WEST LEBANON — For the final night of the season, the King of Dirt Small Block Modified Series was the headliner and a first-time winner took the checkered flag.
The regular Small Block Modified points were complete (aside from appearance points), but the King of Dirt 358 Modified title was still up for grabs.
By virtue of the post-heat redraw, Ricky Davis earned the pole position in his MAC Tools No. 43. Orange County Fair Speedway regular Allison Ricci was along and haunted Davis for much of the race.
That said, Ricci wasn’t the only one in the hunt.
Ronnie Johnson started fourth and made short work of Demetrios Drellos on the start to move up to third. Despite a great deal of speed, Johnson couldn’t contend with a slightly higher line than normal and clean air for Davis.
Despite that, a number of cautions kept the field close. Early on, Matt Pupello spun in Turn 4 to bring out a yellow. Last week’s winner L.J. Lombardo was second fastest in time trials, but an issue with a wheel brought him to pit road on Lap 14. He would eventually finish 11th.
Shortly after the restart, Brandon Pitcher spun out in Turn 4 to bring out another yellow.
While Davis, Ricci and Johnson pulled, there was a big duel for fourth between Brett Haas, Drellos and Kenny Tremont Jr. The racing was hard and clean, but Haas managed to hold on.
In the closing laps, Ricci began to close in on Davis and looked to really have something for the young Vermonter. However, Ricci went a little too hard into Turns 1 and 2 and got too high.
That was all Davis needed in order to take his first career win.
“[Our car] was very good tonight,” Davis said in the pits. “We’ve worked very hard this year with the help of Dave Prime Jr. and Bryan Burns with us as sponsors. We’ve been fast the past couple of weeks. Just been trying to get the right opportunity. We got the opportunity tonight, got lucky in the redraw and … we made it happen.”
Ricci was just able to hold off a charging Johnson for second. Haas was fourth, followed by Drellos. Bobby Varin finished eighth and claimed the King of Dirt 358 Modified Series championship.
In the Sportsman class, there was a veritable pick ’em at the top of the point standings. Whitey Slavin entered the final night of the season with a one-point lead over Chris Curtis. Peter Carlotto and Rob Maxon were also in the hunt.
Ted Teal started from the pole and led early. Meanwhile, fellow front row starter Karl Barnes ran into immediate problems.
Barnes dropped back at the start, then went into the wall in Turn 3 to bring out the first yellow. Barnes was unfortunately done for the evening.
The championship battle was supposed to be a heads-up duel, but never turned out that way.
On Lap 2, Curtis had contact with another driver and hit the wall exiting Turn 4. The contact hurt Curtis’ car and eventually forced him to slow. A caution allowed him to make a pit stop and continue.
On the restart, John Virgilio was able to get the jump on Teal and quickly moved into the lead. Once out front, Virgilio was able to open up a gap on the field at will.
Incidents for Vinny Visconti, Zach Lauster and Colin Clow kept the field fairly close through the halfway point. In addition, Rob Maxon moved himself up to second and was in position to compete for the win.
Once the race went back to green, Virgilio made sure that the race for the win would not be competitive. Virgilio was able to pull away to take his second win of 2018.
Maxon was second and moved himself up to second in points while Slavin came home in third.
The third-place finish was more than enough to allow Slavin to defend his Sportsman championship by 11 points. Tim Hartman Jr. charged from the 13th starting spot to finish fourth while Teal was fifth.
In Pure Stock, Gary O’Brien and Jeff Kreutziger won the regular features. Ed Hatch finished fifth in Feature No. 2 to defend his Pure Stock title. Dom Denue won the rescheduled Meltz Lumber Purestock Race.
For the 4-Cylinders, Kenny Stager won the Dual-Cam class and overall in the race. He also managed to defend the Dual-Cam title.
In Single-Cam, Devin Besze finished third overall, good enough to grab the win. Gary Malloy was second, good enough to claim the Single-Cam title.
DiCarlo’s Auto Body King of Dirt 358 Modified Series Feature presented by Herrington Farms and Lebanon Springs Rolloffs Results (30 laps): 1) Ricky Davis, 2) Allison Ricci, 3) Ronnie Johnson, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Demetrios Drellos, 6) Kenny Tremont Jr., 7) Jason Herrington, 8) Bobby Varin, 9) Marc Johnson, 10) Jessey Mueller, 11) L.J. Lombardo, 12) Dillon Steuer, 13) Matt Pupello, 14) Wayne Jelley, 15) Ray Hall Jr., 16) Brandon Lane, 17) Don Ronca, 18) Steve Hough, 19) Olden Dwyer, 20) Alan Houghtaling, 21) Kory Sandstedt, 22) Brandon Pitcher, 23) J.R. Heffner, 24) Ryan Charland, 25) John Ferrier, 26) Kenny Aanonsen Jr.
Note: Wayne Jelley drove in place of Timothy Davis while Kory Sandstedt drove in place of his brother Brian. Both teams used legal substitute drivers and will earn appearance points for their regular drivers.
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) John Virgilio, 2) Rob Maxon, 3) Whitey Slavin, 4) Tim Hartman Jr., 5) Ted Teal, 6) Cody Ochs, 7) Joey Coppola, 8) Nikki Ouellette, 9) Chris Curtis, 10) Angelo DiCarlo, 11) Alan Houghtaling, 12) Scott McCoy, 13) Matt Burke, 14) Harold Robitaille, 15) Christopher Ronca, 16) Robbie Colburn, 17) Bryan Jones, 18) John Santolin, 19) Jordan Miller, 20) Vinny Visconti, 21) Peter Carlotto, 22) Chris Lynch, 23) Mel Schufer, 24) Zach Lauster, 25) Colin Clow, 26) Karl Barnes, 27) Joe Carnibucci, 28) Lem Atkins
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (10 laps): 1) Gary O’Brien, 2) Scott Morris, 3) Evan Denue, 4) Rob Partridge, 5) Don Kennedy, 6) Dave Fachini, 7) Greg DeCamp, 8) Adam Schneider, 9) Phil Sherman, 10) Tim Meltz, 11) Karen Verhagen, 12) Wuggie Burdick, 13) Ryan Brown, 14) Marcus Hillard, 15) Al Relyea, 16) Joe Walcott
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (12 laps): 1) Jeff Kreutziger, 2) Zach Seyerlein, 3) Dom Denue, 4) Jeff Meltz Sr., 5) Ed Hatch, 6) Clifford Booth, 7) Zach Sorrentino, 8) Ray Hall Sr., 9) Brian Walsh, 10) Keri VanDenburg, 11) Shawn Perez
Meltz Lumber Purestock Race Results (20 laps): 1) Dom Denue, 2) Zach Seyerlein, 3) Ray Hall Sr., 4) Ed Hatch, 5) Jeff Kreutziger, 6) Al Relyea, 7) Scott Morris, 8) Brian Walsh, 9) Adam Schneider, 10) Tim Meltz, 11) Evan Denue, 12) Karen Verhagen, 13) Gary O’Brien, 14) Jeff Meltz Sr., 15) Zach Sorrentino, 16) Rob Partridge, 17) Don Kennedy
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Devin Besze, 2) Gary Malloy, 3) James Street, 4) Victor Duncan Jr., 5) Joey Batho, 6) Bradley Batho, 7) Jim Williams, 8) Jon Sheppard
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Feature Results (15 laps): 1) Kenny Stager, 2) Tomm Gomm, 3) Chris White, 4) Connor Hill, 5) Mike Duncan, 6) Jim Guertin, 7) John Wright, 8) Derek Quintero Sr.