Rain puts an end to Mahoning Valley Speedway program… Scheduled event will move to Saturday, June 26
No sooner was the front gates about to swing open when rain swept across the area and put an abrupt end to the night of racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway on June 19th
Unfortunate too as fans were in for a great night as the pit area had filled nicely with cars in anticipation of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) Roger Heffelfinger Sr. Tribute. Originally on the schedule was the following Sunday afternoon as a rain date, however, after careful consideration it was decided that the event will move to this coming Saturday, June 26 at 6:00 pm. The night will include the Modifieds in a 66-lap/$2500-to-win feature along with the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks all part of the MVSHoFS plus the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks and on the card will be the Late Models which were already slated to run that date. Track management would like to remind all those who paid admittance to please hold onto your wrist bands which will be honored for this upcoming Saturday’s show. Furthermore, all drivers who already picked for starting spots will keep those positions while any additional entries will be provided that same opportunity upon sign-in. Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Regular warm-up will get under way at 4:00 pm. Driver sign-ins will be from 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm. Grandstands will open at 4:00 pm. Adult admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+, must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Pit entrance fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members.
Mahoning Valley Speedway picks up the action at the paved ¼-mile oval with race #3 of the 2021 John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series and the Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Tribute, Saturday, June 19. Race time is 6:00 pm.
Heffelfinger has been a long-standing iconic figure among the many greats of eastern Pennsylvania short track asphalt racing. The Dorney Park Speedway/Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame inductee is the 1972 Modified track champion at Mahoning where raced between 1970 and 1976. At Dorney Park where he began his career as a teenager in the late 1960s, Heffelfinger was very successful at the defunct 1/5-mile track, winning 18 times between 1971 and 1983 and is ranked sixth all time among Modified winners there.
He also hit the dirt circuits as well running at such venues as Nazareth, Orange County, Flemington, Grandview and others, most times with the same car he competed with on the blacktop. His son, Roger Jr., followed in his footsteps and with equal success garnering wins and championships at Dorney, Mahoning Valley and Evergreen Raceway. And likewise his grandson, Austin Kochenash, carries on the family legacy as one of the premier asphalt Modified drivers of this era. Kochenash is also a Mahoning champion, winning the Late Model title in 2011.
Heffelfinger remains a key figure at Mahoning, logging in countless hours during the week as part of the grounds crew and also on race day as a member of the safety and track crew. His passion for Mahoning Valley Speedway and the sport of motor racing is a lasting testament to one of the all-time greats from this region.
On the slate will be Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks. The Modifieds will be racing a 66-lap feature, with that distance reflecting the car number most associated with Heffelfinger. Matt Hirschman, who won the first two MVSHoFS events, leads the Series standings in the Modifieds while Randy Ahner Jr., and Justin Merkel are at the top of the rankings in the Street Stock and Hobby Stocks respectively.
Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Regular warm-up will get under way at 4:00 pm. Driver sign-ins will be from 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Grandstands will open at 4:00 pm. Adult admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+, must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Pit entrance fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members.
A rain date of Sunday, June 20 at 2:00 pm is in place if needed.
Nick Ross tops Late Models; Jaden Brown over Paulie Hartwig III in thrilling Sportsman Modified main at Mahoning Valley Speedway June 12 on Pack the Track Night
(June 12, 2021) It was Pack the Track Night at Mahoning Valley Speedway and unfortunately for Late Model driver Nick Ross he was unable to join in the Fanfest activities during intermission due to the fact of making repairs and adjustments to his car after his heat. He did, however, make up for it by getting to personally thank all of the fans, doing so from Victory Lane after his rousing second win of the season. “After our heat race we had to work on the car and I’m sorry we didn’t get to see all the fans during the meet and greet and I felt really bad about that but at least I can use this opportunity to personally say thank you to everyone for coming out tonight,” said Ross. Taking the lead at the drop of the initial green second starting Ross was able to jump to the lead over pole sitter James Yons. The next time around Lorin Arthofer II was on his tail and looking for every opportunity to get past. For Arthofer that chance came on lap seven when he slipped under Ross in Turn 3 and completed the lap as the new leader. Looking to make it a second win in a row and three victories in four starts, Arthofer kept himself a car length ahead of Ross. But never dropping any further back and with the lead pair coming up on lapped traffic Ross was able to close in and by lap 15 was running beside Arthofer. Racing on the top lane he was then able to use a blast of momentum to power his way back out front and gradually pulled away to a two-plus second margin of victory. “I think he (Arthofer) just started to get a little free in (turns) 1 & 2 and I knew I had to get a run there and it was just enough to get him. I really appreciate running against him and he actually helped me getting things set-up for down here,” said Ross. Geno Steigerwalt, Yons and Roger Maynor rounded out the top five.
Mahoning Valley’s Sportsman Modified division continues to grow and prosper and it showed on this night with its best field to date and pair of rising stars battling closing for the win. 15-year old Jaden Brown and 10-year old Paulie Hartwig III put on a captivating race and despite very limited seat time with a combine seven class starts between them they raced like seasoned veterans. Hartwig led the way early on but by lap seven Brown zeroed in on him and thus began the thrilling duel. Brown was making repeated attempts from both high and low sides but each time Hartwig shut him off. Not giving up, Brown began to work the inside line and with five laps to go he bumped and squeezed underneath and in the process Hartwig got loose but and did an incredible save and rebound. Brown, who did back off when the occurrence began to allow Hartwig space and then held on for the exhilarating win.
Sophomore Street Stock driver Thomas Flanagan has had several very close opportunities in a short period of time to claim a win and tonight there was no doubt or uncertainties as he picked up his career first victory and over a pair of experienced veterans. Flanagan took the lead from Logan Boyer two laps into the 30 lap contest and was soon fending off kingpin Jon Moser. By the second half of the race point leader Mark Martini joined in the fight but Flanagan remained focused in notwithstanding the heavy opposition. Matter of fact he would let that pair combat it out amongst themselves while he held steady and smooth en route to this unforgettable first win. Meanwhile Martini took second from Moser.
In the Hobby Stocks BJ Wambold proved again that given the chance to start at the front of the pack he’s no match for the rest of the field. Wambold replicated an earlier win, starting from pole and then leading the full distance even though Taylor Schmidt and Trisha Connolly kept in close with him.
Cody Kohler continued on his winning ways with the Pro 4s as he collected his class leading fourth win of the season. Kohler used a lap 11 restart to get by Tyler Stangle and then held off Kadie Pursell for career win number 35.
Greyson Ahner made a daring inside pass on Makayla Kohler which would prove to be the race winning move in the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks. And it was also his fifth such time winning this season under the Rookie line-up. Runner-up Hallie Muffley would be credited with her second straight Futures verdict.
The Micro Stocks joined the card and in nothing short of a dominating performance it was Alex Greenzweig leading the way from start to finish by ample distance over Roger Snyder.
Late Model feature finish (25-laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. Lorin Arthofer, 3. Geno Steigerwalt, 4. James Yons, 5. Roger Maynor, 6. Seth VanFossen, 7. Randy Green, 8. Brooks Smith, 9. Mike Stein, 10. Rich Cooper
Sportsman Modified feature finish (25-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Paul Hartwig111, 3. Jared Ahner, 4. Jesse Strohl, 5. Payton Arthofer, 6. Avery Arthofer, 7. Kassidy Altemose, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Al Arthofer, 10. Paul French, 11. BJ Wambold, 12. Randy Ahner, 13. Troy Bollinger, 14. Bobby Jones DNS Kevin Kromer
Street Stock feature finish (30-laps): 1. Thomas Flanagan, 2. Mark Martini, 3. Jon Moser, 4. Mark Deysher, 5. Brandon Christman, 6. Randy Ahner Jr, 7. Rick Reichenbach, 8. Jacob Christman, 9. John Bennett, 10. Jamie Smith, 11. Lonnie Behler Jr., 12. Shayne Geist, 13.Tucker Muffley, 14. Todd Ahner, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Jill Snyder, 17. Rich Moser, 18. Tobie Behler, 19 TJ Gursky
Micro Stock feature finish (20-laps) 1: Alex Greenzweig, 2. Roger Snyder, 3. Al Vanhart, 4. Chad Weaver, 5. Jarred Rehrig, 6. Anthony Wood, 7. John Koch, 8, Eddie Geiger Jr., 9. Adam Hess, 10. San Del Luff, 11. Phil Sabatine, 12. Matt Ackerman, 13. Mike Bowers, 14. DJ Fredricks
Kyle Strohl picks up second Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified win: Jared Ahner and Peyton Arthofer continue family winning legacy with Sportsman Modified victories on June 5
(June 5, 2021) In a matter of a lap’s time Kyle Strohl was able to come out on top of an intense three-wide battle between himself, Austin Beers and John Markovic that put him in place to collect his second Modified win of the season Saturday evening at Mahoning Valley Speedway. It was on lap 17 of the 35-lapper that the race winning outcome took place. The scene began two laps prior when a restart saw Markovic at the point with Beers second and Strohl third. When the race had resumed Markovic was on the inside of Beers and left enough of an opening for Strohl to take the inside lane. As the trio were about to conclude lap 16 Markovic squeezed Beers that caused him to smack the wall. At the same moment Strohl had a clear lane to drive into the lead. From then on he was smooth and strong allowing him to score a one car length win over runner-up Austin Kochenash. “These last couple of weeks we had been struggling and this week we really hit on the button and I felt we were going to be in good contention,” said Strohl, now an 18 time Modified winner. “Honestly to me after we got the lead the car felt like a rocket ship and especially with so many good cars here and with the racing in the Modifieds here is top notch.” At the outset Terry Markovic was the early leader but on lap three Carl Altemose powered his way to the front and started to set a solid pace while the Markovic brothers stayed in his tire tracks. On lap 15 J. Markovic was able to slip inside of Altemose for the lead. However on the same circuit and under very tight conditions Altemose was collected up in a multi-car incident, putting an abrupt end to his impressive night as well as several others. It was that restart that led to the dramatic outcome. Kochenash, who was making his first Mahoning start of the season, was part of the lap 15 melee and had to pit. Afterwards he drove his way up to second only to run out of time as he was honing in on Strohl. J. Markovic held on for third with Bobby Jones and new point leader Brian DeFebo rounding out the top five.
The Sportsman Modifieds were running a pair of events, the first being the conclusion from May 8 when the race was stopped due to safety concerns and the latter as the regular scheduled feature and the emerging winners each having deep Mahoning roots. For the make-up race Jared Ahner was the leader when the race resumed with nine laps complete. After having to duel with point leader Paulie Hartwig III following several restarts, Ahner late into the race was able to pull ahead just enough to keep Hartwig at bay and notch his first win with the class. Ahner is the grandson of Russell “Bups” Ahner who was a popular winner during the track’s dirt days and again when the facility was paved. He runs the trademark No. 18 which is symbolic of his late grandfather. The regular 25-lap feature ended with another track name all too familiar with winning at Mahoning as Peyton Arthofer scored a very emotional first class victory. Interestingly it was her accident on May 8 that stopped the race when she slammed and busted through the front straight wall promoting the night’s remaining card to be postponed. For this race she was seated on the pole and once the initial green waved there would be no looking back. At first a determined Troy Bollinger was challenging until Arthofer’s sister, Avery Arthofer roared into second spot. From there a feel of a never before seen sister vs. sister one-two finish was beginning to take shape. But, A. Arthofer and Bollinger during this time had been battling closely. Unfortunately the elder Arthofer spun with seven laps to go, giving up second to Bollinger. Yet for P. Arthofer by taking the win it meant coming full circle from the devastation of a car crushing wreck to the joy of victory in a matter of one race. And, like Ahner, her grandfather is legendary star Lorin Arthofer Sr.
