After Four Long Years, Eddie Marshall Is A Winner Again At Lebanon Valley

 

June 14, 2014. That was the last time veteran Eddie Marshall graced victory

lane. The was, until Saturday night, when the Marshall Oil #98 took

Rodney Rescott’s double checkered flags first and ended a nearly four

year winless streak.

 

Marshall, the second generation driver from Ridgefield, CT, started in

sixth spot and was on the move quickly, jumping to the third position

within a matter of circuits. He then got into a fierce battle with the

34 of Steve Hough for several laps before disposing of him and setting

his sights on leader Elmo Reckner.

 

Just before the halfway point of the 30-lap feature, Marshall put his

Teo Pro Car out in front and the rest, they say is history, as he

would never be seriously challenged again and went on to collect his

29th career Modified win. He now has sole possession of 10th on the

all-time wins list, breaking a tie with Dave Leckonby.

 

“Boy, it’s been a long wait and I can’t thank the fans for their

support in sticking with us,” Marshall said. “We’ve run good the last

couple years, at times, but victory lane has eluded us.”

 

Last week, Marshall was involved in a high-speed lap one accident on

the backstretch which left his machine in need of some TLC at the Teo

shop in New Jersey, so to come back this week and win was huge for the

entire team.

 

“Tonight, the car was pretty good,” he said. “Bobby & Matt Hearn and

everyone at Teo worked hard for us during the week after we had to do

some minor repairs from last week’s accident. My crew worked really

hard this week as well and I now think we have a better combination

then what we’ve had so that’s a plus and the track was in really good

shape tonight.”

 

To get to victory lane on any given night, you need all the cards to

fall into place. Luck has to be on your side, and everything came

together for Marshall on this night.

 

“It was a really good race for us tonight,” he said. “Steve Hough was

really fast. I passed him and then he got back by me a couple times so

it was a little dicey there. Elmo was running well too, but on the

night’s you win, you need a few breaks to go your way and we were

lucky for that tonight.”

 

Even though Marshall has been one of the most consistent cars on the

high banks over the last few years, the marks in the win column

haven’t been added. That can wear on a driver and their team, but for

Marshall, he just kept his nose to the ground and continued to work.

 

“Tonight definitely feels good for all of us on the team,” he said.

“It’s almost like if you don’t get a win, no matter how consistent you

are, it doesn’t feel good but everyone on the team is striving for

that and at this track it’s very difficult to win. A lot of

competition here and it’s not easy that’s for sure.”

 

Second place finisher on the night was Brett Hearn, who had a long way

to go in the feature if he wanted a shot at the win. After failing to

qualify through his heat, Hearn had to start 16th on the field, but

was a man on a mission.

 

By lap six, the Madsen Motorsports #20 was in seventh, and after a few

caution flags, Hearn made his way to the top five. Once in third

though, it got a little tougher. A spirited battle with Hough for

second place let Marshall get out to a sizable lead, and left Hearn

virtually a couple of laps to run him down once he made his way to the

number two position.

 

“Steve (Hough) and I had a really great race for second,” Hearn said.

“After so many laps, he finally slipped up enough that I could get by

and get second place and I just ran out of laps trying to track down

Eddie.”

 

Even though Hearn has over 900 victories to his credit, he has deep

respect for the driver who won Saturday night.

 

“I don’t like to finish second, but I’m okay with it tonight,” he

said. “If I can’t win, there’s no nicer guy to win the feature than

Eddie Marshall.”

 

Hough was able to bring his #34 home with a solid third place finish

followed by JR Heffner and Brian Berger, who was third fastest in

middle of the night hot laps.

 

The start to the 2018 season in the 358-Modified division hasn’t been

one that’s up to Kenny Tremont’s standards, to say the least. After a

fourth on opening night and engine problems during last week’s

feature, the Tremont team went back to work and showed why they are

the four-time and defending track champions in the class.

 

Tremont started in 13th and drove through the field like a hot knife

through butter, taking the lead from Timothy Davis with about 10 laps

left in the feature and went on to grab his first victory of the 2018

season.

 

“We’ve been struggling with our Small Block program so far this year

to say the least,” Tremont said. “But our guys really dug in and

worked hard tonight so I have to thank everybody that’s a part of this

team.”

 

The 358-Modified class is very competitive with several drivers who

can win on any given evening and Tremont is hoping his team can build

on the win Saturday.

 

“This car was really stout tonight,” he said. “Hopefully we can take a

little momentum from this and keep going through the season. I’m real

fortunate to have a good team and some amazing sponsors supporting

this operation. Everyone is really working hard.”

 

After leading most of the feature event, Timothy Davis brought his #7

home in the runner-up spot with Frank Hoard III coming in third. Ricky

Davis finished fourth and Brian Sandstedt brought this Darcy

Construction #12 home in fifth.

