Brett Hearn Overcomes Broken Shock to Claim 3rd Win of 2018
Story By: Phil Allaway/Lebanon Valley Speedway
Photos By: Dave Dalesandro/RacersGuide.com
After a substantial amount of rain flooded part of the infield, Saturday night’s card was doubtful. However, a substantial amount of work went into getting the standing water out. By race time, the track was good to go.
In the Modified feature, Olden Dwyer started from the pole and immediately came under pressure from Andy Bachetti. Less than a mile into the race, Bachetti was able to snatch the lead away. Once out front, Bachetti opened up a good advantage on the field.
Further back, Brett Hearn, who was fastest in hot laps, was quickly moving up the order from the 11th starting spot. By no means was his race easy, though. On lap 10, the right rear shock broke on his No. 20, forcing Hearn to use a straighter enter into the turns. Despite the compromise, Hearn was still one of the fastest cars on the track.
Hearn quickly moved up into the top five and started dispatching those drivers one by one. On Lap 12, Hearn was able to take second away from Olden Dwyer just before Josh Marcus spun in Turn 2 to bring out the first caution of the race.
The yellow wiped out a three-second lead and put Hearn directly alongside. On the restart, Hearn made short work of the Sheffield, Mass. driver to take the lead.
It just didn’t appear to be Marcus’ night on Saturday. Shortly after the restart, Marcus spun again and hit the wall in Turn 3 to draw another caution. Luckily, the No. 42m was not significantly damaged and Marcus was able to continue. He would eventually finish 17th.
After the restart, Hearn was able to put some distance on Bachetti. Here, the broken shock actually changed the race a little bit. Hearn claimed after the race that he was running at roughly 80 percent due to the issues. Trying to keep the broken shock from cutting his right rear tire allowed Bachetti to gain some of the time back.
A spin by Ed Kitchell resulted in a nine-lap shootout. Bachetti tried as hard as he could on the restart to sweep past Hearn, but Hearn fended off Bachetti’s slide. From there, Hearn held on to take his third win of 2018.
The Lap 13 yellow was the lynchpin to the race.
“The timing of the [first] yellow was perfect for what I needed to do,” Hearn said. “I was able to get alongside of [Bachetti] without burning my tires up, which is a key thing here.”
Bachetti was second, followed by Kyle Sheldon. Keith Flach was fourth, followed by Kyle Armstrong.
In the Small Block Modifieds, Chad Pierce started on pole and led early with Kim LaVoy giving chase. The two drivers opened a small gap on the field, then got to battling among themselves.
Unfortunately, that battle ended in tears as the two drivers got together on Lap 5 in Turn 2. Both drivers spun and LaVoy suffered damage that put her out.
Ryan Charland assumed the lead and put up one of his best races, holding onto the lead past halfway. By that point, Jason Herrington was racing him hard for the lead. Kenny Tremont Jr., who started 15th, was right there as well.
Herrington took the lead on Lap 13 and battled hard with Tremont to maintain the advantage. Tremont was finally able to snatch the advantage away with five laps to go. From there, Tremont pulled away to take his fourth win of the year.
Herrington was second, followed by Charland in a season-best third. Brett Haas was fourth, while Bachetti was fifth.
The Sportsman feature saw rookie Joey Coppola start on pole and lead without issue early on. Peter Carlotto was able to jump Harold Robitaille on the start to move up to second. He stated afterwards that he was lacking just that little bit of oomph to get up to Coppola. More on that later.
The race was clean and green until Ted Teal, Chris Curtis, Chris Lynch and Scott McCoy collided in Turn 2 to bring out the first yellow on Lap 11. Everyone was able to pull away on their own, but Teal’s night came to an end as a result.
Behind Coppola and Carlotto, a huge battle for third erupted between John Virgilio, Michael Sabia, Whitey Slavin and Rob Maxon. With three laps to go, Virgilio, Sabia and Slavin all collided on the frontstretch, sending Slavin hard into the wall and briefly on his side. Slavin was sore afterwards, but walked away.
Sabia and Virgilio’s cars had to be physically separated by a tow truck. Despite that, they were both able to continue. Sabia finished 12th while Virgilio was 14th.
Coppola was able to hold on to win on the track. It seemed like a sweet victory for a young racer competing with help from Kolby Schroder’s team. Unfortunately, post-race inspection discovered an unapproved gear in the No. 94. As a result, Coppola was disqualified and the victory was given to Carlotto.
Rob Maxon’s engine was declared legal after last weekend’s protest, allowing him to keep his victory from July 28th. The DQ for Coppola boosted Maxon to a second-place finish that kept after two hours of post-race technical inspection. Lynch recovered from early damage to finish third, followed by Cody Ochs and Curtis.
Pro Stock teams raced 30 laps Saturday night in honor of the late Jimmy Langenback. Unfortunately, the race was marred by a huge pile-up a couple of laps in. Don Collins, who started fourth, was hit from behind while trying to avoid Dave Stickles. From there, the crash was on. Over half of the field piled in, completely blocking the track. No one was injured.
Nick Arnold claimed the lead before the crash, but Rob Yetman ran him down with authority. On Lap 6, Yetman took the advantage and was untouched for the rest of the feature. From there, Yetman held on to win his third race of the year.
Arnold finished a career-best second, followed by Nick Hilt. Chuck Towslee was fourth, followed by Rick Dempsey.