When it comes to Street Stocks at Mahoning Valley Speedway the name Moser is commonly heard as first to the checkers. That was again the case however not perennial champion Jon but rather his brother Rich. And for the elder of the pair it marked the end of a nearly 20-year dry spell. Taking advantage of his pole starting spot R. Moser immediately took control, although he was contained under tight conditions with strong running rookies Jared Green and Jacob Christman. Nonetheless R. Moser came fully prepared to make this a long overdue good run. Setting the pace over each passing lap he refused to waver as no one could make a serious bid at him other than on a few restarts. Holding on perfectly until the end R. Moser parked in Victory Lane for the first time since a Factory Stock win in April 2002. Green in the meantime raced like a seasoned veteran, holding off none other than J. Moser for his career best effort to date.
For Hobby Stock driver Tad Snyder he won’t soon forget the night of June 5, 2021 as he finally landed his first feature win. For the past few years Snyder has had flashes of respectable runs but trying to secure that elusive first win that was another story. However, on this night there was the feel it would all come to fruition after he scored a heat victory and the feel from there indicated that this could just be the night. And indeed it was. Snyder took the lead after two laps in and then persisted from there on, holding off his teammate Travis Solomon en route to the memorable night.
In the Pro 4s Josh Kuronya somehow eluded all types of mayhem to win for the second time this season. Kuronya was leading by lap three and it would prove to be the safest spot on the track too as behind him was a wild affair unfolding with all kinds of slamming and banging. Kuronya would stay focused on the job at hand and ably fend off Kadie Pursell for the win.
Hallie Muffley raced her way into the lead on lap three in the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks, doing so on a restart over early pace setter Gabrielle Steigerwalt and once in front she put the shifted into cruise control and sailed on to her first with of the season, coming in just her third start. In the meantime Steigerwalt was able to hold solid in second and in doing so claimed the Rookie class win, which was her career first.
Modified feature finish (35-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. John Markovic, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Roger Cross, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Austin Beers, 10. Carl Altemose, 11. Nick Bear, 12. Rod Snyder Jr., 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Tommy Flanagan, 15. Paul Hartwig
Sportsman Modified 5/8 feature finish (25-laps): 1. Jared Ahner 2. Paul Hartwig III 3. Troy Bollinger 4. Randy Ahner Jr 5. Avery Arthofer 6. Kassidy Altemose 7. Jayden Brown 8. Peyton Arthofer 9. Al Arthofer 10. Mia Guy 11. Stacey Brown
Sportsman Modified regular feature finish (25-laps): 1. Payton Arthofer 2. Troy Bollinger 3. Randy Ahner Jr 4. Jayden Brown, 5. Jesse Strohl, 6. Avery Arthofer, 7. Kassidy Altemose, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Al Arthofer, 10. Paul Hartwig lll, 11 Jared Ahner DNS: Stacey Brown
Street Stock feature finish (30-laps): 1. Rich Moser, 2. Randy Green, 3. Jon Moser, 4. Mark Deysher, 5. Mark Martini, 6. Todd Ahner, 7. Brandon Christman, 8. Lonnie Behler, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Randy Ahner, 11. Jacob Christman, 12. Jamie Smith, 13. Jill Snyder, 14. Logan Boyer, 15. TJ Gursky, 16.Tobie Behler, 17. Tommy Flanagan
Pro 4 feature finish (14-laps): 1. Josh Kuronya, 2. Kadie Purcell, 3. Cody Kohler, 4. Tyler Stangle, DQ: Jake Kibler, Bobby Kibler Jr., Bob Kibler Sr. DNS: Terry Peters
Hobby Stock Feature finish (25-laps): 1. Tad Snyder, 2. Travis Solomon, 3. Nick Schaffer, 4. Justin Merkel, 5. Trisha Connolly, 6. Devin Schmidt, 7. BJ Wambold, 8. Cody Boehm, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Taylor Schmidt, 11. James Tout, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Corey Edelman, 14. Kip George, 15. John Petro, 16. Dave Imler, 17. Nicholas Kerstetter, 18. Mallory Kutz, 19. Ralph Borger Jr., 20. Lyndsay Buss, 21. Ed Herman
Mahoning Valley Speedway calls off Saturday, May 29 races
Due to a wet forecast on Saturday, May 29, officials of Mahoning Valley Speedway have made the decision to call off the night’s stock car program. Even though there is a possibility of clearing later for that evening the chance of additional showers still looms according to various weather reports. With this being Memorial Day weekend track officials felt it would be best to put the word out now so everyone can make plans more accordingly in order to enjoy the holiday. After eight consecutive weeks of racing this marks the first rainout of the season. Racing will resume next Saturday, June 5 at 5:00 pm with Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds which includes the remainder of the May 8 feature along with a regular feature, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks. Coming up on June 12 will be Pack the Track Night featuring seven divisions, Late Models, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks, Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks and Micro Stocks for just $8.
The following Saturday, June 16 at 6:00 pm will be race #3 of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Roger Heffelfinger Sr. Tribute.
Brian DeFebo gets his winning touch back; Lorin Arthofer scores close Late Model win over Brandon Turbush at Mahoning Speedway May 22
(May 22, 2021) It’s hard to imagine that when Brian DeFebo won Saturday night’s 35-lap Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway it ended a dry spell for eastern Pennsylvania’s all-time wins leader in asphalt short track racing, dating back to September of 2019, and considering that prior to that he had been on a roll, scoring 13 victories in a three year span and earning back-to-back championships (2017-18). And, that was just at Mahoning as he’s been adding wins at Evergreen Raceway too. However, 2020 turned out to be a one-off year for the 42-year Berwick driver as he went winless for the first time during a single season in recent memory. DeFebo, though, put it all together with a solid performance. After passing Nick Baer on lap 16 he remained perfect the rest of the way and drove to his 18th Mahoning win and 106th overall. “You just don’t realize how hard it is to win a race here until you go on a drought. After having some good winning years and then last year we were just off so this is exciting and I’m so happy to get this first one out of the way,” said DeFebo. “I have thousands of laps at other tracks and this is the toughest one we race at.” At the outset Terry Markovic led the way over Jesse Strohl, Cody Kohler, Nick Baer and DeFebo. Strohl utilized a lap three restart to take the lead but was in some tight company as Baer came along with him and was running closely to his outside. Baer was then able to assume the front spot thanks to a restart six laps in and following him into second was DeFebo while Bobby Jones had dashed his way to third. While Baer was continuing at the front DeFebo and Jones connected in two-wide duel. In the process Jones was able to slip by but only briefly before DeFebo retook the spot and now set his attention towards Baer. Waiting for just the right opportunity, DeFebo’s moment of certainty came with an inside pass on lap 15. Afterwards there was no looking back as he piloted to his first win of the season. “You have such a good group of guys down here that always race you hard and you earn ever spot you get. I want to thank my mom (Sophie Welsh) who make this fun and makes racing fun,” said DeFebo. As DeFebo was on his way to victory there was an amazing battle taking place for second spot between John Markovic and Austin Beers. Both had moved past Baer by lap 20 and from then on began a hard fought battle. Beers was relentlessly do all he could to work underneath Markovic and finally did so at the finish line by a mere few inches for his fifth runner-up of the year.
In the Late Model feature Lorin Arthofer II picked up his second win of the season that was well warranted. Arthofer took the lead away from Seth VanFossen nine laps into the 25-lap contest but was having to remain in a defense mode the rest of the way as a number of opponents kept at him. The most notable being Brandon Turbush who was making a rare Mahoning appearance and who late into the race had his car zeroed in on the tail of Arthofer. With one lap to go Turbush was beginning to move by for the lead when suddenly a multi-car tangle took place and the lap was called back, much to the benefit of Arthofer. It was a single file restart and Arthofer was able to hold his line and that of Turbush for the win.
Classy veteran racer Todd Ahner picked up his first Street Stock win of the season doing so in a flag-to-flag lead spot fashion. Ahner started on the pole and wasted no time in taking charge over Jamie Smith. With 10 laps to go Johnny Bennett was behind Ahner and despite the close pressure being applied the king of Street Stock wins held his ground and collected career win number 39.
Devin Schmidt is beginning to take a real liking to twin Hobby Stock features as for the second week in a row he won the later and that coming after finishing third in the first main both weeks and the fact that he affirmatively claimed that would indeed be the outcome. The night began with the postponed May 8 feature which saw Justin Merkel grab the lead from Mallory Kutz on lap six. He had to then hold off the intense encounters of Cody Boehm and Schmidt en route to his first win of the season. For the regular main fifth starting Schmidt needed only three laps to slip by early leader Lyndsay Buss. He would not waver from there on taking the victory over Boehm and Taylor Schmidt.
In Pro 4 action Cody Kohler passed Randy Schaffer just past the midway juncture of the 20-lap run and went on to notch his second straight and third win of 2021.
Greyson Ahner went into the lead after just one lap and stayed there to the finish for his fourth Rookie Hobby Stock win over runner-up Dave Kerr. Makayla Kohler’s third place tally earned her a second victory with the Futures division.
