Matt Hirschman wins Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute / RoC Tour Race and Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series title; Jon Moser tops Street Stock field: Corey Edelman wins record Hobby Stock payout; Hallie Muffley 3-peats in Rookie Hobby Stocks
(October 3) Mahoning Valley Speedway brought the curtain down on the 2020 season with race number five of the well-received Mahoning Valley Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) featuring the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute for Modifieds and Matt Hirschman not only topped the impressive field of cars for his fourth straight MVSHoFS victory but he also claimed the Series title, his first such crown at the paved ¼-mile oval. The Modified feature was also a combination event with the Race of Champions Asphalt Series tour and with a seventh place tally Patrick Emerling beat Austin Beers for that championship. By luck of the draw Lou Strohl drew the pole and at the outset wasted little time in setting the early pace over Rod Snyder Jr., Nevin George, Emerling and ninth starting Hirschman. The race then established into a nice rhythm as the first 20 circuits went nonstop. While Strohl and Snyder ran a close one-two George and Emerling faced off side-by-side while Hirschman kept a watchful eye right behind. A restart on lap 20 would see Emerling take over third with Hirschman now on his tail. Soon thereafter Hirschman would find the bottom lane open up and made quick work of Emerling and Snyder. As Strohl led he was now engaged in quite the defensive battle with both Hirschman and Emerling stalking him from both sides. As the field completed the 36th tour Hirschman had the opportunity to move under Strohl and in Turn 3 he would make what would be the race winning pass. Strohl, still looking stout, continued to fend off Emerling while Daren Scherer and Beers now entered into the top five. Just prior to the midway point Emerling was able to pull by Strohl and along with him came Beers. Using his home track savvy Beers then made quick work of Emerling for second place. The rest of the way it would be a battle between the two Mud Lane residents from Northampton, a scene that of late has been playing out whenever this pair is on the same track and while Hirschman stayed in front there were several times following restarts that Beers gave a firm effort to surpass him for the lead. Taking the checkers Hirschman would claim his fourth straight Mahoning win, record 50th with the RoC, and 22nd at the track. “We’ve been on a roll here and this is the first time I won here with RoC and it’s nice to have them here tonight as part of the Hal Renninger Tribute. This Hall of Fame Series really worked out well for us,” said Hirschman. “Getting my 50th win with the RoC is a real milestone too and the Series has always been a best option for us as a team located here in Pennsylvania and it’s nice to race close to home at Mahoning Valley.” While Beers settled for second, Scherer came home a solid third, his best run in the limited number of times at Mahoning. Bobby Jones was a steady performer all race long and notched fourth while Don Wagner battled back from a number of pit stops to claim fifth. “Matt’s one of the best here so getting second to him is nothing to be ashamed of,” said Beers. “We just got a little too loose at the end. Track position helped too and he had a little advantage on me there so he got it done.”
Even though he had already sewed up his second straight and a record fourth Street Stock championship, no one could have imagined that Jon Moser would have gone through the season winless, himself especially. The always quick and talented driver made certain that was not going to happen as he picked up not only the win the 43-lap contest and the hefty $1750 check, but doubled down as a season champion, earning the crown for the MVSHoFS in the process. Moser started second to Josh Mooney and would tail him for the first eight laps. Then working the outside lane he eased into the lead at the start of lap nine and there was no looking back from there on. Progressively and smoothly Moser would remain in control although Mooney stayed on his bumper before a very strong running Johnny Bennett took over the runner-up spot. Bennett showed great potential and clearly kept Moser on his toes but with a solid race line each time by the champ was not to be denied as he won for the 19th time with the division and 38th overall. “It’s been a struggle all year honestly. In the beginning of the year when we saw the schedule our intent was to just do the Hall of fame Series and we really wanted this one. This one is awesome,” an elated Moser said from Victory Lane. “Josh (Mooney) and I had a heck of battle and that was fun and then Johnny (Bennett) gave me handful to deal with, it was a great race. This Hall of Fame Series was a great series and it showed all season long.” Taking third spot was Mooney while teammates Randy Ahner Jr., and TJ Gursky rounded out the top five.
With a record winner’s share of $1500 courteously of Aqua Duck Water Transport and Mahoning Valley Speedway, it was no surprise that a solid field of cars came out for the 33-lap feature. And, as was expected, one very hotly contested affair took place and when the thrilling race was completed it was Corey Edelman proudly enjoying the victory laurels. Ryan Berger and 2020 class champion Al Arthofer started the race with an intense lead swapping dual over the first 14 laps. At the same time several other notable contenders where just as close including Devin and Taylor Schmidt, Lorin Arthofer II, Edelman and Trisha Connolly. By lap 15 A. Arthofer was maintaining a slim lead while second spot was weaving back and forth between D. Schmidt and Edelman and tightly behind where T. Schmidt and Connolly. As the laps began to wind down it seemed A. Arthofer may have been on his way to victory, however, in the blink of an eye the whole stance of the race changed. With three lap to go Rich Mutarelli lost a wheel in Turn 2 and closing in where the leaders. As they all tried to take evasive action A. Arthofer and D. Schmidt tangled with a lapped car and with that went any chance of winning. When the field was reset Edelman was the new leader and would drive the remaining three laps perfectly to score his second MVSHoFS victory over T. Schmidt, L. Arthofer, Connolly and Berger. For Connolly her top five was enough to net her the Series championship.
The Rookie Hobby Stocks ran their ‘Farewell 15’ with Hallie Muffley proving no match for the field as she cruised to her class leading third win of the season. Muffley started from the pole and once the green waved there was no looking back. The battle for the runner-up spot was a whole different story as Mia Guy, Brody George, Tobie George and Greyson Ahner all battled for the same spot. At the checkers it would be George just nipping Guy for the spot with Behler and Ahner rounding out the very close top five.
Modified Feature Finish (99-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Daren Scherer, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Patrick Emerling, 8. Josh Scherer, 9. Brian DeFebo, 10. Todd Bear, 11. Jacob Kerstetter, 12. Lou Strohl, 13. Sean Verwys, 14. Rob Snyder Jr., 15. Gene Bowers, 16. Chuck Hossfeld, 17. Danny Knoll Jr., 18 Nevin George, 19. Austin Kochenash, 20. Kristy Arthofer
Street Stock Feature Finish (43-laps): 1. Jon Moser, 2. Johnny Bennett, 3. Josh Mooney, 4. Randy Ahner Jr. 5. TJ Gursky, 6. Eric Kocher, 7. Shayne Geist, 8. Mark Martini, 9. Mark Deysher, 10. Rick Reichenbach, 11. Thomas Flanagan, 12. Todd Ahner, 13. Randy Schlenker, 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Bobby Kibler Sr., 16. Brandon Christman, 17 Jamie Smith, 18. Matt VanSyckle, 19. Cody Geist, 20. Dennis Buss DNQ: Bobby Kibler Jr., Justin Mooney, Randy Green, Logan Boyer, Jillian Long, Rich Moser
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (33-laps): 1.Corey Edelman, 2. Taylor Schmidt, 3. Lorin Arthofer, 4. Trisha Connolly, 5. Ryan Berger, 6. Jacob Boehm, 7. Cody Boehm, 8. Travis Solomon, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Cody Geist, 11. Andrew Farnham, 12. James Tout, 13. Tucker Muffley, 14. Al Arthofer, 15. Devin Schmidt, 16. Rich Mutarelli, 17. Mallory Kutz, 18. Hunter Iatalese, 19. Jaden Brown, 20. Justin Merkel, 21. Josh Oswald, 22. Jake Oswald DNQ: Nicholas Kerstetter, Kip George, Ed Herman, CJ Zukowski
Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15-laps): 1. Hallie Muffley, 2. Brody George, 3. Tobie Behler, 4. Greyson Ahner, 5. Mia Guy, 6. Elia Tito, 7. Zoe Kuchera, 8. Makayla Kohler, 9. Maggie Yeakel 10. Paul French Jr.
Unfortunate 25s and Times Dashes Open Start of Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Classic Weekend
(OCTOBER 2) The Unfortunate 25s for 2020 non winners and Timed Dashes kicked off the start of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Classic weekend on Friday evening with a very respectable number of cars taking part across all participating classes. In the Late Model feature Jeremy Miller picked up the win and although he was credited with leading every lap, his drive to victory was intensified from start to finish as he was under immense pressure from rookie James Yons and New York invader Roger Maynor. Miller would take the lead at the outset and afterwards every lap of the nonstop affair he was hounded by that pair. Yons and Maynor raced the distance side-by-side while they each made numerous challenges to pass Miller. As the trio raced to the checkers it was Miller winning by a scant few inches as Yons and Maynor came across the line side-by-side. The Street Stock main was much the same as Randy Ahner Jr., would be out front the entire way but all the while had to deal with 2020 class champion Jon Moser. Ahner, himself a past champion, used the inside lane to defend his spot as Moser did all he could to work either inside or outside lanes to get by. Shayne Geist was also close in the mix and would finish a very respectable third. In the Hobby Stocks BJ Wambold nabbed the lead from Cody Boehm on lap five. He then had to endure the tenacious hounding by Boehm who was not making things easy on the leader. Try as he may Boehm would not let up on his pursuit to retake the lead and just as tough was Taylor Schmidt who was hanging closely with the leaders, however, the unwavering Wambold stayed steady and solid in picking up his first ever win in a Hobby Stock. Josh Kuronya held off Terry Peters for top honors in the Pro 4s and in doing so claimed his career first stock car win. Nevin George and Don Wagner ran the fastest laps in their respective rounds of Time Dashes with the Modifieds and in doing so will get the pole starting spots in Saturday heat qualifying for the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute RoC main. The Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks each ran three rounds of Time Dashes that also awarded pole heat starting spots for Saturday’s features. 26 and 30 cars respectively took timed laps. Jon Moser, Johnny Bennett and Rick Reichenbach topped the Street Stock charts while Lorin Arthofer II, 2020 point champion Al Arthofer and Ryan Berger were quickest with the Hobby Stocks.
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Jeremy Miller, 2. James Yons, 3. Roger Maynor, 4. Seth VanFossen, 5. Mike Stein
Street Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Randy Ahner Jr., 2. Jon Moser, 3. Shayne Geist, 4.Josh Mooney, 5.Randy Schlenker, 6. TJ Gursky, 7. Rich Reichenbach, 8. Thomas Flanagan, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Bobby Kibler Jr., 11. Justin Mooney, 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Jason Beers, 14. Greg Long, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Matt Kocher, 17. Rich Moser, 18. Logan Boyer, 19. Kadie Purcell, 20. Randy Green, DNS: Dennis Buss
Pro 4 Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Josh Kuronya, 2. Terry Peters, 3. Kadie Purcell, 4. Robert Derfler, 5. Jeremy Guerra, DNS: Tyler Stangle
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. BJ Wambold, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Taylor Schmidt, 4. Hunter Iatalese, 5. Jake Oswald, 6. Rich Mutarelli, 7. James Tout, 8. Tucker Muffley, 9. Josh Oswald, 10. Nick Schaffer, 11. Nicholas Kerstetter, 12. Kip George, 13. Mallory Kutz, 14. Shawn Kistler, 15. Devin Schmidt, 16. Lyndsay Buss, 17. Jesse Bollinger, 18. Makenzie Adams, 19. Ed Herman, 20. Jaden Brown, 21. Andrew Farmhand, 22. Ralph Borger Jr., Jacob Knittle
Mahoning Valley Speedway kicks off Hall of Fame Series weekend Friday, October 2 with Timed Dashes and Unfortunate 25s
Mahoning Valley Speedway is preparing for an exciting two-day weekend of racing this Friday and Saturday, October 2-3 with the final event of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) headlined by the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute which will feature the Race of Champions (Roc) Asphalt Series. Both the MVSHoFS and RoC will crown respective champions on Saturday.
Friday’s card will be a dual night of action with timed dashes for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks and award pole starting spots for Saturday heats. The top two quickest in the Modifieds and top three quickest in the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will be the benefactors of the timed dashes. Additionally on Friday the Unfortunate 25s for Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks will take place. This unique series of races will be open to any non 2020 feature winners from either Mahoning Valley or any other tracks provided they conform to those divisional rules of Mahoning. Each feature will be 25- laps.
This season there were four different winners with the Late Models, 10 with the Street Stocks, 7 in the Hobby Stocks and two with the Pro 4s. What that means is there is a good number of drivers in those respective classes that will have the opportunity to race in a 25-lap feature and add their names to that winners list. “The Unfortunate 25s is for all those guys who want to get the feeling of winning a race, that’s what this is all about,” said Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman. “I’m hoping to see a good showing of support for this program on Friday evening. We’re thrilled to be able to give drivers a chance to win at Mahoning, especially with how the season was cut short from the virus situation. It’s a great start to a great weekend.”
Adult general admission on Friday is $10. Grandstand gates will open at 5:00 pm. Pits will open at 4:00 pm. Pit admission is $25. Warm-ups (one round) will start at 6:15 pm with timed dashes getting underway at 7:15 pm.
Saturday action, starting at 4:00 pm, will consist of features for the Modifieds running a 99-lapper paying $3000-to-win, Street Stocks going 43-laps for $1750-to-win, the Hobby Stocks vying for a record $1500-to-win and the Rookie Hobby Stocks contesting in the ‘Farewell 15.’
Record $1500-to-win for Hobby Stocks at Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series finale on October 3
(9-23-20) The Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) finale doesn’t take place until October 2-3 but there is no doubt the hype is building for the upcoming Hal Renninger Tribute weekend which is race number five of the popular series of events. Sure there is the excitement of the Mahoning Modified division regulars ready to battle the touring Race of Champions Asphalt Tour Modified stars as well as a number of other invaders in a 99-lap showdown with and the Series title on the line. But keep in mind the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks are also part of the MVSHoFS and likewise the points are very close. And, for the Hobby Stocks, not only is there the prestige of being named the first MVSHoFS champion, but this race will reward a record payout to win as well.
It had already been announced that first place was to receive $1000 but thanks to Aqua Duck Water Transport Systems of the Lehigh Valley through the cooperation of owner and racer Todd Baer, the winner’s share will now be a never-before-paid $1500-to-win. Plus second through fifth will also be taking home added money with $700, $550, $450 and $400 respectively. The feature distance is set for 33 laps. “The Hobby Stocks are a great class and the numbers of cars each week show. Their support of Mahoning Valley Speedway speaks volumes and I feel they really deserve something special like this,” said Baer. “They, just like all the divisions, are vital and key to the success of the race track and I feel everyone should be treated as equally as possible when coming through the pit gates. The Hobby Stocks always put on a great show and they warrant a good payout.” Although the regular point season has wrapped up and Al Arthofer was able to repeat as champion, there remains the fight for the MVSHoFS title and it’s a close one with the Hobby Stocks.
Trisha Connolly holds a four point edge over Jacob Boehm, seven better than Ryan Berger, 12 above Justin Merkel and 20 ahead of Corey Edelman. “I’m excited about it. Winning this year’s championship was our goal and now to go out and hopefully win this last Hall of Fame race, it would be a great way to finish out the year on top,” said Arthofer. “With such a nice payout it’s definitely an incentive to be there and I think it will make for a good car count. It means a lot to us guys in the Hobby Stocks because we all put in the time and this shows that we’re being recognized for that effort. There’s no reason this will be a good and competitive race.” The stage for the 33-lap feature will first be set the night prior on Friday, October 2 starting at 7:00 p m. with timed dashes taking place and the top three fastest earning guaranteed pole starting spots for their heats the next day.
Modifieds and Street Stocks will also run the times dashes. Also on Friday will be the “Unfortunate 25s” which will are 25-lap mains for Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. That event is an open invite to any 2020 non feature winners from any track so long they conform to Mahoning Valley respective class rules. Saturday racing, which gets underway at 4:00 p.m., will complete the grid with heats and consi’s Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks make up the card.
Rookie Hobby Stock "Farewell 15" to be part of Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series finale
The Rookie Hobby Stock class at Mahoning Valley Speedway has been an unqualified success. The idea for the class came from promoter Keith Hoffman who felt there needed to be an avenue for up and coming racers to nurture their way from go-karts and ¼-Midgets and into stock cars and the Rookie Hobby Stock division would be the prefect steppingstone to familiarize those drivers to the many different aspects of running in full-size race car.
There were 10 races that comprised the season and it took until the ninth week for a repeat winner to emerge. Paul French Jr., picked up the championship in a close battle over Makayla Kohler and Hallie Muffley. Each week saw no less than a dozen cars in action and all total 26 different drivers raced at one time or another.
For the young stars it was also a chance to contest on a big stage in front of a cheering crowd and take in the experience of winning and Victory Lane ceremonies.
“The Rookie Hobby Stocks have been awesome and it’s everything I’d thought it would be. I wanted to get these rookies the feeling of winning a race in their system so they’d never leave and without a doubt we accomplished that. In the 10 races we had there’s been eight different winners and the Rookies proved to be a great addition to Mahoning,” said Hoffman.
And now they will be have one more opportunity to showcase their surprising talents as they have been added to the upcoming Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) event on Saturday, October 3.
Bruce George Paving and Excavating of Kunkletown has stepped in with an increased purse of $100 to win, $75 for second, $50 to third and $25 to all other starters for the “Farewell 15.”
“I’m really happy that Keith (Hoffman) brought this class on. We’re moving in the right direction for sure with these kids and I feel the track has got a super class going,” said Nevin George, co-owner of Bruce George Paving and father of Rookie Hobby Stock winning drivers Jaden Brown and Brody George.
“Right now you have an age of kids that are very interested in this and we need to run with it. The class was an overwhelming success and from Opening Day to the final point race these kids from 10 to 17 years old have done a great job,” he continued.
“There’s a blanket over this area that feeds that race track from the ¼-Midget tracks. They’re a lot of people who are interested in Mahoning and I feel these kids who are in this class now will most likely stay there and feed other (track) classes over the next few years.”
At the final point race of the season held on September 12 Hoffman presented the top finishers with graduation certificates in recognition of their well-done accomplishments.
The Bruce George Paving and Excavating Farewell 15 will consist of heats and a 15-lap feature.
Also on the card that day will be the final races of the MVSHoFS headlined by the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute featuring the Race of Champions Modified Tour in their final point’s race of the season.
The Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will also be wrapping up their portion of the MVSHoFS. Race time if 4:00 p.m.
The night prior, on Friday, October 2 starting at 7:00 p.m., timed dashes will be run that will lock in select starters for the next day’s heats plus there is the “Unfortunate 25s” which will are 25-lap mains for Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. That event is an open invite to any 2020 non feature winners from any track so long they conform to Mahoning Valley respective class rules.
Additional information leading up the big weekend will be forthcoming.
Trisha Connolly scores Mahoning Valley Speedway Junk Car Race win
(September 20) As a winner and top runner in weekly action with the Hobby Stock division Trisha Connolly knows her way around Mahoning Valley Speedway quite well.
On Saturday afternoon she made good use of her track talent by claiming victory in the Junk Car race. Junk Car races have become a popular attraction over the past few seasons running at a number of local county fairs and related venues. The tracks are tight small dirt ovals, however, drivers got the opportunity to test their skills on the ¼-mile paved Mahoning Valley Speedway and by the end of the day no one fared as well as Connolly.
She not only showed her prowess during the 30-lap feature by leading every lap after starting from the pole by winning the first of three heat races but it was how she won the prelim that also added to her merit.
In a twist of the norm the heats where contested in the opposite direction with drivers racing the track clockwise which put everyone at a drawback but for Connolly it did not deter her in the least, winning with a thrilling last lap pass. Charles Holland and Michael Klotz, first time Mahoning racers, were also heat winners. When it came time for the feature a coin toss determined the direction by which the cars would race and the result was to proceed going counter-clockwise. The grid was set heads up from the heat finishes and once the initial green waved Connolly set sail as the leader with Carl Altemose making chase. Despite a bevy of lapped traffic Connolly never turned a wheel wrong and most times stayed ahead by a few car lengths, ultimately picking up the victory uncontested by the time she reached the checkers. Altemose would hold on for second and beat his daughter, Kassidy Altemose, in the process.
The event was run under the direction of Old School Promotions. A field of 38 entered the contest and although Connolly proved to be the car to beat, there was still plenty of close and exciting racing throughout.
Mahoning Valley Speedway returns to action on Friday and Saturday, October 2 & 3 with the final event of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series, staging the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute and will feature the Race of Champions Modified Tour in their final point’s race of the season.
Old School Promotions Junk Cars race set for this Saturday afternoon at Mahoning Valley Speedway
Mahoning Valley Speedway in conjunction with Old School Promotions will present Junk Car races this coming Saturday, September 19 starting at 2:00 p.m. Junk Car races have become a popular attraction over the past few seasons running at a number of local county fairs and related venues. The tracks are tight small dirt ovals but now drivers will get to test their skills on the ¼-mile paved Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Junk Cars races are basically “gut and go” front wheel drive 4 or 6 cylinder cars designed to be a fun and very affordable way to race. They are a blast wherever they run. And, this will actually be the second time Junk Car races will be held at Mahoning Valley. Last year, as part of the Small Car Nationals, the Junk Cars raced on a modified track that incorporated part of the infield access road and the oval which had several twists added. Coming into the race no one knew just what to expect as it was the first time those type cars ran on asphalt or how would the course design work out. The responses where quickly answered after the first heat lap as drivers began an intense slam bang affair with Ricky Gardener claiming the initial Junk Car checker in the qualifier.
With a heads-up start for the 25-lap feature it was again a wild one as cars swapped spots over the negotiation of the turns, narrow straights and even a chicane during their trip around the make-shift course. Gardner and Mark Fister where the show stoppers as they traded the lead several times and the last lap proved to be the barnburner of all. Fister passed Gardner to start the final circuit. They then touched entering the chicane and Gardner edged ahead going into the slim back straight. In the final two corners Fester pulled slightly back ahead and with the checkers in reach it was now a drag race to the line. Both cars hit and banged with Gardner being turned sideways but was also pushed ahead by Fister to score the exhilarating verdict going across the stripe in the opposite direction. For this year’s race the full oval will be used, however the exact direction of racing is yet to be determined.
Admission is $10 which will allow admittance to both pits and grandstands. Kids 10 and under are free. Grandstands will open at noon with the first heat set to roll out promptly at 2:00 p.m. Pit gates will open at 11:00 a.m. for sign-ins and up until 1:45 pm at which time the drivers meeting will take place. Admission for driver and car is $25.
The top three finishers in each heat will receive $100, $50 and $25 respectively. The main event will award the winner $600 with $200 for second and $100 to third.
The event will be run under Old School Promotions rules and staff. Anyone needing additional information can call Tim Strohl at 610-826-7284.
