Mahoning Sportsman Modified winner Bobby Jones showed the youth why he’s one of the best; Nick Ross and Mark Hudson again battle for Late Model laurels on August 13th
By DINO OBERTO
Elder statesman Bobby Jones showed why he is among the all-time best racers at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the 50-year old standout veteran prevailed with the Sportsman Modifieds over a very talented set of younger drivers who have been taking the spotlight with the class for most of the season. Jones was making his first start of the season with the division driving the Paul French Sr., No. 12 and bested an endowed group of youthful racers. He inherited the lead after front runners Jaden Brown and Nick Baer made contact on a lap three restart and spun. Jones was elevated to the top spot afterwards and would then put his years of knowledge to work in fending off his opponents. Brody George ran an impressive second to Jones for most of the race but he unfortunately spun with four laps to go and brought out a caution. Over the final circuits Brown was now on Jones’ tail and gave him all he could handle to the finish. Surprisingly Jones was slowing up near the end but it was a tactful move on his part in doing so. “I was trying to stay tight with a real tight race car so I just slowed down or else I would have washed out and it was better to just slow up at that point,” said Jones, who won for the 56th time in his career. “I was real fast early on and then I just started to slow down bad and get tight. I knew he (Brown) was there and figured he’s better than me so I just stayed on the bottom and did my job and here we are.” Taking third spot was the Zach Lenardo, a rookie driver who has shown steady improvement each time out. George came back to take fourth with point leader Baer scored fifth. Jones doesn’t race the Sportsman Modifieds often at Mahoning but on those occasions he’s proved his prowess each time. He has wins and a championship with the same car at Evergreen Raceway. “These (cars) are harder to drive that’s for sure. Once I got the lead I didn’t really know where I could be and I could put the car out further when it wasn’t so tight,” he said. “I didn’t know where I needed to be so I just slowed down and put it on the bottom and figured I need to see where the others are and from there I knew what I had to do.”
In the nonstop Late Model feature Nick Ross and Mark Hudson once again fought to the finish. And, once again Ross denied Hudson of a victory. Grabbing the lead from the outset Hudson was quick to set the early pace over Geno Steigerwalt while Ross and Frankie Althouse went back and forth for third spot.
While Hudson continued to maintain his lead, Ross meanwhile got by Althouse on lap four and four trips later unseated Steigerwalt for second. Even though Ross was now runner-up Hudson looked solid while the laps clicked off. But as the race was nearing ending laps traffic came into play and Ross was able to hone in and catch the leader. Racing side-by-side, Ross, who was working the outside lane, had the momentum to get by Hudson and hold on for a close victory, his fourth of the year. For a third time this season Hudson would have to settle for the bridesmaid spot. Third place went to Althouse.
Tucker Muffley won for the first time this season with the Street Stocks and had to beat a pair of Flanagan’s to do so. Thomas Flanagan was the early leader while Randy Green and Muffley ran two-by-two behind him. Muffley had been positioned on the top lane all the while and after nine laps was able to get past Green and he then moved in on Flanagan. Two laps later he was being scored as the new leader of the race but no sooner did he take care of one Flanagan in came the other as point leader Tommy Flanagan was on his tail and would remain there the rest way. Muffley though would never waver and picked up the rousing victory, his second such with the Streeters.
The Hobby Stock main was not only a hotly contested race that saw Jacob Boehm collect the win under a tight pack of cars, but there was also some mid-race excitement when Lyndsay Buss rolled her No. 9 while trying to avoid an incident that was unfolding ahead of her on lap seven. Track personnel where quick on the scene and thankfully all was okay with Buss as she received a thunderous applause from the crowd after exiting her car. Once the race resumed Boehm, who had taken the lead from Ralph Boger Jr., on lap six, was in the grip of an intense battle for the lead with Travis Solomon and Cody Boehm. Several times Solomon and J. Boehm went toe-to-toe while C. Boehm tried to sneak inside both. The intenseness would go right down to the wire with J. Boehm just holding on for his first win of 2022. His brother C. Boehm eked out second spot over Solomon while Shayne Geist and Corey Edelman rounded out the top five and all under a blanket.
Parker Ahner and Maggie Yeakel waged a fan pleasing late race thriller in the Futures feature. With one lap to go Ahner, who had been leading from lap two, saw Yeakel unseat him with a bump and run and in the process he got loose and nearly lost control. Amazingly he was able to make a save and drove back past Yeakel for his class leading sixth win of the year.
The East Coast TQ Midgets where on hand and driving to a solid victory was Jasper Zeigafuse over Tyler Wagner.
Sportsman Modified feature finish (25 laps): 1.Bobby Jones, 2. Jaden Brown, 3. Zach Lenardo, 4. Brody George, 5. Nick Baer, 6. Paul French Sr., 7. Greyson Ahner
Late Model Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. Mark Hudson, 3. Franke Althouse, 4. Geno Steigerwalt, 5. Mike VanFossen, 6. Rich Cooper, 7. Seth VanFossen, 8. Micah Adams, 9. Todd Cooper, 10. Brooks Smith
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Tucker Muffley, 2. Tommy Flanagan, 3. Jon Moser, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Mark Deysher, 7. TJ Gursky, 8. Randy Green, 9. Rick Reichenbach, 10. Matt Schlenker, 11. Logan Boyer, 12. Brandon Christman, 13. Josh Mooney, 14. Jillian Snyder, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Bobby Kibler Jr., 17. Cody Geist, 18. Thomas Flanagan, 19. Matt Kocher
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Jacob Boehm, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Shayne Geist, 5. Corey Edelman, 6. Dave Kerr, 7. Jake Kibler, 8. Dave Imler Jr., 9. Don Bauder, 10. James Tout, 11. Mike Horn, 12. Ralph Boger Jr., 13. Mallory Kutz, 14. Jared Frye, 15. Lyndsay Buss, 16. Nicholas Kerstetter
ECTQM feature finish (20 laps): 1. Jasper Zeigafuse, 2. Tyler Wagner, 3. Josh Paterson, 4. Steven Nederostek, 5. Jason Hentrich, 6. Vinny Testinaro, 7. Mark Czervinski, 8. Ozzy Carlino, 9. Don Zirinski
Lesser powered Sportsman Modified of Jaden Brown beats ‘em all in Del Hahn Tribute 77-lapper Modified main at Mahoning Valley Speedway on August 6
By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 8-6-22) Mahoning Valley Speedway presented another installment in the popular Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) with the Del Hahn Tribute, which honored the two-time champion from the speedway’s dirt days and as well as his accomplishments on the pavement. With Hahn’s signature 7over7 number as his trademark, the Modifieds raced in a 77-lap feature and picking up a surprise win was Kunkletown’s Jaden Brown who wheeled his Sportsman Modified, doing so with a magnificent flag-to-flag run from the lead position and beating Kyle Strohl to the checkers.“Wow we just did this with a 602 Crate (engine) and I’m speechless,” said Brown, who has three Sportsman wins this season.“I did my best to save my tires and stayed focused on hitting my marks and making sure that if anyone was behind me that I can hear them and not give up the bottom.” By random draw Brown drew the outside pole and lined up alongside his stepbrother, Brody George, marking the first time two brothers started on the front row for a Modified feature. Once the race got underway Brown blasted to the opening lap lead while third starting Strohl moved to second. It soon became a rapid paced affair as Brown was smoothly pulling away from Strohl and the pack while the laps clicked off caution free over the first 47 tours. A spinning Gene Bowers then brought out the caution at that juncture. Just prior to what would be the only slowdown of the race, Strohl was beginning to reel in Brown and for the two abreast restart it was suspected that his full Modified would have the power to overtake the lesser of Brown’s. However, Brown was on his game and able to get the jump. “On that restart I didn’t know who it was going to be alongside me and then when I saw it was Kyle (Strohl) and I just did the best I could from then,” reflected Brown. From there on it was close quarter action for the lead as Strohl tried tirelessly to unseat the leader. And with just a handful of laps to go it appeared that his efforts would pay off. In the closing laps Brown slightly opened up the low lane and Strohl was quick to move in. As they raced into Turns 3 and 4 Strohl aimed to make a pass but got slightly off balance and almost spun. He managed to make a great recovery but by then Brown pulled ahead enough to secure the verdict and his first Modified class win.“I saw him (Strohl) stick his nose in there and at that point I was just trying to hold on because I didn’t know how much we had to go,” conveyed Brown. “We bumped a little bit and I was coming back down to get into the turn and you do what you have to do. I would have done the same thing.” For Strohl, who leads the points in both the regular standings and MVSHoFS, it was his fifth runner-up this season. “He (Brown) did a really good job and I was just hoping he was running his tires off but that wasn’t the case I just thought I could catch him by surprise but he held his line pretty good and luckily we both where able to drive away from it,” said Strohl of his pass attempt. “We were loose right from the get-go and I knew it was going to be like that the whole race so I just tried to save it and wait for the opportunity that he gave me on the front straight but I just wasn’t there, wasn’t ready for it,” he continued. “In this class power isn’t everything and having a little bit less of a motor can actually help you. It’s less wear on the tires and in a long run that’s what’s going to help at the end of the race and park in the Winner’s Circle.” Third place finisher Austin Kochenash drove a heck of a race, coming from 11th at the outset. With only one caution Kochenash had to rely on his power and driving in garnering the hard fought conclusion. Likewise Lou Strohl did much of the same as he followed Kochenash to a solid fourth while Brian DeFebo rounded out the top five.
By luck of the draw Josh Mooney of Lehighton started from the pole in the Street Stock feature and made it stick at the top spot for the whole distance in a nonstop affair. Mooney stayed glued to the bottom lane and in doing so was able to keep Johnny Bennett at bay who chased him across all 30 laps. It was the second Hall of Fame victory for Mooney this year, as he also won during the Dave Schlenker Tribute. His fast paced run was competed in a caution free time of 6:06, which added up to his 11th career win. Brandon Christman, Rick Reichenbach and TJ Gursky completed the top five.
In the Hobby Stocks it was Shayne Geist of Lehighton racing to his second straight and fourth 2022 win. Geist started from the pole and despite being able to lead all 25 laps had a constant handful to contend with as Ryan Berger, Corey Edelman and Nick Schaeffer were all closely enshrouded with him. Edelman and Berger put on some thrilling side-by-side racing and then with seven laps to go Edelman did the same with the leader. But, for Geist he was not ready to let Edelman take another win and he unwaveringly stood his ground en route to his 14th overall career win.
Lehighton’s Adam Steigerwalt collected his second Futures victory of the season since winning the season opener. He led the early going but was then caught and passed by Maggie Yeakel. With six laps to go Yeakel, who had begun to pull away, suddenly got loose and almost spun, which allowed Steigerwalt to catch her and race side-by-side in an attempt to regain the lead. On the back straight of that lap Yeakel again got loose and this time did spinout. Steigerwalt did a heads up job of driving by her and the rest of the way had to fend off Michael Klotz who rode his back bumper to the checkers.
The visiting Micro Stocks joined the card and it was has become all too common for the class Alex Greenzweig of Kunkletown picked up the win. Greenzweig made some late race maneuvers to grab the lead from Lydia Snyder and then hold off hard charging Anthony Wood.
Modified feature finish (77 laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Lou Strohl, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Nick Baer, 7. Rod Snyder Jr., 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Gene Bowers, 10. Brody George, 11. Paulie Hartwig III, 12. Troy Bollinger, 13. Paul French Sr.
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Josh Mooney, 2. Johnny Bennett, 3. Brandon Christman, 4. Rick Reichenbach, 5. TJ Gursky, 6. Jillian Snyder, 7. Jamie Smith, 8. Matt Schlenker, 9. Tommy Flanagan, 10. Randy Ahner Jr., 11. Mark Deysher, 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Matt Kocher, 14. Bobby Kibler Jr., 15. Jon Moser, 16. Todd Ahner, 17. Jacob Boehm, 18. Thomas Flanagan, 19. Cody Geist
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Corey Edelman, 3. Ryan Berger, 4. Nick Schaeffer, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Cody Boehm, 7. Dave Kerr, 8. Lyndsay Buss, 9. Jacob Boehm, 10. James Tout, 11. Trisha Connolly, 12. Ralph Borger, 13. Jared Frye, 14. Don Bauder, 15. Mike Horn, 16. Mallory Kutz, DNS: Nick Kerstetter
Futures feature finish (15 laps): 1. Adam Steigerwalt, 2. Michael Klotz, 3. Parker Ahner, 4. Maggie Yeakel, 5. Makayla Kohler, 6. Lexus Kutz, 7. Ryan Petro, 8. Kevin Kresge, 9. Mayson Moyer, 10. Zoe Kuchera DNS: Gabrielle Steigerwalt
Micro Stock feature finish (20 laps): 1. Alex Greenzweig, 2. Anthony Wood, 3. Lydia Snyder, 4. Wayne Krenn, 5. Isiah Flyte, 6. Harry Burd, 7. Roger Snyder, 8. Brian Dacosta, 9. Chad Weaver, 10. DJ Fredricks, 11. Logan Crout, 12. Eddie Geiger Jr., 13. Eric Troutman
The Nick’s were quick at Mahoning Valley Speedway…Nick Ross and Nick Baer score Late Model and Sportsman wins July 30
By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 7-30-22) Nick Ross raced to his third Late Model win of the season in what was a barnburner between him and Mark Hudson in the closing laps.
Hudson had led from lap two and was preserving the top spot over Mike VanFossen and Ross. By lap seven Frankie Althouse joined the fray and not long after moved to third.
Subsequently it became a tight three car battle with Hudson working feverously to fend off the pair. As the laps began to wind down Hudson was looking to make his four hour-plus drive from Massachusetts worth it as he had himself poised to score his first Mahoning win.
