June 13 2017 (Fair Haven, VT) – King Of Dirt Racing embarked on a brand new adventure Tuesday night with the inaugural Small Block Modified series event. Devil’s Bowl Speedway played host to a solid field of talented drivers who saw defending Albany-Saratoga champion Marc Johnson earn the $3,000 victory. Jessey Mueller and Allison Ricci also scored podium finishes.
With some heavy hitters in house and ‘the bowl’ being neutral territory for most, it was far from business as usual for drivers traveling the brand new Small Block Modified tour. Track regular and King Of The Valley, Kenny Tremont Jr. got the party started by setting the J-Tees Screen Printing fast time for the day during timed hot laps.
‘Iron’ Mike Ricci and the ‘NAPA kid’ Jack Lehner led the field to the green flag, with Ricci taking the early lead. A series of early race cautions slowed the pace, including one for the Andy’s Speed Shop 97 of Jeremy Wilder who suffered front end damage after contact with an implement tire in turn four.
Ricky Davis and James Introne Jr. came together on an attempted restart in turn one, which collected up Brian Whittemore and race leader Mike Ricci who sadly had to go pit side to change a flat tire. Ricci would rejoin the tail of the field, while the others were done for the evening.
KOD race control determined visibility to be challenging for drivers and went away from double file restarts for the remainder of the event. Albany-Saratoga Speedway champion Marc Johnson had maneuvered his way into position and found himself in the lead early in the race.
Jessey Mueller, Allison Ricci, Ronnie Johnson, Jack Lehner, Tim Fuller, and Kenny Tremont Jr. all battled for position inside the top 10. For Lehner it was his first 358 Modified tour start of his young career. Tremont who set fast time and won his heat race displayed veteran patience throughout the 40-lap feature event ultimately ending up 5th.
Ronnie Johnson had a solid run going inside the top five until the halfway mark, where he pulled off with mechanical failure. Matt DeLorenzo had a top five finish coming his way until contact with the turn four retaining wall moved some parts around. He’d power through to the finish, but fell back to 11th at the checkered flag when a right rear tire finally went down on the last lap.
Neil Stratton had his share of woes to start the event, including a pair of tire changes. The Bad Boys Toys 87 would power through to the finish earning an 8th place finish respectively.
Young guns Demetrios Drellos and Brian Gleason played out a similar strategy taking their time after starting deep in the field. By the end of the 40-lap feature event Gleason had worked his way to a 9th place finish, while Drellos crossed the line right behind him in 10th.
In the closing laps of the feature event Tim Fuller had the Slack owned 3RS challenging for a podium finish, as he pressured Allison Ricci for 3rd. The defending Super Dirt Week Small Block champion ran the young lady racer hard and clean settling for 4th at the line. This was all behind Marc Johnson who sailed to the Elmo’s Speed Supply King Of Dirt Racing 358 Modified feature win at Devil’s Bowl.
Johnson was followed by Mueller, Ricci, Fuller, Tremont, Lehner, Hackel, Stratton, Gleason, and Drellos rounding out the top 10.
- Some notable names were absent Tuesday evening starting with Matt Sheppard. Sheppard who previously agreed to fill in for CG Morey had closed on a brand new house and notified Morey he’d be unable to attend. With the news coming the morning of the event, announcer Mike Warren explained during the evening why fans might not see the Super one.
- Brett Hass is serving the community and attending the police academy. The plan was to have Jeff Watson fill in for him until he arrived, but he was forced to miss the opener and should be on tour the remainder of 2017.
- Jason Herrington was unable to attend due to commitments with his family farming business.
- 25 solid 358 Modified competitors made the trip to Vermont, including Mike Maresca. Maresca was pleased with how the series worked and said, “It’s great what KOD is doing for the Small Blocks. I hope to make the rest if I can, but I’d love to see them come to Mohawk or Airborne.”