800th run Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified feature on asphalt to Austin Beers; Earl Paules (2), Geno Steigerwalt, Jon Moser, Cody Kohler, Al Arthofer and Paul French Jr., are class champions (SEPTEMBER 12) It was a very busy and productive evening of racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway with all seven divisions in action as part of Championship Night and each class title fight did not disappoint as the respective point battles all came down to the wire. Earl Paules capped off his night with a pair of titles, taking top honors in both the Modifieds Sportsman Modifieds, Geno Steigerwalt emerged number one in the Late Models, Jon Moser took his second straight and record fourth Street Stock championship, Cody Kohler annexed his second crown in the Pro 4s, Al Arthofer repeated in the Hobby Stocks while Paul French Jr., became the inaugural Rookie Hobby Stock titlist. The Modified feature was also a milestone event, marking the 800th race on pavement beginning in 1970 with Austin Beers scoring his second straight victory in a wild affair. Beers once again came from the 15th starting spot, was caught up in a pair of skirmishes, made three pits stops and still powered his way to the front. He passed Bobby Jones on a lap 26 restart and then cruised the rest of the way for what was nothing short of an exhausting race. Beers was first involved in a lap three dust-up and another on lap 11. All total he had to make three spots but after his third time out of the pits on the 11th lap he then put on a thrilling drive as he began picking off cars lap by lap, moving up to third with 19 complete. With Jones leading at that point Beers was going toe-to-toe with Jesse Strohl for second. These two future stars waged a sizzling battle, Beers finally snagged the spot with 12 laps to go while Jones was maintaining a decent lead. However, when the caution waved 10 laps from the finish, Beers utilized that restart to seize the lead and go on to win the landmark 800th feature race and congratulated in Victory Lane by the first winner asphalt winner Bob McCullough. “I can honestly tell you that being in Victory Lane is the last place I thought I’d be after the kind of race we had tonight. We got beat up out there and then to get here is amazing,” said Beers. “The car was a little tight towards the end and I think the damage just turned out to be cosmetic so we were good to go. There was a great point battle tonight and I gave those guys room and respect and then passing Bobby (Jones) for the lead, he’s one of the very best here and he gave me room and I can’t thank him enough for the clean driving.” With his third place tally Paules earned the championship, his third such with the class and record tying seventh at Mahoning Valley. Strohl had another great run settling for fourth while top rookie Sean Verwys rounded out the top five Earlier in the night Paules not only won the Sportsman Modified contest but the championship as well. He picked up the lead on lap 11 after Lorin Arthofer II dropped from contention from a when his car broke. Afterwards a Peyton Arthofer tried persistently to overtake Paules but it wasn’t to be. Paules’ win was his second in a row and it extended his track leading overall victories to 64. It was also the second time that he won two titles in the same season, accomplishing the feat in 2013 with the Modifieds and Late Models. In the Late Model main Avery Arthofer captured her career first win with the division. Arthofer worked tirelessly to take the lead from impressive rookie James Yons, conclusively do so on a lap 12 restart. From there to the finish she drove flawlessly in picking up the popular victory, beating Brian Romig Jr., and she becomes only the third female to win a Late Model race at Mahoning as well. Classy veteran Geno Steigerwalt was third and with that collected up his first ever driving championship in 18 years of racing. Matt VanSyckle made a triumph return to winning in the Street Stocks, achieving his first victory since 2004. VanSyckle traded the lead back and forth early on with Rick Reichenbach but by lap 10 he was there for good. Despite the fact that TJ Gursky and Brandon Christman where putting on loads of pressure, VanSyckle never flinched and drove his Mark Deysher owned car under the checkers ahead of all. Jon Moser was fourth at the line which was just enough to put him number one in final standings for the second straight year and a record fourth with the Street Stocks. The Pro 4 feature again saw Jake Kibler drive to victory. His 39th class win came after taking the lead on a lap 15 restart over Randy Schaffer and once in front he would not be headed. Despite a setback for Cody Kohler who was parked for aggressive driving on lap 14 and credited with a seventh place finish, he brought enough points into the night to secure his second class title. The Hobby Stock feature was a very stirring duel between winner Travis Solomon and runner-up Taylor Schmidt as they raced tooth and nail from lap nine and right up to the checkers. Solomon would eke out his second win in the process while Schmidt equaled his best finish to date. The championship fight was just as exciting as Al Arthofer and Trisha Connolly ran closely together, each needing to be ahead of the other in order to claim the title. In the waning laps Arthofer was just fast enough to pass Connolly, taking third as she was fourth. Hallie Muffley proved no match in winning her second Rookie Hobby Stock race. Muffley led every lap and bested Jaden Brown en route to the checkers. Muffley also swept the night by winning her heat and during that prelim she set a new class record, going 12.155-seconds for the new speed mark. The championship was won by Paul French Jr., who will go into the record books as the inaugural winner of the well participated first year division. Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Austin Beers, 2. Bobby Jones, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Jessie Strohl, 5. Sean Verwys, 6. Kyle Strohl, 7. Jack Ely, 8. Josh Scherer, 9 Frankie Althouse, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Wes Gilbert, 12. Heath Metzger, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Rod Snyder Jr, 15 Nick Bear, 16 John Markovic, 17 Brian DeFebo, 18 Lou Strohl, 19 Jared Ahner, 20 Don Wagner, DNS BJ Wambold Sportsman Modified Feature (25-laps) 1. Earl Paules, 2. Payton Arthofer, 3. Stacey Brown, 4. Kassidy Altemose, 5. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Brennen Coulter, 7. Lorin Arthofer, 8. Gunner Zeiner, 9. Brian Rygielski, 10. Carl Altemose Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Avery Arthofer, 2. Brian Romig Jr., 3. Geno Steigerwalt, 4. James Yons, 5. Rich Cooper, 6. Roger Maynor, 7. Gary Wentz, 8. Seth VanFossen, 9. Mike Stein, 10. Brooks Smith DNS: Mike VanFossen Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Matt VanSyckle, 2. TJ Gursky, 3. Brandon Christman, 4. Jon Moser, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. Randy Schlenker, 7. Todd Ahner, 8. Mark Deysher. 9. Mark Martini, 10. Josh Mooney, 11. Shayne Geist, 12. Cody Geist, 13. John Bennett, 14. Jill Long, 15. Randy Ahner, 16. Tucker Muffley, 17. Dennis Buss, 18. Rick Reichenbach, 19. Thomas Flanagan, 20. Logan Boyer DNQ: Rich Moser, Jamie Smith, Kadie Pursell, Jeremy Scheckler Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Kadie Purcell, 5. Josh Kuronya, 6. Terry Peters, 7. Cody Kohler Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1.Travis Solomon, 2. Taylor Schmidt, 3. Al Arthofer, 4. Trisha Connolly, 5. Jake Oswald, 6. Tad Snyder, 7. Jesse Bollinger, 8. Justin Merkel, 9. James Tout, 10. Tucker Muffley, 11. Ralph Borger Jr., 12. Josh Oswald, 13. Jacob Boehm, 14. Corey Edelman, 15. Lyndsay Buss, 16. Cody Boehm, 17. Nick Schaffer, 18. Corey Gulich, 19. Mallory Kutz DNS: Nicholas Kerstetter Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15-laps): 1. Haley Muffley, 2. Jaden Brown, 3. Paul French Jr., 4. Toby Behler, 5. Makayla Koehler, 6. Mia Guy, 7. Greyson Ahner, 8. Corey Gulich, 9. Maggie Yeakel, 10. Andraya Flanagan, 11. Ryan Kresge, 12. Zoe Kuchera DNS: Elia Tito
Mahoning Valley to present 800th Modified feature this coming Saturday, September 12; 1st feature winner Bob McCullough to be honored guest; Class champions to be crowned
This coming Saturday night, September 12, Mahoning Valley Speedway will celebrate not only the 2020 division champions as it will be the final evening for points but likewise a milestone race for the Modifieds takes place with the 800th feature being run since the track first went to asphalt in 1970. It was July 24, 1970 and then track co-promoters Fred Tedesco and David Stoddard re-opened the shuttered ¼-mile oval, which originally began life as a dirt track that ran from the early 1950s to mid-1960s. The sparkling new facility opened its gates on a Friday night to an estimated crowd of 3000 fans who saw a two division program of Sportsman Modifieds and Late Models. In the Modified 30-lap main Bob McCullough of Mount Holly, NJ grabbed the lead from Norm Behler on lap 10, opened up a quarter lap lead and then stayed there the rest of the way to put his name into the record books as the very first class winner. Pete Lovell of Kutztown beat Paul Bauscher for top honors in the 15-lap Late Model feature. When 17-year old Austin Beers won last Saturday night’s Modified feature it marked his first time winning with the class and he became the 130th different winner since McCullough’s inaugural victory. That was race number 799 and ironically his dad, Eric Beers, holds the record for career wins with 55. McCullough, who at 78-years young and is still active in the sport as a tech official with URC and USAC, has been invited to be a special honoree this Saturday night to commemorate the significant race. “It’s very exciting for me. When you’re in this as long as I’ve been and then you step away it seems that no one remembers you so this is very nice for me to know that someone remembers what you did and I really appreciate it,” said McCullough. At the time McCullough was 30 years old and a noted hot-shoe who raced on both dirt and asphalt, most notably in his home state of New Jersey where was a regular at tracks such as Wall Stadium Speedway, Atlantic City Speedway, Bridgeport Speedway and New Egypt Speedway. He also ventured into Pennsylvania to race at Nazareth and Grandview Speedways. When he found out about Mahoning opening up his interest was piqued. “At the time we were pretty competitive in New Jersey with are Sportsman car and we decided we wanted to travel a little bit and it was one of the first tracks we went to besides Grandview, Nazareth and Atlantic City on the weekends,” recalled McCullough. “I can recall it being extremely smooth and there was a lot of people in the stands. I raced there for three straight years and the competition was very good,” he continued. “I didn’t get a lot of good feedback from people who attended there when we first started going. I got the impression they didn’t want me there the times I ran because I was pretty consistent and they use to call me the ‘New Jersey Mosquito.’ If memory serves me right I had a few beer cans thrown at me.” According to McCullough the racing then was much the same as today with two and three wide action thanks to the unique circular layout. “It was like that then too and I preferred the outside and I feel that’s why I did so well there. I was used to running against the wall on dirt and pushing the limits and that worked out for me. Because it was a big circle I would stick on the high side and just get there,” he noted. “We got going fairly decent too but no were near what they’re doing these days.” When McCullough raced Mahoning it was the first of a weekly three nights of action for him. “We raced constantly. We would come to Mahoning Valley and we’d eat at the 443 Diner and stay at the motel that was there. We’d go to Grandview the next night and then Sunday afternoon at Nazareth and if we had time we’d head down to Atlantic City that night.” McCullough’s career spanned from 1960 to 1979. His last race was at Bridgeport. The action will get underway starting at 5:00 pm with a full slate of stock car racing that includes Modified feature race 800, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Austin Beers from 15th to 1st at Mahoning Valley and wins for first time in DeLange 45 Modified on September 5th (September 5) When Austin Beers was presented the opportunity to take over the ride of his legendary father, Eric Beers, in the infamous No. 45 for car owners Dave and Laura DeLange, there was no indecision for the 17-year old. In just five races since first getting into the mount on June 27 for a RoC event at Lake Erie Speedway, the second generation racer scored a fan pleasing victory Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway over seasoned veteran Rod Snyder Jr. Beers made an impressive drive to the front too, coming from 15th to first and in the process pulled off his race winning move by getting by renowned track star Snyder Jr., on lap 20. From there on it was as if watching his father as he did time and again, simply pulling away with each passing lap and leaving the field far enough behind en route to the checkers. “This feels amazing winning with Dave and Laura DeLange who believed in me and I’m so glad to drive their race car and win at my home track. To get this win with the 45 car is a huge confidence booster,” an elated Beers said afterwards. “The track was awesome and the car was on rails. To come from 15th to first is a testament to the great team effort and no doubt winning a Modified feature here at Mahoning Valley – this is the biggest win of my career.” At the start of the 35 lap contest Kyle Strohl assumed the early lead and was gapping from the pack. Some distance back second place running Terry Markovic was holding off Snyder, Nick Baer and Brian DeFebo in what was a very tight battle. Then on lap 16 Strohl’s large lead was erased when the caution waved for point leader Lou Strohl who came to a halt. On the restart Snyder, who had just moved to second prior to the yellow, used his classic outside line style and shot to the front. A lap later saw Beers race his way into second. For fans of Mahoning Valley is was nothing new to see Snyder, a five time Modified track champion, waging battle with Eric Beers, as they have a combined 76 wins. Snyder, however, was now taking that fight with Austin and it was just like days of old. Snyder held steady to the outside while the younger Beers took his car low. Side-by-side they then went at it and on lap 19 while approaching Turn 3 Snyder bobbled just a tad. That was all Beers needed as he came out the leader at the conclusion of the circuit. From there to the finish he was on cruise control beating Snyder by nearly two seconds. “He’s (Snyder) a heck of a racer and he gave me a lot of room and respect out there. Rod and all these guys here are great racers and champions and it’s definitely hard to get through the field but tonight it all came together,” noted Beers. In Victory Lane the first to congratulate the happy winner where car owners the DeLange’s. “Austin is a great young talent and I’ve had faith in him for the past two years as we watched him run these Modifieds and this year we made the change to put him in the seat and it’s paid off nicely,” said Dave DeLange. “We couldn’t be more proud and happy for him and his entire family.” Josh Scherer netted a solid third and in the process assumed the point lead with one regular season race to go. Baer had a great run in taking fourth while rookie Jesse Strohl notch a career best fifth. Eric Kocher was the Street Stock winner but his stop in Victory Lane wasn’t without debate. Kocher had been chasing closing behind leader Brandon Christman who was attempting to win for the second straight time. However, with 11 laps to go and the front pair running nose-to-tail, Kocher pinched Christman in Turn 3. The slight bump caused Christman to slide out of line and spin. Officials deemed the incident as non-aggressive and Kocher was placed as the new leader. For the rest of the way he would hold off Todd Ahner and garner his second win of 2020. The Sportsman Modifieds where back in action and winning for the second time in three starts was point leader Earl Paules. Prior to Paules getting the lead for good on lap 10, it what was a very hard-driven fight for the top spot. Gunner Zeiner from the pole led the first two laps before Paules took control. A scuffle on lap six for the lead then took out Paules and Randy Ahner Jr, handing the point to Lorin Arthofer II. That also would be short lived as two laps back under green he was bumped by Zeiner and spun. Kassidy Altemose was now shown as the lead car with her owner Paules alongside for the restart. No sooner did the action resume Paules wasted no time in passing her and then journeyed unopposed the rest of the way. Pro 4 veteran and past champion Jake Kibler won for the first time this season and doing so snapped the win streak of point leader Cody Kohler at four. Kibler took the lead at the halfway mark after being in a close battle with Kohler and Jeremy Guerra. Guerra had been out front from the start but on lap nine he and Kohler tangled and it sending both to the pits for repairs and landed Kibler in the lead where he would stay the rest of the way for his 43rd overall career win. Kohler rebounded to take second with Randy Schaffer third. Al Arthofer pulled off a thrilling restart pass over Corey Edelman with two laps to go and then held him off by a narrow margin for his second Hobby Stock victory of the season. And with only one point race to go he has taken over as the standings leader. In the Rookie Hobby Stocks Jaden Brown slipped inside of Corey Gulich on lap six and then pulled away to a rousing second victory of the season and becoming the first driver to repeat in nine previous features. Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Austin Beers, 2. Rod Snyder Jr., 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Nick bear, 5. Jesse Strohl, 6. Eric Kocher, 7. Brian DeFebo, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. John Markovic, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Sean Verwys, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Jacob Kerstetter, 15. Gene Bowers, 16. BJ Wambold, 17. Avery Arthofer, 18. Lou Strohl, 19. Bobby Jones Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Todd Ahner, 3. Mark Deysher, 4. Mark Martini, 5. Randy Ahner Jr. 6. TJ Gursky, 7. Randy Schlenker, 8. Rick Reichenbach, 9. Jon Moser, 10. Tucker Muffley, 11. Jill Long, 12. Matt VanSyckle, 13. Dennis Buss, 14. Rich Moser, 15. Kevin Weierbach, 16. Brandon Christman, 17. Logan Boyer, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Kadie Pursell, Thomas Flanagan, DNQ: Randy Green Sportsman Modified Feature (25-laps) 1. Earl Paules, 2. Kassidy Altemose, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Lorin Arthofer, 5. Brian Rygielski, 6. Gunner Zeiner, 7. Payton Arthofer, 8. Brenner Coulter, DNS: Stacey Brown Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Josh Kuronya, 5. Kadie Pursell, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Robert Derfler, 8. Phil Sabatine, 9. Tyler Stangle Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Al Arthofer, 2. Corey Edelman, 3. Tisha Connolly, 4. Jacob Boehm, 5. Nick Schaffer, 6. Cody Geist, 7. Cody Boehm, 8. James Tout, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Tad Snyder, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Jake Oswald, 13. Terry Peters, 14. Mallory Kutz, 15, Taylor Schmidt, 16. Hunter Iatalese, 17. Jesse Bollinger, 18. Travis Solomon, 19.Nicholas Kerstetter Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Haley Muffley, 3. Paul French Jr., 4. Mckayla Kohler, 5. Toby Behler, 6. Corey Gulich, 7. Brody George, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Elia Tito, 10. Greyson Ahner, 11. Maggie Yeakel, 12. Zoe Kuchera
Mahoning Valley Speedway returns to action with 6 division show this Saturday, September 5…point standings remain tight
(9-1-20) After the cancellation of last week’s card of stock car racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway due to rain, the popular Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval swings back into action this coming Saturday night, September 5 with a six division program. Race time is 6:00 pm. Headlining the evening of thrills will be the Modifieds along with the Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks. In the Modifieds Lou Strohl comes into the night leading the standings but with only a few regular point shows remaining and due to the late start affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become one of the closest championship showdowns ever meaning every spot over the next two events will be crucial. In the Modified top four alone between Strohl, Josh Scherer, Earl Paules and Brian DeFebo the separation is only 18 points. Mathematically speaking there is no less than 16 drivers in the title hunt. Similarly the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks have incredibly close battles waging on. Jon Moser is looking to repeat as Street Stock division champion but he’ll have to stay sharp as Mark Martini is hot on his heels at just 10 points behind and likewise Mark Deysher is within in reach at only 19 markers back. In the Hobby Stocks it’s Taylor Schmidt leading the way by a mere two points over defending champion Al Arthofer while just seven behind sits Trisha Connolly. The Rookie Hobby Stocks have also produced a high level of excitement in the points chase as Paul French Jr., maintains a slim five point advantage over Makayla Kohler. The Sportsman Modifieds are back on track for only the third time. However, despite the limited action the class has stepped-up as there is a distinctive level of competition this season which has made for some excellent racing. Rounding out the line-up will be the Pro 4s. Cody Kohler has been perfect thus far, winning all four races and will attempt to become only the second driver to ever win five consecutive class races. Pit gates will open at 11:00 am with early paid practice running from noon – 3:00 pm. Heats will start at 6:00 pm.Adult admission is $14. $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Pit admission is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.
Coming up on Saturday, September 12 fans will get to take in a milestone event as the 800th Modified feature since the track became blacktop in 1970 will be run. Bob McCullough, who won that inaugural race on July 24, 1970, will be the special guest for the evening. September 12 is also the final point’s night of the season. Please note that the start time for this night will be 5:00 pm.
Saturday August 29 races at Mahoning Valley Speedway are cancelled due to rain
(AUGUST 29) Racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway that was slated for today, August 29, has been cancelled due to the rain forecast for much of the day and evening. Action will resume next Saturday, September 5 at 6:00 pm with Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Marvin Bartholomew 85-lap Tribute was third straight win for Matt Hirschman in Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series
(AUGUST 22, 2020) The Marvin Bartholomew 85-lap Tribute marked the fourth race in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) and for the third straight time Matt Hirschman was savoring in the accolades of victory.
Hirschman showed his prowess by coming from 14th on the grid and moving into the lead after 51 laps. From there on he drove smooth and steady, holding off Austin Beers by 1.286-seconds in claiming his 21st win at Mahoning Valley. “We’re making a habit of this (MVSHoFS) and it’s a good thing. Each time we come we try to get better from Opening Night and through the last few times I feel we’ve improved. I keep trying and it’s paying off. Tonight we had to pass a lot of cars and use patience,” said Hirschman who collected $2850 for his efforts and also assumed the Series point lead with one event remaining. Fittingly the pole, via a revenge draw, went to Lou Strohl, grandson of the night’s honoree Bartholomew and at the drop of the race commencing green he grabbed the lead over Todd Baer, Nevin George, Bobby Jones and Josh Scherer. Jones would then use a lap 10 restart to charge by Strohl for the lead. Not long afterwards a thrilling side-by-side battle took place for second spot between George and Jack Ely while staying glued to the rear bumper of Jones. As the intense battle of that trio waged on Hirschman was gradually making his way frontward and by lap 22 was shown in fourth. Ely, running the outside line, had finally gotten by George on lap 32 and then kept that push going as he pulled alongside Jones. Racing two-by-two Ely had just edged ahead to the lead when a caution waved for a spinning Earl Paules. Two laps after the restart Ely found himself facing off with Hirschman and despite every effort to fend off the potent No. 60, it was not to be as the race winning pass was made just as the 51st circuit was completed. “We had a good race with the 19 (Ely). I knew we had enough time and I was just waiting to see if he was going to open the door enough that we wouldn’t have an issue for space,” said Hirschman. While Hirschman remained planted out front Beers was making headway. After a pit stop for a tire change near mid-race Beers then staged a charge. With 12 laps to go he was dueling with Don Wagner for second, eventually taking the spot with seven reaming. A caution five tours left gave reason for a shootout but Hirschman proved the better of the two in gaining the score. “The car really worked well on the top once we got that tire and it was on rails,” said Beers who notched his best 2020 finish. “I think if we had a double file restart on that last caution instead of single file I may have had something for him (Hirschman) but he was tough and always is.” Austin Kochenash, who came into the event as the Series point leader, also put on a drive. He made several pit stops and each time back was picking off cars in moving towards the front. Time then ran out on him and he settled for third. Wagner had a very strong run too, maintaining a top-5 spot for most of the race while Paules rounded out the top five
Brandon Christman is racing for the first time this year and the rookie driver has come a long way in a short time as he picked up a very popular career first victory in the Street Stock feature. And even though he drew the pole and led every lap it was very thrilling none the less. With no cautions during throughout the distance Christman had to focus on lapped traffic and the fact division top gun Jon Moser was hot on his heels. Over the final two laps Christman kept his guard up more than ever as Moser was making every attempt to get by. On the final circuit it almost happened too as they came upon a back maker but Christman used the outside lane to get around while Moser went low which slowed him up slightly. As they came to the checkers Christman barely held on for the unforgettable career moment. A third generation driver, it marked the first time in 30 years that the family name was back in Victory Lane.
The last time Corey Edelman led in a Hobby Stock feature is was in 2014, then notching his division leading 16th career win. He since had moved on to Street Stocks and Dirt Mods, however, when the MVSHoFS was announced he put together a car and was looking to take home one of those impressive big winner’s checks. After struggling over the first three Hall of Fame races, Edelman was in top form on this night as he ran a feisty battle with Trisha Connolly over all 25-laps and held on for a very gratifying win. And, not only did he finally get that check, but likewise a one of kind replica model of a Marvin Bartholomew car.
The Pro 4s where in action and what has become the norm this year it was another victory for Cody Kohler, his fourth in as many starts. Kohler needed only four laps to grab the lead and once there it was business as usual. The win was also the 30th with the class. Afterwards Kohler had to go through a stringent inspection as a protest was filed, however, everything was as called for per rules and win stood.
The Rookie Hobby Stock class was celebrating an unprecedented eighth different winner in as many races gun. Hallie Muffley led every lap and scored her first ever stock car victory and became the first fourth generation racer to win a race at Mahoning Valley.
