Tremont Wins 129th Valley Feature with Last Lap Pass

June 24, 2017

 

 

On Saturday night, the night of racing started under sunny skies.  But, by the time the Modifieds came out, rain was imminent.  The result was a clean feature with a difficult climb to the front for the main contenders.

 

Mike King scored the pole and quickly opened up a decent advantage over Chad Jeseo.  Further back in the back, Brett Hearn started 15th and slowly made his way forward.  J.R. Heffner started 13th and went nowhere, while Kenny Tremont Jr. had the best starting spot (fifth) and room to move.

 

Despite that room to move, it was difficult to make passes.  It was nearly a third of the way into the race before Tremont moved up even one position.  However, once he accomplished, he could pick drivers off, one by one.

 

By halfway, Tremont was third, but way behind King, who had a late-night Friday getting his PMC Chassis back together.  Once Tremont took second from Jeseo on lap 19, he had nearly a straightaway to make up in order to catch King.  From there, Tremont pulled him in a little bit at a time.

 

With a couple of laps to go, Tremont caught King and did everything he could to get by.  Finally, on the final lap, Tremont got to King’s inside in turn 2 and cleared the Nassau-based veteran.  From there, Tremont held on to take his record 129th career Big Block Modified win at Lebanon Valley.

Afterwards, Tremont still thought his car could be a little better.

“[The car] was a little loose to start, but we got it tightened up and made it better,” Tremont said.  “I thought it needed to be better yet, but it was still good enough to win it.”

 

King ended up second, his best run in a number of years.  He gave Tremont his all.

"[The car] ran really good early, then the track slicked off," King stated.  "[Turn 2] was slippery, but it wasn't until eight or ten [laps] to go that I had to soft-pedal it."

"I had to keep doing what I was doing [to order to hold Tremont off]," King continued.  "[Tremont] beat me.  I didn't make a mistake, so I'm proud of myself for not making a mistake and good for Kenny." 

 

Keith Flach was third, followed by Eddie Marshall.  Hearn was able to get to up fifth.

The Pro Stock race was likely the most competitive race of the night.  Todd Hoffman started from the pole and led early.  At the beginning of the second lap, all heck broke loose.  Rick Dempsey and Tom Dean had contact on the frontstretch, resulting in Dempsey spinning out.  A chain reaction incident occurred involving multiple cars, including points leader Rob Yetman.  Yetman was able to continue, but Dempsey and Henry Warner were forced to retire.

 

On the restart, Rick Duzlak got by Hoffman for the lead and opened up an advantage.  Chuck Towslee

 

avoided the big wreck and moved up to sixth from his 14th starting spot.

 

Following a hard crash for Rich Crane exiting turn 4 that brought out another yellow, Towslee moved up to second and began a long side-by-side battle for the lead with Duzlak.  The two drivers fought for nearly half the feature.  Towslee had the advantage on lap 8, but Duzlak got it back just as a collision between Jeff Kelmel and Brian Keough brought out another yellow.

The yellow brought Yetman back into the mix. On the restart, Yetman effectively pushed Duzlak back out front, but Towslee appeared to be faster.  On lap 14, Towslee finally cleared Duzlak. Yetman followed into second.  From there on, the top two drivers in points battled hard, but Towslee held on for his second win of 2017.

Afterwards, Towslee noted that he greatly enjoyed his battle with Duzlak.

"Its probably the funnest race that I've had in quite a while racing door handle to door handle with somebody," Towslee noted.  "I think I was clear of Rick [Duzlak] a couple of times, but I just didn't dare move up to the outside groove if I was 100 percent clear.  Just couldn't take that chance; I didn't want to get into him."

 

Yetman was second, followed by Duzlak.  Jason Meltz was fourth, while Jon Routhier was fifth.

 

 

In Sportsman, Cody Ochs started from the pole and was able to show off improved form in pulling away from the field.  Alan Houghtaling started second and kept tabs on the young racer in the PMC Chassis.

Behind the two leaders, John Virgilio was starting to move forward.  Starting sixth, he quickly moved up to third.  However, Ochs and Houghtaling already had a big lead by that point.  It took quite a few laps for Virgilio to run down Houghtaling.  Once he did, a fierce battle erupted.  Eventually there was slight contact between the two on lap 12.  Virgilio was able to get past, while Houghtaling dropped to fourth.

Virgilio then ran down East Greenbush’s Ochs and battled him for the lead.  On lap 15, the lead was Virgilio’s.  From there, Virgilio pulled away to take his first win of the year.

 

Ochs finished in second, followed on track by Lem Atkins.  Unfortunately, Atkins had an unapproved distributor and was disqualified.  As a result, Houghtaling inherited third.  Frank Hoard Jr. was fourth and Milton Mann finished in a career-best fifth.

 

In Pure Stock, Jordan Miller debuted a new nose on his Chevrolet Malibu from the pole in the first feature.  It may have come back to haunt him later on.  The first race was somewhat fraught with yellows.

 

The first caution flew when Rich Roger spun his No. 33 in turn 1 and was then hit by Mike Arnold.  Both drivers were able to continue.  Later on, Chris Murphy and Larry Perez got hooked together and stopped exiting turn 4 to bring out another yellow.  A strong bumper bar behind the nose of the No. 011 allowed Chris Murphy to continue despite losing the new nose that was installed a couple of weeks earlier.

 

On the restart,