In Pure Stock Feature No. 1, Jesse Murphy’s up and down session reached a high. Driving the No. 012, Jesse was able to claim the lead early on. Late in the going, Clifford Booth got right on his bumper in an attempt to claim his third win in as many weekends. However, Jesse was able to hold off Booth to take the win.
Booth was second, followed by Evan Denue. Chris Murphy was fourth and Gary O’Brien fifth.
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 saw Shawn Perez start his freshly repaired No. 09 on the pole after last week’s flip. Unfortunately, Perez’s bad luck continued.
On the first lap, Perez lost his right rear wheel entering Turn 1 and spun in front of the field. A chain-reaction occurred and Perez’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo was shoveled up and over once again. Perez was ok after the crash, but quite dejected after all the work that went into fixing the car.
Al Relyea managed to avoid the wreck and claimed the lead. For much of the race, John Devine was right on Relyea’s tail, waiting to pounce. Given Relyea’s skill behind the wheel, those chances were few and far between.
Jeff Meltz Sr. was running third and in position to pounce on the leaders until he hit the wall on Lap 9. After hitting the wall, Meltz slid down the track and hit Jeff Kreutziger. Dom Denue spun in order to avoid the wreck to bring out the yellow and close the pack back up.
On the restart, Devine continued to hound Relyea for the lead. Devine’s break came on the final lap when Relyea jumped the cushion just a little bit in Turn 2. That was all Devine needed to get alongside the veteran Relyea and sweep past on the backstretch. Devine held on to take the victory. Afterwards, Devine celebrated his good fortune with a series of donuts on the frontstretch.
Ed Hatch was able to sweep past Relyea as well to finish second. Relyea had to settle for third, followed by Zach Seyerlein. Chad Arsenault was fifth.
A-VERDI Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Brett Hearn, 2) Andy Bachetti, 3) Kyle Sheldon, 4) Keith Flach, 5) Kyle Armstrong, 6) Ronnie Johnson, 7) Kenny Tremont Jr., 8) L.J. Lombardo, 9) Wayne Jelley, 10) J.R. Heffner, 11) Eddie Marshall, 12) Kolby Schroder, 13) Brian Berger, 14) Dillon Steuer, 15) Mike King, 16) Steve Hough, 17) Josh Marcus, 18) Ed Kitchell, 19) Chad Jeseo, 20) Bobby Hackel, IV, 21) Olden Dwyer, 22) John Ruchel, 23) Denny Soltis, 24) Paul Gilardi
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Kenny Tremont Jr., 2) Jason Herrington, 3) Ryan Charland, 4) Brett Haas, 5) Andy Bachetti, 6) Lorne Browe, 7) J.R. Heffner, 8) Timothy Davis, 9) Brian Sandstedt, 10) Brandon Pitcher, 11) Frank Harper, 12) Ricky Davis, 13) Dillon Steuer, 14) Brian Peterson, 15) Steve Hough, 16) Alan Houghtaling, 17) Olden Dwyer, 18) Chad Pierce, 19) Kim LaVoy, 20) Frank Hoard III, 21) Harold Robitaille, 22) Brandon Lane
Sportsman Feature Results (20 laps): 1) Peter Carlotto, 2) Rob Maxon, 3) Chris Lynch, 4) Cody Ochs, 5) Chris Curtis, 6) Vinnie Visconti, 7) Harold Robitaille, 8) Mike Gramolini, 9) Scott McCoy, 10) Karl Barnes, 11) Nikki Ouellette, 12) Michael Sabia, 13) K.C. McCoy, 14) John Virgilio, 15) Zach Lauster, 16) Whitey Slavin, 17) Alan Houghtaling, 18) Ted Teal. DQ: Joey Coppola
Pro Stock Ol’ Buzzard 30 (Jimmy Langenback Memorial) Results (30 laps): 1) Rob Yetman, 2) Nick Arnold, 3) Nick Hilt, 4) Chuck Towslee, 5) Rick Dempsey, 6) Steven LaRochelle, 7) Rich Crane, 8) Jason Casey, 9) Victor Hopkins, 10) Jon Routhier, 11) Brian Keough, 12) Don Collins, 13) Dave Stickles, 14) Nick Reilly, 15) Tom O’Connor, 16) Tom Dean, 17) Jason Meltz, 18) Scott Kilmer, 19) Jay Casey, 20) Frank Twing, 21) Rick Duzlak, 22) Jay Casey, 23) Ed Bishop, 24) Doug Olds
Note: The Jay Casey that finished 19th is from Massachusetts, while the Jay Casey that finished 22nd is from Connecticut.
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (12 laps): 1) Jesse Murphy, 2) Clifford Booth, 3) Evan Denue, 4) Chris Murphy, 5) Gary O’Brien, 6) Rob Partridge, 7) Don Kennedy, 8) Scott Morris, 9) Karen Verhagen, 10) Jordan Miller, 11) Rocco Procopio
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (12 laps): 1) John Devine, 2) Ed Hatch, 3) Al Relyea, 4) Zach Seyerlein, 5) Chad Arsenault, 6) Jeff Kreutziger, 7) Zach Sorrentino, 8) Keri Vandenburg, 9) Brian Walsh, 10) Dom Denue, 11) Jeff Meltz Sr., 12) Shawn Perez