Modified Feature Finish (85-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Bobby Jones, 7. Gene Bowers, 8. Josh Scherer, 9. Jack Ely, 10. Nevin George, 11. Louis Horvath, 12. Blake Barney, 13. Todd Baer, 14. Jacob Kerstetter, 15. Brian DeFebo, 16. Nick Baer, 17. Joh Markovic, 18. Lou Strohl, 19. Sean Verwys, 20. Jesse Strohl, 21. Rod Snyder Jr., 22. Kyle Strohl DNQ: Terry Markovic, Jesse Strohl, BJ Wambold
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Brandon Christman, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. John Bennett, 5. Randy Schlenker, 6. Mark Martini, 7. TJ Gursky, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Mark Deysher, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Bob Kibler, 12. Jill Long, 13. Matt VanSyckle, 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Josh Mooney, 17. Rick Reichenbach, 18. Bobby Kibler Jr., 19. Kadie Pursell, 20. Thomas Flanagan. DNQ: Dennis Buss, Jeremy Scheckler, Kevin Kromer
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Randy Schaffer, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Jeremy Guerra, 5. Kadie Pursell, 6. Josh Kuronya, 7. Robert Derfler, 8. Austin Ahner
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Trisha Connolly, 3. Cody Geist, 4. Jacob Boehm, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Jesse Bollinger, 8. Justin Merkel, 9. Ryan Berger, 10. Cody Boehm, 11. Nick Schaeffer, 12. Devin Schmidt, 13. Taylor Schmidt, 14. Jacob Oswald, 15. Kevin Behler, 16. Terry Peters, 17. Ralph Borger Jr., 18. Hunter Iatalese, 19. Lyndsay Buss, 20. Hallie Muffley, 21. Nicholas Kerstetter DNQ: Shayne Geist, Mallory Kutz, Kyle Troch, Tad Snyder, James Tout
MVSHoFS Marvin Bartholomew 85-Lap Tribute on tap this coming Saturday, Aug 22…Modifieds racing for $2750-to-win
When the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) was introduced this season it was perceived to be an exciting series of races yet no one could have imagined just how popular it has truly blossomed into. The Series, which pays tribute to past drivers and owners, has thus far produced fantastic fields for the three competing classes that comprises the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks and that ongoing excitement continues this coming Saturday, August 22 with the Marvin Bartholomew 85-lap Tribute. Race time is 6:00 p.m.Marvin E. "Dutch" Bartholomew of Towamensing Township passed away Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 at age 91. For over a quarter century he successfully owned race cars at both Dorney Park and Mahoning Valley Speedways. His cars featured a who’s, who of venerable drivers including 1972 Dorney Park champ Jim Kemmerer, Phil Laybourn, Jack Heffelfinger, Tim Parry, Dennis Frey, Ken Dotter, Kevin Kromer, Rickie Dorshimer, Marvin Boger, Jack Jones, Chip Santee and his grandson, Lou Strohl to name but a few. Although it had been over a decade since he last fielded a car, Bartholomew was still a fixture at Mahoning Valley and regularly attended many off season events too. This weekend marks race No. 4 of the five race MVSHoFS with the Modifieds battling in an 85-lap feature and paying $2750 to win. The 85 is symbolic of Bartholomew’s most popular car number he campaigned. The Street Stocks will be engaging in a 30-lap main while the Hobby Stocks will contest in a 25-lapper. And, heading into this week’s event the point standings for the Series across the three divisions remains very tight and with no indication of easing up. Austin Kochenash has put together a great string of finishes with a fourth and back-to-back seconds, giving him a slim four point edge over Matt Hirschman who won the past two MVSHoFS races. Lurking closely in line is Eric Beers, Chuck Hossfeld and Bobby Jones. It’s much of the same closeness in points with the Street Stocks as Jon Moser is only four points ahead of Mark Martini. Both drivers have notched top five runs in the three previous MVSHoFS events. Nipping at their heels is most recent winner Todd Ahner with Johnny Bennett and Eric Kocher tied for fourth. The Hobby Stockers have come out in amazing numbers which has not only made it a task just qualify but earning points as well. Jacob Boehm leads the way by two markers over Justin Merkel and seven above Ryan Berger. That trio have also captured wins in each of the first three races. Then comes Trisha Connolly who is only nine pints out of first place while Jesse Bollinger is also a key factor sitting in fifth. This week’s Hobby Stock winner will not only have the distinction of winning a MVSHoFS race but will also receive a one of kind Marvin Bartholomew replica model of his No. 85 Sportsman Mustang. Additionally there is a $50 Hard Charger Award courtesy of Beau Drobot. There’s will also some pre-race drama added to the Modified line-up with a “Revenge Draw” for feature starting spots among the top heat finishers. Throughout the MVSHoFS each driver will be given 50-showup points that will be applied to their regular season tally as well the separate points that go towards the Series championship. All drivers will drop their worse finish after this coming weekend to make things more appealing heading into the finale on October 3. Drivers must race in all five shows in order to be eligible for the point payout. 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 entry fee is $25, $20 and $15 for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively. Also on Saturday’s slate will be the Pro 4s and the E. Schneider & Sons Inc., Scrap Metal of Allentown Rookie Hobby Stocks. Pit gates open at 11:00 am. From noon to 3:00 pm will be early paid practice ($25 per car). 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. is driver sign-ins. Hot laps get underway starting at 3:30 p.m. with the first set to roll out at 6:00 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 3:00 p.m. Adult admission is $20. $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
Bobby Jones wins for second time in hot Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified action; Geno Steigerwalt scores first Late Model win in nine years on August 15
(AUGUST 15) When Brian DeFebo jumped into the lead at the start of the 35-lap Modified main it could have been assumed that it would turn into a race for second as the multi-time winner and champion has infrequently gives up the top spot. However, Bobby Jones wasn’t playing into that as the reigning track titlist made an inside pass after a restart with 10 laps remaining and went on to score his second win in five starts this season. For Jones it was emotional after exiting his car in Victory Lane. He lost two close friends the past week and raced with one intent of settling for nothing less than a win. “I was set on one thing tonight and that was winning, I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. I lost two good friends this past week so this was for both of them and it was a really rough week. Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday so this is for all of them,” said Jones. From a fan perspective it was a great race to be witnessing as DeFebo was in the company of Josh Scherer, Don Wagner, Jones and Earl Paules who packed raced throughout most of the contest. There were times when DeFebo looked solid enough to go the distance but as the laps wore on side-by-side running Wagner and Jones stepped up and began applying intense pressure to him. With 10 laps to go there was a pause in the action when several cars got together in Turn 3. On the ensuing restart Jones was lined up alongside DeFebo and able to cut underneath him and by the time the lap was completed. DeFebo worked hard the rest of the way to reclaim the helm but Jones was would have do doing as he took his Franzosa Trucking No. 1J to his second win of 2020 and 38th with a Modified. Wagner, Scherer and Paules rounded out the top five. “I had a really good car on the bottom but honestly I thought I was just as good on the top. We made some decisions on set-up and clearly it was the right choice,” said Jones. “It was hard and clean racing and for a while we were all running side-by-side but you get that here at Mahoning. You see a lot of respect from all of us and you saw that tonight the way we ran so close together. Some things opened up for me and I was there and able to capitalize on them.”
The Late Model race was a wild affair that saw Geno Steigerwalt end a nine year dry-spell in the process. Steigerwalt passed Rich Cooper with one lap to go and then held off Brian Romig Jr., for his first win since July 2011. Leading up to the finish was some intense high-drama moments. Avery Arthofer was out-front holding steady over Rich Cooper, Steigerwalt and Mike Sweeney. Then with four laps to go Sweeney came from the outside and shot into the lead as lap 22 was going into the books. However, Arthofer was still closely inside of Sweeney and when the pair entered Turn 2 there was contact that all of a sudden sent both cars veering into the wall. Sweeney had to be towed off while Arthofer drove back to the pits under her own power. On the restart Cooper was now the leader over Steigerwalt and Romig. As that trio took the white flag Steigerwalt dipped underneath Cooper and picked up the lead, holding there to the long overdue checkers. Romig then nipped Cooper at the line to register and career best second at Mahoning.
Veteran Bobby Kibler Sr., raced in the lead for the entire distance of the Street Stock feature but it was pressure packed the whole ride as point leader Jon Moser and TJ Gursky hovered around him virtually lap after lap. Racing for just the third time with the car, Kibler used a good line of defense to make certain is challengers would remain at bay. Even though late into the race his car was pushing he still held his lane to secure a close win over Moser and Gursky, his first with the class since 2005.
In the Hobby Stocks it was Travis Solomon finally getting to enjoy victory. After twice having wins called back due to no pass zone advances, Solomon was in the right this time. The race was also decided by inches as Al Arthofer was able to pull even with Solomon on the final lap and as they reached the finish line it was by a whisker that the outcome was decided.
The trend of different victors in the Rookie Hobby Stocks continued as Jaden Brown became the seventh feature winner in as many events. Brown used lapped traffic to trap point leader Paul French Jr., in taking the lead halfway through the race and then held on for his career first stock car victory.
Tyler Wagner picked up the victory in with the touring East Coast TQ Midgets. Wagner passed Stephen Nederostek on lap seven and then held off Jasper Ziegafose en route to the checkers.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Brian DeFebo, 3. Don Wagner, 4. Josh Scherer, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Nick Bear, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Sean Verwys, 9. John Markovic, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Codey Boehm, 12. Peyton Arthofer, 13. BJ Wambold, 14. Rod Snyder Jr., 15. Heath Metzger, 16. Kyle Strohl, 17. Frankie Althouse, 18. Jesse Strohl, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Louie Horvath DNQ: Wes Gilbert, Kristy Arthofer
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Geno Steigerwalt, 2. Brian Romig, 3. Rich Cooper, 4. James Yons, 5. Mike Stein, 6. Brooks Smith, 7. Shawn Hoffman, 8. Mike Sweeney, 9. Avery Arthofer, 10. Seth VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Bob Kibler, 2. Jon Moser, 3. TJ Gursky, 4. Mark Deysher, 5. John Bennett, 6. Randy Ahner JR., 7. Mark Martini, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Randy Schlenker, 11. Eric Kocher, 12. Matt VanSyckle, 13. Brandon Christman, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Rich Moser, 17. Kadie Purcell, 18. Jill Long, 19. Bobby Kibler Jr., 20. Thomas Flanagan DNQ: Kevin Kromer, Kevin Weierbach, Jeremy Scheckler, Dennis Buss
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Travis Solomon, 2. Al Arthofer, 3. Jacob Boehm, 4. Jacob Oswald, 5. Taylor Schmidt, 6. Cody Boehm, 7. Tisha Connolly, 8. Hunter Isabella, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Jesse Bollinger, 11. Mallory Kutz, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Justin Merkel, 14. Devin Schmidt, 15. Kyle Tout, 16. James Tout, 17. Corey Edelman, 18. Rich Mutarelli, 19. Nick Schaffer, 20. Tad Snyder DNQ: Ricky Weaver, Chase Hoffman, Ralph Borger Jr., John Petro, Tucker Muffley, Cody Geist
Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Paul French Jr., 3. Makayla Kohler, 4. Mia Guy, 5. Elia Tito, 6. Zoe Kuchera, 7. Ryan Kresge, 8. Maggie Yeakel, 9. Lexis Kutz, 10. Corey Gulich DNS: Kevin Mee, Hallie Muffle
East Coast TQ Midgets Feature Finish (20-laps) 1.Tyler Wagner, 2. Jasper Ziegafuse, 3. Stephen Nederostek, 4. Don Zirinski, 5. Matt Smith, 6. Tom Arntz, 7.Jason Hentrich, 8. Ozzie Carlino DNS Chris Hirt
60over car number returns to Victory Lane as Matt Hirschman wins Doug Hoffman Tribute at Mahoning Valley Speedway August 1
Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway was a fitting honor to the late Doug Hoffman as Matt Hirschman drove the No. 60over, a number carried by Hoffman to countless wins, to victory in the Doug Hoffman Modified 60-lap Tribute, which was race #3 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS). In a way it was fitting also in the fact that like Hoffman, Hirschman began his career locally and then went on the road to gain national acclaim. This was his second straight win in the Series and 20th at Mahoning Valley for Hirschman. “This whole Hall of Fame Series is nice to recognize these past great drivers and this one probably means the most to me because of having the 60over on the car,” said Hirschman. “Doug’s ability to win at his home tracks and also on the road at just about anywhere he went – I’d like to think that I’m following that same path he took. He’s one of the all-time great drivers from this area and we carry the same number and tonight to add the “over” on it was extra special.” A redraw put Josh Scherer and Todd Baer on the front row and at the onset of the 60-lap event Baer jumped to the front while Bobby Jones clutched onto second. During the early going Baer and Jones had a thrilling battle enduring while Scherer watched closely from third and was fending off sixth starting Hirschman. On a lap 10 restart Jones was able to get the lead and a fast moving Brain DeFebo advanced to second with Hirschman now third and Austin Kochenash up to fourth ahead of Baer. Hirschman then went to the inside of DeFebo and after a few double-wide laps he grabbed second and continued on towards Jones. Try as he may Jones was doing all he could to make his car wide in order to protect his lead but in what is rather emblematic of Hirschman, when he wants the top spot he seizes at will and on lap 20 that was just the case. Not to take away from the fact that behind the him was a group of heavy hitters in the likes of Jones, DeFebo, Kochenash, Chuck Hossfeld and Eric Beers yet as they fought closely together they could not seem to gather up to Hirschman. Near the end Kochenash had worked into second and a restart with two laps to go saw the decent lead of Hirschman get wiped away and gave a thought of a shootout to the checkers, however, when the race resumed there was no denying the once again stellar performance of Hirschman who went on the claim the $2500 victory. “This was a shorter race tonight and it was just go from the start and go as fast as I could,” said Hirschman. “We’ve been working to get a faster race car and I need to say a big thanks to my family, crew and sponsors for all the incredible support.” Kochenash, Eric Beers, Jones and DeFebo rounded out the top five. It was the second straight time that Kochenash was second to Hirschman and add his fourth in the first Series race, he remains the point leader heading into the Marvin Bartholomew 85-lap Tribute on August 22. “I tried to go as fast I can to catch Matt (Hirschman) and do whatever it took to win because this race meant a lot to me. Doug (Hoffman) let me start racing here when I was 12-years old and he taught me how to race and would make me start in the back until I was good enough to start passing cars, ” said Kochenash. “Unfortunately I didn’t really have tires left at the end to go and we just had to settle for second again. I could just never get quite close enough to mount a challenge.”
In the Street Stocks it was Todd Ahner capturing the checkers for his first his second win of the season and first with the MVSHoFS. Even though the fast pacing Ahner began the 30-lap contest from pole, he was surrounded by a bevy of rivals. Eric Kocher and Mark Martini race side-by-side while relentlessly trying to unseat Ahner yet the highly respected veteran was not giving in. Lap after lap Ahner was able to run a perfect line that enabled him to uphold his lead in spite of the onslaught coming from the others. Over the final five laps Martini had secured second and was giving the leader fits but it would be to no avail as the victory was captured by Ahner, marking his 38th with a Street Stock. Rick Reichenbach showed good power and claimed a respectable third with Jon Moser and Kocher rounding out the front five. Just as Ahner did in the Street Stocks, Jacob Boehm was able to lead every lap in the Hobby Stock main but he too had to fend off nonstop challenges that came from Taylor Schmidt and Jesse Bollinger.
Despite the fact that Boehm was solid and never wavered from the lead, he was only a car length ahead of Schmidt and Bollinger. This was his second victory of 2020 and fifth time winning with the Hobby Stock class. Lyndsay Buss had her best run thus far with a very credible fourth while previous week winner Al Arthofer notched fifth.
In the Rookie Hobby Stock feature Makayla Kohler grabbed the lead on the second try from the start and once in front there was no looking back as she controlled the lead confidently even though Paul French Jr., would make several attempts to pass her. It was no doing, though, as the she held her ground and won for the first time in a stock car and became the sixth different winner in as many races with the Rookie division.
Modified Feature Finish (60-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Chuck Hossfeld, 7. Nick Bear, 8. John Markovic, 9. Earl Paules, 10. Josh Scherer, 11. Mike Stofflet, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Kyle Strohl, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Sean Verwys, 16. Gene Bowers, 17. Rod Snyder, 18. Todd Bear, 19. Jacob Kerstetter, 20. Lou Strohl, 21. Austin Beers DNQ: Heath Metzger, Jesse Strohl, Louie Horvath, BJ Wambold
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Todd Ahner, 2. Mark Martini, 3. Rick Reichenbach, 4. Jon Moser, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Randy Ahner Jr., 8. John Bennett, 9. Greg Long, 10. Bobby Kibler Jr., 11. Jamie Smith, 12. Rich Moser, 13. Brandon Christman, 14. Dennis Buss, 15. TJ Gursky, 16. Todd Geist, 17. Tucker Muffley, 18. Beau Drobot DNS: Thomas Flanagan DNQ: Bobby Kibler Sr., Kadie Pursell, Steve Tito, Josh Mooney DQ: Shayne Geist, Randy Schlenker
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Jacob Boehm, 2. Taylor Schmidt, 3. Jesse Bollinger, 4. Lyndsay Buss, 5. Al Arthofer, 6. Justin Markel, 7. Devin Schmidt, 8. Cody Geist, 9. Rich Mutarelli, 10. Trish Connolly, 11. Nick Schaffer, 12. Corey Edelman, 13. Jacob Oswald, 14. Ryan Berger, 15. Cody Edelman, 16. John Petro, 17. Tad Snyder, 18. Makayla Koehler, 19. Kevin Behler, 20. James Tout, 21. Hunter Iatalese DNQ: Kyle Troch, Travis Solomon, Terry Peters, Chase Hoffman, Mallory Kutz, Brandon Covert, Tyler Nemeth, Nicholas Kerstetter, James Yons
This coming Saturday evening, August 1, Mahoning Valley Speedway will present race #3 of the 2020 Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) with the Doug Hoffman 60-lap Tribute for Modifieds plus Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and the E. Schneider & Sons Inc., Scrap Metal of Allentown Rookie Hobby Stocks.
The Modified feature will pay tribute to the late Doug Hoffman who is a former promoter and winner at the speedway now run under the direction of his younger brother Keith Hoffman. And heading into Saturday’s action the points for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks for the MVSHoFS is as close as could be. Saturday night’s race for the Modifieds will pay $2500-to-win and there will be an increase in pay for positions two through six. 10th spot pays $500. The Hobby Stock winner is also going to see and increase at the payout window. In the Modifieds after two Series races Austin Kochenash leads the way with 103 markers. Kochenash has scored a fourth and most recently a second place, however, the next three drivers are close at hand and tied with 94 points each as Blake Barney, Eric Beers and latest winner Matt Hirschman are right there nipping at his heels. Upstate New York star Chuck Hossfeld sits a solid fifth with 82 points and will be looking to win his first race ever in Pennsylvania this Saturday.
Not surprising the Street Stock MVSHoFS points are tight. Currently Jon Moser sits number one by 11 over Randy Schlenker and Mark Martini who are tied for second. TJ Gursky, a teammate of Martini and Johnny Bennett are tied for fourth just four points behind. This class with a deep field of parity will be worth the watch for Saturday’s 30-lap main. Plus the winner will be receiving a one-of-a-kind Doug Hoffman replica model as part of the winning prizes. Not surprising with a second and first place tally thus far Ryan Berger comes into this week’s race tops in the Hobby Stocks but only by 10 points ahead of Trisha Connolly, 115 to 105. Then its race #1 winner Justin Merkel, Travis Solomon and Jacob Boehm rounding out a close top five. Throughout the MVSHoFS each driver will be given 50-showup points that will be applied to their regular season tally as well the separate points that go towards the rewarding Series championship. Also, a driver must drop their worst finish after the fourth race of the Series in order to keep the points exciting leading into the fifth and concluding event. Drivers must race in all five shows in order to be eligible for the point payout. 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 entry fee is $25, $20 and $15 for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively. On Saturday, August 22 race #4 of the MVSHoFS event will be run, the Marvin Bartholomew 85-lap Tribute and the final Series race will take place on October 3 with the Hal Renninger 99-lap Tribute. The Modified portion of that event will also be a Race of Champions (RoC) Tour event, the final point show of the season for that national touring group. This Saturday’s action gets underway starting at 6:00 pm. Grandstands gates open at 4:00 pm. Adult grandstand $20; $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
Lorin Arthofer II, Mike Sweeney, Jeff Kot, Mark Martini, Cody Kohler, Al Arthofer and Brody George are Mahoning winners on busy “Pack the Track Night”
(JULY 25) It was “Pack the Track Night” at Mahoning Valley Speedway and for just $8 fans were treated to a great seven division show of stock car and TQ Midget racing which also included an hour long Meet and Greet during intermission and all was completed in a timely fashion as the final checkered flag waved by 9:30.
The classes of Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks, Rookie Hobby Stocks and the ATQMRA all put on very competitive features.
For Lorin Arthofer II, his win in the Sportsman Modified main came down to a thrilling showdown between he and Earl Paules. Arthofer had led from the outset but a restart with six laps to go saw Paules move out front, just barely though. Arthofer stayed planted to the bottom lane and ran side-by-side with Paules. With three laps to go Paules went into Turn 4 a bit high and Arthofer kept his focus inside enabling him to complete the lap as the leader. From there he would preserve the spot and score the win, his fifth with the class and the 40th overall at Mahoning Valley. Even though he’s raced to so many wins, this Victory Lane had special value as it was the anniversary of his famous father, Lorin Sr., winning his first race at the speedway in 1987. The Arthofer’s are the winningest family at Mahoning with close to 120 combined victories. Nevin George was back racing for the first time in five years and drove home third with Jared Ahner and Randy Ahner Jr., rounding out the top five.
Mike Sweeney has won plenty of times in a Late Model but none may have been more fulfilling then his victory on Saturday night. Sweeney used a lap nine restart to take the lead from a very strong running Avery Arthofer and would then cruise to his second straight win and 69th of his career. However, it was the events leading up the race that made this significant. During hot laps Sweeney was in an altercation that saw his No. D11 slam hard into the back straight wall that left him with heavy front end damage. For some it would have been the end of the night but a resilient Sweeney team and support from others converged at his pit and proceeded to restore the car to be race worthy. By the time his heat rolled around there he was on the grid and at the end of the preliminary run he was taking the checkers. A few more adjustments prior to the feature and the results spoke volumes for the overall team effort. A. Arthofer held off Geno Steigerwalt in attaining a solid second and clearly showing that her first class win is in near at hand.
The ATQMRA raced for the first time this season and the time-honored club paid homage to one of the all-time best with the organization with the running of the Jack Bertling Memorial. The late “Black Jack” is a three-time champ and many time TQ winner. When the race commenced with the green flag been waved by Bertling’s daughter, Tiffany Hoffman, wife of Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman, pole sitter Jeff Kot quickly showed that he was the force, leading all 25 laps from there in a nonstop race that was completed in a blistering four minutes flat. Kot, who turned the fastest lap of the day during the feature at 9.237-seconds, took the checkers over fast closing Buddy Sload by half a second. It was Kot’s first win at Mahoning Valley.
In the Street Stocks Mark Martini led just one lap, the final, and by just a few inches, as he nipped very impressive rookie Thomas Flanagan. In just his fifth ever stock car race at Mahoning Flanagan took the lead from Jamie Smith on a lap two restart and then began to gradually pull away from the pack. He had built a substantial lead while the rest of the group was conjoined in a fan pleasing double-wide battle. However, Flanagan’s large lead was wiped away when a caution flew on lap 14 and when the action resumed he was facing off against seasoned veterans Martini and Randy Ahner Jr. Then on the final tour the race reached fever pitch as Martini drove inside of Flanagan in Turn 3. It was now a drag race to the finish and as they came upon Frank Mertz’s waving checkers Martini had him beat by mere inches.
For the third time in as many 2020 starts Cody Kohler took top honors with the Pro 4s. Kohler needed only four laps to check into the top spot, which he did with and outside pass on Tyler Stangle. From there on it was another rousing run for Kohler who notched his 30th overall win. Jake Kibler was second with Stangle third.
Defending Hobby Stock champion Al Arthofer finally got his luck turned around after some very rough outings over the first few weeks that saw him have to completely rebuild his car due to hard crashes, none of his doing.
