Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Last lap pass for Austin Kochenash nips Kevin Rex for Mahoning Modified Laurels

By DINO OBERTO

 (LEHIGHTON 9-22-18) Austin Kochenash unwaveringly kept the pressure on Kevin Rex Jr., over the second half of Saturday night’s 35-lap Modified contest at Mahoning Valley Speedway and in the end made a clutch last lap pass out of the final corner to claim the checkers for his first win of the season.

The victory was special for Kochenash too who had recently debuted a newly build homemade car. Nicknamed “Frankenstein,” it making just its second race in competition.

“This is the first real race with the car and I couldn’t be happier with the way it performed here tonight. To be able to build my own car and win in just the second time out and to get back to winning here is special,” said Kochenash.

Zane Zeiner was a close third while Bobby Jones and Josh Scherer completed the top five. With an 11th place tally Brian DeFebo earned his second straight track championship and eighth overall.

Pole sitter Rex took to the lead from the outset and immediately had to guard his spot as Zeiner was all over him. By lap 11 Kochenash ousted Gene Bowers for third and would then run alongside Zeiner, both then making continued stabs at the leader. But despite the ongoing battle from Kochenash and Zeiner, Rex remained fully focused in preserving the lead.

By lap 19 Kochenash would secure second and begin his offensive on Rex that led to a torrid battle during the final 10 laps. Time and again Rex would close the door then when the white flag waved Kochenash laid it all on the line as he swung to the inside lane and was able to squeeze alongside Rex as they went into turn four. With finish line just feet ahead Kochenash kept the throttle stomped and would nip Rex by the slimmest of margins.

“We raced hard and I wasn’t doing anything to move him out of the way. I knew I had a good car to go around the top but then on the last lap I could see that the bottom would be the line and we went for it and here we are,” said Kochenash.

“I can’t thank everyone enough, all my sponsors and crew who help me out and I want to dedicate this win to Greg Hodnett.”

Rex, who was making just his fourth start of the year, knew it was a tough loss but took it in stride none the less.

“The car started out pretty good but towards the end it began losing bite coming off the corners. Austin (Kochenash) ran us good and it was a great battle at the end,” said Rex.

For Mike Sweeney and Frankie Althouse, the final point race of the season with the Late Models was nerve wracking to say the least.

Althouse began the night with a 10 point edge over Sweeney who is the two-time and defending champ which made every finishing spot vital. For Sweeney he could not afford to leave anything on the table and set his sights on the big prize of winning.

And, it didn’t take him long to seize the lead which he did after a lap five restart. However, Althouse advanced his way to second soon after and would then follow Sweeney the rest of the way.

Sweeney would take the checkers for his second win of 2018 but the runner-up tally by Althouse would give the long-time supporter of Mahoning Valley his career first championship by a difference of just three points.

26 years ago Eric Beers battled Earl Paules for his first Modified championship. Fast-forward to Saturday night and Paules was again going for a title against a Beers only this time it would be with the Sportsman Modifieds and with Eric’s 15-year son Austin Beers.

As to be expected the night began with thrilling drama as A. Beers started out just two points better than Paules. When the heat was concluded Paules garnered enough markers to begin the feature two points to the good.

When the race got underway BJ Wambold was holding the lead while Beers and Paules race second and third. Beers knew what his best title option was and going for the win and during the first 14 laps he would make every effort to get past Wambold. Then with a restart on lap 15 Beers took that at his best time to strike, motoring to front from the outside. For the remaining 10 laps he then put enough of a gap on the rest of the pack to secure the victory and earn the inaugural class championship.

Jamie Smith raced out front for all 30 laps of the Street Stock feature, in the process picking up his first win of the season over Stacey Brown and Jason Beers.

In the tightly contested battle for the division crown Mark Deysher’s fifth place finish was enough needed to win his third division championship.

Mike Stofflet was the man to beat throughout the season with the Dirt Mods and proved yet again with his seventh victory. Stofflet passed a very determined Billy Sittler Jr., halfway through the race and went on to score not only the verdict but a second straight championship as well.

