Ryan Darcy Scores 1st Career Big Block Victory
So far in 2021, Lebanon Valley Speedway has been welcoming to first-time winners. Saturday night was no exception as Ryan Darcy, in only his fourth start in a Big Block Modified, won the JC Flach Memorial and took home $5000.
“It’s just really hard to believe that we got here so soon,” Darcy said. “It’s only our fourth week and the first feature that we’ve finished. I knew Wayne [Jelley] was back there, but Andy [Bachetti] was the one I was [the] most worried about since he’s got his program figured out.”
Darcy started from the pole and outran Timothy Davis to turn 1. It wasn’t long before trouble erupted. Dan Humes spun in turn 4 on the first lap, creating a stack up that collected J.R. Heffner and Jackie Brown Jr. All three were able to continue, but a complete restart was necessary.
On the restart, Brett Haas was able to make a great move to pull himself up from the 12th starting spot to fourth by lap 5. He moved onto the podium on lap 9 by passing Bobby Hackel, IV and began to pressure the leaders.
A series of incidents slowed the race to a crawl at the one-third mark. First, Jeff Sukup crashed. Then, Kyle Armstrong and Keith Flach collided. Then Brown, Mike King and L.J. Lombardo crashed in turn 2.
Wayne Jelley moved himself up to second early and haunted Darcy for much of the event. Following a caution for Timothy Davis, Jelley had a huge run on Darcy entering turn 3. He was able to get past, but slid up the hill, allowing Darcy to regain the lead.
That was as close as Jelley got to paydirt. For the rest of the race, Jelley could keep pace with Darcy, but couldn’t make another move. In the closing laps, Bachetti ran down the lead duo and pressured Jelley for second. That allowed Darcy to hold on to take the win.
Jelley ended up six-tenths of a second back in second, then Bachetti. Haas had a tire seal off and dropped to fourth. Marc Johnson was fifth.
The Small Block Modified feature saw Olden Dwyer start from the pole and pull out a decent advantage over Ryan Larkin. Ultimately, this was the cleanest of the main features on the evening.
The pace was slowed on lap 5 when Ray Hall Jr. spun in turn 4. He was able to continue. After a false start, the race resumed with Dwyer starting to open up a gap on the field.
Larkin had to deal with Andy Bachetti, who had quickly moved up from the 11th starting spot. He was able to hold Bachetti back until lap 14, but when Bachetti got by for second, he brought Joey Coppola with him.
Dwyer looked like he was good for an easy win until Chris Curtis cut his right rear tire to bring out a yellow with five laps to go. That set up a shootout.
Bachetti pressured Dwyer hard over the final laps, but he was able to hold off Bachetti to take his first Small Block win in three years. Bachetti was second, then Jason Herrington, Coppola and Larkin.
Pro Stock saw Dave Stickles start from the pole and run well. However, Scott Towslee was able to snatch the lead away from Stickles on the second lap.
Following a debris caution, heck broke loose in turn 1 on the restart. Johnny Rivers spun, collecting teammate Shawn Perez, Chad Jeseo, Tom O’Connor and more. Everyone continued, but their cars were rather beaten up in the incident.
A couple of laps after the restart, Stickles slid up to the outside wall and spun in turn 4. Stickles was then struck by Frank Twing, who ended up in the wall. Both drivers walked away (Stickles did appear sore, though), but done for the night.
Towslee fought hard for the lead with Steven LaRochelle for five full laps. Then, the two drivers briefly got hooked together in turn 2. That allowed Tom Dean to sweep past both of them into the lead.
Jason Meltz was the man on the move in the second half of the race, dispatching LaRochelle for second on lap 14. Dean was leading until he slid up the track and hit the wall in turn 3 on lap 16, allowing Meltz to take the lead. From there, he held on to take the win over Jeseo, LaRochelle, Dean and Rivers.
In Pure Stock, Jeff Meltz Sr., Rocco Procopio and Chris Stalker each claimed victories. Lucas Ballard won the 4-Cylinder feature overall and in the Dual-Cam class. Tim Meltz finished third overall and won the Single-Cam class.
Flach Family/Doherty Brothers Construction Modified JC Flach Memorial Results (30 laps, $5000 to win): 1) Ryan Darcy, 2) Wayne Jelley, 3) Andy Bachetti, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Marc Johnson, 6) Kolby Schroder, 7) Brian Berger, 8) Bobby Hackel, IV, 9) Kenny Tremont Jr., 10) Eddie Marshall, 11) Kyle Sheldon, 12) Keith Flach, 13) Ricky Davis, 14) J.R. Heffner, 15) Olden Dwyer, 16) Mike King, 17) Jackie Brown Jr., 18) Timothy Davis, 19) Dan Humes, 20) Josh Marcus, 21) Kyle Armstrong, 22) L.J. Lombardo, 23) Jeff Sukup, 24) Chase Dowling*, 25) Rob Pitcher, 26) Kenny Aanonsen, III
*- John Virgilio drove the No. 9 as a substitute for Dowling, who was at Oswego Speedway driving in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Steel Palace 150, where he finished eighth.
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Olden Dwyer, 2) Andy Bachetti, 3) Jason Herrington, 4) Joey Coppola, 5) Ryan Larkin, 6) Brian Peterson, 7) Ryan Charland, 8) Brandon Lane, 9) Frank Harper, 10) Ray Hall Jr., 11) Montgomery Tremont, 12) Chris Curtis, 13) Michael Sabia, 14) Kevin Petrucci, 15) Alan Houghtaling, 16) Kim LaVoy, 17) John Lutes Jr.
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Jason Meltz, 2) Chad Jeseo, 3) Steven LaRochelle, 4) Tom Dean, 5) Johnny Rivers, 6) Nick Hilt Jr., 7) Zach Seyerlein, 8) Jay Fitzgerald, 9) Scott Towslee, 10) Shawn Perez, 11) Tom O’Connor, 12) Dave Stickles, 13) Frank Twing, 14) Rich Spencer
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (10 laps): 1) Jeff Meltz Sr., 2) Brian Walsh, 3) Don Kennedy, 4) Keri VanDenburg, 5) Ryan Brown, 6) Chris Murphy, 7) Franklin Smith, 8) Wayne Mahar, 9) Shawn Perez
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (10 laps): 1) Rocco Procopio, 2) Jim Dellea, 3) Scott Morris, 4) Janai St. Pierre, 5) Rob Partridge, 6) Dylan Fachini, 7) Colby Kokosa, 8) Katarina Foster, 9) Christopher Brown, 10) Nick Hilt, III
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (10 laps): 1) Chris Stalker, 2) Clifford Booth, 3) Dave Streibel Jr., 4) Scott Kilmer, 5) John Devine, 6) Chris Coons, 7) Jethro Rossman, 8) Ray Royals, 9) Peter Huntoon, 10) Dave Fachini
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Lucas Ballard, 2) Brandon Ely, 3) Garrett Biagiarelli, 4) Doug Howe, 5) Steve Burbank, 6) Rob Miner, 7) Helina Yeno, 8) David Frame, 9) Mike Duncan, 10) Jim Williams, 11) Jim Guertin, 12) John Wright
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Tim Meltz, 2) Victor Duncan Jr., 3) Bradley Batho, 4) Joey Batho, 5) Chris Bierce, 6) Matt Narzynski, 7) Gary Malloy Sr., 8) Jon Sheppard, 9) Nick McClendon, 10) Joe Wolfe