WEST LEBANON, NY – After two consecutive rainouts, the action finally returned to Lebanon Valley Speedway on Saturday night. Teams had to deal with a racing surface that promoted track position.
In the Modified feature, Kyle Sheldon drew the pole and led from the start. However, the first lap saw issues in turn 3. Kyle Hoffman went hard into the wall in turn 3 to bring out a yellow. Kenny Tremont Jr. slowed to avoid the wreck and was hit from behind by Mike Keeler. Kyle Hoffman, Tremont and Keeler all ultimately dropped out.
Once the green came back out, Sheldon and Kolby Schroder opened up a big gap on the field and proceeded to fight it out amongst themselves. Brian Berger was also quite quick in third. Further back, it was a slow slog up through the field for points leader Brett Hearn and J.R. Heffner. Progress was difficult.
Keith Flach started in 10th and quickly moved up the order. By lap 7, he was fourth and trying to put pressure on Berger. Berger was able to hold off the Ravena native into the second half of the feature before Flach was able to take third.
The second and final yellow flew with 10 laps to go when Matt Pupello stopped on the inside of turn 1. On the shootout, Sheldon was able to open up a small gap and that was enough for the Nassau native to take his first win of 2017.
Afterwards, Sheldon was very happy.
“Going into the feature…we had mixed emotions,” Sheldon said “We weren’t really sure what we had, but we did everything we could to make [the car] the best we could, and we came out on top.”
Flach was able to get past Schroder with a lap and a half to go to take second. Hearn ended up fourth while Berger was fifth.
The Small Block Modified feature was nothing short of a duel between Peter Carlotto and Alan Houghtaling. Once the green fell, the two front-row starters ran away from the field.
Further back, Kenny Tremont Jr., Brett Haas and J.R. Heffner struggled to move forward. Once they were able to get into a general flow, the gains came. Haas led the way through the field, moving up into sixth by halfway. Tremont was close behind Haas, but Heffner had even more trouble advancing.
With a clean race, Carlotto and Houghtaling went back and forth. Houghtaling would try to get to Carlotto’s inside, but he could never quite get alongside. For Housatonic, Mass.’ Carlotto was able to hold on for the victory.
Houghtaling was a close second, followed by Frank Harper. Haas was able to get up to fourth and gain a little on Tremont in fifth.
The King of Dirt Sportsman Series made their first visit of the year to Lebanon Valley Saturday night. Chris Lynch led a 32-car field to the green and was able to hold off John Virgilio.
Early on, the large field traversed the high banks without any issues. However, the middle section of the race saw some trouble. First, Kevin Ward spun exiting turn 4 in front of a chunk of the field. David Schilling could not avoid Ward’s No. 98 and plowed into Ward. Nikki Ouellette and Chris Kokosa were also involved.
Shortly after the restart, Milton Mann spun on the frontstretch and hit the wall, collecting Ouellette and Mike Barrett. Later on, Matt Burke hit the wall in turn 4 to bring out another yellow.
Defending Lebanon Valley Sportsman champion Jeff Watson came to play. Starting sixth, Watson slowly progressed up the pack. After the Mann crash, Watson was able to get past Virgilio for second. At the same time, Lynch’s carburetor was starting to act up. That gave all the extra oomph that Watson needed to take the lead.
From the final restart, Watson was able to pull away from the pack and hold off a hard-charging Michael Sabia to take the win.
Behind Watson and Sabia was Lynch in a strong third for the small operation. Virgilio was fourth and Rob Maxon fifth.
In Pro Stock, there were a number of incidents. The first lap saw Jay Corbin, Chuck Towslee and Steven LaRochelle crash in turn 3. After a spin by Don Collins brought out a second yellow, a big pile-up broke out in turn 2 as pole sitter Tom Dean lost control and spun in front of the field. Nearly a dozen cars were damaged as there was simply nowhere to go.
Jon Routhier was able to snatch the lead from Dean just before the wreck occurred. Jason Meltz inherited second and tried to run down the Connecticut0based veteran. He could only just keep pace with the No. 315 as Routhier pulled away to claim victory.
Behind Routhier and Meltz was Ed Bishop in a season-best third. Rob Yetman finished fourth despite damage in the Big One. Rick Dempsey was fifth.
