J.R. Heffner Claims Victory as Brett Hearn Clinches Title

August 26, 2017

 

With only one more Modified race after Saturday night, it was time for everyone to put their best foot forward.  Keith Flach and Kenny Tremont Jr. needed to put something together to prevent Brett Hearn from winning another title.  They were unsuccessful.

 

John Ruchel started on pole and ran very well early on to keep the lead. J.R. Heffner started fifth and moved up to second within a mere couple of laps.  Flach was right behind Heffner the whole time.

 

Heffner quickly caught Ruchel and raced him hard for a couple of laps before snagging the lead on lap 9.  Flach followed past into second.  Further back, Brett Hearn was quickly moving forward from the 14th starting spot.  It did not take long for Hearn to poke his nose into the top five.

 

The weekend before Mr. DIRT Track U.S.A. usually brings drivers to town to shake down their mounts.  Saturday night was no exception as a couple of non-regulars pressed their luck.  Anthony Perrego had an excellent night, finishing sixth after starting 22nd.

 

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East regular Tyler Dippel was also in the house to make his second start of the year.  Unfortunately, Dippel and his brand-new Teo chassis were eliminated in a crash on lap 13 with Kyle Sheldon that brought out the first caution.

 

Flach was on the defensive immediately after the restart with Hearn hot on his tail.  A small mistake in turn 4 resulted in Hearn taking the spot.  The next lap, Flach spun in turn 4, creating a stack-up.  Flach would continue, but he would finish 13th.

 

The second half of the race saw Heffner and Hearn running nose-to-tail and battling hard for the lead.  However, Hearn could never get all the way alongside Heffner’s No. 74 as Heffner held on to take the win.

Heffner was quite pleased afterwards.

 

“[We] were solid,” Heffner said in the pits.  “We had good horsepower, handled well.  We had good traction.  The car wanted to push the nose a little bit, but overall, it was everything it needed to be.”

Hearn finished second, which gives him a 71 point lead in the standings with one race remaining.  As a result, Hearn has clinched another Modified track championship, his sixth in a row at Lebanon Valley.  Kenny Tremont Jr. was third, followed by L.J. Lombardo and Rob Pitcher.

 

The Small Block Modified feature saw Bennington’s Timothy Davis get an excellent start from the pole

 

and pull away from the 19-car field.  With a number of the primary challengers stuck back in traffic, Timothy’s No. 7T was able to simply run his own race.

 

Brian Sandstedt crashed on lap 12 to bring out the one and only caution of the race, bunching everyone up.  That put Timothy Davis in a rather fierce battle with Arlington, Vt.’s Ricky Davis in the No. 43.  Ricky and Timothy ran side-by-side for a couple of laps before Timothy was able to use the outside line to clear Ricky.

 

Further back, Heffner charged up from the 15th starting spot to run down Ricky Davis in the closing.  While Heffner was able to get second with three laps to go, he could do nothing with Timothy Davis, who held on to claim the win.

 

Afterwards, Timothy Davis was thankful for his help.

"The car was really fast tonight," Timothy Davis said in the pits.  "I want to thank all of our sponsors, my dad, my mom.  Also Marcus and Jeff Reese.  They gave me a good car tonight and we just took off from our great starting position."

 

Behind Timothy Davis and Heffner was Ricky Davis in a career-best third.  Frank Hoard, III was fourth while Brett Haas was fifth.

 

The King of Dirt Pro Stock Series made their one and only stop of the year at Lebanon Valley Saturday night.  That meant 30 laps of action and some slightly different rules.

 

By way of the redraw, Nick Stone ended up on the pole.  However, Jon Routhier made short work of Stone at the start to take the lead.

 

The early portions of the race were of the start-and-stop variety.  Frank Twing lost his hood to bring out a yellow.  Shortly after the restart, Rich Crane and Tom O’Connor collided on the frontstretch.  O’Connor spun out to draw another yellow.

 

Jay Casey quickly moved up to second and put pressure on his own neighbor (Routhier) for the lead.  On lap 7, Jay Casey was able to move to the front.  As the race continued on, Steven LaRochelle, Twing and Rob Yetman pulled away from the rest of the pack to settle things among themselves.

 

Jason Casey’s blown tire brought out a yellow and set up a four-lap shootout.  On the restart, LaRochelle did not get up to speed and dropped back to ninth.  Routhier tried to get past Jay Casey, but could not do it as Casey claimed the win.

 

Jay Casey acknowledged that the handling on his No. 322 was starting to go away towards the end of

 

the race and complimented his longtime competitor and more-or-less neighbor Routhier.

 

"[The car] started getting tight towards the end," Jay Casey explained.  "I had to take it in high.  [Routhier] was coming in underneath.  I knew I had problems if I couldn't keep the car higher because he had more momentum.  [Routhier] did a very good job.

 

Routhier was second, followed by Twing.  Jason Meltz moved up to fourth on the final restart ahead of Yetman.