Parent Sprints Through The Valley


W. LEBANON, N.Y. — Quebec’s Michael Parent and Massachusetts’s Andy Bachetti shared victory lane at the Lebanon Valley Speedway Saturday night, with Parent celebrating his first ever Empire Super Sprints win and Bachetti basking in the glory of his fourth consecutive DIRT modified victory.

Former ESS champion Steve Poirier ran down polesitter Parent from 12th but had to settle for second in the 25-lap feature, with third-starting Paul Kinney finishing there after dropping back, then catching fire again late in the race.

Parent’s front row companion, Jeff Cook, chased Parent early on but by lap ten was nearly a full straightaway behind, though a lap-15 yellow flag erased the fleet Parent’s advantage and put Cook, Poirier and Jessica Zemken on his tail for the restart.

Poirier shot to second on the green but the yellow came right back out, negating the pass, with Cook then holding second until catching the turn four wall and flipping hard on lap 17. Parent shot away from his fellow Quebecian on the final restart and won convincingly. Chuck Hebing hit the stripe fourth ahead of Matt Tanner, Zemken, Corey Sparks, Patrick Dignault, Jason Barney and Zach Weigand.

“I saw his nose once but I just kept doing what I’d been doing and it worked out,” summed up an elated Parent, who’s been close a number of times before.

“I didn’t need that final restart,” declared Poirier. “The engine didn’t go and it took five laps for it to get going again.”

Bachetti had blasted from 16th to sixth by the time the second yellow flew on lap nine, then took advantage of a restart scramble to move to third for the second try. He shot down Kyle Hoffman on the restart, then threw a big slide job on Denny Soltis as they hit turn three to take command. With Brett Hearn, the only other 2013 winner, involved in the melee and going to the rear, Bachetti cruised easily to the checkers ahead of Hoffman, Donnie Corellis, J.R. Heffner, Keith Flach, Rob Pitcher and Kenny Tremont Jr.

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Ron Hedger
A veteran of nearly 40 years with SPEED SPORT, Hedger has also covered auto racing for the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette and was a contributor to Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.