Kolby Schroder Claims 1st Victory Since 2017
Saturday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway had the threat of rain. As a result, the racing card was a little faster than normal. That suited Kolby Schroder just fine.
John Ruchel won the pole by virtue of a second-place finish in his heat race. His time at the front in the feature only lasted a few seconds as Timothy Davis swept past entering turn 1. Bobby Hackel, IV followed past.
Once in the lead, Davis opened up a comfortable lead over the rest of the field. He wasn’t the cleanest as he jumped the cushion on lap 8 and nearly brushed the wall, but he had serious pace. Further back, the top points runners (Brett Haas, Andy Bachetti and Marc Johnson) were more or less trapped at the lowest reaches of the top 10.
Schroder started in fourth and stalked Hackel for the entire first third of the race. On lap 11, he was able to make the pass on Hackel for second, but couldn’t really make much ground on Davis.
That changed when the race reached the second half. Davis’ car began to fade, while Schroder’s came into its own. That allowed him to quickly run Davis down by lap 19. A battle for a lap and a half broke out, but Davis could not prevent Schroder from taking the lead. Once out front, Schroder quickly began to pull away.
Schroder was looking good for victory until Mike King stalled on the apron of turn 1 to bring out the race’s only yellow. That bunched the pack up for a six-lap dash to the finish. For Schroder, it took about two laps for his car to come back in after the restart. Once it did, he was gone, running off to his first win since 2017.
Brian Berger passed Davis on the restart and held on for his third second-place finish of the year. Bachetti moved all the way up to third thanks to the yellow, followed by Davis and Hackel.
The Small Block Modified class had some of the biggest names in the class running into trouble. Michael Sabia started from the pole and led early, but the biggest moment here was when Bachetti and Joey Coppola collided on lap 2 and went into the wall in turn 3 to bring out the yellow.
Both Bachetti and Coppola were ok, but their nights were over. Finishes of 17th and 18th for two of the top three in the class will close the points up significantly.
Contact on the frontstretch shortly after the restart resulted in last week’s winner Ryan Larkin smacking the inside wall on the frontstretch to bring out another yellow. Front end damage ended his night as well.
Sabia had to contend with Brian Sandstedt early on for the lead. However, Sandstedt had a mechanical failure at halfway that put him out. Sandstedt’s retirement boosted Olden Dwyer into second. Dwyer was on fire at this point and ran down Sabia in a hurry.
With nine laps to go, Dwyer took the lead away from Sabia and proceeded to run away and hide. No one could do anything to prevent him from taking the victory.
Dwyer’s margin of victory was 5.985 seconds over Sabia. Frank Harper was third, then Chris Curtis and Ryan Charland.
Pro Stock teams raced in the special Ol’ Buzzard 30, a 30-lap feature held in memory of Jimmy Langenback. Unlike the most recent edition of the race, this was a very clean affair.
Shawn Perez started from the pole and was thrust into an immediate battle with fellow front row starter Doug Olds. After a couple of laps of running side-by-side, Olds was able to snatch the advantage. Once there, he began to pull away slowly, but surely.
Further back, Chad Jeseo was moving up from the ninth starting spot. In the first six laps, he moved himself up to fourth. Lap 9 saw Jeseo take third from Johnny Rivers.
Meanwhile, Olds stretched his advantage to three seconds over the pack as Jeseo began to work on Tom Dean for second. All of a sudden, trouble struck Olds’ No. 73. The car suddenly quit, forcing Olds to pull off the track and retire.
That made the battle between Jeseo and Dean the new fight for the lead. Jeseo took the lead right after the start-finish line on lap 15. Once in the lead, Jeseo slowly opened the gap on the field.
Jason Meltz was able to get past Dean on lap 22, but could do nothing to prevent Jeseo from taking his third win of the year. Jason Meltz was second, then Dean, Nick Hilt Jr. and Zach Seyerlein.
After the race, track officials saw that Jeseo's engine was beyond the tolerance for cubic inches. After roughly 25 minutes of tech work, the decision was made to pull the engine and have it sent out for further inspection once it cooled down.
The engine was sent to Carlquist Competition Engines in Oakville, Conn. for the official inspection on Monday with Jeseo, Pit Steward Fred Lee and Technical Inspector Mike Petrucci in attendance. Here, the engine was put through the ringer. The camshafts were checked with the Cam Doctor device, which is used regularly at Lebanon Valley. The compression was checked.
The engine was also put on a dynamometer to decipher how much power it was producing. This showed a maximum output of 381.5 horsepower, which is consistent with what a GM 602 Crate should be producing, a little less than a new one would. For those of you who want to see that data, RaceProWeekly has the dyno sheet from the test on their website.
After the extensive testing, Jeseo's engine was declared legal by the officials. As a result, his victory will stand.
In Pure Stock Feature No. 1, Chris Stalker inherited the pole after pole sitter Peter Huntoon voluntarily chose to drop to the rear. He was able to outdistance Shawn Perez Jr. to turn 1 and stretched out the lead early. Dave Streibel followed past into second.
Stalker continued to pull away until Perez spun out in turn 4 after contact from Clifford Booth to bring out the race's only caution. From there, Stalker was able to hold off the No. 273 to earn the victory. Dave Streibel was second, then Scott Kilmer, Craig Coons and Perez.
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 saw Dave Streibel Jr. start on pole and open up a small advantage on the pack. Meanwhile, there was a near spin for Chris Calabro on the first lap and an actual spin for Mike Dianda. No caution was thrown for these incidents.
The yellow did come out with two laps completed when Rob Partridge had contact exiting turn 2 with Brian Walsh. Partridge spent half of the backstretch trying to regain control of his No. 22 before the car spun out completely. Partridge was able to continue and was still strong. However, he had a long pit stop after the incident and ended up getting lapped in the pits after the race went back green. He ended up finishing a lap down in eighth.
