Kenny Tremont Jr. Scores Valley Win No. 139, Andy Bachetti Inches Closer to Title
Prior to the start of the evening, Lebanon Valley Speedway officials announced that the Aug. 22 races would be the final races of the 2020 season. The lack of revenue due to not being allowed to have fans in the grandstands has hurt the track significantly. As a result, the pressure was on with only two races left for all the classes.
Mike King led the field to green, but trouble broke out immediately when Kyle Armstrong and Brett Haas had contact in Turn 1. This broke the front end of Haas’ car and spun him out. He was then hit by Denny Soltis to bring out the yellow. Haas and Soltis were ok, but done for the night. On the restart, Eddie Marshall, Kolby Schroder and Wayne Jelley came together. All three continued, but Jelley ended up 12 laps down at the finish.
King was able to hold off the pack early on as a small train developed. Olden Dwyer was second, followed by J.R. Heffner, Keith Flach and Kenny Tremont Jr. This held on until Ken McGuire had a catastrophic failure on Lap 13 to bring out the yellow.
On the restart, Tremont’s No. 115 came to life. He was able to move all the way up to second on the restart and immediately put the pressure on King. Two laps later, Tremont dispatched of King and took the lead. From there, Tremont didn’t look back as he drove away to claim his 139th career Big Block victory at Lebanon Valley, extending his own record.
“When we started the feature, we ran fifth…and I thought this was all we could do,” Tremont said. “Then, we got the yellow flag and got to cool the tires down. On that restart, it took right off. That was the key.”
Keith Flach ended up second, followed by Marc Johnson, Andy Bachetti and Mark Flach Jr. Bachetti has a 28-point lead going into the final night of racing.
The Small Block Modified Feature saw Brandon Lane start from the pole and lead early. Ryan Charland moved up from the second row and managed to snatch the lead away on Lap 6.
Charland was able to hold off the pack until a caution came out on Lap 11 due to a crash involving Lane and Frank Harper. This brought out a red flag to make some wall repairs.
Following the restart, Charland had Bachetti right on his tail. To his credit, Charland held off Bachetti as long as he could before the Sheffield, Mass.-native took the lead on Lap 16. From there, Bachetti pulled away to take his second win of the year.
Haas finished second, followed by Charland, Timothy Davis and Jason Herrington.
Haas enters the final race with a one-point lead over Davis and eight over Bachetti.
In Sportsman, Bob Fachini Jr. started from the pole, but Nikki Ouellette was able to swoop into the lead from the second row. Shortly afterwards, Rob Maxon and Nathan Johnson hooked together and spun in Turn 2. At the same time, Bobby Chalmers hit the wall to bring out a yellow.
John Virgilio entered the night with a comfortable point lead, but spun in Turn 4 on Lap 13. He was able to come back to 10th, but lost ground in the standings.
Joey Coppola tried to run down Ouellette late, but could not prevent her from taking her first career Sportsman victory. Coppola was second, then John Stowell, Robbie Knipe and Ryan Larkin.
Pro Stock teams had a rough night. On the first lap of the feature, Rick Duzlak spun and hit the wall hard exiting Turn 2 while Daniel Sanchez (racing in place of Johnny Rivers), Doug Olds and Dave Demorest were also involved. Duzlak was ok, but needed a little time before exiting his No. 29. Another crash involving Sanchez, Shawn Perez, Tom Dean, Steve LaRochelle and others slowed the action.
Phil Arnold briefly ended up with the lead, then quickly lost that advantage to Tony Markou. Arnold would later get caught up in a crash with LaRochelle, Tom Dean and Chad Jeseo. This crash prevented Jeseo from locking up the Pro Stock title.
Once the dust settled, Markou was still in the lead with Jason Casey chasing. The younger of the Caseys tried many times to get to Markou’s inside, but he could not prevent Markou from taking his first career Pro Stock win. Afterwards, Markou was very pleased with his victory and felt that he needed to better his previous interview on the track's PA system.
Jason Casey was second, then Nick Hilt, Canaan, Conn.'s Jay Casey and Scott Towslee. Jeseo enters the final night of racing with a 54-point lead. He will clinch the championship by pulling into the pits and competing in his heat race on Aug. 22.
Earlier in the evening, Eastwood Detailing sponsored a six-lap dash for a selected group of Pro Stock racers. Jason Casey drew the pole for the race and led every lap to win. LaRochelle was second, while Jeseo was third.
In Pure Stock Feature No. 1, Dylan Fachini was looking to make a comeback after being disqualified from a victory Aug. 8 due to failing to meet minimum. Here, he took advantage of the situation. He was able to start from pole and pull out to a decent lead.