 

After being rained out last Saturday, the seventh annual Andrew

Sherman Memorial got the green flag at the Valley and for former track

champion John Viriglio, it was a great thing. Virgilio led the entire

way from start to finish and took home the $2,000 payday.

 

Even though the #14 started on the pole, the race wasn’t a cakewalk.

 

“Man, over the first two weeks here, we’ve had some pretty bad luck,”

Virgilio said. “I knew we had something with the car and we were

finally able to put it together tonight and I can’t thank all of my

guys enough.”

 

It is a total team effort when it comes to the Turner Auto #14

operation. John is a second-generation driver and it’s his father,

Gary, and his entire team that has helped keep things going this

season.

 

“I don’t get to spend that much time at the shop anymore,” he said.

“We have a new baby, who I wish was here tonight to enjoy this with

us, but my guys are the ones who really got us here and they deserve

this more than I do.”

 

You may think having the pole meant that Virgilio walked away from the

field to take the win. However, with several caution flags slowing the

pace of the race, the rest of the field was on John’s back bumper on

several occasions, and one driver in particular was very hungry for

the victory…Michael Sabia.

 

“We had a fast car tonight but they (Virgilio) had a fast car as well

and started up front,” Sabia said. “It took us a while to get to him

but he just had the good jumps on the restarts.”

 

The weather Saturday was absolutely picture perfect for the first time

this season. Only problem with that is the temperatures crept up which

meant several cars ran hotter than they had hoped to. Sabia’s #7

machine was one of them.

 

“We started to overheat about halfway through the feature,” he said.

“On the starts, he could get out and run and after a few laps we could

catch back up a little but he was too far gone.”

 

Defending track champion Whitey Slavin came home third followed by

Peter Carlotto and opening night winner, Chris Curtis. With his fourth

place finish, Carlotto now moves into a tie for the point lead with

Curtis, just two points ahead of Slavin. This class will surely be a

tight point battle all the way to the end of the season.

 

In the Pro Stock feature event, Steven Larochelle was able to work his

way passed the #52 of Tom O’Connor just before the halfway point of

the race and held off a determined Jon Routhier to score his first win

of the 2018 season.

 

The only thing that put a little fear in the young racer...coming to

the white flag and seeing a lap car in the groove up ahead, knowing he

has pressure on his back bumper.

 

“I was getting a little nervous because I saw the white flag and saw

the lap car and said to myself, well, this is how it ends,” Larochelle

said with a laugh. “But we made it through. The car was handling great

and I am super pleased with the way it was after the last three weeks

we’ve had. A lot of failures and issues we had to deal with but I

can’t thank my crew for the hard work they’ve done to get us here.”

 

It took Steven several laps to get by Tom for the lead as the #52 was

holding a great line. He made Larochelle really have to work to get by

which makes the win ever sweeter.

 

“Tom’s a tough guy to pass because when he knows you’re on his bumper,

he knows you’re there,” Larochelle said. “I was trying with everything

I had to get by him nice and clean and somehow I was able to make it

happen on the inside. I was getting nervous because the water temp was

starting to go up in the first half and I was worried about the tires

and the handling but the car actually got better as the race went on

so I have nothing to complain about.”

 

Routhier finished a close second followed by Jason Casey, Rob Yetman

and current division point leader Jason Meltz.

 

Kevin Paul and Ray Hall Sr. took home the wins in the Pure Stock races

on the night.

 

News & Notes…

 

Saturday night was New York State Stock Car Association Night at the

speedway.  NYSSCA does so many great things for the racers, through

support at the track and away and is a big supporter of everything we

do at Race Pro Weekly.

 

Anyone can be a member of NYSSCA, and its very reasonable to do so.

If you're interested, check out www.nyssca.com for more information.

 

The Brett Hearn team had the car they run at Albany-Saratoga as a

back-up on Saturday night, in case it was needed. The team is running

a little light in that department currently so the Malta program,

which is run out of the shops of Mark Flach, brought that car if

needed.

 

According to Hearn, adding in the team led by Flach, Tim Emerick, Tim

Gofmanas and everyone a part of it has been fantastic this year and

the teams from both nights are working well together and are very

consistent.

 

Look for former Valley Pure Stock champion Matt Humes to join the

358-Modified ranks on the high banks in a car owned by his brother,

Dan. Over the off-season, Dan hurt his back and has been unable to

race this season while he heals.

 

Humes is hoping to have clearance to race by Super DIRT Week, if not

sooner but is obeying doctor’s orders and not rushing back.

 

The youngest of the Humes brothers to race, Matt is looking to get his

feet wet again in the seat as it’s been several years since he’s raced

competitively.

