MIDDLETOWN, NY – A battle between two of the most iconic Modified drivers in the history of the Orange County Fair Speedway took center stage last Saturday evening as the track presented its final regular season program of the 2018 racing campaign.
Jeff Heotzler Sr. and Richie Eurich, who are only two of four drivers to crack the 50-win barrier during their illustrious OCFS careers, brought the crowd to its feet with another barnburner as they fought for the first-place prize of $6,000 in the 30-lap main event.
When the dust settled, Heotzler raced home with the 53rd victory of his OCFS career after chasing down Eurich, who dominated the race for so many laps.
“The track was really greasy tonight and hard to figure out,’’ said Heotzler. “I just hung back and conserved my tires for later in the race. But I noticed the car was getting better as the race progressed and I really started pushing it with about 10 laps to go.’’
Eurich, meanwhile, started on the pole and was enjoying a comfortable lead over Brendan Finley, Heotzler, Donnie Wilson and Gary Edwards Jr. throughout the event. But Heotzler was finally able to work himself past Finley on the 26th lap and then quickly turned his attention to Eurich.
Heotzler closed in on Eurich during the next circuit around the five-eighths mile, hard clay oval and then found an opening while racing off the second turn on the 28th lap. He moved past Eurich down the backstretch and then went on for the win.
“It was just like the seas parted,’’ said Heotzler. “I knew I had a good car tonight and I just went for it when I saw the opening. This car has been a work in progress, but we’re getting better each time out and I’m pleased how things are going right now.’’
Eurich, who has 50 career wins to his credit, settled for a second-place effort with Finley, Tommy Meier, Stan Frankenfield Jr., Edwards, Craig Mitchell, Brian Krummel, Mat Williamson and Jerry Higbie rounding out the top 10.
By FRANK CATIZONE
MIDDLETOWN, NY – Jeff Heotzler Sr. carved another notch into his racing belt at the Orange County Fair Speedway last Saturday night as he drove to his 52nd career Modified victory at the historic track in the 30-lap main event.
Heotzler, who has struggled throughout the early season, feels he may have finally hit on something good as he took control of the race from the second lap and never looked back.
“Finally, I think we might have something here,’’ said Heotzler. “We’ve been working to get the right set-up for this car and really missed on it a week ago with the new track surface. But I think we’re finally pointed in the right direction.
“I really felt comfortable in the car tonight, and hopefully, this is just the start of some better results this season. I’m hoping I can make a few more visits here (victory lane) before it’s over.’’
Heotzler, after starting on the pole, surrendered the lead to Kirk Horton at the drop of the green and raced in second for one lap. However, he powered past Horton following a second-lap restart and never looked back.
The Jeffer put the Extreme Energy Solutions/Four Star Motorsports Teo Pro Car in victory lane on Saturday night after taking the lead on an early restart and never looking back! The win was much needed after a series of bad luck plagued the team over the last month. The Jeffer looks forward to getting back at it again next Saturday on the Hard Clay. Thank you to all of JHR’s sponsors and supporters to continuing to make the dream a reality!
The Jeffer drove the Extreme Energy Solutions/Four Star Motorsports TEO ProCar to a solid 3rd place finish in the 30 lap feature on Saturday night. The team looks to build on that success this upcoming Saturday!
The official start to the 2017 racing season at OCFS will have to wait another week as rain forced the cancellation of Saturday’s (22nd) opener. We’ll see you all next week!
Extreme Energy Solutions To Serve As Primary Sponsor
March 1, 2017: Jeff Heotzler Racing (JHR) is extremely excited to announce a partnership with Vinny Salerno and Four Star Motorsports that will allow “The Jeffer” to make a serious bid for his 5th Orange County Fair Speedway modified championship this season.
Four Star Motorsports, known for its highly professional and successful operations that in the past featured such legends as Brett Hearn and Tim McCreadie, will return to the sport after a brief hiatus and provide key support and resources to Jeff Heotzler Racing. A fresh Morrison Performance big block engine will bolted in between the frame rails and Keizer Wheels will be utilized on all four corners of the team’s TEO Pro Car.
Salerno is eager to begin this new venture. “I Didn’t have any plans to race again, but this fits my schedule and I like what Jeff and his team are doing. I’m looking forward to it.”
“The Jeffer” will be strapping into his innovative TEO Pro Car that he spent the entire 2016 season engineering, testing and tweaking. There is nothing conventional about the coil-over suspension that features a mash-up of technologies predominantly found in dirt late model and IMCA ranks. “I think we are very close on hitting on something special,” said an optimistic Heotzler. “Nowadays, anybody can go fast if they have the money to buy the best. We’re out to prove that with a little outside the box thinking and courage to stray away from the “norm”, you can go even faster.”
Signing on as the team’s primary sponsor is Extreme Energy Solutions, a research and development firm, a manufacturer, distributor of emissions reduction technology, and other consumer green tech products. “The Jeffer” will headline the Extreme Energy quartet of drivers that also include Tommy Vigh Jr., Connor Otten and Roddy Watts. “We are very grateful that Samuel Burlum (CEO of Extreme Energy Solutions) stepped up and made this happen. We look forward to flying the Extreme Energy colors,” stated Heotzler.
First up for the newly formed team is the Short Track Super Series opener at OCFS on April 8th. The regular points season and race for the championship then kicks off on Saturday April 22nd.
For the latest news and results, follow Jeff Heotzler Racing on Facebook and Twitter (@JeffHeotzlerRacing) or visit jeffheotzlerracing.com.
Here are some highlights from the 2016 Northeast Dirt Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held at the Dirt Motorsports Hall of Fame in Weedsport, New York.
In 5 days, The Jeffer will be inducted into the Northeast Dirt Modified Hall of Fame. We’ll be counting down some of the key moments in his legendary 38 year (and counting) career.
1995: The Lebanon Valley Speedway has been home to some of The Jeffer’s biggest wins. In 1995, aboard the Reclamation 33, he won his 2nd Mr. Dirt Track USA title. His first came in 1987 in the PBR sponsored J&S Racing 74. In addition to the Mr. Dirt Track USA modified wins, The Jeffer has also notched 2 “Race of Kings” small block feature wins at the high banked speedway, occurring in 1988 and 1990.