Mahoning Valley Speedway reveals 2021 Hall of Fame Series honorees
(1-17-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2021 race schedule is nearly complete with just a few minor details that remain before officially releasing the full slate of events.
The speedway is, however, proud to announce the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) will be back. After an unqualified successful debut last year in which five selected honorees where paid homage with special races, it is with great privilege that the next selection of esteemed individuals are named. The late Bill Teel, a three-time Modified champion, the late Ward Crozier Sr., past promoter and racer, 1972 Modified champion Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Lorin Arthofer Sr., a many time winner in Modifieds and patriarch of Arthofer family of racers and Paul Bauscher, Late Model champ of 1972 and many time winner in Modified and Late Model action. “We’re very excited to be able to follow-up on what was such an amazing run of events last year when we introduced the Hall of Fames Series,” said Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman. “This year will see another amazing group of people who are very deserving and I can assure you they and their families where overwhelmed and honored when we contacted them. It’s amazing how in just one year this has blossomed into such great event that both our fans and drivers are so enthusiastic about.” Teel won Modified titles in 1988, 1990 & 2000 and also was the 2011 car owner champion with driver Tyler Haydt. Although he passed away in 2012, his popularity with fans is still as strong as ever. Teel scored career 16 wins and until last season held the record for consecutive Modified victories at four in a row. Matt Hirschman tied that mark in 2020. Crozier is best renowned for the reopening of Mahoning Valley Speedway in 1987 following the closing of Dorney Park Speedway. He and wife Dot’s vision has become a legacy as the track will kick off its 34th consecutive season since they brought life back to the paved ¼-mile oval that prior to then had sat dormant for 10 years. Crozier is also noted for his innovative virtuosity as a promoter, evident by the packed house he was able to maintain during his tenure as the helm. Heffelfinger, who just celebrated his 75th birthday, has been a staple at Mahoning as well as Dorney Park where he began his popular career as hard-charging wheelman. At Dorney he ranks among the top-10 of all-time winners. When Mahoning became an asphalt track in 1970 Heffelfinger quickly became one of the top runners. His son, Roger Jr., and grandson, Austin Kochenash, carried on the family success with championships and wins at not only Mahoning but numerous other tracks as well. Arthofer Sr., is another product of Dorney Park, where he quickly established himself as a winner. When the Crozier era began at Mahoning Arthofer won early and often. More so his family including sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughters and nephew have made the Arthofer name one of the most triumphant ever at Mahoning. With a combined 123 feature race wins to date they are the winningest family at the Lehighton speedway. Bauscher, best known as “The Flying Farmer” was as good as they got, be in a Late Model or Modified. From his earliest days of racing at Dorney Park and then on to Mahoning Valley, Bauscher was a threat each time he rolled his signature No. 91 on the track. He owns three Late Model titles at Dorney and added a Modified crown at Mahoning in 1972. He is also credited with the first Modified victory under Crozier’s reign on May 9, 1987. Bauscher continued to compete into the early 1990s and still attends weekly action at Grandview Speedway. Matt Hirschman, who won four of the five MVSHoFS races last year, was proclaimed the champion of the inaugural series. The 2021 season and first race of the MVSHoFS is on Saturday, April 3 with the Bill Teel Tribute. Next comes the Ward Crozier Tribute planned listed for Saturday, May 15. Race number three will be held on Saturday, June 19 featuring the Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Tribute. Next up is the Lorin Arthofer Sr., Tribute on Saturday, July 31. The finale will be held as part of the Hall of Fame Classic weekend on October 1-2, concluding on that Saturday with the Paul Bauscher Tribute.
Mahoning Valley Speedway Hobby Stock rules slightly updated following constructive meeting
Racers of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hobby Stock division recently gathered for a meeting to discuss rules for the upcoming season at the paved ¼-mile oval.
In what was a very well-attended and positive get-together, track management and drivers collaborated to bring a better perception to the rules. With all said and done there will be a few minor updates to the current set of procedures. “We had a great meeting with the guys and I was very happy with the turnout,” said track promoter Keith Hoffman. “This class is so essential to Mahoning Valley Speedway with such a supportive group of teams and that’s why we felt it was important to have them voice their opinions with the rules. There was some great input and after taking in all the info it was determined that just a few minor changes where needed to continue on what this class is all about – an affordable entry level division.” Drivers likewise expressed their thanks to Hoffman from the past year with having him as track promoter and the many positives he had initiated.
The 2021 season will mark the ninth season for the division. It started in 2013 at first with just three cars but since has developed into a thriving class. This past season alone there where 63 different drivers that scored points and at the season ending event Corey Edelman collected a record $1500 first place prize. 2020 also saw the Rookie Hobby Stock division formed which is an offshoot intended to nurture new drivers into the realm of stock car racing.
Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2021 season will get underway with Test and Tune and Opening Day Fast Time days on March 13-27 which will lead into Opening Day on Saturday, April 3 at 2:00 pm and is round one of the five race Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series, kicking off with the Bill Teel Tribute.
Keith Hoffman to return as Mahoning Valley Speedway promoter in 2021
(11-29-20) Keith Hoffman has officially announced that he will indeed be returning as Mahoning Valley Speedway promoter for the 2021 season. Hoffman, who took on the role as promoter at the end of 2019, had conveyed at the close of this season that he was not sure of his immediate plans, however, after deliberating his possibilities over the past few weeks he has confirmed that he is excited to stay onboard with speedway owners Jack and Rebecca Carlino. “I’m very eager to get back to business at Mahoning Valley Speedway. I feel we did some great things in our first year especially with the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) as well as a number of other key promotions such as initiating the Rookie Hobby Stock class and just trying to improve the whole show in general each week,” said Hoffman. “I’m very grateful for the many compliments and I feel we can really build on the success that we have started.” Keynote to Hoffman’s Mahoning presence was the introduction of the MVSHoFS which became an unqualified success. The series’ paid tribute to past track icons and the response was overwhelming from both the pits and grandstands. “The Hall of Fame Series was amazing and it was bigger than we could have imagined,” noted Hoffman. “I’m happy to say that we will be bringing back the Series for 2021 and we’ve already picked out our five Hall of Fame selections that we will pay tribute to. The 2020 Series will be a hard act to follow but we think what we’ll be presenting very soon that everyone will be pleasantly pleased with our next edition.” Another positive item brought to the table by Hoffman was the Rookie Hobby Stock class which saw double digit car counts each week. The primary intent behind the division was to help ease would-be drivers into the world of stock car racing, many to them moving up from quarter midgets and go-karts. “The Rookie Hobby Stocks were everything we expected it to be. Watching those young talents progress after each race build their confidence level tremendously and many of them held their own nicely as they slowly worked their way into the regular Hobby Stocks,” stated Hoffman. Hoffman went on to say that moving forward there will be some tweaks in place for the class but with all good intent. Keeping downtime to a minimum while maintaining an efficiently run show quickly became Hoffman’s hallmark as well. “We closed out 2020 with a nice burst of momentum and I feel that we can only continue to get better from what we started. What I saw last year was an extremely enthusiastic fan base and a very dedicated group of racers and that really helped make my decision to come back all the easier,” said Hoffman. Hoffman went on to explain that he expects the 2021 schedule will be ready by mid-January and he looks to release that during a special gathering not long afterwards that will pay tribute to the top finishers from the recent season while laying out his plans for the upcoming year.