Despite Ross trying high and low to get by Hudson remained in control, which was until a lap 17 restart when they would re-fire off side-by-side.
As they did Hudson again stood his ground but Ross continued to hound him every so closely. Over the final two circuits Ross continued to turn up the tension on Hudson and entering the final lap he was able to make the pass and go on to claim the victory
Hudson held on for a track best second with Althouse, Geno Steigerwalt and VanFossen rounding out the top five.
After finishing runner-up four times in the past five Sportsman Modified races, Nick Baer can finally shake the bridesmaid moniker as he notched his first class win with a smooth and solid drive.
Bear raced past early leader Zach Lenardo on lap three and then began to peel off steady and consistent laps, holding off Lenardo then Greyson Ahner in the process.
On lap nine Ahner suddenly spun prompting a caution. On the restart Jaden Brown, who won the past three features and all ahead of Baer, was now second.
When the action resumed time and again Brown was looking for every opportunity to get by but Bear stayed the course and never allowed for any chances for that to happen. All Brown could do was following close in line as Baer went on to win here for the first time since 2015 and also the first time at Mahoning in a Modified.
Despite an onslaught of pressure, Jillian Snyder never wavered and in the process managed to pick up her second Street Stock win of the season.
Taking the lead on lap four from Thomas Flanagan, she then had a handful to deal with the rest of the way with Tommy Flanagan and eventually a hard charging Jamie Smith.
With no room for error Snyder drove competently over each of her laps and held on for the well-earned verdict. Smith settled for a season best second with Flanagan coming in a close third.
Shayne Geist drove to a hard-fought victory with the Hobby Stocks. He led early on but then lost the lead to Cody Boehm while negotiating traffic with nine laps complete.
However, Geist wasted little time in regaining the spot as on the next go-around he was back at the helm.
From then on he was in a heavy defensive mode as Boehm, point leader Corey Edelman and Travis Solomon where all breathing down on him. But Geist proved best of the lot and held on for his third win of 2022 and 10th time with the Hobby Stocks.
In the Pro 4s Jake Kibler withstood an immense amount of opposition between Terry Peters and Tyler Stangle as they tried lap after lap to find a way to get past him. But the wily veteran was having none of that.
Keeping a solid footing to the inside lane Kibler was able to hold on, barely, and make it win number two on the season and is now one away from 50 overall career victories.
Gabrielle Steigerwalt was both lucky and good in winning her first Futures race. Leading from the drop of the green she then embraced the top spot until the final corner on the final lap when Parker Ahner squeezed his way to her inside.
Ahner made the pass and crossed the stipe first, however, officials called him for rough riding and placed back two spots prior to the pass and he finished fourth.
That gave the win to Steigerwalt, her first with the Futures. Makayla Kohler was second and Adam Steigerwalt third.
Jaden Brown picks up third in a row with Sportsman Modifieds at Mahoning Valley Speedway on JULY 23
By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 7-23-22) The Sportsman Modifieds took center stage at Mahoning Valley Speedway and so too did Jaden Brown who for a third consecutive time claimed the checkers and the end of the 25-lap feature. The race got underway with rookies Zach Lenardo and Greyson Ahner on the front row and at the drop of the race commencing green Lenardo jumped into the early lead. Showing continued improvement each time out, Lenardo was now leading for the first time with the Sportsman car while Brown was quick to pick up second spot. With Lenardo holding the inside line Brown then started to challenge from him from the top groove and as they began lap three the lead changed hands. Brown soon began to make it a race for second as he progressively began to put distance on the rest of the field. While Brown was setting the pace second spot was a good battle between point leader Nick Baer and Brody George. Running most laps side-by-side and a few times rubbing they provided some thrilling action. It wasn’t until 10 laps to go that Bear finally cleared himself of George but by then Brown was too far gone. As the checkers waved Brown had a commanding four car length advantage on Bear, earning his sixth division win.
Mark Deysher has been one of the most consistent Street Stock drivers this season, finishing in the top 10 in 10 straight races. That kind of consistency also means good finishes and yes he’s had those but not the one he works the most for, that being a win. In Saturday night’s 30-lap contest he finally got it done, putting his Deysher Farms No. 11 into the Winner’s Circle for the first time in 2022. Deysher started 7th and after 10 laps moved to the runner-up spot over early leader Randy Green who was maintaining a great pace since the initial start. Deysher was keeping the pressure on Green and kept peeking to the inside and by the halfway mark he had enough of an opening to compete the pass. From then on he made perfect laps and scored career win number 24, which came on he and wife Nikki’s wedding anniversary.Cody Geist took second and put on a quite the drive to get there. Geist had been battling near the front but was relegated to the rear after a lap 10 incident. He then came through the pack with amazing speed and agility only to run out of time as he caught up with Deysher
The Hobby Stock class at Mahoning Valley Speedway is filled with parity yet Corey Edelman once again was the car parked in Victory Lane, a seventh time this season in besting the equally paired group. Edelman came from 9th to first in 15 laps. This week’s race winning move derived by way of an inside pass on Don Bauder – who had been leading since lap two – and afterwards was in a torrid fight to the finish with Lyndsay Buss as the pair went back and forth for the top spot.It wasn’t until the final lap that Edelman was able to shake free and secure the verdict. Buss had to settle for her best finish to date.
The Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial for Pro 4s was held and picking up a fourth victory in seven 2022 starts was current point leader Cody Kohler. Kohler worked around Tyler Stangle on lap 13 of 26 and then stayed perfect the rest of the way en route to his 40th overall Mahoning win. The win netted him $400, a huge trophy and one-of-a-kind scale model of the late Crozier. Stangle, who continues to be the top contender to Kohler, held on for his fourth runner-up and seventh straight top five.
After reeling off four straight wins starting on week two, 11-year old Parker Ahner then had some “off-nights” the next three races but on Saturday Ahner was back to those winning ways as he took the lead from Lexus Kutz on lap two and then gradually pulled away. At the checkers he was able to hold off fast closing Maggie Yeakel and in doing so padded his point lead over Makayla Kohler.
Hobby Stock feature (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Lyndsay Buss, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Dave Kerr, 5. Cody Boehm, 6. BJ Wambold, 7. Jacob Boehm, 8. Don Bauder, 9. Shayne Geist, 10. James Tout, 11. Jared Frye, 12. Mallory Kutz DNS: Ralph Boger Jr., Paul French Jr.
Futures feature (15 laps): 1. Parker Ahner, 2. Maggie Yeakel, 3. Michael Klotz, 4. Gabrielle Steigerwalt, 5. Makayla Kohler, 6. Adam Steigerwalt, 7. John Heinrich, 8. Zoe Kuchera
Matt Hirschman adds Earl Keinert Tribute to his list of Mahoning Valley Speedway successes on Saturday, July 16 By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 7-16-22) Matt Hirschman of Northampton claims that Mahoning Valley Speedway is one of his best tracks and unquestionably he proved it yet again on Saturday evening when he won the Earl Keinert Tribute Hall of Fame Series 50 lap race. It was Hirschman’s fourth straight win in as many 2022 starts. Considering he only checks in a few times a year and dating back to his first victory here in 2009 this was his 32nd Mahoning victory in the past 78 starts and to boot has led over 1200 laps in doing so. Following warmups a rain shower crossed over the area and put a delay on the show. However, after a yeoman effort by a significant number of drivers who then helped dry the track, the racing went as planned. “I really appreciate Jack and Rebecca (Carlino, track owners) for not pulling the plug on it because we were all here,” said Hirschman. “If they would have cancelled early in the day I wouldn’t have had any problem with it. Once we were all here they waited it out and dried the track and we got to race. I know that may have hurt the crowd a bit but there was still a good amount of fans here tonight and the show ran off pretty well,” he continued. “The track conditions where fine for racing and the racing was quite tight and pretty good up front and the car tightened up late with almost too much grip.” By luck of the draw Josh Scherer was the pole sitter with Bobby Jones to his outside for the start. And no sooner did the action get underway Jones jumped out front over Kyle Strohl and Lou Strohl with all three contending under tight quarters. By lap 11 eighth starting Hirschman joined the battle in what then became a closely bunched group providing some very intense racing. On lap 16 K. Strohl went to the outside of Jones and took the lead. Unfortunately for Jones he spun on the next circuit and brought out the caution. That put L. Strohl second and when racing resumed he and Hirschman ran a thrilling side-by-side duel until lap 22 when L. Strohl would spin coming out of Turn 4. It would be on that restart that Hirschman was able to overtake K. Strohl. From there he would never look back as he reached the checkers by two car lengths over K. Strohl. Brian DeFebo was third, Jones fourth and a very impressive Geary Rinehimer Jr., got fifth. “It was some intense racing there and at times a little bit of contact but it was just a tight pack and you’re going to have that,” said Hirschman. “We’ve had an incredible success rate here and Mahoning has been my best track over the last few years. But you still have to run the race and to be honest at the end I felt we were a little bit more vulnerable but I guess we had enough of a gap. I felt I didn’t have as good a car as other times here. Sure it’s been a repeatable thing but I feel we had to work for this one.”
As part of the Earl Keinert Tribute the Hobby Stocks contested in triple 12 lap features. That number reflecting the most recognizable with the Keinert team. Shayne Geist would handily lead all the way in the first feature and collect his second win of the season. An invert for the next race would see Corey Edelman on the pole and he too was able to stay in front the entire distance and go on to score his unprecedented fifth win of the year. For the third feature Cody Boehm passed Don Bauder on lap three and then held off Ryan Berger for his first win of 2022. Berger, who is the grandson of the late Earl Keinert, was named the overall champ by virtue of a tie breaker between him and Boehm.
In the Street Stocks Johnny Bennett put the popular Woolly Bully X Monte Carlo out front at the initial start and then held off teammates Randy Ahner Jr., and TJ Gursky the rest of the way for his first win of the season.
Cody Kohler raced to his third Pro 4 win of the year. Ken Reeder would take to the early lead and was showing great form in the process. However Kohler, after having a good battle with Jake Kibler and Tyler Stangle in getting to second, then reeled in Reeder by lap seven for the top spot. He then had to fend off Stangle the rest of the way for his 39th overall win. A week ago in the Futures 15 lap main, Michael Klotz was passed by Maggie Yeakel at the finish line and denied his very first win. Fast forward to this week and it was the same scene. The final lap and Klotz out front with Yeakel charging again. Klotz though wasn’t about let this one slip away as he did a fine job of protecting his spot and going on to his first class win.
Modified feature finish (50 laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 6. Jacob Kerstetter, 7. Nevin George, 8. Jaden Brown, 9. Nick Bear, 10. Josh Scherer, 11. Gen Bowers, 12. Lou Strohl, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Avery Arthofer, 15. Austin Kochenash, 16. Wes Gilbert, 17. Peyton Arthofer, 18. Rod Snyder Jr.
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Jonny Bennett, 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. TJ Gursky, 4. Brandon Christman, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Jillian Snyder, 8. Tommy Flanagan, 9. Bobby Kibler Sr., 10. Logan Boyer, 11. Jon Moser, 12. Todd Ahner, 13. Matt Schlenker, 14. Cody Geist, 15. Rick Reichenbach, 16. Randy Green, 17. Mark Martini, 18. Josh Mooney, 19. Thomas Flanagan, 20. Ian Szalku
1st Hobby Stock feature (12 laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Don Bauder, 3. Jacob Boehm, 4. Ryan Berger, 5. Cody Boehm, 6. Justin Merkel, 7. Nick Schaeffer, 8. James Tout, 9. Jared Green, 10. Corey Edelman, 11. Trisha Connolly, 12. Travis Solomon, 13. Tyler Schmeltzle, 14. Ralph Boger Jr., 15. Lyndsay Buss, 16. Dave Kerr, 17. Bobby Kibler Jr., 18. Jared Frye, 19. Mallory Kutz, 20. Dave Imler Jr.
Jaden Brown was no match in Sportsman Modifieds at Mahoning Valley Speedway; TJ Gursky scores in Mike Krempasky Street Stock Memorial on July 9
By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 7-9-22) After somewhat of a slow start to the season, defending Mahoning Valley Speedway Sportsman Modified champion Jaden Brown of Kunkletown is back to showing the form that carried him to the top of the standings last year as he drove to his second consecutive victory.
Brown needed only one lap before he took the lead from Troy Bollinger. With no cautions to slow the action Brown then cruised to a dominating win by an ample distance over runner-up Nick Baer.
“We had a long week in the shop getting ready for tonight and I can honestly say this car is back to where we want it to be,” said Brown.
“It feels good to having a confident car under us. At the beginning of the season we had some rough luck with how the car was handling but we’re back in sync and I’m very happy with the results.”
At the drop of the race commencing green Bollinger beat Al Arthofer for the opening lap lead. At the same time Brown, who started third, followed behind Bollinger and was able to then work the inside line which paid off as they headed into Turn 3. It was there that Brown kept his forward momentum and grabbed the lead.
“We got lucky starting third and then I was able to follow Troy (Bollinger) right after the start,” said Brown.
Once in front Brown got into a fast paced rhythm and gradually began pulling away from the pack.
Brown’s stepbrother, Brody George, took hold of second and was turning his best effort to date as he held off Nick Baer. That pair ran closely until the midway juncture which at that point Baer was able to take over the spot. By then Brown was well ahead and continued to grow his lead. At the checkers he was almost five seconds ahead.
“I wasn’t expecting that to come that easy. I kind of felt the 41 (Baer) would have been up there with us and I was actually playing it a little conservative. Once I could tell that I couldn’t hear anyone behind me I was just riding it from there,” said Brown.
The Street Stocks competed in the 50-lap Mike Krempasky Memorial, a race that pays tribute to the former racer and championship car owner who passed away unexpectedly in 2012.
And, in what was fitting, his driver, TJ Gursky of Palmerton, who took his cars to many wins and a title, won the emotional victory.