This time out Arthofer had everything go his way. After taking the lead from Tucker Muffley on lap 10 Arthofer never looked back, hitting his marks on each passing lap and going on to a two car length margin of victory over Cody Boehm and Devin Schmidt.
The Rookie Hobby Stock class continues to be notable with up and coming talent as for the fifth time in as many races a first time winner has emerged.
Brody George, son of Modified star Nevin George, pulled off a great inside pass on Corey Gulich with three laps to go and took his first ever win in a full-bodied car.
Sportsman Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Lorin Arthofer II, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Nevin George, 4. Jarred Ahner, 5. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Stacey Brown, 7. Peyton Arthofer, 8. Brian Rygielski, 9. Gunnar Zeiner
ATQMRA Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Jeff Kot, 2. Buddy Sload, 3. Geoffrey Sutton, 4. Joey Bailey, 5. Ryan Tidman, 6. Kyle Taraska, 7. Brianna Page, 8. Michael Murray, 9. Mark Yoder
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Avery Arthofer, 3. Geno Steigerwalt, 4. James Yons, 5. Brian Romig Jr., 6. Rich Cooper, 7. Mike Stein, 8. Todd Cooper, 9. Brooks Smith, 10. Seth VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Mark Martini, 2. Thomas Flanagan, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Jon Moser 5. Johnny Bennett, 6. Eric Kocher, 7. Mark Deysher, 8. Randy Schlenker, 9. Todd Ahner, 10. Jamie Smith, 11. TJ Gursky, 12. Bobby Kibler Jr., 13. Greg Long, 14. Brandon Christman, 15. Rick Reichenbach, 16. Shayne Geist 17. Matt Vansykle, 18. Frank Del Nero Jr., 19. Cody Geist, 20. Bobby Kibler Sr. DNQ: Rich Moser, Tucker Muffley, Kadie Pursell
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Tyler Stangle, 4. Randy Schaffer, 5. Jeremy Guerra, 6. Josh Kuronya, 7. Kadie Pursell
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Al Arthofer, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Taylor Schmidt, 6 .Trisha Connolly, 7. James Tout, 8. Jacob Oswald, 9. Jesse Bollinger, 10. Hunter Iatalese, 11. Kevin Behler, 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Tad Snyder, 14. Lyndsay Buss, 15. Nick Schaeffer, 16. Justin Merkel, 17. Mallory Kutz, 18. Nicholas Kerstetter, 19. Travis Solomon, 20. Jacob Boehm DNQ: Terry Peters, Robert Miller, Kyle Troch, Brandon Covert, Mackenzie Adams, Ralph Borger Jr.,
After rough start to season, Kyle Strohl rebounds with first win; Mike Sweeney scores Late Model checkers July 18
(JULY 20) For Kyle Strohl, the 2020 season got off to a rough start as the always exciting young talent suffered through a bad wreck that led to him finding a back-up ride for the next race out. That race regrettably, did not fare well in the results column either. Strohl then rebounded in week three with a solid top five coming in the George Wambold 81-lap Tribute race and completed his full rally of being a front runner with a wire-to-wire run in Saturday night’s Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Strohl started on the outside of pole sitter Jacob Kerstetter and when the action began he was quick to jump out front to the early lead. Despite getting overtaken at the start, Kerstetter stayed close with Strohl as the race settled into a good rhythm over the first dozen laps. Noticeably making headway over that stint was Lou Strohl who worked up to third by lap nine and then began putting the pressure on Kerstetter as they began a side-by-side battle. A lap 12 caution put a halt to the action but when the race restarted L. Strohl stayed tucked behind leader K. Strohl and drove up to second spot. From there on K. Strohl knew his best line of defense would be to protect the bottom and he did so, forcing the very persistent L. Strohl to do his bidding from the outside lane. It was a close nip and tuck fight to the finish and only over the final laps was K. Strohl able to gain some breathing room. This week we finally got a lucky spot to start up front and the car was working good and I just held the bottom as best I could because I knew the top runners would be coming,” said K. Strohl. “Lou (Strohl) gave me a great race and he was very tough. My car started to get tight toward the end and I had to then use up my part of the track to seal the deal.” Interestingly after K. Strohl wrecked hard on Opening Night he then drove the same car that L. Strohl almost beat him in, the Matt Higgins owned No. 88. “Matt’s car runs really good I can attest to that and but for us tonight we were fortunate enough to have the upper hand,” he added. Although he had to settle for second the hard fought effort of L. Strohl did come with a bonus as he moved into the point’s lead, holding that standings position for the first time since 2008. While the Strohl and Strohl show was going on Nick Baer was making an impressive run as well. In the final 12 laps he had moved into third spot and then did a fine job of fending off Austin Beers who drove from deep in the pack and Earl Paules in rounding out the top five.
The Late Models got on track for the first time this season and picking up right where he left off at the end of 2019, Mike Sweeney was parked in Victory Lane, his 55th time with the class at Mahoning Valley Speedway. The 25-lap contest began with Rich Cooper grabbing the lead and then continuing there solidly. It wasn’t until a lap nine restart that he would relinquish the position to Sweeney who put his many years of track experience to use when making the pass for the lead. The rest of the distance Sweeney would not falter although there was some opportunities on restarts for Geno Steigerwalt and newcomer Nick Ross as they tried to make a run at the leader but to no avail. Sweeney showed his strength in keeping them at bay while garnering his 67th overall win. Jeremy Miller and Avery Arthofer rounded out the top five.
Todd Ahner is one of the well-respected veterans on the eastern Pennsylvania asphalt racing circuit, having begun his career in 1986 at Dorney Park Speedway and still going as strong as ever today. He is the all-time career wins leader in Street Stock victories and on Saturday night extended that mark to 34 and counting. The race first saw Shayne Geist hold down the early lead over Tucker Muffley and Bobby Kibler Jr. On a lap 12 restart that trio went into a hair-raising three-wide race for the lead which at the point established Kibler as the new front-man. However by the time the pack was in turn two Kibler was sent spinning due to the close-quarter racing and when the field was reset Ahner found himself the new leader. There he would remain to the finish but by no means was it an easy go as Mark Deysher, Rick Reichenbach and Mark Martini were all bumper to bumper behind him.
For the second week in a row in the Hobby Stocks Travis Solomon took the lead on the final lap but was not the driver that was celebrating afterwards rather Jacob Boehm was the happy victor. Boehm had the lead from the outset but Solomon hustled underneath him in the final two corners. However, he was again called for passing to low in Turn 3 where it is designated as a “no passing zone.” Boehm was directed to the Winner’s Circle while Solomon was placed back two pots for the infraction. Jesse Bollinger was scored second.
Mia Guy became the fourth winner in as many week to win in the Rookie Hobby Stocks. Guy is the only driver to have led in the three pervious features only to have been sidelined by tangles. This time, however, she was not to be denied. Starting from the pole she quickly took control of the race and then held her line while having to fend off a very determined Paul French Jr. who gave her a great run to the checkers. Opening night winner Micah Adams placed a close third.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Lou Strohl, 3. Nick Bear, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Earl Paules, 6. John Markovic, 7. Sean Verwys, 8. Terry Markovic, 9. BJ Wambold, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Josh Scherer, 12. Rod Snyder Jr., 13. Brian DeFebo, 14. Gunnar Zeiner, 15. Mike Stofflet, 16. Peyton Arthofer, 17. Louie Howvath, 18. Heath Metzger
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Geno Steigerwalt, 3. Nick Ross, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. Avery Arthofer, 6. Rich Cooper, 7. James Yons, 8. Mike Stein, 9. Brooks Smith 10. Seth VanFossen DNS: Mike VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Todd Ahner, 2. Mark Deysher, 3. Rich Reichenbach, 4. Mark Martini, 5. Randy Ahner, 6. Jon Moser, 7. Brandon Christman, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. TJ Gursky, 10. Cody Geist, 11. Shayne Geist, 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Rich Moser, 14. Thomas Flanagan, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Kadie Purcell, 17. Jill Long, 18. Bobby Kibler, 19. Matt VanSyckle, 20. Bob Kibler
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1.Jacob Boehm, 2. Jesse Bollinger, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Tyler Schmidt, 5. Jacob Oswald, 6. Devin Schmidt, 7. Tisha Connolly, 8. Cody Kohler, 9. Al Arthofer, 10. Kevin Behler, 11. Cody Boehm, 12. Tad Snyder, 13. Micah Adams, 14. Nicolas Kerstetter, 15. Mallory Kutz, 16. Justin Merkel, 17. Kassidy Arthofer, 18. Rich Mutarelli, 19. James Tout, 20. Lyndsay Buss DNQ: Phil Sabatine, Tucker Muffley, Brandon Covert, Mackenzie Adams, Ralph Borger Jr.
Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Mia Guy, 2. Paul French Jr., 3. Micah Adams, 4. Tobie Behler, 5. Hailey Muffley, 6. Brody George, 7. Maggie Yeakel, 8. Zoe Kuchera, 9. Kevin Nee, 10. Elia Tito, 11. Makayla Kohler
Long awaited track race time for Late Models this Saturday, July 18 at Mahoning Valley Speedway
Coming up this Saturday, July 18 Mahoning Valley Speedway will present a full card of stock car racing beginning at 6:00 pm and included in the docket will be the Late Models which have been patiently waiting for their time to get on track. First it was the coronavirus which delayed the start of the 2020 season until mid-June and forced the restructure of the weekly schedule. Then when the class was slated to run on June 27 the night was rained out. Everyone from drivers, fans and track personnel are anxious to see the Late Models finally get their moment to shine and looking forward to overdue appearance. The line-up also includes the Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Pit gates open at 11:00 am. There will be early paid practice from noon to 2:30 pm priced at $25 per car. Pit admission is $25 members, $35 non-members. Diver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. Heat races get underway at 6:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
Coming up in two weeks, on Saturday July 25, will be “Pack the Track Night.” The grandstand admission will be $8 for a seven division program of racing. Please note that racing that night will begin at 5:00 pm.
Matt Hirschman wins George Wambold Tribute on July 11
(JULY 11) Northampton’s Matt Hirschman turned in solid performance in picking up his first win of the season at Mahoning Valley Speedway, netting top honors in the George Wambold Tribute 81-lap main. The event was race number #2 of the 2020 Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) and was an acknowledgment to the legendary Wambold, a multi-time track champion and many time winner. “This was very special to win a race in honor of George Wambold who was definitely one of the big names in eastern Pennsylvania racing,” said Hirschman from Victory Lane. “He was one of those tough guys that wheeled cars without power steering and head rests and any of that stuff and I can always appreciate those drivers. They were way tougher than today’s drivers and it’s nice that we’re honoring these guys with this Series.” Second starting Kochenash had grabbed the lead from the drop of the green over Nick Baer. Within 10 laps point leader Bobby Jones and seventh starter Hirschman where running in tow. By lap 18 Hirschman had took control of second. Kochenash, however, stayed attentive to his lead and kept Hirschman busy in trying both high and low lanes to make a pass over the next 24 laps. Just prior to a caution coming out on lap 43, Hirschman finally nipped him for the top spot and not long afterwards was facing off against Eric Beers. Beers and Hirschman where in contention to win in the first MVSHoFS event from the previous month but a tangle between them negated the thinkable outcome. On a lap 45 restart Beers had showed the power and out-dueled Hirschman for the lead but one lap later it would go back to the Harry’s U-Pull-It No. 60. From there on Hirschman wasn’t taking any chances as he stayed a few car lengths out ahead of the pack en route to his 19th career win at Mahoning Valley. “The thing here at Mahoning is you have to run as hard as you can because you never know what’s going on behind you but overall it was a good race,” explained Hirschman. “I was able to test the outside a little with the 72 (Kochenash) and then eventually with a couple moves on the bottom so it was good racing between us and then with Eric (Beers) on the restarts,” he continued. “You can’t really save anything here. Starting seventh we were able to make progress right away. You have to keep moving and you can’t always just settle in here, that’s the kind of track it is and why the racing is really good here.” After Hirschman took the lead for keeps Kochenash and Beers waged a great battle with the Wentz Auto Body No. 72 securing the spot in the final laps. Don Wagner bounced back and forth during the race before securing a hard-earned fourth and likewise with Kyle Strohl who edged Blake Barney in rounding out the top five.
Beau Drobot had made certain that the Wambold race was circled on his calendar and as such it turned out to be a fruitful night as he made his first start of the year worth the effort, winning for the first time with the Street Stock class at Mahoning Valley. Earlier in the week his car was still in bits and pieces but knowing what the Wambold event meant he put a great effort into making the mount race ready and the hard work was well worth the effort with the end results. By luck off the draw Drobot would start pole and once the action commenced he was in the company of defending class champ Jon Moser. But, all the while Drobot was shielding his lead despite the ongoing attempts by Moser to unseat him. For Moser that did happen after a lap 14-restart but Drobot was in no way about to throw in the towel as just one lap later he would regain control and not surrender the rest of the way. In the waning laps Moser began to drop back as Randy Ahner Jr., took up the chase on Drobot but although being on his rear bumper he had to settle for second. Mark Martini, Todd Ahner and Moser complete the top five.
When Ryan Berger passed Travis Solomon with six laps to go in the Hobby Stock feature it appeared that he was in control there to the finish. However, on the last lap Solomon came charging and darted to the inside of Berger in Turn 3 and would exit there as the leader. There was a problem with that though. Solomon’s route was done in a non-passing zone as he drove below the designated part of the racing surface that drivers cannot use for such an occurrences as per track rules. With that officials relegated him back two spots in the finishing order. Berger was then declared the winner, his first in three years while Trisha Connolly claimed the runner up spot. Corey Edelman and Jesse Bollinger rounded out the front five.
Paulie Hartwig III made track history in winning the Rookie Hobby Stock feature as the 9-year old became the youngest driver to win a stock car event at the speedway. It was the first time the young talent had ever raced at Mahoning. Coming from 13th on the grid Hartwig executed a perfect inside pass on Tobie Behler coming in the final two corners. This was the second straight win in a stock car for Hartwig as his most recent outing two weeks ago netted the same results at Evergreen Raceway where he became the youngest winner there too.
Modified Feature Finish (81-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Blake Barney, 7. Eddie McCarthy, 8. Roger Cross, 9. Gene Bowers, 10. Chuck Hossfeld, 11. Sean Verwys, 12. Jacob Kerstetter, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Mike Stofflet, 15. Bobby Jones, 16. BJ Wambold, 17. Todd Bear, 18. Nick Bear, 19. Brian DeFebo, 20. Heath Metzger, 21. Josh Scherer, 22. Earl Paules, 23. Rod Snyder Jr., 24. Austin Beers, DNQ: Jack Ely, Ricky Collins, Terry Markovic, Jason Arthofer, John Markovic
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Beau Drobot, 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. Mark Martini, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Jon Moser, 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. Jillian Long, 8. Randy Schlenker, 9. TJ Gursky, 10. Josh Mooney, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Brandon Christman, 13. Rich Moser, 14. Jamie Smith, 15. Rick Reichenbach, 16. Frank DelNero Jr., 17. Shayne Geist, 18. Thomas Flanagan, 19. Eric Kocher, 20. Bobby Kibler Jr., 21. Todd Geist, 22. Mark Deysher DNQ: Kadie Pursell, Dennis Buss, Logan Boyer, Cody Geist
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Ryan Berger, 2. Trisha Connolly, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Jesse Bollinger, 6. Justin Merkel, 7. Jacob Boehm, 8. Kassidy Altemose, 9. Klem Underwood, 10. Kevin Behler, 11. James Tout, 12. Devin Schmidt, 13. Tad Snyder, 14. Paulie Hartwig III, 15. Nicholas Kerstetter, 16. Cody Boehm, 17. Taylor Schmidt, 18. Al Arthofer, 19. Neil Rutt III, 20. Lyndsay Buss, 21. Rich Mutarelli, 22. Jacob Oswald DNQ: Mallory Kutz, Tucker Muffley, Kyle Troch, Ralph Borger Jr., Terry Peters, Micah Adams, Brian Romig Jr., Brandon Covert, Tyler Schmeltzle, Robert Miller
Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series George Wambold 81-lap Tribute this Saturday, July 11
This coming Saturday, July 11, Mahoning Valley Speedway will present the second race of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) with the George Wambold 81-lap Tribute. The event will pay $2500-to-win the Modified feature. 10th spot will pay $500. The 81-lap distance reflects the signature car number made famous by Wambold at Dorney Park and Mahoning Valley Speedways. Also in action will be the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks which are also part of the Series plus the E. Schneider & Sons Inc., Scrap Metal Rookie Hobby Stocks. If race number one of the MVSHoFS is any indication then expect another great field of cars for this special show that will pay homage to one of the all-time greats of eastern Pennsylvania short track asphalt racing, George Wambold. In a career that spans six decades, winning has been a way of life for Wambold. He owns the all-time wins record at defunct Dorney Park Speedway with 37, amassing that tally with at least one win in 20 consecutive seasons dating back to 1966. Wambold also scored three track championships at the Park, coming in 1973, ’84 & ’86. When the 1/5th mile Dorney Park track ceased operations after the 1986 season, Mahoning Valley swung back into action after sitting dormant since 1977 and Wambold was instrumental in coming to the aid of Ward and Dottie Crozier in resurrecting the paved ¼-mile oval. It was fitting too, since Wambold had a strong connection to the track, dating back to his teen years of the late 1950s when he would attend events there, at the time a dirt track, and the speedway where he eventually began his career at. When Mahoning took on a blacktop surface in 1970, Wambold quickly became one to the top stars, winning 11 times between 1970 & ’74. In 1971 he would garner his first of two Modified track titles. In 1987 when Mahoning re-opened, Wambold became a force to reckon with. He won four times and would win his second track crown in the process. Over the following years the winning continued and when he finally hung up his helmet after the 1998 season, he scored 27 wins. Between here and Dorney his total is 67 first place features, third on the all-time eastern Pennsylvania Modified winners list, with only Eric Beers and Brian DeFebo having more victories in that category. Despite not racing himself in the past 20 years, the Wambold name remained at the forefront at Mahoning with his sons Brian and Michael, grandkids Tiffany and BJ and Brian’s stepson, Justin Merkel, carrying on the family legacy.
Saturday action will get underway with early paid practice starting at noon. Heats, which will be lined up by random draw, will get underway starting at 6:00 pm. The day’s complete order of events will be released shortly. Adult grandstand admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Pit admission is $30 members – $40 non-members.
In the event of inclement weather, Sunday afternoon, July 12, has been designated as the rain date.
Late Models and ATQMRA to make first starts of 2020 Saturday at Mahoning Valley Speedway on June 27
(JUNE 24) Mahoning Valley Speedway welcomes back into action their Late Model division for the first time this season along with the American Three Quarter Midget Racing Association (ATQMRA). Included in the night’s action will be Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks. Race time is 6:00 pm. Also, fans will have the opportunity for a meet and greet with most recent Hobby Stock feature winner and current class point leader Trisha Connolly as she will have her always perfect looking No. 2 car on display from 4:00 to 5:00 pm in front of the main entrance.
2020 will mark the 43rd season for the Late Model division which began in 1970. Frankie Althouse 2019-20 champion has moved over to the Sportsman Modified class, however, there are still the likes of Mahoning’s all-time winner Mike Sweeney, who is fresh off a win last Sunday at Evergreen Raceway and Jeremy Miller, who both, along with Althouse, led the way the past few seasons with wins and top-three point tallies. Samantha Osborn, the 2019 Most Improved Driver award winner will be back and looking to gain her second career win and more. Avery Arthofer, a top-5 point finisher and Rookie of the Year has been on the cusp of her first in-class win and should be poised to make it happen this year. Also looking to be in action will be the exciting Broc Brown, who has a knack for getting to the front and is a constant threat to win whenever he rolls into the track. Veteran Geno Steigerwalt, the Cooper’s, Todd and Rich, father and son duo Mike and Seth Van Fossen, Dylan Osborn and a number of others will be prepared to take the first checkered flag of the year as well.
In what has become customary over the past number of years, the Hoosier Tire Mid-Atlantic powered by VP Racing Fuels ATQMRA opens their season at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Saturday night will mark the time-honored club’s 64th consecutive season, dating back to 1956. The TQ’s began racing at Mahoning in 1987 with Mike Adams leading the way with 20 career track victories. The TQ Midgets are credited with being the fastest cars to ever record a lap. Matt Roselli holds the all-time speed mark at 8.825-seconds at 101 mph.
2019 club champion Joey Bailey will lead the charge into the ¼-mile bullring only this year he will behind the wheel of the iconic No. 1B for owners Lenny and Donna Boyd.
Pit gates open at 10:30 am. There will be early paid practice from noon to 2:30 pm priced at $25 per car. Pit admission is $25 members, $35 non-members. Diver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. Heat races get underway at 6:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
The track will be silent on Saturday, July 4 and then return on July 11 with race number two of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series, featuring the George Wambold Tribute 81 for Modifieds paying $2500-to-win and $500 for 10th. Included on the July 11 card will be Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Bobby Jones fends off his protégé Josh Scherer in close Mahoning Modified action on June 20th
(JUNE 20) Defending Mahoning Valley Speedway champion Bobby Jones raced to a hard-fought win over his protégé Josh Scherer, earning his 35th career Modified victory in the process, 28 of them taking place here. Jones used a lap 20 restart to overtake Scherer, however, from there on they battled tooth and nail to the checkers as both cars where equally fast. And, while Jones did what he does best, racing to the front and winning, one could not deny the impression that Scherer has made in just two short weeks. For the second time in a row he has been in contention for the win, settling for the runner-up spot on Opening Night to Jimmy Blewett. This time around he looked stronger yet, keeping very close with Jones after losing the lead. He was able to make several runs alongside but unfortunately the crafty veteran used his skill to safeguard his spot and hold on for the verdict. “I don’t think people give him (Scherer) enough credit for just how good he is. As far as some of the younger drivers I see right know Josh is one the best. He has untapped potential,” a very complimentary Jones said afterwards. Since moving into a Modified three years ago, Jones has continued to mentor Scherer in both driving and car set-ups. “When he was alongside me I knew where he was but when he was behind me I needed to slow down and protect and I think my experience kind of got me this win over him but in some small sense I hope I taught him something too. I try to always teach him,” added Jones. There was a restart in which Scherer acknowledged missing a shift and he felt in the long run that was a big part to not recovering the lead back when it counted most. “It was real tough especially when I missed a shift on the one restart and I feel that cost me all of it. It didn’t help with the yellows either that kept coming out because I felt we would have definitely had something for him at the end. On the outside I was on a roll. I think the car was even better than last week,” said Scherer. “It’s difficult to hold your head high. I’m a person that just believes in giving it your all and hopefully the way we’re running we’ll eventually come out on top. We’re pretty much even, everything he has I have except for motor.” While the front pair raced hard there waged just as intense a battle behind them. Lou Strohl would hold on for third but it would be under a blanket as Brian DeFebo and rookie Sean Verwys diced for positions three, four and five. Verwys, making his first Modified start, showed plenty a flare as he run amongst a pack of seasoned veterans with solidness throughout. For Jones this also marked the fourth consecutive year that he won on the second week of the season.
The Sportsman Modifieds made their first start of 2020 and as expected the class has made a substantial bump in cars. After some struggles the first two seasons a much improved field of 13 cars signed in and it made for perhaps the best feature to date. When the checkers waved on the 25-lap contest it would be Earl Paules, Mahoning Valley’s all-time career wins leader, chalking up his 62nd overall victory. Two-time and defending Late Model champion Frankie Althouse drew the pole and at the drop of Ken Golden Jr.’s race commencing green he darted to the lead with Randy Ahner Jr., Jared Ahner and Paules all in tow. R. Ahner and Paules then went side-by-side while hovering directly behind Althouse. Despite a few cautions that slowed the pace, the front trio continued their stirring clash for the lead. When the race reached the mid-way point Paules, who had been riding on the outside, finally burst past R. Ahner then Althouse for the lead and from there on cruised the rest of the way. R. Ahner got by Althouse with five laps to and scored an impressed runner-up debut with the class. J. Ahner and Louie Horvath rounded out the top five.
