By ROB HAZER
MALTA, NY – Start with a great race place, add a dash of showmanship, 24 parts talent, pinch of excitement, and stir in multiple championships and you’ll get the Small Block Nationals at Albany Saratoga Speedway. An epic throw down for the crown took place Friday night and Bobby Varin had the Palmer’s Service Center Teo Pro Car ready for the challenge.
Jeremy Wilder and Demetrios Drellos led the field to the green flag for the $3,000 to win 40-lap affair Friday night at the great race place, with Wilder jumping out to the early lead. Right away multiple battles broke out that wow’d the crowd.
Jessey Mueller, Bobby Varin, and Kenny Tremont Jr. began a three-car battle right off the back bumper of Demetrios Drellos for top five positions. At one point these metal horse-riding warriors were three wide down the front stretch, as the action was hot and heavy early and often.
Varin would swing high and move past Muller and Tremont into 3rd. Behind this Brian Gleason, Ronnie Johnson, and Jason Harrington had a battle going on with Neil Stratton for positions in the top 10. Lurking not far behind was the little giant, Matt DeLorenzo looking for racing room.
By lap 15 Varin was pressuring young gun Demetrios Drellos for the runner up spot and made the pass using the high side in turn two. He’d look to close in on a very fast and stout running Jeremy Wilder who had led from the drop of the green. Wilder had fought off challenges from Drellos, but would soon have his hands full with the multi-time champion.
Only one yellow flag flew during the 40-lap Small Block Nationals at Albany Saratoga Speedway, which was for Elmo Reckner who suffered a flat tire and slowed to a stop. He’d rejoin the field, as they went back to green flag racing about the mid point in the race.
Kenny Tremont Jr. fresh off his King Of Dirt Racing 358 Modified win at Lebanon Valley last week was looking to double up. He’d slip past the 111 of Drellos into 3rd, but the youngster would battle back on the high side for a number of laps before regaining the position.
On lap 25 Bobby Varin began pressuring the ‘Wild Thang’ Jeremy Wilder for the top spot. Wilder and Varin swapped the lead at one point, but with the Wilder machine getting a little tight through the center of the turns Varin was able to make a beautiful slide pass in turns one and two taking the lead on lap 29.
Bobby Varin wouldn’t look back as he’d go on to pick up the win. Drellos and Wilder battled for the last 10 laps to decide the runner up spot just behind Varin, with Drellos claiming the spot leaving Wilder in third. Matt DeLorenzo and Kenny Tremont Jr. came across the line nearly door-to-door, with DeLorenzo grabbing fourth and Tremont fifth. Jessey Mueller, Jimmy Cottrell, Ronnie Johnson, Neil Stratton, and Marc Johnson rounded out the top 10.
KOD NOTES: 24 solid drivers signed in for the King Of Dirt Racing Small Block Modified Series Small Block Nationals presented by Mueller’s Towing & Recovery, Roosevelt’s, and Elmo’s Speed Supply at Albany Saratoga Speedway Friday September 15, 2017. Bobby Varin earned his 1st career KOD 358 Modified tour victory in epic fashion. During post race tech all top five cars passed the p&g. Marc Johnson looks to close out the season with the tour championship at Fonda Speedway Friday September 22, 2017.
NOTABLE RUNS: Notable runs must start with Bobby Varin. After being bad fast at Utica Rome twice coming form the rear for top 10 finishes, the multi-time champion and big race winner parked it in victory lane at Albany Saratoga for the Small Block Nationals win in what many called the best race of the season at Malta. Demetrios Drellos has had good runs go bad this season for one reason or another. This time the kid wasn’t to be denied. He battled for the lead, slid back to third, and climbed back into 2nd taking part of an epic Small Block Modified race at Albany Saratoga. Matt DeLorenzo needed a good finish on tour and he got it with a solid 4th place run. The tour now heads to a place DeLorenzo has claimed a championship at. Jimmy Cottrell made good at his home track with a 7th place finish and earned the Hoosier Tire hard charger.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 ELMO’S SPEED SUPPLY KING OF DIRT RACING SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED SERIES PRESENTED BY MUELLER’S TOWING & RECOVERY AND ROOSEVELT’S SMALL BLOCK NATIONALS FINISH AT ALBANY SARATOGA SPEEDWAY (40 Laps) – 1) Bobby Varin, 2) Demetrios Drellos, 3) Jeremy Wilder, 4) Matt DeLorenzo, 5) Kenny Tremont Jr., 6) Jessey Mueller, 7) Jimmy Cottrell, 8) Ronnie Johnson, 9) Neil Stratton, 10) Marc Johnson, 11) Matt Depew, 12) Jack Lehner, 13) Brian Gleason, 14) Jason Herrington, 15) Ricky Davis, 16) Dillon Steuer, 17) Michael Sabia, 18) Rich Ronca, 19) Brett Haas, 20) Elmo Reckner, 21) Allison Ricci, 22) Nick Lussier, 23) Jim Introne Jr., 24) Lance Harting.
Heat Race Winners – Jeremy Wilder, Ronnie Johnson, & Jessey Mueller.
Lap Leaders – Jeremy Wilder (1-28), Bobby Varin (29-40).
Hard Charger – Jimmy Cottrell (+7)
Fast Axle Superior Sixth – Jessey Mueller ($50 Certificate)
J-Tees Fast Timer – Jeremy Wilder (15.797)
Newcomer Of The Race – Demetrios Drellos (2nd)
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED SCHEDULE
06/13/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Marc Johnson (Winner)
07/09/17 Utica Rome Speedway Erick Rudolph (Winner)
07/30/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway JR Heffner (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Matt Sheppard (Winner)
09/09/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Kenny Tremont Jr. (Winner)
09/15/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Bobby Varin (Winner)
09/22/17 Fonda Speedway Fonda, NY 40 Laps
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING SPORTSMAN SCHEDULE (DIRTcar East Region)
05/28/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Chad Edwards (Winner)
06/18/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
07/15/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Jeff Watson (Winner)
08/15/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
08/31/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Michael Sabia (Winner)
09/08/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
09/22/17 Fonda Speedway Fonda, NY 30 Laps
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING PRO STOCK SCHEDULE
06/02/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Kenny Martin Jr. (Winner)
06/18/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rob Yetman (Winner)
07/07/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Robbie Speed (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Chuck Dumblewski (Winner)
08/26/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Jay Casey (Winner)
09/17/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway West Haven, VT 29 Laps
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