WEST LEBANON, NY – Olden Dwyer was able to take advantage of an unforced error on lap 10 Saturday night to go from third to first. From there, he held on take his second Lebanon Valley Modified win of the year.
“Right off the bat, I knew we had a good car,” Dwyer said after the race. “I wanted to bide my time with John [Virgilio]. I felt like I had a better race car and thought I could work him and get him. Luckily for me, at the same time, Keith [Flach] shoved the nose in [turns] 1 and 2 and opened the door. We got to go from third to the lead.”
Josh Marcus started from the pole, but quickly lost his advantage to John Virgilio. However, the real story of the race happened on lap 3. Andy Bachetti ran over the right rear wheel of Marcus and hit the wall hard in turn 3 to bring out the race’s one and only caution.
Bachetti was able to free himself from the wall and drive himself back to the pits. However, his crew could not repair his car, resulting in an 18th-place finish. That closes up the championship significantly.
Keith Flach moved up from the sixth starting spot to battle for the lead after the restart. Virgilio tried his hardest, but Flach was able to take the advantage on lap 6. Once out front, Flach began to slowly pull away from the pack.
Things looked good for Flach until lap 10. He went into turns 1 and 2 a bit hot, jumped the cushion and brushed the wall. Virgilio was battling Dwyer hard to hold onto the second spot at the time. Dwyer was side-by-side for the spot when Flach jumped the cushion. As a result, he was able to sweep past both drivers to take the lead.
Virgilio ended up keeping second at the time with Flach behind. It took only a couple of a laps for Flach to get Virgilio, but the damage had been done…literally.
Flach ended up two seconds back with a car that lost its edge. He was able to equal Dwyer, but could not reel him back in. From there, Dwyer was able to hold on for the win.
Dwyer’s margin of victory was 3.330 seconds over Flach. Brian Berger was third, then Brett Haas and Marc Johnson.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Kim LaVoy returned after missing the races on July 30 after testing positive for COVID-19. LaVoy won her heat race and started on the pole in the feature. When the green came out, LaVoy proceeded to drive off into the distance.
Meanwhile, on the first lap, Peter Carlotto ran into serious trouble, smacking the wall in turn 2. This did not draw a yellow, but effectively ended Carlotto’s night.
Behind LaVoy, Montgomery Tremont had one of the best races of his short career at Lebanon Valley. After winning his heat, Montgomery started second and ran very strongly. Dwyer was able to take second early on, but Montgomery was able to keep up without too much of an issue. Further back, Bachetti was making his way forward slowly from 12th on the grid.
With LaVoy stretching her lead to over five seconds, the focus was on Bachetti’s run into the top five. With a few laps to go, Bachetti was able to get past Montgomery for third and did battle with Dwyer, but no one could keep LaVoy out of victory lane.
LaVoy ended up 8.875 seconds ahead of Bachetti, who snatched second from Dwyer on the final lap. Montgomery Tremont was fourth, then Ryan Larkin.
In Sportsman, Ryan Heath started from the pole, but had significant mechanical issues that ended his race very early. Kevin Ward was able to snatch the lead at the start and opened up a small lead over Keith Johannessen.
Point contenders Whitey Slavin and Tim Hartman Jr. both started on the fifth row and battled each other as they drove up the order. With no cautions to close the order up, that progress was slow.
The two stayed together until they got up to fifth and sixth. Hartman was able to get by Rob Maxon for fourth, then opened a gap on Slavin as he struggled to get past.
All of this happened behind Ward, who drove away to claim a dominant victory. He ended up 6.973 seconds ahead of Johannessen at the finish. Peter Lorenzo was third, then Hartman and Chris Lynch. In Limited Sportsman action, John Santolin took the win, his first at Lebanon Valley since 2007.
In Pro Stock, Zach Sorrentino started on the pole and led early with Zach Seyerlein giving chase. Points leader Chad Jeseo started eighth and was quickly moving forward. However, trouble struck on lap 5 while Jeseo cut his right rear tire.