Modified feature finish (35-laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Austin Beers, 3. John Markovic, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Nick Bear, 6. Cody Kohler, 7. Terry Markovic, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Avery Arthofer, 10. Wes Gilbert, 11. Mia Guy, 12. Rich Cooper, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Jesse Strohl, 15. Jayden Brown, 16. Jacob Kerstetter, 17. Kyle Strohl, 18. Carl Altemose
Late Model feature finish (25-laps): 1. Lorin Arthofer, 2. Brandon Turbush, 3. Geno Steigerwalt, 4. Rick Giannino, 5. Nick Ross, 6. Mike Stein, 7. Rich Cooper, 8. James Yons, 9 Brian Romig Jr. 10. Brooks Smith, 11. Seth VanFossen
Street Stock feature finish (30-laps): 1. Todd Ahner, 2. Johnny Bennett, 3. Brandon Christman, 4 Mark Martini, 5. TJ Gursky, 6. Jon Moser, 7. Randy Ahner JR., 8. Lonnie Behler, 9. Mark Deysher, 10. Rick Reichenbach, 11. Jill Snyder, 12. Thomas Flanagan, 13. Rich Moser, 14. Jamie Smith, 15. Jacob Christman, 16. Tobie Behler, 17. Tucker Muffley, 18. Josh Oswald
Pro 4 feature finish (20-laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Randy Schaffer, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Kadie Pursell, 5. Bob Kibler Sr., 6. Bobby Kibler Jr., 7. Tyler Stangle, 8. Josh Kuronya, 9. Terry Peter
Make-up Hobby Stock feature finish from May 8 (25-laps) 1. Justin Merkel, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Devin Schmidt 4. Trisha Connolly, 5. James Tout, 6. Tony Hilliard, 7. Jake Oswald, 8. Lyndsay Buss, 9. Travis Solomon, 10. Taylor Schmidt, 11. Mallory Kutz, 12. Dave Imler, 13. Ralph Borger Jr., 14. Corey Edelman, 15, Nick Schaeffer, 16. Jacob Boehm, 17. Nicholas Kerstetter, 18. Tad Snyder, 19. BJ Wambold DNS: Slade Darragh
Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, twin Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks this Saturday, May 22 at Mahoning Valley Speedway
Matt Hirschman remains undefeated at Mahoning Valley Speedway with win in Ward Crozier Sr. Tribute on May 15th
(May 15, 2021) If ever there was a driver on a roll at Mahoning Valley Speedway its Matt Hirschman who, in his fourth consecutive start at the ¼-mile paved oval, raced to victory and dating back to last season has now reeled off eight straight wins. In race #2 of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Ward Crozier Sr., Tribute, the Northampton driver came from 12th on the grid and made the winning pass over Earl Paules with six laps to go, parking his Harry's U Pull It Allentown No. 60 into Victory Lane for his 26th career win here. The start of the 50-lap event saw Paules – who drew the pole position – jump to the early lead and then steadily remain there. Behind him though was some intense action as Jack Ely was second, Blake Barney third and by lap 10 Austin Beers and Hirschman entered the top five which from that point saw the aforementioned battle under a tight blanket, especially considering a long green flag stint from lap nine until six tours remaining which kept the crowd quite captivated by their close proximity. By lap 24 Hirschman had maneuvered into second and began laying down heavy pressure on leader Paules. Barney was still third with teammates Beers and Ely next in line. With the laps winding down Hirschman was trying every avenue to get by Paules and not making matters an easier at the same time had Beers alongside. Then Terry Markovic spun in front of the front-runners to bring out the caution with a half dozen laps remaining. On the ensuing green Hirschman used his outside restart flank on Paules to edge his way to the front and from there he would go on to another win – his 10th in 16 2021 starts. “This was far from a predictable finish even though we won again. The laps tick off quick here when you get green flag runs like we had and this was not an easy race. The lap counter wasn’t working so I really didn’t know how close we were to the end until that caution came out and they said there was only six (laps) to go,” said Hirschman. “I think actually if you were to divide up the odds of who was going to win this race I feel you could have went evenly between any of us in the front pack. It wasn’t decided at all until that restart helped me to get the lead.” Paules was impressive and fought hard to maintain the front spot before setting for his best effort of the season. Barney was never lower then fourth all race long and registered a fine third. Zane Zeiner and Brian DeFebo came on strong in the final laps to round out the top five.
If the Modified feature wasn’t thrilling enough, the Street Stock main couldn’t have been more electrifying as Lonnie Behler Jr., and Randy Ahner Jr., engaged in a two-by-two, lap-after-lap battle that began no sooner than the action got underway. ach time the pair clicked off a lap they either exchanged the lead by mere inches or came across the line dead even. The final lap was no different as they took the white flag with no margin for error while still putting on an amazing race bordering each other. Entering the final corner Behler somehow found the power to eek slightly ahead and go on to record his career first win. Jon Moser closed in on the pair late and notched third with Bob Kibler Sr., and Mark Martini completing the top five.
The Hobby Stocks raced in twin-26 lap features and during redraw Devin Schmidt boldly vowed to sweep both and he almost did too. In the first race Bj Wambold, who was able to lead the distance and earn his first win of the season, and Justin Merkel thwarted Schmidt’s effort as he was third. However, in the nightcap he redeemed himself by chasing down Corey Edelman with time running out and made his race winning pass with just two laps to go. Schmidt may have come up short on going for the double but his efforts did earned him the overall winner between the dual features.
Ward Crozier introduced the Pro 4 division in 1988 so it was only fitting that the class was part of his tribute night. Two time and defending champion Cody Kohler saw fit to pick up his 32nd class win that carried extra incentives as he parlayed his front row starting spot into his second victory of the season. Kohler went to the lead at the outset and never waned as he left everyone else decide the spots behind him. Randy Schaffer, who continues to come closer to his elusive first win, was runner-up with Jake Kibler third.
A new winner emerged in the Rookie/Futures Hobby Stocks as Adam Steigerwalt grabbed the lead immediately and never looked back en route to the memorable verdict. Jared Green had a best finish of second while Brody George’s third place tally earned him his sixth Futures victory.
Modified feature finish (50-laps) 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Blake Barney, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Nevin George, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Austin Beers, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Jack Ely, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Cody Koehler, 14.Nick Bear, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Rod Snyder Jr. 17. Al Arthofer, 18. Bobby Jones, 19.John Markovic, 20. Sean Verwys, 21. Bobby Butler
Street Stock feature finish (30-laps) 1. Lonnie Behler Jr., 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. Jon Moser, 4. Bob Kibler, Sr., 5. Mark Martini, 6. Jill Snyder, 7. Rick Kirkendall, 8. TJ Gursky, 9. Jacob Christman, 10. Mark Deysher, 11. Shayne Geist, 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. John Bennet, 15. Brandon Christman, 16. Rich Moser, 17. Jamie Smith, 18. Logan Boyer, 19. Tobie Behler, 20. Thomas Flanagan
Pro 4 feature finish (20-laps) 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Randy Schaffer, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Bobby Kibler, 5. Kadie Pursell, 6. Tyler Stangle, 7 Terry Peters, 8. Josh Kuronya, 9. Robert Derfler
1st Hobby Stock feature finish (26-laps) 1. BJ Wambold, 2. Justin Merkel, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Rich Mutarelli, 5. Jake Oswald, 6. Randy Ahner Jr., 7. Corey Edelman, 8. Cody Geist, 9. James Tout, 10. Dave Imler, 11. Bob Wink, 12. Nick Schaeffer, 13. Ken Reeder, 14. Taylor Schmidt, 15. Travis Solomon, 16. Cody Boehm, 17. Trisha Connolly, 18. Jacob Boehm, 19. Lyndsay Bus, 20. Tad Snyder DNQ; Mallory Kutz, Ed Herman, Ralph Borger Jr., Ryan Berger
2nd Hobby Stock feature finish (26-laps) 1. Devin Schmidt, 2. Corey Edelman, 3. Randy Ahner, 4. Cody Geist, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Nick Schaffer, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. Tad Snyder, 9. Jake Oswald, 10. BJ Wambold, 11. James Trout, 12. Justin Merkel, 13. Dave Imler, 14. Cody Boehm, 15. Ken Reeder, 16. Mallory Kutz, 17. Taylor Schmidt, 18. Rich Mutarelli, 19. Jacob Boehm, 20. Lyndsay Buss DNS: Bob Wink
Nick Ross garners first Mahoning Valley Speedway Late Model win; Hard crash during Sportsman Modified feature forces postponement of remainder of show on May 8
(May 8, 2021) Nick Ross has proven to be a quick study in getting around Mahoning Valley Speedway. In just his third ever start he found his way to Victory Lane as he cruised to a stirring first Late Model win at the paved ¼-mile oval. Ross only made one start late last season and immediately made an impression with a fine third place tally. He showed up again for the division’s season opener on April 17 and was a contender once more. His third here time would be the charm for the Mountain Top racer of the R-N-R Restorations No. 99. Ross went by Rich Cooper for the lead with five laps in and then stayed smooth and steady the remainder of the way for his initial Mahoning Valley Speedway victory. The start of the feature was slightly delayed due to a passing shower but once the action got underway it was Cooper wasting no time from his pole starting spot and jumping into the lead. He was tracked closely by Brian Romig Jr., and Ross. By the completion of the third tour Ross had slipped by Romig and was now hounding Cooper in a torrid double-wide battle. Coming off the fourth corner to begin the fifth circuit Ross, who was utilizing the outside lane, had stepped to the front of the pack. Afterwards he was dealing with Lorin Arthofer II and then James Yons, however, as the laps ticked on Ross was continuing to extend his advantage and took the checkers by three-and-a-half seconds. “I really did not expect this at all. We unloaded and made a bunch of changes and it really woke the car up. I can’t thank all my crew enough and Port City Race Cars,” said Ross. “The track was really greasy after the rain delay and you had to hold on. If you gave it any extra throttle you were going around but once we got going the surface was fine. I’m super pumped to win a race here at Mahoning Valley.”
The Sportsman Modified feature was stopped at just nine laps due to a hard crash that busted up the front straight wall. With safety concerns the main priority it was decided to halt the action at that point rather than risk additional ramifications. The race got off to a thrilling start between Peyton Arthofer and Troy Bollinger. They quickly went into a two-wide race while switching off the front spot early on. By lap five Arthofer took control but barely as Bollinger, as well as Jared Ahner, kept hot on her heels. Bollinger continued to run to the outside of Arthofer and as the twosome where about to complete lap eight trouble soon unfolded resulting in a very hard collision. The incident began when they touched coming off the final corner. Arthofer then got loose and her back end snapped out front under her. At this point they had just crossed the start/finish line with Arthofer now aiming for and then slamming into the wall. The grinding hit impacted so hard that two portions of the concrete retaining wall busted down. In the process Bollinger also got clipped and he came to a screeching halt at the first turn barrier. Both drivers were shaken while their cars substantial race ending damage. As of press time Arthofer was still at a local hospital, alert but being monitored with testing. Bollinger was sore but otherwise okay.
Because the wall could not be repaired in a safe manner it was decided to postpone the remainder of the races and reschedule them for a later date including the final 16 laps of the Sportsman race as well as the Hobby Stock and ATQMRA mains.
In Street Stock action TJ Gursky took the lead from Tobie Behler on a lap-14 restart and went on to victory becoming the first repeat winner with the class this season. Prior to Gursky driving to the front there was a good battle between Jason Gould and Behler as they swapped the lead back and forth over the early laps. Behler then landed the front position by the fifth tour and was keeping a nice line in protecting his lead. However, over a series of cautions Gursky had methodically advanced up to second by lap 13 yet the rookie still showed he wasn’t ready to give up. When they realigned for the lap 14 restart the veteran put his years of experience to use as he powered past Behler. In the final circuits Gursky had to fend off strong running Jillian Snyder and Mark Deysher en route to the verdict.
Brody George was able to elude a tangle between front runners Adam Steigerwalt and Greyson Ahner with three laps to go and went on to score his fifth Futures Hobby Stock win in six starts. Hallie Muffley, making her first start of the season, was a close second. Also repeating as a winner with Rookie Hobby Stocks for a third in the first six races was Deegen Underwood.