- Tough start for a pair of KOD regulars; Frank Hoard III and Elmo Reckner. Hoard pulled in early in the show after starting deep and concerns of visibility. Reckner suffered damage to the steering box during heat race events and was sidelined for the evening.
- A duo of W-16 spec engines finished top five; Jessey Mueller and Tim Fuller.
ELMO’S SPEED SUPPLY KING OF DIRT RACING SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED FEATURE RESULTS FROM DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY PRESENTED BY A-VERDI STORAGE (40 Laps) – 1) Marc Johnson, 2) Jessey Mueller, 3) Allison Ricci, 4) Tim Fuller, 5) Kenny Tremont Jr, 6) Jack Lehner, 7) Bobby Hackel IV, 8) Neil Stratton, 9) Brian Gleason, 10) Demetrios Drellos, 11) Matt DeLorenzo, 12) Michael Sabia, 13) Justin Barber, 14) Dave Allen, 15) Shaun Pangman, 16) Ronnie Johnson, 17) Mike Ricci, 18) Nick Lussier, 19) Mike Maresca, 20) Jeremy Wilder, 21) Frank Hoard III, 22) James Introne Jr, 23) Brian Whittemore, 24) Ricky Davis, 25) Elmo Reckner.
King Of Dirt 358 Modified Heat Race #1 Results (10 Laps) – 1) Kenny Tremont Jr, 2) Jessey Mueller, 3) Mike Ricci, 4) Allison Ricci, 5) Mike Maresca, 6) Justin Barber, 7) James Introne Jr, 8) Elmo Reckner, 9) Shaun Pangman.
King Of Dirt 358 Modified Heat Race #2 Results (10 Laps) – 1) Tim Fuller, 2) Neil Stratton, 3) Jack Lehner, 4) Jeremy Wilder, 5) Frank Hoard III, 6) Dave Allen, 7) Ricky Davis, 8) Brian Whittemore.
King Of Dirt 358 Modified Heat Race #3 Results (10 Laps) – 1) Marc Johnson, 2) Matt DeLorenzo, 3) Ronnie Johnson, 4) Bobby Hackel IV, 5) Brian Gleason, 6) Michael Sabia, 7) Demetrios Drellos, 8) Nick Lussier.
King Of Dirt 358 Modified Consolation Results (10 Laps) – 1) James Introne Jr, 2) Demetrios Drellos, 3) Ricky Davis, 4) Nick Lussier, 5) Shaun Pangman, 6) Brian Whittemore, 7) Elmo Reckner.
J-Tees Screen Printing Timed Hot Laps Results – 1) Kenny Tremont Jr (18.285), 2) Tim Fuller (18.342), 3) Matt DeLorenzo (18.474), 4) Jessey Mueller (18.521), 5) Neil Stratton (18.557), 6) Ronnie Johnson (18.597), 7) Mike Ricci (18.748), 8) Jack Lehner (18.756), 9) Marc Johnson (18.777), 10) Mike Maresca (18.819), 11) Jeremy Wilder (18.821), 12) Brian Gleason (18. 887), 13) Shaun Pangman (18.913), 14) Frank Hoard III ( 18.998), 15) Bobby Hackel IV (19.014), 16) Allison Ricci (19.019), 17) Dave Allen (19.037), 18) Michael Sabia (19.107), 19) Justin Barber (19.385), 20) Ricky Davis (19.444), 21) Demetrios Drellos (19.477), 22) Elmo Reckner (19.487), 23) Brian Wittemore (19.550), 24) Nick Lussier (19.942), 25) James Introne Jr. (20.047).
Lap Leaders – Mike Ricci (1-4), Marc Johnson (5-40).
J-Tees Screen Printing Fast Timer – Kenny Tremont Jr. (18.285)
Hoosier Tire Hard Charger – Demetrios Drellos (+10)
Newcomer Of The Race – Jessey Mueller
Fast Axle Super Sixth $50 Bonus – Jack Lehner
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