- Phil Allaway
Steve Hough Holds Off Tremont for Victory
Saturday night’s Heavy Hauler-sponsored Modified feature may have only been for appearance points due to the Super DIRTcar Series race in Fulton. However, that didn’t mean that there wasn’t any action.
Steve Hough led the field to green on a blustery night. He almost immediately fell into a battle with J.R. Heffner. The veteran campaigner gave Hough all he could give, but the East Greenbush owner/driver was able to hold off Heffner’s charge.
Hough had begun to pull away a bit before Kolby Schroder spun and hit the wall in turn 3 to bring out a yellow on lap 7. Schroder was ok, but he was done for the evening.
On the restart, Paul Gilardi and Dave McFeeters collided exiting turn 2 to bring out another caution. Gilardi's car had significant damage to the rear, but was able to continue. McFeeters was forced to retire his new Bicknell chassis.
Opening night winner Andy Bachetti was fast once again on Saturday night, but he fell victim to the slick track like Schroder did. Just after the restart from the Gilardi-McFeeters incident, Bachetti spun out and hit the wall in turn 3. Bachetti had started ninth and thought that he had something for Hough, Heffner and the other contenders. However, he could not continue after his incident and had to settle for 17th.
As the race continued on, Heffner continued to lose pace as compared to Hough. Behind Heffner, Elmo Reckner was in close pursuit along with Tremont.
As the race continued on, Tremont took third away and ran down Heffner. After a brief battle, Tremont was able to move into second on lap 26. Shortly after the positions changed, Paul Gilardi slowed on the backstretch to draw a caution. After being hit hard in the rear early on, Gilardi’s night came to an end four laps short of the finish.
After the restart, Tremont put extensive pressure on Hough for the lead. Hough held tough on the high line, forcing Tremont to the inside. The inside line requires more bite to make it work and Tremont just could not get enough momentum as Hough held on to take the win.
Afterwards, Hough was very pleased with his evening.
“We had a real good car tonight,” Hough said in the pits. “Feels good to be back in Victory Lane. I had a lot of big dogs behind me in Tremont, J.R. [Heffner], Bachetti was there. Feels good to beat the big guys.”
Tremont ended up second, followed by Heffner. Reckner finished fourth, while Rob Pitcher overtook Wayne Jelley in the final laps to take fifth.
The Small Block Modified Feature saw pole sitter Olden Dwyer start from pole. That was the end of the good times for the Vermont native. After Michael Sabia brought out a quick caution on the initial start, Dwyer broke a left front hub, putting him out of the race.
Dwyer’s failure put Demetrios Drellos in the lead. Behind him were J.R. Heffner, Kenny Tremont Jr. and Brett Haas, three of the strongest contenders in the class.
Early on, Heffner pressured Drellos, but the No. 74 faded. Tremont was able to capitalize and take second away on lap 13. Tremont then hunted down Drellos. Once he reached the Queensbury native, a fierce battle began. Contact was made that adversely affected Tremont’s race car. He was able to lead lap 18, but Drellos was able to use the momentum of the outside line to get back in front.
A couple of late yellows for Kim LaVoy stalling on-track and an incident involving Frank Harper kept the field bunched up late. Over the last couple of laps, Tremont attempted to make another run on Drellos, but Drellos would not be denied the victory.
Behind Drellos and Tremont was Heffner with another third-place finish. Haas was fourth, while Frank Hoard III was fifth.
The Pro Stock feature was marred by an early big wreck. Coming to the end of the first lap, Hugh Page and Ed Bishop collided exiting turn 4. Bishop went into the blunt end of a Jersey Barrier while Page broadsided the wall. Meanwhile, a chain reaction crash wrapped up Tom O’Connor, Jay
Corbin, Rob Yetman, Chuck Towslee, Dan Cote, Victor Hopkins and the father and son team of Paul and Steven LaRochelle. Both LaRochelles, Corbin, Page and Bishop were out on the spot.