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. James Yons, 3. Lorin Arthofer II, 4. Brian Romig Jr., 5. Rich Cooper, Brooks Smith DNS: Seth VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Jillian Snyder, 3. Mark Deysher, 4. Tobie Behler, 5. Mark Martini, 6. Lonnie Behler, Jr., 7. Todd Ahner, 8. Johnny Bennett, 9. Jon Moser, 10. Randy Ahner Jr., 11. Cody Geist, 12. Rich Moser, 13. Jacob Christman, 14. Randy Green, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Jason Gould, 17. Tucker Muffley, 18. Brandon Christman, 19. Thomas Flanagan DNS: Jamie Smith
Kyle Strohl holds off hard chargers Austin Beers and Bobby Jones in hot Mahoning Modified Action on May 1; Avery Arthofer tops Sportsman Modified field
(May 1, 2021) Over the first month of the season Kyle Strohl had respectable runs but from a team perspective they were not all that pleased with the car and kept chasing the set-up. They made headway the previous week with a very competitive third place run during the Race of Champions 75-lap feature and on Saturday evening all fell into place as Strohl led flag to flag in caution free race and earned a hard-fought verdict over Austin Beers and Bobby Jones. “This is a really big confidence booster for us. Our car was loose coming into the night and we made some adjustments and with a little luck we were able to hold them guys off,” said Strohl after notching his 17th career Modified victory. Strohl’s first Modified win of the season was a barnburner event as he had to fend off the likes of Beers and Jones over the waning laps. The trio dazzled the crowd with their amazing high speed proximity of each other and as they blazed toward the checkers finished under a blanket with Strohl able to hold off his opponents by the narrowest of margins. “I knew the top runners where coming and I had protect the bottom and the high side at the same time but we got it done and it’s great to pull off a win,” emphasized Strohl. Early on Nick Baer was giving Strohl a good battle and continued to do so through the first 20 laps. But after Baer’s car began to tighten Jones and Beers slipped by and began their assault on Strohl. Strohl certainly had his hands full with Jones and Beers who tracked him ever so tightly. When they arrived to the white flag Jones and Beers where side-by-side and bearing down heavily on Strohl but he remained protective and confident in securing the win. “I can hear those guys all the while and I knew I just had to keep my guard up. I’m very proud of my guys and very proud of how we’ve improved each week and I can’t wait to get back here for the Ward Crozier Tribute in two weeks,” noted Strohl. For the fourth time in five races this season Beers has had to settle for second spot. Bear took fourth with Brian DeFebo rounding out the top five. “It was definitely an exciting race between Kyle, Bobby and I running three wide, splitting lapped cars and running through the field was a lot of fun. Kyle ran a perfect line and I feel I needed just a few more laps,” said Beers.
The Sportsman Modified feature was a race that also came down to the wire and coming out on top of the thrilling event was Avery Arthofer. Arthofer worked very hard for this one as she had to fend off a flurry of others and was locked in a tight battle with a number of opponents the entire time. She engaged in some very close two-wide action with Randy Ahner Jr., and then after shaking free of that tussle her sights were set on leader Troy Bollinger.Once again she would interlock in a two-by-two fight which Bollinger and she would swap back and forth. Her determined effort paid off when she took control for good with five laps to go but had to stave off a late race charge by first time starter Jayden Brown who came on like gangbusters as well as Ahner Jr., All three finished the race barely ahead of each other with Arthofer collecting her second career Sportsman Modified win and 10th overall.
The 30-lap Street Stock feature was conducted in a cone race format and sophomore driver Brandon Christman parleyed his outside row one restart position on lap six into a win. Under a caution on that circuit Christman chose to take the outside lane for the ensuing restart which put him second to leader Jamie Smith. When the action resumed Christman darted past Smith for the lead and there would be no looking back from then on as he soundly drove ahead of the pack the rest of the way. Randy Ahner. Jr., also utilized the cone restart to his advantage which assisted him to a runner-up finish. Thomas Flanagan ran a note-worthy race, staying near the front the whole time and eventually ending with a fulfilling third place tally.
In the Hobby Stock feature Jacob Boehm scored his first victory of the season, turning in a stellar run in the process. Boehm used a lap four restart to go past then leader Dave Imler Jr., and soon showed that it would be a race for second as he was able to keep a nearly two-car length distance from those behind him. For the most part that would be BJ Wambold who for the third straight week improved from fourth to third and now second. Nick Schaffer had his best effort to date, taking third at the finish.
When Jake Kibler rolled under starter Frank Mertz’s checker flag in the Pro 4 feature it not only was his first win of 2021 but an unparalleled 40th with the division. When the green flag dropped to commence the 20-lap affair Kibler quickly took control and would never look back en route to his record extending win. And while he was cruising out front there was a remained a hot battle for second that went to Randy Schaffer over Cody Kohler.
Deegen Underwood raced to not only his second Rookie Hobby Stock win but an overall victory as well in the event that pairs his class and the Futures together. Underwood jumped into the lead from his outside front row starting spot and stayed well ahead of the pack for the distance. At the checkers he outdid a strong running Reid Levengood, also a Rookie class driver. Brody George in the meantime took top honors in the Futures division for a fourth time in five starts.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Nick Baer, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Jesse Strohl, 7. Don Wagner, 8. John Markovic, 9. Carl Altemose, 10. Devin Schmidt, 11. Cody Kohler
Sportsman Modified Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Avery Arthofer, 2. Jayden Brown, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4 Paul Hartwig III, 5. Mia Guy, 6. Jared Ahner, 7. Bobby Butler, 8. Troy Bollinger, 9. Paul French Jr., 10. Payton Arthofer, 11. Frankie Althouse, 12. DJ Wagner
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Brandon Christman, 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. Thomas Flanagan, 4. Jamie Smith, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Tucker Muffley, 7. TJ Gursky, 8. Jon Moser, 9. Mark Martini, 10. Jill Snyder, 11. Rick Reichenbach, 12. Shayne Geist, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. Jason Gould, 15. Jacob Christman, 16. Logan Boyer, 17. Rich Moser, 18. Tobie Behler, 19. Cody Geist, 20. Lonnie Behler Jr., 21. Jeremy Scheckler
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Randy Schaffer, 3. Cody Kohler, 4. Kadie Purcell, 5. Robert Derfler, 6. Travis Solomon, 7. Josh Kuronya, 8. Tyler Stangle
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Jacob Boehm, 2. BJ Wambold, 3. Nick Schaffer, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Trisha Connolly, 6. Taylor Schmidt, 7. Cody Boehm, 8. James Tout, 9. Dave Imler, 10. Al Arthofer, 11. Slade Darragh, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Lyndsay Buss, 14. Ralph Borger JR. 15. Travis Solomon, 16. Tad Snyder, 17. Mallory Kutz, 18. Nickolas Kerstetter, 19. Justin Merkel, 20. Devin Schmidt, DNS: Ed Herman
Matt Hirschman takes RoC 75-lap opener and seventh straight Mahoning win on April 24; Austin Beers is runner-up in as many times
(April 24, 2021) For the seventh time in as many starts at Mahoning Valley Speedway Matt Hirschman has driven to victory, this time doing so for the season opening Race of Champions (RoC) Asphalt Modified Series 75-lapper. And, in each of those wins the runner-up has been Austin Beers. At one point the race had an extended stretch of green flag laps which put Hirschman as the pace setter but never by far. Bobby Jones was very tough on him and late into the event a strong Kyle Strohl was giving him a run before Beers took up the chase to the checkers. “That was a workout and sometimes it’s harder to do it from out front than it is when you’re coming from behind,” admitted Hirschman, who collected his 25th Mahoning win. “We took advantage of a good starting spot and the outside lane opened up. We got to the lead but as I said this was a harder drive then some of the ones when we come from the back.” An equal mix of RoC and Mahoning regulars made for a well-defined field. A redraw of the top 13 from the three heats run saw Snyder Jr., and Daryl Lewis Jr., on the front row and within one lap after the initial green Snyder led the way but on the subsequent tour the outside lane opened up in the path of Hirschman and he quickly vaulted to the lead. Jones, who won here the previous week, followed right behind and planted himself on Hirschman’s rear bumper while Snyder held steady in third. There was a few minor incidents on laps six, 13 and 19 that slowed the action but from that point it was stint of nonstop laps over next 36 circuits. All the while the front trio of Hirschman, Jones and Snyder stayed nose-to-tail. At lap 55 Lewis came to a halt which in turn prompted a caution. On that restart Hirschman and Jones where still one-two but into third came Strohl who had done a remarkable job of working up from 13th and then took second just prior what was the final caution with 14 laps remaining. At the same time Beers had also joined the front fray. As the race resumed Beers made a quick move to get around Strohl and from then on kept his sights set on Hirschman. Regrettably for him it was another runner-up. “I know it’s getting old for him (Beers) but I have to remember that when the roles are reversed not to get too frustrated because he was on the other end,” said Hirschman after “I actually preferred it if we kept going green because on the restarts the cars are tougher to handle and I was already starting to struggle on that last run.” For Beers and his runner-up to Hirschman hasn’t just been at Mahoning Valley but elsewhere as well. “We got pushed back pretty early and fell to about 17th but it we made a good recovery. When we got to second I saw that he (Hirschman) was loose and I stayed with him not thinking that I had a chance but I did and it kind of shocked me and I feel we could have gotten him but unfortunately we ran out of time,” explained Beers. “Matt is probably the best Modified driver right now and it’s good to know that we’re right with him and not just here but at different tracks too.” Zane Zeiner worked from as far back as 17th to take fourth while Don Wagner rounded out the top five.
In the Street Stock feature Jillian Snyder took the lead spot from Tucker Muffley halfway through the 30 lapper and once at the helm would never waver, going on to her first win since August 2017. The race was very captivating as the talented field put on a high speed spectacle of double-wide action for a good number of laps. Jamie Smith was controlling the way early on with Randy Green next to him while Muffley and Snyder held on directly behind. Muffley was able to slip to second on lap nine and the next time around he and Green worked around Smith. After a lap 14 restart it became a battle between Muffley and Snyder and in just one lap she was able to work underneath and assume the lead. Jon Moser charged up to second and continued to keep it close but there was no denying the determination to get back to winning for Snyder who drove to car length margin of victory.
Trisha Connolly won the Hobby Stock feature which once again was a highly competitive affair and thus far has become the norm. Connolly took the lead away from early leader Jaden Brown on lap six and soon thereafter was waging a fierce battle with Taylor Schmidt. At most times they raced side-by-side and taking his fight to the low lane Schmidt cast his way ahead with five laps to go. However, Connolly refused to fall back and with just two laps remaining did a bump and run that gave her back the position which she held onto for a scant victory, her first of the season.
In the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks it was another winning effort by Brody George and Greyson Ahner who took respective victories. The race actually came down to a last lap shootout as George used a restart with one to go to overtake Ahner. They then went bumper to bumper with George winning in the Futures class for a third time in four starts while Ahner was credited with the Rookies verdict for a record third straight time.
Modified Feature Finish (75-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Daren Scherer, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Daryl Lewis Jr., 11. Kirk Totten, 12. Rod Snyder Jr., 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Chris Risdale, 15. Sean Verwys, 16. Carl Altemose, 17. Cody Kohler, 18. Jim Gavek, 19. Danny Knoll Jr.
