W. LEBANON, N.Y. — The 30 other Super DIRTcar Series drivers who turned out for Wednesday night’s 100-lap Mr. Dirt Track USA event at the Lebanon Valley Speedway knew they were in trouble when Brett Hearn hot lapped well below the track record.
The track slowed down, but Hearn still lowered the record for the high-banked half-mile to 19.335 seconds. He backed up a win in his heat with a 28-lap dash from 10th on the grid to the lead before cruising effortlessly to the $17,500 victory.
Early leader Andy Bachetti was second ahead of Donnie Corellis, Stewart Friesen, Rob Pitcher, Danny Johnson, Larry Wight, Kyle Sheldon, Eddie Marshall and Keith Flach. All but Friesen, Johnson and Flach are Lebanon Valley regulars.
Bachetti led Kolby Schroeder and Johnson in the early going but Hearn was already sixth when the first yellow flew for a stalled Peter Britten on lap eight. “The Jet” blasted to fourth on the restart and picked off Corellis and Schroeder to show second on lap 26. Two laps later he dropped under Bachetti exiting turn four and had the lead at the flagstand. From there, he was on cruise control, just coasting into the turns and working carefully through the lapped cars.
“The car was really good but I knew he’d be coming for me,” offered Bachetti. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold him up when he got there. I think he was just toying with me.”
As Hearn clicked off the laps, Corellis and J.R. Heffner wrestled for third behind Bachetti, with two-time Mr. Dirt winner Heffner seemingly winning the battle. But a restart triggered by Billy Decker coasting to a stop on the frontstretch on lap 70 saw Heffner go right to the turn one wall, letting Corellis and eight other cars by before he recovered.
“I tried to be patient and it paid off,” said Corellis. “We were actually better on the long runs but guys were getting pretty rammy there, so a couple of times I just backed out and let them go.”