Nick Hilt started from the pole and was fairly quick early on. Jason Meltz was able to give chase. Meanwhile, Yetman managed to avoid damage in the incident and quickly charged up the order. By lap 7, Yetman was already up to second. An incident between Cote, Bob Camilli and Brian Keough brought out another yellow and bunched the pack up.
A couple of laps after the restart, Yetman was able to get past Hilt and take the lead. Towslee, who had right front damage in the big wreck, followed Yetman past Hilt. From there, Yetman held off the field on a couple of late restarts to take his second consecutive win.
Towslee was second, followed by Jason Meltz in a career-best third. Hilt was fourth and Jon Routhier was fifth.
In the first Pure Stock Feature, Nick Reilly led from the pole and was able to maintain a decent pace. Shawn Perez gave chase and haunted Reilly for the entire first half of the race.
After the halfway point, Perez made his move on Reilly. Reilly fought back, but Perez was able to make the pass stick on lap 6. From there, Perez pulled away to take his first win of the season.
Lou Gancarz was able to follow Perez by to take second, followed by Reilly. Chris Murphy was fourth, while Zach Sorrentino was fifth.
In Feature No. 2, Clifford Booth started from the pole and was able to pull out a decent gap on his own. However, the man who was on the move was Jesse Murphy. Starting in eighth, Jesse Murphy moved his No. 013 towards the front in a hurry. By halfway, he was already up to second.
Brian VanDenburg stalled exiting turn 2 to bring out the race's only yellow on lap 5, closing the pack back together. Despite the interval being reduced, Booth still was able to maintain a proper gap and hold to take the victory in his yellow and purple Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Jesse Murphy ended up second, followed by Chris Streeter, Doug Olds and Scott Morris.
In the third feature, Mike Arnold started from the pole, but was quickly usurped by John Devine on the first lap. Devine proceeded to open up a decent lead over Dom Denue.
The first yellow flew on lap 7 when Jeff Kreutziger spun in turn 2. Arnold brushed Kreutziger's No. 31 while passing by, but otherwise, there was no contact. Kreutziger was able to continue and eventually finished eighth.
Shortly after the restart, contact was made between Denue and Ray Hall Sr. in turn 2 while the two drivers fought for second. Denue spun out while Hall's No. 27 was heavily damaged. While Denue continued, Hall's car was heavily damaged. Had he been able to continue, he would have been forced to start in the rear by track officials after he was judged to be responsible for the incident.
As a result of the crash, Gary O'Brien inherited second. Once the race restarted, O'Brien put the pressure on Devine, but Devine held strong. On the last lap, Devine flung his No. 24 into turns 1 and 2 a little too hard and slid up the hill. That was all O'Brien needed to be able to drive past Devine on the backstretch and take the win.
Devine was able to keep second, but Jeff Meltz Sr. was right on his tail at the checkered flag. Ed Hatch finished fourth, while Al Relyea was fifth.
In the 4-Cylinder Feature, a field of 25 entries took the green flag. James Street took the lead early on, but he could do nothing with the speed of Chris Vandeputte's Ford Escort GT. Vandeputte took the overall lead on lap 3 shortly before a crash involving Bradley Batho brought out a caution.
Once the green came back out, Vandeputte opened up a big gap on the field. Meanwhile, Brandon Ely took over the Single-cam lead while the remainder of the Dual-cam contenders were forced to fight their way through the Single-cam cars.
Jim Guertin's Honda Accord coupe dropped fluid on the backstretch to bring out a yellow on lap 8. From there, Vandeputte opened up a comfortable gap and held on to take the overall and Dual-cam victories. P.J. Bleau, coming off of a win Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, finished second, followed by defending class champion Kenny Stager. Shawny Hazel was fifth, while Jake Gomm was fifth in his Chevrolet Malibu.