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Jillian Snyder, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Jonny Bennett, 4. Mark Martini, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Tucker Muffley, 7. Jacob Christman, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Cody Geist, 10. TJ Gursky, 11. Randy Ahner Jr., 12. Rick Reichenbach, 13. Brandon Christman, 14. Thomas Flanagan, 15. Randy Green, 16. Tobie Behler, 17. Jamie Smith, 18. Eric Kocher, 19. Logan Boyer, 20. Jason Gould DNQ: Jeremy Scheckler, Rich Moser
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Trisha Connolly, 2. Taylor Schmidt, 3. BJ Wambold, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Justin Merkel, 6. Devin Schmidt, 7. Jacob Boehm, 8. Cody Boehm, 9. Travis Solomon, 10. Al Arthofer, 11. Dave Imler Jr., 12. Nick Schaffer, 13. Lyndsay Buss, 14. Jaden Brown, 15. Tad Snyder, 16. James Tout, 17. Slade Darragh, 18. Ed Herman, 19. Mallory Kutz, 20. Ralph Borger Jr., 21. Nicholas Kerstetter
This coming Saturday afternoon, April 24 starting at 2:00 pm, Mahoning Valley Speedway is proud to play host to the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Series which will be the season opening event for the popular touring series. The feature race will be 75-lap lapper.
(April 21) This coming Saturday afternoon, April 24 starting at 2:00 pm, Mahoning Valley Speedway is proud to play host to the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Series which will be the season opening event for the popular touring series. The feature race will be 75-lap lapper.
It’s become commonplace that whenever the RoC comes to the Lehighton ¼-mile facility it’s always a toss-up of who is best between the tour steadies running with the always tough-to-beat home track regulars. Toss in a mix of independent drivers as well and Saturday’s action will most certainly have all the makings of a great afternoon of asphalt racing.
Bobby Jones, who was the most recent winner on April 17 and is the current Modified point leader, will lead the brigade of track regulars. Patrick Emerling is the defending RoC champion and whenever he makes the trip to Mahoning Valley he proves to be a contender. While there will be a very good assembly from both sides, most know that Matt Hirschman will be an odds on favorite, having won his last six straight starts at Mahoning which included the 2020 RoC season finale.
Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks will also be in action.
Pit gates will open at 9:00 a.m. Pit entrance fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Grandstands will open at noon. Adult admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
This will be the final 2:00 pm start time. Starting May 1 races will get underway beginning at 5:00 pm. On the slate will be Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, in a cone race, Hobby Stocks, Pro 4s and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks.
The 71st annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2021 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.
Bobby Jones picks up first Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified win of season; Lorin Arthofer II tops in Late Models on April 17
(April 17, 2021) For the past four years Bobby Jones had a unique streak going which was winning the Modified feature on the second week of the season. That, however, ended last week with his third place finish although it wasn’t for lack of trying. So with one streak over a new one began as Jones picked up his first victory of 2021 coming on week three. And what a tough battle it was for Jones. After taking the lead from Brian DeFebo with nine laps to go he then had to fend off Nevin George before parking his Franzosa Trucking/APS Powder Coating No. 1J in Victory Lane. “Sure we would have liked to have won last week but this hopefully will start a new trend of winning for us early in the season,” said Jones after picking up his 30th Modified feature at Mahoning Valley. “We’ve been working on something new here and it’s definitely getting better and I don’t think it was exactly right today but it’s definitely in the right direction. It was hard fought that’s for sure.” The race began with Kyle Strohl and Jesse Strohl (no relation) sharing the front row. At the end of the opening circuit K. Strohl showed the way while J. Strohl and Earl Paules ran side-by-side for second. Paules would acquire the runner-up spot by lap four and then applied plenty of pressure on leader K. Strohl. The tension by Paules paid off when he used a lap 14 restart to take over the lead but it would be short lived as DeFebo slipped underneath him on a start over two laps later. Not long afterwards Paules tried to move under DeFebo but got crossed up, spun and collected several others in the wake. When the field was reset DeFebo and Jones where one and two with George and Austin Beers battling for third. The lead pair would soon engage in a torrid fight and on lap 25 Jones put his front wheels inside of DeFebo coming off Turn 4. When they entered the first corner DeFebo suddenly checked up and Jones snatched the front spot with George following in close pursuit. The rest of the way Jones would hold on despite a noble effort from George. DeFebo and Beers where next in line with Don Wagner rounding out the top five. “It was all good hard racing and you look back at the list of guys in this race and all of them have achieved something here. In this Modified field you cannot sit still from the time the green waves and right up to the checkers,” noted Jones.
The Late Model division got on track for the first time this season and there was no denying the drive by winner Lorin Arthofer II who jumped into the lead from the get-go and was never in a position to let it go. Starting on the outside pole, Arthofer overtook Rich Cooper and immediately set sail from the pack. Early on Nick Ross kept him in sight until getting turned six laps in. 2020 champion Geno Steigerwalt was then second to Arthofer but he too could not match up and likewise with James Yons who took over as runner-up on lap 10 but as for making a stab at the leader it wasn’t to be. Arthofer, who was making his first Late Model start since 2018, proved best and raced to his 42nd overall career win. Interesting to note the last time the car saw action was at the end of last season and Arthofer’s daughter, Avery, won the feature.
The Street Stock main was a thrilling contest that was decided at the finish line between winner Johnny Bennett and rookie Tobie Behler. For 29 of the 30 laps Behler continued to hold off Bennett but when the white flag waved it began a bump and bang run between the two. Bennett squeezed inside of Behler in an attempt to get the lead which he did. However, Behler despite getting slightly loose regained his composure and returned the favor to Bennett. They were now two-by-two as they exited Turn 4 and at the line Bennett, who was on the outside, eked out the victory.
Devin Schmidt’s Hobby Stock win was close to the same electrifying outcome as he too needed every bit of the 25-laps to ensure his first triumph of the year. Schmidt was locking horns with Cody Boehm and point leader Al Arthofer, who had won the first two races and pressing hard to make it three in a row. On a restart with two laps to go Schmidt stayed ahead while Boehm and Arthofer went double file. As the trio reached the checkers Schmidt held on while Boehm nipped Arthofer for second spot.
Defending Pro 4 champion Cody Kohler made his first class start of the season a good one as he took charge of the race from Randy Schaffer with four laps to go and headed off to victory.
Prior to the Pro 4 feature the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock race took place and Kohler’s sister, Makayla was celebrating victory with the Futures and it marked the first time that a brother and sister won features on the same day.
Also winning was Greyson Ahner who for the second time in as many weeks took the checker flag and overall win with the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Nevin George, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Rod Snyder Jr., 7.Cody Kohler, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Bobby Butler, 11. Carl Altemose, 12. Jesse Strohl, 13. Mia Guy, 14. Earl Paules, 15. John Markovic, 16. Jack Ely, 17. Terry Markovic
Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps) 1. Lorin Arthofer, 2. James Yons, 3. Geno Steigerwalt, 4. Nick Ross, 5. Brian Romig Jr., 6. Mark Hudson, 7. Brooks Smith, 8. Rich Cooper, 9. Brian Romig Sr., 10. Seth VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1.John Bennett, 2. Tobie Behler, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Jon Moser, 5. Cody Geist, 6. Mark Martini, 7. Randy Ahner, 8. TJ Gursky, 9. Randy Green, 10. Ruck Reichenbach, 11. Thomas Flanagan, 12. Jacob Christman, 13. Mark Deysher, 14. Rich Moser, 15. Jill Snyder, 16. Jamie Smith, 17. Brandon Christman, 18. Tucker Muffley, 19. Earl Paules, 20. Bobby Kibler Jr. DNQ: Jason Gould, Frank Del Nero Jr.
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps) 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Robert Derfler, 5. Josh Kuronya, 6. Kadie Pursell, 7. Terry Peters, 8. Jeremy Guerra
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Devin Schmidt, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Al Arthofer, 4. BJ Wambold, 5. Justin Merkel, 6. Travis Solomon, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. Nick Schaffer, 9. Corey Edelman, 10. Kevin Behler, 11. Slade Darragh, 12. Tony Hilliard, 13. Taylor Schmidt, 14. Jacob Boehm, 15. Micah Adams, 16. Mackenzie Adams, 17. Lyndsay Buss, 18. Herman Neff, 19. Dave Imler Jr., 20. James Tout DNQ: Ralph Borger Jr., Nicholas Kerstetter, Ed Herman, Jacob Oswald
Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps) 1. Greyson Ahner, 2. Makayla Kohler, 3. Dave Kerr, 4. Gary Lerch, 5. Savannah Romig, 6. Zoe Kuchera, 7. Adam Steigerwalt, 8. Maggie Yeakel, 9. Deegan Underwood, 10. Reid Levengood, 11. Brody George
Late Models join race card this Saturday at Mahoning Valley Speedway
(Lehighton 4-12-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway rolls into week three of the 2021 season this coming Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm with a six division program of stock car racing which includes Modifieds, the first appearance of the season for the Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks.
The Late Model division remains a staple among the great classes at the paved ¼-mile oval, second only to the Modifieds in the number of total features held, dating back to the days of dirt. When Pete Lovell won the first Late Model feature on pavement on July 24, 1970 there has since been 710 features run and 127 different winners on the blacktop. And, with an unprecedented 56 class wins Mike Sweeney, a two-time champion, remains the all-time wins leader. Geno Steigerwalt won the 2021 championship, his first ever.
The day’s action will consist of heats, last chance qualifiers and features. Pit gates will open at 9:00 a.m. Pit entrance fees are $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Grandstands will open at noon. Adult admission is $14, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. A paid-practice is slated from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm. Regular warm-ups will begin at noon Sign-ins are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
On Saturday afternoon, April 24 at 2:00 pm the Race of Champions Modified Series competitors are gearing up to head to Mahoning Valley Speedway for the Series opener. Also in action will be Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks.
