Kenny Tremont Jr. Claims Big Block Win No. 140 at Lebanon Valley
The 2021 season at Lebanon Valley has been a tricky one for Kenny Tremont Jr. The team has struggled with pace and mechanical issues. However, they put it all together Saturday night as Tremont took his 140th career Big Block victory.
“The car was better than it has been all year,” Tremont said afterwards. “Honestly, we’ve been off, not way off, but enough to be slow. Starting on the front row tonight definitely helped, but we wouldn’t have been able to stay there earlier this season.”
Paul Gilardi started from the pole in his No. 87x with Tremont alongside. It did not take long for the West Sand Lake native to put the pressure on Gilardi. On lap 4, Tremont took the lead. Brian Berger, who finished second last week, followed past a couple of laps later.
It was rather difficult to pass at times Saturday night. As a result, the top points contenders (Andy Bachetti, Marc Johnson, Brett Haas) were stuck down the order for much of the race.
Berger was every bit of a match for Tremont during the race. As a result, Tremont never had that big of an advantage. It hovered between one and two seconds for much of the race.
Towards the end of the event, lapped traffic began to play a role. Tremont ran up on drivers such as Brandon Lane (making his Big Block debut) and Chris Curtis and lost a little time trying to get past. Despite this, Tremont was able to hold on for his first win of the year.
Berger was second for the second straight week and fourth time this year. Wayne Jelley was third, then Brett Haas and Kyle Sheldon.
In Small Block competition, Brian Sandstedt started on pole in a feature that had trouble getting underway. On the initial start, Sean Mandel spun and hit the wall in turn 3 after contact from Kim LaVoy. This crash eventually ended his night. The restart was aborted due to a jump start, but Frank Harper spun and hit the wall regardless. He would finish a couple laps down in 14th.
Once things truly got underway, Larkin was able to move himself up the order quickly from seventh on the grid to third. When he approached Sandstedt and Alan Houghtaling, he was able to make quick work of them to take the lead.
A caution due to Joey Coppola stalling on the frontstretch at halfway bunched everyone back up for the final 12 laps. Here, Olden Dwyer was able to move up to second and spent much of the remainder of the race pressuring Larkin. However, Larkin prevented Dwyer from taking a second consecutive win and claimed his second win of the year. Bachetti finished third, then Jason Herrington and Ryan Charland.
In Sportsman, Whitey Slavin started from pole, but the race had trouble getting going. Dylan Grogan crashed out on lap 1 to spark a caution. A multi-car wreck on lap 2 involving Jacob Perry, Bill August and John Santolin saw August end up on his side. Interestingly enough, August was able to come back and finish after being righted.
Another stack up in turn 3 involving Dylan Gibson, Kevin Ames and others resulted in single-file restarts being instituted on lap 3.
Rob Maxon quickly took second from Karl Barnes early on and spent much of the race haunting Slavin. However, Maxon could not prevent Slavin from earning his first win of the year. Peter Carlotto was third, then Chris Lynch and Walter Hammond Jr.
Much like the Sportsman feature, the Pro Stock race was rough and tumble. After Doug Olds had an early flat tire, J.J. Courcy spun in turn 4 to bring out a yellow. Later on, Olds and Tom O’Connor collided in turn 1.
Courcy had another crash entering turn 3 on lap 7, ending his night.
Shortly after that incident, Olds and Jay Fitzgerald had a collision on the frontstretch. Afterwards, track officials mandated single-file restarts once again.
Steven LaRochelle was not immune to the on-track issues as he carried part of Dave Stickles’ rear bumper for a chunk of the race. LaRochelle was able to take the lead away from pole sitter Shawn Perez on lap 8 after Courcy’s second incident.
Much of the rest of the race was a duel between LaRochelle, Tom Dean, Jason Meltz and Chad Jeseo. LaRochelle was able to hold off Dean on a late restart to take his second win of the year. Dean was second, then Jason Meltz, Jeseo and Johnny Rivers.
In Pure Stock, Dylan Fachini and the Streibels (Dave and Dave Jr.) each took victories. Jeff Meltz Sr. won the 20-lap Boomer’s Performance Purestock Classic in Memory of Steven L. Kahler.