In Pure Stock, Shawn Perez, Tom Murphy and Jeff Kreutziger each claimed victories.
Rifenburg Construction Modified King of the Track Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Kyle Sheldon, 2) Keith Flach, 3) Kolby Schroder, 4) Brett Hearn, 5) Brian Berger, 6) Chad Jeseo, 7) Paul Gilardi, 8) Elmo Reckner, 9) Steve Hough, 10) J.R. Heffner, 11) Wayne Jelley, 12) Eddie Marshall, 13) Andy Bachetti, 14) L.J. Lombardo, 15) Mike King, 16) John Ruchel, 17) Rob Pitcher, 18) Matt Pupello, 19) Ken McGuire, 20) Denny Soltis, 21) Brett Haas, 22) Mike Keeler, 23) Kenny Tremont Jr., 24) Kyle Hoffman, 25) Kyle Armstrong, 26) Olden Dwyer
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Peter Carlotto, 2) Alan Houghtaling, 3) Frank Harper, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Kenny Tremont Jr., 6) Demetrios Drellos, 7) J.R. Heffner, 8) Brandon Pitcher, 9) Bryan McGuire, 10) Chad Pierce, 11) Ray Hall Jr., 12) Timothy Davis, 13) Brian Sandstedt, 14) Allison Ricci, 15) Kim LaVoy, 16) Dillon Steuer, 17) Ryan Charland, 18) Michael Sabia, 19) Sean Mandel, 20) Jason Herrington, 21) Frank Hoard III, 22) Kenny Aanonsen Jr., 23) Brian Peterson, 24) Olden Dwyer
King of Dirt Sportsman Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Jeff Watson, 2) Michael Sabia, 3) Chris Lynch, 4) John Virgilio, 5) Rob Maxon, 6) Rocky Warner, 7) Whitey Slavin, 8) Scott Duell, 9) Chris Curtis, 10) Frank Hoard Jr., 11) Cody Hunt, 12) Adam Pierson, 13) Nick Plumstead, 14) Kevin Ward, 15) Rich Ricci III, 16) Chad Edwards, 17) Kevin Chaffee, 18) Brian Pessolano, 19) Nikki Ouellette, 20) Lem Atkins, 21) Andrew Buff, 22) Harold Robitaille, 23) Alan Houghtaling, 24) James Kraus, 25) Robbie Knipe, 26) Matt Burke, 27) Milton Mann, 28) David Schilling, 29) Chris Kokosa, 30) Mike Barrett, 31) Vinny Visconti, 32) Jack Lehner. DNS: Bobby DeLeon, Cody Ochs, Mike Gramolini, Cody Bleau
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Jon Routhier, 2) Jason Meltz, 3) Ed Bishop, 4) Rob Yetman, 5) Rick Dempsey, 6) Jay Corbin, 7) Steven LaRochelle, 8) Rick Duzlak, 9) Chuck Towslee, 10) Joe LaFlamme, 11) Hugh Page, 12) Henry Warner, 13) Scott Govertsen, 14) Brian Keough, 15) Rick Spencer, 16) Tom Dean, 17) Nick Reilly, 18) Don Collins, 19) Dan Cote, 20) Jeff Kelmel, 21) Nick Hilt, 22) Todd Hoffman
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Shawn Perez, 2) Brian Walsh, 3) Chris Streeter, 4) Scott Morris, 5) Jordan Miller, 6) Brian VanDenburg, 7) D.J. Reilly, 8) Luke Van Allen, 9) Evan Denue, 10) Karen Verhagen
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Tom Murphy, 2) Lou Gancarz, 3) Mike Eichstedt, 4) Mike Arnold, 5) Joe Walcott, 6) Larry Perez, 7) Wuggie Burdick, 8) Keri VanDenburg, 9) Clifford Booth, 10) Andrew Bostwick
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (12 laps): 1) Jeff Kreutziger, 2) Jeff Meltz Jr., 3) Ed Hatch, 4) Bill Deak Jr., 5) Jeff Meltz Sr., 6) John Devine, 7) Tim Thompson, 8) Gary O’Brien, 9) Ray Hall Sr., 10) Dom Denue, 11) Jesse Murphy, 12) Zach Seyerlein