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
“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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
“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