Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – EAST GREENBUSH, NY – In 2018, two of Lebanon Valley Speedway’s Big Block Modified drivers paired up to tackle the 358-Modified division, and the two are set to do it again this coming season.
Steve Hough and JR Heffner are going to be teammates once again in 2019 at the ‘Valley of Speed,’ hoping one of them will capture the track championship.
Last season, the duo took home three checkered flags in the class. Heffner was victorious twice and finished third in points while Hough nailed down one win and ended the season 13th in the standings.
With a new year comes new optimism and both drivers are hoping to be a dominant force in the class this coming season.
“Last year was a good season for us with the Small Block,” Heffner said. “We’re working on making things better right now and hopefully that will lead to more wins and possibly a title.”
Heffner utilized a Teo Pro Car that Hough had purchased from the Brett Hearn stable last season and a Bedell powerplant between those framerails. The equipment he will use this season, however, is still currently up in the air.
“We’re not sure yet, but we may run a one of my cars,” he said. “We’ll either race last year’s Teo or one of my Bicknell’s. We haven’t put too much thought into the engine just yet though. We won’t do that until the Big Block is done.”
Hough, on the other hand, is excited to see what the 34’s can do on the race track next season.
“Last year, we got three wins as a team and that was great,” Hough said. “I couldn’t be happier with how things went, but now we want to step things up.”
Every time a driver heads out on the speedway, they know there’s a good chance they may not make it to victory lane. Hough is hoping to have more good nights this coming year than bad ones.
“We were good in 2018, but just had a little bad luck,” he said. “If we can eliminate those issues, we’ve got a good chance that one of us could take the championship. I got the title in 2013 and would love to add one as a car owner with JR.”
The driver from East Greenbush, NY has had experience of owning cars for other drivers in the past and has sponsored several others at the same time he’s competed against them. Hough understands what it takes to win, and has tried everything he can to do so, all while enjoying the experience.
“I’m just a bum trying to have some fun in this sport,” Hough said with a laugh. “We’re a small team trying to do big things and hopefully we can accomplish our goals in ’19.”
Heffner feels the same way, and really enjoys the relationship he has with his 358-Modified owner.
“Steve’s been really good to me and our program,” Heffner said. “He’s a nice guy and we’re becoming good friends, even away from the track.”
Nobody can look into the future to see if either of these drivers will be 2019 Lebanon Valley champions. However, you can bet that both Steve Hough and JR Heffner will put in the necessary effort to make this season better than their first as teammates.