J.R. Heffner Claims Victory as Brett Hearn Clinches Title
Story By: Phil Callaway/Lebanon Valley Speedway
Photos By: Mark Brown/RacersGuide.com
With only one more Modified race after Saturday night, it was time for everyone to put their best foot forward. Keith Flach and Kenny Tremont Jr. needed to put something together to prevent Brett Hearn from winning another title. They were unsuccessful.
John Ruchel started on pole and ran very well early on to keep the lead. J.R. Heffner started fifth and moved up to second within a mere couple of laps. Flach was right behind Heffner the whole time.
Heffner quickly caught Ruchel and raced him hard for a couple of laps before snagging the lead on lap 9. Flach followed past into second. Further back, Brett Hearn was quickly moving forward from the 14th starting spot. It did not take long for Hearn to poke his nose into the top five.
The weekend before Mr. DIRT Track U.S.A. usually brings drivers to town to shake down their mounts. Saturday night was no exception as a couple of non-regulars pressed their luck. Anthony Perrego had an excellent night, finishing sixth after starting 22nd.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East regular Tyler Dippel was also in the house to make his second start of the year. Unfortunately, Dippel and his brand-new Teo chassis were eliminated in a crash on lap 13 with Kyle Sheldon that brought out the first caution.
Flach was on the defensive immediately after the restart with Hearn hot on his tail. A small mistake in turn 4 resulted in Hearn taking the spot. The next lap, Flach spun in turn 4, creating a stack-up. Flach would continue, but he would finish 13th.
The second half of the race saw Heffner and Hearn running nose-to-tail and battling hard for the lead. However, Hearn could never get all the way alongside Heffner’s No. 74 as Heffner held on to take the win.
Heffner was quite pleased afterwards.
“[We] were solid,” Heffner said in the pits. “We had good horsepower, handled well. We had good traction. The car wanted to push the nose a little bit, but overall, it was everything it needed to be.”
Hearn finished second and clinched his tenth Lebanon Valley Modified Championship. Kenny Tremont Jr. was third, followed by L.J. Lombardo and Rob Pitcher.
The Small Block Modified feature saw Bennington’s Timothy Davis get an excellent start from the pole and pull away from the 19-car field. With a number of the primary challengers stuck back in traffic, Timothy’s No. 7T was able to simply run his own race.
Brian Sandstedt crashed on lap 12 to bring out the one and only caution of the race, bunching everyone up. That put Timothy Davis in a rather fierce battle with Arlington, Vt.’s Ricky Davis in the No. 43. Ricky and Timothy ran side-by-side for a couple of laps before Timothy was able to use the outside line to clear Ricky.
Further back, Heffner charged up from the 15th starting spot to run down Ricky Davis in the closing. While Heffner was able to get second with three laps to go, he could do nothing with Timothy Davis, who held on to claim the win.
Behind Timothy Davis and Heffner was Ricky Davis in a career-best third. Frank Hoard, III was fourth while Brett Haas was fifth.
The King of Dirt Pro Stock Series made their one and only stop of the year at Lebanon Valley Saturday night. That meant 30 laps of action and some slightly different rules.
By way of the redraw, Nick Stone ended up on the pole. However, Jon Routhier made short work of Stone at the start to take the lead.
The early portions of the race were of the start-and-stop variety. Frank Twing lost his hood to bring out a yellow. Shortly after the restart, Rich Crane and Tom O’Connor collided on the frontstretch. O’Connor spun out to draw another yellow.
Jay Casey quickly moved up to second and put pressure on his own neighbor (Routhier) for the lead. On lap 7, Jay Casey was able to move to the front. As the race continued on, Steven LaRochelle, Twing and Rob Yetman pulled away from the rest of the pack to settle things among themselves.
Jason Casey’s blown tire brought out a yellow and set up a four-lap shootout. On the restart, LaRochelle did not get up to speed and dropped back to ninth. Routhier tried to get past Jay Casey, but could not do it as Casey claimed the win.
Routhier was second, followed by Twing. Jason Meltz moved up to fourth on the final restart ahead of Yetman.
In Pure Stock, Tim Thompson, Mike Eichstedt and Jeff Meltz Sr. won regular features. Jeff Kreutziger won the rescheduled Boomer’s Performance Purestock Classic.