In Street Stock action it was young Johnny Bennett who withstood a host of veterans to score his third career win. Bennett started from the pole but despite that he had to continually fend off the likes of Opening Night winner Eric Kocher and defending champ Jon Moser who gave the teenage talent all he could handle and that he did. Bennett kept focus on a solid line of defense in keeping the latter two at bay.
In winning the Hobby Stock main Trisha Connolly and the entire field accomplished a rare fete, going caution free flag to flag. While Taylor Schmidt would lead early, Connolly was making haste toward the front. Driving the outside lane she made quick work of Rich Mutarelli and Tad Snyder before setting her sights on Schmidt. By lap five she had zeroed in on him and three laps latter completed the race winning pass. From there on she negotiated heavy traffic perfectly and went on to score a two car length margin of victory over Schmidt who had a career best finish in second. The race was competed in a time of 5-minutes, 16-seconds.
For the second time in as many weeks Cody Kohler proved unstoppable in the Pro 4s. Kohler needed only four laps to drive by Jake Kibler for the lead and once in front he steadily pulled away from the pack en route to the rousing win.
In the Rookie Hobby Stocks 14-year old Tobie Behler would be the third and final leader, netting the second generation racer his first ever win with a stock car in only his second time out. Corey Gulich and Paul French, Jr., where second and third respectively.
Great runs were also turned in by Mia Frey and Elia Tito who each led but had unfortunate mishaps that thwarted their otherwise great efforts.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Josh Scherer, 3. Lou Strohl, 4. Brian DeFebo, 5. Sean Verwys, 6. Heath Metzger, 7. Earl Paules, 8. Terry Markovic, 9. BJ Wambold, 10. Jason Arthofer, 11. Todd Bear, 12. Kyle Strohl, 13. Jacob Kerstetter
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Johnny Bennett, 2. Eric Kocher , 3. Jon Moser, 4. Mark Deysher, 5. Jill Long, 6. TJ Gursky, 7. Todd Ahner, 8. Randy Ahner Jr. 9. Mark Martini, 10. Josh Mooney, 11. Bobby Kibler Jr. 12. Frank DelNero Jr., 13. Cody Geist, 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Jamie Smith, 16, 17. Rich Moser, 18. Thomas Flanagan, 19. Brandon Christman, 20. Shayne Geist
Mahoning Valley Speedway back in action this Saturday, June 20; Sportsman Modifieds on card
After last week’s Opening Night which saw 111 race cars signed in and a packed grandstand for the first race in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series, the track now begins regular weekly action this coming Saturday evening, June 20 beginning at 6:00 pm.
The race card will include Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s, Rookie Hobby Stocks and the first race of the season for the Sportsman Modifieds.
Pit gates open at 10:30 am followed by car inspections at 11:00 am. There will be early paid practice from noon to 2:30 pm priced at $25 per car. Pit admission is $25 members, $35 non-members.
A mandatory drivers meeting takes place at 3:30 pm and afterwards the start of hot laps at 4:00 pm. Diver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. Heat race action gets underway at 6:00 pm.
Adult grandstand admission is $14. $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
Coming up in two weeks on Saturday, June 27 will be a regular show consisting of Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Rookie Hobby Stocks and the ATQMRA TQ Midgets.
The next race in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series will be the George Wambold Tribute 81 on July 11.
Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or here on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway for updated info. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.
From No Time To “Showtime”…Jimmy Blewett wins in first start at Mahoning Valley Speedway on June 13
(JUNE 13) “Showtime” Jimmy Blewett made his first ever visit to Mahoning Valley worthwhile, scoring a rousing a $2950 victory in the John “Peepers” Yerger Tribute before a full house of fans. Blewett was both good and lucking en-route to the verdict. Despite that fact that he never turned a lap on the tough ¼-mile bullring, he raced strong inside the top five from the drop of the green. Then while running third he caught a huge break when front runners Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman tangled and sent to the rear of the field. From there on Blewett withstood the advances of track regular Josh Scherer on his way to scoring the popular win. The raced ended nine laps shy of the advertised 77 lap distance due to an ongoing rash of cautions. Blake Barney did a great job in garnering a career best Mahoning finish of third. Austin Kochenash drove to a solid fourth while upstate New York invader Chuck Hossfeld battled his way to fifth. By luck of the draw Beers and Todd Baer shared front row honor. This was the first time since August of 2017 that Beers was back in action here and he wasted little time in showing his prowess for getting around the tight confines of Mahoning Valley. Eighth place starter Hirschman thrust forward in a hurry and was on Beers’ tail giving him quite a bit of pressure. Time and again he tried to grab the lead but each time his efforts where thwarted as Beers maintained a good line of defensiveness to hold back Hirschman’s advances. Hirschman also had numerous occasions to utilize restarts to overtake Beers as an abundance of cautions plagued the race. All that while defending track champion Bobby Jones was hovering closely in third with Blewett fourth. Interruptions would abound as the race wore on and take its toll on many including Jones who on lap 37 went spinning off turn four. With that Blewett was now third but ahead of him the Beers/Hirschman battle was still waging and all he could do was ride and watch. Then on lap 60 the race broke wide open when the front pair got together in turn three. Hirschman was looking to seize an opening on Beers but as they drove into the corner the door got closed and there was contact. Beers went sliding and made a great save of hitting the inside wall off turn four. For his part Hirschman was directed to the rear with Beers for the restart. For Blewett it was the right place at the right time as he inherited the lead with Scherer now second. Unfortunately yellow fever would persist on and in the sake of longevity and a warning to drivers, the race was called with eight laps to go. “This is like the complete opposite of what happens at my home track. I don’t think Matt (Hirschman) meant to take Eric (Beers) out. It was just hard racing there at the end and I’d rather be lucky,” said Blewett. “My guys gave me a great car and I can’t thank Eric Beers enough for all the help he gave me going into this race. My crew chief Rob Ornsbee, my engine builder Tom Martino but most of all my car owner Scott Brannick. Between him and my grandfather the last four years they’ve really been there when I needed things.” Known for his winning ways, Blewett notwithstanding entered the race optimistic never having turned a lap here. He practiced well, ran second in his heat then stayed steady in the race before coming into the lead. He then held off Scherer perfectly who kept the pressure on him to the checkers. “The first thing coming here was to just make the show. There are really good regulars here and I did a lot of watching of videos and in-car cameras. I knew it was going to be stiff competition just to qualify,” said Blewett. “I felt that if I can come out to this with a top five it will be great. I don’t go anywhere where that I don’t show up and don’t think I can win. This feels good and I look forward to coming back.”
In the Street Stock main Eric Kocher was no match for the rest of the pack as he drove away to a decisive win. Kocher took the lead from Jillian Long on a lap one restart and was never headed the rest of the way. He had the power to easily distance himself from the pack and only had to deal with resistance during limited restarts. A few laps back under green and Kocher was again pulling away. Defending class champ Jon Moser stepped up through the pack and claimed second with Randy Schlenker, TJ Gursky and Bobby Kibler Jr. rounding out the top five.
In the Hobby Stock main Justin Merkel parlayed his pole starting spot into a hard fought win. Merkel led all 25 laps although he was in some thick company along the way as Ryan Berger, Trisha Connelly, Jacob Boehm and Rich Mutarelli provided plenty of opposition. Despite that Merkel never wavered and held on for his third career win.
In the 20-lap Pro 4 feature no one could match the dominating performance of past champion Cody Kohler who easily pulled ahead of everyone and won for the 27th time with the division. Kadie Pursell was second, equally her career best finish to date and showed that win number is close at hand.
The Rookie Hobby Stock class made its debut with an impressive 13 first time stock car racers and going into the history books as the inaugural winner was 11-year Micah Adams. Adams, son of Evergreen Raceway star Scott Adams, made a mid-race winning pass on Makayla Kohler on the outside line and then cruised on to the crowd pleasing win.
Modified Feature Finish (77-laps): 1. Jimmy Blewett, 2. Josh Scherer, 3. Blake Barney, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Chuck Hossfeld, 6. Eric Beers, 7. John Markovic, 8. Rod Snyder Jr., 9. Tyler Truex, 10. Bobby Jones, 11. Matt Hirschman, 12. Todd Baer, 13. Eddie McCarthy, 14. Patrick Emerling, 15. Kyle Strohl, 16. Earl Paules, 17. Nick Baer, 18. Brian DeFebo, 19. Don Wagner, 20. Ron Silk, 21. Terry Markovic, 22. Jason Arthofer, 23. Austin Beers, 24. Jack Ely DNQ: Roger Coss, Lou Strohl, Heath Metzger, Gene Bowers, Sen Verwys, Jacob Kerstetter, Jim Gaver, Mike Stofflet, BJ Wambold
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Randy Schlenker, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Josh Mooney, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Mark Martini, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Jason Beers, 11. Jillian Long, 12. Brandon Christman, 13. Frank DelNero Jr., 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Shayne Geist, 16. Mark Deysher, 17. Todd Ahner, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Rick Reichenbach, 20. Randy Ahner Jr. DNQ: Rich Moser, Jay Gould, Justin Mooney, Todd Geist, Thomas Flanagan, Logan Boyer
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Justin Merkel, 2. Ryan Berger, 3. Trisha Connolly, 4. Jacob Boehm, 5. Jacob Oswald, 6. Rich Mutarelli, 7. Travis Solomon, 8. Jesse Bollinger, 9. Cody Boehm, 10. Taylor Schmidt, 11. Kassidy Altemose, 12. Gary Woodring, 14. Clem Underwood, 15. James Tout, 16. Al Arthofer, 17. Micah Adams, 18. John Petro, 19. Eddie Jones, 20. Phil Sabatine DNQ: Lyndsay Buss, Mallory Kutz, Rebecca Barbush, Tad Snyder, Brandon Covert, Corey Edelman, Nicholas Kerstetter, Ralph Boger Jr., Brian Romig Jr., Austin Ahner, Doug DeHaven
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Cody, 2. Kadie Pursell, 3. Josh Kuronya, 4. Randy Schaffer, 5. Robert Derfler, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Jake Kibler DNS: Tyler Stangle
Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Micah Adams 2. Mikayla Kohler, 3. Toby Behler 4. Jaden Brown 5. Jason Finkbein 6. Hallie Muffley, 7. Savannah Romig, 8. Paul French Jr., 9. Elia Tito, 10. Corey Gulich, 11. Zoe Kuchera, 12. Mia Guy DNS: Maggie Yeakel
To all those in attendance June 13, 2020 at Mahoning Valley Speedway Firstly we want to send out our sincere thanks to all the fans, teams, media and staff for making our Opening Night one of the best ever. We know that many of you traveled near and far and can’t begin to express how delighted we are of the amazing turnout. \We would also like to address a few of the issues from the show as we move forward. We appreciate all of the comments, both complimentary and constructive. Our focus is to present a professional and entertaining program each week and there were a few items throughout the night that arose which we will address. Our team has triggers in place to tackle such glitches and last night some were used. Afterwards we saw where there is room for correction on others.
There was such a positive atmosphere as the flow of the day went on. From the American flag display during the National Anthem, having John “Peepers” Yerger with us, the Frisbee toss, driver intros for the Modifieds, the first ever Rookie Hobby Stock race and more. It is imperative to us that we make your visit on both the grandstand a pit side pleasurable. We will take what we learned from this first race and when our next Hall of Fame Series event takes place on July 11 we intend to have an even better presentation to make your visit to Mahoning Valley Speedway fulfilling. Track promoter Keith Hoffman is making a transition from dirt to asphalt racing and expressed his patience with everyone as he gets more acclimated to this side of the racing world.
Chuck Hossfeld ready to race in Saturday’s Mahoning Valley Speedway opener
(June 10) When Mahoning Valley Speedway gets the 2020 season rolling this coming Saturday night, June 13 with the running of the John “Peepers” Yerger Tribute 77-lapper, all indications are that a star-studded field of local and regional Modified drivers will be on hand at the paved ¼-mile oval. Much of that was evident during last weekend’s Test and Tune as many drivers took to the track in preparation of Saturday’s lid-lifter including a rare visit by upstate New York standout Chuck Hossfeld.Hossfeld took advantage of both days to shake down his ride, the Franzosa Trucking No. 1W for car owner Tom Wanick III. Wanick and Hossfeld have had a solid relationship with respectable outings at Evergreen Raceway, most recently with a fourth place outing in last year’s King of the Green. Now the pair will be making a run at the Mahoning bullring, a track that Hossfeld would love to add to his long list of winning accomplishments. “It’s challenging here and what’s great is the local guys are always good. We had a good practice and I was really proud to come in and see my team and how beautiful the equipment is,” said, Hossfeld, who hails from Lockport, NY “One of the things about coming to Mahoning Valley is it seems every time I get the chance to come here everyone is so friendly to see you and that’s always a real pleasure.” It’s customary with Hossfeld as a front runner no matter where he goes and even though he has but a handful of starts here since 2012, they have all been productive. In 2013 he just missed eclipsing the track record during time trial runs and twice in 2016 with the Sunoco Race of Champions Tour, his last time racing here, he garnered top-5 finishes while vying for the wins in each of those shows. “I think you’ll see that we’re going to be very competitive and someone that can threaten for the win,” admitted Hossfeld. “This is going to be a big show and the thing is it wouldn’t surprise me in the least that local guys will beat a lot of these outsiders. There’s no question it’ going to be a great race with a great field of cars and I think everyone is ready for it with all the turmoil we’ve been dealing with. Everyone needs a little fun right now and this will be it.” Admittedly Hossfeld knows that Mahoning, unlike any other track, possess its own unique challenges. “I think when racing a Modified anything can happen in a heartbeat at any track. Having said that, things I’ve noticed about this track, it’s sort of like Seekonk because of the size and shape. But here you’re on the throttle so much differently,” he explained. “At this track you can actually have a Sport Mod or a car with a lot less horsepower and you’re just not using all the power these cars have so it’s a lot of throttle control. We want to get our car turning better without getting loose and I feel that’s what’s going to be answer for success here.” Hossfeld will also have the plus of 2019 track champion Bobby Jones on his side. Jones, with the help of Wanick and Franzosa Trucking, scored the crown last season and knows every intricate inch of the track. “Anytime you have a good racer with success on your side it can’t hurt and I think he has relatively no ego and I don’t have much of one either so I think we can be good as teammates.” noted Hossfeld. We also have Mike Parks involved who is a friend of mine from years ago from where we had a lot of success and I think this is the beginning of a really good team that you’ll see produce some very good results over time,” he continued. “It’s been a great time working with Tommy and his crew too. I never met someone that works so hard and so often. I can text (message) him at one in the morning and he answers and I can text him at six in the morning and he answers. He’s always working and I give him a lot of credit for what he has.” A victory Saturday would not just mean another in a long list for Hossfeld but also the first time winning in Pennsylvania. “I can rattle off tracks that I’ve won at and I’m proud of how many different ones there in on that list with all kinds of different layouts. All I want to do is collect trophies and I would be proud to get one from Mahoning Valley Speedway.” Saturday’s action gets underway starting at 6:00 pm. Pit gates open at 10:00 am. Grandstands open at 3:00.
Austin Beers nips dad Eric for quick time and guaranteed pick in Opening Day feature redraw; Brandon Christman and Jesse Bollinger top charts in Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks
(June 7) Eric Beers made his official return to Mahoning Valley Speedway a meaningful one by out-timing everyone for the guaranteed redraw pick in advance of the June 13 Opening Day John “Peepers” Yerger Memorial 77-lap Tribute, which is race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series. Everyone that is with the exception of one driver, his 17-year old son Austin, who stole the thunder of his celebrated father, who is Mahoning’s all-time Modified wins leader, by going 10.088-seconds to the elder Beers’ 10.134-seconds. The timed dashes where part of the track’s Test and Tune days which actually began back on March 14 but was halted afterwards due the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed this past weekend. Brandon Christman, a rookie and Jesse Bollinger, also took top honors in the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively and will head into Opening Night worry free as they too are automatically locked in the redraw for feature starting spots. The Modified quick time was sponsored by Myracenews which posted a $100 bonus to the fastest driver. The classes where divided in groups for two sessions and 5-lap runs per session. When Eric Beers drove onto the blacktop in session one it marked his first official time in action at Mahoning since August 2017 and he immediately darted to the top of the speed charts. However, no sooner did the next and final group take to the clock then Austin Beers blasted ahead of dad and all the rest. His 10.088-second lap was the fastest such for a Modified since 2016. “It really felt good out there today and that despite we were on used tires. Really I need to thank my dad because he did a lot of the set-up on the car and when you can out run him here at Mahoning Valley that says a lot,” said A. Beers. “This is huge knowing how many good drivers where here today and will be here next week too and so much pressure is off us now. The fans are going to be in for a great show with a lot of Modifieds and I can’t wait to come back Saturday and go for the win in the Peepers Tribute.” Todd Baer, 10.222, Tyler Haydt 10.231 and Austin Kochenash 10.238 rounded out the top five. The Yerger Tribute will pay $2250 to win and $500 for 10th. Christman came into the weekend with the fastest time from March 14 and it held up over the past weekend, giving the third generation rookie driver an impressive outing for his upcoming feature debut. Likewise Bollinger showed his hand three months ago and when Test and Tune began and he then added and insurance lap with his 12.130 circuit. This past Saturday and Sunday’s Test and Tune saw just over 100 cars take part in shake down runs in anticipation of the June 13 lid-lifter. The track will be one of the very few asphalt speedways in action throughout the northeast and is anticipating a great turnout of cars. Race time is 6:00 pm. The night’s line-up will also include Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s and Rookie Hobby Stocks. Adult grandstand admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Grandstand gates open at 3:00.
“Showtime” Jimmy Blewett set for Mahoning Valley Speedway debut on June 13 (June 6) Jimmy Blewett is a four time Wall Stadium Speedway Modified champion, he’s been victorious on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, he also races a dirt Modified and has amassed over 150 feature wins while traveling up and down the eastern seaboard. But despite his many successes the driver best known as “Showtime” has never turned a lap at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway or for that matter even stepped foot inside. That’s all about to change come June 13 when the ¼-mile paved oval opens up their 2020 season with the John “Peepers” Yerger Tribute 77-lap main. The Yerger Tribute is race number one of the five race Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series and Blewett is looking ahead to making his maiden appearance at the speedway.“The biggest thing is nothing else is conflicting with it. I’ve always been committed to something else and never really had the opportunity to come there,” disclosed Blewett. “Keith (Hoffman) has reached out to me before and nothing ever worked out. I’d have an open date and then it would rain or I would be running on a tour or running for points somewhere,” he continued. “He told me all about Peepers and what this tribute race is all a about and I think it’s very special. With everything that’s going on right now this is the perfect opportunity for us. We’ve all been sitting around idle and waiting to go racing and finally Mahoning Valley is giving us the news that the whole racing community wants to hear as far as asphalt goes this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.” Blewett’s career personifies the true essence of a short track racer. He’s a hard-nosed driver with a total focus on winning and his numbers back that up. He’s not just coming to Mahoning to add another feather in his cap but also the chance to race against guys he’s become respected acquaintances with over the years. “I’ve always had really good relationships with people form Pennsylvania. A lot of guys come down here and we’d help them with their cars and over the years we’ve made a lot of good friends so I’m looking forward to coming there now,” said Blewett. “I have nothing to prove in my career now. I’ve raced everything that I ever wanted to and won. Now our main goal is to have fun. That was our focus this season but unfortunately due to circumstances we’ve all been going through we haven’t had that opportunity,” he went on to say. “Now this is the perfect time for us to come out and have some fun. We want to get as many people as we can and get a giant train and come up there.” For an outsider like Blewett, the competition at Mahoning Valley can be a challenge. The track boasts a fierce core group of regulars that make it very tough on those invaders. And with this being one of the first asphalt races in the northeast there will be a high volume of Modifieds converging on the bullring track. Not surprising though, Blewett welcomes the opposition. “We’re confident that when we roll out we’ll be decent. I approach it like I do anything else. I never run a race I don’t think I can win. I don’t go anywhere that I feel I won’t be competitive or even have a shot at winning,” he bottom lined. “I’ve seen a lot of videos from there and I’m looking forward to going to a track that has the history that Mahoning has. I like going to tracks with great history and that track has been around a long time. There’s a lot of good drivers that have come out of Pennsylvania and Mahoning Valley – Eric Beers, Matt Hirschman and his dad Tony and so many others.” Blewett will be running a new car that was built for Wall Stadium to run this season. The car is Troyer TA-3 chassis and owned by Scott Brannick of North American Construction and will carry No. 51. His crew chief, Rob Ormsbee, has raced at Mahoning and knows the track well. “Scott’s a good friend and good guy to race for and we’re excited to have a new venture together.” Race time is 6:00 pm. The night’s line-up will also include Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s and Rookie Hobby Stocks. Afterwards the question will be if Blewett returns for another race at Mahoning. “It’s entirely up to my guys. We can be there at any time. There’s really no place to race right now. We’re going to support the people who support us and we just want to support racing in general.”
Mahoning Valley Speedway to begin season on June 13; Test and Tune resumes this weekend
(JUNE 1) The wait will soon be over for fans and racers of Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway as the management team of the paved ¼-mile track is excited to announce that Saturday, June 13 at 6:00 pm the 2020 season will at last get underway. The night’s line-up will feature the John “Peepers” Yerger Tribute, the first event of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) plus Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s and Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Sunday, June 14 at 2:00 pm will be the rain date if needed.
Yerger, at 90 years young, remains a solid fixture at Mahoning Valley. The legendary pavement specialist, who began his career in the late 1950’s at Allentown’s Dorney Park Speedway, won his first race in 1963 at the Park, was triumph in the early ‘70’s at Mahoning Valley and also took victories at Evergreen Raceway, his last happening there in 1978. As a car owner he enjoyed great success with a slew of top talent wheeling his trademark No. 77 and No. 777 cars including such icons at John and Terry Markovic and Ronnie Dunstan to name a few. The feature winner will earn $2250 with $500 for 10th. Sportsman Modifieds are also welcome to compete in this show provided they run with Modified wheels and tires. The MVSHoFS will also comprise the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. The entry fee is $25, $20 and $15 for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively.
The track will also be resuming Test and Tune this coming Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7 from noon to 4:00 pm. Test and Tune as well as the start of the regular season had been on hold since March 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the two remaining Test and Tune days drivers in the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will resume the quest for the overall fast time and the opportunity to have a guaranteed pick for the Opening Night redraw in those relevant classes. On March 14 defending 2019 Modified champion Bobby Jones debuted a brand new car and was able to lay down the fastest lap, going 10.335-seconds. Brandon Christman, who is a rookie Street Stocker, unveiled his No. 41 Camaro and then beat out the all-time wins leader in Street Stock victories, Todd Ahner, for the quick time of the day with the division. Christman clocked in at 11.811-second lap. In the Hobby Stocks sophomore driver Jesse Bollinger topped of the speed charts with a 12.180-second lap. Test and Tune is open to all regular track classes as well as any other types of racers. Pit gates will open at 10:30. Car inspections will take place starting at 11:00. There will be a mandatory Rookie Hobby Stock orientation at 11:15. Sign-ins will be from 10:00 – 11:15. Transponder cost is $6. A driver’s license is required to rent a transponder. Pits are $10 per person and $25 per car. Main grandstands will be open to the public and free admittance.
