Tremont Charges from 18th to Claim 5th Win

Date: 8/30/2015 11:06:31 PM

Tremont Charges from 18th to Claim 5th Win
by Phil Allaway

With only three race nights remaining on the schedule, Saturday night was crunch time for Lebanon Valley’s competitors.  Brett Hearn entered Saturday night with a 19-point lead in the Modified points, but eager to charge after running out of fuel within sight of the finish Tuesday night.  The margin would not be quite so great after the night was over.

Denny Soltis started from the pole, but quickly lost his advantage to Paul Gilardi.  Jeff Watson followed Gilardi past into second and immediately started putting the pressure on Gilardi.  Watson made multiple attempts to take the lead away, but could not get the nose of his No. 47 ahead of the veteran racer.  Eventually, Gilardi was able to pull back ahead.

Meanwhile, Hearn once again attempted to charge to the front from 15th.  Second-place driver in points Kenny Tremont, Jr., failed to finish in the top 5 in his heat and was relegated to the 18th starting spot as a result.  When the green feel, he immediately began to make moves wherever he could.  An early yellow due to a blown tire for Mike King kept the field bunched up, which helped the cases of both drivers.

The turning point of the night was the second yellow on lap 13 when Kyle Sheldon cut a tire.  Tremont was tenth at the time, while Hearn was fifth.  The restart saw Tremont move up from tenth to fifth with some aggressive moves.  Then, he passed Hearn on the outside to take fourth.

Eventually, the race came down to Tremont and Hearn taking on Gilardi and Watson, who had kept up their fierce battle for the lead after the restart, managed to maintain their advantage.  Tremont was able to get past Watson for second on lap 23, then pressured Gilardi for the lead.  Gilardi put up a good fight, but Tremont was able to get by with five laps to go and pull away for a much needed victory.
Afterwards, Tremont noted that the high side was the key to his victory.

“We ran on the bottom early on, but I just couldn’t find a hole to go [ahead],” Tremont said in the pits.  “Sometimes, you have to try something different and it works.  Thankfully, the top opened up and we were able to go [forward].”

Hearn was able to get past Gilardi on the final lap to take second, limiting his losses to just four points.  Hearn can claim his fourth consecutive Modified title if he finishes sixth or better next weekend.  Watson was fourth, while Olden Dwyer rounded out the top 5.

In the Small Block Modified class, Frank Harper took the lead from pole sitter Kenny Aanonsen, Jr. on lap 3.  Once out in front, Harper managed to maintain his advantage fairly easily.  Behind Harper, Demetrios Drellos was not having a very good night.  After contact in his heat, Drellos was involved in an incident with Steve Hankle early on.  Later, Drellos had contact with Jason Tompkins, resulting in Tompkins spinning into the wall.  Drellos was parked for the night afterwards.

In between yellows for minor incidents, Wayne Jelley rose up to second and tried to put the pressure on Harper for the lead.  The two close friends ended up settling the event by themselves, but the defending Small Block Modified champion could not get past as Harper took an emotional first win of the year.

Afterwards, Harper spoke of what the win meant to him and his team.

“This has been a very tough year for me,” Harper said.  “I lost my dad back in late January really unexpectedly.  He was huge in my racing endeavors.  We [originally] decided that we weren’t going to race this year, but we pulled ourselves together.  It’s been a rough year, but everything happens for a reason.”

Behind Harper and Jelley was Brian Sandstedt in third.  Points leader Tremont was fourth and can clinch the Small Block Modified title next weekend by finishing second or better.  JR Heffner was fifth.

The King of Dirt Pro Stock Series held their season finale at Lebanon Valley Saturday.  As a result, appearance points only were handed out for the track championship. 

Canaan, CT’s Jon Routhier is quite grateful of that fact because he entered the night tied with Jay Corbin for the points lead, but ended up being collected in a multi-car crash that involved a number of contenders.  The damage was severe enough that Routhier had to retire and accept a 21st-place finish.  Instead, next Saturday night will be heads-up between the two drivers for the title.  Rob Yetman is also still mathematically alive.

The 30-lap feature saw Steven LaRochelle and Corbin battling hard early on.  Contact was initiated early and often between the two leaders.  Ultimately, it took until lap 11, after the aforementioned multi-car crash for Corbin to finally make the pass stick for good.  LaRochelle tried to get back at Corbin, but failed to do so.  Even worse, his move made him vulnerable to the drivers behind.  As a result, Frank Twing was able to get past and take second as the young LaRochelle dropped back.

Once Corbin was in front, he was able to pull away and take his fifth Pro Stock win of the year at Lebanon Valley and his first King of Dirt win.  Nick Stone, who was the fastest of the Valley invaders before being eliminated in a crash, won the King of Dirt Pro Stock Championship.

Twing was able to hold on to second, with Yetman, Speed and Jason Casey close in tow, despite each carrying the battle scars of the rough-and-tumble event.  LaRochelle had to settle for sixth.

In Pure Stock, Larry Perez, Jeff Meltz, Jr. and Jason Meltz each won regular features.  The Boomer’s Performance Pure Stock Classic saw Ed Hatch overcome a loss of power steering to retake the lead from Jason Meltz with five laps to go and claim the victory.  In the 4-Cylinder class, Todd Goldstein won the Dual-Cam class and overall in his Nissan Sentra SE-R, while Brandon Ely finished third and won in Single-Cam in his Honda Civic.