Calabro and Dianda collided in turn 1 just after the third lap was completed to bring out another yellow. The incident occurred roughly 15 seconds too late for Partridge to stay on the lead lap. Both drivers were able to continue.
"Little Dave" had to contend with John Devine in the second half of the race. The No. 24 Chevrolet was strong, but he could not get to the No. 73. Dave Streibel Jr. was able to hold on to take his first career victory over Devine, Walsh, Franklin Smith and Calabro.
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 was attrition-filled. Scott Morris started on pole, but quickly lost the advantage to Jim Dellea. However, the driver clearly in a huge hurry was Rocco Procopio. Starting back in seventh, he immediately swooped up to third by turn 2.
In turn 4, Procopio went to the inside and was able to get past both Morris and Dellea to take the lead before the start-finish line. As this was happening, Keri VanDenburg's No. 89 was coming to a halt at the exit of turn 4, which drew the race's first yellow.
On the restart, Jethro Rossman lost control of his car and smacked the outside wall in turn 2 to bring out another yellow. The crash ended Rossman's night.
The next restart generated even more trouble. Dellea's No. 77 Chevrolet Nova failed to come up to speed on the frontstretch and ended up spinning out in front of the field. A scramble resulted. Wayne Mahar ended up plowing into Dellea to bring out another yellow. Both drivers were ok, but done.
These incidents cut the field down to just four cars. At this point, track officials made the decision to cut the race length from 10 laps to six.
The remainder of the race saw Procopio do battle with Jeff Meltz Sr. at the front. Procopio was able to hold off Jeff Meltz Sr.'s charge and take his fourth win of the year. VanDenburg ended up third, followed by Janai St. Pierre.
After a rough and tumble 4-Cylinder feature on July 31, only 14 teams took the green Saturday night for 15 laps of action. Jim Guertin was on the pole in his Honda Prelude and led until he bobbled in turn 4. That allowed Gary Malloy, driving the No. 39 Nissan Sentra normally driven by James Street, to sweep past.
Lucas Ballard was back this week with a repaired Acura Integra after his two incidents on July 31. He started fifth and quickly moved up to second. He was a little faster than Malloy and was running down the Sentra when the leaders ran upon the slower Justin McDonald.
Ballard and McDonald ended up having contact in turn 3, resulting in Ballard hitting the wall. No caution was thrown here, but Ballard was forced to retire from the race.
Ballard's misfortune moved Brandon Ely up to second. However, Ely could not run down Malloy, who took his first Dual-Cam victory. Tim Meltz finished third in his Honda Prelude, good enough to take the Single-Cam victory. Bradley Batho was fourth, followed by Doug Howe.
Modified DMC Products Presents the Butch Jelley Memorial Results (30 laps): 1) Kolby Schroder, 2) Brian Berger, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) Timothy Davis, 5) Bobby Hackel, IV, 6) Marc Johnson, 7) Kyle Sheldon, 8) Eddie Marshall, 9) L.J. Lombardo, 10) Brett Haas, 11) Wayne Jelley, 12) Ryan Darcy, 13) Chase Dowling, 14) Kyle Armstrong, 15) John Ruchel, 16) Kenny Tremont Jr., 17) Paul Gilardi, 18) Dan Humes, 19) Mike King, 20) J.R. Heffner, 21) Josh Marcus, 22) Kenny Aanonsen, III, 23) Olden Dwyer
Small Block Modified Results (24 laps): 1) Olden Dwyer, 2) Michael Sabia, 3) Frank Harper, 4) Chris Curtis, 5) Ryan Charland, 6) Alan Houghtaling, 7) Ray Hall Jr., 8) Brian Peterson, 9) Sean Mandel, 10) John Lutes Jr., 11) Montgomery Tremont, 12) Kevin Petrucci, 13) Brian Sandstedt, 14) Dan Humes, 15) Kim LaVoy, 16) Ryan Larkin, 17) Joey Coppola, 18) Andy Bachetti, 19) Brandon Lane
Pro Stock Ol’ Buzzard 30 Results (30 laps): 1) Chad Jeseo, 2) Jason Meltz, 3) Tom Dean, 4) Nick Hilt Jr., 5) Zach Seyerlein, 6) Dave Stickles, 7) Jay Fitzgerald, 8) Steven LaRochelle, 9) Shawn Perez, 10) Zach Sorrentino, 11) Brian Keough, 12) Johnny Rivers, 13) Doug Olds
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (10 laps): 1) Chris Stalker, 2) Dave Streibel, 3) Scott Kilmer, 4) Craig Coons, 5) Shawn Perez Jr., 6) Katarina Foster, 7) Lucas Ballard, 8) Clifford Booth, 9) Peter Huntoon
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (10 laps): 1) Dave Streibel Jr., 2) John Devine, 3) Brian Walsh, 4) Franklin Smith, 5) Chris Calabro, 6) Christopher Brown, 7) Mike Dianda, 8) Rob Partridge, 9) Dylan Fachini
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (10 laps*): 1) Rocco Procopio, 2) Jeff Meltz Sr., 3) Keri VanDenburg, 4) Janai St. Pierre, 5) Jethro Rossman, 6) Wayne Mahar, 7) Jim Dellea, 8) Scott Morris
*- This race was scheduled for 10 laps, but was shortened to six due to attrition.
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Tim Meltz, 2) Bradley Batho, 3) Joe Wolfe, 4) Bob Ely, 5) Joey Batho, 6) Austin McDonald, 7) Victor Duncan Jr.
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Gary Malloy, 2) Brandon Ely, 3) Doug Howe, 4) Jim Guertin, 5) Steve Burbank, 6) Helina Yeno, 7) Lucas Ballard