Andy Bachetti Scores Victory With Last-Lap Sweeping Move
Kolby Schroder dominated Saturday night’s Modified feature at Lebanon Valley Speedway. However, a caution set up a one-lap shootout and that was all Andy Bachetti needed. On the final restart, Bachetti made a swooping move to the outside in turns 1 and 2 to take the lead from Schroder and snag his second straight win.
“Starting [in 15th] with no cautions is tough,” Bachetti said in victory lane. “When you get that restart, you have to take full advantage of it.”
Mike King started from the pole and ran strong early on. Schroder dispatched inside pole sitter Olden Dwyer on the first lap and immediately put the pressure on King for the lead. The two ran side-by-side for about two laps before Schroder was able to clear King exiting turn 2 on lap 4.
Once out in front, Schroder was able to pull away from King and the rest of the pack. Further back, Bachetti started 15th after his opening night victory and slowly made his way forward.
Ultimately, a pack of about eight different drivers led by Dwyer fought over the third spot. This group included Kyle Sheldon, Kenny Tremont Jr., Keith Flach, L.J. Lombardo, J.R. Heffner and others.
Sheldon ended up inheriting third when Dwyer dropped out with mechanical issues. Tremont was right there as well. After halfway, King began to fade and fell back into the clutches of Tremont. With seven laps to go, Tremont took second and seemed comfortable there.
Schroder was a half-lap from victory when Brett Haas broke an oil line and showered the track with fluid and heavy smoke. The caution bunched up the pack for a one-lap shootout.
The first attempt for this shootout ended almost immediately when Paul Gilardi and Bobby Hackel, IV collided and spun into the inside wall to bring out another yellow. In the short time before the yellow flew, Bachetti was able to work himself up into the top three, which set up his move for the win.
Schroder had to settle for second, followed by Tremont and Lombardo. Flach rounded out the top five.
Sportsman saw Matt Burke start on pole in his Cyclone chassis, repaired from a crash on opening night. When the green flew, he was able to open a small lead over Robbie Knipe, who got past Keith Johannessen on the first lap.
Tim Hartman Jr. had one of the fastest cars once again, but he slowed suddenly on lap 4 and drew a caution. After a pit stop for repairs, he returned to the race at the back of the field. He would get up to eighth by the checkered flag.
Burke and Knipe were able to open a decent gap over the rest of the field and attempted to settle things among themselves. Burke held a good enough pace that Knipe never could get right to Burke’s bumper.
A spin for Keith Johannessen brought out a caution with five laps to go. Knipe tried to get at Burke on the restart, but he could do nothing to prevent Burke from taking his first Lebanon Valley victory. Chris Lynch was third, then Whitey Slavin and Peter Lorenzo.
The Pro Stock class saw Chris Stalker start on pole and lead early. Nick Hilt Jr. was right on Stalker’s tail and battled the rookie racer. Hilt was able to get alongside and snag the lead on lap 6.
While Stalker fell back into the pack, Hilt attempted to drive off and leave everyone. Chad Jeseo, who started ninth, quickly made his way up the order and took second from Stalker the lap after Hilt took the lead.
Hilt opened up a decent advantage over Jeseo, but the multi-time champion was able to run Hilt back down. A fierce battle erupted with Jeseo giving Hilt repeated bumper taps. Jeseo was able to get to Hilt’s inside on multiple occasions, but Hilt used the outside line to keep the lead.
In the final laps, Hilt was able to get some breathing room over Jeseo. That was all he needed to take the win over Jeseo. Zach Seyerlein was third, then Steven LaRochelle and Johnny Rivers.
After substantial discussions between competitors and Pit Steward Fred Lee. As a result, the multiple short features have been exchanged for a couple of five-lap heat races in order to set the grid for a 15-lap feature. Craig Coons and Jeff Meltz Sr. won the two heat races early in the evening.
After handicapping came into play, Coons started on the outside pole, then had issues on the first lap of the race in turn 2. This resulted in a stackup that caused Rocco Procopio to spin on the backstretch to bring out the yellow. Dom Denue’s No. 145 Chevrolet Camaro was also significantly damaged and done for the night.
Jim Dellea came out of the first lap mess with the lead in his burgundy and yellow No. 77 with Shawn Perez Jr. close behind. The two drivers fought for the lead until Perez’s car dropped off the pace and stopped in turn 4 to draw another yellow.
Gary O’Brien is taking advantage of new rules for 2022 that allow Pro Stock chassis to be used in the class to alleviate the shortage of F-Body and G-Body chassis due to most of the good ones being raced out. He won opening night and was very quick Saturday night. However, he ended up getting spun out by Chris Stalker to bring out another yellow. Stalker was sent to the rear for the contact.