Matt Hirschman returns for a second week and repeats as Mahoning Valley Speedway winner on April 10
(April 10, 2021) Matt Hirschman took advantage of a rare weekend off from his usual traveling the region to more high profile events, instead returning to his home base of Mahoning Valley Speedway and in doing so was able to claim a second straight win in the process. Hirschman, who was fresh off of a thrilling Opening Day photo finish victory over Austin Beers in the Bill Teel Tribute, once again bested his fellow Northampton opponent only this time he would be the one in control rather than the week prior when he had to chase down leader. Hirschman drew the pole for the 35-lap contest and would stay out-front the entire distance for his seventh win in 11 starts this season. “We really only had the option of racing closer to home. It’s been a busy early season and the plan was to not race at all this weekend and prep for the upcoming races but we made a last minute decision and I’m glad we did,” said Hirschman, who picked up his 24th career win at Mahoning Valley and sixth in as many starts. “I think the longer the race went on we needed to improve a little on the handling. On a shorter run like today we were okay but I think if the race continued I feel we were going to struggle a little.” At the outset Hirschman jumped to the early lead over Nick Baer and Earl Paules. Paules then took second spot on lap six and was able to stay very close to the leader. Bobby Jones, who had raced up to third on lap seven, was also running strong and remaining nearby the front pair. The race was slowed for the first time on lap 13 when Kyle Strohl spun in Turn 3. Under that caution Paules was pulled to the side by officials to check for leaking and it was confirmed positive which then sent him pit-side. On the restart Jones took aim at Hirschman but the No. 60 again had the upper hand. By lap 21 Beers propelled into second spot and it was yet again a familiar scene playing out between the two Mud Lane racers – running one-two while battling for the win. Unlike the last week though when Beers led until the finish line and was overtaken by Hirschman, there would be no denying the Harry’s U-Pull-It No. 60 as he drove to a car length margin of victory. “We’re not use to racing here in daytime conditions and last week during the opener I don’t think was a true reading on the track and out next show for us planned is the (April 24) RoC here in two weeks and it’s again a day show,” said Hirschman. “I prefer the night shows and I think we have it dialed in but that’s why we’re here today to see if we can get a little bit better because I feel we need to for the 75-lap RoC race.” Jones took third with Brian DeFebo and Baer rounding out the top five.
The Sportsman Modifieds ran their first race of the season with a mix of seasoned veterans and fresh talent and to put that into a better prospective 53-year old journeyman Don Wagner, who was making his first start with the class, held off 10-year old Paulie Hartwig III and 17-year old Kassidy Altemose in gaining his 40th overall career win. Another analogy to consider is Wagner’s first win came in 1989, 32 years ago, which is more than the combined age of Hartwig and Altemose. Wagner had the pole for the outset of the 25-lap affair and took charge immediately. Behind him was a bevy a close action with Jared Ahner, Hartwig and Peyton Arthofer all making Wagner stay sharp. Then with three laps to go the pressure was turned up on Wagner which began when Ahner and Arthofer tangled and brought out the caution. On the restart Hartwig was second with Altemose third. Over the remaining laps Wagner kept his car on the bottom in defense while the younger pair went into a torrid side-by-side battle. As the checkers waved for veteran it took time to determine second spot which went to Hartwig by a mere .001-second margin. “The young guys are our future and I’m so happy we got some young talent and that’s also why we built this car to support this division and I think it’s going to continue to get better and better and grow into an awesome division,” said Wagner. “Those young kids kept me busy for sure and it was really nice to park it in Victory Lane today. Myself and the team still try hard to put a lot of effort into all this and we’ll run this car and the Modified throughout the season.”
TJ Gursky took the lead in the Street Stock feature at the drop of the race commencing green and from there on never looked back. The strong running Gursky was picture perfect with each passing lap and while he was commanding the field Brandon Christman was holding onto second, however, on lap 13 Gursky’s teammate Mark Martini made the pass to run behind the leader and one lap latter came Opening Day winner Randy Ahner Jr., who is the third team member with the front two who all race for owners Rip and Vicki Ripkey. When Gursky crossed the finish line it would mark his first victory since 2015 and the first time a three-car team took the top three spots in a feature at Mahoning Valley.
The Hobby Stock feature was a barnburner affair from start to finish and even though Al Arthofer won for the second week in a row it took him nearly all of the 25 laps to do so. The race was filled with two and at times three-wide action beginning with Taylor Schmidt and Jacob Boehm for the better part of the race. Then over the final eight laps Arthofer, who had just nipped Travis Solomon for third, made it a three car battle for the lead – three-wide as a matter of fact. Arthofer ran the outside lane and with three laps to go powered into the lead which he would hold to the end. Schmidt held on for second over Boehm.
In the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks Greyson Ahner, a Rookie, led flag to flag for his first ever stock car win, Closing in at a rapid pace was Brody George who notched the win in the Futures, his second straight.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Brian DeFebo, 5. Nick Baer, 6. Cody Kohler, 7. Terry Markovic, 8. Jesse Strohl, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Earl Paules
Sportsman Modified Feature Finish (25-laps) 1. Don Wagner, 2. Paul Hartwig III, 3. Kassidy Altemose, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 5. Carl Altemose, 6. Avery Arthofer, 7. Kevin Kromer, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Troy Bollinger, 10. Payton Arthofer, 11. Jarred Ahner, 12. Danielle Paules
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Mark Martini, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Earl Paules, 5. Brandon Christman, 6. Jill Snyder, 7. Thomas Flanagan, 8. Mark Deysher, 9. Jon Moser, 10. Tucker Muffley, 11. Jacob Christman, 12. Jeremy Scheckler, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. Randy Green, 15. Cody Geist, 16. Jaime Smith, 17. Toby Behler, 18. Logan Boyer, 19. John Bennett
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Al Arthofer, 2. Taylor Schmidt, 3. Jacob Boehm, 4. Travis Solomon, 5. Devin Schmidt, 6. Nick Schaeffer, 7. Corey Edelman, 8. Cody Boehm, 9. Trisha Connolly, 10. Justin Merkel, 11. James Tout, 12. Lyndsay Buss, 13. Dave Imler Jr., 14. Jaden Brown, 15. Ed Herman, 16. Jake Oswald, 17. Ralph Borger Jr., 18. Mallory Kutz, 19. Kevin Behler, 20. Nicholas Kerstetter DNQ: Herman Neff, Kip George, Slade Darragh
Sportsman Modifieds set for 2021 debut this Saturday, April 10 at Mahoning Valley Speedway (Lehighton 4-7-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway is coming off a great season opener – race number one of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series Bill Teel Tribute – which featured some outstanding racing including the long-to-be-talked-about Modified photo finish between Matt Hirschman and Austin Beers. With that thrilling day in the rear view mirror now begins the full slate of regular season point races beginning this Saturday afternoon, April 10 with a five division card of stock car action at the ¼-mile paved bullring. Race time is 2:00 p.m. On the program will be Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks. There is much anticipation, too, with the Sportsman Modifieds racing for the first time in 2021. The fledgling class, now entering its fourth year of existence, had a respectable showing of cars last season, however, no thanks to the on goings of the Coronavirus that cut the calendar of events substantially, the division was only able to get on track four times. And, even though Earl Paules won three of the four features held, there was indeed a fair amount of close racing nonetheless. Over the offseason meetings with owners and drivers where held and some rules where adjusted to conform with similar Sportsman classes throughout the region which in turn has led to track tech officials fielding numerous calls from teams planning to compete. Matter of fact during the recent Test and Tune teams from as far away as Buffalo, NY came down to practice as well as a host of others both locally and regionally. Pit gates will open at 9:00 a.m. Pit entrance fees are $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Grandstands will open at noon. Adult admission is $14, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. A paid-practice is slated from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm. Regular warm-ups will begin at noon Sign-ins are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Hirschman over Beers in photo finish at Mahoning Valley Speedway season opener April 3
(April 3, 2021) You couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season at Mahoning Valley Speedway with an incredible Modified finish that was decided by a whisker by two drivers who came from deep in the pack as 13th starting Matt Hirschman nipped Austin Beers, who drove to the lead from 16th on the grid, for the win in the opening round of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Bill Teel Tribute, equally exiting action in the support classes, a sun splashed afternoon and a five division program that was in the books in just a bit over four hours.
And, for Hirschman, he may have chocked another victory at the paved quarter mile oval – his fifth in a row and 23rd overall – but it was by far one of the most hard-earned yet. After a revenge draw, Hirschman used every bit of talent he had to execute his drive to victory as he was placed to the back after getting caught up in a lap seven dust up, then methodically picked his way back with savvy driving and the help of a sprinkling of cautions. Within the final half dozen laps he was able to move past Zane Zeiner and Jack Ely leaving only Beers to contend with which immediately began a fierce side-by-side duel.Beers would actually catch a break with three laps to go when a caution flew and the ensuing restart would go single file, however, Hirschman went right back at it and as the white flag waved it was a hard charging battle to the end. The pair where dead even as they rolled out of turn four and when they crossed the finish line it was determined that Hirschman was barely ahead to claim the verdict. “That was a hell of finish and I’ve been a part of some amazing last lap finishes this year and we keep coming out on top and it’s an awesome way to win a race but it also stinks to lose a race that way too,” expressed Hirschman. “The fans were certainly treated to a great finish whether they were cheering for us or Austin (Beers), they got a great race and at the end of the day that’s what you come to see,” he continued. “We actually got handicapped twice between the redraw and then getting spun near the start but you never give up and that’s always been my motto, never give up until the checkered flag falls.” The thrilling finish between Hirschman and Beers was only part of the story. At the outset Nevin George overtook pole sitter Ely for the early lead but then gave way to Zeiner after a lap-12 restart. Bobby Jones was then glued to Zeiner’s rear bumper with George just as close. Zeiner and Jones continued on one-two until Ely found a burst to get by Jones with 39 laps in and the next time around did the same to Zeiner. Following Ely was his teammate Beers who wasted little time in taking the DeLange Racing No. 45 to the front as the field recorded 43 laps. It was evident to both Beers and Ely that Hirschman was on their heels and they worked there best to keep him at bay. But after Hirschman passed Ely the stage was set to the thrilling run to the checkers. “The laps where ticking off and once it got past 50 I was thinking ‘Man 14 laps and we’re in sixth spot and we have to do something quick.’ Then things started to open up and we made some good passes,” explained Hirschman. “People may not like that we’re winning and our success but there isn’t one guy at this race track that can be mad about me today and the way I raced them and it was a good entertaining finish and you’re going to leave here talking about this finish for a long time.” For the second time in as many races Beers finished second to Hirschman at Mahoning. They closed out 2020 in the same order and a number of times prior to this race as well. “It was very tough to swallow this one but I’m sure it was a great show for the fans, what a race. It was an honor to race in the memory of Bill Teel,” said Beers. “Our right rear (tire) went around lap 45 so that didn’t help but honestly to finish second to Matt (Hirschman), it’s hard to swallow because it’s happened now several times but I think we’re going to get him soon.” Taking third was Tyler Haydt, who’s Future Homes Custom Builders stepped with additional first place money. Ely hung in for fourth while Brian DeFebo rounded out the top five,
In the Street Stock main it was Randy Ahner Jr., scoring a solid win over Mark Deysher for his 23rd career class victory. Ahner took the lead with eight laps to go after passing impressive rookie Jacob Christman. Christman, who was in his very first stock car race, picked the pole and when the green flag dropped exhibited no indication of this being his solo outing as he was holding back one of the premier veterans in Todd Ahner and doing so with self-confidence and just plan good driving. On a lap 20 restart Christman was still leading while R. Ahner overhauled T. Ahner for second. The upstart was still maintaining his lead nonetheless, running a good line that enabled him to hold off the charge of R. Ahner. However, a power steering hose let go and made it problematic for him to uphold his spot, as R. Ahner would step to the outside of Christman and complete the race winning pass as 22 laps went into the books. Deysher, TJ Gursky, Johnny Bennett, Shayne Geist and Johnny Bennett run in a close pack but not close enough to challenge R. Ahner who scored his 39th overall career win. Unfortunately for Christman, his noteworthy debut ended three laps short as the culprit steering hose would be his demise.
