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Whoa, Nelly! We’re Crowning the King of Spring at Lebanon Valley!

Whoa, Nelly! We’re Crowning the King of Spring at Lebanon Valley!

Memorial Day Weekend marks the first doubleheader weekend of the season for the Super DIRTcar Series and marks the first race for the series since Mat Williamson’a triumph at Bridgeport on April 23rd. The remainder of early May’s Battle at the Fairgrounds at Orange County Fair Speedway was postponed to July after rain moved in prior to the Last Chance races. Now, the series will head to Weedsport Speedway on Sunday for a 100-lap, $7500-to-win affair before moving to Lebanon Valley Speedway on Monday for another 100-lap event that pays $13,500 to the victor, but more importantly, a guaranteed starting spot for the Super DIRT Week finale at Oswego Speedway.

This primer will be slightly different to previous primers, as I will focus exclusively on non-series drivers.

Billy Decker - $21,100

Decker might not be on the tour anymore, but at 58 years of age, he still brings that quality. At the two 100-lap Lebanon Valley SDS events in 2022, Decker finished 3rd and 4th. Overall, Decker has only made 60 starts at Lebanon Valley, but brings 4 victories and has only finished outside of the top 10 on 22 occasions. In 8 starts this season, his average finish comes in at an 8.3, but he has finished inside the top 5 in half of his starts. Decker has a high price tag for someone that lacks of a provisional, but this is Billy Decker we are talking about.

Eddie Marshall - $20,000

Marshall has a higher price tag than I would like to see, but there is still some upside for the local veteran with 21 career LVS victories. First, Marshall has nearly 500 career starts at Lebanon Valley, so if anyone knows the track, it will be him. Secondly, he is coming off of a runner-up performance to Marc Johnson on Saturday night, so he has some nice momentum rolling into Memorial Day. Finally, he finished 6th in this event last year. If he time trials well, have a look.

Andy Bachetti - $19,600

Lebabon Valley Speedway is one of the few tracks that still run both Big Blocks and Small Blocks on a weekly basis. Since 2002, Bachetti has won an astonishing 16 track titles across the two divisions. That is nearly half of all modified track titles that have been handed out over the past two decades. Bachetti has won the past two Mr. DIRT Track USA events at Lebanon Valley and has not lost a track championship since Brett Haas won the Small Block title in 2020. That is 5 of 6 possible titles since 2020...

L.J. Lombardo - $19,500

Lombardo enters the 2023 King of Spring 100 as the defending champion and enters the weekend with a 2023 Lebanon Valley average finish of 5.2, which includes a Small Block opener victory over Andy Bachetti. Lombardo is only 27-years-old, but already holds 13 victories in 108 career starts at the speedway.

J.R. Heffner - $19,200

Heffner was victorious on Opening Night, before following-up with an 8th and a 4th. In 597 starts at LVS, the 51-year-old Heffner has won on 44 occasions and finished inside the top 10 a staggering 432 times. Surprisingly, Heffner's only track titles come from 2007 (Big Block) and 2008 (Small Block). He will definitely be worth a look at this salary.

Kenny Tremont Jr. - $19,000

At 61-years-old, Tremont does not have a whole lot left to prove. In 601 career starts at Lebanon Valley, Tremont has entered victory lane on 118 occasions, which happens to be good enough for #1 all-time. He was able to pick up wins 117 and 118 last season, split between Big Blocks and Small Blocks. In three starts at LVS this year, he brings an average finish of 9, with a best finish of 3rd on May 13th. Tremont is not that guy anymore, but if Billy Moyer can still win races, so can Kenny Tremont.

Keith Flach - $18,500

Flach comes into this event with only 2 top 10s (both at A-S) in 8 starts spread between Lebanon Valley and Albany-Saratoga. This is iffy, but we are also looking at a salary under $19,000, so you have to put the resume under the microscope to truly understand why Flach might be a steal to free up money for the high-dollar SDS drivers. We will start with the obvious; Flach finished 2nd in last year's Mr. DIRT Track USA to Bachetti. We have to venture back to 2018 for another top 10 run in that event, but there is still promise, because in 15 2022 starts at Lebanon Valley, Flach ran inside the top 10 on 9 occasions. It will always be a dice roll with the low salaries, but Flach is definitely an option.

Kolby Schroder - TBA

Schroder is another local contender that picked up two victories at the end of last season to go along with his finishes of 11th and 5th in SDS competition at the circuit. He is off to a nice start in 2023, with an 8th and 3rd in weekly competition. The only blip was his May 13th 25th at Fonda, but Schroder has only made 6 starts outside of his 192 at Lebanon Valley, so this can be completely disregarded. Schroder should have a reasonable salary and he is a solid local driver that might be able to pull off a wild upset if the stars align.

Brett Haas - TBA

Haas picked up a Small Block track title in 2020 and brings an impressive resume of 12 victories and 129 top 10s in only 169 career LVS starts. He ran 12th in this event last year, while finishing in the bronze medal position for Mr DIRT Track USA. Haas is off to not-so-good beginning to his 2023 campaign, bagging his only top 10 on Opening Night. His other two starts saw him finish a dismal 16th and 19th. Even though he has not caught fire yet, Haas is still a former track champion and finished well enough in SDS competition last year to warrant a look.