Bachetti Is The Hard Clay Master
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Andy Bachetti shook off the bad luck that has plagued him at Orange County Fair Speedway in a big way Sunday afternoon.
The Sheffield, Mass., driver wired the field, leading from start-to-finish to win the inaugural National Dirt Racing League (NDRL) Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP big-block/small-block modified Hard Clay Open presented by United Pump & Tank, East Coast Speed/ECS Auto and West Point Golf.
The event was a co-promotion involving Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media LLC and track managers Michael Gurda IV and Howard Commander.
Bachetti, 38, staved off the race-long advances of young Anthony Perrego, who succumbed to a flat right-rear tire in the final laps, and outdistanced defending Orange County track champion Tim Hindley, who drove from 19th to finish second in the Joe Sarvis-owned No. 94.
“Man, it feels good to be back in victory lane again at Orange County,” said Bachetti, a former track regular who now competes weekly at Accord and Lebanon Valley (N.Y.) speedways. “With all these fans and cars here today, it’s even better.”
Bachetti – a three-time Orange County 358 modified champion – earned $5,000 from the base purse, $400 cash as the halfway leader from Rock Fantasy Concert, Smoke Shop & Pinball Room and an additional $237 in lap money and contingency awards for a total of $5,637 plus.
A field of 59 NDRL modifieds vied for 28 feature starting spots.
Bachetti opted for big-block power in his No. 34 Teo-Pro car. Following a redraw of the top-12 passing-points earners from heat races, he started the 50-lap main from the pole.
Bachetti launched into the lead from the outset. But all eyes were on Perrego early on. The 20-year-old, who started eighth, cracked the top five on lap six in Gary Mann’s New York Truck Parts No. 55. Perrego drove to fourth on lap seven and vaulted to second at the 18th circuit. During the mid-portions of the race, Perrego closed to within a car-length of race-leading Bachetti.
Lapped traffic proved to be a scare for Bachetti at lap 31. In turn two, he briefly tangled with Darwin Greene. The yellow flew for Greene’s ensuing spin. Another quick caution for debris on lap 32 set the stage for a green-flag run.
Perrego chased Bachetti around the five-eighths-mile until his right-rear tire went down on lap 47 to draw the caution.
Hindley, the Fair Oaks, N.Y., driver who had methodically worked through traffic from his 19th starting spot, inherited second. Hindley’s bid ended one spot short, as Bachetti made history earning the first-ever NDRL Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP triumph.
Hindley’s second-place finish was worth $4,000, plus $500 in lap money, $250 from Simplicity Design as the highest-finishing track regular and an additional $210 from McGannon Excavating as the Hard Charger for a total of $4,960.
Accord Speedway short-track ace Danny Tyler of Cottekill, N.Y., finished a solid third, racing inside the top-three for the entire distance in his family owned No. 97T. Tyler earned $2,500 for third, $200 in memory of Judy Tuit courtesy of the Tuit family and Mike Sparta Trucking and $323 in lap money for a total of $3,023 plus contingencies.
Danny Johnson of Rochester, N.Y., guided the Chris Gennarelli-owned No. 86 from 18th position to finish fourth and veteran Jeff Heotzler of Wallkill, N.Y., advanced from 15th to finish fifth in Mel Schrufer’s No. 2a small-block.
Andy Bachetti, Tim Hindley, Danny Tyler, Danny Johnson, Jeff Heotzler, Billy Van Inwegen, J.R. Heffner, Tommy Meier, Stewart Friesen, Jimmy Davis, Brett Hearn, Bob McGannon, Ryan Watt, Matt Billings, Rich Eurich, Anthony Perrego, Jeremy Markle, Donnie Corellis, Darwin Greene, Danny Creeden, Duane Howard, Chris Whitehead, Matt Jester, Gary Edwards Jr., Tim Kerr, Michael Sabia, Jerry Higbie Jr., Craig Mitchell.