Benjamin Moore Paints/Ameripride Linen Modified Feature Results (30 laps): 1) J.R. Heffner, 2) Brett Hearn, 3) Kenny Tremont Jr., 4) L.J. Lombardo, 5) Rob Pitcher, 6) Anthony Perrego, 7) Brian Berger, 8) Eddie Marshall, 9) Kyle Sheldon, 10) Andy Bachetti, 11) Chad Jeseo, 12) Kolby Schroder, 13) Keith Flach, 14) Matt Pupello, 15) Kyle Armstrong, 16) Dan Humes, 17) Mike Keeler, 18) Elmo Reckner, 19) Denny Soltis, 20) John Ruchel, 21) Mike King, 22) Paul Gilardi, 23) Tyler Dippel, 24) Ken McGuire, 25) Demetrios Drellos, 26) Olden Dwyer, 27) Wayne Jelley
Small Block Modified Feature Results (24 laps): 1) Timothy Davis, 2) J.R. Heffner, 3) Ricky Davis, 4) Frank Hoard, III, 5) Brett Haas, 6) Brandon Pitcher, 7) Brian Peterson, 8) Kenny Tremont Jr., 9) Demetrios Drellos, 10) Jason Herrington, 11) Bryan McGuire, 12) Alan Houghtaling, 13) Allison Ricci, 14) Kim LaVoy, 15) Sean Mandel, 16) Mike Malloy, 17) Jason Tompkins, 18) Chad Pierce, 19) Brian Sandstedt, 20) Frank Harper
King of Dirt Pro Stock Series Feature Results (30 laps): 1) Jay Casey, 2) Jon Routhier, 3) Frank Twing, 4) Jason Meltz, 5) Rob Yetman, 6) Ed Bishop, 7) Kenny Martin, 8) Dan Older, 9) Steven LaRochelle, 10) Nick Stone, 11) Tom Dean, 12) Chuck Dumblewski, 13) Doug Olds, 14) Jason Casey, 15) Devon Camenga, 16) Joe LaFlamme, 17) Scott Govertsen, 18) Tom O’Connor, 19) Brian Keough, 20) Luke Hornung, 21) Nick Hilt, 22) Nick Arnold, 23) Rich Crane, 24) Don Collins, 25) Rick Duzlak, 26) Rick Dempsey
Pure Stock Feature No. 1 Results (8 laps): 1) Tim Thompson, 2) Nick Reilly, 3) Dom Denue, 4) Scott Morris, 5) Zach Sorrentino, 6) Tom Murphy, 7) Martina Martin, 8) Keri VanDenburg, 9) Dennis O’Connor Jr., 10) Brian VanDenburg. DQ: Joey Wilson
Pure Stock Feature No. 2 Results (8 laps): 1) Mike Eichstedt, 2) Chris Murphy, 3) Clifford Booth, 4) Jordan Miller, 5) Adam Schneider, 6) Evan Denue, 7) Karen Verhagen, 8) Paul Harding, 9) Tim Meltz. DQ: Jesse Murphy
Pure Stock Feature No. 3 Results (12 laps): 1) Jeff Meltz Sr., 2) Gary O’Brien, 3) Ed Hatch, 4) Al Relyea, 5) Larry Perez, 6) Jeff Kreutziger, 7) Dave Stickles, 8) Jeff Meltz Jr., 9) Ray Hall Sr., 10) Mike Arnold, 11) Zach Seyerlein, 12) Brian Walsh, 13) Shawn Perez, 14) Bill Deak Jr.
Boomer’s Performance Purestock Classic Results (20 laps, rescheduled from 8/12): 1) Jeff Kreutziger, 2) Jeff Meltz Jr., 3) Mike Eichstedt, 4) Bill Deak Jr., 5) Ed Hatch, 6) Gary O’Brien, 7) Dave Stickles, 8) Zach Seyerlein, 9) Evan Denue, 10) Mike Arnold, 11) Scott Morris, 12) Larry Perez, 13) Al Relyea. DNS: Clifford Booth, John Devine, Mark Dwyer, Ray Hall Sr., Paul Harding, Tim Meltz, Jesse Murphy, Joe Walcott