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.