- Phil Allaway
The Super DIRTcar Series Caps Off Lebanon Valley's Modified Season
Just like that, the season is beginning to come to an end at Lebanon Valley Speedway. We’re already at Labor Day weekend. That means the final races of the season for the Modified and Pro Stock classes are at hand this weekend.
The final race of the Modified season at Lebanon Valley just so happens to be the biggest one of all. The annual Mr. Dirt Track U.S.A. is a 101-lap race run as a round of the Super DIRTcar Series. It is one of the richest races in the series as $25,500 is the winner’s share of the purse.
Regular points will not be on the line for Lebanon Valley regulars. Instead, appearance points will be on offer. Kenny Tremont Jr. will claim the 2019 Modified track championship by showing up at the track Saturday and unloading his chassis.
That said, he plans to do quite a bit more than simply unload his car. Tremont is the defending champion of Mr. Dirt Track U.S.A. and plans to defend his victory. He’ll lead the Lebanon Valley contingent on Saturday night. They’ll include Eddie Marshall, who won last weekend, Andy Bachetti, J.R. Heffner, Keith Flach, Peter Britten and others.
They’ll do battle with the Super DIRTcar Series regulars on the high banks. There are 12 in all that will be making the trip to the Valley. Britten, a Lebanon Valley regular in his own right, is one of them. That said, when you think of Super DIRTcar Series regulars, Matt Sheppard is likely the first name that comes to mind.
Sheppard has been on a roll for what seems like the last couple of years. He’s won a series-high seven races so far in 2019 and holds a 110-point lead over Erick Rudolph. Mat Williamson is third in points and coming off the momentum of winning $100,000 a couple of weeks ago. Billy Decker and Larry Wight are fourth and fifth.
There will also be a number of part-timers that will be at Lebanon Valley as well. NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular Stewart Friesen will be there to have at it. Friesen is a past winner at Lebanon Valley and is sure to be competitive.
Finally, we mustn’t leave out Brett Hearn. Hearn may not have competed as a regular at Lebanon Valley this season, but he will definitely be at the track and be a threat for the win.
For Pro Stock fans, Saturday night is the final points race of the season. 10 different drivers have won races this year, but it is the most recent of those 10 that is looking good for the championship. Jay Casey, who claimed his first victory of 2019 last weekend, enters the final night of the season with a 27-point lead over his son Jason. Jay Casey will claim the championship no matter if he finishes 12th or better. Jason Casey has 37 points over Jason Meltz in third. Rich Crane is currently fourth, but will have Jon Routhier race in his place once again due to a neck injury suffered away from the race track. Steven LaRochelle is fifth.
Pure Stock teams will also have their regular features on the schedule as well. Jeff Kreutziger, who won his class-high fifth race of the year last weekend, has a 20-point lead over Ray Hall Sr. with three nights of racing remaining. Ed Hatch is third, then Zach Seyerlein and Jeff Meltz Sr.
While Pure Stock competitors don’t have heat races at Lebanon Valley, Saturday night’s Pro Stock racers also won’t have heats to contend with either. Handicapping will set the field for the final 20-lap Pro Stock feature of the year.
Tickets are still available for Saturday night’s action. The top six rows of most grandstands are reserved seats. These are $30 each regardless of age and can be purchased online at lebanonvalley.com. Regular General Admission seats are $26 each and can only be purchased Saturday at the track’s box office. Tower seats are already sold out.
With the Super DIRTcar Series at the track, the schedule will be quite a bit different. Warm-ups are still scheduled for 5 p.m., then time trials will follow shortly after 6 p.m. It should be a great night of racing with champions being crowned and one driver walking out of the Valley with more than $25,000.