MALTA, N.Y. — It looked like the Ronca boys, Rich and Don, were going to keep Brett Hearn out of Victory Lane Friday night at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
But with $3,000 on the line for the holiday weekend kickoff, Hearn dug deep and passed Don on lap 28, then one lap later shot under Rich off turn two to record his fourth win of the season.
Don Ronca wasn’t about to give up, as he followed Hearn past his brother and then got alongside Hearn once on their 31st tour of the three-eighths-mile dirt oval but ended up settling for second ahead of Ronnie Johnson, brother Rich, and Jeff Trombley.
Rich Ronca had led off the pole and was strong through most of the feature, but Johnson from 12th and Hearn and Kenny Tremont from the eighth row were on the charge, using a number of yellows to keep the leaders within reach. When Johnson got to third just before halfway, it seemed he was on his way to the lucrative win but Hearn, as always, got better as the laps dwindled down despite almost going over the turn two bank a few times.
Mark Kislowski was sixth ahead of Tremont Jr., Keith Flach, Neil Stratton and his father, Hector.
Paul Murane claimed his second consecutive street stock feature, Dan Older was the pro stock winner and Chuck Dickinson and Fred Proctor split the twin sportsman features that let all 50 cars on hand compete in a feature event.