posted April 21, 2002 10:42 AM
HEARN TAKES GABLE TO VICTORY LANE
ON THE TEAMS MAIDEN VOYAGE AT LEBANON VALLEY
SATURDAY APRIL 20, 2002
WEST LEBANON, NY- Lebanon Valley Speedway threw the green flag on their 50th
anniversary of competition Saturday night. A tremendous opening day crowd
braved the cool night and was rewarded with great high-banked racing action.
Brett Hearn on his maiden voyage in the Gable Motorsports owned BUDWEISER
sponsored #1 Modified started off the new season in style with a dominating
victory in the 50-lap modified feature. Rob Yetman was equally as dominant
with a victory in the 20-lap Pro Stock main. L&M MOTORS, MANE ATTRACTION and
J.D. HANDLING / HEAVY HAULER were responsible for bringing us this opening
night of racing.
Thirty-four cars took the green flag for the first modified feature of
the season. Nassau's, Guy Sheldon, took the lead at the start of the event
and led the first fifteen laps. Sheldon would fade slightly in the second
half of the race, but finished a very respectable seventh. Young DIRT
sensation, Andy Bachetti, has decided to call Lebanon Valley his home for the
2002 season. Unfortunately, a heat race incident damaged his car severely and
he had to park his car after completing one lap in the feature. Ten cars were
involved in a turn one pileup on lap four. Defending track champion, Kenny
Tremont Jr was involved, but continued with apparently no damage. The same
could not be said for Rich Ricci Jr as his damaged car took him out of
contention for the victory. Ricci did return to race, but was two laps down.
The caution flag flew early and often in this race as the third yellow
came out on lap five. Dave McFeeters and Rob Pitcher got hooked together
coming off turn four came to a stop. The rest of the field had to take
drastic measure to avoid the disabled racers. While all this bumping and
banging was going on the Budweiser #1 of Hearn was steadily moving up from
his 20th starting spot. Hearn sat in the runner-up spot by lap 13. Dave
Leckonby is fielding his own race team in 2002. His Pik-A-Nut sponsored #88
looked real sharp to start the evening, but heavy contact with the turn one
wall on lap 15 ended his chances at a strong opening night finish. The
ensuing restart was all Hearn needed to finish off the pack.
Hearn was able to drive under Sheldon on the restart and completed the
pass going into turn three. The Queens Machine of Maynard Forrette was
lightning fast on opening night as well. Forrette slipped by Sheldon for
second on lap 19, but disaster struck on lap 27 as a left rear tire went
flat, forcing him to retired from the event. Chris Moore was the benefactor
of Forrette's misfortune as he moved his Overbaugh #10 into second position.
J.R. Heffner is back behind the wheel of the A. Colarusso & Son #74 in 2002.
Heffner won his heat race and was considered one of the pre-race favorites.
Heffner was extremely patient in the first half of the event, but moved into
third on lap 29.
The last caution flag of the race came out on lap 30, effectively erasing
the huge lead that Hearn had established. Tremont recovered from his early
race woes to take over fourth on the restart. Tremont's Emerick Associates
#115 and #74 of Heffner were the show in the final stages of the race. The
two battled side by side until Tremont was able to pull the slide job on lap
43. Tremont closed in on Moore in the final laps and even tried a pass on the
final lap, but Moore held him off to take second. Tremont would have to
settle for third, Heffner fourth and Pitcher fifth. John Hewitt finished a
strong sixth in his Rifenburg #24. As mentioned before Sheldon was seventh,
Matt Quinn eighth, Hector Stratton ninth and Steve Devine rounded out the top
The modified drivers must have been a little anxious Saturday night as
the caution flag flew seven times and only thirteen cars were running at the
end of the race.
It was and impressive run for Hearn who took the checkered flag nearly a
straightway ahead of Moore. It was the first outing for Hearn in his new
Gable Motorsports ride. In victory lane Hearn thanked the crew for giving him
such a potent car on opening night.
The Pro Stocks were also on hand for opening night and their feature was
20 laps in distance. Rob Yetman took command on the event from his front row
starting spot and never looked back. Only two caution flags slowed the event
(they must not have been as anxious as the modified drivers). Robbie Speed
took over second on lap two and held that spot until Jim Lagenback made a
pass on lap 14. Lagenback tired to run Yetman down, but he was much to strong
tonight. Speed would settle for third with Tom Brandt fourth and Al Blackburn
rounding out the top five.
The winners of the Pure Stocks races were George Miles Jr. Michael
Middleton, Jim Hankey and Pete Wiegand. Jason Dibello of Averill Park, NY,
won the Rookie Pro Stock feature.
Next Saturday night Waste Management and Sheldon Oil Services will bring
us the action. The modifieds will be back in action as well as opening night
for the Sportsman. Pro Stocks, Rookies and Pure Stocks are also on the card.