“First of all I’d like to say that I’d give back all my wins and titles to have Mike back with us,” a moved Gursky said while holding back tears from Victory Lane.
“But we’re keeping his memory alive and to take home this win and the big check to hang in the shop, I can look up and now see it on the wall and always think of Mike and what he’s meant to me and my career.”
By virtue of a redraw Gursky start started third with Tommy Flanagan and Mark Deysher sharing the front row. As the race got underway Flanagan suddenly began to back-peddle while Deysher and Gursky split around him. As the lap was completed Gursky was leading the way.
From then on Gursky was challenged time and again by the likes of Deysher and with the event being a cone race there would be restarts that saw others take advantage of that format and get to restart next to him as well.
One such driver was Eric Kocher who did get scored the lead but for only one lap as Gursky showed the power that thus far has been the most prevalent of all each time he’s raced this season.
“Tommy (Flanagan) was breaking up at the start and he didn’t go so I stepped into it right there to get the lead,” said Gursky.
“Was I pulling away, where they on me you don’t know when you’re up front. You have to be on your point the whole time. Even under cautions I’m watching the track to make sure there’s no debris I could run over and all those little things that could change your night.”
There was a final restart with nine laps to go and Gursky teammate Randy Ahner Jr., was then second. Although he tried Ahner was unable to get around as Gursky picked up his class leading third win of 2022. All three victories have coming in special events too.
Johnny Bennett came from 17th to third and picked up the Hard Charger of the race. Kocher and Deysher rounded out the top five.
In the Late Model main Nick Ross of White Haven scored his second win of the year. The race would be a battle between a pair of champions from the past two seasons.
Geno Steigerwalt jumped out the early lead with Ross and Jacob Kerstetter running side-by-side for second. With a half dozen laps in Ross shook off Kerstetter and then set his sights on Steigerwalt.
They were soon putting on a torrid toe-to-toe fight for the lead, doing so over the next six circuits. As the halfway signal was being given Ross had just edged his way to the front. After finally clearing Steigerwalt he then set sail and cruised to his 24th overall career win.
Corey Edelman of Northampton won for the third straight time with the Hobby Stocks and 2022 is looking a lot like 2014, the year he last won a class title and the last time he reeled off three straight victories.
Edelman took the lead from one very strong running Mallory Kutz who paced the field over the first nine tours. Afterwards he had to fend off Cody Boehm en route to his fifth win in eight starts.
In the nightcap Futures feature Maggie Yeakel of Northampton pulled off a thrilling and daring last lap pass on Michael Klotz to score her first overall win at Mahoning Valley.
Klotz was leading from lap six and looked as though he had the race covered. However, in the closing laps Yeakel was coming on strong and when the white flag was displayed she took her No. 9 to the outside and went side-by-side with Klotz.
Coming off the final corner Yeakel was using up a lot of race track and nearly clipped the way but nonetheless was able to eke by for the rousing verdict.
Sportsman Modified feature finish (25 laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Nick Baer, 3. Brody George, 4. Terry Markovic, 5. Zach Lenardo, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Troy Bollinger, 8. Greyson Ahner
Late Model Feature finish (25 laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. Geno Steigerwalt, 3. Mike VanFossen, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Seth VanFossen, 6. Mark Hudson, 7. Jacob Kerstetter, 8. Mark Aigeldinger, 9. Dave Imler Sr., 10. Brooks Smith
Street Stock feature finish (50 laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. Johnny Bennett, 4. Eric Kocher, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Jill Snyder, 7. Todd Ahner, 8. Logan Boyer, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Stacey brown, 11. Mark martini, 12. Randy green, 13. Bob Kibler, 14. Josh Mooney, 15. Ian Szalku, 16. Tommy Flanagan, 17. Jon Moser, 18. Brandon Christman, 19. Bobby Kibler Jr.
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Lyndsay Buss, 4. Travis Solomon, 5. Jacob Boehm, 6. Nick Schaeffer, 7. Don Bauder, 8. Mallory Kutz, 9. Jared Frye, 10. Dave Kerr, 11. Sam Ryan, 12. David Imler Jr., 13. James Tout, 14. Ralph Boger Jr., 15. Shayne Geist, 16. Josh Oswald, 17. Nick Kerstetter
Matt Hirschman sweeps Freddy Hamm Tribute twin-45s at Mahoning Valley Speedway on June 25
By DINO OBERTO
(Lehighton, PA 6-25-22) Mahoning Valley Speedway celebrated the Freddy Hamm Tribute –
which was race #2 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series – with a pair of 45-lap Modified features and collecting both was Northampton’s Matt Hirschman.
“Freddy was a class act, a real gentleman and respectful racer and that’s important to have that quality. It’s always great to win but to do it in the fashion that he did it was just a little bit better than most when you had the quality that he had,” offered Hirschman. “Our families have always been friends but you would think you were best friends for life the way he treated and talked to you and I appreciate winning tonight just a little bit more.”
In the first race Hirschman passed Lou Strohl after six laps and then began to cruise until late in the going when Zane Zeiner was closing fast but time ran out just as things began getting interesting. In the nightcap Hirschman had to work a bit harder before going to the front, needing 20 laps to get by leader Earl Paules but once he did he went into cruise control and sailed off to the win. By luck of the draw Strohl had the pole for the first race with Carl Altemose alongside on the front row. As the race began Strohl dashed to the early lead while Hirschman was quick to move into second. On lap four the first and what would be the only caution waved when Don Wagner slowed and then stopped to close to the racing line. When the field realigned for the restart Strohl again got out front but now had Hirschman, who was using the outside lane, stick beside him and within two laps the lead would change hands. The pace from then on was energetic as the race went nonstop to the end. Early on during that span Hirschman was looking unstoppable as he was making haste over the pack. However, behind him the action was very heated as Strohl had to fend off Austin Kochenash with Zeiner riding closely in fourth. That trio stayed tight for a number of laps until reaching mid-race. It was then that Zeiner began a thrust as he made quick work of Kochenash and then a few laps later did the same to Strohl. By then Hirschman was showing a two-and-a-half second lead but Zeiner was continuing to cut that deficit with each passing lap. There was also the factor of traffic which Hirschman was having to negotiate and for Zeiner that helped in his efforts to keep zeroing in. “It was a big pack of cars and you weren’t going to pass just one and have clear sailing so I was cautious when I was catching the up on them,” said Hirschman. By the time the race was in the final laps Zeiner was a mere car length back but time ran out on his valiant effort and Hirschman held on for his second straight Mahoning win. “I was able to get the lead from the outside of Lou (Strohl) and I kind of assumed he was still in second but I see it was Zane (Zeiner). We had it kind of easy with the draw and we’ll just see how the second race plays out,” Hirschman said. After Zeiner it was Strohl, Kochenash and Kyle Strohl rounding out the top five. “I was really hoping for a caution and when I got to Lou (Strohl) he kind of used me up and I just couldn’t get by him quick enough and I felt that had I been able to I could have maybe made Matt make a decision and put a little pressure on him,” expressed Zeiner. For the second feature the top eight were inverted which gave the pole to Cody Kohler and Paules. After a false start Paules got the jump and led the early going over Kohler and K. Strohl. Six laps into the race K. Strohl had gained second spot. A few restarts afterwards and Paules and K. Strohl played cat and mouse when trying to resume, leading race director Randy Schlenker to issue warnings. They did heed his directive and both made a clean start with Paules showing the way. Kochenash was sitting third at the time and just as he did in the first race was showing a lot of strength. Behind him though was Hirschman who after a few side-by-side laps was able to get by. He then proceeded to do the same to K. Strohl but his quest was paused when a caution halted the action on lap 17. On that restart K. Strohl got out of shape and spun while cars from behind all scattered to get by. Once the field was regrouped Paules had to now deal with Hirschman and it didn’t take but two laps before the No. 60 was once again leading. Unlike the first feature this time there would be no cars closing in on him as he was all perfection, driving away to a good-sized distance over Paules. In third was a very impressive Carl Altemose who notched his best ever Modified finish. Kochenash and DeFebo, who both had to drive through the pack after making pit stops on lap 22 from a pile up on the front straight, rounded out the top five. “Once we got out front I figured we were safe and I knew some of the competition was knocked out (from lap 22 wreck). It was a good clean night for us and it’s been a good season and we hope to keep it going,” explained Hirschman.
In the 30-lap Street Stock main Palmerton’s TJ Gursky continued his strong runs, winning the race which was his second of the year and fifth top five in as many starts. Gursky was in the right place at the right time when he grabbed the lead on a lap five restart. At the time Stacey Brown and Randy Ahner Jr., where battling side-by-side and coming off Turn 2 they banged hard which nearly caused them to wreck as they went completely out to the racing line. With the bottom wide open Gursky quickly seized the opportunity and hastened into the lead. From then on he was spot on and took a two car length win over Jon Moser. Teammate Ahner Jr., rebounded to finish third with Todd Ahner fourth and Tommy Flanagan fifth.
Corey Edelman of Northampton continues to enjoy his best season in years as he won for a second straight time and fourth in the past seven races. A very improved Dave Imler Jr., got out front early on and looked solid in leading for the first time ever. On lap six, however, he was passed by BJ Wambold who then had to contend with a tight group that included Nick Schaeffer, Trisha Connolly and Edelman. At the halfway mark Edelman hustled his way to second and from there began a torrid assault on Wambold. Racing two-by-two Edelman finally eked ahead with seven circuits to go and then stayed solid en route to victory #4.
For Terry Peters of Lehighton, the night of June 25, 2022 will be remembered for years to come as he won his career first feature, coming in the 20-lap Pro 4 event. And he did so in a solid fashion as he led the entire way while holding off a tight pack of on-comers. At the line he had Jake Kibler on his rear bumper with point leader Cody Kohler third.
In the Futures feature the four race win streak of Parker Ahner came to end after Makayla Kohler of Schnecksville won for the first time this season. Kohler dueled with Adam Steigerwalt for the first few laps but then after taking the lead she was no match for the rest of the way. The race for second was very close, however, as Michael Klotz and Ryan Petro went head to head right down to the wire.
1st Modified feature finish (45 laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Lou Strohl, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Earl Paules, 8. Cody Kohler, 9. Jaden Brown, 10. Bobby Jones, 11. Josh Scherer, 12. Carl Altemose, 13. Sean Verwys, 14. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 15. Jacob Kerstetter, 16. Rod Snyder Jr., 17. Nick Bear, 18. Terry Markovic, 19. Don Wagner DNS: Wes Gilbert
Restarts help Earl Paules nab Modified victory at Mahoning Valley Speedway; Mike VanFossen takes first Late Model win in 14 years on June 18 (Lehighton, PA 6-18-22) At 57 years old Earl Paules of Palmerton is showing no signs of slowing as the seasoned veteran turned in a solid run in capturing his first Modified win of the year and second overall. For Paules, restarts were the key as he had to apply them several times in gaining spots and the lead.
Starting ninth Paules had already advanced four positions on the first lap but before the next circuit could be scored a hard crash in Turn 3 took out Nick Baer who was fighting for the lead with Terry Markovic and Lou Strohl.
When the field was sorted out and reset Rod Snyder Jr., was in command with Paules lined up alongside. No sooner did the action resume Paules was able to circulate his way around Snyder for the lead, not for long though as two laps later Snyder returned the favor.
Another yellow was out on lap seven when Tyler Wager went for a spin. Once again Paules made good on the restart and retook the lead, this time for keeps.
“57 years old doesn’t mean anything. Restarts have always been my thing and I love them. You have to be on top of your game when it comes to restarts to beat these guys, they’re all very good,” said Paules.
Afterwards he was cruising comfortably out front with a nice gap ahead of Bobby Jones. However, what was at one point a commanding lead soon began to taper over the waning laps as Kyle Strohl had a burst of speed going his way. He had taken second spot with 10 laps to go and was rapidly closing in on Paules.
By the time the white flag waved Strohl was on Paules’ rear bumper but needed more than just the final lap if there was a chance for him to pass. Paules was in a good enough position to fend off the challenge and take the victory, his track leading 67th overall. Earlier this year Paules had won with the Sportsman Modifieds.
“I first want to say to all the fathers out there happy Father’s Day and thanks for coming to Mahoning Valley Speedway,” said Paules.
“From what I was told Kyle Strohl was coming real fast there at the end but I didn’t hear anything and so I just held the bottom for the rest of the race.”
Paules had competed the night before at Evergreen Raceway, placing eighth in a 50 lap race that he wasn’t content with and led to a host of wholesale changes for Mahoning.
“I felt really bad about last night up at Evergreen. We ran real bad and I didn’t have a good car so when we came home we burned the midnight oil and starting digging in and changed just about everything on it because I didn’t want to run like that and it paid off.”
For the third time in four starts Strohl had to settle for second spot although he is now the new point leader. Jones, Snyder and L. Strohl completed the top five.
In the Late Model feature Mike VanFossen of Lehighton erased a long dry spell, recording his first win in 14 years.
After Brooks Smith and Todd Cooper traded the lead over the first dozen laps, VanFossen then took charge and despite being pressured closely the rest of the way by Geno Steigerwalt, he stood his ground and won for the first time since April 19, 2008.
Defending Sportsman Modified champion Jaden Brown of Kunkletown picked up his first win of the season.
Rookie Greyson Ahner jumped into the early lead and was notably holding his own over the more experienced Brown and Troy Bollinger as well as Paulie Hartwig III who joined the front fray by mid-race.
Ahner’s fine run took a turn – literally – on lap 13 when he spun while under very tight quarters. That allowed Brown to assume the lead that he would then keep although Hartwig and eventual runner-up Earl Paules never gave him much breathing room.
Tommy Flanagan III of Bethlehem can now add the Street Stocks to his list of class victories at Mahoning Valley.
