Congratulations To All Our Competitors For A Great 2014 Season.

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2014 TRACK CHAMPIONS

KRIS GRAVER T.J.GURSKY EARL PAULES
KEVIN GRAVER JR. NICK BAER CORY EDELMAN

 

OCTOBERFAST SATURDAY WINNERS

"Money Man Matt" Wins Mahoning Octoberfast 130

Matt Hirschman collects $5000 in season ending race

By DINO OBERTO 

(LEHIGHTON, PA 10-25-14) It comes as no surprise that whenever there is an extra distance high paying race at Mahoning Valley Speedway, you can expect Matt Hirschman to be vying for the win. 

And, when the checkered flag waved on the Gary Leeís Brown-Daub KIA Octoberfast Modified 130, sure enough there was Hirschman gracing Victory Lane, something that the Northampton driving star has turned into an art form at the paved ľ-mile Lehighton oval.

Fresh off a 100 lap win three weeks earlier, Hirschman drove his J & J Motorsports No. 59 to a rousing $5000 triumph, giving him $9000 in that same span. He has become the career wins leader in 100-plus features at the track with 11 total. In July he won a 100 lapper and another $4000. Hirschman, who started ninth, drove by defending Octoberfast winner Zane Zeiner with 17 laps to go and after several side-by-side laps, went to the front uncontested over the final 10 circuits and then onward to score his second win in the season ending racing.

"What a way to finish the season here. I wasnít here much this year but we sure made it count the last three or four times. It was a great run and a great way to finish the season," said 31-year old Hirschman, who won the inaugural Octoberfast 130 in 2012. "I donít know if I had the best strategy or even the best car today but it worked out that we won."

For the first 99 laps Eric Beers was far and away the car to beat. From the drop of Bobby Stullís race commencing green he quickly put everyone in his dust as the Dave and Laura DeLange owned No. 45 had loads of power and Beers wasnít shy in showing it. There were several who tried to make a challenge such as John Bennett, Nevin George and Earl Paules but none could come close enough to attempt a pass.

Then after a restart on lap 44, Austin Kochenash showed his face after putting on a fine run through the pack. He was in second and stuck right with Beers in a stretch of 46 nonstop laps. Although they ran very close, the leader still demonstrated he wasnít ready to relinquish his stop spot. On lap 90 the action slowed when Kyle Strohl spun in turn two. That yellow would also trigger the start of several more over slowdown periods over the next nine laps that produced drastic changes to the running order.

On the restart Kochenashís hopes of winning where dashed when he got tagged by then third place running Todd Baer and spun. Anthony Sesely had come from 17th and took over second after the demise of Kochenash. Hot on his tail was Zeiner and Hirschman.

A few more yellows would wave for minor incidents but then came the game changer on lap 99. Shawna Ingraham had come to a halt on the back straight. As the leaders where coming full steam off turn two the caution was then displayed. With Ingraham sitting idle on the inside lane, Beers had to quickly move up in order to avoid hitting her. In second at that point was Zeiner with Hirschman third.

For Zeiner there was little time to react and he made contact with Beers who then spun. Hirschman got caught in as well. Unfortunately for Beers he had to relinquish the lead due to a flat tire. When the action resumed Zeiner was the new pace setter with Hirschman second. They would then go into a torrid dogfight for a number of laps in side-by-side formation. With laps running out Hirschman knew the time to make his move was at hand and after the race winning pass on lap 114, there would be no looking back. "We survived a close call on the back straight with that stack-up. My front bumper is all smashed in and that could have easily been a radiator and we would have been done. I was fortunate that it all worked out," said Hirschman.

"I had to be patient and slowly work our way to the front. I got to about fifth and there was still about 40 laps to go and thatís plenty of time here. We had swapped it back and forth before that and it was good racing against Zane (Zeiner)." Beers drove back to a solid third with Sesely and Don Wagner completing out the top five. Baer, Strohl, Dave Sapienza, Kochenash and George rounded out the top 10. "I slipped up and Matt (Hirschman) got a run underneath us," said Zeiner.

