Marc Johnson Celebrates Lebanon Valley’s 70th Birthday With $3000 Victory
Saturday night saw Lebanon Valley Speedway celebrate their 70th birthday with a stroll down memory lane. The race itself could have ended that way as well, but Marc Johnson was able to get past Kenny Tremont Jr. with three laps to go and held on for the win.
“My car was really good [out there],” Johnson said afterwards. “We were able to roll the bottom [groove] really good and get on the gas before the apex of the corner. I knew if I could get up to [other drivers] and show them the nose, it would work out for us.”
Timothy Davis started from the pole and led early over Kyle Sheldon. Further back, Keith Flach jumped from eighth to fourth on the first lap. Brandon Lane, who started third, did not get a good start and dropped back quickly.
The race very quickly became a three-man race between Davis, Sheldon and Kenny Tremont Jr. Johnson had quickly moved up to fifth after starting 11th.
Sheldon started putting fierce pressure on Davis on lap 10 before diving to the inside a couple of laps later. On lap 13, Sheldon took the lead away. Tremont followed by a couple of laps later to take second. Johnson continued his excellent run by taking third on lap 17.
Tremont caught Sheldon with 10 laps and fought hard to take the lead. The battle dragged on for three laps, allowing Johnson to close in on the duo.
Tremont made the pass stick for the lead on lap 23, but Johnson was already there. He swept past Sheldon and immediately put the pressure on Tremont. With less than three laps to go, Johnson made the pass stick and took the win.
Tremont was second, followed by Sheldon and Davis. Kyle Armstrong made a late run to finish fifth.
For points leader Andy Bachetti, Saturday night was not a good night. He finished fourth in his heat race, but lost his handicapped spot due to significant changes. He started the feature 19th and made only a little progress into the top 15 before mechanical problems put him out. The 18th-place finish drops Bachetti’s point lead
In the Small Block Modifieds, Kevin Petrucci parlayed a heat race victory into the pole for the feature. Having run better in recent weeks, Petrucci could be a tough out.
When the feature when green, Petrucci was able to open up a decent advantage on Ryan Larkin. Behind them, Alan Houghtaling (who had smoking issues on his car all night long) and Kim LaVoy fought for third. That battle went on for nearly half of the race before Houghtaling was able to get to the position.
That fighting brought Bachetti into the mix. It did not take long for the Sheffield, Mass. native to take the spot away.
However, that was all he was able to get as Petrucci was able to hold off Larkin to take his first career Small Block Modified win in a feel-good story. Larkin was 1.217 seconds back at the finish, followed by Bachetti and Jason Herrington. L.J. Lombardo was fifth.
In the Pro Stock class, Tom O’Connor started from pole and led early, but Steven LaRochelle was able to take the advantage away on lap 2.
Following an early caution due to a spin in turn 4 for Zach Seyerlein, Chad Jeseo moved himself into position. It did not take long for the multi-time champion to catch LaRochelle. What ensued was a multiple lap long side-by-side battle with Jeseo trying to get past.
He was able to lead lap 6, but LaRochelle took the advantage back almost immediately. What got Jeseo the advantage for good was an excellent run off the inside of turn 2 on lap 11.
Once in front, Jeseo pulled away to take his sixth win of the year. LaRochelle was 1.672 seconds back in second, then Nick Hilt Jr., Zach Sorrentino and Seyerlein.
In Street Stock, Dom Denue took the lead when Jim Dellea spun on an early restart. He then held off Chris Stalker for the win.
In 4-Cylinder action, Jon Shepard took the lead on the first lap and took the overall and Dual-Cam wins. Bradley Batho finished sixth and took the Single-cam win.
Finally, the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series made a visit to Lebanon Valley as well. Harry Baldwin won in the Mystique class in his Gremlin, while Donnie Briggs won in the Antique class. John Flach won the Modified class, while Malachi Matthews won in Sportsman.
Modified 70th Lebanon Valley Birthday Bash Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Marc Johnson, 2) Kenny Tremont Jr., 3) Kyle Sheldon, 4) Timothy Davis, 5) Kyle Armstrong, 6) Keith Flach, 7) Wayne Jelley, 8) Brian Berger, 9) Brett Haas, 10) L.J. Lombardo, 11) Bobby Hackel, IV, 12) Eddie Marshall, 13) Kolby Schroder, 14) J.R. Heffner, 15) Mike King, 16) Josh Marcus, 17) Brandon Lane, 18) Andy Bachetti, 19) Olden Dwyer, 20) Kenny Aanonsen Jr., 21) Jeff Sukup, 22) Ryan Charland, 23) Ken McGuire
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Kevin Petrucci, 2) Ryan Larkin, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) Jason Herrington, 5) L.J. Lombardo, 6) Olden Dwyer, 7) Jeff Watson, 8) Kim LaVoy, 9) Frank Harper, 10) Brian Sandstedt, 11) Montgomery Tremont, 12) Peter Carlotto, 13) Ryan Charland, 14) Bryan McGuire, 15) Dylan Gibson, 16) Alan Houghtaling, 17) Lorne Browe
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Chad Jeseo, 2) Steven LaRochelle, 3) Nick Hilt Jr., 4) Zach Sorrentino, 5) Zach Seyerlein, 6) Tom Dean, 7) Chris Stalker, 8) Dave Stickles, 9) Tom O’Connor, 10) Brian Keough, 11) Nick Rogers, 12) Tom Gomm, 13) Rick Duzlak
Street Stock Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Dom Denue, 2) Chris Stalker, 3) Jeff Meltz Sr., 4) Scott Morris, 5) Dave Streibel Jr., 6) Jim Dellea, 7) Rob Partridge, 8) Evan Denue, 9) Brian Walsh, 10) Katarina Foster, 11) Keri VanDenburg, 12) Christopher Brown, 13) Franklin Smith, 14) Rocco Procopio, 15) Ray Royals, 16) Craig Coons
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Jon Shepard, 2) Gary Malloy, 3) Steve Burbank, 4) Chris Hall, 5) Garrett Biagiarelli, 6) Althea Roy, 7) Doug Howe
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Bradley Batho, 2) Joe Wolfe, 3) Matt Tedrow, 4) Joey Batho, 5) Victor Duncan Jr. DQ: Tim Meltz