Taking the lead from Randy Green on lap six, Flanagan had a tough go the rest of the way as Mark Deysher stayed fastened on him the rest of the way. The two veterans battled nose-to-tail right down to the wire with Flanagan taking the verdict with no room to spare.
With the Street Stock now part of winning his resume Flanagan now has victories in Modifieds, Late Models, D/A Mods and Pro 4s.
Cody Kohler of Schnecksville raced to his second Pro 4 win of 2022, this one coming in a nonstop run that took just over a tick over four minutes to compete.
Kohler grabbed the lead from the outset and was never headed the rest of the way as he authored a sterling performance in collecting his 37th class win over Jake Kibler.
In the Hobby Stock main Corey Edelman chocked up another win, his third in six starts this season. And just as each race has been this season it was another hard fought down-to-the-wire showdown.
In this latest action packed spectacle Edelman, who took the lead on lap 13, had to battle against the Boehm brothers, Cody and Jacob who hounded him unremittingly. Edelman though was not to be denied as he held back the blitz and upped his all-time division wins total to 25.
For Parker Ahner of Palmerton each week just keeps getting better and better. The first year Futures driver has now won three consecutive features and for the second straight time set a new track record, this time at 12.040-seconds.
Makayla Kohler continues to make a strong case with Ahner as she has been runner-up in each of his wins.
Alex Greenzweig of Lehighton proved once again to be no match with the visiting Micro Stocks as he handily raced to victory over Isaiah Flyte.
It was Fan Appreciation Night at Mahoning Valley Speedway and it showed too as a great crowd came out in support of a jammed slate of eight divisions of racing.
Modified feature finish (35 laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3.Bobby Jones, 4. Rod Snyder Jr., 5. Lou Strohl, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7.Tyler Wagner, 8. Carl Altemose, 9. Eric Kocher, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Nick Bear
Late Model feature finish (25 laps): 1. Mike VanFossen, 2. Geno Steigerwalt, 3. Roger Maynor, 4. Nick Ross, 5. Mark Hudson, 6. Todd Cooper, 7. Seth VanFossen, 8. Brooks Smith, 9. Dave Imler Sr.
Micro Stock feature finish (20 laps): 1. Alex Greenzweig, 2. Isaiah Flyte, 3. Eddie Geiger Jr., 4. Chad Weaver, 5. Lydia Snyder, 6. Roger Snyder, 7. Logan Crout, 8. John Rakos, 9. Josh Heiser, 10. TJ Kemmerer, 11. Wayne Krenn, 12. DJ Fredrick, 13. Shawn Dengler
Blake Barney by inches over Kyle Strohl in Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Dave Schlenker Tribute; Josh Mooney and Matt Schlenker share Street Stock laurels on June 11
Blake Barney of Jackson, NJ can finally check off his bucket list trying to win a Modified race at Mahoning Valley Speedway, something he’s been going after for the past six years.
And, it was a race for the ages too as Barney and Kyle Strohl battled neck-and-neck to the finish with the outcome decided by mere .007-second margin of victory.
“I’ve been running this track since I was 16 years old and we’ve come close a lot of times and tonight it feels really good to be standing here in Victory Lane,” said 22-year old Barney after winning the 50-lap Dave Schlenker Tribute which was the first race of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series.
Barney actually came to Mahoning by chance. Earlier in the day Wall Stadium Speedway had cancelled due to weather issues and the Dick Barney owned team made the decision to head to Pennsylvania and take in the Schlenker race. Two weeks earlier Barney had finished a strong second here to Matt Hirschman in the Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial.
“This was a little bit unexpected and I didn’t even think I’d be here tonight but so happy to get the monkey off my back at this track,” said Barney.
“Woke up ready to race Wall and ended up winning Mahoning. Thank you to all my crew & sponsors for their support, this one feels good.”
Barney, who also won his heat, redrew seventh for to the feature and within eight laps was running third behind leader Brian DeFebo and Strohl. Subsequently it soon became a torrid battle for the lead as Strohl relentlessly kept up the pressure on DeFebo. Barney hovered closely and at times was able to pull even with Strohl. For the most part the front trio would run in that fashion.
With 15 laps to go DeFebo’s car started to loosen on him and in the course of that he began to open the bottom lane. That’s when Barney would make his move. Two laps after a lap 31 restart he worked by Strohl and seeing how DeFebo was opening up the bottom Barney seized the occasion and went underneath him on the back straight.
Another Strohl who was running fast, Lou, suddenly came into the picture as he powered from fourth to second near the same time. But with 10 laps remaining K. Strohl re-claimed the spot and from there to the finish it was game on for the win.
Barney raced on the inside of K. Strohl in a very thrilling side-by-side formation. There would even be a late race caution with four laps to go that prompted a single file restart and possibly giving Barney a little breathing room but it was to no avail as over the final two circuits they again locked horns and sprinted to the checkers with Barney inching his way to victory.
“I just did everything I could to keep him behind me. Kyle (Strohl) is really good here and credit to him. I knew he was good on the outside and my car was tight so when I was on the bottom he definitely could roll that thing and I kind of kept him honest out there and if you didn’t like that finish then you just don’t like short track racing,” offered Barney.
“I just had a finish like that a couple weeks ago at Wall with Andrew Krause and won. One of these weeks I’ll be on the bad end of these close ones.”
It was only the second time that Barney won in Pennsylvania. He collected a Sportsman Modified win in 2016 at Evergreen Raceway and for the Barney team it only the second victory at Mahoning Valley with Big Red No. 14. During an open comp event in August 1990 Tony Siscone won here.
“It feels awesome. I finished second here and at Evergreen so many times and we’re always just one spot short it seems,” said Barney.
“It feels so good and I have so many people that work hard on this team. I’m just the driver, the lucky person who gets to run this fast racecar so I guess the best I could do is perform in it.”
L. Strohl, DeFebo and Bobby Jones completed the top five. K. Strohl and Austin Kochenash also notched heat verdicts.
“Congrats to Blake. I don’t blame him one bit and I would have done the same thing when it comes down to the last few laps you just simply have to do what you have to do,” said K. Strohl.
“He had that little bit more on me. I used my car up just a little too much trying to get around Brian (DeFebo) and kind of regret it but overall it was a good night for us and we learned a lot.”
As part of Dave Schlenker Tribute the Street Stocks ran twin 38-lap features. That numeral was carried as the signature car number by Schlenker’s sons Alan and Randy and also his grandson, Matt.
And in what couldn’t have been played out any better as if a Hollywood scripted, the nightcap was won by Matt in a close finish over TJ Gursky. The victory produced an emotionally charged Victory Lane celebration as the entire Schlenker family, led by patriarch Dave, greeted the happy winner.
In the first 38 Josh Mooney came out of hiatus and drove the Rip and Vickie Ripkey’s owned No. 56 to his first win since 2015.
Gursky produced the best overall finish of the two races and was named the champion.
In the Hobby Stocks Nick Schaeffer can finally rest easy in trying for the past few years to score a win.
Schaeffer was able to jump into he lead from his pole starting spot and then stayed the course the rest of the way. Late into the going he had defending champion Trisha Connolly making a run at him but the determined Schaeffer worked too hard for too long and never wavered in his quest to park in Victory Lane.
The Pro 4 feature was a final lap shootout between top rivals Jake Kibler and Cody Kohler.
Kibler had been leading handily for most of the race but in the closing laps Kohler was coming on like gangbusters. Heading into Turn 3 on the final lap Kohler tried to squeeze inside of Kibler and as he did he made slight contact and spun from contention. Kibler then drove on to his first win of the year and 48th of his career.
For the third time in as many races Parker Ahner proved best among the Futures. Ahner raced to the lead over Maggie Yeakel on lap five of 15 and once in front was on cruise control. Second spot went to Makayla Kohler.
Modified feature finish (50 laps): 1. Blake Barney, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Lou Strohl, 4. Brian DeFebo, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Bobby Jones, 7. Carl Altemose, 8. Jaden Brown, 9. Austin Kochenash, 10. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 11. Rod Snyder Jr., 12. Nick Bear, 13. Eric Kocher, 14. Brody George, 15. Cody Kohler, 16. Josh Scherer, 17. Jacob Kerstetter, 18. Terry Markovic DNS: Tom Wanick III
1st Street Stock feature finish (38 laps): 1. Josh Mooney, 2. Matt Kocher, 3. Johnny Bennett, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Bob Kibler Sr., 7. Jon Moser, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Jacob Boehm, 10. Matt Schlenker, 11. Mark Martini, 12. Jill Snyder, 13. Corey Edelman, 14. Logan Boyer, 15. Tommy Flanagan, 16. Frank DelNero Jr., 17. Bobby Kibler Jr., 18. Jeremy Scheckler, 19. Stacey Brown, 20. Brandon Christman, 21. Thomas Flanagan DNQ: Tucker Muffley, Randy Green, Jeremy Guerra, Randy Ahner Jr., Al Arthofer, Jamie Smith
11-year old Paulie Hartwig III races to Mahoning Valley Speedway Sportsman Modified win on June 4
At just 11 years and three months old Paulie Hartwig III of Galloway, NJ became the youngest driver to win in a Modified stock car at Mahoning Valley Speedway. The rising star won the 25-lap Sportsman Modified feature ahead of a veterans Nick Baer and Earl Paules.
“This car was just so fast tonight and I love this place. My dad (Paul Hartwig Jr.) works his butt off every day in the shop with Bobby Geiger and they do the best they can to give me such a great car and I can’t thank them and everyone enough,” said Hartwig, who swept the night by also winning in his heat.
“We had trouble in warm-ups and couldn’t quite figure it out but we worked on it right up until the feature and in a way I’m glad we went out last tonight because it gave us a little extra time to work on the car. This is a really tough class with guys like Earl Paules and all these guys who are very good.”
At the outset Terry Markovic led from the pole while fourth starting Hartwig moved quickly into second over Greyson Ahner. Hartwig then lingered close behind Markovic and on lap six went low and in making his race winning pass.
“We started fourth and I thought we were going to drop back. I was just riding behind him (Markovic) and then I saw the door open and I cut down and took the bottom,” noted Hartwig.
Once in the lead Hartwig began to set sail as he was well ahead of the pack and easily cruising each lap.
“I could tell that I was pulling away but I didn’t want to push it to hard either.”
And as Hartwig was in his zone there was a great battle that was ongoing for second spot with Al Arthofer and Baer who were hounding in a two-be-two fight.
For Baer it took him to lap 15 to make his way to second but two laps later he was again engaged in a dogfight, this time with defending champion Jaden Brown. Once gain it was side-by-side racing for the runner-up spot which allowed Hartwig to continue in his dominate journey.
With two laps to go the only caution of the race waved when Brown spun while trying to make a pass on Baer. Unfortunately for Brown it took from contention.
“I think it was a mix of I got a little tight going into the corner and he (Brown) tried to get in the opening and it didn’t quite stick for both of us,” explained Baer.
With the field now bunched for the restart it also gave Baer a possible chance to take on Hartwig but when the green waved there was no slighting the young up-start as he blasted out over the final two tours and nabbed his history making verdict.
“I’m glad that was single file because I didn’t want to shift and chance spinning the tires. The track was really fast and the car never loosened up and it was perfect,” acknowledged Hartwig.
“It feels really neat to be the youngest driver to win in a Modified here at Mahoning. Two years ago I did the same thing with the Rookie Hobby Stocks.”
For Baer it was his second time in as many starts having to settle for the runner-up spot.
“Once I got into second I kept digging and digging and I could see I was catching him it’s just that I was running out of time. I needed a caution maybe five laps sooner,” Bear said.
“I gave it a shot that’s for sure and I think I didn’t get the tires hot enough to make a run at him. I also had a bent wheel and it was vibrating trying to hold on for those last few laps. We did the best we could.”
Hartwig wasn’t the only driver on this night celebrating a first. In the Street Stocks Logan Boyer of New Tripoli collected his career first victory. Boyer parlayed his pole starting spot into a night he won’t soon forget as he led all 30-laps en route to the unforgettable victory.
When the race got underway Boyer was able to pull out to a decent lead over Randy Green. Green was in a very tight three car battle that included Stacey Brown and Jamie Smith as lap after lap they contested in close formation.
But hot action came to a head when on lap 17 Green was pinched by Smith and the caution was then displayed and for both drivers they would have to restart from the rear.
When the action resumed Muffley was shown in second with Brown third and no sooner was the green back out so too was the battle for the top spot. Muffley and Brown went side-by-side in pursuit of Boyer but no matter how much they tried they just could not make their way by the strong-minded driver behind the wheel of the fast-paced No. 32.
“I tried my best that’s for sure. For the past couple years I wasn’t really a factor but I never gave up either. I tried to race a clean race and I want to thank everyone who’s helped me to get to this point,” said Boyer, who has been racing the class since 2015.
In show of true comradery each driver stopped afterwards to congratulate Boyer on his well-earned feat.
In the Hobby Stock main Shayne Geist of Lehighton can finally breathe a sigh of relief. In the previous two features he was locked in torrid battle for the checkers, each time with Corey Edelman and each time having to settle for a close second place.
For Geist the third time would be the charm and although Edelman was out of the race with mechanical woes the fight for the win was still a tough one nonetheless.
Cody Boehm was glued to the rear of Geist and would push him to the finish with no room between them. Likewise Travis Solomon was in tow as well but for Geist he was not to be denied. It was his first win three years and the victory also gave him sole control of the point standings.
Defending Pro 4 champion Cody Kohler of Schnecksville picked up his first win of 2022 and he worked hard to get it too.
Kohler’s race got off to a rough start when he was called for making contact with pole sitter Terry Peters and sent to the rear. Afterwards Jake Kibler was leading early but Kohler had come up through the field and was racing latterly with Tyler Stangle for second which soon became a three car battle for the lead when then zeroed in on Kibler.