Modified Feature Results: 1) Kenny Tremont, Jr., 2) Brett Hearn, 3) Paul Gilardi, 4) Jeff Watson, 5) Olden Dwyer, 6) Keith Flach, 7) Brian Berger, 8) Eddie Marshall, 9) Andy Bachetti, 10) JR Heffner, 11) Matt Pupello, 12) Kyle Hoffman, 13) Kyle Sheldon, 14) Kyle Armstrong, 15) Chad Jeseo, 16) Elmo Reckner, 17) John Ruchel, 18) Mike King, 19) Darwin Greene, 20) Dave McFeeters, 21) Steve Hough, 22) Denny Soltis, 23) Kolby Schroder

Small Block Modified Feature Results: 1) Frank Harper, 2) Wayne Jelley, 3) Brian Sandstedt, 4) Kenny Tremont, Jr., 5) JR Heffner, 6) Alan Houghtaling, 7) Buddy Hencke, 8) Kim LaVoy, 9) Ryan Darcy, 10) Chad Pierce, 11) Olden Dwyer, 12) Ryan Charland, 13) Ray Hall, Jr., 14) Brian Peterson, 15) Peter Carlotto, 16) Brett Haas, 17) Mike Molloy, 18) Dave Manny, 19) Ryan Heath, 20) Art Collins, 21) Steve Hankle, 22) Bryan McGuire, 23) Jason Herrington, 24) David Schilling, 25) Shane Jablonka, 26) Mark Pullen, 27) Kenny Aanonsen, Jr., 28) Timothy Davis, 29) Demetrios Drellos, 30) Jason Tompkins

King of Dirt Pro Stock Feature Results: 1) Jay Corbin, 2) Frank Twing, 3) Rob Yetman, 4) Robbie Speed, 5) Jason Casey, 6) Steven LaRochelle, 7) Jay Casey, 8) Chuck Towslee, 9) Dan Older, 10) Joe LaFlamme, 11) Sparky Reilly, 12) Devon Camenga, 13) Tom O’Connor, 14) Chad Arsenault, 15) Rick Duzlak, 16) Nick Stone, 17) Glen Meisenhelder, 18) Hugh Page, 19) Tom Dean, 20) Gus Hollner, 21) Jon Routhier, 22) Rick Dempsey, 23) Daniel Sanchez, 24) Luke Horning, 25) Victor Hopkins, 26) Dean Charbonneau, 27) Chuck Dumblewski, 28) Rick Spencer.  DNS: Tom Harkins (Driver Change), Nick Hilt, Jr., Gary O’Brien, Dave Peck

12th Annual Boomer’s Performance Pure Stock Classic Results: 1) Ed Hatch, 2) Jason Meltz, 3) Ray Hall, Sr., 4) Jeff Meltz, Jr., 5) Dave Stickles, 6) Jesse Murphy, 7) Phil Sherman, 8) Larry Perez, 9) Bill Deak, Jr., 10) Mike Eichstedt, 11) Aaron Fachini, 12) Bill Deak, Sr., 13) Jay Martin, 14) Shawn Perez, 15) Jay Casey, 16) Dylan Fachini, 17) Mike Arnold.  DNS: Wuggie Burdick, Doug Olds

Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results: 1) Larry Perez, 2) John Devine, 3) Jay Casey, 4) Bill Deak, Sr., 5) Jay Martin, 6) Mike Arnold, 7) Wuggie Burdick, 8) Harold Robitaille, 9) Joe Cheneil, 10) Zach Sorrentino, 11) Dennis O’Connor, Jr., 12) Keri Vandenburg.  DNS: Gary Vandenburg

Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results: 1) Jeff Meltz, Jr., 2) Phil Sherman, 3) Tom Murphy, 4) Mike Eichstedt, 5) Bill Deak, Jr., 6) Dylan Fachini, 7) Aaron Fachini, 8) Scott Morris, 9) Travis Hengen, 10) Joe Walcott, 11) Kevin Paul, 12) E.J. LeGeyt

Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results: 1) Jason Meltz, 2) Jesse Murphy, 3) Ed Hatch, 4) Ray Hall, Sr., 5) Dave Stickles, 6) Shawn Perez, 7) Doug Olds, 8) Gary O’Brien, 9) Clifford Booth, 10) Jim Groncki, 11) Dan Cote, 12) Brian Walsh, 13) Jeff Meltz, Sr., 14) Lou Gancarz, 15) Tim Thompson

4-Cylinder Combined Results: 1) Todd Goldstein, 2) Kenny Stager, 3) Brandon Ely, 4) Jethro Rossman, 5) Tim Meltz, 6) Jim Williams, 7) Stephen Cameron, Jr., 8) Kelly Duncan, 9) Bob Gibson, 10) Robert Garney, 11) Nick McClendon, 12) Charles Weatherwax, 13) Joseph Auclaire, 14) Jared Powell, 15) Gary Malloy, 16) Steve Burbank, 17) James Street, 18) Rick Hodges, 19) Alyssia Sanchez

4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Results: 1) Todd Goldstein, 2) Kenny Stager, 3) Kelly Duncan, 4) Charles Weatherwax, 5) Joseph Auclaire, 6) Jared Powell, 7) Rick Hodges, 8) Alyssia Sanchez

4-Cylinder Single-Cam Results: 1) Brandon Ely, 2) Jethro Rossman, 3) Tim Meltz, 4) Jim Williams, 5) Stephen Cameron, Jr., 6) Bob Gibson, 7) Robert Garney, 8) Nick McClendon, 9) Gary Malloy, 10) Steve Burbank, 11) James Street

 

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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