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, which gives him a 71 point lead in the standings with one race remaining. As a result, Hearn has clinched another Modified track championship, his sixth in a row at Lebanon Valley. Kenny Tremont Jr. was third, followed by L.J. Lombardo and Rob Pitcher.
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
-Lebanon Valley Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Lebanon Valley Speedway