Maintaining the outside line, Kohler was able to check by Stangle and continued doing so in catching and passing Kibler with six laps to go. He then held his line on the way to scoring his 37th career win.
Parker Ahner of Palmerton was able to slip underneath Makayla Kohler on lap seven of the Futures feature and went on to collect his second straight win in just his third start.
The East Coast TQ Midgets made their first appearance of the season and taking a rousing victory was current point leader and defending club champion Tyler Wagner of Rockaway, NJ. Wagner passes his uncle, Don Wagner on a lap seven restart and from then on was never headed.
East Coast TG Midget feature finish (20 laps): 1. Tyler Wagner, 2. Jasper Ziegafose, 3. Jason Hentrich, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Austin Santee, 6. Cody Geist, 7. Ozzie Carlino, 8. Brandon Kressler, 9. Don Zirinski
Matt Hirschman cashes in at Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150” … 11th win of season worth just over $10G in cash and awards on May 22
The Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Memorial 150” paid big dividends for Northampton’s Matt Hirschman after a track record payout. Hirschman, who scored his 11th win of 2022, won $7000 for the victory and with additional bonuses finished off the day with just over $10,000 in total cash and awards. Hirschman started 10th and on lap 63 moved to the front for the first time with an inside pass on Blake Barney. Afterwards he withstood strong numerous challenges from Barney, Bobby Jones and Chuck Hossfeld. With 50 laps to go he opted to make a pit stop under a caution and change his right side tires. When he returned to the track he was ninth and over the next 17 laps put on a driving clinic as he passed one car after another until regaining the top spot from Hossfeld. The rest of the way he simply drove lap after lap in a consistent smooth fashion and took the checkers over Barney by a solid two car lengths. “It was a long race and glad to finish it up at the top. This is the highest paying race we ever had here and you don’t know when or if that will ever happen again and I appreciate doing this in honor of Tom Wanick Jr., and for what his family and the speedway did for all of us,” said Hirschman. “This is a special win for sure with Tommy (Wanick III) wanting to do this race for his dad.” The race got off to a great start with Don Wagner leading the first few laps before Barney, the previous night winner at Wall Stadium Speedway, took charge. Tagging in behind him was Rod Snyder Jr., and TJ Potrzebowski. That trio ran in that order until lap 40 when Hossfeld stepped up to third. Four laps later he had just got by Snyder when the first caution waved for a Josh Scherer spin. Unfortunately that would trigger a string of yellow flags which made the going exasperating to say the least plus there was a slow-up when a brief shower crossed over the track. “I had no problem navigating the traffic there was just way to many caution laps and I was kind of losing my mind because we kept stopping and I just wanted to get a rhythm going with some green flag laps,” admitted Hirschman. “Plus with the rain coming down it was kind of a frustrating race a little bit but wining makes up for all that.” In between the rash of cautions and as Hirschman was leading there was a great battle for second taking place. After giving up the lead to Hirschman Barney and Jones put on a spirited battle for second spot. Then Hossfeld came back onto the scene and used the inside lane to advance to second. When Hirschman pitted under a lap 100 caution it allowed Hossfeld to assume the lead. Earl Paules was now second after Barney and Jones had pitted a few laps prior to the century mark. With Hirschman out of the picture for the time being Hossfeld was setting a good pace while fending off Paules. But after reentering the track with fresh rubber Hirschman was putting on a rapid charge and passing at will. His race winning pass came with an inside move off Turn 4 over Hossfeld and once in front there was no denying his authority. Matt (Hirschman) is a great guy and I call him almost daily. His dad Tony was my dad’s favorite driver and Matt is a great a great racer,” offered Tom Wanick Jr., from Victory Lane. Hirschman picked up bonuses from Troyer Race Cars, Hirschman Speed, D & B Towing, Aqua Duck Water Transport, Pennsylvania Veterans Outdoor Veterans and the Wanick family. The later was an additional $1500 for his autographed roof. It was also 29th Mahoning win and ninth consecutive victory in as many starts here. Barney, the runner-up finisher had his best finish at Mahoning. He stayed in the hunt from the drop of the green and only fell back after pit stops. But each time he returned the car was quick and he came just one spot short of sweeping the weekend. “I really enjoy this place and I had a really good race car and was fortunate enough to have a good starting spot in second. I took the lead early and tried to do what he (Hirschman) does and pace the race,” said Barney. “I lost a little drive there at the end and I really wish I could have gave the 60 a run. I thought I had good pace and our car felt good. We went 100 laps on the same tires and when we came in that last time and it woke the thing up.” Paules was a solid third with Hossfeld fourth and Brian DeFebo fifth. Connecticut racer Anthony Bello was sixth and awarded an additional $1000 for being highest finishing crate car. Josh Scherer, Jones, Chris Ammon and Snyder Jr., competed the top 10.
In the Street Stock main Cody Geist parlayed his pole starting spot into his first win of the season. Geist had a fierce battle with Tucker Muffley who pressed hard to try and get by him. There was, also point leader Jillian Snyder looking to unseat the leader but each time they tried he held his ground. The win was worth $1000. Geist may have led all the way but he fought hard each lap nonetheless. Muffley held on for a very close second with Todd Ahner, TJ Gursky and Thomas Flanagan filling out the top five. Corey Edelman won his second straight Hobby Stock feature and for the second time had to fend off Shayne Geist in the process. Edelman and Geist traded paint while battling for the lead and heavy traffic too. Matter of fact Geist was just about in a position to snag back the lead while setting up Edelman behind oncoming tail end cars. But just as it appeared the move was going to take place the caution waved and negated the attempt. That was the saving grace too for Edelman as there was on five laps to go and on the single file restart he held on to collect his 24th class win. Travis Solomon, BJ Wambold and Ryan Berger rounded out the top five. Modified Feature finish (150 laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Blake Barney, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Chuck Hossfeld, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Anthony Bello, 7. Josh Scherer, 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Chris Ammon, 10. Rod Snyder Jr., 11. Tom Wanick III, 12. Jaden Brown, 13. Brandon Oltra, 14. Sean Verwys, 15. Anthony Sesely, 16. Austin Kochenash, 17. Paulie Hartwig III, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. Roger Coss, 20. TJ Potrzebowski, 21. Cody Kohler, 22. Ron Silk, 23. Zane Zeiner, 24. Nick Baer, 25. Don Wagner, 26. Mike Hosier, 27. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 28. Lou Strohl DNQ: Terry Markovic, Carl Altemose, Johnny Bennett, Chris Risdale, Jacob Kerstetter Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Cody Geist, 2. Tucker Muffley, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Thomas Flanagan, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Jillian Snyder, 8. Tommy Flanagan, 9. Jamie Smith, 10. Stacey Brown, 11. Randy Green, 12. Bobby Kibler Jr., 13. Randy Ahner Jr., 14. Brandon Christman, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Jacob Boehm Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Ryan Berger, 6. Trisha Connolly, 7. Lyndsay Buss, 8. Nick Schaffer, 9. Tad Snyder, 10. Don Bauder, 11. Nick Kerstetter, 12. Makayla Kohler, 13. Ralph Borger Jr., 14. Dave Kerr, 15. Cody Boehm, 16. Maggie Yeakel, 16. James Tout, 18. Jared Frye, 19. Justin Merkel, 20. Mallory Kutz, 21. Jacob Boehm DNS: Ed Herman
Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified Soring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150” to be streamed on dirttrackdigest.tv
The Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150” set for Sunday afternoon, May 22 at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway has been growing with excitement especially with a track record first place payout of no less than $7000-to-win and $1200 to take the green. Aside from that there are numerous monetary and contingency prizes that will be presented. There will even be a non-qualifiers race if 40 or more cars are signed in and that number is nearing. With all the hype leading into the final week before the big event asphalt Modified teams from near and far have been showing much intent in the special race being held in honor of the late car owner Tom Wanick Jr., who passed away unexpectedly in January. And as the interest grows so too does the opportunity to showcase the unique style of racing at the paved quarter mile oval to fans and drivers that will be converging on the Jack Carlino owned facility. However, for those who cannot make it there is a still a great way to not miss any of the action as the event will be live streamed on the popular dirttrackdigest.tv streaming web outlet. “We’re very excited to be able to present our wide spectrum of fans the opportunity to view the Tom Wanick Memorial 150 at Mahoning Valley Speedway,” said owner/managing editor Mike Mallett. “I had the chance to check out the races there and it’s amazing how the Modifieds and all their classes get around that little bullring. You’re constantly watching two and three wide racing.” dirtrackdgest.tv is well known for streaming dirt track races across the northeast but this not a new venture into asphalt racing. Last year’s Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway was produced by them as too were the Len Sammons Productions Indoor events from Allentown and Syracuse.
“First and foremost our goal is to have as many fans at the track, we highly encourage that. Our mission is to partner with the speedways we go to and provide the best production possible with our award winning videographers and production crews,” added Mallett. “Getting the chance to come to a track like Mahoning Valley is going to be a great for everyone. And we don’t just stream it with us but also partner with SpeedSportTV and several other affiliates. We’re all looking forward to this big race at Mahoning Valley and getting to show the racing world the awesome product they have there.” Mallett noted that the entire program will be broadcast starting with heats and then features for not just the Modifieds but the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks as well which are also on the card.
To sign-up for a subscription to the Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150” just simply go to the website https://www.dirttrackdigest.tv/ click on subscribe in the upper right hand corner and following the prompts. On race day Sunday the action gets underway starting at 2:00 pm.
Mahoning Valley Speedway bows out to another rainy forecast on May 14
(Lehighton 5-14-22) It seems like deja vu once again at Mahoning Valley Speedway as for the fourth time in six weeks rain and wet conditions have forced the cancelation of Saturday night racing. The weather forecast for the Lehighton and surrounding area is very unfavorable with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon leading into a higher percentage of more rain for the evening has left officials little choice but to cancel for the day. The Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial Pro 4 26 will be rescheduled to a later date as will the “Where Are They Now” segment and Kids Big Wheels.Next up on the schedule will be the Sunday afternoon, May 22 Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150.” With a record $7000-to-win and over 30 Modified teams already signed up and more expected on race day, the event is shaping up to be a huge day of asphalt racing for fans of the paved ¼-mile oval. Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will also be in action. The track will hold an open practice on Saturday, May 21 from noon to 4:00 pm. On race day Sunday the action gets underway starting at 2:00 pm.
Ward Crozier Sr., Pro 4 Memorial 26 + “Where Are They Now” highlight Mahoning Valley Speedway action this coming Saturday night…Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks & Futures on card + Kids Big Wheel races
After suffering a third rainout last weekend Mahoning Valley Speedway swings back into action this coming Saturday evening, May 14 at 6:00 pm with a full slate of stock car racing and much more. On tap is the Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial 26 for Pro 4s. The race is being presented in honor of the late great track owner/promoter who brought the facility back to life in 1987. Crozier introduced the Pro 4 division, previously known as the 4-Cylinders, in 1988 and since then remains a mainstay of weekly competition. The race winner of the 26-lap feature will be awarded $400 plus there will be a basket raffle with the proceeds all going towards the purse. Additionally, added money will be disbursed throughout the finishing order all courtesy of Dottie Farkas. In the most recent Pro 4 feature Randy Schaffer won a thriller over Tyler Stangle. It was Schaffer’s career first win. The speedway will also host a “Where Are They Now” segment. Introduced last season in which past greats are invited to have a Meet and Greet with fans and talk over their careers. From the get-go it was a huge hit. Coming in will be former Street Stock stars Ed Altemose, Eric Aigeldinger and brother Bob and Rich Pursell. Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures will be in action too. Earl Paules won the Sport Mod opener on April 30 while Nick Ross won the Late Model feature and set a class record for consecutive wins at six and counting. Jillian Snyder scored the Street Stock main and is the current point leader while Corey Edelman extended his Hobby Stock wins record to 23. Parker Ahner pulled off a last lap pass and won his career first Futures race. Kids Big Wheel race will also take place during intermission and are sponsored by Kutz Racing.
Race time is 6:00 pm. Pit gates open at 11:00 am. Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 4:00 pm and racing gets the green flag at 6:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $15. Pits are $40. Driver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm.
Saturday, May 7 Mahoning Valley Speedway races are cancelled due to rain forecast
(Lehighton 5-6-22) With the impending forecast for rain throughout most of the day Saturday and into the evening Mahoning Valley Speedway officials have made the decision to cancel the races now rather than play the waiting game and to better allow their fans, race teams and staff to proceed with alternate weekend plans. Virtually every weather model shows the same forecast of cloudy and periods of rain and then much of the same heading into the evening hours. Looking ahead to the following weekend, Saturday, May 14, there will be a six division show of stock car racing featuring Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Futures. Race time is 6:00 pm. The Pro 4s will contest in the Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial 26 which was originally slated for this weekend. The 26-lap feature will pay $400-to-win and have additional money spread throughout the field. There will also be a “Where Are They Now” segment. This popular highlight brings together past racing personalities for a meet and greet with fans. Taking part in the event will be former Street Stock drivers from the 1987 season including Bob and Rich Pursell, Ed Altemose and Eric Aigeldinger.
The following Sunday, May 22 is the much anticipated Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial” 150. This race is the richest paying event ever staged at Mahoning Valley paying no less than $7000-to-win, $4000 for second, $1500 for 10th and $1200 to take the green. There are a number of other monetary and product incentives including a $1000 bonus to the highest finishing SK/Crate 602/Sport Mod car. For Sport/Crate Mod teams there is a $1000 bonus to the highest finishing car that makes the feature and if anyone who races those cars are in need of bigger wheels they should contact Tom Wanick III at 570-579-5011 and he will be more than happy to assist. The race will begin at 2:00 pm and also include the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks in regular point events. Complete information on the Wanick Memorial can be found on Mahoning’s website.
