L.J. Lombardo Claims Maiden Super DIRTcar Series Victory in King of Spring 100
L.J. Lombardo was able to assume the lead during the Super DIRTcar Series King of Spring 100 at Lebanon Valley Speedway in the most unexpected fashion when Andy Bachetti broke under yellow. He then held off Marc Johnson for the final 30 laps to earn his first career Super DIRTcar Series victory.
“I wasn’t too worried when Andy [Bachetti] went by on lap 30, it’s a long race,” Lombardo said after the race. “I knew that if we got a few more cautions, we’d get back to him. It’s a dream come true. It really is. Everything fell into line.”
By virtue of the redraw, Peter Britten claimed the pole position. He was able to open a gap over Lombardo. Brett Haas moved up to third, while Bachetti snagged four places to move into fourth. These four drivers proceeded to open a gap on the field.
Lombardo was able to chase down Britten by lap 15, beginning a multiple-lap side-by-side battle. Lombardo was able to make the pass stick on lap 18. Haas followed past into second. Meanwhile, Britten’s night ended a couple of laps later when he suddenly slowed and pulled into the pits.
Haas was right on Lombardo’s tail when his right rear tire exploded on lap 26 and put debris on track to bring out the first caution. Haas was able to continue with a fresh tire and would eventually finish 12th.
The issues boosted Bachetti to second. As soon as the race restarted, he blasted around Lombardo on the inside to take the lead, exciting his fans. Once out front, Bachetti was able to quickly expand his advantage.
Tire issues were sadly quite common. Stewart Friesen cut a tire on lap 36 to bring out another yellow. He would recover to 10th before a mechanical failure ended his night. Matt Sheppard also had a tire failure late.
Bachetti was not all-conquering. Lombardo could match him after a few laps. Marc Johnson was close to Lombardo the whole time. Then, Brian Berger slowed on track to bring out the yellow with 32 laps to go. Here’s where everything changed.
Under yellow, the linkage broke in Bachetti’s transmission. This effectively left him with a box of neutrals on the frontstretch. The Sheffield, Mass native went from leading to done immediately while Lombardo went back into the lead.
Sheppard’s tire failure set up an eight-lap sprint to the finish. Lombardo opened a small lead, then held on to take his first Super DIRTcar Series win. Marc Johnson was 1.61 seconds back in second, then Billy Decker. Mat Williamson and Kyle Armstrong rounded out the top 5.
In the Sportsman class, John Virgilio claimed the pole by winning the first heat race. That put him in front of a big mess on the first lap. Robbie Colburn, who started second, got spun out in turn 2, creating a stack up situation. In all, eight cars were caught up in the crash. Only Bam Bam Pinkerous, a 12-year-old racer making his Lebanon Valley debut, was unable to continue.
Once the green came back out, Virgilio was able to pull out to a decent lead over Jeff Higham. Meanwhile, Whitey Slavin moved up to third after the big wreck and began to pressure Higham for second. It took a while, but Slavin finally made the pass stick on lap 12.
Shortly afterwards, a caution came out due to debris on the frontstretch, wiping out a three-second lead for Virgilio. That set up a seven-lap sprint. On the restart, Virgilio was able to pull away to take the victory. Slavin was second, then Higham. Kevin Ward drove up from the back after the opening lap crash to finish fourth, while Peter Lorenzo was fifth.
In Pro Stock, Chad Jeseo claimed the pole for the 20-lap feature after re-igniting his duel with Steven LaRochelle from May 21. After multiple laps, he was able to get past for the lead and win.
The feature itself was quite a bit easier. By winning his heat race, Jeseo claimed the pole for the feature alongside Zach Sorrentino, who is currently racing a rented car while his car is being repaired following a big crash on May 21.
Jeseo was able to get the jump on Sorrentino and pulled out to a decent lead. There was not a whole lot of stress in this race as Jeseo pulled out to a near three-second lead and was able to maintain that en route to his third win of the year.
Sorrentino, driving a car previously raced by Doug Olds, was second. Nick Hilt Jr. was third, then LaRochelle and Zach Seyerlein.
Super DIRTcar Series King of Spring 100 Results (100 laps): 1) L.J. Lombardo, 2) Marc Johnson, 3) Billy Decker, 4) Mat Williamson, 5) Kyle Armstrong, 6) Eddie Marshall, 7) Bobby Hackel, IV, 8) Jack Lehner, 9) Anthony Perrego, 10) Alex Yankowski, 11) Kolby Schroder, 12) Brett Haas, 13) Dillon Steuer, 14) Matt Sheppard, 15) Mike Gular, 16) Max McLaughlin, 17) Jimmy Phelps, 18) Darren Smith, 19) Stewart Friesen, 20) Andy Bachetti, 21) Brian Berger, 22) J.R. Heffner, 23) Tim Sears Jr., 24) Peter Britten, 25) C.G. Morey, 26) Kenny Tremont Jr., 27) Paul St. Sauveur, 28) Mike King, 29) Kyle Sheldon, 30) Adam Pierson
DNQ: Ronnie Johnson, Marcus Dinkins, Michael Trautschold, Kenny Aanonsen Jr., Keith Flach, Wayne Jelley, Josh Marcus
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) John Virgilio, 2) Whitey Slavin, 3) Jeff Higham, 4) Kevin Ward, 5) Peter Lorenzo, 6) Keith Johannessen, 7) Matt Burke, 8) Shane Powell, 9) Robbie Knipe, 10) Mike Nagel Jr., 11) Ryan Heath, 12) Fred Proctor, 13) Robbie Colburn, 14) Michael Sabia, 15) Bam Bam Pinkerous, 16) Tim Hartman Jr.
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Chad Jeseo, 2) Zach Sorrentino, 3) Nick Hilt Jr., 4) Steven LaRochelle, 5) Zach Seyerlein, 6) Dave Stickles, 7) Johnny Rivers, 8) Rick Duzlak, 9) Tom Dean, 10) Shawn Perez, 11) Tom O’Connor, 12) Brian Keough, 13) Chris Stalker