Story By: PHIL ALLAWAY / LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY – WEST LEBANON, NY – Kolby Schroder took the lead early on from Mike King Saturday night and pulled away from the pack to win his second straight Modified feature. Andy Bachetti effectively clinched his third straight Modified title with a seventh-place finish.
“We got our new motor back this week; we’d been missing some horsepower all year long,” Schroder said after the feature. “Dan Bedell put together a great piece for us to finish out the year with. The car’s clicking, the team’s clicking and everything’s going great right now.”
Josh Marcus was originally supposed to start on pole, but he voluntarily dropped to the rear, giving the advantage to King. King led early on, but the field stayed bunched up after Brandon Lane spun to bring out a yellow. John Ruchel also spun to avoid. Unfortunately, Ruchel had trouble getting back underway and was forced to retire.
On the restart, King was running quite well, but Schroder was on his tail. After a few laps, Schroder was able to get past for the lead exiting turn 4 on lap 8. Once out front, Schroder slowly but sure begin to pull away.
The championship contenders (Bachetti and Brett Haas) started 12th and 13th Saturday night and slowly made their way forward. Haas was taking some chances to get up front, while Bachetti was simply shadowing him.
L.J. Lombardo put a bunch of pressure on King, but could not get by. This bunched up the pack into the final laps of the race. Eventually, Keith Flach was able to catch up and take second with three laps to go. By then, Schroder was long gone en route to his second straight victory, the first time that he has accomplished the feat in any class at Lebanon Valley.
Schroder was 4.556 seconds ahead of Flach at the finish. Lombardo was third, then King and Haas.
In the Small Block Modified class, Brian Peterson started on pole and opened up a decent lead on the pack in his Cyclone chassis over Ray Hall Jr. Then, trouble broke out in turn 3 when Montgomery Tremont and Kim LaVoy got hooked together. This caused a stackup that also involved Frank Harper, Jason Herrington and Mike Petrucci.
Everyone was able to pull away with some assistance (the safety crew had to unhook Montgomery and LaVoy). LaVoy was the only driver who quickly retired afterwards after she discovered that her car was hurt a bit more than originally believed.
Bachetti has dominated the Small Block Modified class to this point and entered the race with a 90-point lead. He started in 14th and slowly made his way forward. By lap 11, he was up to fourth. With nine laps to go, he took second from Alan Houghtaling.
Once there, Bachetti turned in a series of laps that were four-tenths of a second faster than Peterson to catch up. With five laps to go, Bachetti caught Peterson and made short work of him for the lead.
From there, Bachetti pulled away to take his fifth win of the year by 2.179 seconds over Peterson. Lorne Browe was third, then Lombardo and Herrington.
In Sportsman, a thin field was buttressed by Limited Sportsman entries. The point battle here is fierce between Whitey Slavin and Tim Hartman Jr. This could have been a crucial night as Slavin cut his right rear two a couple of laps into the race and drew a yellow. Slavin was able to pit for a tire and resume.
Hartman Jr. started eighth and quickly made his way to the front. It took a mere six laps for him to take the lead. Shortly after he did, Alex Palmer-Sawyer and Bob Fachini collided to bring out a yellow.
On the restart, Kevin Ward was able to get second away from pole sitter Ryan Heath and intermediary Rob Maxon. He tried to keep pace with Hartman, but ultimately couldn’t do so as Hartman won his fourth feature of the year by 1.817 seconds. It was a weekend sweep for Hartman as he won Friday night at Albany-Saratoga as well.
Ward ended up second, while Slavin recovered for third. Robbie Knipe was fourth, while Maxon was fifth. Alex Palmer-Sawyer won the Limited Sportsman feature.
The DIRTcar Pro Stock Series was at Lebanon Valley Saturday night for the Ol’ Buzzard 30, a 30-lap feature in memory of the late Jimmy Langenback. By virtue of the redraw, Jason Meltz started from the pole with Chad Jeseo alongside
Meltz proved to be a tough adversary for Jeseo as the two drivers raced side-by-side for the first third of the race. Finally, on lap 10, Jeseo dove to the inside of Meltz entering turn 3 to take the lead.
