WEST LEBANON — After two weeks of rain, Lebanon Valley Speedway came back to life on Saturday night with five classes in action.
After the time away, race fans ended up with a somewhat jumbled result.
In the Modified class, Denny Soltis led the field to green in what was an incident-filled feature. On the first lap, Elmo Reckner spun on the backstretch and hit the inside wall hard, collecting Eddie Marshall in the process.
While Marshall did drive his car back to the pits, neither driver was able to continue.
Soltis led early with Chad Jeseo giving chase. Jeseo appeared to be faster, but Soltis was able to keep his red No. 1X in front.
Then, a series of cautions slowed the field. First, Keith Flach spun out in turn 1 on lap 12 on his own. Kyle Sheldon was also involved.
Shortly after the restart, Andy Bachetti hit the wall in turn 3 to bring out the third yellow. While Bachetti’s car was hurt, he was able to continue a couple of laps off the pace, eventually finishing 15th.
Jeseo knew that he needed to get Soltis on the restart.
After a waved-off restart, Jeseo made the move in turn 2 and swept into the lead. Following another yellow due to L.J. Lombardo stalling on track, Kolby Schroder was able to move himself up into second.
Over the final 12 laps, Schroder tried to run down Jeseo, but he could reel in the former Pro Stock champ. Jeseo was able to hold on to take his third career Modified win.
Jeseo dedicated his victory to car owner Scott Hamlin and RC Concrete’s Mike Hurley, who were not on hand to witness the victory. Afterward, he explained how he got past for the win.
“We had a good starting spot and Denny [Soltis] was smooth up there in the groove,” Jeseo said in the pits. “I just got a good restart on him, put a good slide job on him and made it stick.”
Schroder was second, followed by a charging Ronnie Johnson. Brett Hearn was hampered by some mechanical issues early in the evening but came back to finish fourth. Wayne Jelley was fifth.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Chatham’s Brandon Pitcher started from the pole and led early in one of the youngster’s best races in the class.
J.R. Heffner started in the second row and stalked Pitcher right from the start.
On lap 3, Dillon Steuer hit the wall in turn 2 to bring out the first caution of the race. While the hit appeared to be quite hard, Steuer was able to drive away. He tried to continue, but it became clear that something was wrong, so he pulled out.
On the restart, Heffner was able to get past Pitcher and take the lead. From there, it was off to the races.
Heffner was able to pull out to more than a full straightaway lead over Pitcher. Behind Pitcher, Jason Herrington was close in tow, looking for his own paydirt.
A yellow due to debris with 10 laps to go closed the pack back up. The yellow brought Andy Bachetti into play.
The Sheffield, Mass. native is known to be somewhat impatient, so he was salivating at the chance to get past Pitcher and get at Heffner. Bachetti was able to get past Pitcher on the restart, but a spin for Timothy Davis brought out another yellow and reverted the order.
On the next restart, Bachetti did, in fact, snatch second from Pitcher. However, Bachetti didn’t really have anything for Heffner.
Heffner was able to pull away from the field to claim his first win of the year.
Bachetti was second, followed by Pitcher in a strong third. Herrington was fourth and Brett Haas fifth.
The Pro Stock class had 25 drivers battling it out Saturday night.
Tom Dean started from the pole and ran fairly well. His 10th-place finish was not necessarily indicative of his form.
An early spin for Scott Kilmer in turn 2 brought out the caution. As soon as the green came back out, Rick Duzlak went to work on Dean.
It did not take long for Duzlak to put his Snap-On-sponsored Chevrolet up in front.
Saturday night was another tough night for defending champion Rob Yetman.
The all-time winningest Pro Stock driver failed to make the handicapping for the feature, resulting in Yetman starting 16th. During the feature, Yetman was involved in two separate wrecks.
It was only after the hood threatened to fly up did he pull off. A 20th-place finish capped off a frustrating night.
The second of Yetman’s incidents set up a Green-White-Checker. Despite that, no one could prevent Duzlak from picking up the win.