Mahoning Valley Speedway racers where back on track for first time in two months
For the first time since state and federal regulations put a halt to all motorsports activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, racers participated in an official practice session at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway. It was March 14 when the track first opened for the 2020 season but immediately afterwards Mahoning Valley, just like all other speedways, where forced to cease operations due the outbreak. With Carbon County going into the yellow phase of Governor Tom Wolf’s re-opening plan, the speedway was able to hold Saturday’s practice under the recommended guidelines. Nearly 50 cars took advantage of a sun-splashed afternoon which went off smoothly. All regular track classes where nicely represented as well as several others from various touring groups. Although the main spectator grandstands where closed to the general public, the sounds and sights of race cars for those allowed in the pits was a welcoming scene. “We’re very pleased of the turnout today and the chance to get racecars back on track,” said speedway owner Jack Carlino. “The support we got during the shutdown has been very encouraging to us and we are looking forward to getting back to the business of racing and today showed that.” And for many it was a time capsule of sorts when for the first time in 13 years five-time Modified track champion Rod Snyder Jr., took his first laps in his much ballyhooed return to action at the paved ¼-mile oval. Snyder didn’t miss a beat either with both quick and efficient laps each time out. Lou Strohl debuted a tribute No. 85 in honor of his late grandfather, Marvin Bartholomew who will be among the honorees in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS). Reigning Modified track champ Bobby Jones, Austin Kochenash. BJ Wambold and newcomer Sean Verwys all laid down respectable laps as well. The Sportsman Modifieds are showing great promise this season which was evident by the sharp looking mounts and fast times by those of Louie Horvath, Paul French and Brian Rygielski. Many more are expected once the season begins in earnest. The Late Models saw some returning and new faces giving the indication of a very positive outlook for the long standing class. Not surprising was the always competitive Street Stocks and those on hand revealed some great looking mounts while flashing some highly spirited runs to indicate that once again the class will be full of excitement. The Pro 4 division had light numbers but those who did take in the practice proved very creditable. Not surprising was the contingent of Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks which were in full force. All signs are leading to a season high of expectations, especially from the Rookie class where many novices looked to gain valuable track time in the newly conceived division aimed at nurturing young talent. The speedway will be back in action next Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7 from noon to 4:00 pm with the resumption of Test and Tune. With the MVSHoFS and the season opener being race #1 of the unique five event series, drivers from the Modified, Street Stock and Hobby Stock classes, whom will be comprising the Series, will use the Test and Tune days to assure one select driver from each of the aforementioned classes a guaranteed pick for the feature redraw. Across all three Test and Tune days the overall fastest car will be awarded the ‘pick spot’ for Opening Night redraw and have the bonus of not having to run in heats. On the March 14 Test and Tune it was Jones, Brandon Christman and Jesse Bollinger setting the fast times in the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively. The speedway has plans to start the season by mid-June.
Mr. Outside”, Rod Snyder Jr. set to return to Mahoning Valley Speedway after 13 year layoff
(May 23) When the 2020 season at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway gets underway there will be quite a bit of anxious drivers raring to get back to the business of racing. And, while many have sat out the past few months due to the COVID-19, there is one driver who has waited over 13 years. That is indeed a stretch but dusting off the rust shouldn’t take long when considering it’s none other than five-time Modified track champion Rod Snyder Jr., one of the most prolific drivers to ever turn a lap at the paved ¼-mile oval. Snyder, best known as “Mr. Outside” for his trademark high line groove of making laps and passing car, has gathered up many of his old crew and is ready to return to the track that he once starred at for 20 years. “We all got together, a couple of the old guys and they started talking about maybe getting another car and I said I don’t want to be there every Saturday night and they all agreed that’s exactly what they wanted to do too,” explained 56-year old Snyder. “We decided to just run the bigger shows and that’s it. I don’t want to be pressured into a point’s race or anything like that. We just want to go there and try and have some fun and I’m game for that.” Snyder will campaigning with JD Motorsports and carry his signature No. 76. Guy, “Smiley” Bowman returns as crew chief. The team purchased the former Jared Nace No. 28 and have been steadily going over things in preparation for their first outing. In this case race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series which will be the Doug Hoffman Tribute 60. “It’s a pretty decent piece. Jared had a very good car especially compared to what I ran back in the day. We’ll be ready for Opening Day – whenever that may be,” said Snyder. Snyder stands as the only driver in eastern Pennsylvania short track asphalt racing history to win five consecutive championships, doing so from 1995-99. He began racing at Mahoning Valley in 1987 and last ran in 2007. In that time he collected 30 wins, 21 with the Modified and nine more in a Late Model. Snyder also has a pair of wins at Evergreen Raceway. He also had stints at Flemington Fair Speedway. After hanging up his helmet he was an infrequent visitor at the track, opting to stay away knowing all well that the racing bug could strike at any time. There was the occasional visit to help some others and he noted that over the years there had been knocks at his door for those looking for advice which he always obliged. “It was hard to watch and that’s why I stayed away. I could never sit in the stands and in the pits you keep busy enough where you’re doing something but I always still wanted to drive. I quit because of family obligations at the time and taking care of all that stuff but now they’re all grown up and doing great,” said Snyder. “We’re going to the races and taking one car, eight tires and if something major breaks we’re going home. We’re not running for points. We’re going there to win the race for that night and that’s it – we’re going to have fun.” Although Snyder sold off all he had after he stepped away, there is one very important means still available and that’s his years of knowledge. “It’s still the same track. You have four wheels and a steering wheel and what you do with them is up to you. I’m ready to go.” The last time Snyder won a feature was August 8, 2007, his second of that year. Despite being away for so long, the thrill of winning still burns inside him. “It would be absolutely spectacular. That’s what we’re going for, we’re going to try. I still have fans out there and we plan to go out there and show them that we can still do this.”
Austin Beers named to top 100 in 2020 Short Track Draft
(May 17). For 17-year old Austin Beers, his stock keeps rising as an aspiring prospect in short track racing. The past three seasons have been very productive for the Northampton second generation driver, with successive championships coming in Hobby Stocks and Sportsman Modifieds between Mahoning Valley Speedway and Evergreen Raceway. Top that off with his career first Modified win in 2019 along with some very strong outings to boot and it made sense why he was chosen to the top 100 in the Speed51.com 2020 Short Track Draft. Beers was named to the ballot which was then completed by more than 50 short track insiders, including media members, team and driver development professionals, track and series promoters and officials, product and industry representatives, NASCAR National Series drivers, crew members, short track racing veterans and more. The voters could select as few as 10 and as many as 51 drivers on their ballot, ranked in order that they would choose the drivers to compete for their driver development team in the top levels of the sport. Speed51 used a scientific equation that factored in total number of votes, quality votes, first-place votes, top-five votes and top-10 votes in order to determine the top 100 picks in the 2020 Short Track Draft. Beers was among 300 prospective candidates from across the nation. They all must be 25-years of age or younger in order to be eligible. Beers was the second highest among asphalt Modified drivers on the list. Ronnie Williams Racing took that honor, placing 31st on the list. The top pick went to Sam Mayer Racing, the defending ARCA RACING SERIES East champion. “I think it’s just amazing. I’ve know about it for some time and when I won my Hobby Stock championship I was really hoping to make the list and now just a couple years later here I am on it,” said Beers. The son of northeast asphalt Modified standout Eric Beers, he has been racing and winning since an early age, starting with Quarter Midgets. He then began racing stock cars beginning with Jr. Enduro’s and progressed up to Hobby Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds and last year full Modifieds, successfully wining in each of those divisions. Last season he joined his dad and Jack Ely as teammates on the DeLange Racing Team to compete on the Sunoco Race of Champions Tour. Ely also was on the list of 300 but did not make the final cut of 100. “It’s really cool for him because just to get nominated and be on the ballot, that in itself is special when you’re talking about the whole country from one end to the other,” said dad Eric. “There’s so many good guys on their too from all types of oval racing then to make the top 100 is awesome and to be 63rd and the second highest (asphalt) Modified guy is unbelievable. I’d say he’s definitely impressing the right people.” Beers’ 2020 plans will again see him racing at selected high profile Modified events at Mahoning Valley and Evergreen and will assume the seat of his dad in the potent DeLange No. 45 on the RoC Tour.
Terry and John Markovic continue to build on rich history of eastern Pennsylvania asphalt racing
Terry Markovic and John Markovic are deep-rooted in those aforementioned tracks, their careers beginning in the late 1970’s and still going strong today. And although the Markovic name is synonymous with fans of pavement oval racing, what many may not realize is that these two stalwarts nearly started their careers in a different direction, on the drag stip. Their father, John Markovic, Jr., was a noted drag racer and of course always had his two sons tag along. The elder Markovic competed at tracks such as Windgap Pa, Hatfield, Pennsylvania and the The Great Allentown Fairgrounds where he won a class title. But, through their family run business, Broadway Speed Shop in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the boys got affiliated with many of the area’s circle track racers with much attention concentrated at Dorney Park which eventually led them in that direction. They would be begin racing in Late Models and quickly attained an abundance of success before progressing into Modifieds with much of the same achievements. In short they were naturals behind the wheel.
Their skill in Late Models was perhaps some of the most revered. They were so good that during a stretch from 1977 to 1990 they won a combined 61 features and John captured an unprecedented five consecutive championships between Dorney and Mahoning Valley from 1986-90. Terry would be the first to try his hand at competing which was 1976 and by his second season he won the track championship. His first win would come on May 7 of his sophomore year, beating then kingpin Bob Hunsinger for the verdict. “It was good, very good. I was against Bob Hunsinger and he ran on the outside of me for about 12-15 laps and I was sweating buckets. But I just raced my own race and tried not to worry about him. Having the inside lane was the ticket and I won,” recollected Terry. And not only did he prove a worthy driver but he soon found out that he had a flair for the inner workings, winning with a car built of his own design. “My first car was built much like everyone else’s at Dorney and I wasn’t happy and I thought that I should educate myself and over the winter I learned all I could on all kinds of theories with physics and geometries of the car and I changed the whole thing around and it worked so much better. I had a very competitive car under me after that. It felt really good.” After scoring that 1977 crown, Terry decided to sit out the following year but soon found out that watching from the sidelines was not in the cards. “I actually was taking off ‘78 because I felt I had accomplished what I wanted to but I was getting antsy and built a new car and ran the latter half of that season.”
John started wheeling around the 1/5-mile Dorney Park in 1979. Like Terry he won in his second season and within two years was class champion. “It was like anything you want to do so badly, I wanted to go and it was full throttle ahead,” said John. Interestingly both missed their respective high school graduations to be at the track and on each of those nights they raced to runner-up finishes. “It was fantastic because back in the day there was so much family, so much comradery with all the drivers. It was a picnic every Saturday,” offered John. It was also at the Park where they got their first stint of Modified action. Terry had the chance to take practice laps with Ken Erney’s cars while John raced and picked up a win as a rookie during the 1986 season, that coming in just his third start over icon Freddy Hamm. “Our goal was to get into the Modifieds between Mahoning and Evergreen,” said Terry.
By the time Dorney closed in 1986 the Markovic’s where in full stride as Late Model stars. They both had ventured from time to time at Evergreen, with Terry winning their too. With the Park closing Terry actually turned his attention to dirt racing at Nazareth, Pennsylvania Raceway until Ward Crozier Sr., announced the re-opening of Mahoning Valley for the start of the 1987 season. He switched gears and stayed true to the pavement and a good choice it was as he and John stormed to win after win over the next four years. “I really liked the Late Models back at Dorney in the ‘80s and then when Mahoning opened up we really had some good success both Johnny and I,” noted Terry. “It wasn’t difficult adapting there at all to be honest. It was much faster for sure. Actually Mahoning is so unique because you don’t need a lot of motor, it’s so much of a momentum track.”
John pulled off an amazing run as every year he ran the Late Model at Mahoning, 1987-90, he would finish number one in points. “It was sweet going to a bigger facility and it was another challenge,” said John. “Yes I focused on points because that’s what is going to be recognized, the stat that everyone looks at. If you win a championship then it’s something you accomplished.” Part of that Mahoning success can be attributed to them showing up with the first front steer Late Model cars.
“Terry had the front end geometry figured out pretty good. Back then no one really thought about how that worked when you’d go into the corners,” explained John. “Terry cared enough to spend time with it and he took the time to get in contact with Geoff Bodine because he had bought a car from him. So you’re sharing intelligence with a guy like that and getting ideas and what to look for. He taught us a lot.” From the 1990’s on they were all about Modifieds. Mahoning Valley, Evergreen as well as Flemington and selected touring events. And the victories kept on coming too, each winning the first season they ran that class. In 1994 John would register a Mahoning Modified title and a Race of Champions Tour crown would come a few years later. In 2019, 39 years after his first win, he scored two more victories and was fifth in points at Mahoning. “When does anyone move up when they think they’ve out grown something? The success we had in the Late Models was great but it was time to move up the ladder,” said John.
Both drivers have also helped many newcomers along the way but there is on in particular who got his start thanks to John and now has become one of the most prolific drivers of our time. Matt Hirschman first drove a Modified thanks to John, getting his start at Evergreen in the early 2000’s. The rest as they say is history. “The whole thing is I’m friends with the Hirschman’s and I look up to them. I always admired the way Tony (Hirschman) raced. It was fair, it was clean and Tony raced to win and that’s the way I like to do it,” said John. “Matt is just the best and I feel he could have held his own against the Evans’, JerryCook’s and Spencer’s of their time. Matt is the man and got it going on.” In 2014 the brothers were inducted into the Dorney Park Speedway Hall of Fame, each very humbled by the honor. “It’s absolutely fantastic to be recognized as being special and all your hard work paid off. That’s the reward you deserve after giving everything you got. On Saturday some people are in the pool but you’re at the races, there’s so much dedication involved,” said John. Added Terry, “That was like winning a championship to me. I was an ultimate goal from Dorney.” With the upcoming season waiting in the wings, fans will still see Terry and John Markovic pulling into the pits albeit on scaled back schedule. “I do it for fun now. When I first started I was a lot more serious with getting sponsors and all that. Now it’s about fun. I like working on the cars, I like the atmosphere at the race track and I just go out and enjoy,” said Terry.
“One of the things I really makes my day as being an older driver is the respect I get from most of the others. When I walk through the pits people will always stop and say hi from Hobby Stocks and all the way up to the Modifieds. It’s nice to be acknowledged as a fair and clean driver and I try to do the best I can all the time.”John plans on dividing his time between Mahoning Valley and Evergreen for 2020. “This year I’m going to only run the Mahoning special events including the Hall of Fame Series they put together. The guys that it’s a tribute to have given their life for the sport. They did for the fans and they did it for themselves and I think it’s a fantastic deal.” deduced John. “I just can’t walk away cold turkey, I want to stay involved some way. This is something I’ve done my whole life and racing is something that is part of us. It’s an addiction and you just can’t walk away. While many drivers have come and gone with lasting memories from all, the Markovic’s remain a true constant to the rich history of the eastern Pennsylvania pavement racing. Even after their driving days have ceased they plan to still be there as part of the crowd. Said John, “I love the sport and I love where it’s going and I’ll be a patron as long as I’m on this earth.”
Mahoning Valley Speedway season remains on hold until further notice due to COVID-19
Due to the ongoing COVID-19, all racing at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway will remain on hold until further notice. The speedway had anticipated to restart operations, which have been suspended since March 21, with the resumption of Test and Tune on May 2-3.
However, the track will now wait until after the state mandated regulations after lifted. The latest pause comes after governor Tom Wolf presented his detailed plan for reopening the commonwealth with a targeted May 8 start.
The administration will categorize reopening into three phases: red, yellow, green. Phases will be assigned based on conditions in a county, counties or region. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located in Carbon County. The administration will first study conditions in the north-central and northwest regions with a target of moving from red to yellow on May 8. Additional monitoring will take place and direction will be provided in the next week.
Mahoning Valley Speedway will remain compliant to those state set plans in hopes that racing can get under way in a timely and safe manner.
Eric Beers to race exclusively at Mahoning Valley Speedway as part of a three car team with Austin Beers and Jack Ely
(April 11). Relying on the current constraints to be retracted from the COVID-19 virus, the first official race of 2020 at Mahoning Valley Speedway is now slated for Saturday, May 9. The last time racing was on that date, which was in May 2015, Eric Beers scored a big 100-lap victory. Known to his legion of fans as “The Master of Faster,” Beers is hoping history will repeat itself when he makes his return to action at the paved ¼-mile oval on that same night. It will mark his first race back at Mahoning in over two years and he’ll be behind the familiar Dave and Laura DeLange No. 45 Joining him will be teammates Austin Beers, his 17-year old son who will run the No. 19 and 22-year Jack Ely, who is also returning after a two year hiatus with the No. 54.
“I’m definitely excited about coming back to Mahoning Valley, it’s been almost three years. Mahoning is home to me and it’s where I really came into my own in racing. I went from a wide-eyed rookie to a better racer. I really paid my dues there,” said Eric. For the past three seasons Eric and Jack competed on the Race of Champions (RoC) Tour while Austin ran Mahoning, Evergreen Raceway and select RoC shows. Eric recently announced that he will be stepping away from the Tour and instead focus on the special five race Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series. “If you want to see Eric Beers race this year, it will only be at Mahoning Valley Speedway,” he affirmed. “That’s going to be an awesome series. I’ve always liked it years ago when Doug (Hoffman) came up with the Poker Series and then Floyd (Santee) did the Gamblers Series and now with Keith (Hoffman) coming in with this Hall of Fame Series, I feel you’re going to see great car counts and lots of fans coming out for it.”
Eric has raced at Mahoning Valley since 1990 and although it hasn’t been yearly, he has amassed a record setting 55 wins among Modified drivers. He also owns three class championships (1992, 2013, 2016). On August 26, 2017 he collected his 100th overall career win. He’s also eager to come back to Mahoning as for the first time he’ll race against Austin in what he refers to as a more level playing field which will be contrasting from the RoC Tour. “This is really the first time we’re going to race head-to-head in equal equipment. When we raced on the RoC (Tour) my car was a lot better then what he had so it was never really a fair fight,” explained Eric. “It’s going to be interesting to see because we’ll both be in similar prepared cars and either of us can win with those cars and I think it will make for a really fun evening.” So then the question arises what happens if they are both heading for the checkers on the last lap? “The only thing that will change is that all bets are off once the race gets underway, he’s just another racer out there,” bottom-lined Eric. “If anyone knows how my son is – he’s not very cocky but inside the shop he likes to have bragging rights and that’s not just in racing. So if I can take that away from him especially if it comes to the last lap, the last foot before the start/finish line, I’m taking it.”
Austin, who has won Mahoning class titles in the Hobby Stocks and Sportsman Modifieds, shares a similar outlook. “To race as clean as we can or I should say I’m going to race him as clean as I can. I don’t know what he’s going to do,” offered Austin. “It’s going to be fun for sure. I know one thing, it’s going to be nerve wracking for my mom.” Much like his father, Austin has been finding success right from the get-go. Last year he began to make inroads with a Modified and even scored a win at Evergreen Raceway against a very talented group of veterans. Of course to his benefit he has his dad offering solid advice, especially when it comes to Mahoning Valley. “His advice is huge. I knew the racing line from watching all those years but then him telling me how to pass people the right way and where to get a good run and the how to set the car up right,” said Austin. “Although I feel that I’m still learning and progressing with the Modified, I’m leaning less than I have because I’m more comfortable in the car.”
Jack has always complimented the DeLange Team nicely ever since becoming a teammate to Eric in in 2016. He, like Austin, heeded the guidance of Eric and has since refined his skills into a very talented Modified chauffeur. “I’m excited about it for sure and looking forward to coming back to Mahoning for the Hall of Fame Series and a couple more in between,” said Jack, who is in his senior year at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, NJ majoring in Mechanical Engineering. “When we left Mahoning in 2017 we were running top-3, top-5 almost every week so I hope to come out on Opening Night and go for a win. We have some good notes built up from when we raced there so I am looking to come in and run good right off the bat and hope that we can win a couple shows.” The Beers/Ely trio will add great stability to an already solid Modified class ready to do battle in 2020. They will be looking to improve on their combined 74 feature wins there although given the talent pool they will be up against the job will not come easy. Nonetheless this team with its roots deeply planted at Mahoning Valley will no doubt be a force to reckon with. “Eric, Austin and I are all going to go out there and try to win. Of course we’ll all help each other. Eric is a great driver and really doesn’t need any help. But I rely on and respect his input,” added Jack. “We’re going to race clean, we’re going to win and we’re going to race each other harder than anyone else on the race track just because we want to beat each other.”
Todd Baer and Aqua Duck Water Transport gives back to racing and more
(April 7) Northeast racers should certainly recognize Aqua Duck Water Transport through a variety of regional motorsport activities be it the annual Ms. Motorsports Contest, sponsoring the popular Indoor Auto Racing Series or at the paved tracks Mahoning Valley Speedway and Evergreen Raceway as the primary sponsor for Nick and Todd Baer’s No. 41 Modified cars. The company, operated out of the Lehigh Valley by Todd Baer, does anything centered around potable water transportation from filling swimming pools, supplying pipe lines for water pressure testing to fire suppressant systems which are found in large factories and warehouses.“Pretty much anything you can put water in or need water for we can haul it,” said Baer. Now the company is taking a proactive role in coming to the aid with the CORVID-19 virus too, donating services in this time of need. Recently Baer received a call from Sand Castle Winery in Ottsville and inquired about moving 7000 gallons of product. The reason was to bring it to a distillery located in Discover Lansdale where it would be then made into much needed hand sanitizer. At the distillery they extract 60% of the alcohol and then combine it with aloe to produce the sanitizer. “It was amazing. The wine cellar was three stories down in the ground and it holds about 20-25,000 gallons of wine,” explained Baer. “I then hauled the wine from Ottsville over to Lansdale to make hand sanitizer. It was pretty good deal and we donated the trailer and my time. It was one of those things where you give back to the community that you work in.” Baer wasn’t done there either. One of his employees told him about his sister who is a nurse at St. Luke's University Health Network in Coaldale and her husband who is PA State Police trooper and how they were running low on hand sanitizer due to the outbreak. Without hesitation Baer sent a truck filled with the supply to not only St. Luke’s but had them share it with the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in West Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Baer simply noted that’s it’s all about supporting. As a racer he enjoys being able to return the favor to the sport that has been good to him throughout the years. As a race sponsor it is typical to look for a yield on your investment. Baer is no different yet he also understands that his return may not create the same windfall as others. He again reverts to the flipside. “I can’t really say that we’ve picked up 25% business since we started sponsoring although I would like to hope it is but at the end of the day it’s something that I have the ability to give back to and I like to do that,” said Baer. “I raced a lot of years and was fortunate enough to win a couple races here and there and I think everyone should give back when they can instead of taking it all.” Baer divulged that of all his services through Aqua Duck Water Transport, working with the Ms. Motorsport contest has been amongst the most worthwhile. “I was kind of egged on believe it or not to do the pageant. Brian Whitman was working for me during one winter and we had been talking how the gentleman who was doing the Ms. Motorsports prior to that was done and he said, ‘Hey Todd you have to do this,’ “You got this company that’s coming up off the ground and there’s never been an asphalt Modified on the stage of Ms. Motorsports so you have to do this.” Through Baer’s indoor racing connection with show organizers Davey Sammons and Danny Sammons, a phone call was made to arrange to have his car as the backdrop and his company as the sponsor and since then it’s been a solid relationship. “It was cool when we first did it because the girls where accustomed to a dirt car for posing and this was the first time with an asphalt car it sort of threw them for a loop. But it’s been a great partnership for sure with us and the show. Again it’s all about giving back.”
