WEST LEBANON, NY – Competitors Saturday night at Lebanon Valley were greeted with cooler conditions than in recent weeks. That meant that you had some good racing.
Kyle Armstrong started from the pole and led early. Meanwhile, Kolby Schroder moved up from fourth to give immediate chase. Andy Bachetti, who had mechanical problems last week, started fifth and was right on the leaders’ tail early on.
Schroder was able to get past Armstrong on Lap 11 to take the lead. From there, he pulled out a decent lead. Bachetti passed Armstrong three laps later for second and set off to run down Schroder’s No. 99.
For a while, it seemed like Schroder was fast enough to hold off Bachetti. However, the right rear tire on Schroder’s car began to shear chunks late in the race. This caused a vibration and handling issues. It became difficult to hold a line.
That allowed Bachetti to run down Schroder in the final few laps. The two then battled side-by-side for three laps. With a lap and a half to go, Bachetti was finally able to make the pass stick for the lead. From there, he pulled away to take his third win of 2020.
“I think we stayed consistent and [Schroder] fell off a little bit the last 10 laps,” Bachetti said. “We’ve got a [setup] box that we should stay in and that’s the bottom line.”
Schroder was disappointed in second, while Armstrong was third. Peter Britten was fourth and Eddie Marshall fifth.
The Small Block Modified class saw Steve Hough start on pole with Kim LaVoy alongside. Hough was able to take the advantage early on and held off LaVoy and the rest of the pack.
Further back, Brett Haas slowly moved up the order after starting in seventh. Bachetti topped off a troublesome night with a DNF due to braking issues.
Cautions due to Chris Curtis stopping on track and a spin for Mark Pullen kept the field relatively close with Hough still in front. After the last restart, Haas started making his move. He spent a couple of laps battling with LaVoy until he got past on Lap 10.
Once Haas got to Hough, the two drivers battled hard for the lead. Eventually, Haas was able to make the pass for the lead stick on Lap 15. From there, Haas pulled away to take his second win of the year.
Hough finished second while Olden Dwyer pipped Timothy Davis in the closing laps for third. LaVoy held on for fifth.
The Sportsman class saw Karl Barnes start from the pole, but he almost immediately lost the advantage to Gary O’Brien. O’Brien, driving a repaired chassis after crashing last week, was in fine form.
Points leader John Virgilio had issues early and slowed in Turn 1 to bring out an early caution. He was able to continue after a pit stop and quickly moved up the order once the race resumed.
Joey Coppola quickly made his way up to second from the sixth starting spot. He was followed by Bobby Chalmers and Ryan Larkin.
A couple of spins kept the race fairly close at the front. Coppola tried his darndest to get past, but O’Brien kept an even keel over the full distance. A late spin set up a one-lap shootout, but O’Brien was able to hold on to take his first career Sportsman victory.
Coppola held on for second, his best run of 2020. Robbie Knipe finished third, followed by Larkin. Virgilio was able to recover from his early issues to finish fifth.
Pro Stock saw a career night for Doug Olds. Dave Stickles started from the pole by virtue of winning his heat race and led early. On the second lap, Zach Seyerlein spun in Turn 2 after contact from Steven LaRochelle to bring out a yellow. Tom O’Connor spun to avoid. Both drivers continued.
On the restart, Olds was able to get past Stickles to take the lead. Shortly afterwards, Rick Duzlak spun to bring out another yellow and bunch the field back up.
Once the green came back out, Olds was able to get into a nice rhythm and open up a gap on the field. Further back, points leader Chad Jeseo was making steady progress after starting 13th. By the halfway point, he was up to fourth.
Jeseo would eventually get to third, but no one was beating Olds on this night. He made only one misstep during the race on Lap 17 when he got a little too high in Turn 1. Other than that, he was just about perfect en route to his first-ever Pro Stock win.
Tony Markou finished a strong second, followed by Jeseo. Jason Meltz and Scott Towslee were fourth and fifth. Towslee also won a six-lap dash race earlier in the evening.
In Pure Stock, John Devine and Brian Walsh earned victories.
Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Andy Bachetti, 2) Kolby Schroder, 3) Kyle Armstrong, 4) Peter Britten, 5) Eddie Marshall, 6) Kenny Tremont Jr., 7) Rob Pitcher, 8) Olden Dwyer, 9) Marc Johnson, 10) Mike King, 11) Ronnie Johnson, 12) Brian Berger, 13) Wayne Jelley, 14) J.R. Heffner, 15) Keith Flach, 16) Kyle Sheldon, 17) Mark Flach Jr., 18) Josh Marcus, 19) Brett Haas, 20) Denny Soltis, 21) Steve Hough, 22) Karl Barnes, 23) Jeff Sukup
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Brett Haas, 2) Steve Hough, 3) Olden Dwyer, 4) Timothy Davis, 5) Kim LaVoy, 6) Jason Herrington, 7) Ryan Charland, 8) Ray Hall Jr., 9) Guy Sheldon, 10) Frank Harper, 11) Brandon Lane, 12) Chris Curtis, 13) Brian Peterson, 14) Mark Pullen, 15) Andy Bachetti, 16) Brian Sandstedt, 17) Ryan Darcy, 18) Kevin Petrucci
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Gary O’Brien, 2) Joey Coppola, 3) Robbie Knipe, 4) Ryan Larkin, 5) John Virgilio, 6) Bobby Chalmers, 7) Chris Lynch, 8) Peter Carlotto, 9) John Stowell, 10) Pat Jones, 11) Nikki Ouellette, 12) Robbie Colburn, 13) Nathan Johnson, 14) Keith Johannessen, 15) Bob Fachini Jr., 16) Del Ligouri, 17) Shane Powell, 18) Jacob Perry, 19) Karl Barnes, 20) Shawn Johannessen, 21) Rob Hallaback, 22) Jeff Higham
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Doug Olds, 2) Tony Markou, 3) Chad Jeseo, 4) Jason Meltz, 5) Scott Towslee, 6) Rick Duzlak, 7) Phil Arnold, 8) Nick Hilt, 9) Johnny Rivers, 10) Johnny Rivers, 11) Tom Dean, 12) Ed Bishop, 13) Zach Seyerlein, 14) Tom O’Connor, 15) Dave Stickles, 16) Adam Schneider, 17) Shawn Perez
Eastwood Pro Stock Dash Results (6 laps): 1) Scott Towslee, 2) Zach Seyerlein, 3) Jason Meltz, 4) Phil Arnold, 5) Tony Markou, 6) Dave Stickles
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (10 laps): 1) Brian Walsh, 2) Chris Murphy, 3) Dave Fachini, 4) Don Kennedy, 5) Dom Denue, 6) Mitch Bombard, 7) Nick Napoli, 8) Jethro Rossman, 9) Dave Streibel Jr., 10) Keri VanDenburg, 11) Craig Coons, 12) Clifford Booth, 13) Scott Kilmer, 14) Evan Denue
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (10 laps): 1) John Devine, 2) Jeff Meltz Sr., 3) Rob Partridge, 4) Janai St. Pierre, 5) Scott Morris, 6) Ryan Brown, 7) Christopher Brown, 8) Franklin Smith, 9) Dylan Fachini, 10) Wayne Mahar, 11) Rocco Procopio, 12) Jim Dellea, 13) Jay Casey, 14) Peter Huntoon