On Friday night, Brett Hearn claimed his 900th career victory of his career. Saturday night saw him waste no time in adding to that number.
After delays due to a wet track, the Modifieds took to the high banks for 30 laps of action. Mike King started from the pole and led early over Elmo Reckner. Further back, Hearn had to charge from the 11th starting spot. It didn’t take long for the multiple-time champion to start making some passes.
King led early, but Reckner was right on his tail. After 10 laps, Reckner made a move to the inside of King. King tried to hold on, but could not keep Ballston Spa’s Reckner out of the lead.
A spin for Jeff Sukup in turn 3 brought out the first yellow of the night on lap 12. This brought everyone back together. Hearn capitalized. On the restart, he moved up from fifth to second and put the pressure on Reckner for the lead. A lap later, Hearn was past Reckner for the lead.
From there, Hearn pulled away from the rest of the field and hid. By the finish, he was nine seconds ahead as he took his 101st career win at Lebanon Valley and 901st of his career.
Afterwards, Hearn credited his form to being able to work at the shop.
“[Our team] getting back in the shop for a couple of days allowed us to reset and recalibrate,” Hearn said. “[We were able] to think about our setup a little bit and improve on it.”
In the Small Block Modifieds, Frank Hoard, III appeared to be the man to beat. Starting from the pole, he was easily able to run away from the pack. Most of the other main players started way back and had to charge through traffic.
Despite showing a substantial amount of speed, Hoard’s car had a mechanical failure and stopped on track to draw a caution on lap 9. Alan Houghtaling took the lead as a result.
The man on the move ended up being Kenny Tremont Jr. Starting 15th, Tremont slowly but surely moved up the order. Cautions allowed him to stay close to his adversaries and pick them off on restart. By halfway, Tremont was up to second.
Houghtaling appeared to be 98 percent of a match for Tremont. It took most of the rest of the feature for Tremont to run down Houghtaling, but once he did, the battle was fierce. On the final lap, Houghtaling tried to defend the preferred outside line in turns 3 and 4. Houghtaling going high meant that there was an opening to the inside.
A long-time veteran like Tremont relishes those opportunities. Tremont dove to the inside and crossed Houghtaling over. With substantial momentum, Tremont was easily able to make the pass and take the win.
Behind Tremont and Houghtaling was J.R. Heffner in third. Jason Herrington finished fourth and Brett Haas was fifth.
Pro Stock teams competed in the Ol’ Buzzard 30, a special 30-lap feature in memory of the late Jimmy Langenback. Extra money was on the line and the racers were driving like they wanted it bad.
Nick Hilt started on pole and led early without any challenges. Behind Hilt, there was a lot of action as drivers fought for every inch. Rick Dempsey effectively spun himself out while racing with Steven LaRochelle. Tom O’Connor and Joe LaFlamme had issues in turn 3. Add in some debris and mechanical issues and you end up with five cautions in eight laps.
Points leader Rob Yetman caused the first yellow when he lost his hood as a result of what he called a "squirmish." From there, the Castleton native was on fire. He moved back up through the field and ran Hilt down in the race. With a mere two laps to go, Yetman snatched the lead away and held on to win his fourth race of the year.
Yetman credited his speed to being able to get out of the crowd.
"When [the field] gets strung out, its a lot easier to pass," Yetman said after the race. "When we get strung out, I can start working on guys. That's what happened tonight."
Behind Yetman, Towslee spun in turn 4 after being hit from behind by Hilt. Officials determined that Hilt's actions were intentional and moved him back to last.
As a result of the penalty, Jason Meltz inherited second. It is his second runner-up finish in a row. Rick Duzlak was third, followed by Jon Routhier and Rich Crane.
Sportsman saw Nikki Ouellette start from the pole, but trouble broke out early in turn 2. John Virgilio was eliminated in the crash that also involved Chris Curtis, Frank Hoard Jr. and Peter Carlotto.
The fastest man in Sportsman Saturday night was Michael Sabia. Starting fourth, Sabia quickly ran up on Ouellette a couple of laps after the restart. Once there, Sabia made short work of the young racer as he took the lead.