Behind Fachini, Massachusetts' Jay Casey in his Chevrolet Nova moved up to second from sixth on the grid. Over the eight laps, Fachini could not be beaten as he held on to take victory in his purple No. 35. Jay Casey was second, then Jeff Meltz Sr., Brian Walsh and Rocco Procopio.
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 saw Dave Fachini start on pole in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Trouble struck for Shawn Perez before things really got going when his No. 09 refused to come up to speed. This brought out a caution. Shortly after the restart, Dom Denue spun out to cause another yellow.
On Lap 2, Chris Stalker was able to get past Dave Fachini to take the lead with Don Kennedy in tow. Kennedy then made his own move for the lead. Kennedy was able to get past on Lap 3, but Stalker immediately struck back and re-took the advantage.
From there, Stalker was able to pull out a small advantage and held on to take his first win of the year. Kennedy was second, followed by John Devine. Jim Dellea was fourth in a car that had to be significantly repaired after a crash in warmups, while Dom Denue was fifth.
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 saw Keri VanDenburg start from the pole and lead early in her Monte Carlo. Chris Murphy was charging towards the front in his gray No. 011, but contact broke his left front tie rod and disabled his car on-track to bring out a yellow.
VanDenburg continued to lead, but was feeling the pressure from Evan Denue and Scott Kilmer. Kilmer was able to get past Evan Denue's No. 245, then put the moves on VanDenburg to get out in front on Lap 7. From there, he pulled away to take the victory.
Evan Denue ended up second, followed by VanDenburg. Janai St. Pierre was fourth, while Ryan Brown was fifth. With one regular suite of races remaining, Devine has a 14-point lead over Jeff Meltz Sr. and 26 over Scott Morris.
At the end of the evening was the Boomer's Performance Purestock Classic, a 20-lap race for Pure Stock racers. By virtue of winning the first feature, Dylan Fachini started from the pole. Chris Stalker started alongside and immediately swept into the lead. Meanwhile, Meltz charged up from the sixth starting spot to put himself into contention.
Meltz was able to snatch the lead away from Stalker on Lap 5. He tried to pull away, but Dom Denue stopping on-track brought out a yellow. Later on, veteran racer Clem Tuffolo spun by himself in Turn 2 on Lap 11. He tried to resume on his own, but spun again and ripped the right rear axle out of his car, bringing out a second yellow.
A number of on-track issues followed. A lap after the restart, Brian Walsh spun out in Turn 1 to bring out another yellow. At the same time, Scott Kilmer and Evan Denue both had mechanical issues on the frontstretch. On the restart from that caution, Jim Dellea spun in Turn 1, collecting Walsh, Janai St. Pierre and Dave Streibel Jr.
A second spin from Streibel set up a four-lap shootout. From here, Meltz was able to hold off Stalker to claim victory and a check for $628 in memory of the late Todd Sheldon. Stalker was second, then Dylan Fachini, Dom Denue and St. Pierre.
In the 4-Cylinder class, Steve Burbank started from the pole in his Honda Civic, but got blitzed on the first lap by Brandon Ely and James Street. Given the pace of Ely's Honda, Street was running his Nissan Sentra SE-R hard to keep up.
That hard pace came back to haunt Street. On the second lap, Street entered Turn 1 too quickly and slid up into the wall. The contact disabled the Sentra and brought out the yellow.
On the restart, Chris Hall spun exiting Turn 2 after contact from Joey Morey. Officials sent Morey to the rear not only for causing this incident, but for also jumping the restart immediately prior to the incident.
The incidents left Lucas Ballard in second to lead the charge against Ely. Ballard had almost every bit of Ely's speed, but he doesn't have Ely's experience. The pace beyond the first two cautions was such that much of the race was spent in lapped traffic.
Ely was able to handle the slower traffic better than Ballard could. The race was still close until the final five laps before Ely pulled away to take the overall and Dual-Cam victories.
Ballard was second, followed by John Wright. Wright inherited second after Burbank had a wheel fail on the final lap. He managed to finish on three wheels in fourth, while Hall managed fifth.
Gary Malloy Sr. led flag-to-flag to finish third overall and win the Single-Cam class. Victor Duncan Jr. was second, followed by Matt Narzynski, Bradley Batho and Morey.
Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Kenny Tremont Jr., 2) Keith Flach, 3) Marc Johnson, 4) Andy Bachetti, 5) Mark Flach Jr., 6) Mike King, 7) Olden Dwyer, 8) Peter Britten, 9) Ronnie Johnson, 10) Kolby Schroder, 11) Eddie Marshall, 12) Brian Berger, 13) Rob Pitcher, 14) Kyle Armstrong, 15) Paul Gilardi, 16) Josh Marcus, 17) J.R. Heffner, 18) Tyler Dippel, 19) Wayne Jelley, 20) Kyle Sheldon, 21) Ken McGuire, 22) Karl Barnes, 23) Kenny Aanonsen, III, 24) Brett Haas, 25) Denny Soltis, 26) Steve Hough
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Andy Bachetti, 2) Brett Haas, 3) Ryan Charland, 4) Timothy Davis, 5) Jason Herrington, 6) Olden Dwyer, 7) Guy Sheldon, 8) Steve Hough, 9) Ray Hall Jr., 10) Chris Curtis, 11) Brandon Lane, 12) Kevin Petrucci, 13) Chris Schulz, 14) Kim LaVoy, 15) Frank Harper, 16) Angelo DiCarlo, 17) Brian Sandstedt, 18) Mark Pullen
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Nikki Ouellette, 2) Joey Coppola, 3) John Stowell, 4) Robbie Knipe, 5) Ryan Larkin, 6) Pat Jones, 7) Matt Schulz, 8) Walter Hammond, 9) Peter Carlotto, 10) John Virgilio, 11) Robbie Colburn, 12) Jacob Perry, 13) Walter Hammond Jr., 14) Nathan Johnson, 15) Bob Fachini Jr., 16) Matt Burke, 17) Keith Johannessen, 18) Ted Teal, 19) Jordan Miller, 20) Del Ligouri, 21) Karl Barnes, 22) Pat Mann, 23) Rob Hallaback, 24) Rob Maxon, 25) Angelo DiCarlo, 26) Bobby Chalmers, 27) Gary O’Brien
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Tony Markou, 2) Jason Casey, 3) Nick Hilt, 4) Jay Casey*, 5) Scott Towslee, 6) Zach Seyerlein, 7) Doug Olds, 8) Steven LaRochelle, 9) Tom Dean, 10) Dave Stickles, 11) Phil Arnold, 12) Brian Keough, 13) Nick Arnold, 14) Johnny Rivers**, 15) Chad Jeseo, 16) Ed Bishop, 17) Shawn Perez, 18) Rick Duzlak, 19) Tom O’Connor, 20) Dave Demorest, 21) Aidan Demorest
Eastwood Detailing Pro Stock Dash (6 laps): 1) Jason Casey, 2) Steve LaRochelle, 3) Chad Jeseo, 4) Johnny Rivers**, 5) Tony Markou, 6) Jay Casey*
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Dylan Fachini, 2) Jay Casey*, 3) Brian Walsh, 4) Jeff Meltz Sr., 5) Rocco Procopio, 6) Dave Streibel Jr., 7) Rob Partridge, 8) Franklin Smith, 9) Colby Kokosa
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Chris Stalker, 2) Don Kennedy, 3) John Devine, 4) Jim Dellea, 5) Dom Denue, 6) Dave Fachini, 7) Christopher Brown, 8) Shawn Perez, 9) Clem Toffolo
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (8 laps): 1) Scott Kilmer, 2) Evan Denue, 3) Keri VanDenburg, 4) Janai St. Pierre, 5) Ryan Brown, 6) Scott Morris, 7) Chris Murphy, 8) Wayne Mahar, 9) Tomm Gomm
Boomer’s Performance Purestock Classic Results (20 laps): 1) Jeff Meltz Sr., 2) Chris Stalker, 3) Dylan Fachini, 4) Dom Denue, 5) Janai St. Pierre, 6) Jim Dellea, 7) Brian Walsh, 8) Ryan Brown, 9) Christopher Brown, 10) Dave Streibel Jr., 11) Evan Denue, 12) Scott Kilmer, 13) Clem Toffolo, 14) Dave Fachini
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Gary Malloy Sr. 2) Victor Duncan Jr., 3) Matt Narzynski, 4) Bradley Batho, 5) Joey Morey, 6) Allana Jordan, 7) Joe Wolfe, 8) Chris Bierce, 9) Austin MacDonald, 10) Rob Lanfear, 11) Joey Batho
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Brandon Ely, 2) Lucas Ballard, 3) John Wright, 4) Steve Burbank, 5) Chris Hall, 6) Matt Tedrow, 7) James Street
*- Yes, there are two Jay Caseys noted in the results. The Jay Casey in Pro Stock is from Connecticut, while the Jay Casey in Pure Stock is from Massachusetts.
**- Johnny Rivers is listed in the results, but he did not compete Saturday night. Daniel Sanchez drove Rivers’ car as a substitute driver. As per track rules, Sanchez is able to earn points for Rivers.