WEST LEBANON, NY – Marc Johnson took the lead away from pole sitter Ryan Darcy on a restart just after the halfway point. From there, he held on to take the victory on Madsen Overhead Doors Military Appreciation Night at Lebanon Valley Speedway, his first Valley win in nearly a year in an attrition-filled race.
“Tonight was really good,” Johnson said after the race. “We felt that [our 2023 chassis] just wasn’t into the track, so we went back to last year’s car. I’ve had a lot of luck with this car and I feel comfortable in it.”
Darcy started from pole for the second straight Modified feature. Here, he was able to lead easily over Ryan Charland, stretching his advantage to over two seconds. Further back, points leader Andy Bachetti was stuck in traffic and slowly moving forward.
A crash for Brandon Lane brought out the yellow with 14 laps complete to close up the pack. It was here that the race completely changed.
The restart saw a multi-car crash break out in turn 2 that wrapped up Kyle Sheldon, Keith Flach, Paul Gilardi and Tyler Dippel. Dippel’s car had another car ride over his right rear. Dippel, Davis and Gilardi were out.
On the restart, Johnson was able to get to the inside of Darcy for the lead. A lap later, Bachetti took over second and looked like he wanted the lead. Then, Bachetti blew his right rear tire and brought the yellow back out. Bachetti was able to continue, but his No. 4 was wounded. A couple more incidents, one involving Sheldon, Alex Bell and Matt Pupello, along with another one involving Keith Flach and Josh Marcus, kept the field together.
On the final restart, Johnson opened a small gap and held on for the win by 2.08 seconds over Eddie Marshall. Kolby Schroder was third, then J.R. Heffner and Olden Dwyer.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Lorne Browe started from the pole and got an exceptional start. Within the first few laps of the race, he had a five-second lead on the field. Jason Herrington was able to get up to second, but could do nothing with Browe.
A caution for Dwyer’s mechanical issues brought the field back together just as Bachetti took over second. On the first restart attempt, Bachetti attempted to dive bomb Browe for the lead, but went early. The second saw him crowd the outside lane. When Jeff Reis hit the wall in turn 2 to bring out another yellow, Bachetti was penalized two spots for “rough riding under caution.”
Once the green came back out, Browe was able to hold on to earn the victory. It is his first Small Block win and the fifth division that he has won in at Lebanon Valley. Herrington was 1.832 seconds back in second, then Bachetti, L.J. Lombardo and Jeff Watson.
In Sportsman, Jim VanZandt started from the pole and ran what is his best race at Lebanon Valley to date, leading 14 laps. However, this was not the cleanest race.
An early stack up in turn 3 eliminated Cody Cordova. On the restart, Bob Fachini spun and collected Whitey Slavin, Rob Maxon and Tim Hartman Jr., among others. Slavin was out on the sport.
Despite getting hit in the passenger side door, Hartman still had a very quick No. 22h. He was able to get up to third by lap 5 and ran down VanZandt and Chris Lynch at the front of the field.
A crash involving Fachini and Karl Barnes in turn 3 brought out a yellow with 13 laps completed, just after Hartman had taken second. Just after the restart, Hartman was able to take the lead away from VanZandt in turn 3.
Once out front, Hartman was able to pull away to take his third win of the year. He ended up 2.677 seconds ahead of Lynch. VanZandt crossed the line in third, but was disqualified for having a spring rubber installed. As a result, Kevin Ward inherited third, followed by Keith Johannessen and Rob Maxon.
In the Limited Sportsman class, Mike Engwer led the entire race until the final lap. He went way too fast into turn 4 and slid up the track into the outside wall. He then came off the wall and crashed into Craig Coons, spinning both drivers out. Anthony Maxon snuck past to take the win.
The Pro Stock feature saw Zach Sorrentino, a former U.S. Marine, snatch the lead away from Tom Dean on lap 15, then hold off a late charge from Dave Stickles to take the win. Stickles was second, then Dean, Steven LaRochelle and Chad Jeseo.
In Street Stock, Rocco Procopio took the win in a 20-lap feature over Dave Streibel Jr. and Dave Streibel. Bradley Batho won the 4-Cylinder Dual-Cam class and overall. Tim Meltz finished fourth and won the Single-Cam class.