Once out front, Jeseo quickly pulled a couple of a seconds on the rest of the field. This lead was usurped just as Bruno Richard was taking second away from Meltz when Brian Carter spun in turn 4 to bring out the first yellow on lap 18.
From there, there were a series of issues. The biggest of these issues was a multi-car crash that blocked the track with five laps to go in turn 3. 11 cars jammed up, resulting in a red flag. Scott Towslee was parked for the night by officials after he spun after contact from Dave Stickles, then attempted to retaliate under yellow.
Ultimately, Jeseo held off Nick Hilt Jr. to win the Ol’ Buzzard 30, his record-breaking 10th Valley Pro Stock win of the year. Richard was third, then Jay Fitzgerald and Zach Seyerlein.
In Street Stock, Dave Streibel Jr. took his fourth win of the year.
DMC Racing Products/Rivers Asset Recovery Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Kolby Schroder, 2) Keith Flach, 3) L.J. Lombardo, 4) Mike King, 5) Brett Haas, 6) Kyle Armstrong, 7) Andy Bachetti, 8) Brian Berger, 9) Marc Johnson, 10) Eddie Marshall, 11) Kenny Tremont Jr., 12) Olden Dwyer, 13) Kyle Sheldon, 14) Paul Gilardi, 15) Brandon Lane, 16) Dylan Gibson, 17) John Virgilio, 18) Josh Marcus, 19) Kenny Aanonsen Jr., 20) John Ruchel, 21) Jeff Dean
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Andy Bachetti, 2) Brian Peterson, 3) Lorne Browe, 4) L.J. Lombardo, 5) Jason Herrington, 6) Ryan Larkin, 7) Alan Houghtaling, 8) Peter Carlotto, 9) Ray Hall Jr., 10) Ryan Charland, 11) Jeff Watson, 12) Kevin Petrucci, 13) Montgomery Tremont, 14) Brian Sandstedt, 15) Frank Harper, 16) Kim LaVoy, 17) Mark Pullen, 18) Olden Dwyer
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Tim Hartman Jr., 2) Kevin Ward, 3) Whitey Slavin, 4) Robbie Knipe, 5) Rob Maxon, 6) Shane Powell, 7) Keith Johannessen, 8) Ryan Heath, 9) Peter Lorenzo, 10) Karl Barnes*, 11) Bob Fachini, 12) Justin Lilly*, 13) Matt Jordan, 14) John Santolin*, 15) Alex Palmer-Sawyer*
Note: Drivers with an asterisk next to their names are Limited Sportsman competitors. They do not count for points purposes.
Limited Sportsman Feature Results (10 laps): 1) Alex Palmer-Sawyer, 2) Matt Jordan, 3) Karl Barnes, 4) Kevin Ames, 5) Justin Lilly, 6) John Santolin
DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Ol’ Buzzard 30 In Memory of Jimmy Langenback Results (30 laps): 1) Chad Jeseo, 2) Nick Hilt Jr., 3) Bruno Richard, 4) Jay Fitzgerald, 5) Zach Seyerlein, 6) Zach Sorrentino, 7) Justin Whit, 8) Tyler Bushey, 9) Dave Stickles, 10) Rick Duzlak, 11) Tom O’Connor, 12) Brian Carter, 13) Nick Rogers, 14) Jason Meltz, 15) Chris Stalker, 16) Scott Towslee, 17) Tom Dean, 18) Luke Hornung, 19) Shawn Perez, 20) Shawn Perez Jr., 21) Brian Keough, 22) Johnny Rivers
Street Stock Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Dave Streibel Jr., 2) Evan Denue, 3) Jim Dellea, 4) Chris Stalker, 5) Jeff Meltz Sr., 6) Rob Partridge, 7) Brian Walsh, 8) Gary O’Brien, 9) Scott Morris, 10) Craig Coons, 11) Keri VanDenburg, 12) Lou Gancarz, 13) Ryan Brown, 14) Daniel Coonradt, 15) Franklin Smith, 16) Jennah Perez, 17) Mike Dianda, 18) Ray Royals, 19) Katarina Foster