued
Once again, the fastest man on the track was Easton, Connecticut’s Michael
Sabia. Sabia jumped up from the 14th starting spot quickly with the help
of the yellows. By lap 4, he was right on the tail of pole-sitter Nikki
Ouellette. Ouellette did put up a fight, but it took only a lap for Sabia
to get past. Brandon Lane followed Sabia past into second.
Following a yellow for another Delfino spin, Whitey Slavin made a strong move
for second on Lane entering turn 1 that stuck. John Virgilio could not
follow past, but tried again in turns 3 and 4. Contact was made and Lane
did a 360 before resuming. The resulting stack-up resulted in Phil Wood spinning
out, bringing out another yellow.
When the green flew, Sabia ran away from everyone except for Slavin.
Slavin tried to pressure for the lead, but Sabia was just too fast. A
late yellow due to Mike Block’s spin brought the field back together, but no
one could prevent Sabia from taking his second straight Sportsman
victory. Behind Sabia and Slavin was Virgilio in third. Chris Lynch
was fourth, while Cody Hunt was fifth.
The Pro Stock feature saw Scott Kilmer start from the pole, but he lost the
advantage to a hard-charging Chad Arsenault on the first lap. Meanwhile,
the racing further back was very hard as contact cut Robbie Speed’s left front
tire, bringing out a yellow.
Later on, an incident with championship implications occurred in turn 4 when
Jon Routhier spun after contact from Jay Corbin. Routhier’s car suffered
minimal damage and resumed after a pit stop. Unfortunately, that could
not be said for a number of drivers that got caught up in a pile-up in turn 2
right after the restart. For Paul LaRochelle and Chuck Towslee, it was
the end of the night. Others, like Rob Yetman, Nick Hilt, Jr. and Daniel
Sanchez made repairs and continued.
After the pile-up, the race calmed down to a certain degree. Rick Dempsey
took second from Victor Hopkins on lap 8 and threatened Arsenault for the lead,
but could not get past. Regular yellows for incidents kept the field
close together so Arsenault couldn’t get away. The most serious of these
incidents came with three laps to go when Kilmer lost control exiting turn 2
and spun. He was then hit by Joe LaFlamme and Tom Harkins. Everyone
was ok, but all three drivers were done for the evening.
On the final restart, Arsenault was able to open up a decent gap and held on to
take his first career Pro Stock win at Lebanon Valley. Dempsey was
second, followed by Corbin. Hopkins was fourth, while Routhier recovered
to round out the top 5.
In Pure Stock, John Devine, Jeff Meltz, Jr. and Gary O’Brien took
victories. The 4-Cylinder race saw Todd Goldstein win Dual-Cam and
overall, while Jethro Rossman finished third overall, good enough to take the
Modified Feature Results: 1) Brett Hearn, 2) Kenny Tremont, Jr., 3) Kyle
Hoffman, 4) Kolby Schroder, 5) Keith Flach, 6) Elmo Reckner, 7) Andy Bachetti,
8) Kyle Armstrong, 9) Olden Dwyer, 10) Eddie Marshall, 11) Paul Gilardi, 12)
Jeff Watson, 13) Chad Jeseo, 14) Mike King, 15) Steve Hough, 16) Kyle Sheldon,
17) John Ruchel, 18) Tyler Chartrand, 19) Brian Berger, 20) Matt Pupello, 21)
Jeff Heotzler, 22) JR Heffner, 23) Denny Soltis. DNS: Dave McFeeters, Ken
Small Block Modified Feature Results: 1) Alan Houghtaling, 2) Kenny Tremont,
Jr., 3) Wayne Jelley, 4) JR Heffner, 5) Shane Jablonka, 6) Kim LaVoy, 7) Olden
Dwyer, 8) Demetrios Drellos, 9) Peter Carlotto, 10) David Schilling, 11) Steve
Hankle, 12) Bryan McGuire, 13) Timothy Davis, 14) Brian Peterson, 15) Jason
Tompkins, 16) Ryan Charland, 17) Jason Herrington, 18) Brett Haas, 19) Brian
Sandstedt, 20) Chad Pierce, 21) Buddy Hencke, 22) Ray Hall, Jr., 23) Frank
Harper, 24) Kenny Aanonsen, Jr. DNS: Ryan Darcy (Camshaft)
Sportsman Feature Results: 1) Michael Sabia, 2) Whitey Slavin, 3) John
Virgilio, 4) Chris Lynch, 5) Cody Hunt, 6) Frank Hoard, Jr., 7) Matt Pappa, 8)
Cody Ochs, 9) David Schilling, 10) Kevin Arnold, 11) Jim Boardman, 12) Alissa
Cody, 13) Nikki Ouellette, 14) Brandon Lane, 15) Greg Catlin, 16) Jim Cronk,
17) Phil Wood, 18) Jeff Lutes, 19) Dan Lyle, 20) Ron Casey, 21) Mike Block, 22)
Daniel Sanchez, 23) Christopher Delfino, 24) Chris Curtis, 25) Ryan Heath, 26)
Ricky Davis, 27) John Miller, 28) Matt Burke
Pro Stock Feature Results: 1) Chad Arsenault, 2) Rick Dempsey, 3) Jay Corbin,
4) Victor Hopkins, 5) Jon Routhier, 6) Steven LaRochelle, 7) Rob Yetman, 8)
Robbie Speed, 9) Daniel Sanchez, 10) Frank Twing, 11) Dean Charbonneau, 12)
Sparky Reilly, 13) Nick Hilt, Jr., 14) Scott Kilmer, 15) Tom Harkins, 16) Joe
LaFlamme, 17) Brian Keough, 18) Matt Cross, 19) Paul LaRochelle, 20) Chuck
Towslee, 21) Rick Duzlak. DNS: Tom Dean (Crash)
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results: 1) John Devine, 2) Tom Murphy, 3) Aaron
Fachini, 4) Brian Vandenburg, 5) Dennis O’Connor, Jr., 6) Harold Robitaille, 7)
Joe Walcott, 8) Bill Deak, Jr., 9) James Dellea, III, 10) Wuggie Burdick.
DNS: Joe Cheneil, Dylan Fachini
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results: 1) Jeff Meltz, Jr., 2) Doug Olds, 3) Bill
Deak, Sr., 4) Travis Hengen, 5) Mike Arnold, 6) James Dellea, II, 7) Mike
Eichstedt, 8) Zach Sorrentino, 9) Anthony King, 10) Tim Thompson, 11) Keri
Vandenburg. DNS: Dan Olds, Kevin Paul
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results: 1) Gary O’Brien, 2) Shawn Perez, 3) Ed Hatch,
4) Jesse Murphy, 5) Jason Meltz, 6) Dave Stickles, 7) Ray Hall, Sr. 8) Clifford
Booth, 9) Dan Cote, 10) Brian Walsh, 11) Jim Groncki, 12) Lou Gancarz, 13) Jeff
Meltz, Sr. (Penalized due to window net infraction)
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Results: 1) Todd Goldstein, 2) Kenny Stager, 3) Chris
Vandeputte, 4) Kelly Duncan, 5) Rick Hodges, 6) Jared Powell, 7) Clifford
Booth, 8) Charles Weatherwax
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Results: 1) Jethro Rossman, 2) Brandon Ely, 3) Jim
Williams, 4) Tim Meltz, 5) Bob Gibson, 6) Gary Malloy, 7) Matt McCuin, 8)
Stephen Cameron, Jr.
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)
see what Everyone is talking about!
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