Baer’s racing plans for 2020 will see him running a select number of special events at Mahoning Valley, specifically the new Hall of Fame Series put together by track promoter Keith Hoffman. “Any long distance race is for me and as far as the Hall of Fame Series I feel that’s a great tribute to the legends. They’ll get some exposure and that’s great and I definitely will run them. It’s a great idea that Keith (Hoffman) came up with.” For Baer, being a part-time racer works as it allows him more time to nurture his son Nick Baer. “That’s why I don’t race fulltime anymore. I have more enjoyment sitting watching him go out and have a good time. He puts his heart and soul into it. He’s not out at the bar, he’s at the race shop three and four nights a week, whatever it takes,” Baer said of his 22-year old son. “He’s got one thing in mind which is to get that first win and he’s smart enough to know that you can’t knock the wheels off to get it.”
Baer also voiced his opinion on Hoffman running the show as promoter at Mahoning Valley. “I know Keith for a long time and where friend’s in racing and away from the race track. It’s probably no secret that I was grabbing him by one ear and Jack (Carlino, Mahoning owner) by the other to bring them together,” he revealed. “I think he has good ethics, good ideas and I think he will do go for the track. Mahoning has a lot of things that they’ve done the same for a lot of years and Keith is bringing in some fresh ideas. Will they work, I don’t know, but I think we all need to give him a chance to try. “He’s the kind of guy that will say if it didn’t work then he’ll be the first to admit it. We need to let him spread his wings.”
Excitement is building for Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series races
The Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS), a race five special run amid the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks, has been rapidly gaining interest among drivers from all three classes. The MVSHoFS will be centered on an elite group of track legends including Doug Hoffman, John “Peepers” Yerger, George Wambold, Marvin Bartholomew and Hal Renninger. And, while the five races will be determined with special distances and purses for the Modifieds, the Street and Hobby Stockers are also being included which has greatly bettered an already thrilling set of events.
For the Modifieds race number one is slated for Opening Night and honors Hoffman and his No. 60. Thus the feature will be 60 laps. Next will be a 77-lapper paying tribute to Yerger. That will be followed by an 81-lap affair which belongs to the celebrated Wambold. The next feature will be 85 laps, the number made famous by Bartholomew and finally a 99-lapper that is associated with Renninger. “We’re very excited to bring the Hall of Fame Series to Mahoning Valley,” said track promoter Keith Hoffman. “We wanted to honor all these important drivers for their contributions to the track. Our loyal fans and drivers will now have the opportunity to compete in meaningful ‘specials’ throughout the season.” With the anticipation of the start of the season and race number one draws near many drivers have made it their intent to not miss out on this unique structure of races. “I really like the idea of the Hall of Fame Series,” said Zane Zeiner, who often takes in the special type shows at Mahoning Valley and does so most times as a winner. “This works out great for me running once each month and then be able to spend time with my son who will be racing there too with a Sport Mod so this helps all around. We’re definitely going to do all five Series’ races.” Over the years there has been a variety of series type races at Mahoning and Zeiner is no stranger to winning them either. In 2012 he captured the Modified Madness Series. “I think it’s pretty neat. There’s a lot of famous drivers that are associated with Mahoning and to get to compete in something called Hall of Fame with the great names that go along with it is something special and if we can get one of those wins it would be that much sweeter.”
Not surprising Matt Hirschman was quick to throw his hat into the ring. Hirschman has 18 wins at Mahoning and of them is a record 14 special event features. He feels the MVSHoFS will be a great set of races for the Modifieds. “I thinks it’s twofold. One it’s a great way to honor the past greats from the track and the area in general and the history that they represent and it means a lot to recognize that,” explained Hirschman. “And doing it that it reflects their car number for the laps, every race is different. You can approach each race a little bit different based on the amount of laps and the races may play out completely different each time and that’s something exciting to prepare for.” Each of the Modified features will have a car in that respective show with a number as a tribute to the night’s honoree. Hirschman will carry Doug Hoffman’s 60-Over for the first event. “I have a lot of respect for Doug and his career and what he accomplished for a driver from this area. It’s an honor for me to carry his number for the first race being run in his name,” added Hirschman. “It just so happened we share the same car number. That number goes back to Dorney Park and part of the reason that Doug and his family went with the 60 was because they liked my dad’s car from Dorney Park when he had the 60 so there is a tie-in there to the car number,” he continued. “We’ve won with that car number from Maine to Florida and both the Hoffman family and Hirschman family have won a lot of races with that car number so it’s very recognizable in the northeast on both dirt and asphalt.”
There is indeed a stout field of Modifieds that will be taking in the MVSHoFS and that includes the all-time class wins leader Eric Beers who will be racing exclusively at Mahoning for the Series. “It’s going to be an awesome series. I’ve always liked years ago when Doug Hoffman came up with the Poker Series and it carried on with Floyd Santee as the Gamblers Series and now with Keith Hoffman coming up with the Hall of Fame Series, it has the making of something special and I think you’re going to see a lot of people coming out with lots of cars and fans especially for Opening Night,” said Beers, a 55-time winner here and three-time track champion. As an added incentive the Modifieds will be offered a ‘gamblers fee.’ If a driver so chooses to take the gamble then he/she will win an additional $1000 for that feature. The gamblers fee is being sponsored by Gambler Transportation and Recovery of Whitehall.
By adding the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks, those drivers as well have been showing much appeal towards the Series. 2019 division champion Jon Moser is very committed. “Just make the check out to me!” remarked Moser. “I’m looking forward to it for sure and I’m definitely game for it. We’re going to give it our best.” Moser belongs to a solid fraternity of Street Stockers that have for years been a major factor as a support division at Mahoning with a field that runs deep in parity. However, this Series is designed for not just the regulars but is structured to allow others to come in as well. “I look forward to the competition and hopefully we will wind up in Victory Lane,” said Moser. And the competition is certainly looking impressive too. Along with all the hot-handed steadies there are drivers from a number of area asphalt tracks who have voiced their commitment with several from nearby Evergreen Raceway. Of them is one of the rising stars who will be racing at Mahoning Valley for the first time, Evan Rygielski, who is a rookie this year with the Street Stocks but a seasoned veteran none the less with 100 career wins that encompasses Kart, Bandolero and Hobby Stocks. “I think it’s a great series they put together and it’s also a great opportunity for me to race there. I’ve watched races there, it’s a bullring and looks fun to race at so I’m excited,” said Rygielski. “I know I’ll have to take it easy for the first few laps and get use to the track and then keep picking the pace up and hopefully run the same times as the top guys there. My goal would be to finish with a decent showing and hopefully get a win or two in the Series.”
The Series marks the first time that Hobby Stocks will be part of a season-long special. This class has grown in leaps and bounds and the time was right to add this stirring division. Rich Mutarelli, a veteran of the Hobby Stocks, is on the verge of becoming the all-time wins leader. He noted that MVSHoFS is a great opportunity for his class to showcase themselves and be justifiably rewarded. “Personally I feel it’s an honor that our class is getting the recognition that I think we earned and deserve. The crop of talented drivers in the whole class is amazing. Even the young kids that are just coming up and racing against older guys like me is pretty cool,” said Mutarelli. “This Series is good for the track regulars and also to those who want to come in from other tracks and race with us. I’d love to see the Wall (Stadium) guys, the Evergreen (Raceway) guys and the Riverhead guys and see what they have against us. “I believe Mahoning is the best racing on the East coast for asphalt short track. These guys will be coming into our territory and I’m excited to see what happens with the Hall of Fame Series.”
The MVSHoFS will see 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. There will be a nominal entry fee to run each of the specials. After the fourth race drivers must drop there worse finish in order to improve their standings.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. There is also 50-show up points as well that will be added towards that driver’s 2020 regular season standings amount. Each class will draw for starting spots for both heats and features. Only feature points will count towards the MVSHoFS title of the respective divisions.
“I think with the point fund and good purse we’re offering we’ll be able to pull some talented drivers from other tracks and states and showcase our product to everyone,” added Hoffman.
March 28 Test and Tune at Mahoning Valley Speedway postponed
In keeping with the current state and federal regulation guidelines in regards to the COVID-19, Mahoning Valley Speedway will not be holding the scheduled March 28 Test and Tune. We will be abiding by the precautions set forth in order to best combat the virus. As soon as the restrictions are lessened we will make a timely and proper decision as to when racing will recommence along with schedule updates. We thank you for the understanding under the present crisis situation and we hope for everyone’s safety and welfare.
Two-time Mahoning Late Model champ Frankie Althouse moving up to Sportsman Modifieds; Will also run select Modified races
When the 2020 season at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway gets underway fans will see a noticeable uptick in the Sportsman Modified division as a flux of new teams have made it known of their intent to be part of the class now entering its third year. And, of those inspiring entrants comes Frankie Althouse, a driver who has enjoyed great success of late with back-to-back Late Model championships and a pile of stats that grades him as one of the best at the paved ¼-mile oval. Just in the last five years alone Althouse has crossed the finish line 20 times in first place, 29 runner-ups and racked up 82 top-5s and 85 top-10s in a 90 race span. Those are indeed impressive figures which leads one to ask why give up on such a good thing? “We pretty much did everything we could in a Late Model, two championships in a row and we were lucky to dominate along with Mike Sweeney,” explained Althouse. “But there’s a couple things that played into this one being it wasn’t as fun. Plus we’re looking towards the future and that’s going to be my son driving a car and we felt the timing is right to get a Modified and start getting the bugs worked out of it because in the next two, two-and-a-half years we plan to have him in the car.” Althouse’s son, Wyatt, will be 13 later this year. He’s been racing Junior Slingshots on dirt at venues such as Shellhammer’s Speedway and like his dad has also enjoyed a fair amount of success. But he’s reaching the point of moving up and the Sportsman Modified is the direction they feel will best suit their game plans. “There’s a couple things we want to do with him before we let him run the Modified. I want him to get in some more track experience with his dirt car but he’s also got to start working more on the vehicle and get the understanding with it before we let him take it out. He’ll need to earn it,” said Althouse. In the meantime Althouse is looking forward to getting behind the wheel which will serve as a dual purpose car, one for the Sportsman class and on select dates as a full Modified. “We bought the car with a 602 crate motor in it and it raced at Wall Stadium. But we have our Late Model motor and all of the drivetrain so this car will be one that you pull one motor out and drop another in,” noted Althouse. “In the Modifieds our game plan it to race as many of the Hall of Fame Series with a definite being the RoC race at the end of the season, the Bill Teel Memorial and whatever else we can possibly do depending on my work schedule. As for the Sport Mod with that being every other week we’ll be concentrating on that the most.” This will in fact mark his second go of Modified racing. Althouse ran two seasons at Mahoning Valley, winning Rookie of the Year in 2011. He also raced twice at Evergreen where unfortunately his stint came to an abrupt end with a hard crash that put a halt to Modified racing. “When you look at it from the first time when we did the Modified it was with an older car and the money situation wasn’t right either. In actuality it wasn’t a smart move on our part,” he revealed. “But now I am excited to go back to a Modified because I have better tools and a much better understanding of setting up cars and the money situation isn’t enough that we can go full blown Mod but we can do the Sport Mods and by doing that we can dabble into the full Modifieds,” he continued. “There’s a lot of guys moving up from Street Stocks and stuff like that and you watch the guys and we know them and get along with them. They’re going to be very competitive and go there to win just like everyone so I think it will be a good group of guys that drive clean and are respectful and that’s what you need to put on good racing.” For those coming into the Sport Mod fold this year, Althouse does has a slight edge as the tires are the same spec as what he ran in Late Models although this year the track is switching from American Racer to Hoosier. Still Althouse feels that he can take that aspect and to an extent make good use. “Yes and no. We’ve run on 10-inch tires for a long time but this is a completely different compound than what we ran on the Late Model. This is not the same as when we ran Hoosier’s here a few years ago,” he said. “We know a couple tricks as long as the tire performs the same way and that could help us right out of the gate. However, the other guys who are moving up to the Sport Mod division are pretty smart and so I think after two or three races any advantage we may have will be gone.” For all intent and purposes Althouse should make a smooth transition back into Modifieds. He has an impeccable ability to race with amazing success at Mahoning Valley. Like he’s done so many times his focus will be on what he knows best – winning. And, to do so in a Modified will bring about a great amount of self-satisfaction. “At Mahoning it’s especially important and until we win a full blown Modified feature I won’t be satisfied. Every class that I’ve gotten into I was able to win a feature and be semi-competitive in. I just didn’t feel I was that competitive in a Modified before and we weren’t prepared for it,” bottom-lined Althouse. “Realistically the goal is to go out and win a championship this year with the Sportsman Modified and then go to the full Modifieds the next. That’s the plan but plans don’t always go as they should. We’ll take it week by week and see what happens. “If we can go there and have some half decent showings with the full Mod then we can go back home and have a whole winter long to work on our weak points.” Althouse will bring a solid list of sponsors, most who have been with him for years, adorning the sides of his signature No. 22 when the Sportsman Modifieds run for the first time on Saturday, April 11.
They include APS Powder Coating, Dalton Lorah Excavating, USS Achey, Beechwood, Wiz Fabs, Pizza Como USA, Mauch Chunk Trust Company, VJ Wood Towing, Kalon Studio, Sublimation 101, S&D Bodyline, Shooting Star Signs, and Designs and Art Bair Wheel Repair.
Late Models and Street Stocks to share in Five Star Race Car Bodies Contingency program
Five Star Racecar Bodies of Twin Lakes, WI, has joined forces with Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway as part of the company’s 2020 Five Star Bodies Contingency Award Program. Late Model and Street Stock drivers will be the beneficiaries of the season-long program that will award one (1) $750 product certificate and one (1) $250 product certificate respectively at season’s end. To be eligible drivers must compete in stock appearing, template-style body of any brand and must the also participate in no less than 75% of the scheduled race events. An official Five Star decal must be placed on each car and will be made available starting with the scheduled season opener on Saturday, April 4. The lucky winners will be picked by random draw. Five Star Racecar Bodies leads the industry in manufacturing with over 100 employees and close to 185,000 square feet of floor space dedicated to the design, manufacture, and distribution of body panels, windows and accessories. The Late Models and Street Stocks of Mahoning Valley have long been a staple at the popular ¼-mile paved oval with a very dedicated core group of drivers. The action they provide has never ceased to amaze. Fans of full-bodied stock car racing need look no further then what is presented by these two exciting classes.
Mahoning Valley Speedway cancels March 21 Test and Tune: Mahoning Valley Speedway has announced that due to the ongoing circumstances of the COVID-19 and keeping with the guidelines set by the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Governor’s office, we are canceling this Saturday’s March 21 Test and Tune. We will continue to closely monitor conditions associated with coronavirus and are prepared to follow any public health guidelines and recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control.
The health and safety of our fans, race teams and staff is our priority. As an organization, we are closely monitoring all the developments in regard to the coronavirus. This is a fluid situation where information is changing not only day by day but hour by hour. Please bear with us as we make decisions on future dates on a weekly basis based on the recommendations and guidelines that are presented.
Mahoning Valley Speedway officially swung open its gates for the 2020 season with the first of three Test and Tune days held Saturday afternoon. Two dozen cars representing all classes that compete at the Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval came out to shake down their mounts in preparation for Opening Day slated for April 4. While everyone on hand had the main focus of working out the bugs from all of the off-season preparation, there was a special incentive in place too. Drivers of the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks ran a series of timed hot laps which awarded the fastest of the respective three classes during all Test and Tune days a guaranteed pick spot for the feature redraw on Opening Night, which is race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS). Defending Modified champion Bobby Jones debuted a brand new car and although he only ran one timed session, he was able to lay down the fastest lap, going 10.335-seconds and beat out Heath Metzger and Wes Gilbert in the process. Brandon Christman, who is a rookie Street Stocker, unveiled his very sharp looking No. 41 Camaro and also revealed that he will be one to watch as he beat out the all-time wins leader in Street Stock victories, Todd Ahner, for the quick time of the day with the division. Christman clocked in at 11.811-secon lap which was a scant .005-second over Ahner. In the Hobby Stocks sophomore driver Jesse Bollinger showed solid quickness, shooting to the top of the speed charts with a 12.180-second lap which he recorded in the first round and it stuck threw the second session to earn him top honors for the day. A pair of title contenders from ’19, Jacob Boehm at 12.291 and Travis Solomon with a 12.451, where second and third respectively. Two-time Late Model champion Mike Sweeney was shaking down his newest version of the Crazy Train D11 with steady times in the mid 10’s each time out. 2019 ATQMRA champion got his first laps in with his new ride for this season, the potent Donna and Lenny Boyd No. 1B. Bailey was rapid right from the get-go and stayed that way throughout the day. Also debuting where some impressive young talents led by Gunner Zeiner in a Sportsman Modified which was prepared by his famous racing father, Zane Zeiner. A few others who made respectable stock car outings where Corey Gulich, Paul Hartwig III, Paul French, Jr., and Mia Ray Guy. They will be part of the newly formed Hobby Stock Rookie class. As the day wore on each showed continual progress in bringing their lap time down. Test and Tune continues March 21 and 28 from noon to 4:00 pm.
On April 4 starting at 5:00 p.m., the regular season gets underway with race number one of the MVSHoFS honoring Doug Hoffman and his trademark No. 60 with a 60 lap Modified feature and paying $2000-to-win. There is also a $1000 gamblers fee sponsored by Gambler Transportation of Whitehall. If a driver takes the gamble then he or she will be paid the $1000 dividend. 10th place pays $500. Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Hobby Stock Rookies are also on the card.
Test and Tune will be Mahoning Month of Speed for Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks
Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Test and Tune that runs on March 14, 21 & 28 will not only afford racers of the popular paved ¼-mile oval the opportunity to shake down their mounts in advance of the April 4 Opening Day, additionally there is an incentive factor as well. With the launch of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) and the season opener being race #1 of the unique five event series, drivers from the Modified, Street Stock and Hobby Stock classes, whom will be comprising the Series, will use the Test and Tune days to assure one select driver from each of the aforementioned classes a guaranteed pick for the feature redraw. Across all three Test and Tune days the overall fastest car will be awarded the ‘pick spot.’ Come Opening Night those quick lap winners will have the bonus of not having to run in heats. “We like to think of this as the “Mahoning Month of Speed,” said track promoter Keith Hoffman.
“The Hall of Fame Series is going to be well attended, especially with the first event on Opening Day so this is a great incentive and give fans an early indication of just who will be the cars to beat.” For the Modifieds the MVSHoFS will all be extra distance/high dollar features and focused on a select group of Hall of Fame drivers and their signature car numbers. Race number one honors Doug Hoffman and his No. 60. Thus the feature will be 60 laps and pay $2000-to-win. There is also a $1000 gamblers fee sponsored by Gambler Transportation of Whitehall. If a driver takes the gamble then he or she will be paid the $1000 dividend. 10th place pays $500. Next will be a 77-lapper paying tribute to John ‘Peepers’ Yerger. That will be followed by an 81-lap affair which belongs to the celebrated George Wambold. The next feature will be 85 laps, the number made famous by Marvin Bartholomew and finally a 99-lapper that is associated with Hal Renninger, closes out the series on October 3. The finale is also the closing point race of the season for the Race of Champions (RoC) Tour for the Modifieds which follows that tour’s annual Race of Champions Modified 250 at Lake Erie Speedway, thus making the Mahoning stop a hothouse for Modifieds. The night prior, on Friday, October 2, timed dashes will be run for Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks that will lock in select starters for the next day’s features. Throughout the MVSHoFS points will be kept plus each driver will be given 50-showup points that will be applied to their regular season tally. Also, a driver must drop their worst finish after the fourth race of the Series in order to keep the points exciting leading into the fifth and concluding event. There is a point fund for the Series. Drivers must race in all five shows in order to be eligible for the point payout. 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 entry fee is $25, $20 and $15 for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks respectively. For Test and Tune all classes, both track and traveling, are welcome to partake.
On Saturday, March 14 pit gates open at 10:00 a.m. Car inspections begin at 10:15 a.m. There will be a drivers meeting at 11:30 a.m. Practice begins at noon.
Pits are $10 per person and $25 per car. Transponder fee is $6. Grandstands are free to the public.
Mahoning Valley Speedway to introduce Rookie Hobby Stock class
Mahoning Valley Speedway has announced that a “Rookie Hobby Stock” class will be added to the weekly race line-up starting with Opening Day on Saturday April 4. The purpose of the division is as the name implies – rookie. With a good number of young and aspiring talent coming out of the ¼-Midget and Go Kart ranks from around the immediate area and looking to further their careers by advancing into stock cars, it is pertinent that they acquire the right and proper skills and thus the Rookie Hobby Stock makes for the perfect steppingstone. And to best help the beginners get acclimated to navigating around the paved ¼-mile oval and grasp the understanding of track procedures, the speedway has tapped the services of one of its best veterans to do an orientation, Earl Paules, who is Mahoning’s all-time wins leader and a multi-time track champion. Paules already knows many of the participants that are coming into the fold from his time as Race Director at Blue Mountain Quarter Midget Club in Walnutport. “I think this is a great idea. We have to start somewhere and this is the future of our sport,” said Paules. “I feel that if you feed them to the wolves they’re going to get discouraged and may possibly quit. In this format they’ll be racing against others who haven’t raced in a full size stock car on a race track.” The orientation will be held on the last of three Test and Tune days which is Saturday, March 28. All rookies are encouraged to take in the Test and Tune sessions slated for March 14, 21 & 28 from noon to 4:00 pm. The Rookie Hobby Stock class will be comprised of a 12 race schedule, running each week from April 4 through June 20. At the conclusion of that period a champion will be crowned with runner-up and third place in points also being recognized. There will be a $500 purse sponsored by E. Schneider & Sons Inc., Scrap Metal of Allentown. The champ will be presented $250 with $150 for second and $100 to third in final points. All other challengers, along with the top three, will be presented with graduation medals during a special ceremony on the last race.
The procedure rules will be as follows.
Feature race will be 12-laps in distance and run as the first event of the night. The winner of the race will then be awarded a starting spot in the regular Hobby Stock feature without running a heat or consi. All other drivers may attempt, if they so choose, to qualify in regular Hobby Stock feature. Drivers must be 12-years of age or older, however, if younger then proof of past racing experience must be presented and will be decided at track’s discretion. Parental or guardian signed wavier for age 14 and younger is required. “I feel that this is a great opportunity to give these young men and women the proper launch to racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway,” offered track promoter Keith Hoffman. “The Hobby Stock class is one of our best divisions because of its affordability plus it serves a key entry level division too and for many of these kids they will be able use the Rookie class as a great learning tool to sharpen their skills.”
Mahoning Valley Speedway 2019 Champions Honored at Awards Banquet
In a formal gathering of 2019 division champions and top point finishers of Mahoning Valley Speedway, a celebration was held on Saturday evening, February 15 at Caprioti’s Palazzo in McAdoo to pay tribute for their past season’s accomplishments.
Heading the list of title winners was Bobby Jones who earned the 2019 Modified championship, marking his first entitlement of such a feat at the paved ¼-mile oval since a Pro 4 crown 25 years ago.Jones held off young hot-shoe Kyle Strohl en route to the top prize which came on the strength of five features wins, 10 heat wins, 13 top-5s and 19 top-10s in 23 starts.2017-18 champ Brian DeFebo was a solid third with Earl Paules, who this past year became the track’s all-time career wins leader with 61 and counting and respected veteran John Markovic rounded out the top five in final points.
When Frankie Althouse won the 2018 Late Model championship it came after 15 years of trying and in that time it included a number or runner-ups. Althouse vowed that his second title wouldn’t take as long and he backed those words with a great, hard-fought effort, upholding the crown over his top rival Mike Sweeney.Althouse led the class with 8 feature wins, 10 heat wins and 18 consecutive top-5 finishes, all of which were tops in class. The always consistent Jeremy Miller was third while a pair of up-and-coming young lady talents, Samantha Osborn and Avery Arthofer rounded out the top five.