Reflecting on the back straight incident that took out Beers he added, "I really do feel bad for Eric (Beers). That wasnít supposed to happen. You have a spit-second decision to make and I made a decision and it probably was the wrong decision at the time and hey, I have to live with it." For the third time in the Octoberfast race Beers had to settle for third. He led last year but was passed by Zeiner with a dozen laps to go. "We had the car to beat tonight," bottom lined Beers. "I gave him (Zeiner) enough room to see that lapped car and he drove into my left rear and thatís basically what happened. I think I had the field covered tonight but it was just one of those unfortunate things."

Heat wins went to Chip Santee, Beers, Ingraham and Paules. Sesely annexed the consi.

Modified Feature Finish (130 Laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Anthony Sesely, 5. Don Wagner 6. Todd Baer, 7. Kyle Strohl, 8. Dave Sapienza, 9. Austin Kochenash, 10. Nevin George, 11. John Markovic, 12. Bobby Jones, 13. Jimmy Zacharias, 14. John Bennett, 15. Roger Coss, 16. Shawna Ingraham, 17. Rusty Smith, 18. Earl Paules, 19. Andrew Krause, 20. Terry Markovic, 21. Brandon Oltra, 21. Chip Santee, 22. TJ Zacharias DNQ: Wilton Nickerson, Barry Callavini, Pat Verwys, Brent Wentz, Chip Wanamaker

 

Zane Zeiner, Dave Chapman and Harry OíNeill

Notch Mahoning Octoberfast Wins

By DINO OBERTO 

(LEHIGHTON, PA 10-25-14) Zane Zeiner of Bath, made a shambles of the Late Model field and won in a very dominating fashion in Mahoning Valley Speedwayís season ending Octoberfast 2014.

Driving Darryl Teresakís No. 76 car, Zeiner proved no match despite being paired against a very stout field. Fifth starting Zeiner went by Mike Sweeney on lap 26 of 60 and from then on proceeded to put on a driving clinic as he motored ahead of the pack with ease and precision on each passing lap.

Had it not been for a caution with a two laps to go, there would have been no one even close to catching him. Zeiner was so strong that he lapped all but second through fourth and was actually closing in on them prior to the final yellow.

"We had come here two weeks earlier and practiced and struggled. My hatís off to Barry Kahnel (crew chief), that guy is amazing in what he taught me. We made a big swing here tonight and it definitely helped that we drove the Modified race earlier in the night because we were able to make changes to this car and I think thatís what helped us get to Victory Lane," said Zeiner who earned $1500 for his efforts. Beforehand Zeiner drove in the Modified portion of Octoberfast and finished second.

Sweeney raced into the early lead with 2014 track champion Earl Paules in tow. That would be the start of a very exciting and torrid battle as they ran two abreast lap after lap which included trading the lead as well. However, by lap 11 Paules began to slip back and Zeiner had taken over second. It was just a matter of time before he would make his move to the front and when he did it was game over for the rest of the field. While Zeiner was running away with the show Sweeney and Frankie Althouse where locked in a blazing fight to the finish. At the checkers Sweeney got the nod. Paules held on for fourth with George Ramos fifth.

Late Model Feature Finish (60 Laps): 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Frankie Althouse, 4. Earl Paules, 5. George Ramos, 6. Jeremy Miller, 7. Geno Steigerwalt, 8. Danielle Paules, 9. Jerry DiNeen, 10. Paul Koehler Jr., 11. Jacob Kerstetter, 12. Kenny Hein, 13. Paul Frantz, 14. John Parker, 15. Mark Tyson, 16. Jacob Nemeth, 17. Paul Effrig, 18. Travis Fisher

 

If youíre going to win your first race why not make it a big one? Thatís exactly what Dave Chapman of Nesquehoning did as he scored the $2000 top prize in the Harryís U-Pull It Street Stock 75 lap event. Chapman, who is a regular in Mahoning Valleyís Pro 4 division, began running a Street Stock midway through the season and immediately showed the potential to win.

After a redraw to determine the starting grid Chapman lined up inside row three. When the race commenced Matt Wentz, who had the pole, led the early going. Chapman quickly settled into third behind Josh Mooney. With the inside lane the preferred line, Chapman was able to sneak by Mooney on lap 11 and three tours later he did the same to Wentz. From there on he would hit his marks perfectly and drove to the memorable win.