Sheldon Oil Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Kenny Tremont Jr., 2) Brian Berger, 3) Wayne Jelley, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Kyle Sheldon, 6) Bobby Hackel, IV, 7) Andy Bachetti, 8) J.R. Heffner, 9) L.J. Lombardo, 10) Kyle Armstrong, 11) Paul Gilardi, 12) Marc Johnson, 13) Eddie Marshall, 14) Kolby Schroder, 15) John Virgilio, 16) Mike King, 17) Chris Curtis, 18) Brandon Lane, 19) Josh Marcus, 20) Brent Cross, 21) Kenny Aanonsen, III, 22) Olden Dwyer, 23) John Ruchel, 24) Ryan Darcy
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Ryan Larkin, 2) Olden Dwyer, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) Jason Herrington, 5) Ryan Charland, 6) Brian Sandstedt, 7) Ray Hall Jr., 8) Chris Curtis, 9) Brian Peterson, 10) Alan Houghtaling, 11) Kevin Petrucci, 12) Montgomery Tremont, 13) John Lutes Jr., 14) Frank Harper, 15) Kim LaVoy, 16) Joey Coppola, 17) Michael Sabia, 18) Brandon Daley, 19) Sean Mandel
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Whitey Slavin, 2) Rob Maxon, 3) Peter Carlotto, 4) Chris Lynch, 5) Walter Hammond Jr., 6) Robbie Colburn, 7) Walter J. Hammond, 8) John Virgilio, 9) Gary O’Brien, 10) Kevin Ward, 11) Matt Burke, 12) Jeff Watson, 13) Karl Barnes, 14) Jared Powell, 15) Peter Lorenzo, 16) Kevin Ames, 17) Jimmy VanZandt, 18) Dylan Gibson, 19) John Santolin, 20) Bill August, 21) Hunter Ordway, 22) Michael Sabia, 23) Jacob Perry, 24) Jeff Reis, 25) Dylan Grogan, 26) John Stowell, 27) Gary Plass
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Steven LaRochelle, 2) Tom Dean, 3) Jason Meltz, 4) Chad Jeseo, 5) Johnny Rivers, 6) Zach Seyerlein, 7) Rich Colasanti, 8) Nick Hilt Jr., 9) Zach Sorrentino, 10) Jay Fitzgerald, 11) Brian Keough, 12) Tom O’Connor, 13) Shawn Perez, 14) Doug Olds, 15) Dominique Hilt, 16) Dave Stickles, 17) JJ Courcy
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Dylan Fachini, 2) Jeff Meltz Sr., 3) Jeff Meltz Jr., 4) Brian Walsh, 5) Craig Coons, 6) Scott Morris, 7) Mike Dianda, 8) Shawn Perez Jr., 9) Jethro Rossman
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Dave Streibel, 2) Rob Partridge, 3) Jim Dellea, 4) Franklin Smith, 5) Peter Huntoon, 6) Chris Calabro, 7) Colby Kokosa, 8) Janai St. Pierre, 9) John Devine
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (8 laps): 1) Dave Streibel Jr., 2) Clifford Booth, 3) Chris Stalker, 4) Scott Kilmer, 5) Christopher Brown, 6) Katarina Foster, 7) Rocco Procopio, 8) Keri VanDenburg
Boomer’s Performance Purestock Classic in Memory of Steven L. Kahler (20 laps): 1) Jeff Meltz Sr., 2) Chris Stalker, 3) Dylan Fachini, 4) Dave Streibel Jr., 5) Dave Streibel, 6) Colby Kokosa, 7) Janai St. Pierre, 8) Jim Dellea, 9) Rob Partridge, 10) Keri VanDenburg, 11) Craig Coons, 12) Brian Walsh, 13) Chris Calabro, 14) Katarina Foster, 15) Christopher Brown, 16) Mike Dianda, 17) Jeff Meltz Jr., 18) Rocco Procopio. DNS: Clifford Booth, John Devine, Peter Huntoon, Scott Kilmer, Scott Morris, Jethro Rossman, Franklin Smith