Kyle Strohl Moving Up To Mahoning
Valley Speedway Modified Division
By Dino Oberto
(PALMERTON, PA 2-25-14)
Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Modified division stands as one of the
best weekly classes in short track racing for the powerful pavement
pounders. Last year alone some of the region’s most celebrated stars
took wins including track champion Eric Beers along with Matt
Hirschman, Zane Zeiner, Nevin George, Earl Paules and Chip Santee to
name a few.
They along with
all the other top names will return for another season starting on
Saturday, April 12 when the Lehighton quarter mile swings in action
with a $4000-to-win 100 lap feature. While the familiar drivers will
be looking to capture the big Opening Night victory, another will be
looking to embark on the next step in his career.
14-year old Kyle
Strohl of Palmerton is making the move into a Modified. He is
certainly no stranger to the fans at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the
past two seasons he marveled when it came to winning.
In 2012 he raced
in two classes, Pro 4 and Street Stock and at 12 years of age became
the youngest driver at the time to win a feature event at Mahoning
Valley. He won eight times with the Pro 4 and four with Street
Stock, which was best in class and earned Rookie of the Year in both
divisions. He was also named 2012 Rookie of the Year by Checkered
Flag Fan Club. In 2013 he again ran two cars and although he was
shutout of victory with the Street Stock, he was on mission when it
came to the Pro 4, winning an unprecedented 11 features including
three in a row on two occasions which led to the ultimate prize, a
track title. In just two seasons of stock car racing Strohl became
the youngest driver to reach the 20-win mark at Mahoning. His
current tally stands at 23.
Prior to Mahoning
Valley, Strohl raced in quarter midgets, starting at age 4. He
racked up countless wins including 66 features during his last year
with those cars. He also contested with a Stage 1 Modified at
Borger’s Speedway in 2011 and not surprising won there too. Now the
young talent is ready to pursue his biggest task yet with the
Modified. "I’m really excited and nervous at the same time. We’re
switching to a lot of horsepower as compared to the Street Stock and
Pro 4," said Strohl. "I realize the challenge and know there are a
lot of great competitors in the Modified class. I just have to hang
with them as much as I can and stay focused. I know I have to earn
their trust and respect.
"I really looked
up to guys like Eric Beers, Chip Santee, Nevin George and Earl
Paules who are all great racers as is everyone who runs in the class
as Mahoning. Getting this opportunity to now race against them is
going to be amazing." Strohl will have a former Jimmy and TJ
Zacharias run Troyer car which will carry his signature No. 44 along
with his returning sponsors Paul’s Garage, Shear-N-Vee Salon, Al
Newhard, Trucking, Rex Equipment, Woodring Plumbing & Heating and
Don Laine Campground.
He is anxiously
awaiting the upcoming Test and Tune days on March 22, 29 and April
5, 6 for the much needed practice. A proven quick learner, Strohl
should adapt well thanks to his natural ability behind the wheel of
a race car. "These past two seasons have been a great learning
experience for me. I could feel the track more on where I can and
can’t put the car. Mahoning is such a tough track and believe me
it’s all true when they say if you can race there you can race
anywhere else," he explained.
"I have to learn
to be a little easier on the gas. There is so much power and we’ve
been learning so much since we got the car. It’s all going to come
down to track time. My main goal will be to bring it home each night
in one piece. Of course I will try my best to win this year. I have
a 10 year win streak going from the time I started with quarter
midgets and would love nothing better than to keep it rolling. We
know that if a win comes it will be awesome."
Racing a Modified
can indeed be a tall order, especially for a 14-year old. But Strohl,
who is always a fan favorite, will look to resume his rise to
stardom as one of the weekly picks at Mahoning Valley and with the
help of his father and crew chief, Tim Strohl and former racing
grandfather Paul Strohl, there is little doubt this up and coming
talent will have a smooth transition.
Bigger Paying Races,
"Mid-Summer Thunder" & Two-Days of
Octoberfast Highlight ’14
Mahoning Valley Speedway Schedule
Speedway’s 2014 race schedule is complete. The paved quarter mile
oval in Lehighton will be busy each weekend starting with pre-season
practice in late March and concluding with the annual Octoberfast.
may be a small bullring but bigger is better when it comes to this
track. Bigger in the sense of healthier payouts which will highlight
a number of ’14 events.
Opening Night on Saturday April 12 as the official season kickoff
date, an impressive line-up of feature races will include a 100 lap
main for the headline Modifieds and pay $4000 to win, the most ever
offered for a 100 lapper.
