LEHIGHTON, Pa. 10-24-15) As the 2015 season at Mahoning Valley Speedway came to a close, so too did the career of Ricky Yetter. And what a way to end it as the recently crowned Dirt Mod champion went out in style, winning the 60-lap Octoberfast feature in what he called his last time in a race car.
Gene Bowers won in his last Street Stock race but unlike Yetter, he is leaving the class and stepping into a Modified for 2016.
Sam Ryan used a late race restart to take the lead and go on to victory in the Hobby Stocks and Dylan Steuer cruised to the in with the All-Star Slingshots.
When the year started out Yetter made it known that this was to be his final and the goal was to win the 2015 Dirt Mod championship. That aspiration was achieved but there remained one more task for “The Law” which was to end his career with one more stop in Victory Lane and once again he backed up his words, winning can the Octoberfast feature for a second year in a row.
“This is my last race and it’s very emotional for me right now,” said Yetter while surrounded by a hoard of well-wishers in Victory Lane.
“It’s been great ride and I said how we wanted to win this championship and then finish off with wining this race. I can’t be happier and am so proud of the team for all the hard work. This was the icing on the cake.”
Yetter started fourth and would need only four laps before moving to the front. He did so after restart, unseating Ray Deemer for the lead. Afterwards this was a man on a mission. Just as he did a year ago in this race, Yetter zipped and zagged his way through traffic and had everyone covered.
Yetter may have been taking care of business but it wasn’t at all that easy. Jack Ely had followed him after he took the lead and was in tow for the next 25 laps.
Aleia Geisler then stepped into second and had a watchful eye on the leader. At the same time Kevin Graver Jr., who was driving the Scott Hyland No. 20H, and Scott Adams, dueled with Ely while directly behind Geisler.
With 13 laps to go Ely would bring out the caution due to a spin on the back straight. This was good chance to see if Geisler could take the opportunity on the restart and steal away the lead. Yetter, however, wasn’t about to settle for anything less than first. He was quick to the draw and held his ground, only this time there was no gapping as he had been doing prior.
“We took a little stagger out so we could go strong the majority of the race. It was then good on green laps but on restarts it was super tight and I was dirt tracking it every time to make it turn,” said Yetter.
Geisler wound up giving second to Adams but a few laps later and she had the spot back and was again trying all she could to reel in Yetter but there was no doing, getting close but never enough to challenge for the $1700 win, $200 more than advertised thanks to Eastern Area Glass who tossed in the extra cash preceding to the start of the feature.
Ely bounced back to take third with JP Curry and Adams rounding out the top five.
In the 40-lap, $800 to win Street Stock main Bowers used the outside lane to take the lead from Aaron Kromer after just three laps. That would be it too, as he dominated the rest of the way en route to his second win of 2015.
“I can’t thank the guys enough. They bust their butts every week for me and I can’t do it without them. I don’t think we had the best car tonight but sometimes the fastest car doesn’t always win,” said Bowers.
Watching this race one would beg to differ. Bowers may not have felt he was best but rest assured he had the field covered. After taking the lead and during extended green flag laps his car was plenty strong and had no one to contest with. He even set fast time during the race.
“The car just didn’t rotate the way it needed to but I knew if I slowed down the pace and stayed at the bottom then it was going to be though for anyone to get me up top,” said Bowers.
Brain Labar showed good cause to make Bowers earn his win over the first half of the race but when his handle started to go away it was then Jillian Long and Modified standout Austin Kochenash they came into play. They, however, spent a fair amount of time battling each other which allowed Bowers additional breathing room.
Kochenash, in just his first time in a Street Stock, finally got by Long in the closing laps but there was no time to make an attempt at Bowers.
“It was fun and it doesn’t drive much like a Modified,” said Kochenash. “It was a good car and I have to thank Jared Ahner and his whole crew for letting me run it. For a first time it was good but it could have been better.”
In the Hobby Stock 25-lapper Kyle Scisco and Kyle Krempasky where in a fierce battle while Ryan was glued behind them.
With three laps to go Krempasky had just edged out front from the outside lane. But as they entered turn one he then spun while coming down on Scisco and had to go to the rear. On the restart Ryan then gunned underneath Scisco and shot to the lead.
He would stay perfect for the final few tours and take his first win at Mahoning with the class. Frank Hughes finished up with a strong second with 2015 champion Cody Geist in third.
In the All-Star Slingshot feature Dylan Steuer started second to Brett Bieber and would then chase him over the first four laps. Next time by he was leading and would not relinquish it the remainder of the way, scoring a nonstop win in five minutes flat.
The fast pace also helped him to set a new track record with the Slingshots, turning an 11.805 at 76.239 mph lap.
Beiber, who won here back in April, held on for second with Chris Kurtz, Cody Kline and Dakota Kohler completing the top five.
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (60 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Aleia Geisler, 3. Jack Ely, 4. JP Curry, 5. Scott Adams, 6. Mike Stofflet, 7. Billy Lasko, 8. Tom Cremer, 9. Ray Deemer, 10. Eric Beers, 11. John Banashefski, 12. Kevin Graver Jr., 13. Rick Mill, 14, Jeff Parker, 15. Dan Dullin, 16. Bill Sittler Jr., DQ: Paul Effrig
Street Stock Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Gene Bowers, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Jillian Long, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Stacey Brown, 6. Brian Labar, 7. Jason Frey, 8. TJ Gursky, 9. Joe Mooney, 10. Jeremy Miller, 11. Aaron Kromer, 12. Todd Ahner, 13. Jon Moser, 14. Eric Danyluk, 15. Jonathan Tracey, 16. BJ Wambold
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Sam Ryan, 2. Frank Hughes, 3. Cody Geist, 4. Kyle Scisco, 5. Jay Skupski, 6. Ken Reeder, 7. Rich Mutarelli, 8. Devon Schmidt, 9. Kyle Krempasky, 10. Tiffany Wambold, 11. Nicole Quinter, 12. Austin Beers, 13. Lyndsay Buss, 14. Waylon Speers, 15. Mike VanFossen DNS: Arland Moyer Jr.
All-Star Slingshot Feature Finish (25 Laps) 1. Dylan Steuer, 2. Brett Bieber, 3. Chris Kurtz, 4. Cody Kline, 5. Dakota Kohler, 6. Austin Slifiee, 7. Kyle Herve, 8. Anthony Raisner, 9. Dylan Hoch, 10. Don Schmidt, 11. Cody Kohler, 12. Henry Anderson, 13. Ryan Lacoe, 14. Bobby Jones, 15. JP Curry, 16. Louden Reimert, 17. John Mirabelli