"This feels awesome," said an overjoyed Chapman. "I canít thank all my crew enough who help me with the car week after week. We finally got it. "I knew if I just held the bottom and didnít give anyone an opportunity to get underneath me and knock me out of the way I was going to make it happen."

Mooney rode the rear bumper of Chapman during the final 25 laps and although he looked equally as fast, just couldnít find the opening to make a pass. Steven Steigerwalt, point champion TJ Gursky and Jillian Long rounded out the top five.

Street Stock Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Dave Chapman, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Steven Steigerwalt, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Jillian Long, 6. Zach Graver, 7. Paul Morgan Jr., 8. Randy Ahner Jr., 9. Todd Ahner, 10. Jason Kuhn, 11. Aaron Kromer, 12. Cody Geist, 13. Gene Bowers, 14. Jared Ahner, 15. Cory Edelman, 16. Steve Hoffman, 17. Stacey Brown, 18. Matt Wentz, 19. Tommy Flanagan, 20. Brian Labar, 21. Jamie Smith, 22. Jonathan Tracey DNQ: Justin Mooney, Troy Bollinger, Gary Noe, Steve Shultz, Jerry Brighthaupt, Rich Emel, Dennis Lilik

 

Harry OíNeill of Mountain Top hasnít raced much at Mahoning Valley but when he does he sure makes it count. OíNeill claimed the win in the 50 lap Hobby Stock feature and pocketed a career high $500.  It was his second win in only five starts.

OíNeill took the lead away from JP Curry after a lap nine restart and never looked back. Good thing too as there was a bevy of bumping and banging taking place behind him. Cody Geist placed a solid second with Curry, Scott Adams and Rich Emel completing the top five.

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Harry OíNeill, 2. Cody Geist, 3. JP Curry, 4. Scott Adams, 5. Rich Emel, 6. Colin Bollinger, 7. Max Emel, 8. Tim Oswald DNS: Daniel Hargan

 

OCTOBERFAST SUNDAY WINNERS

 

Ricky Yetter In Dirt Mods and Kris Graver In SpeedSTRs

Bring Mahoning Valley Speedway Season To A Close

By DINO OBERTO 

(LEHIGHTON, PA 10-26-14) Winning the Mahoning Valley Speedway Octoberfast Dirt Mod 60 sponsored by Tom Ring was welled scripted for Eastonís Ricky Yetter.

In the weeks leading up to the $3000 to win show Yetter regularly noted that he was fixated on winning this race. After his early season hopes of a track title had faded in the final month, he went to work on getting his car set up for the long haul run and it showed, winning twice while reeling off a strong of top-5s over the last five regular season races.

As race day finally arrived Yetter was loaded for bear. He first notched a win in his heat then after a redraw he picked the number two starting spot. When the race got underway he wasted no time in dashing past Dave Gorbatuk for the lead and would never surrender it the rest of the way. "Iím just so happy and I worked my tail off to get to this race. I got the best crew and I have to thank them all and my great sponsors. I just wanted to complete the mission," said Yetter.

Yetter may have led every lap but there was plenty of pressure being applied. Mark Martini had a nice drive going in second spot over the first dozen laps. Point champion Kevin Graver Jr., then got by Martini after a lap 15 restart and just short of halfway the 2013 Octoberfast winner Ricky Ross Jr., became a factor.

With very few cautions traffic was everywhere but Yetter was able to pick and choose his spots with little trouble despite Graver and Ross weighing down on him. Each time Graver tried to use a back-marker to set up a pass and each time Yetter was quick to clear the hassle. "It was hectic. When you pass someone on the outside it takes the momentum out of you. I tried to run the bottom most of the time but with lapped cars we had to make some wise moves," said Yetter. Ross took over second after a lap 38 restart and he too would hound Yetter but once again he was unaffected by the persistence of his challengers.

"I was a little worried towards the end because this is a 32 gallon fuel cell and running on alcohol Ė man it got tight at the end when the weight came off the back of the wheels and I was wondering if I had enough in the right rear to make it," said Yetter.