Also on the
evening’s card will be a pair of 50 lappers for the Late Models and
Street Stocks with $1200 and $1000 respectively going to the winners
plus there will be a 40 lap Dirt Mod show with $1000 awaiting the
first to cross the finish line.
will also see extra cash features on June 21 with $2000-to-win twin
50s, a $3500-to-win 100 lap meet on July 26 and another $4000, 100
lap race October 4.
The money train
then culminates with the annual Octoberfast 130 lap feature with no
less than $5000 going to the winner.
Street Stocks and Dirt Mods will also have more than one night of
extra distance/money races for the first time ever in a season and
all are included during Octoberfast.
This marks the
third consecutive season that promoter Floyd Santee has increased
the purses for these classes as he continues to strive at making
Mahoning Valley a great place for fans and drivers.
New and exciting
to Mahoning Valley is the recently announced "Mid-Summer Thunder!
Where Dirt Stars Meet The Asphalt."
Sunday afternoon, June 29 program will consist of the Sunoco USAC
Championship SpeedSTRs along with the National Slingshot All-Star
National Slingshot Tour, the Micro Stock Racing Series, Champ Karts
and the Vintage Division of the ATQMRA.
It will be the
first time for the SpeedSTRs racing at Mahoning Valley and included
in the lineup will be some of the best dirt track drivers in the
business including the likes of Kenney Brightbill, Billy Pauch Sr.,
and Jr., Rick Eckert, Jeff Struck and a host of others, most of whom
compete each Wednesday night at the JeffreyHogueRealtor.com Action
Track USA in Kutztown.
In a special
cross-advertising deal, Mahoning has teamed with Kutztown promoters
Rich Tobias and Doug Rose to bring the SpeedSTRs and Slingshots to
Lehighton for not only the June event but also as part of this
year’s Octoberfast 2014.
And keeping with
the theme of bigger is better, that news means that Octoberfast will
now be a two-day affair. The Modifieds, Late Models and Street
Stocks will run on Saturday, October 25 with the following Sunday
slated to have the Dirt Mods, SpeedSTRs, Slingshots and Micro
Enduro’s will be in action on three occasions this season on May 10,
July 12 and September 27. The lightning fast Three Quarter Midgets
of the ATQMRA will hit the track for their season opener on April 19
and return again on July 19 and August 9. The Micro Stock Racing
Series are inked on May 3, June 7, June 29, August 23, September 14
and October 26. The 4c Super Mods are on for three shows, June 14,
August 16 and August 30.
popular Fan Appreciation Night is set for June 7 with an $8 general
admission. Mahoning has added a second discount night on August 9
will be present at the 29th edition of the Motorsports Race Car and
Trade Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, January
Speedway is located on PA route 443, two miles west of Lehighton.
Weekly Saturday night action begins at 6:00 p.m. Regular divisions
include Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Dirt Mods, Pro 4s and
4-Cylinder Hobby Stocks.
Speedway Sets ’14 Opening Date With $$$ Events
Opening Day April 12, 2014 –Mods
100 laps $4K to win, LM 50 Laps $1200 to win, SS 50 Laps
$1K to win, Dirt Mods 40 Laps, $1Kto win
(LEHIGHTON, PA 10-31-13) The
dust has barely settled on the season ending Octoberfast 2013 at
Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway and the popular paved quarter
mile oval is already looking ahead to next season. Not one to rest
on his laurels, track promoter Floyd Santee has inked Saturday April
12, 2014 as the official season kickoff date. Race time is 6:00 p.m.
And in typical Santee style,
the year will be ushered in with an impressive line-up of feature
races that will include a 100 lap race for the headline Modifieds
and pay $4000 to win, the most ever offered for a Mahoning 100
Also on the evening’s card
will be a pair of 50 lappers for the Late Models and Street Stocks
with $1200 and $1000 respectively going to the winners plus there
will be a 40 lap Dirt Mod show with $1000 awaiting the first to
cross the finish line.
Octoberfast 2013 brought down
the curtain with a stellar field of cars, amazing racing and an
outstanding crowd and although there will be no racing for the next
few months, Santee is looking to keep the energy going over the
offseason with the announcement of the impressive lid-lifter for
He also noted that this is
just the tip of the iceberg of what lies ahead for the upcoming
year. Additional news will be forthcoming and the complete schedule
is currently in the works and will be released soon.
The 2013 Awards Banquet will
take place on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Northampton
Community Center in Northampton. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and dinner
will be served at 6:00. Cost of tickets is $55 each. Tickets must be
ordered no later than December 28.
Mahoning Valley Speedway is
located on PA route 443, two miles west of Lehighton. Additional
info can be found on the track’s website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com
Also on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway or call the track
office at 570-386-4900.