Hearn Wins Ninth Eastern States 200
MIDDLETOWN, N. Y. — With another big Super DIRTcar Series victory, Brett Hearn is on a roll.
This year’s VP Small Engine Fuels 200 champion took the fast time Saturday during qualifying events at Orange County Fair Speedway, locking in the top starting position for Sunday’s Eastern States 200. He wrapped up the night with 358-Modified win, and came back the next day to take home the Eastern States 200 trophy.
“After coming off the big win at Syracuse, and to come here and have a dream weekend, dominating everything from the qualifying events on, I don’t know what to say,” said Hearn. “Somebody’s on my side and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Hearn, whose experience at Orange County Fair Speedway includes eight prior Big-Block Modified Eastern States 200 victories, took the lead at the initial green. He pulled aside for a well-timed pit stop in lap 60 under yellow conditions, making his way back up to third by lap 90. At that point, neither then-leader Tim Fuller nor Kenny Tremont, then in second, had made the mandatory post-lap-60 pit stop requiring drivers to fuel up.
A caution in lap 108 gave Fuller and Tremont the chance to pit without losing laps, but the opportunity came too late. Hearn took the lead in lap 115, and would not relinquish for the remaining 85 laps.
“We don’t want a car that’s going to be good for the first 30 laps; we want one that’s going to be good in the last 30,”” said Hearn. “”We started getting a lot of momentum off turn two. When I’m able to do that here, I’m always fast can do that here.”
Billy Decker finished second after a strong run and a successful lap-60 pit stop helped propel him forward from his ninth starting spot.
“The car was pretty good and we had a great pit stop, it just wasn’t as good as the 20 car,” Decker said.
A pile-up in turns three and four involving Orange County Fair Speedway track champion Jerry Higbie, Donnie Corellis, Pete Britten, Gary Tomkins, Jimmy Phelps, Tim McCreadie, Danny Creeden, and Danny Johnson brought out the only red flag of the race in lap 79. The collision caused Johnson’s 27J to roll over, but when crews righted the 27J car, Johnson was able to wheel away from the scene of the accident virtually unharmed.
Johnson ducked into the pits during caution to freshen up, and broke the top five in lap 125. In lap 190, Johnson passed Jeff Heotzler for fourth place and seemed ready to make a shocking comeback, until a right rear flat in lap 192 took the No. 27j to the pits. Danny Johnson finished 15th.
Tim McCreadie finished third ahead of Jimmy Phelps and Justin Haers.
Brett Hearn, Billy Decker, Tim McCreadie, Jimmy Phelps, Justin Haers, Matt Sheppard, Kenny Tremont Jr., Tim Fuller, Jerry Higbie, Andy Bachetti, Billy VanInwegen, Keith Flach, Rich Scagliotta, Gary Tomkins, Danny Johnson, Vince Vitale, Randy Sherlock, Chris Schultz, Billy Dunn, Ric Hill, Donnie Corellis, Steve Dodd, Jackie Brown, Jeff Heotzler, Ronnie Johnson, Tommy Meier, Chuck McKee, Tyler Siri, Clinton Mills, Bobby Varin, Rob Bellinger, Jeremy Markle, Dominick Buffalino, Pete Briten, Randy Chrysler, Richie Eurich, Tim Currier, Mike Ruggiero, Danny Creeden, Stewart Friesen, Dave Rauscher, Larry Wight, Jimmy Horton, Pat Ward, Tim Hindley.