Madsen Overhead Doors Military Appreciation Night Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Marc Johnson, 2) Eddie Marshall, 3) Kolby Schroder, 4) J.R. Heffner, 5) Olden Dwyer, 6) Andy Bachetti, 7) L.J. Lombardo, 8) Mike King, 9) Kyle Sheldon, 10) Kenny Tremont Jr., 11) Kyle Armstrong, 12) Josh Marcus, 13) Brandon Lane, 14) Wayne Jelley, 15) Ryan Darcy, 16) Keith Flach, 17) Alex Bell, 18) Matt Pupello, 19) Brett Haas, 20) Ryan Charland, 21) Paul Gilardi, 22) Timothy Davis, 23) Tyler Dippel, 24) John Virgilio, 25) Kenny Aanonsen Jr.
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Lorne Browe, 2) Jason Herrington, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) L.J. Lombardo, 5) Jeff Watson, 6) Peter Carlotto, 7) Corey Cormier, 8) Kim LaVoy, 9) Brian Peterson, 10) Ray Hall Jr., 11) Ryan Charland, 12) Ryan Larkin, 13) Donny Travaglin, 14) Michael Sabia, 15) Mark Pullen, 16) Montgomery Tremont, 17) Jeff Gallup, 18) Ryan Heath, 19) Jeff Reis, 20) Olden Dwyer, 21) Brian Sandstedt, 22) Kevin Petrucci, 23) Alan Houghtaling, 24) Joey Coppola
Sportsman 11th Annual Andrew Sherman Memorial Results (20 laps): 1) Tim Hartman Jr., 2) Chris Lynch, 3) Kevin Ward, 4) Keith Johannessen, 5) Rob Maxon, 6) Gary O’Brien, 7) Matt Burke, 8) Nick Giardini, 9) Bob Fachini, 10) Michael Sabia, 11) Brady Cordova, 12) Dillon Gannon, 13) Karl Barnes, 14) Kevin Ames, 15) Alan Houghtaling, 16) Whitey Slavin, 17) Cody Cordova. DQ: Jim VanZandt
Limited Sportsman Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Anthony Maxon, 2) Mike Arnold, 3) Craig Coons, 4) Alex Palmer-Sawyer, 5) Harold Robitaille, 6) Scott Zehnacher, 7) Wesley Sutliff, 8) Fred Pavia, 9) Brian Walsh, 10) Jason Manchester, 11) Kent Clark, 12) Owen Lewis, 13) Frank Twing Jr., 14) Allyson Papp, 15) Matt Jordan, 16) Becky Belisle, 17) Mike Engwer, 18) Frank Frasco
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Zach Sorrentino, 2) Dave Stickles, 3) Tom Dean, 4) Steven LaRochelle, 5) Chad Jeseo, 6) Fred Lee, 7) Shawn Perez, 8) Steve Hankle, 9) Tom O’Connor, 10) Ryan Crellin, 11) Frank Twing, 12) Brian Keough, 13) Katarina Foster, 14) Mike Dianda
Street Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Rocco Procopio, 2) Dave Streibel Jr., 3) David Streibel, 4) Jeff Meltz Sr., 5) Lou Gancarz, 6) Katarina Foster, 7) Keri VanDenburg, 8) Ray Royals, 9) Franklin Smith, 10) Bob Gibson, 11) Christopher Brown, 12) Don Kennedy, 13) Chris Stalker, 14) Rob Partridge, 15) Milo Campbell, 16) Nick Giardini. DQ: Mike Dianda
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Bradley Batho, 2) Gary Malloy, 3) James Guertin, 4) Jason Peck, 5) Jon Shepard, 6) Mike Duncan, 7) Shawny Hazel
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Tim Meltz, 2) Joey Batho, 3) Joe Wolfe, 4) Dylan MacLeod, 5) Stephen Burka
4-Cylinder Combined Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Bradley Batho, 2) Gary Malloy, 3) James Guertin, 4) Tim Meltz, 5) Jason Peck, 6) Joey Batho, 7) Joe Wolfe, 8) Dylan MacLeod, 9) Mike Duncan, 10) Jon Shepard, 11) Stephen Burka, 12) Shawny Hazel