Lebanon Valley Speedway spent St. Patrick’s Day Weekend properly celebrating their 2022 champions. Over two nights, more than $100,000 in awards were given out to 48 different drivers in five classes.
The big winner of the weekend was Andy Bachetti. Bachetti, who won both the Modified and Small Block Modified championships for the second straight year, earned more than $13,000 for his efforts. Unfortunately, the banquet fell on the same day as the Short Track Super Series event at Pennsylvania’s Selinsgrove Speedway. Bachetti tried to get to the banquet before it ended, but was unable to do so.
In the Small Block Modified class, L.J. Lombardo, who finished second in points, earned the Outstanding Performance Award. Lombardo had two victories and eight top five finishes while taking the fight to Bachetti.
The Lebanon Valley Hall of Fame welcomed three new members, all of whom are still active. The first went to Kenny Tremont Jr., the track’s all-time winningest driver.
The Tremont family has been tied to racing at Lebanon Valley since the track opened in 1953. Kenny himself has raced on the high banks since 1980. He has 174 career feature victories, 141 of those being in the Modified class. He has a track record 14 Modified track championships, along with five more in the Small Blocks, truly earning the title of “King of the Valley.”
“It’s a culmination of everything that we’ve done throughout the years, just the dedication and hard work by a lot of people, not just myself and my father,” Tremont said. “It’s just a good feeling to know that you were recognized for being part of Lebanon Valley Speedway throughout the years.”
The second induction went to Eddie Marshall, who has raced at Lebanon Valley since 1980. He has 33 career victories, the most recent coming in 2022. He has victories in five different decades and has been a steady presence for the last four decades.
“It’s a tremendous honor and quite a surprise,” Marshall stated. “I didn’t know that tonight’s events were happening. I’m quite pleased with it. It means a lot to me.”
The last inductee was Mike King, who has competed at Lebanon Valley Speedway regularly since 1973. King has generally run as an underdog contender for most of his time on the high banks, but is generally considered to be one of, if not the most respected person in the pits. He has only a few career victories and it took 32 years to get the first one in 2005, but he continues to be a regular friendly presence at Lebanon Valley.
In the Pro Stock class, Chad Jeseo celebrated his record-setting 2022 season where he claimed 10 victories and was solidly the man to beat for the entire season. He took home a check for $2275 and intends to return for more action.
Tim Hartman Jr. won the Sportsman championship and took home a check for $1430. Runner-up Whitey Slavin won the Jeff Yasinsac Mr. Excitement Award thanks to his four victories and taking the battle right to Hartman up until the final week of the season.
Chris Stalker, who also raced full-time in the Pro Stock class, won the Street Stock championship on the strength of six wins and 16 top five finishes. He took home a winner’s check for $500. Dave Streibel Jr., who also won six races and finished second in
The 4-Cylinder champions (Gary Malloy in Dual-Cam, Bradley Batho in Single-Cam) were also properly feted for their accomplishments. Both were in attendance during the Friday banquet and expressed gratitude to their teams for their efforts.
Lebanon Valley Speedway’s banquets also have special awards handed out. Saturday’s banquet saw the Dedication to Racing Award given to Mark Brown, Lebanon Valley Speedway’s official track photographer via his company, Kustom Keepsakes.
Brown has been a photographer at Lebanon Valley since 1983. He has served as the track’s official photographer since 1992.
At Friday’s banquet, Mike Fisher of Northeast Custom Flatbeds was awarded the Jim Vandenburg Safety Award. This is the result of a substantial donation of a new fire truck and extrication equipment that Fisher has donated to the track for the 2023 season (Track owner Howard Commander insisted upon paying for the new equipment, but Fisher refused the money). Quite simply, it is the kind of equipment that you’d prefer to not have to use. However, when a potentially serious situation arises, you’ll be grateful that the proper equipment is there.
Opening day at Lebanon Valley is scheduled for April 29, but there are two warmup days on April 15 and 22. In addition, a Dash for Pro Stocks and a Dash for Sportsman teams will be held during the warmup day on April 22.