Reigning and two-time Hobby Stock champion Al Arthofer came out firing on all cylinders as he cruised to the Opening Day victory. Arthofer, who started seventh, zipped by early leader Ryan Berger on lap 14 of 25. From there on the throttled down and continued to distance himself from the pack, ultimately taking a nearly two second margin of victory over Berger. While Arthofer was pulling away Trisha Connolly and Justin Merkel ran under a blanket with Berger and would cross the finish line in the order. Cody Boehm held off his brother Jacob Boehm to compete the top five.
In the Pro 4 main Josh Kuronya started out the season the same way he ended it, with a victory. Kuronya closed out 2020 with his career first win leading every lap in the process. In a carbon copy he again led the distance and did so while fending off perennial division kingpin Jake Kibler.
Also on the card was the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock that ran a combined feature. Out front when the checkers waved was Brody George who led from lap two. Runner-up and credited with the Rookie victory was Deegan Underwood who notably drove a great first ever race.
Modified Feature Finish (64-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Tyler Haydt, 4. Jack Ely, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Zane Zeiner, 7. Nick Bear, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Don Wagner, 10. Austin Kochenash, 11. Kyle Strohl, 12. Blake Barney, 13. Cody Kohler, 14. Sean Verwys, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Rod Snyder Jr., 17. Brian Romig, 18. John Markovic, 19. Nevin George, 20. Terry Markovic, 21. Bobby Jones, 22. Jacob Kerstetter DNQ: Jesse Strohl
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Randy Ahner Jr., 2. Mark Deysher, 3. TJ Gursky, 4. Shayne Geist, 5. John Bennett, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Jon Moser, 8. Bob Kibler, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Jill Snyder, 11. Jeremy, 12. Tobie Behler, 13. Randy Green, 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Logan Boyer, 16. Brandon Christman, 17. Mark Martini, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Todd Ahner, 20. Jacob Christman, 21. Thomas Flanagan
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Al Arthofer, 2. Ryan Berger, 3. Trisha Connolly, 4. Justin Merkel, 5. Cody Boehm, 6. Jacob Boehm, 7. Taylor Schmidt, 8. Devin Schmidt, 9. Travis Solomon, 10. Corey Edelman, 11. Lyndsay Buss, 12. Nick Schaffer, 13. Jaden Brown, 14. Slade Darragh, 15. Mallory Kutz, 16. Ed Herman, 17. Savannah Romig, 18. James Tout, 19. Nicholas Kerstetter, 20. Corey Gulich DNQ: Rich Mutarelli, Dave Imler, Jake Oswald, Tony Hilliard, Kerry Boehm, Ralph Borger Jr., Kip George
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Josh Kuronya, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Kadie Purcell, 5. Terry Peters, 6. Robert Derfler, 7. Tyler Stangle, 8. Jeremy Guerra
Mahoning Valley Speedway season opener John Blewett, Inc., Hall of Fame Series Bill Teel Tribute this coming Saturday at 2:00 pm
(3-28-21) With the third and final day of Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Test and Tune/Opening Day Fast Time held Saturday afternoon, April 27, all focus now turns to the much anticipated start of the 2021 season at the popular paved ¼-mile Lehighton oval with race number one of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) Bill Teel Tribute. Race time is 2:00 p.m.
Thanks in part to Future Homes Custom Builders of Lehighton the feature winner of the 64-lap Modified portion of the MVSHoFS will collect a cool $3500 plus through the big-heartedness of the Teel/George families an additional $1160 has been affixed into the purse with an emphasis on the second half of the finishing order. Tenth place will pay $500 while it will be $300 to take the green.
“We’re really excited to kick off the 2021 season and the Hall of Fames Series by paying tribute to the late, great champion Bill Teel and with the amazing support from Tyler Haydt and Future Homes, the family and friends of Bill (Teel) and also having John Blewett Inc., onboard for the whole Series, it’s all making for what should be a fantastic day of racing,” said Mahoning Valley promoter Keith Hoffman. “After our final Test and Tune/Opening Day Fast Time session I can assure you that all indications are in favor of a great turnout of cars for all classes. Last year’s Hall of Fames Series was nothing short of thrilling and we’re stoked get back to racing with the Bill Teel Tribute.”
The Street Socks and Hobby Stocks will also be racing as part of the MVSHoFS plus the card will include the Pro 4s and Future/Rookie Hobby Stocks. Cutting Edge Designs of Lehighton will be paying a $50 bonus to the winner of the Hobby Stock feature and will also reward $50 to the driver of the same race who is running 14th on the 14th lap. Ahner’s Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning of Palmerton has kicked in $100 to the Futures and Rookie Hobby Stock victors plus a $50 bonus if a Rookie driver is the overall winner. And a $50 Hard Luck payout will be presented as well.
This past Saturday saw four-time track champion Rod Snyder Jr., set the fast time for the Modifieds at 10.024-seconds while two-time Street Stock champ Randy Ahner Jr., was quickest with that class with an 11.796-second lap and Mallory Kutz locked down the top time with the Hobby Stocks with a time 12.048-seconds – her time was set on March 13 and held over all three practice days. That trio has been awarded a guaranteed pick in the feature redraw of their respective divisions for the season lid-lifter and are also receiving $50 each courtesy of Hoffman Discount Parts, Aqua-Duck Water Transport and “The Voice” Dino Oberto.
Pit gates on Opening Day will open at 9:00 a.m. Pit entrance fees are $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Grandstands will open at noon. Adult admission is $20, $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free.
There will be a visit by the Easter Bunny who will be handing out treats to all the youngsters on hand. A paid-practice is slated from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm. Regular warm-ups will begin at noon Sign-ins are from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. All MVSHoFS features will pick for heat starting spots and do a redraw for the features. The Modifieds will hold a revenge draw for their starting grid line-up.
Bobby Kibler Sr., and Cody Boehm are quickest in second round of Mahoning Valley Speedway Fast Time runs March 20
(3-20-21) The second of three preseason Test and Tune/Opening Day Fast Time runs were held at Mahoning Valley Speedway with competitors on hand to take advantage of a picture perfect Saturday afternoon and all with the focus on preparation for the start of the 2021 season which begins April 3. The purpose of the shake-down runs was twofold. For the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks it was a chance for one driver from each of those classes to lock themselves into a guaranteed pill pick for the Opening Day race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS) Bill Teel Tribute while they and the other divisions on hand got a feel for the hard work that went into their cars over the off-season. Clicking off the fastest times after two scheduled rounds where Bobby Kibler Sr., in the Street Stocks at 11.825-seconds and Cody Boehm in the Hobby Stocks with a top lap of 12.205-seconds. Kibler’s time was also the quickest after two weekends held thus far as he bested Brandon Christman, who had been at the top of the charts from the previous week’s timed runs. Boehm, although quickest on the day, was not swift enough to unseat Mallory Kutz who laid down the division’s top time at 12.048 the week prior. There were several Modifieds in house but those individuals deferred on time until the final Test and Tune/Opening Day Fast Time day on March 27 as they were still tweaking their mounts. With next Saturday’s final practice run coming in advance of the season opener it is expected to be a very busy afternoon. Pits will open at 10:00 am with on track activities beginning at noon. The 2021 lid-lifter is slated for 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 3. On the card will be Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks – which will all be part of the MVSHoFS – plus Pro 4s and Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks. Also taking place at the season’s first event will be the disbursement of point fund monies from 2020.
Sean Verwys looking to build on solid rookie Modified year…will run Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series and Race of Champions Tour in 2021
(Mahoning Speedway - Feb 2021) The shortened 2020 race season at Mahoning Valley Speedway was not much different than other tracks that had to deal with the delayed start all due to the coronavirus pandemic. By not getting on track until mid-June drivers had to fight twice as hard working for a win knowing that half a season was already lost. That same aspect applied for rookie drivers too who looked-for the needed seat time in order to hone their skillset and in the Modified ranks at the paved ¼-mile oval there was a young contender who despite the limited racing turned quite a few heads by the time the season completed.
Sean Verwys of East Stroudsburg, a 17-year old who was a true-blue Modified rookie in 2020, earned satisfactory grades thanks to some clean driving and consistent finishes. For a Modified apprentice Verwys scored a respectable sixth in points that included a pair of top five’s and five top ten’s in only nine starts. “As a team we looked at 2020 as a huge stepping point. My uncles raced Modifieds for quite a few years and could never put up the numbers like we did last year and not because of talent but rather what they had to work with,” said Verwys, a second generation driver. “The biggest thing was to get as much seat time as possible and gain that experience trying to do better and keep improving, that’s our entire goal.”Like most others he began in karting and did the ladder climb which included Bandolero and Legends before getting seated in the Modified. “Legends cars really taught me so much on how to drive. The Modified has given me a lot more consistency in tire management,” said Verwys.
Although there is plenty of support from his family and others, the team mainly consists of just him and his dad Bill, who is also a driver. They work out a one-car garage putting in countless hours in order to race. “I can’t thank him enough for everything he does for me. He’s my engineer, crew chief, my ride to the track, my tire changer, he’s everything,” said Verwys.
For Verwys last year was a realization come to fruition running a Modified at Mahoning Valley Speedway. It meant competing against a huge host of star power drivers whom he admired for a long time. “The drivers I literally watched since I was a kid sitting in the stands – Bobby Jones, Brian DeFebo, Earl Paules, Matt Hirschman, Eric and Austin Beers, Don Wagner and the list goes on with the amount of talent there is at Mahoning,” he explained.
“It’s said how it’s one of the toughest tracks in the country for how hard it is to pass and to just the pure stout competition for this area. It was really awesome for me to not only race against those guys but also gain their respect,” he continued. “I know at the beginning of the year they may have been cautious to drive alongside me but by the end of the season I felt confident enough that anyone can go side-by-side with us and we all held our own.” Amazingly it didn’t take long to show his ability as he raced to his first top-5 in just his second start. He drove the rest of the year always smooth and clean before capping off the final point race with a second top five. “Getting those two top-5s during the year was awesome because not only to you see the drivers who are in front of you and are ‘name’ drivers but you also have those behind you that are just as good with all the years of experience and here I was in the middle of all them in just my first year of Modifieds,” disclosed Verwys. With the 2021 season just around the corner Verwys will be looking to build on his rookie momentum in more ways than one. After recently applying for and receiving early graduate status at East Stroudsburg High School, he has begun studies in High Performance and Regular Automotive at the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in Lima, OH. “I want to learn as much as possible to better our own racing program but also build connections within the sport whether it be working in a race shop or even better yet getting an opportunity to drive,” he noted. With studies taking precedence, his race plans will be fine-tuned to work around that. UNOH is basically a year-round school. He will be back at Mahoning Valley, limited albeit, and he is looking towards action on the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Series.
