Mahoning Valley Speedway celebrated the 2016 season in grand style as a crowd of 300 gathered at the Northampton Community Center in Northampton to pay tribute to this year’s class champions as well enjoy a wonderful evening of a great dinner, a number of special awards and fun and dancing afterwards. For a third time in his storied career Eric Beers was crowned Modified track champion. “The Master of Faster” scored a division best seven feature wins which included the “Break the Ice 75” RoC Tour event on April 23. Beers actually began the year with three straight wins which gave him the momentum to hold the point lead throughout the 23 events that made up the season for the Modifieds. Along the way he reached a milestone by becoming the first driver to achieve 50 career wins with the class. Beers also tied for most heat wins (8), was the leader in top-5s (19) and led a division high 165 feature laps. He had only one finish outside the top 10. After several seasons of coming close to the Late Model crown, Mike Sweeney was not to be denied his very first track championship.
Consistency was his calling card as he began the year by reeling off one top-five after another, most of them coming in the form of 1st or 2nd place finishes. Despite a slight faltering heading into September, Sweeney regrouped and hammered down when it counted most and wrapped up the year with back-to-back wins which included his second straight victory during Octoberfast. He completed the year with eight wins, which was the best in class and picked up 11 heat wins that played a key role to championship point tally. Sweeney, who races the only Ford, was a runner-up a year ago and has regularly been a top five point finisher. He also amassed enough wins also to be named the overall top asphalt Late Model winner in the Northeast.
The 2016 Street Stock campaign was a see-saw battle that was waged between champion Jon Moser and Zach Graver as well as Randy Ahner Jr. Moser, who won the title back in 2008, returned to racing fulltime this past season and never missed a beat despite having the past few years off. He scored three wins, was the top lap leader and also relied on his division leading 17 top-10 finishes to carry him to the title.
For the second straight Ricky Yetter has claimed the Dirt Mod championship. It what was a knock-down-drag-out fight to the finish between him and runner-up Billy Lasko. Yetter did not clinch the crown until the last lap of the last race when he beat out Lasko for his fifth win and eked out the number one spot by a mere two points. Yetter had a record setting season also as he moved to the top of the all-time wins leader list in Dirt Mod with 21.
When Josh Scherer began the season he had a goal in mind which was to win at least seven races and make a run at the Pro 4 championship. Done and done! Scherer took over the point lead by late July and once there never looked back. When he crossed the finish line on the final day as the winner, it was his seventh of the season and just as important it was the crowning moment to his first ever title.
The Hobby stock division saw a record 14 different winners in 20 events and a record 46 different drivers race in at least one feature but despite all that competition, Cody Geist showed who the boss was once again as the driver of the No. 44 Honda roared to his second straight championship. Geist was pretty much in control of the points for the entire year and along the way parked in Victory Lane three times which was tops in class. He also was a 10-time heat winner. Geist then concluded his great year by proposing to his girlfriend Tori Dimmig and without hesitation she said yes.
Top rookie honors where bestowed on Jack Ely, Chris Anderson, Mark Martini, Shawn Hoffman and Avery Arthofer in the Modified, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks respectively.
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