A cannonball feature will cap off the night's activities. Racing action gets
underway at 6:15, don't miss out on all the excitement that Lebanon Valley
Speedway has to offer in 2002.
L & M MOTORS, MANE ATTRACTION, J. D. HANDLING / HEAVY HAULER MODIFIED FEATURE
(50 LAPS) - 1) Brett Hearn, 2) Chris Moore, 3) Kenny Tremont Jr, 4) J.R.
Heffner, 5) Rob Pitcher, 6) John Hewitt, 7) Guy Sheldon, 8) Matt Quinn, 9)
Hector Stratton, 10) Steve Devine, 11) Denny Soltis, 12) K. C. Goewey, 13)
Ernie Palmer Jr, 14) Stanley Wetmore, 15) Rich Ricci Jr, 16) John Alberti,
17) Eddie Marshall, 18) Maynard Forrette, 19) Jason Tompkins, 20) Jason Goff,
21) Donnie Corellis, 22) David Sanchez, 23) Sparky Lowe, 24) Dickie Larkin,
25) Dave Leckonby, 26) Mike King, 27) Hawley Smith, 28) Dave McFeeters, 29)
Wes Powell, 30) Charlie Humes, 31) Ron Blake, 32) Paul Gilardi, 33) Andy
Bachetti, 34) Dave Mosher,
PRO STOCK FEATURE (20 LAPS) - 1) Rob Yetman, 2) Jim Langenback, 3) Robbie
Speed, 4) Tom Brandt, 5) Al Blackburn, 6) Bob Duzlak Jr, 7) Rich Colesanti,
8) Danny Sanchez, 9) Buddy Hencke, 10) Paul LaRochelle, 11) Dan Blackburn,
12) Jim Dellea, 13) Chris Crews, 14) Paul Rogers, 15) Tom Faxon, 16) Nick
Rogers, 17) Dave Dowd, 18) Brian Keough, 19) Adam Haas, 20) Ed Bachand, 21)
ROOKIE FEATURE (10 LAPS) - 1) Jason DiBello, 2) Bill Lobdell, 3) Bill
Hammell, 4) Mark Forrest, 5) John Santolin, 6) Chris DeCiel, 7) Larry Megan,
8) Joe Mabb Jr, 9) John Danylicko, 10) Jay Corbin, 11) Chris Claus
PURE STOCK #1 (8 LAPS) - 1) George Miles Jr, 2) Ronny Jacobsen, 3) D.T.
Pickard, 4) Bob Burl, 5) Jim O'Neil, 6) Mark Witherell, 7) Mike Eichstedt, 8)
Bill Gordon, 9) Chris Stalker, 10) Mark Huston, 11) Dave Houser, 12) Michael
Dianda, 13) David Stickles, 14) Mark Stevens, 15) John Chapman, 16) Fay
PURE STOCK #2 (8 LAPS) - 1) Michael Middleton, 2) Jay Martin, 3) Keith
Barlow, 4) Chrissy Hilt, 5) Kevin Dolan, 6) John Rivers Jr, 7) Nick Hilt Jr,
8) John Betz, 9) Dan Crosby, 10) Jeff Wilbur, 11) Jeremy Pease, 12) Kevin
Hilt, 13) Phil Moffit, 14) Ryan Hover, 15) Rich Douglass, 16) Dave Atwater
PURE STOCK #3 (12 LAPS) - 1) Jim Hankey, 2) Bruce Moffit, 3) Brian Sandstedt,
4) Steve Hatch, 5) Joe DiStefano, 6) Ryan Coon, 7) Jim Fachini, 8) George
Miles III, 9) Chris Hutnik, 10) Paul Harding, 11) Kory Sandstadt, 12) Don
Coon, 13) Bob Chenette, 14) Dwayne Dauski, 15) Gene Cushman, 16) Scott Kilmer
PURE STOCK #4 (12 LAPS) - 1) Peter Wiegand, 2) Bob Palmer, 3) Randy Myers, 4)
Chris Streeter, 5) Ronald Johnson, 6) Robert Gibson, 7) Earl Soulier Jr, 8)
Michael Davis, 9) Brian Formel, 10) Ron Tritschler, 11) Shannon McDermott,
12) Lee Gallant, 13) Jeff Douglass, 14) Marcus Tifft, 15) John Denue, 16)
CANNONBALL - 1) Al Relyea, 2) Nathan Sanford, 3) Rick Dempsey, 4) Keri Van
Denburg, 5) Mike Pfau, 6) John Hughes, 7) Robin Pough, 8) Dan Day, 9) Rich
Sanford, 10) Ed Eldert, 11) David Trombley, 12) Rob Schroeppel, 13) Travis
Sanford, 14) Bert Long, 15) Anthony Arcoleo, 16) Matt Mellan, 17) Rick
Milanese, 18) Chris Gudath, 19) Frank Bruckman