Jon Moser proved once again that when it comes to Street Stock racing at Mahoning Valley, he ranks among the all-time best. Moser scored his third career number one trophy and added his name alongside TJ Gursky and Mark Deysher as the only other 3-time Street Stock champions.In a group that has an amazing amount of parity, Moser had a class leading four main event wins and division-tying 11 top-5s. He was able to hold off Randy Schlenker, Mark Martini, Todd Ahner and Jared Ahner down the stretch.
The Sportsman Modifieds concluded their second season of competition and it turned out to be a championship chase that came down to the wire between a pair of Mahoning standouts with Kyle Strohl just edging Lorin Arthofer II.Between them they dominated the win column with Arthofer outdoing Strohl four wins to two. The difference came down to Strohl having a slightly better average finish, thanks to a run of first and seconds.
Bobby Kibler Sr.’s Pro 4 title was nearly 30 years in the making. In close to three decades of racing at Mahoning, Kibler finally ended the year as the top point getter.Kibler put a near perfect season together as week after week he was fighting for wins and solid finishes with a strong showing where he produced six wins and 18 out of 19 top-5s. 2018 champ Jake Kibler and Cody Kohler, also a past champ, both kept Kibler Sr., on his toes along the way as they finished second and third respectively.
While all the title fights had excitement, none could compare to the Hobby Stocks as a mere one point decided the results that saw Al Arthofer taking the crown over Devin Schmidt.Arthofer is part of a lineage of great family racers. Although he only won once, instead he relied on consistent finishes to get the job done. His title wasn’t decided until the final lap of the final race where he just nipped Schmidt at the line and secured his place in track history.Travis Solomon, Jacob Boehm and Peyton Arthofer rounded out the top five and all had a legitimate fight for the title as well.
Rookie of the Year honors went to BJ Wambold, Avery Arthofer, Johnny Bennett, Kadie Pursell and John Petro in the Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks respectively.
Among those who received the Most Improved Driver Awards included Nick Baer, Modified, Samantha Osborn, Late Model, Eric Kocher, Street Stock, Jeremy Guerra, Pro 4 and Jacob Bohemia, Hobby Stock. The Checkered Flag Fan Club Service Appreciation Award fitting went to Ozzie Carlino who worked tirelessly throughout the year in upkeep and maintenance of the track.
All of the awardees where personally congratulated by track owners Jack and Rebecca Carlino. To conclude the program new appointed promoter Keith Hoffman spoke to the crowd about the soon-to-get-underway 2020 season and the encouraging response he has been receiving about the outlook for the track.
Mike Krempasky Street Stock Tribute offering $1900-to-win in 91-lap feature
When the 2020 Mahoning Valley Speedway race schedule was released, drivers of the Street Stock division were pleasantly surprised to see the return of the Mike Krempasky Street Stock Tribute race on Saturday evening, July 25. Mike passed away unexpectedly on March 9, 2012. He was a popular Late Model racer at Dorney Park Speedway in Allentown and was always identified by his signature No. 19 cars. After Dorney closed in 1986 Mike’s attention turned to Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway. At first it was as a fan but he later became a prominent car owner of the No.19 Street Stock which competed under the MKS Racing banner with TJ Gursky as his driver. While most all in the Street Stock class opted to race with a Camaro, the MKS Team choose a Monte Carlo, one of the very few with the division. Each week the car rolled out looking picture perfect and Gursky would back up those good looks by being among the weekly front runners. The crowning moment for the team came in 2011 when the won that year’s Street Stock title. After his passing then track promoter Floyd Santee put together a tribute race in his honor. The first installment was a 100-lapper won by Jason Frey. Then from 2013 to 2015, the format was changed to triple 19-lap features and along with that came some thrilling races and wild finishes. The events where so well received that 30-plus cars would be the norm vying for the limited starting spots during each of those outings. Now the Mike Krempasky Tribute is making a return and as a 91-lap main paying $1900-to-win which is among the highest payout’s ever being offered to a Street Stock winner.
“I was absolutely thrilled when I first heard about reviving my dad’s memorial race. Keith (Hoffman, track promoter) really wanted to get it done and I’m grateful and thankful to everyone at Mahoning Valley for putting this together,” said Kyle Krempasky. “It means so much to our family. It’s really touching, especially for me. It’s going to be eight years in March that he’s gone and there’s still plenty of stories that still go around. When it came to racing – that was his life and he always got very emotional every time his car went to Victory Lane, that’s how much he loved this sport.”
The race will be a non-point event in order to allow drivers from other tracks to come in as well as giving the locals the opportunity to contest for the impressive payoff. There will be 50 “show-up” points to each driver who signs in. “I thought that was really cool to go with the 91 lap distance. Don’t get me wrong I liked the Triple 19s and so did a lot of the guys, but this will be good too. We’ll get to see if some guys who start in the back can work their way up through the field,” added K. Krempasky. “I heard back from a number of drivers who are excited about having the race back especially Jon Moser who was a really good friend of my dad. They were teammates when Jon won the Street Stock championship in 2008. Of course TJ (Gursky) will be back racing this year in Gerald Ripkey’s car and he’s very thrilled to see it come back too.” Moser is a three time and reigning Street Stock track champion. Gursky’s last Mahoning win came in 2015 while still racing under the MKS banner. K. Krempasky is a former winning driver in the Hobby Stock division and although he has not competed in the past few years as he was pursuing a degree in criminal justice, he has not ruled out himself as a possible entry. “That would be special. The last year we had my dad’s memorial race I actually won that night in the Hobby Stock and for me it was really important because I felt even though it wasn’t class I still won his memorial race,” said K. Krempasky. A rain date if needed for the Mike Krempasky Street Stock Tribute is in place for Saturday, August 15.
Mahoning Valley Speedway gets its season underway on Saturday, April 4 at 5:00 pm when round one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series gets underway.
The night will feature the Doug Hoffman Memorial 60 lap feature for the Modifieds plus Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks are in action too.
Mahoning Valley Speedway making switch to Hoosier tires
Mahoning Valley Speedway owner Jack Carlino has announced that Hoosier Racing Tires will be the tire of choice when the 2020 season gets underway starting with Test and Tune days in March. Carlino, along with Hoosier Tire East president Robbie Summers, have signed an agreement to make Hoosier Racing Tire the official tire of the Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval. The switch to Hoosier comes after a three year stint of running American Racer tires. Carlino, now in his third year as owner of the track, said it was a mutual parting and something he felt was necessary for his business.
“Since I took over the track and had American Racer we’ve had a good working relationship with that company, however, I’ve heard from my drivers and many others as well that they would prefer the Hoosier,” offered Carlino. “At the end of last season we did an extensive survey and then we polled the drivers again two weekends ago and the response was very much in favor to make the change. This is strictly a business decision that we feel is best for us moving forward.” Hoosier Racing Tires had been the choice of weekly competition for over 20 years at Mahoning Valley. But, at the end of the 2016 season, then promoter Floyd Santee worked out a deal to convert brands to American Racer and since then it has been met with mixed viewpoints. While some drivers saw quick success, others struggled to adapt and find the right set-up. For the most part drivers desired to go back to Hoosier, siting numerous reasons for the switch back.
“We listened to what our customers, in this case our drivers, had to say. They’re our bread and butter and although we did fine with American Racer and the racing was good, it was voiced by the guys that they would much prefer Hoosier,” added Carlino. “We want to show that we’re taking a proactive approach to their concerns in order to best meet their needs.” Carlino and Summers had met to work out an agreement with the main priority being the satisfaction of the racers.
“It’s great to be back at Mahoning Valley Speedway and we’re looking forward to a very long relationship. Working with Jack (Carlino) has been smooth and he’s genuinely got the racers best interest at heart,” said Summers. Mahoning Valley is definitely a real short track and there’s always lots of side-by-side awesome racing there and we’re excited to bring our product there. In this business it’s vital to make the racer happy and when that happens overall great things will come from it.”
The first two sets of Hoosier’s to Mahoning Valley Speedway will be mounted on 2019 Modified track champion Bobby Jones’ Franzosa Trucking/APS Powder Coating No. 1 Troyer which will be on display at the upcoming Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2020 show on January 17-19 at the Great Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. Jones’ car will be on display in the Mahoning Valley Speedway booth at the show. And Todd Baer’s Aqua Duck Water Transport No. 41which will be on stage for the Ms. Motorsports Pageant. Aqua Duck Water Transport is the primary sponsor for the contest.
The speedway is allowing drivers in all divisions who still have a surplus of American Racer tires to run them up to the first three complete races beginning at the start of the season. Afterwards starting on the fourth race week per class they must take on Hoosiers. Also, they will have until the mid-summer break on July 4, to likewise use an American Racer tire in the event of a flat. From July 11 on only Hoosier’s will be permitted.
The first race of the 2020 season and the return of Hoosier Racing Tires in competition is set for Saturday evening, April 4 at 5:00 pm when round one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series gets underway.
The night will feature the Doug Hoffman Memorial 60 lap feature for the Modifieds plus Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks are in action too.
Race of Champions Tour to close out 2020 season at Mahoning Valley Speedway
When Mahoning Valley Speedway released its 2020 schedule on Saturday, January 4 during a Meet and Greet with new track promoter Keith Hoffman, one of the key highlights was the introduction of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) which will be a special five race series run amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks.
For Modifieds the MVSHoFS will all be extra distance/high dollar features and are centered on a select group of track Hall of Fame drivers and their signature car numbers. Race number one of five, which will be Opening Night, April 4, honors Doug Hoffman and his No. 60. Thus the feature will be 60 laps. Next will be a 77-lapper paying tribute to John ‘Peepers’ Yerger. That will be followed by an 81-lap affair which belongs to the revered George Wambold. The next feature will be 85 laps, the number made famous by Marvin Bartholomew and finally a 99-lapper that is associated with Hal Renninger, closes out the series on October 3.
While much excitement is being generated with the newly designed series, it was taken up a notch after revealing that the 99-lap Hal Renninger race will also be a Race of Champions (RoC) Tour event.
This will mark the first time since 2016 that the RoC will be returning to the paved Lehighton ¼-mile oval when then 15-year old Kyle Strohl scored a huge upset win in a 150-lapper. And since this race will be held following the annual Modified 250 at Lake Erie Speedway, it now sets the stage for the championship finale with the Tour to take place at Mahoning Valley. Mahoning is a pillar in Modified racing and we are looking forward to it. It has been missed and we all have to work together to unify what we are all doing. This is a great step in that direction,” stated Joe Skotnicki, Race of Champions, owner. “This race will differ a little from what we have been doing. Now the Series champion will be crowned at Mahoning which puts the focus on the race at Lake Erie and a much different focus on Mahoning. It’s going to be exciting.” Skotnicki, Hoffman and track owner Jack Carlino had been in ongoing discussions on bringing the RoC back to Mahoning and trying to find a viable date that would work for both parties and the October 3 signing was mutually agreed to be the best. “Keith (Hoffman) has a passion for this and some fresh ideas. He has a great background and history in this sport and we’ve worked around each other before. He understands the business and the keys to being successful,” added Skotnicki. Over the years the RoC has made numerous stops at Mahoning Valley and each time it generated solid car counts that saw an array of track regulars battling down to the wire against the Tour steadies. “I don’t think it will be any different now than it has been. It will be a mixture of racers and it will be exciting, plus some of the teams have followed the Series now, so they will be able to have their fans and family get to see them perform on the Series locally. It’s an exciting event,” noted Skotnicki. If needed a rain date of Saturday, October 9 will be used.
Respectable turnout for Mahoning Valley Speedway Meet and Greet with Keith Hoffman
Mahoning Valley Speedway officially revealed its 2020 race schedule on Saturday, January 4 before an enthusiastic crowd who came out to a Meet and Greet with newly appointed promoter Keith Hoffman. Taking place at the Mahoning Valley Volunteer Fire Company Hall in Lehighton, Hoffman was joined by track owner Jack Carlino and general manager Dino Oberto who addressed the gathering about the upcoming slate of events at the paved ¼-mile oval along with a number of other key items pertaining to track operations. Hoffman took the time of explaining his game plan for a successful season and beyond by outlining his thought process of race day procedures and more. He covered a wide array of topics from general rules, proper etiquette and the importance of respect from both management and racers which in turn would lead to the positive pathway of prosperous growth. “I was very pleased by the turnout we had and the excitement being generated. The buzz afterwards was all upbeat and I’m really looking forward to this season,” said Hoffman. “I feel we put together a very solid and aggressive schedule that everyone will like and it reflected in the feedback after the meeting. There’s still plenty of work to do before Opening Night but things are moving in a very dynamic manner and there’s no doubt that our fans are in for a terrific year of racing at Mahoning Valley.”
Headlining the schedule will was the introduction of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) which will be a special five race series run amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. For Modifieds the MVSHoFS will all be extra distance/high dollar features and are centered on a select group of Hall of Fame drivers and their signature car numbers. Race number one of five, which will be Opening Night, April 4, honors Doug Hoffman and his No. 60. Thus the feature will be 60 laps. Next will be a 77-lapper paying tribute to John ‘Peepers’ Yerger. That will be followed by an 81-lap affair which belongs to the revered George Wambold. The next feature will be 85 laps, the number made famous by Marvin Bartholomew and finally a 99-lapper that is associated with Hal Renninger, closes out the series on October 3. It was also announced that the October 3 event will be the season finale for the Race of Champions (RoC) Tour for the Modifieds. The RoC is making a return back to Mahoning for the first time since 2016 and this race will be held following the Tour’s annual Race of Champions Modified 250 at Lake Erie Speedway, thus making the Mahoning stop a focal point for Modifieds. The night prior, on Friday, October 2, timed dashes will be run for Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks that will lock in select starters for the next day plus there is the “Unfortunate 25s” which will are 25-lap mains for Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. That event is an open invite to any 2020 non feature winners from any track so long they conform to Mahoning Valley respective class rules. Other highlights include the Ward Crozier Sr. Memorial on May 9, the return of the Mike Krempasky Memorial for Street Stocks on July 25 which this season will be a 91-lapper paying an impressive $1900-to-win and the very popular Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16s on August 1. The highly-attended Fan Appreciation Night will be back on June 6 and new this year is a Driver Appreciation Night where the track will host a special pit party for drivers and crews as a way to say thank you for the ongoing support. Also new this year will be the “Clean and Green” taking place during the months of May and June for the Hobby Stocks and Street Stocks. On track action will begin with three Test and Tune days, March 14, 21 and 28. The season opener will get underway on April 4 with race time set for 5:00 pm. Mahoning’s season will run from April through the first weekend in October. Modified, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks will make up the weekly line-up. It was noted that the Late Models and Sportsman Modifieds will at times run alternating weekends and the Pro 4s will have a handful of Saturday off as well. The speedway will be present at the upcoming three day Pioneer Pole Buildings Motorsports 2020 show on January 17-19 at the Great Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa.
4th Annual Bill Teel Memorial Modified 16s slated for August 1
The late Bill Teel was an iconic individual to the fans and his fellow competitors at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Once you got to know Bill you were forever a friend. As a driver he was a good as they got, winning Modified track championships in 1988, 1990 and 2000. He was also the 2011 Modified car owner champion with Tyler Haydt. Bill won 16 features between 1989 and 2000. He also holds the record for consecutive Modified feature wins at four in a row. Another distinctive characteristic of Bill came after the races ended and his many unforgettable late nights of celebration in the pits whether he won or not.
His passing in 2012 left a huge void to the tightknit racing family at Mahoning Valley, however, since 2017 a special memorial race in his honor has been held and the speedway and a dedicated committee have once again united to make sure The Bill Teel Memorial Modified 16s will again be held. Dene Smith, Tyler Haydt and Wayne Steigerwalt recently solidified plans with track promoter Keith Hoffman to hold the special race on Saturday evening, August 1 with a rain date slated for the following Saturday if need be. The Teel race is unique and very exciting as four 16 lap features are run. Drivers will draw for heat starting spots to qualify for the first feature. The next three feature races will be an invert for starting positions to be determined and provided all drivers are on the lead lap at the respective finishes. In-between features cars will be pitted in the staging area. This will be a non-point race, however there will be “50 show-up” points towards the regular season standings.
“I was very happy after talking to Keith (Hoffman) and getting all of the information together for the event. Keith’s a real go-getter and he’s 100% committed to this as we are,” explained Smith, who helped spearhead the event from the get-go and has continued to work tirelessly along with Haydt and Steigerwalt over the past Teel Memorials to ensure its continuing success. “Working with Keith, Tyler (Haydt) and Wayne (Steigerwalt), we’re all pledged to do whatever it takes to assure drivers will all be rewarded handsomely as we’ve done in each of the past three years.” During Teel’s driving career, that began at Dorney Park Speedway and also included stints at Flemington Fair Speedway, Evergreen Raceway as well as selected touring events, he was one of the most esteemed drivers both on and off the track thanks largely to his outgoing character. The 16 is significant in the fact it was his signature car number and ironically when he won his last feature on July 8, 2000, it would be his 16th. “Since we started this event drivers have come forward to thank us for the effort of it being a good paying race. We try to make sure everyone comes out making something be it money of some form of contingency,” added Smith. “The 16-lap format is really thrilling for the fans and we’ve seen some really good drivers and some underdogs come away with wins.”
The driver with the best average finish after the four features will be crowned the overall champion of the Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16s. In 2017 that honor went to Don Wagner followed in 2018 by John Markovic and this past year it was young Austin Kochenash who took home the special trophy.
Joining the Modifieds that night will be the Late Models, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. Race time is 6:00 pm.
3rd Annual Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial inked for May 9 for Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks The 3rd Annual Ward Crozier Sr., Memorial at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway has been firmed and dated for May 9 starting at 6:00 pm.This year, however, there has been a revamp to the event as two divisions, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks, will be the headline classes.Each will contest in 26-lap features with the Street Stocks vying for $826 to win and the Hobby Stocks racing for a top payout of $426.
Through the cooperation of Dottie Farkas, who is the daughter of the late Crozier Sr., and the speedway’s prompter Keith Hoffman, it has been decided that this latest version of the memorial race which pays tribute to the man many feel is most responsible for the ongoing success of the paved ¼-mile oval, will be done under this structure for the two classes.“When Keith (Hoffman) and I got together to discuss the race for my father he pitched the idea of for the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks and how it would be cool to make their purses worthwhile for just a 26- lapper,” said Farkas.“I know in the past we did all classes for that night with 26-lap features but this seems like a great way to try something unique and make a better paying purse.” For this event drivers will draw for starting heat and feature spots. There will be 50-showup points to each driver too. “I really like the idea of going with just the two classes. To me this is keeping in the style of Ward who always had the racers’ best interest at heart,” noted Hoffman.“By doing it this way we can make the purses much more substantial for the drivers and we’re even looking to reward the non-qualifiers too. With that feature distance and the payout it has all the makings of an exciting race for both the drivers and fans.
Ward Crozier Sr., passed away on May 5, 2017 and he left behind an amazing legacy. It was he who perhaps can be singled out as the person best accountable for keeping pavement racing alive and well in eastern Pennsylvania from the late 1980’s to the present time.At the end of the 1986 season Dorney Park Speedway in Allentown closed its doors leaving the many faithful pavement racers of the area without a track. The cars at Dorney, Sportsman and Late Models, were somewhat exclusive to that track. Thanks to the heads-up thinking of Crozier, he stepped in knowing that a track was available to keep alive the racing.In early 1987, Ward and wife Dottie where able to make a deal with land owner Charlie Abrachinsky to reopen Mahoning Valley Speedway, which had been sitting dormant the past 10 years.The weekly races under the Crozier’s reign where considered some of the best years at the track as they built a solid and loyal base with fans that had a true passion for the sport and the drivers they deeply supported.The 26-lap format is distinct to Crozier as it was the signature number he campaigned throughout his career.
A rain date for the event is slated for the following Saturday, May 16.
Pro 4 division will race at Mahoning Valley Speedway in 2020
Mahoning Valley Speedway announced today that the Pro 4 division will be returning for the 2020 season. The class, a long time staple of the weekly action at the paved ¼-mile oval in Lehighton dating back to 1988, was in question about resuming for next season and beyond. However, after a recent meeting between track promoter Keith Hoffman and owners and drivers, a resolve was reached and the rear-wheel drive 4-cylinder powered class will indeed be back for a 32nd season. “We had a very productive and informative meeting to discuss matters about the class and there was a great line of communication between us,” explained Hoffman. “There was a lot of great input and after hearing everyone’s concerns we were able to come to a mutual agreement to continue racing the class which has been such a big part of the success of Mahoning Valley Speedway.” The Pro 4 division was started by the late Ward Crozier Sr., in 1988 as an affordable entry level class. The class grew in leaps and bounds so much so that a second class, Pro 4 Convertible division, was instituted. Many times the Pro 4’s have also been referred to as the Pinto class because of the Ford Pinto bodies that many teams used. Recent years, however, saw car counts dropping, limited winners and issues between drivers and management that led to questioning their return. “I was aware of the issues that had arisen and as the new guy I wanted to give everyone a fair shot to prove themselves,” added Hoffman. “I know the history with this class and after speaking with them I saw the passion they have for Mahoning Valley. I feel this will work out to everyone’s liking as part of the great line-up of divisions we offer our fans.” The Pro 4s, although not running each week, will see a respectable number of shows during the 2020 season, joining the Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks.
Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series will be highlight of 2020 season
The wheels are in motion for rolling out the 2020 race schedule at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway and although there are a number of items still being worked out, one thing that is for certain in a new and exciting slate of races geared at honoring select accomplished greats while also paying rewarding dividends to the participants. Being dubbed the “Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series” (MVSHoFS), this will be a special five race series held throughout the season and run amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. The full soon to be released dates will see the Modifieds competing in extra-distance/higher dollar features with a very unique twist to the number of laps for each. They will all contest in a distance that was a signature car number to the particular honoree. Race number one of five, which will be Opening Night, April 4, honors Doug Hoffman and his No. 60. Thus the feature will be 60 laps. Next will be a 77-lapper paying tribute to John ‘Peepers’ Yerger. That will be followed by an 81-lap affair which belongs to the revered George Wambold. The next feature will be 85 laps, the number made famous by Marvin Bartholomew and finally a 99-lapper that is associated with Hal Renniger, closes out the series on October 3. “We're very excited to bring the Hall of Fame Series to Mahoning Valley,” offered newly hired track promoter Keith Hoffman. “We wanted to honor all these important drivers for their contributions to the track. Our loyal fans and drivers will now have the opportunity to compete in meaningful ‘specials’ throughout the season.” Even though the Hall of Fame Series is geared towards Mahoning's history, these special events are also intended to bring in some outside competitors that will only enhance the five-race series. “I think with the point fund and good purse we're offering, we'll be able to pull some talented drivers from other tracks and states and showcase our product to everyone. Even though the off-season is just starting, I'm excited to say the least,” added Hoffman. On those same nights the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks will be taking part in the MVSHoFS and run regular distance features. 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. There will be a nominal entry fee to run each of the specials. And, while there will be separate points awarded, there is also 50-showup points as well that will be added towards that driver’s 2020 regular season standings amount. Each class will draw for starting spots for both heats and features. Only feature points will count towards the MVSHoFS title of the respective divisions. 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. As an added incentive the Modifieds will be given the opportunity of a ‘gamblers fee.’ If a driver so chooses to take the gamble then he/she will win an additional $1000 for that feature. The gamblers fee is being sponsored by Gambler Transportation and Recovery of Whitehall.
More details on the MVSHoFS along with the complete schedule will be forthcoming.