Nick Hilt finished a strong second, followed by Jason Casey. Rick Dempsey was fourth and Rich Crane fifth.
In Pure Stock, Clifford Booth, Zach Sorrentino and Jeff Kreutziger each claimed victories.
The 4-Cylinder class saw Kenny Stager lead flag-to-flag to win overall and Dual-Cam. Jim Williams won in Single-Cam.
County Waste & Recycling/Wohrle’s Foods Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Chad Jeseo, 2) Kolby Schroder, 3) Ronnie Johnson, 4) Brett Hearn, 5) Wayne Jelley, 6) J.R. Heffner, 7) Kenny Tremont Jr., 8) Denny Soltis, 9) Kyle Sheldon, 10) Keith Flach, 11) Rob Pitcher, 12) Mike King, 13) Steve Hough, 14) Kyle Armstrong, 15) Andy Bachetti, 16) L.J. Lombardo, 17) Brian Berger, 18) Jeff Sukup, 19) Paul Gilardi, 20) Josh Marcus, 21) Dave McFeeters, 22) Olden Dwyer, 23) Elmo Reckner, 24) Eddie Marshall, 25) Mike Keeler
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) J.R. Heffner, 2) Andy Bachetti, 3) Brandon Pitcher, 4) Jason Herrington, 5) Brett Haas, 6) Frank Hoard, III, 7) Kim LaVoy, 8) Steve Hough, 9) Frank Harper, 10) Brian Sandstedt, 11) Chad Pierce, 12) Olden Dwyer, 13) Bryan McGuire, 14) Timothy Davis, 15) Kenny Tremont Jr., 16) Alan Houghtaling, 17) Ray Hall Jr., 18) Craig Mitchell, 19) Dillon Steuer, 20) Ricky Davis, 21) Brian Peterson, 22) Kenny Aanonsen Jr.
Pro Stock Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Rick Duzlak, 2) Nick Hilt, 3) Jason Casey, 4) Rick Dempsey, 5) Rich Crane, 6) Jon Routhier, 7) Dave Stickles, 8) Jason Meltz, 9) Jay Casey, 10) Tom Dean, 11) Don Collins, 12) Frank Twing, 13) Joe LaFlamme, 14) Doug Olds, 15) Ed Bishop, 16) Scott Kilmer, 17) Nick Arnold, 18) Brian Keough, 19) Scott Govertsen, 20) Rob Yetman, 21) Victor Hopkins, 22) Steven LaRochelle, 23) Jay Casey, 24) Tom O’Connor, 25) Nick Reilly
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Clifford Booth, 2) Dom Denue, 3) Shawn Perez, 4) Adam Schneider, 5) Mark Dwyer, 6) Brian Walsh, 7) Greg DeCamp, 8) Karen Verhagen, 9) Tim Meltz, 10) Dennis O’Connor Jr.
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Zach Sorrentino, 2) Kevin Paul, 3) Chris Streeter, 4) Scott Morris, 5) Keri VanDenburg, 6) Bradley Batho, 7) Evan Denue, 8) Jordan Miller, 9) Rocco Procopio, 10) Craig Coons
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (12 laps): 1) Jeff Kreutziger, 2) Al Relyea, 3) Jeff Meltz Sr., 4) Jeff Meltz Jr., 5) Ed Hatch, 6) Zach Seyerlein, 7) Ray Hall Sr., 8) John Devine, 9) Chris Murphy, 10) Chad Arsenault
4-Cylinder Dual-Cam Results (15 laps): 1) Kenny Stager, 2) Tomm Gomm, 3) Connor Hill, 4) Mike Duncan, 5) John Wright, 6) Christian Scribner, 7) Jim Guertin, 8) Derek Quintero Sr.
4-Cylinder Single-Cam Results (15 laps): 1) Jim Williams, 2) James Street, 3) Devin Besze, 4) Gary Malloy, 5) Tim Meltz, 6) Victor Duncan Jr., 7) Nick McClendon, 8) Don Finney