At the same time, Tom Gomm smacked the wall in turns 3 and 4 to bring out a yellow. This bailed Jeseo out and allowed him to pit for a fresh tire. Gomm was done for the night.
After his stop, it took only a couple of laps for Jeseo to get back where he was prior to the tire issue. Chris Stalker spun to bring out another yellow on lap 8.
On the restart, Nick Hilt Jr. was able to take second from Seyerlein. For much of the rest of the race, he battled for the lead with Sorrentino, but he was never able to get fully alongside the No. 54s.
After a number of laps of sparring, Sorrentino was able to again clear Hilt and pull away for his first career Pro Stock win. Hilt was a half-second back in second, then Jeseo, Scott Towslee and Steven LaRochelle.
In Street Stock, Chris Stalker led flag-to-flag to win the 19th Annual Boomer’s Performance Classic In Memory of Todd Putnam. He won $2400 for his efforts.
Sheldon Oil Services/Bulldog Concrete Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Olden Dwyer, 2) Keith Flach, 3) Brian Berger, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Marc Johnson, 6) John Virgilio, 7) Kyle Armstrong, 8) Kenny Tremont Jr., 9) Eddie Marshall, 10) L.J. Lombardo, 11) Brandon Lane, 12) Mike King, 13) Dylan Gibson, 14) Paul Gilardi, 15) Kyle Sheldon, 16) Timothy Davis, 17) Josh Marcus, 18) Andy Bachetti, 19) Kolby Schroder, 20) Chris Lynch*
Note: Chris Lynch finished 17th on the track, but was placed in 20th at the request of car owner Alex Thomson out of a desire to not affect the point standings.
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Kim LaVoy, 2) Andy Bachetti, 3) Olden Dwyer, 4) Montgomery Tremont, 5) Ryan Larkin, 6) L.J. Lombardo, 7) Frank Harper, 8) Jason Herrington, 9) Ryan Charland, 10) Jeff Watson, 11) Brian Sandstedt, 12) Kevin Petrucci, 13) Ray Hall Jr., 14) Peter Carlotto, 15) Alan Houghtaling, 16) Brian Peterson
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Kevin Ward, 2) Keith Johannessen, 3) Peter Lorenzo, 4) Tim Hartman Jr., 5) Chris Lynch, 6) Whitey Slavin, 7) Rob Maxon, 8) Shane Powell, 9) Jacob Perry, 10) Garret Poland, 11) Mike Arnold, 12) Brady Cordova, 13) Butchie Irwin, 14) Bob Fachini, 15) Ryan Heath, 16) Ray Hall Jr.
Limited Sportsman Feature Results (10 laps): 1) John Santolin, 2) Kevin Ames, 3) Matt Jordan, 4) Shaeden Mosso, 5) Frank Twing Jr., 6) Alex Palmer-Sawyer, 7) Karl Barnes, 8) Cody Cordova
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Zach Sorrentino, 2) Nick Hilt Jr., 3) Chad Jeseo, 4) Scott Towslee, 5) Steven LaRochelle, 6) Zach Seyerlein, 7) Tom Dean, 8) Rich Colasanti, 9) Chris Stalker, 10) Brian Keough, 11) Tom O’Connor, 12) Dave Stickles*, 13) Tom Gomm
Note: Matt Nehmens drove the No. 55 in a substitute role Saturday night. As a result, Dave Stickles will get credit for Nehmens’ 12th-place finish.
Street Stock Boomer’s Performance Classic In Memory of Todd Putnam (20 laps): 1) Chris Stalker, 2) Dom Denue, 3) Jim Dellea, 4) Rob Partridge, 5) Dave Streibel, 6) Dylan Fachini, 7) Brian Walsh, 8) Rocco Procopio, 9) Evan Denue, 10) John Devine, 11) Keri VanDenburg, 12) Ray Royals, 13) Mike Dianda, 14) Dave Streibel Jr., 15) Jeff Meltz Sr., 16) Katarina Foster, 17) Franklin Smith, 18) Scott Morris, 19) Daniel Coonradt, 20) Gary O’Brien, 21) Chris Coons