In Single-Cam, Ely's pass on Street held up for the Single-Cam victory, despite a large pack of drivers baring down on his Honda Civic towards the end of the race. Ely finished fifth overall, but had Chris White right on him. Jethro Rossman was third, followed by Gary Malloy and Devine Besze.
Heavy Haulers Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Steve Hough, 2) Kenny Tremont Jr., 3) J.R. Heffner, 4) Elmo Reckner, 5) Rob Pitcher, 6) Wayne Jelley, 7) Kyle Armstrong, 8) Kyle Sheldon, 9) Brian Berger, 10) Matt Pupello, 11) L.J. Lombardo, 12) Mike King, 13) Mike Keeler, 14) Paul Gilardi, 15) Kyle Hoffman, 16) Chad Jeseo, 17) Andy Bachetti, 18) Dave McFeeters, 19) Kolby Schroder, 20) Denny Soltis, 21) Olden Dwyer, 22) Eddie Marshall, 23) Alan Houghtaling, 24) Ken McGuire
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Demetrios Drellos, 2) Kenny Tremont Jr., 3) J.R. Heffner, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Frank Hoard III, 6) Jason Herrington, 7) Ray Hall Jr., 8) Brian Sandstedt, 9) Alan Houghtaling, 10) Ricky Davis, 11) Allison Ricci, 12) Chad Pierce, 13) Brandon Pitcher, 14) Timothy Davis, 15) Frank Harper, 16) Michael Sabia, 17) Kim LaVoy, 18) Peter Carlotto, 19) Olden Dwyer, 20) Elmo Reckner, 21) Bryan McGuire
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Rob Yetman, 2) Chuck Towslee, 3) Jason Meltz, 4) Nick Hilt, 5) Jon Routhier, 6) Rick Duzlak, 7) Victor Hopkins, 8) Rick Dempsey, 9) Rich Crane, 10) Todd Hoffman, 11) Tom O’Connor, 12) Brian Keough, 13) Bob Camilli, 14) Dan Cote, 15) Jeremy Cole, 16) Tom Dean, 17) Matt Cross, 18) Jay Corbin, 19) Hugh Page, 20) Paul LaRochelle, 21) Ed Bishop, 22) Steven LaRochelle, 23) Henry Warner, 24) Joe LaFlamme, 25) Kevin Paul, 26) Don Collins, 27) Nick Arnold, 28) Sparky Reilly
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Shawn Perez, 2) Lou Gancarz, 3) Nick Reilly, 4) Chris Murphy, 5) Zach Sorrentino, 6) Mark Dwyer, 7) Tim Thompson, 8) Jordan Miller, 9) Tim Meltz, 10) Dennis O’Connor
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Clifford Booth, 2) Jesse Murphy, 3) Chris Streeter, 4) Doug Olds, 5) Scott Morris, 6) Zach Seyerlein, 7) Brian Walsh, 8) Adam Schneider, 9) Wuggie Burdick, 10) Brian VanDenburg
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (12 laps): 1) Gary O’Brien, 2) John Devine, 3) Jeff Meltz Sr., 4) Ed Hatch, 5) Al Relyea, 6) Jeff Meltz Jr., 7) Bill Deak Jr., 8) Jeff Kreutziger, 9) Dom Denue, 10) Mike Arnold, 11) Ray Hall Sr.
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Brandon Ely, 2) Chris White, 3) Jethro Rossman, 4) Gary Malloy, 5) Devin Besze, 6) Stephen Cameron Jr., 7) Victor Duncan Jr., 8) James Street, 9) Joey Morey, 10) Bradley Batho, 11) Brian Bishop
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Chris Vandeputte, 2) P.J. Bleau, 3) Kenny Stager, 4) Shawny Hazel, 5) Jake Gomm, 6) Derek Quintero, 7) Tomm Gomm, 8) William Sass Jr., 9) Mike Duncan, 10) David White, 11) Matt Thompson, 12) Jim Guertin, 13) Rick Hodges, 14) John Wright