Dave Streibel Jr., who also won on opening night, started back in the 11th spot and slowly made his way towards the front. The O’Brien-Stalker incident put him up to second. For a couple of laps after that, he battled hard with Dellea for the lead.
On lap 12, he was able to get to the inside in turn 4 and make a pass for the lead stick. At the same time, O’Brien’s No. 57 hit the wall and ultimately came to a halt in turn 2 to bring out another yellow.
Once the green came back out, Streibel Jr. was able to pull away to take his second win of the year and first in a combined feature. Jeff Meltz Sr. ended up second, then Scott Morris, Dellea and Stalker.
Saturday night was opening night for the 4-Cylinder class as well. Via a draw, Garrett Biagiarelli started on pole in his Chevrolet Cobalt sedan, but quickly lost the lead to Jon Shepard.
Chris Hall, racing a Ford Focus, snatched the lead away from Shepard and attempted to drive away. He was followed by Gary Malloy, now racing a Nissan Sentra.
Further back, Tim Meltz took the Single-cam lead away from Victor Duncan Jr. early and rose through the ranks in his Honda Prelude early on. Defending Single-cam champion Bradley Batho had to come from the rear of the field, but was making significant progress towards the front.
On lap 9, Batho was running sixth overall and gaining on Steve Burbank when he went wide exiting turn 2 and hit the wall before spinning out to bring out the yellow. Bradley was ok, but done for the night.
On the restart, Malloy was able to get past Hall to take the lead. Shortly afterwards, Doug Howe crashed in turn 2 to bring out another yellow.
When the green came back out, Malloy drove away from the pack to take the Dual-Cam and overall victory. Hall finished second, while Tim Meltz finished third to win the Single-Cam class. Joey Batho was fourth overall (second in Single-Cam), while Shepard was fifth (third in Dual-Cam).
Dwyer’s State Line Beer & Wine/Sysco Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Andy Bachetti, 2) Kolby Schroder, 3) Kenny Tremont Jr., 4) L.J. Lombardo, 5) Keith Flach, 6) J.R. Heffner, 7) Kyle Sheldon, 8) Brian Berger, 9) Eddie Marshall, 10) Kyle Armstrong, 11) Paul Gilardi, 12) Mike King, 13) Bobby Hackel, IV, 14) Brett Haas, 15) Josh Marcus, 16) Wayne Jelley, 17) Ryan Darcy, 18) Olden Dwyer, 19) Brandon Lane, 20) Marc Johnson, 21) Ryan Charland, 22) Joey Coppola, 23) Ray Hall Jr., 24) Alan Houghtaling, 25) Jason Herrington, 26) Peter Carlotto, 27) Dylan Gibson, 28) Ryan Larkin
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Matt Burke, 2) Robbie Knipe, 3) Chris Lynch, 4) Whitey Slavin, 5) Peter Lorenzo, 6) John Virgilio, 7) Jeff Watson, 8) Tim Hartman Jr., 9) Jacob Perry, 10) Alan Houghtaling, 11) Robbie Colburn, 12) Shane Powell, 13) Keith Johannessen, 14) Ryan Heath
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Nick Hilt Jr., 2) Chad Jeseo, 3) Zach Seyerlein, 4) Steven LaRochelle, 5) Johnny Rivers, 6) Zach Sorrentino, 7) Tom Dean, 8) Chris Stalker, 9) Bruno Richard, 10) Shawn Perez, 11) Dave Stickles, 12) Nick Rogers
Street Stock Feature (15 laps): 1) Dave Streibel Jr., 2) Jeff Meltz Sr., 3) Scott Morris, 4) Jim Dellea, 5) Chris Stalker, 6) Evan Denue, 7) Katarina Foster, 8) Franklin Smith, 9) Brian Walsh, 10) Gary O’Brien, 11) Rocco Procopio, 12) Shawn Perez Jr., 13) Keri VanDenburg, 14) Dom Denue, 15) Craig Coons, 16) Christopher Brown, 17) Rob Partridge, 18) Dylan Fachini, 19) Ammo Wright
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Gary Malloy, 2) Chris Hall, 3) Jon Shepard, 4) Garrett Biagiarelli, 5) Steve Burbank, 6) Doug Howe, 7) Althea Roy, 8) Chris Danylieko, 9) Brian Blanck
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Tim Meltz, 2) Joey Batho, 3) Joe Wolfe, 4) Victor Duncan Jr., 5) Jethro Rossman, 6) Matt Tedrow, 7) Bradley Batho