 

Last week’s Small Block winner JR Heffner never got passed early night

warm-ups with his Hough #34 Teo as engine issues sidelined him. To

save points, Heffner took out the Virgilio #14 in the feature, only

completely a handful of laps and finishing 20th.

 

JR dropped from fifth to 13th in points after Saturday’s misfortune.

 

The first heat race for the Modifieds Saturday was stacked to say the

least. Most would have considered it a feature at many tracks. Listen

to this line-up. Mike Keeler, Mike King, Eddie Marshall, Brian Berger,

Keith Flach, Andy Bachetti, Kenny Tremont and Brett Hearn. They were

all up on the wheel trying to get to the handicapped spots, with

Keeler, Hearn and Bachetti missing out.

 

If you like close points battles, look no further than the Pure Stock

division. After Saturday night, the top 10 are separate by just 10

points. Jeff Meltz Sr. currently leads with 214 and there is a

four-way tie for seventh between, Chad Arsenault, Jeff Meltz Jr., Jeff

Kreutzinger and Kevin Paul, with 204. This is another battle that will

surely come down to the final night of action.

 

Saturday JUNE 2, 2018 - West Lebanon, NY - KEYBANK PRESENTS - Modified

Results (30 Laps) -1) Eddie Marshall, 2) Brett Hearn, 3) Steve Hough,

4) J.R. Heffner, 5) Brian Berger, 6) Keith Flach, 7) Elmo Reckner, 8)

Ronnie Johnson, 9) Mike King, 10) Wayne Jelley, 11) Kyle Sheldon, 12)

Kyle Armstrong, 13) Kolby Schroder, 14) Kenny Tremont, 15) Andy

Bachetti, 16) L.J Lombardo, 17) Rob Pitcher, 18) Chad Jeseo, 19) Paul

Gilardi, 20) Mike Keeler, 21) Denny Soltis, 22) Olden Dwyer, 23) Josh

Marcus, 24) Dave McFeeters,

 

Small Block Modified Results (24 Laps) - 1) Kenny Tremont, 2) Timothy

Davis, 3) Frank Hoard III, 4) Ricky Davis, 5) Brian Sandstedt, 6) Andy

Bachetti, 7) Jason Herrington, 8) Brett Haas, 9) Olden Dwyer, 10) Kim

LaVoy, 11) Brandon Pitcher, 12) Frank Harper, 13) Steve Hough, 14) Ray

Hall Jr, 15) Bryan McGuire, 16) Nathan Johnson, 17) Alan Houghtaling,

18) Dillion Stuer, 19) Chad Pierce, 20) J.R. Heffner,

 

Sportsman Results (20 Laps) - 1) John Virgilio, 2) Michael Sabia, 3)

Whitey Slavin, 4) Pete Carlotto, 5) Chris Curtis, 6) Ted Teal, 7)

Vinnie Visconti, 8) Harold Robitaille, 9) Karl Barnes, 10) Scott,

McCoy, 11) Kevin Ward,12) Paulo Pascarella, 13) Nikki Ouellette, 14)

Rob Maxon, 15) Chris Lynch, 16) Cody Ochs, 17) Alan Houghtaling, 18)

Zach Louster,

 

Pro Stock Results (20 Laps) -1) Steven LaRochelle, 2) Jon Routhier, 3)

Jason Casey, 4) Rob Yetman, 5) Jason Meltz, 6) Rick Dempsey, 7) Nick

Hilt, 8) Frank Twing, 9) Rick Duzlak, 10) Tom O'Connor, 11) Jay Casey,

12) Tom Dean, 13) Ed Bishop, 14) Scott Govertsen, 15) Nick Arnold, 16)

Rick Spencer, 17) Brian Keough, 18) Nick Reilly, 19) Scott Kilmer, 20)

Dave Stickles, 21) Joe LaFlamme, 22) Doug Olds, 23) Rich Crane, 24)

Don Collins,

 

Pure Stock #1 Results (12 Laps) - 1) Kevin Paul, 2) Brian Walsh, 3)

Chris Murphy, 4) Evan Denue, 5) Adam Schneider, 6) Shawn Perez, 7)

Craig Coons, 8) Jake Gomm, 9) Kerri Vandenburg, 10) Wuggie Burdick,

11) Greg DeCamp, 12) Rocco Procopio, 13) Karen Verhagen, 14) Tom

Murphy SR.

 

Pure Stock #3 Results (12 Laps) - 1) Ray Hall Sr., 2) Jeff Meltz, 3)

Zach Seyerlein, 4) Ed Hatch, 5) Al Relyea, 6) Chad Arsenault, 7) John

Devine, 8) Jeff Meltz Jr., 9) Jeff Kreutzinger, 10) Zach Sorrentino,

11) Clifford Booth, 12) Dom Denue,

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