Jake Kibler bookended the Pro 4 season with victories and added two in-between, giving the veteran racer his first championship after 27 years of trying.

The race was a thriller as Kibler unremittingly chased behind Cody Kohler starting at lap seven. Then on the final go-around Kibler was glued to the back of Kohler and exiting turn four made a go-for-broke move to the inside and eked out the win that was measured just .002-second.

Cody Boehm and Devin Schmidt put on an amazing duel in the Hobby Stocks as they ran in two-wide formation over the second 10 laps. Going toe-to-toe Boehm, a rookie, was scored in second on the final tour but with girt and determination he squeezed out enough power to nip Schmidt for the popular win.

Michael Wambold’s fifth place gained him the class title and in doing son joins his infamous father, “The Legend” George Wambold and brother, Brian Wambold as a Mahoning champions.

 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Austin Kochenash, 2. Kevin Rex, 3. Zane Zeiner, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Josh Scherer, 6. Lou Strohl, 7. Joey Jarowicz, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Earl Paules, 10.Gene Bowers, 11. Brian DeFebo, 12. Don Wagner, 13. Nick Bear, 14.Ron Haring Jr., 15. Terry Markovic, 16. Kristy Arthofer, 17. JJ Pacovich, 18. CJ Wagner, 19.Rick Reichenbach, 20. John Markovic

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Frankie Althouse, 3. Jeremey Miller, 4. Paul Koehler Jr., 5. Dylan Osborn, 6. Kenny Hein, 7. Gary Wentz, 8. Chris Anderson, 9. Lorin Arthofer, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Geno Steigerwalt, 12. Samantha Osborn,   DNS: Nick Kerstetter

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps) 1. Jamie Smith, 2. Stacey Brown, 3. Jason Beers, 4. Jon Moser, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Todd Ahner, 7. Rick Reichenbach, 8. Randy Schlenker, 9. Corey Edelman, 10.Cody Geist, 11. TJ Gursky, 12. Ken Erney III, 13. Jared Ahner, 14. Jill Long, 15. Matt Schlenker, 16. Jeremy Schlenker, 17. BJ Wambold

 Sportsman Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Austin Beers, 2. BJ Wambold, 3. Zane Zeiner, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Blair Culhane, 6. Kassidy Altemose, 7. Avery Arthofer, 8. Devin Schmidt

 Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Billy Lowden Jr., 4 Colton Perry, 5. Dave Chapman, 6. Ricky Yetter, 7. Corey Edelman, 8. Patrick Corrigan, 9. Vince Fegley

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1.Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Bobby Kibler Sr., 5.Tyler Stangle, 6. Kevin Hoffman, 7. Josh Kuronya, 8. Jeremy Guerra, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Steve McDonough, 11. Bobby Kibler Jr.

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Boehm, 2. Devin Schmidt, 3. Ryan Berger, 4. Al Arthofer, 5. Michael Wambold, 6. Jacob Boehm, 7. Travis Solomon, 8. Lyndsay Buss, 9. BJ Wambold, 10. Todd Geist, 11. Peyton Arthofer, 12. Shawn Kistler, 13. Trisha Connolly, 14. Tad Snyder, 15. Chris DeWalt, 16. Justin Merkel, 17. Philip Sabatine, 18. Lauren Gimbi

Brian DeFebo’s 5th win has him poised to repeat as Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified champion

By DINO OBERTO

 Walter Smith Photo

Modified winner Brian DeFebo September 15th 2018 Walter Smith Photo

(LEHIGHTON 9-15-18) Brian DeFebo picked up his fifth win of the season and in doing so essentially put himself in line for a second straight track championship.

DeFebo came from 12th on the grid and during a two lap period worked his way past Earl Paules and Ron Haring Jr., to advance into the lead. With 10 laps remaining thereafter he would wrangle off his top point opponents Kyle Strohl and Bobby Jones in securing his 14th Modified victory at Mahoning Valley.

“The best way to win this championship is to just do what we’ve been doing all year and that’s come out here and win,” said DeFebo.

