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April 26 @6:00 pm All regular track classes

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May 10 @6:00 pm All regular track classes + Small Car Enduro

 

A Healthy John Markovic Scores Mahoning Modified Win

By DINO OBERTO

   (LEHIGHTON, PA 4-19-14) A week ago during the season opener, John Markovic was qualified but missed the feature. The reason – he was rushed to Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown because of an irregular heartbeat. He spent the rest of the weekend in the hospital and thankfully was released and back at work by Monday.

   Returning to race this past Saturday night, Markovic’s clean bill of health was put to the test. Despite having the luxury of starting from the pole, once the race got underway he competed in 35 heart pounding laps and eked out a win over Chip Santee and prior to that went head-to-head with 14-year old rookie Kyle Strohl.

   "Last week at this time I was in the hospital with a 250-beat per minute heartbeat and my blood pressure was way high so this is a big turnaround from then to know," said the well-respected veteran Markovic. With Strohl flanked to his outside for the start, the pair quickly went into an outstanding duel for the lead with Markovic maintaining the advantage but just slightly.

   Markovic is over 40 years older than the upstart but the young lion, driving a Modified for just the second time, was wheeling alongside the master craftsman with precision and accuracy that only comes from years of experience. "Kyle Strohl is a fantastic driver and one day maybe he can drive for me," remarked Markovic. And as they put on their crowd pleasing race for the lead, Santee was closely trailing while clashing with Kris Graver for third.

  Under a lap 28 caution any chance of winning suddenly vanished for Strohl when his car lost power and he had to be pushed behind the wall. His demise allowed Santee the runner-up spot for the restart and once the action resumed he was fast enough to surge past Markovic and take the lead.

   Markovic was quick to return the favor on the ensuing lap and retook his position. From there to the finish he held off Santee to claim the hard earned victory. "I was just trying to take it easy. I didn’t want to use up the 44 (Strohl) and I know I did with Chip (Santee). He had a little better start on that last restart," said Markovic, who garnered his 33rd track win. Kris Graver, Nevin George and Eric Beers completed the top five.

   Earl Paules raced to his second straight Late Model win but it was no easy task as he and Frankie Althouse gave the crowd a stirring duel for the lead in the waning laps of the race.

   In a torrid side-by-side battle for several laps near the end of the race they fought feverously until a caution with four laps to go brought the intense action to a halt. When the yellow had waved Paules was just inches ahead and thanks to a single file restart he then held Althouse at bay for the score.

   Josh Money won the Street Stock feature in a thrilling last lap pass for the lead. Matter of fact is was just a few feet prior to the checkers that he was able to take his only lead of the race.

   On the final lap Jamie Smith was going for the win but he unexpectedly lost power going into the final two turns. Second place runner Steven Steigerwalt was then forced to back off as he was trapped directly behind. Running third at the time, Mooney was alert to the situation and pulled outside of them both while within feet of the finish line.

   What was even more significant was Mooney got into the race as a provisional and started from 21st. It was the first time a driver ever won a feature in that way. The night was perfected when his brother, Justin Mooney, was awarded second place after Steigerwalt failed post-race inspection. The later Mooney also took over as the point leader.

   Defending Dirt Mod champ Jeff Parker rocketed his way around Billy Lowden, Jr., for the lead with seven laps to go and then cruised to victory. Point leader Kevin Graver, Jr., also got by Lowden in the final laps but was unable to do anything when it came to Parker who was too strong for him and everyone else.

   Jake Kibler has gotten off to a great start in the Pro 4 division as he collected his second straight win. Kibler took the lead on a lap 13 restart from early pacesetter Dave Chapman. He then held off Nick Baer who for the second time.

   After a dismal showing in the previous week’s opener, Hobby Stock champion Corey Edelman bounced back with a flawless run, leading all laps en route to getting his first win of 2014.

 

 

 

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MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY 2014

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