Earl Paules motors to Mahoning Sportsman Modified win: Nick Ross’ Late Model victory was a record setter on April 30
(Lehighton 4-30-22) As the all-time wins leader at Mahoning Valley Speedway Earl Paules of Palmerton showed his mastery of the paved ¼-mile oval yet again as the “Hurricane” cruised to his 66th overall victory, taking the checkers in the first Sportsman Modified feature of the season. This was Paules’ first start of the year at Mahoning and he began it the same way he ended last season, in Victory Lane. Paules started third and within three laps passed Troy Bollinger for the lead. Thereafter he was on cruise control as he steadily pulled away from the pack and also negotiated his way through traffic perfectly in a race that went caution-free over the 25 lap distance. When he exited his car he asked, ‘Was anyone close?’ The answer was a definite no as he was just no match on this night. The victory was also his 89th on asphalt. “It went pretty good out there and I firstly want to thank my wife Danielle for all her support and of course all the fans for coming out tonight and supporting Mahoning Valley Speedway,” said Paules. Nick Baer was a solid second all the while Paules led but all he could do was watch as there was no catching the steady-paced No. 8 which went on the a 2.096-second margin of victory. Bollinger took third with 2021 champ Jaden Brown and Paulie Hartwig III rounding out the top five. “I couldn’t catch Troy in the heat race so we made a lot of changes after that. And having him and Nick (Baer) in front of us for the start of the feature, those are two guys haven’t won in a while and they were going to be hungry and I knew I needed to unload then quick,” said Paules. “There’s also some good young talent coming in this year and they all ran well. This is a very affordable Modified division and you can learn a lot to move up to the next level.”
The Late Model division has been competing at Mahoning Valley since 1970 and for Nick Ross of White Haven his win was one for the record books as the reigning champion collected his sixth consecutive feature dating back to last season. Ross started on the outside for the front row alongside two-time champion Frankie Althouse and after successive two-by-two laps that saw Althouse slightly ahead. Ross was scored the leader at the start of lap three and once in front he gradually went into his own zone and put a safe enough gap between himself and the rest of the field. As Ross led there was some great action going on behind him as Althouse and Mark Hudson where in a torrid back and forth battle. That lasted until lap 13 when Althouse spun in Turn 3. Seven laps later his night came to an abrupt end when he crashed hard into the front straight wall. And despite those two cautions that bunched the field it never hindered Ross as on each restart he blasted ahead and went on to a three car length victory over Hudson who notched his career best Mahoning finish. Mike VanFossen was back in a car for the first time in several seasons and took third with Geno Steigerwalt and Brandon Turbush rounding out the top five.
Jillian Snyder of Slatington proved best among the Street Stocks as the personable driver of the Long Motorsports No. 97 ran a strong race en route to winning her seventh career feature. Snyder started sixth and with the aid a few restarts picked her way frontward, not to mention some savvy passing as well, she was up to second spot by lap 10 and closing on then leader Cody Geist. Another two laps clicked off and she was ahead the pack. There was no looking back from that point on as she proceeded on a smooth path to victory. Thomas Flanagan raced into second after Snyder took the lead and was stout in keeping within the tire tracks of the winner.
In the Hobby Stocks it was Corey Edelman of Northampton holding off Shayne Geist in a close verdict. Edelman grabbed the lead from his outside front row starting spot and soon after was able to distance himself from the field. With a slew on nonstop laps that lead was growing ever larger, however, things changed when the only caution of the race waved with seven laps to go and on that restart Edelman was now engaged in an intense battle with Geist who hounded him relentlessly over the waning laps. In spite of the heavy pressure that Geist was apply, Edelman held his ground and hit the finish line bumper to bumper and in the process extended his class leading wins total to 23.
Palmerton’s Parker Ahner pulled off a daring last lap move on Adam Steigerwalt and came out as the winner of the Futures main event. Ahner worked hard to get the job done as he was involved in a three wide incident while battling for the lead with Steigerwalt and Michael Klotz and suffered a flat from that tussle and had to pit. When he returned with eight laps to go he quickly stormed back toward the leaders, first unseating Klotz and then zeroed in on Steigerwalt. Sticking to the bottom of the track Ahner squeezed to the inside of Steigerwalt and coming off the final turn with the checkers in sight he eked out the win, his first ever in a stock car coming in just his second start.
Sportsman Modified feature finish (25 laps) 1. Earl Paules, 2. Nick Baer, 3. Troy Bollinger, 4. Jayden Brown, 5. Paulie Hartwig III, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Al Arthofer, 8. Brody George, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Greyson Ahner, 11. Deegen Underwood
Late Model feature finish (25 laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. Mark Hudson, 3. Mike VanFossen, 4. Geno Steigerwalt, 5. Brandon Turbush, 6. Seth VanFossen, 7. Todd Cooper, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Brooks Smith, 10. Frankie Althouse, 11. Paul Cummings
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Jillian Snyder, 2. Tommy Flanagan, 3. Johnny bennett, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Thomas Flanagan, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Brandon Christman, 8. Jamie Smith, 9. Logan Boyer, 10. Randy Green, 11. Jeremy Scheckler, 12. Cody Geist, 13. Tucker Muffley, 14. Stacey Brown
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. BJ Wambold, 4. Justin Merkel, 5. Jacob Boehm, 6. Travis Solomon, 7. James Tout, 8. Lyndsay Buss, 9. Dave Kerr, 10. Mallory Kutz, 11. Tad Snyder, 12. Don Bauder, 13. Jared Frye, 14. Ralph Borger Jr., 15. Ed Herman, 16. Nick Kerstetter, 17. Cody Boehm
“Mr. Outside” Rod Snyder Jr., is once again a Mahoning Modified winner on Opening Night April 23
(4-23-22) The third attempt of getting the 2022 season underway at Mahoning Valley Speedway proved to be well worth the wait as race hungry fans witnessed one of the most prolific drivers to ever turn a lap at the paved ¼-mile oval make a triumphant return to Victory Lane as 58-year old Rod Snyder Jr., of Lehighton drove to his first Modified win in 15 years. Snyder – a five time track champion (1995-99) – had been on hiatus since 2007 but made a comeback two years ago with JD Motorsports, only running a partial schedule. However, the team felt they were ready to make a full season commitment and in Saturday night’s opener came loaded for bear. Snyder was the quickest car during heat races giving the early indication of just how the night would go. The feature began with Brian DeFebo leading early on while holding off Austin Kochenash and then Zane Zeiner. While battling closely DeFebo and Zeiner got into each other on lap 12 and handed the lead over to Lou Strohl with Kochenash, Snyder and Kyle Strohl in tow. It was after that restart the driver dubbed “Mr. Outside” went into his all too familiar high line style. He ran a few side-by-side laps before picking off Kochenash and then still riding the top lane did the same to L. Strohl and at the start of lap 22 was in the lead of a feature for the first time in 15 years. In the handful of starts the past two years it never really gave the team enough opportunity to showcase what they had. On this night, however, this was classic Rod Snyder at his finest as the rest of the way he left no doubt he was the car to beat, driving off to a two car length margin of victor over K. Strohl. “We lost so many close family and friends over the past two years and it felt as though someone else was driving this car tonight and it wasn’t me. The guys on this team do an awesome job and our performances may not have shown that but I assure you it’s there and it’s going to continue to show,” said Snyder. “All those guys out there tonight are really good, Brian (DeFebo), Zane (Zeiner), Austin (Kochenash) all raced hard but things unfortunately happened in front of us and honestly I feel we had the best car tonight. The track was great and the car was great.” Kochenash was third with L. Strohl and Cody Kohler rounding out the front five.
In the Street Stocks reigning champion TJ Gursky of Palmerton picked up right where he left off, in Victory Lane. Gursky closed out 2021 with a win and started this season the same way. For half the race Gursky and pole sitter Brandon Christman battled in a rubber match as they exchanged the lead several times. It wasn’t until a lap-18 restart that Gursky finally said enough was enough and sprung to the front for good. As the race went on he was then able extend his lead and cruise effortlessly to his 34th overall career win. Christman remained surefooted in taking second spot with Stacey Brown, Todd Ahner and Randy Ahner Jr., completing the top five.
Thrilling is only one of several exciting ways to describe the Hobby Stock feature as the battle for the lead went on from lap one to 25 and when the checkers waved it was Lehighton’s Travis Solomon who earned a hard fought victory. Matter of fact Solomon didn’t factor into play until very late in the going. At the outset Justin Merkel lead but was under immense pressure from BJ Wambold, Cody Boehm and Shayne Geist. Nearly every lap from the aforementioned where being run under a tight blanket with quite a few circuits going in three wide formation. With nine laps to go a caution was out when the lead pack came upon slower traffic and Geist got tripped up and spun. Just prior to that Boehm had been scored as the leader. Boehm’s time at the front was short lived as Merkel retook the lead and at the same time Solomon powered his way to second although Boehm was still right there. Solomon then hounded Merkel and waited for just the right time to strike and it came with three laps left as he edged his way to the front and then clung to a narrow victory, his sixth with the class. Merkel, Boehm, Wambold and Tad Snyder rounded out the top five.
For Randy Schaffer of Catasaugua, all you can say is “Finally!” After being a perennial bridesmaid in the Pro 4 for oh-to-long he definitively landed that elusive career first win and it came in quite the barnburner too. Tyler Stangle had the lead from the get-go and was steadily maintaining consistent laps while keeping everyone else at bay. But Schaffer, who had been racing close with Jake Kibler, was able to shake free of that battle and then began to zero in on Stangle. With one lap to go he then made a squeeze play inside of Stangle and they went side-by-side right to the finish where Schaffer just eked ahead for the win.
Adam Steigerwalt of Lehighton held off a very determined Parker Ahner to claim the 15-lap Futures feature. Ahner was just about ready to complete an inside pass for the lead with three laps to go when the caution waved and negated his effort. On the restart Steigerwalt raced perfectly in the remaining laps to secure the win with Ahner a close second.
Modified Feature finish (35 laps): 1. Rod Snyder Jr., 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Lou Strohl, 5. Cody Kohler, 6. Josh Scherer, 7. Brian DeFebo, 8. Jesse Strohl, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Carl Altemose, 11. Gene Bowers, 12. Jacob Kerstetter, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 15. Zane Zeiner, 16. Wes Gilbert, 17. Gunnar Zeiner
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Brandon Christman, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Stacey Brown, 5. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Jillian Snyder, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Mark Deysher, 9. Tommy Flanagan, 10. Thomas Flanagan, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Logan Boyer, 13. Randy Green, 14. Scott Lesher, 15. Bobby Kibler Jr., 16. Jamie Smith, 17. Jason Finken, 18. Al Arthofer, 19. Cody Geist
Pro 4 feature finish (20 laps): 1. Randy Schaffer, 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Kadie Pursell, 6. Terry Peters, 7. Ken Reeder
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Travis Solomon, 2. Justin Merkel, 3. Cody Boehm, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Tad Snyder, 6. Lyndsay Buss, 7. Shayne Geist, 8. Jacob Boehm, 9. Nick Schaeffer, 10. Don Bauder, 11. Ed Herman, 12. Mallory Kutz, 13. Nicholas Kerstetter, 14. Ralph Boger Jr., 15. Dave Kerr, 16. Jared Green, 17, Jared Frye, 19. Dave Imler Jr., 20. Tony Hilliard, 21. Doug DeHaven DNS: James Tout
Mahoning Valley Speedway will try for a third time to get 2022 season underway
(Lehighton 4-17-22) Starting with pre-season Test and Tune and then the first two weeks of the scheduled events of racing has been a challenge to say the least for fans and teams at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway as cancellations and postponements have certainly hampered efforts to get little if any on track activities of the 2022 races underway. But with positive thinking as the best solution the popular paved ¼-mile oval remains resolute and will be ready to yet again host the season opener this coming Saturday, April 23 starting at 5:00 pm. Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Futures will be on the card for a compete show of heats and features. Pit gates open at 10:30 am. Early paid practice will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 3:00 pm and racing gets the green flag at 5:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. Pits are $40. Coming up in two weeks on Saturday, April 30 the Sportsman Modified and Late Models will get to race for first time after falling victim to this past weekend’s rainout. A reminder to all Modified race teams that pre-registration is still open for the May 22 Modified Spring Zing “Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150.” This is a $7000-to-win/150 lap feature with $1500 for 10th and $1200 to take the green. Car registration is $100 if postmarked by May 9. Afterwards it will be $150. Registration forms can be found on the track’s website or the following link: http://www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com/uploads/1/1/8/6/11865016/tom_wanick_jr._memorial_pre_registration_form_v3.pdf
Freddy Hamm Tribute reset for June 25
The April 10 weather postponed Freddy Hamm Tribute at Mahoning Valley Speedway has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 25. The event was slated as race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series with twin 45-lap features for the Modifieds along with Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures. However, rain and snow passed over the speedway at the scheduled 2:00 pm start time and officials along with members of the Hamm family felt it was in the best interest to call of the show and reset it for a later date. After discussing the best available date it was decided on June 25 as the make-up day. With that wrist bands from Sunday, April 10 will be good for either the next two regular Saturday shows, April 16 and 23 (no monetary refund) or the next two Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series events on either June 11, the Dave Schlenker Tribute or June 25 the re-scheduled Freddy Hamm Tribute. Also, for the Freddy Hamm Tribute there will be a complete redraw of heat starting spots for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks.