The race didn’t exactly come to DeFebo until the first caution had waved 19 laps into the 35-lap event. During those nonstop laps Haring Jr., was setting a great pace while fending back Paules. Gene Bowers was running third with Nick Baer fourth. DeFebo had advanced to fifth by lap 11 but with the torrid pace progressing on by Haring it was a demanding order to make headway.

When the action was halted for a Kristy Arthofer spin on lap 19, Haring would be on his toes during the restart to not allow Paules the chance to work by him.  DeFebo, however, used that opportunity to move by Bowers.

            With Paules now in his sights DeFebo would swoop underneath him on lap 24 in turn 4 and the next time around would replicate that same tactic on Haring for the lead.

“The car was good both high and low and I saw the opportunities tonight to go to the bottom and it worked in our favor,” explained DeFebo.

“I was trying to be protectively cautious and keep a little gap in case something happened during that long green flag run. Then when the opportunity arose I knew I had to go. I want to win races and we do this to win races and we’re having fun doing it.”

Strohl and Jones combatted in a fierce dogfight over the final laps while both pursing DeFebo. Haring Jr., capped off his great run at the front with a very respectable fourth while Paules rounded out the top five.

Matt Wentz gave his Hall of Fame dad Gary Wentz a great birthday gift by scoring his second Late Model win of the season. Wentz whizzed by Dylan Osborn on lap 11 and then withstood a very insistent Paul Koehler Jr. for the win.

With just one regular season race to go Frankie Althouse has moved to the top of the standings after the night’s point leader when the evening began, Mike Sweeney, suffered his first DNF due to a whack on the front straight wall and would finish last. Althouse takes a 10 point difference heading into next week finale.

The Street Stock feature was nothing short of amazing and despite Cody Geist being shown as leading all 30 laps it was hard-fought from start to finish.

Geist was blitzed by Mark Dysher and Jared Ahner who ran side-by-side behind him. Several times Dysher tried to pull next to the leader but each time his efforts were spoiled by the much focused Geist.

Not only where the top trio blazing their way intensely around but Todd Ahner and Reichenbach where just as much in the mix.

The race would come right down to the wire too as Geist came off the final corner and nearly got loose. With his car almost sideways he held on to beat Dysher by a .142-second margin. As a tribute to his close friend who had just passed away, Geist dedicated the victory to Marc Carazo.

Ricky Yetter may concede that Mike Stofflet is in the driver’s seat for a second straight Dirt Mod title and with that said he had his focus on going out and doing the only other thing possible – win.

That he did and it was a battle for the ages as he would have Stofflet breathing all over him during the caution free run. Stofflet leaned heavily on Yetter but “The Law” would never waver as held on for his third verdict of the season.

Bobby Kibler Sr., raced to a second straight Pro 4 win, this one in a special $400-to-win feature. The race was originally slated for 40 laps but under the time rule it was checkered at 27 laps.

Kibler Sr., made his way to the lead just three laps from the calling of the race and would be able to hold off Tyler Stangle who would earn his best run to date.

When Peyton Arthofer, with certainty, raced to her career first stock car win in the Hobby Stock main, she unsuspectingly became part of some unique track history.

By winning she joins Avery Arthofer as the only sisters to ever win a features at Mahoning. And, she, Avery and mom Kristy Arthofer are the only mother/daughters to every win features as well. She is also the eighth different member of her infamous family to win a main event at the track.

Arthofer drove seamlessly throughout the 20 lapper and beat Shawn Kistler by nearly 4-seconds for the always to be treasured victory.

 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Ron Haring Jr., 5. Earl Paules, 6. Gene Bowers, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Zane Zeiner, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Don Wagner, 12. Kristy Arthofer, 13. Kevin rex Jr., 14. John Markovic, 15. Austin Beers, 16. JJ Pacovich, 17. Jesse Strohl, 18. BJ Wambold, 19. Joey Jarowicz, 20. Josh Scherer, 21. Austin Kochenash, 22. TJ Kemmerer

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Matt Wentz, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Kenny Hein, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Jeremy Miller, 6. Dylan Osborn, 7. Jacob Kerstetter, 8. Samantha Osborn, 9. Chris Anderson, 10. Geno Steigerwalt, 11. Avery Arthofer, 12. Mike Senica, 13. Mike Sweeney

