WEST LEBANON, N.Y. – The legendary Lebanon Valley Speedway has offered up many exciting finishes and points races of the course of 60 seasons, and the 2012 season was no exception. Week in and week out the racing action in every class has been action packed and wheel to wheel.
This kind of excitement and action has been nothing short of fantastic for the fans as well as the teams and drivers.
Saturday night at the mighty high banks, Pepsi, JH Financial, and Benjamin Moore Paints presented the final night of points for the Big Block Modifieds. Going into the nights action, Brett Hearn held a slim 35 point lead over Donnie Corellis, in addition, from 3rd to 6th in points were all within 50 points of each other.
So, when the green flag flew on the final 30 lap feature, all eyes, and minds were all on the points challengers. At the point was the No. 16 of Kyle Hoffman as he jumped out to the early lead. However the caution came out early on lap three as the No. 11A of Kyle Armstrong had an engine expire while running mid-pack, cause a melee on the frontstretch as everyone behind him scattered.
All the scattering caused a four-car pile-up with the No. 57 of Donnie Corellis making hard contact with the wall, then the No. 7 of John Ruchel made hard contact with Corellis causing the No. 7 to nearly flip down the front stretch. Ruchel’s night was done, including J.C. Flach in the back up No. 43 and Armstrong. Corellis was able to make repairs and was able to continue.
Back at the front, Hoffman was still in control, but the points contenders were starting to make their runs. Eddie Marshall drove his No. 98 to the second position on lap 6 and began to battle for the lead. Further back, Brett Hearn and J.R. Heffner was easing their way through traffic, while Corellis struggle to hang on further back.
Andy Bachetti show his muscle, and nerf bar to Marshall on lap 15, taking over the 2nd spot, then after a restart, muscled his way to the lead on lap 26, and checked out to take the win, and the extra $3,000.
At the checkers, Bachetti scored the finale win, with Eddie Marshall rallying for second. Hoffman had to settle for 3rd with Heffner and Hearn completing the top five finishers. With Hearn finishing in the top five, and Corellis’ 14th place finish, Brett Hearn captured the 2012 High Point Championship, his 7th at the famed Valley of Speed.
If that weren’t enough drama, the full-fendered Pro Stocks took to the high banks for their 25 lap ECHO Series feature. The 18 car field came to the green with the No. 17 of Nick Hilt Jr stepping out to the early lead. Caution flew on lap two for the No. 24 of Robbie Speed as he suffered a flat tire after contact with another car.
Then, at the green, Hilt jumped out again, this time, the No. 25 of Chad Jeseo pulled alongside Hilt flexing his muscle, but that as far as he got. They stayed ad raced side by side, door to door for the next 10 laps until the caution separated them to a single file restart.
At the green, Jeseo resumed his position alongside Hilt, and the two went at it again; this time for the remainder of the 25 laps. As the two rounded the final turn, still side by side, Hilt gained the slight advantage, and scored the win by just a .25 second margin!
Jeseo had to settle for a hard and clean fought 2nd place, Victor Hopkins had to sit back and just watch as he settle for third, with Chuck Towslee and Jay Corbin rounding out the top five finishers.
In the LV Sportsman 20 lap feature event, the No. 22G of Dylan Gibson lead the first 14 circuits around the might high banks, but the No. 21 of Ryan Darcy took control and pulled away to take the victory. Steve Meilleur squeezed in to finish 2nd followed by Gibson. Brett Haas and Ron Dwyer battled to finish out the top five finishers.
In the Purestock races earlier in the night, Dave Stickles scored the win in PS No. 1. Ed Hatch powered his way to the win in PS No. 2, and Lou Ganczar stayed out of all the trouble to capture the win in PS No. 3.