Snow and Rain on April 10 force postponement of Mahoning Valley Speedway Freddy Hamm Tribute
(Lehighton 4-10-22) The much anticipated Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Freddy Hamm Tribute – the kickoff event to the 2022 season at the paved ¼-mile oval in Lehighton – was called when on and off rain and snow befell throughout the day Sunday. As the 2:00 pm race time neared so too did yet another passing snow squall followed by more rain. It was at that point officials made the decision to throw in the towel and call off the event. After conferring with family members of the late Freddy Hamm who were on hand for the race, it was decided that a make-up date will take place later in the year that will be favorable for all parties. At the present details are being worked on for the suitable date. All wristbands from both pits and grandstands Sunday are to be saved for the make-up race which will be announced very soon. Sunday was actually the second try at putting on the races. The day before was the original date but rain and flooding forced that cancellation and all activities to be moved back to the next day. In between Saturday and Sunday track crews worked tirelessly and into the late night pumping out water in order to have a race-ready track. That effort went right up until the first cars rolled out on Sunday but inopportunely Mother Nature had other plans. Despite that the four classes, Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures did at least get in a few rounds of warm-ups. This was to be race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS), a special five race series that pays tribute to select individuals who played a key role in the history of Mahoning and Dorney Park Speedways. The following MVSHoFS event will be the Dave Schlenker Tribute on June 11. Next up will be the start of point racing. On Saturday evening, April 16 at 5:00 pm Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Futures will be in action. The Modifieds will be back for their first point race on Saturday, April 23. Pit gates open at 11:00 am. Early paid practice will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 3:00 pm and racing gets the green flag at 5:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. Pits are $40.
Mahoning Valley Speedway wraps up pre-season with Test and Tune…Freddy Hamm Tribute to kick off 2022 season on April 9
With just one week before Mahoning Valley Speedway’s opening event – the Freddy Hamm Tribute – racers took advantage of the final Test and Tune day on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at the paved ¼-mile oval in preparation of the 56th season opener. On hand was a very respectable representation of cars that will be competing throughout the year and judging by the turnout there is a very eager feeling of excitement heading into this upcoming Saturday, April 9 when race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) takes place. “I feel that with the really good car count we had it clearly gives us a good indication that we’ll have a solid field for all classes for the season opener and not only by the number of cars we had for Test and Tune but likewise with those who we already know will be coming that weren’t on hand,” stated Track Operations Manager Todd Baer. “We’re honored to be hosting one of the all-time greats Freddy Hamm and his tribute race. He was a great ambassador to this area’s asphalt racers and we couldn’t think of a better way to start off this year’s Hall of Fame Series.” Throughout the day-long Test and Tune session drivers took to the track while continuing to tweak their cars after each time out and it showed too as both veterans and rookies dropped lapped times. “Everything went well from on the track activity to inspections. We actually had no major incidents that would have caused us to halt any of the action and I was impressed with the good showing of rookies who all did well too,” Baer went on to say. “There has been a lot of work over the off season in all aspects. We have some changes in place and all for the greater good. One of the things I’m looking forward to is plenty of hands-on activities we have planned for the kids and their involvement on a weekly basis.
“Our team will be ready and come Opening Day I feel you will see a some great racing which is what everyone comes to expect here at Mahoning,”
On Opening Day the Modifieds will run in a pair of 45 lap features. The 45-lap distance is in honor of Hamm’s signature No. 45 car. Also in action will be Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures. Race time is 5:00 pm.
There will be a draw for heat line-ups and redraw for the features. While there is a separate point tally for the MVSHoFS, all drivers signed in will additionally receive 50 show-up points towards the regular season championship with the exception of the Futures which who will collect regular points.
Mahoning Valley Speedway holds first on track activity with Test and Tune On March 26-27
Despite damp, cold and even snowy weather conditions, Mahoning Valley Speedway was able to withstand the odds and conduct two days of Test and Tune on Saturday and Sunday. In what was the first official on track activity of 2022, those race teams who took advantage of the twin daytime sessions were able to get in ample track time in working out the bugs from the hours of hard work put into their respective cars during the season.Veterans and rookies alike where on hand and in typical first time out for the new season the Hobby Stock class was most prevalent. In advance of the upcoming April 9 Opening Night Freddy Hamm Tribute which is race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series, the On Saturday and Sunday, April 2 & 3 from noon to 4:00 pm, the final Test and Tune will be held and the extended forecast is looking much more favorable.Test and Tune is open to any type of race car provided they are fitted with a roll cage and proper safety equipment.It is highly suggested that Mahoning Valley’s teams take advantage of this final pre-season tune-up to bring their cars to the track for safety inspections which will have a reduced time Weekend pit gates will open at 11:00 am on each of the designated days. Track activity will run from noon to 4:00 pm. Pits are $10 per person and $25 per car. Grandstands are free to Also season passes will be available for purchase. Season pass pricing is as follows, adults $275 (average $12 per race) students 11+ and seniors 65+ $240 (average $10 per race).
On Opening Day the Modifieds will run in a pair of 45 lap features. The 45-lap distance is in honor of Hamm and his signature No. 45 car. Also in action will be Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures. Race time is 5:00 pm.
Freddy Hamm Tribute to kick off 2022 Mahoning Valley Speedway season on April 9 On Saturday evening, April 9 Mahoning Valley Speedway will get the 2022 season underway with the Freddy Hamm Tribute which is race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS). Always identified by his signature Dennis Hilbert owned No. 45, the Modifieds will compete in a pair of 45-lap features. Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures will also be in action. Race time is 5:00 pm. The eastern Pennsylvania asphalt racing community lost one of its most iconic figures when Hamm passed away Friday, August 21, 2021 after a bout with cancer at age 74. The longtime Kutztown resident was among the inaugural class of the Dorney Park Speedway-Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame inductees in 2011. Hamm began racing Hobby Stocks at Dorney Park then advanced into the Sportsman Modifieds raced with a tremendous amount of success at the Park and likewise at Mahoning Valley Speedway and Evergreen Raceway. He is the only driver to have won track championships at all three facilities. Over his career he earned a boundless amount of respect from his legion of fans as well as his counterparts. It was perhaps that trait he is most associated with and puts him head and shoulders above the rest as an affable racer and champion. Steve Barrick, president of Program Dynamics who supplied the weekly program books at Dorney and Mahoning Valley, recalled how Hamm made a lasting impression with him. “When we started at Dorney Park it was in 1975 and Freddy had just made the transition from Late Models and into the Sportsman (Modifieds) and he had a great fan following and great reputation as a top driver and it didn’t take long to figure out why he had both because he really could get around Dorney Park probably as well as anyone in his era. “And he also did most of his racing there without basically getting on the receiving end of what usually happened to the close contact there. He never drove over his head or ever got a wheel wrong,” offered Barrick. “I can’t ever remember honestly him being flagged for rough-riding or being sent to the rear for being involved in someone else’s wreck that he was attributed for having caused. As a result of that he had a tremendous amount of respect among his competitors who were used to roughing each other up and he in turn did not do that and in spite of that was able to win a lot of races and championships.” Hamm indeed had a commonality when it came to winning and collecting titles. His first win was in 1974 at Dorney Park in a Sportsman Modified and he unremittingly continued to do so until 1997 when his final victory occurred at Evergreen Raceway. During that span he won seven championships including a record five at the Park and one each at Mahoning and Evergreen. Hamm was also many times over Most Popular Driver contest winner between Dorney and Mahoning. “That never came as a surprise and based on the way the Most Popular Driver contest results where during the period of time he was at Dorney I would have to say, even though we never kept the tallies, there was a good chance he probably would have gotten more votes for Most Popular Driver than anyone else and by far and the same goes for when he transitioned over to Mahoning,” noted Barrick. Throughout his career whenever Hamm’s name was mentioned it was commonly followed by how respectful a person he was both on and off the track. “The best way I can describe Freddy Hamm is that he was the consummate professional. He was always so calm and collective both on and off the track. Growing up and watching him my brother and I admired him because he was so methodical in his driving as always the professional,” said former Dorney and Mahoning champion John Markovic who, along with his brother Terry Markovic, continue competing today at Mahoning Valley. “He was a race car driver who had all his wits about him. He did it because he loved it and you never seen Freddy emit any types of bad emotions. People idolized him because of how he handled himself as a race car driver, never wild or crazy or argumentative. He was a unique breed of driver who always kept his emotion intact, a true professional.” When Dorney closed in 1986 Hamm finished off with 19 wins there and like most everyone else then headed over to the reopening of Mahoning Valley Speedway the following year. In short order be became a winner, scoring 10 victories between 1988 and 1991. By the mid-1990s Hamm took his talents to Evergreen Raceway where he had already won during the late ‘70s. His 37 total career wins came over three different decades. "Freddy was the guy you looked up to and liked and loved because of what he stood for,” added Markovic.“When he and Dennis (Hilbert) showed up they were always prepared. When they pulled in you knew you could be running for second place that night.” The Freddy Hamm Tribute will be the first of five MVSHoFS events. The unique races is designed to honor those Hall of Famers who laid the foundation for today’s current day racers. “It’s great that he’s being honored. I feel that it’s important that guys like Freddy be recognized as much as anybody as one of the individuals who made the transition from Dorney to coming to Mahoning and really adapting and succeeding well,” Barrick said. “Honoring Freddy is in a sense honoring the whole Pennsylvania asphalt Modified tradition when you think of how well he raced at Dorney and then Mahoning and Evergreen.” The MVSHoFS is contested amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. There will be a separate tally of points for each class and at the conclusion of the five events the top three will receive point fund monies. Drivers must compete in each of the five races in order to be eligible for the point fund money. A nominal entry fee to run each is required. The point fund breakdown is as follows: $1500, $1000 and $500 to the top three in Modifieds. $1000, $600 and $400 for the Street Stocks and $500, $300 and $200 for the Hobby Stocks
Cone races to be part of weekly Mahoning Valley Speedway features
Cone races where introduced to Mahoning Valley Speedway a few years ago as a way to enhance line-ups following cautions as well as playing a role in the outcome of that particular event. Cone races have since been held sporadically, however, starting this season fans will be seeing them on a regular basis as at least one division per week will compete in that format. It was decided that prior to the night’s racing a random pick will be held to choose which class will then run their feature as a cone race. This will be ongoing throughout the year. In the event a class has been picked two consecutive weeks then on the third week they will not be included in that evening’s draw. Also, several events this year are already designated as cone races and on those night’s there will be no draw. On Opening Night, April 9, race number two of the Freddy Hamm Tribute Twin 45’s will be the first cone race of the season. Others include the Dave Schlenker Tribute Twin-38s for Street Stocks on June 11 and the July 9 50-lap Mike Krempasky Street Stock Memorial. Mahoning Valley will be holding Test and Tune days on Saturday, March 26 and again on Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3 from noon to 4:00 pm. Opening night is April 9 which will be Race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series and the Freddy Hamm Tribute Modified Twin-45s. Also on the card will be Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures. Race time is 5:00 pm.
Randy Schlenker named 2022 Mahoning Valley Speedway Race Director
Track management of Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway has announced that former four-time champion Randy Schlenker of Whitehall, has been appointed Race Director of the paved ¼-mile oval. After narrowing down the likely candidates that were being considered for the job, Schlenker was ultimately chosen to fill the opening based on his knowledge and history of the speedway and objective plan to run the races. “At the end of last season we had the race director spot open up and there was a number of reputable applicants that showed interest,” said Mahoning owner/promoter Jack Carlino.“After carefully viewing the list we felt that that Randy (Schlenker) would best be the guy to conduct the program. He knows the track, he knows the drivers and he and his family has a long history with us. We’re proud to bring him into the fold and are confident of his ability to be fair with all classes and drivers.” Schlenker has been a regular at Mahoning since his youth. His father, Dave Schlenker, worked at the track dating back to its dirt days of the late 1950s and early ‘60s. When blacktop was added in 1970 the elder served in several capacities that included handicapper/scorer, statistician, announcer and flagger. He worked in those same roles at Dorney Park Speedway as well and several other local tracks. In 2017 Dave was inducted into the Dorney Park Speedway/Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame. In the mid-1990s R. Schlenker began racing in the Pro 4 division and would win a pair of titles and 11 features. He then moved into the Street Stock class and capture two titles there as well along with nine victories. At Evergreen Raceway he won 18 times with the Street Stocks. His brother Alan and nephew Matt are also Mahoning Street Stock winners. “I feel honored that there was interest in me for the position and to get the opportunity to serve as Mahoning’s Race Director. It’s always been important to me to keep very involved in the local racing scene as much as I can,” Schlenker said. “My dad started the whole thing from him being an official and then getting us all interested in it from myself to my brother and my nephew. As everyone knows in the racing game it takes a lot of time and money and life throws challenges at you and even though I may not be racing I still like to be involved in it and I’m humbled to have this chance to be part of the Mahoning staff.” Schlenker opened up that as a racer he understands the pressures that are in front of him with his new position but is readily up to the challenge now that he is on the opposite side of the fence. “Its tight quarters and it’s a tight track and there will always be contact with bumping and banging and so forth. I’m going to do what it takes to keep a good even flow of the show and in the process show our fans what good side-by-side action is all about with us. All the years when we raced I always wanted to be treated fairly and it will be my goal to show impartiality and earn everyone’s respect,” Schlenker explained. “Many race tracks are at a crossroads. Those that are still going we have to keep them going and at Mahoning that’s very important because there are generations of racers and families that have been coming here for years. This is a tough industry not just for us but all race tracks. Things aren’t as easy as they once were and it’s up to us to keep this going with good, fair and quality racing.” Schlenker has already been busy preparing for the upcoming season by laying out his game plan and speaking with competitors. He said he’ll be observing closely the upcoming Test and Tune days March 19/26 and April 2/3 where he looks to get settled into his role in preparation for the 2022 season.
