posted August 03, 2001 12:12 AM
HEARN PUTS THE BUD COLORS IN VICTORY LANE FOR HIS SIXTH
BUDWEISER MR DIRT TRACK, USA TITLE AT LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY
August 2, 2001
WEST LEBANON, NY- Brett Hearn captured the victory in the 100-lap Mr. Dirt
Track, USA event at Lebanon Valley Thursday night. Hearn led every lap on his
way to the $17,500 payday. It was fitting that Hearn's car made it to victory
lane on a night hosted by his primary sponsor, BUDWEISER. The 358-modifieds
were also on hand and Andy Bachetti won that 24-lap event.
Brett Hearn and Tim Fuller led the field of thirty-two cars to the green
flag in the 100-lap feature. The boys were a little anxious as cars were
bouncing off each other on lap one as they tried to go four wide in turn two.
Fortunately everyone kept their racers pointed in the right direction and no
caution was necessary. One car on the charge early was defending Lebanon
Valley point champion, Rich Ricci Jr. He had started the race 13th and was
battling Kenny Tremont Jr for ninth by lap three. Lebanon Valley regulars,
Dickie Larkin and Rob Pitcher became the first casualties of the event as
they went pitside on lap ten.
Hearn closed up on the back of the field and began lapping cars by lap
12. Matt Quinn had something break in the rearend, which caused his right
rear tire to go flat on lap 15. Quinn's problem would bring out the first
caution on the race on lap 16. Jack Johnson used the restart to get around
Fuller for second. Ricci continued his forward progress up to fifth on lap
20. Fuller's right rear tire went flat on lap 22 while running third. Fuller
did return but dropped from the event on lap 60. Ricci made his way around
Jack Johnson for second on lap 24.
Steve Paine came into the race the point leader on the Advance Auto Parts
Super DIRT series. Paine got turned around the wrong way in turn two and
collected up Tim Dwyer. Paine was able to get refired and back on track
without losing a lap. Paine would salvage a 16th place finish. Tremont tried
to challenge Jack Johnson for fourth on lap 33, but Johnson held him back. It
was a battle of #27's just passed the quarter-mark in the race. Danny Johnson
and Doug Hoffman waged a war for eighth for over ten laps. Hoffman would
eventually come out ahead and wound up with a top five finish. Hearn began to
encounter lapped traffic again on lap 46.
Defending race winner, J.R. Heffner, dropped from the event on lap 48 leaving
twenty-four cars left at the halfway point. Alan Johnson had a top ten run
going but began showing smoke just passed halfway. He started to dump fluid
from his car and dropped from the event on lap 65. Bachetti made the pass
around Ricci for second on lap 68 and set his sights on Hearn. Pat Ward
brought out the caution flag on lap 72 leaving eighteen cars still in the
race. Tremont made a bid on fourth under jack Johnson going into turn three.
Johnson's car appeared to break and he narrowly missed hitting the turn three
wall. Johnson went to the pits, but returned to finish 15th.
Tremont was able to get around Ricci for third with fifteen laps remaining.
The final caution of the race came on lap 90 when Jimmy Horton came to a stop
in turn two. No one could touch Hearn on the restart and he cruised home for
his sixth career victory in the Mr. Dirt Track, USA race. Hearn was quick to
thank all the people who made it possible for him to get to victory lane. He
said that the team had being preparing for this event for almost a month and
it paid off. Bachetti capped off a great night with a second place finish.
Tremont came home third, Ricci fourth and Hoffman fifth. Jerry Higbie had one
of his best finishes at the Valley in sixth. Billy Decker finished seventh,
Danny Johnson eighth, Eddie Marshall ninth and Vic Coffey rounded out the top
Fifty-one modifieds attempted to qualify for Mr. Dirt Track, USA. Paine,
Higbie, Tremont and Chris Schultz all won heat races. Eddie Marshall set
quick time in the time trials and won the EXISS Dash.
The 358-modifieds were also on hand Thursday night for a 24-lap feature. Lee
Gagliardi was the early race leader. Only three caution flags slowed the
event and two were before lap five. Todd Wilkinson made his way by Gagliardi
for the lead on lap six. Andy Bachetti moved into second behind Wilkinson on
lap nine. Kenny Tremont Jr was making his way up from his middle of the pack
starting spot. He was able to move into third just passed the halfway point
of the race. The last caution of the race came on lap 18 when Jason
Herrington came to a stop in turn four.
Bachetti began to pressure Wilkinson for the lead on the restart. He started
to push harder as they took the two to go signal. Wilkinson held off
Bachetti's advances as they took the white flag. Going into turn three on the
final lap Bachetti threw his Four Star Transmission 358-modified to the
outside of Wilkinson. Bachetti and Wilkinson came off turn four side by side,
but Bachetti was able to pull ahead by a car length at the finish line. It
was a good night for Bachetti with a victory in the 358-modifieds and a
runner up performance in the Mr. Dirt Track, USA feature.
BUDWEISER MR. DIRT TRACK USA RESULTS (100 LAPS) - 1) Brett Hearn, 2) Andy
Bachetti, 3) Kenny Tremont, 4) Rich Ricci Jr, 5) Doug Hoffman, 6) Jerry
Higbie, 7) Billy Decker, 8) Danny Johnson, 9) Eddie Marshall, 10) Vic Coffey,
11) Donnie Corellis, 12) Butch Tittle, 13) Steve Poirier, 14) Chris Schultz,
15) Jack Johnson, 16) Steve Paine, 17) Chuck Bower, 18) Jimmy Horton, 19) Pat
Ward, 20) Alan Johnson, 21) Tim Fuller, 22) Tim McCreadie, 23) Chris Moore,
24) Ronnie Johnson, 25) J. R. Heffner, 26) Mike Benson, 27) Bobby Varin, 28)
Tim Dwyer, 29) Guy Sheldon, 30) Matt Quinn, 31) Dickie Larkin, 32) Rob Pitcher
358 MODIFIED RESULTS (24 LAPS) - 1) Andy Bachetti, 2) Todd Wilkinson, 3)
Kenny Tremont, 4) Wayne Jelley, 5) Rich Ricci Jr, 6) Eddie Marshall, 7) Lee
Gagliardi, 8) Chris Moore, 9) J. R. Heffner, 10) Donnie Ackner, 11) Dickie
Larkin, 12) Vince Quenneville, 13) Denny Young Sr, 14) Craig Simmons, 15) Tom
Sanchez Jr, 16) Wes Powell, 17) Ed Harkins, 18) Frank Jashembowski, 19) Jason
Herrington, 20) Todd Morey, 21) Bobby Chalmers, 22) Lucas Baker, 23) Al
McCoy, 24) Rick Davis, 25) John Finley