Ross scored second at the finish with Graver Jr., Scott Adams and Kris Graver rounding out the top five.

Dirt Modified Feature Finish (60 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Ricky Ross Jr., 3. Kevin Graver Jr., 4. Scott Adams, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Aleia Geisler, 7. Dave Gorbatuk, 8. Heath Metzger, 9. Bill Briggs, 10. Paul Effrig, 11. Richie Pratt Jr., 12. Guy Harby, 13. Billy Lasko, 14. Bill Sittler Jr., 15. Mike Stofflet, 16. Mark Martini, 17. Ray Deemer, 18. Drew Reinbold, 19. Jack Ely, 20. Steve Folk, 21. Jesse Mueller 22. JP Curry

 

 

 In the 40 lap USAC SpeedSTR feature, a very diverse and impressive field of drivers where on hand but when it was all said and done Kris Graver once again emerged as the winner after a thrilling late race pass over Ryan Smith.

 When the SpeedSTRs first raced at Mahoning Valley in June, Graver was offered a ride and despite never even sitting in a car, went on to a huge upset win. With the class back as part of the trackís season ending show, Graver was again recommended to wheel a car and once again it would be with some pretty heavy hitters in Northeast short track racing.

Fresh off his huge win with the World of Outlaws at Port Royal Speedway in less than 24 hours, Smith was at Mahoning and drew the pole. As the race began so too did Smith who set out on a fast pace. Graver, who started third, had a torrid battle for a number of laps with Tim Buckwalter. After shaking free of him by lap 18 Graver then set his sight on Smith.

After chasing Smith for a run of 10 laps, Graver then went to the high side and began an energizing battle for the lead. In the final eight laps the pair but on a terrific fight in side-by-side formation. With five to go Graver had just eked out front but the lap was called back when Frank Yankoswki lost a wheel. Good thing for Smith too because he had spun after the fact while trying to regain the lead. On the single file reset Smith charged out ahead but Graver was not ready to throw in the towel. It all came down to the final two laps. Graver blasted to the high groove and thrust past Smith as the white flag came out which sealed his fortune. Two starts in a SpeedSTR and two wins.

"That was one heck of a race Ryan (Smith) and I put on. It was absolutely phenomenal and that was the most fun I had in a long time," said Graver after his $3000 win. "These cars are a handful. Itís all about momentum and you just have to bide your time."      Kevin Graver Jr., Buckwalter and Mike Bednar completed the top-5.

 

SpeedSTR Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Ryan Smith, 3. Kevin Graver Jr., 4. Tim Buckwalter, 5. Mike Bednar, 6. Kyle Lick, 7. Billy Pauch Jr., 8. Frank Cozze, 9. Brandon Grosso, 10. Earl Paules, 11. Frank Yankowski, 12. Matt Janisch, 13. Jason Miller, 14. Nick Baer, 15. Rick Kirkendall, 16. Kenny Brightbill, 17. Barry Christman Jr., 18. Ryan Karchun, 19. Wayne Weaver

 

In the All-Star Slingshot main John Gilroy took the lead at the drop of the green and held tight for all 25 laps. Closing in on him in the waning laps was Dylan Hoch but with two to go he suddenly fell off the pace allowing Gilroy to cruise to the win.

In an exciting two car duel from start to finish, Joel Smith pulled off a last lap pass over Dylan Martin to win the Stage 1 Modified feature.

10-year old Ryan Graver of Lehighton went wire-to-wire in winning the Jr. Slingshot feature. It was his first time racing at the track and with the win it continued a family tradition of winning as a fourth generation of Mahoning racers.

Alex Greenzweig not only led every lap of the Micro Stock feature but he claimed the 2014 championship with the Micro Stock Racing Series in the process.

In the Jr. Sportsman Champ Kart event John Kendall fended off Brayden Spencer for the win.

Mahoning Dirt Mod regular JP Curry was able to lead every lap en route to victory in the Sr. Champ Kart race.

John Kendall defeated Brayden Spencer in the Jr. Sportsman event.

 

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MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY 2014

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