Mahoning Valley Speedway/Evergreen Raceway Modified teams to reap big rewards in Tom Wanick Jr. Memorial…$15,000 up for grabs to winner at both tracks + very fitting payout throughout field
(Lehighton 3-6-22) In a unique and very rewarding collaboration between eastern Pennsylvania’s two asphalt race tracks – the 1/4-mile Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton and 1/3-mile Evergreen Raceway in Butler Township – Modified teams are set to share in a lucrative payoff with the inaugural running of the Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial that will be staged at both speedways and stand as the highest paying events ever at each establishments. On Sunday, May 22 at Mahoning Valley the “Modified Spring Zing Tom Wanick Jr., Memorial 150” will pay $7000-to-win while at Evergreen Raceway’s annual King of the Green, which is tagged as the “Tom Wanick Jr. Memorial 200” and slated for Sunday, October 9, is rewarding first place with $8000. Both are record payouts for each track and Evergreen’s race is also the longest distance in track history. “This is great way to show how both tracks can indeed work together,” said Mahoning’s Director of Track Operations Todd Baer. “Tommy (Wanick) came to us with such high enthusiasm to make this happen and we’re excited to be able to honor his dad and show all the asphalt faithful of both Evergreen and Mahoning that through cooperation we will put on a great set of events with great payouts in his name.” The races are being held in memory of the late Tom Wanick Jr., who passed away on January 4. Tom was a reputable Modified car owner and supporter of both tracks as well as partaking on the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Race of Champions Tours. He always paid close attention to detail as his signature No. 1W cars arrived at the track as show pieces with lots of chrome and defining paint schemes. Tom Jr.’s main focus was Evergreen Raceway where he began in 1988 with Succasunna, NJ’s Chris Ammon behind the wheel. Ammon gave the team their first win on July 18, 1992 and 10 more times after that. Tom Jr., also played a pivotal role in resurrecting the track in late 1999 with then promoter Joe Callavini. He was instrumental in reworking the back stretch of the track which clearly made for better racing. Eventually he turned over the reins of the team to his son, Tom III, who continued to make sure the 1W is always at the forefront with such star-studded drivers as Anthony Sesely, Chuck Hossfeld and Bobby Jones. A paving foreman for Franzosa Trucking of Hazle Township, Tom Jr., laid down the new asphalt when Evergreen was repaved last year. “My dad was everything to me and our race team and this is my way of celebrating his life by holding races in his name at Mahoning and Evergreen. We have always supported both tracks and we’re thrilled to be able to hold high-paying events that I’m sure will attract Modified racers from near and far, said Tom III. “I appreciate what Jack Carlino (Mahoning promoter) and Jason Makarewicz (Evergreen promoter) do for asphalt racing and so did my dad. This will be a great set of races for each track with the payouts in place and I know the fans will be in for a treat when you see the teams we expect to be taking part,” he continued. “We’re going to bring three cars alone with Chis (Ammon), Chuck (Hossfeld) and myself all driving plus where going to be giving support to Anthony (Sesely) and Bobby (Jones).”For Ammon it marks the first time back with Wanick since the 2002 Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium Speedway. The race formats are designed to keep in tune at both tracks for the Tom Wanick Jr. Memorials. 24 cars will start and all who qualify via heats will take part in a redraw. Two cars will make the grids from the consi and there will also be two provisionals per each track. In place will be a six tire rule. Also 100 ‘show-up’ points will go towards the season championship at each track. At Evergreen there will be a mid-race break at lap 100. Mahoning’s 150 is $7000-to-win, $4000 for second, $1500 for 10th and $1200 to take the green. The 200 at Evergreen pays $8000-to-win and $1200 to take the green. Car registration is $100 if postmarked by May 9 for Mahoning and September 1 at Evergreen. Afterwards it will be $150. Registration forms can be found on both tracks websites. As a bonus the overall best average finisher between the two races will be awarded a guaranteed starting spot in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series Haunted 100 on Saturday, October 22 at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA.
In the event of inclement weather on the respective race days, dates and times will be reset accordingly in an effort to be non-conflicting with other race events. Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures will be on the bill at Mahoning while the Factory Stocks are on the card at Evergreen.
Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series honorees announced…Freddy Hamm, Dave Schlenker, Earl Keinert, Del Hahn and Mike Muffley tribute races to be held
(Lehighton 2-24-22) Mahoning Valley Speedway is proud to announce the honorees and dates for the 2022 Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS). The MVSHoFS is a special five race series run amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks and pays tribute to select individuals who have been inducted into the Dorney Park Speedway/Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame at the America on Wheels Museum in Allentown.
Named to this year’s calendar of events are Freddy Hamm, Dave Schlenker, Earl Keinert, Del Hahn and Mike Muffley.
The late Freddy Hamm, how passed away last year, was a Modified champion at both Dorney and Mahoning as well as Evergreen Raceway and is the only driver to have won championships at all three tracks. His signature No. 45 was one of the most recognizable cars to ever turn a lap at each of those facilities. He was a true gentleman racer and earned the respect of his peers as well as a throng of dedicated and passionate fans. His tribute race will be the season opener on Saturday, April 9 with twin-45s for the Modifieds.
Next up will be the Dave Schlenker Tribute on Saturday, June 11. Dave was a fixture at Dorney and Mahoning serving as a race official in a number of different roles. His sons Randy and Alan, as well as his grandson Matt, all became accomplished drivers with the brunt of their success coming in the Street Stocks. For his Tribute that class will contest in Twin 38-lap features while the Modifieds will do battle in a 50-lapper.
Next up will be the Earl Keinert Tribute on Saturday, July 16. The Keinert name is synonymous with all three eastern Pennsylvania asphalt tracks although it was at the Park where he, along with his son Homer Keinert, made their mark as top notch Sportsman Modified racers. Earl’s grandson, Ryan Berger, has continued the family racing legacy running a No. 12 Hobby Stock at Mahoning Valley. The Keinert Tribute thus will be with that division racing in three 12-lap features. Modifieds that night will go 50 laps.
The next two events are centered on Del Hahn and Mike Muffley, a pair of drivers that have deep roots dating back to Mahoning’s dirt days and then on to the current pavement surface and they won on both exteriors too.
Hahn was a top winner on the dirt and claimed the 1957 and 1958 Mahoning championship. When the track was paved in 1970 he returned as a regular visitor to Victory Lane well into the late 1980’s. He was also victorious at Dorney and Evergreen with his infamous 7 over 7 cars as well as other area dirt tracks such as Nazareth and Lehighton. The Del Han Tribute will be staged on Saturday, August 6 and contested over a 77-lap distance for the Modifieds.
Like Hahn, Muffley also began at Mahoning when the track was dirt. He was always a steady and consistent runner and although not a big winner, could be counted on to be there at the end in both features and point standings. For most of his career he drove a blue 1937 Chevy coupe No. 79 owned by Leroy Goldberg. For his tribute the Modifieds will race in twin features that takes place on September 10. The first going 40 laps and the latter at 39 laps.
The five race MVSHoFS events carry a separate tally of points for each class and at the conclusion champions will be crowned and the top three will receive point fund monies. Drivers must compete in each of the five races in order to be eligible for the point fund. There will be a nominal entry fee to run each of the specials.
The point fund breakdown is as follows: $1500, $1000 and $500 to the top three in Modifieds. $1000, $600 and $400 for the Street Stocks and $500, $300 and $200 for the Hobby Stocks. The MVSHoFS payouts for the Modifieds is posted on the track’s website.
Matt Hirschman has won the past two MVSHoFS Modified titles including winning eight of 10 races. 2021 saw Randy Ahner Jr., garner top honors with the Street Stocks and in the Hobby Stocks it was Justin Merkel.
MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY LATE MODELS TO RACE FOR $1000-TO-WIN WITH 16+ CAR FIELD
(2-8-22) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Late Model division has been an intricate part in the history of the popular ¼-mile oval dating back to the dirt days of the late 1950s. 2022 marks the 42nd season of the class racing on the pavement and when Nick Ross won the 2021 championship he became the 25th different driver to earn such a feat over that span. Over those years many great names have entered into the history books as well as some legendary races and thus the class holds a special status to the track and its fans.
However, of late numbers within the division have declined leaving some concern as to where the class stands heading into this year and beyond. During this past off-season a number of meetings had taken place between track management and teams planning to compete with the focus on helping bolster car counts and maintain stability within the ranks. After much deliberation both sides have come up with a mutual agreement that most everyone feels is satisfactory and it begins by bumping up first place at a $1000 to win a regular feature provided 16 or more cars are signed in for that night.
It was also decided that at each race drivers will pay a $50 entry fee that will then be disbursed back into the field by way of a percentage scale which is dependent upon the night’s car count. Even if there is a pro-rated purse for a particular night all entry fee monies will still be paid back into the field aside from the night’s payout. “The Late Model division, just as all of our divisions, is very important to us. After meeting with them and expressing their concerns I’m happy to say that we were able to come up with this payout package,” said Mahoning Valley Speedway owner/promoter Jack Carlino.
“Todd Baer our Operations Manager has worked diligently with the Late Model guys and was able to come to terms with them on what we now have. I really like the fact that we can pay $1000 for a feature win.”
MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY LAUDS 2021 CHAMPIONS AT AWARDS CERMONY
(Lehighton 2-5-22) Mahoning Valley Speedway officially put the 2021 season into the record books following the speedway’s awards ceremony held Saturday evening, February 5 at the Mahoning Valley Fire Hall in Lehighton. Champion drivers in the Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks, Futures and Rookie Hobby Stocks where commended for their season long efforts. Titlists in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) also collected championship honors.
Bobby Jones took the top spot in the Modified division for a second time in the past three seasons. He claimed five feature wins, boosting his overall career wins total to 45. Jones defeated Kyle Strohl and Brian DeFebo in gaining this fourth championship which includes a Modified crown at Evergreen Raceway and a Mahoning Pro 4 title.
Late Model racer Nick Ross made his first season racing at the paved ¼-mile oval a memorable one as he won six times in eight starts including a record-tying five in a row and earned first place honors in the process. Not only did Ross pick up the Mahoning championship but did the same at Evergreen where he won four out of five races and finished out the season as the Northeast’s leading asphalt Late Model winner.
When Jaden Brown left the Hobby Stocks to drive a Sportsman Modified he made an immediate impression. The grandson of track legend Earl Paules was quick from the get-go and his keen ability saw him win a class-leading three features and go on to take his first driving championship. It was a down-to-the-wire title fight too as Brown held off point’s runner-up Avery Arthofer and Paulie Hartwig III.
The Street Stock class now has its second four-time champion as TJ Gursky joins Jon Moser as the only drivers to be hold that elite distinction. Gursky led the way with four feature wins and eight heat wins while picking up 12 top-5s in 19 starts. He actually edged out Moser for the title. This marks his seventh track championship that includes three with the Factory Stocks and putting him into a three way tie with John Bennett and Paules for the most Mahoning crowns.
By winning his third Pro 4 title Cody Kohler is merited with becoming the first driver in the 34-year history of the division to collect that many first place point finishes. He upped his class wins total to 35 thanks to five visits to Victory Lane. Kohler also competed in the Modified division and finished a solid fifth in points, his first year with the headline class.
Hard fought and right down the final lap of the final race was once again the tone for Hobby Stock class in figuring out the championship outcome and the distinction fell to a deserving Trisha Connolly. And, after coming oh-so-close time and again, Connolly was not to be denied in 2021 thanks in part to her consistent ability to finish strong. Although only winning once she was the class leader in top-5s (12) and top-10s (17) and edged out Taylor Schmidt by a mere five points.
Brody George was far and away the class of the Futures division racing to an unprecedented 10 victories en route to solidifying his title and a driver with a bright prospect. Like Brown, George is also a grandson of Paules. His dad, Nevin George, is a two-time Mahoning D/A Mod champ. Third generation racer Greyson Ahner stepped out from Quarter Midget ranks and into stock cars this past season as a member of the Rookie Hobby Stocks and finished out the year as a champion. The young talent showed his flair early and often too, winning nine main events and taking 11 top-5s, both tops in class.
For the second time in as many seasons Matt Hirschman won the Modified portion of the popular MVSHoFS, winning four of five events. Randy Ahner Jr., was the Series’ Street Stock titlist while Justin Merkel was best among the Hobby Stock contingent. Special award recipients included Kohler, Ross, Tobie Behler, Terry Peters and BJ Wambold in the Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks respectively. Most Improved Driver awards went to Seth VanFossen in the Late Models, Jillian Snyder in Street Stocks, Josh Kuronya in Pro 4s and Merkel in the Hobby Stocks.
Guests enjoyed a deliciously prepared buffet meal prepared by none other than track owner/promoter Jack Carlino.
MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY 2021 AWARDS CEREMONY SET FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 5
Mahoning Valley Speedway will officially close the books on the 2021 season when the popular paved ¼-mile oval holds its Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 5 at the Mahoning Valley Fire Hall, 2358 Mahoning Dr. W, Lehighton, starting at 5:00 pm. Class champions Bobby Jones – Modifieds; Nick Ross – Late Models; Jaden Brown – Sportsman Modifieds; TJ Gursky – Street Stocks; Cody Kohler – Pro 4s; Trisha Connolly – Hobby Stocks; Brody George – Futures and Greyson Ahner – Rookie Hobby Stocks will be heralded for their title winning accomplishments along with several others from those aforementioned divisions. The top five from the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will collect point money. The Sportsman Modifieds and Pro 4s will include the top three point finishers while the Late Model class will be the champion only. Rookie of the Year honors will also be presented. Also at the affair will be the crowning of the 2021 Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series titlists which are Matt Hirschman, Randy Ahner Jr., and Justin Merkel in the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively. The event will be casual dress. A buffet style dinner will be served including appetizer and dessert. Non-alcoholic drinks will be served otherwise it will be BYOB. Tickets, which will be limited, are $45 per person and can be purchased starting on Sunday, January 16 at RJ Raceway (adjacent to the race track) from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Tickets can also be gotten at those same times and place on January 23 and 30