At Mahoning he will run the entire Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series. He wants to contend for RoC Rookie of the Year also. “Right now we’re leaning on doing the full RoC Tour and go for Rookie of the Year there and that means hitting Mahoning for the first race and all of the (Mahoning) Hall of Fame Series races. We’ve been looking at taking in a race or two at Evergreen (Raceway). We’ll have some time off of school in August but the biggest thing is where’s the budget at and how will the car be.” With his eye-catching 2020 Verwys feels confident that a first of many wins is close at hand. “The top 10’s will lead to top 5’s and eventually a win and that first win is going to mean close to everything,” he admits. “I’ve been watching Modifieds since I was old enough to remember and these are the cars that are steppingstones to get into the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour or maybe getting my name even further out there.
“That win – when it comes – is going to hopefully project my name out there and have people see that even though we don’t have the big bucks we’re still a solid team that is able to contend. I feel we’re a good driver and a good team able to race against the big names and talented drivers.” Verwys will be back on track when Mahoning Valley Speedway kicks off the 2021 season on Saturday, April 3 at 2:00 pm which is the opening event of the Hall of Fame Series featuring the Bill Teel Tribute. He’ll then be right back at Mahoning on April 24 when the RoC begins their season with a 75-lapper slated for 2:00 pm. “We wanted to show that we were there to contend.”
John Blewett, Inc., Is named title sponsor of the 2021 Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series
(March 9, 2021). When Jimmy Showtime Blewett made his first, and so far only appearance, at Lehighton, Pennsylvania's Mahoning Valley Speedway in last season’s opening round of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fames Series (MVSHoFS), not so surprisingly the driver best known as “Showtime” came away with the popular win in the John ‘Peepers’ Yerger Tribute.
Driving Scott Brannick’s North American Sprinkler Construction No. 51, Blewett was in the right place at the right time in gaining the victory. After front runners Eric Beers and Matt Hirschman tangled late in the race the lead was then handed over to third running Blewett who was able to hold off hard charging Joshua Scherer and Blake Barney.
In many different ways Blewett came away very impressed with his time spent at the ¼-mile bullring including the MVSHoFS itself and has thus stepped in to become the title sponsor of the Series through his family run John Blewett, Inc. Auto & Scrap Metal Recycling of Howell, NJ.
“I feel that there’s a lot of history there and after finally getting on track last year and seeing what they did that first night – that was the first race in the post-pandemic and we had a chance to all go racing again after not really having the opportunity to do anything before that and when Mahoning opened up with that initial Hall of Fame race it was one heck of show,” explained Blewett.
“For me not ever being there before and seeing the support that the local fans as well as all those who traveled from outside the area was phenomenal and it was great to see so many familiar faces and many more new ones,” he continued.
“I’d never been where guys like Tony Hirschman and Eric Beers grew up racing and a lot of other drivers too who came out of that region and are remarkable so to go there and be able to race and take in such a positive atmosphere and with the history, it meant something to us.”
Blewett also has a solid relationship with Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman and his late brother Doug Hoffman that also led to him offering his support to the MVSHoFS. “Doug and Keith (Hoffman) being a good friends of mine I figured it would be something that we would like to be a part,” reflected Blewett.
“Keith called me and asked about us helping out the Hall of Fames Series, which I think is an awesome series, and if we would be willing to do something and I felt this was fitting for us.”
John Blewett Inc., Auto & Scrap Metal Recycling is a family owned and operated company that was established in 1953. They buy and pay cash for old metal. They are also fully equipped to handle all demolition and excavation jobs. For more info on all their services visit: https://www.johnblewett.com
The MVSHoFS was launched last year and became an instant success. It consisted of a five race series run amongst the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. The Modified features were all extra distance/high dollar shows and centered on a select group of Hall of Fame drivers and their signature car numbers.
“It’s cool that we can pay tribute to drivers who are not racing anymore or may have passed away but there’s great memories with all of them,” said Hoffman.
“The whole Hall of Fame Series is something we could all be proud of and I’m really excited for what the 2021 edition will bring. We’re going to be building on what we did and with the honorees we have lined up for this year it looks like another great Hall of Fame Series is in store and we can’t be happier to welcome John Blewett, Inc., Auto & Scrap Metal Recycling as the official Series sponsor. Jimmy (Blewett) is a great guy and a great racer and we’re thankful for his support.”
Before Blewett making his Mahoning debut he conferred with track kingpin Eric Beers, a multi-time champion and the all-time leader in Modified wins.
“It’s a racy track and one of those tracks that was always on my bucket list and Eric Beers was a lot of help to me going there. I had some ideas of what I wanted but I wasn’t 100% sure so I called him and he told me do this, this and this and we’ll be just fine. He guided me to where I needed to be competitive,” acknowledged Blewett.
“It was good and perhaps one of the best experiences I’ve had in racing. People may say it’s just Mahoning but no, to be able to go out there and win that race and have help from someone you looked up to your whole life was something I’ll always remember.”
The first of the five events begins with the season opening Bill Teel Tribute on April 3. Next will be the Ward Crozier Sr., Tribute on May 15 followed by the Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Tribute slated for June 19. On July 31 the Lorin Arthofer Tribute is in line and the conclusion will be the Hall of Fame Classic Weekend on October 1-2 and highlighted by the Paul Bauscher Tribute.
Mahoning Valley Speedway will begin on track action with three consecutive weekends of Test and Tune days tentatively set for March 13, 20 & 27 from noon to 4:00 pm. Opening Day will begin at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 3 with a rained date if needed for April 17.
As for Blewett he did verify that he will not be making the season opener but has not ruled out a return to Mahoning at any time this season.
“I’m hoping that this year we can get back out here and have some fun and see everybody. My car owner Scott Brannick is also hoping to get back there. It really will come down to how my schedule is. It could come down to a weekend when we say hey let’s go to Mahoning instead of here or there. We want to show our support,” said Blewett.
Mahoning Valley Speedway 2021 schedule unveiled (LEHIGHTON, PA. 1-31-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway has put the finishing touches on the 2021 race schedule and is excited to release what is geared toward another worthwhile season for fans and race teams of the paved ¼-mile oval located just west of Lehighton. One of the central highpoints is the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS). The MVSHoFS is the brainchild of Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman and after a very successful debut last year that gained rave reviews, the 2021 group of honorees for the special five race series will include Bill Teel, Ward Crozier Sr., Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Lorin Arthofer Sr., and Paul Bauscher. “I think we have really put together a well-rounded schedule that has something for everyone,” said Hoffman, now starting his second season at the helm. “Obviously after the huge success of the Hall of Fame Series we were thrilled in naming the honorees for 2021 and as you can see it’s quite a class of distinctive individuals who played a major role in the history of Mahoning Valley.” The season will actually get underway with race number one of the MVSHoFS on Saturday, April 3 with the Bill Teel Tribute. The subsequent Series’ events are May 15, June 19, July 31 and October 2 honoring Crozier, Heffelfinger, Arthofer and Bauscher respectively. The Race of Champions (RoC) Tour will be back too, opening up their 2021 season at Mahoning Valley on April 24 with a 75-lap feature. Street Stock racers, for years a strong supportive class, will see the return of the Mike Krempasky Tribute. The 50-lap event, taking place on July 10, will award the winner $1000. “It was nice to work out an early season date with the RoC which we feel will be favorable to everyone. I was also pleased to be able to work out a date for the Mike Krempasky Tribute for the Street Stocks,” explained Hoffman. “Mike (Krempasky) was a good friend and it was great working out the details of his race with his son Kyle.” The Sportsman Modified rules have been updated with the intent to bring in more teams from throughout the region. The class, now beginning its fourth year, will be in action quite regularly. “We had some great discussions about the Sportsman Modifieds in recent weeks and judging by the input we feel we’re instore for a great season with this class. It was important for us to make the rules more in tune from throughout the region in order to better grow this class,” Hoffman noted. The calls have been coming in and all very positive about racing with us this year.” Of course the Late Models, Pro 4s, Hobby Stocks and Rookie Hobby Stocks likewise will be running nearly weekly. New to the line-up is the Futures class that will run jointly with the Rookie Hobby Stocks. Three Quarter Midgets and Micro Stocks have also been booked on select dates and on the afternoon of September Junk Car Races will be held. New in 2021 will be The Fall Brawl which will close out the year on October 30 with extra distance races for the Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Pro 4s. And, as this will be Halloween there will be a Halloween Trailer Treat for the kids. The races will begin at 2:00 pm with time later in the evening for the youngsters to go Trick or Treating. Track management this year has initiated two drop dates for racers. What that entails is a driver can drop any two dates before the designated cutoff date of July 31. The reason for the drop-offs is so teams can better plan for personal time while still being able to maintain themselves in the point hunt. Start times have also been adjusted as the season continues on. Early start times during the month of April are in place and aimed to better prepare for the chilly nights and for the hotter months of July and August the start time is pushed back in relief of the heat. “A lot of teams spoke up and we listened,” Hoffman added. “The drop dates will be good for those who may have a bad night or maybe want to plan a family weekend. By doing this they can still be able to battle for a championship.” A number of Sunday afternoon events are also being planned such as Drifting and small car classes. Pre-season Test & Tune and Opening Night Fast Time days will take place on March 13, 20 and 27. The purpose behind the Fast Time is for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks to award the overall fastest car of the three days with a ‘guaranteed redraw spot’ for the season opener and not have to run a heat race.
Futures class to run together with Rookie Hobby Stocks
(LEHIGHTON, PA. 1-22-21) When Mahoning Valley Speedway promoter Keith Hoffman introduced the Rookie Hobby Stock class last season, at the time little did he or anyone else know the impression it would have with such an influx of young racers looking to drive stock cars. From the very beginning the division saw an amazing array of up-and-comers, good car counts that stayed steady all year and even a class sponsor in E. Schneider and Sons Inc. Scrap Metal and Recyclers of Allentown. “I wanted these kids, young and old, to get the feel of racing in a stock car and also what it felt like to win a race at Mahoning Valley and be greeted by a large cheering crowd,’ explained Hoffman. “We accomplished that and in the process paved the way for the next generation of stars to race here.” That was indeed the case as eight different winners graced Victory Lane in 11 events held. Hallie Muffley, who never raced a car prior to that, came out as the top winner with three victories while Paul French, Jr., was hailed as the very first class champion. 2021 will see a host of those talents take the step up, which is exactly what the focus of the class is designed for. However, there will be some who may not be quite ready to make that advancement and feel another year of getting better adjusted to the surroundings will be in their best interest. Parents and guardians agree too, which is what led track management to institute a “Futures” class. Although those racers not moving up are no longer a rookie with the first year under their belts, the Futures class will combine them with Rookies. Each feature will see two winners, one Rookie and one Futures. “This was the best course of action that we felt was the right thing to do,” offered Hoffman. “We saw that some of the Rookies, even though they all did a great job, where not yet ready to make the step into the regular Hobby Stocks or higher and this will now provide a more safe and basic environment for them to do so.” And, they will have adequate track time to improve and nurture with 21 race dates. At the present time Hoffman noted that a three-year and out rule will be instituted for the Futures/Rookies. The Futures/Rookie Hobby Stockers along with all others will get the first opportunity to get on track starting March 13, 20 and 27 with Test and Tune days in advance of the Saturday, April 3 Opening Day which is also race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series featuring the Bill Teel Tribute.
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.