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps) 1. Cody Geist, 2. Mark Deysher, 3. Jared Ahner, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Rick Reichenbach, 6. Jon Moser, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Shayne Geist, 9. Jillian Long, 10. Corey Edelman, 11. Jamie Smith, 12. Jason Beers, 13. Ken Erney III, 14. Joe Stangle, 15. BJ Wambold, 16. Kevin Weierbach, 17. Beau Drobot, 18. Jeremy Scheckler, 19, Chad Miller

 Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Mike Stofflet, 3. Billy Lowden Jr., 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Aleia Geisler, 6. Colton Perry, 7. Bill Sittler Jr., 8. Vince Fegley Jr., 9. Joe Corrigan

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (27 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Ticker Muffley, 4. Josh Kuronya, 5. Jeremy Guerra, 6. Randy Schaffer, 7. Bill Rooney. 8. Jake Kibler, 9. Matt Clark, 10. Steven McDonough, 11. Bobby Kibler Jr. DNS: Cody Kohler

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Peyton Arthofer, 2. Shawn Kistler, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Lyndsay Buss, 5. Michael Wambold, 6. Devin Schmidt, 7. Al Arthofer, 8. Rich Mutarelli, 9. Cody Boehm, 10. Trisha Connolly, 11. Kassidy Altemose, 12. Tad Snyder, 13. Ryan Berger, 14. Justin Merkel, 15. BJ Wambold, 16. Jacob Boehm, 17. Hunter Iatalese, 18. Peter Maier

Six divisions of stock cars plus TQ Midgets in action this Saturday at Mahoning Valley Speedway

(LEHIGHTON 9-11-18) Mahoning Valley Speedway presented by Lehighton Ford heads into this coming Saturday, September 15 with six track classes of stock cars plus the thrilling TQ Midgets of the ATQMRA. Race time is 6:00 pm.

No sooner was last Saturday beginning to shape up with a full pit, Mother Nature rained down – literally – and forced the cancellation for the night. It was the 10th such time that rain kept things quite at the paved ¼-mile Lehighton oval.

But, just as they have all season long, the always optimistic management team of Mahoning Valley looked ahead and concentrated on the next event and beyond.

That said it’s all systems go for a night of Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Dirt Mod, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. The Pro 4’s will be running a 40-lap/$400-to-win feature.

Additionally the open cockpit speed demons of the ATQMRA will contest in a 25-lap main event. After veteran Joey Payne’s win two weeks ago at Wall Stadium, he became the seventh different driver in nine 2018 events with the popular touring club and making this one of the most competitive seasons in the 62 year history of the club.

Pit gates will open at 11:30. Early paid practice begins at 12:30 and goes to 3:30. Regular warmups start at 4:30. Adult grandstand admission is $12. $2 off for students, seniors 65+ and active military, children under 10 are free. Front gates open at 4 pm.

Coming up on September 22 will be the final night of points for all classes.

On September 29 at 2:00 pm the track will play host to Dirt Mods, Small Car Enduro, Jr. Enduro Vintage TQ Midgets and a Small Car Demo Derby. 

There is a discount to Enduro drivers who pre-enter before September 22. The cost for pre-entry will be $40 per car which includes the transponder. Pre-entries must be received or post marked no later than Sept. 22. Afterwards the cost is $50 per car and $6 for transponder. Entry forms are posted on the website and also be available at the track. Enduro rules can be found on the website.

The Small Car Demo is for “Stock” demo cars. The event will pay a guaranteed minimum of $500, to win, $300 for second and $100 for third. Demo rules will follow that of the West End Fair. The cost to enter the Demo Derby is $25 per car which includes the driver.

Also, if the track receives 10 or more Big Car Demo Derby entries by September 22 then they too will be added. It will be $500 to win and $200 for second plus top three to receive trophies.

For additional news and updates log onto www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or Facebook. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located just a few miles west of Lehighton on PA 443 and is adjacent to the Mahoning Valley Farmers Market.