Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Brian DeFebo rolls to 2nd Mahoning Modified win

By DINO OBERTO

              (LEHIGHTON, PA. 6-9-18) Defending Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified champion Brian DeFebo is clearly hitting his stride. For the second time in six races DeFebo raced to victory and in doing so padded his point lead over Bobby Jones.

            “You just don’t know how long it’s going to take to win another race here. It gets me wound up because I drove for 10 years at this track and every time I hop in the car I have that drive that I want to win,” said DeFebo who is closing in quickly on 100 career victories, needing only three to attain that milestone.

            “I would love to get to that by the end of June.”

            The win didn’t come easy. Gene Bowers took the lead from Nick Baer on lap three and once there was demonstrating excellent power. Thanks to a 20 lap stretch of nonstop racing Bowers was able to pull away from the pack, setting a torrid pace in the process.

            Meanwhile Bear, DeFebo and Earl Paules where all busy vying for the runner-up spot. Much credit goes to Baer who did a laudable job of holding back the seasoned vets.

On lap 20 BJ Wambold had a spin and right in front of oncoming Bowers who did a nice headsup job of avoiding him. The caution was out and with it went away the commanding lead.

When the field was ready to re-go, DeFebo, who had just taken over second place, was lined up next to Bowers with Baer and Paules right behind. No sooner did the race resume DeFebo was able to race into the lead where he would stay the rest of the distance.

“He (Bowers) raced me real clean on that restart and I always try to give him as much room as I can. You give respect where it’s given and you know who you can give it to and Gene is definitely one of those guys,” offered DeFebo.

“I can’t thank my mom (Sophie Welsh) enough for giving me the best equipment and the awesome crew, without those guys this car wouldn’t go around the track.”

            Bowers settled for a very solid second, his best finish to date. He continues to show that the winning combination is in short order. 

            “Brian (DeFebo) is just the class of the field right now. I had a feeling he would be rolling up second to me,” said Bowers.

“My guys gave me a great car tonight. It’s not quite what it needed to be and we’ve been struggling some. Today we made a lot of changes and got it better. We’re going to work hard in the shop this week and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

When it comes to drama in a feature outcome you can’t beat Mahoning Valley and the Late Model show was all that and more.

Jerry Miller and Broc Brown had the house on their feet during the final laps. Miller had taken the lead from Brown midway through the 25-lapper.

Brown was not about to back down and despite having to hold off Paul Koehler Jr., he remained fixed on the leader. Over the final few tours it became a scorching battle as Miller protected the inside line, leaving Brown to do his bidding from the topside.

The action then came to a full head on the final lap. With the checkers in sight Brown pulled even with Miller and as they crossed the stripe it would be a photo finish.

After a review of time and scoring it was determined that Brown won the race. That did not bode so well with Miller as he reached out to officials in a protest and race review. As it turned out Brown was found to have an issue with his transponder in terms of proper positioning. He was then placed at the tail end of the lead lap cars and Miller was awarded the verdict.

In the Street Stocks Mark Deysher has shown all kinds of speed this season, running among the leaders almost each week.

This time, after inheriting the lead when Jared Ahner crashed out on lap 12, Deysher was able to seal the deal but not before a fast charging Shayne Geist made a last ditch run to the inside heading towards the finish line. Deysher was able to hold him off by less than a half car length for his first 2018 win.

Mike Stofflet, the reigning Dirt Mod champion, is letting is be known that he is still the man to beat. After a sizzling duel with Billy Lowden Jr., Stofflet got the lead with six laps to go and went on to win for the third time in the last four races.

The Pro 4 race was a bit of an odyssey to say the least as caution fever was prevalent. It effected just about everyone in the field with the exception of young Johnny Bennett who was able to secure the lead on lap five and then stay clear of the chaos and claim the win.

In the Hobby Stocks Trisha Connolly made good use of her pole starting spot as she jumped out front from the outset and never looked back, cruising to a solid first win of the year. 

 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Gene Bowers, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Joey Jarowicz, 6. Roger Coss, 7. Kyle Strohl, 8. Lou Strohl, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Avery Arthofer, 12. Cody Geist, 13. BJ Wambold, 14. Rick Kirkendall, 15. Kassidy Altemose, 16. Ron Haring Jr., 17. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 18. John Markovic

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jeremy Miller, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Franke Althouse, 4. Mike Sweeney, 5. Kenny Hein, 6. Jacob Kerstetter, 7. Rick Smith, 8. Brandon Turbush, 9. Geno Steigerwalt, 10 Broc Brown

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps) 1. Mark Deysher, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Jon Moser, 4. Jamie Smith, 5. Cody Geist, 6. Ken Erney III, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Jillian Long, 10. BJ Wambold, 11. Lonnie Behler, 12. Jeremy Scheckler, 13. Devin Schmidt, 14. Jared Ahner, 15. Corey Edelman

 Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Billy Lowden Jr., 3. Ray Deemer, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Rick Yetter, 6. Bill Sittler Jr., 7. Vince Fegley Jr., 8. Colton Perry DNS: Dave Chapman

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (18 Laps): 1. Johnny Bennett, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Randy Schaffer, 5. Jeremy Guerra, 6. Steven McDonough, 7. Bill Rooney, 8. Josh Kuronya, 9. Tyler Stangle, 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Tucker Muffley

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Trisha Connolly, 2. Michael Wambold, 3. Tiffany Wambold, 4. Lyndsay Buss, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Ryan Berger, 8. Beau Drobot, 9. Shawn Kistler, 10. Peyton Arthofer, 11. Hunter Iatalese, 12. Justin Merkel, 13. Devin Schmidt, 14. Tyler Nemeth, 15. Peter Maier, 16. Shayne Geist, 17. Tad Snyder, 18. Colton Breiner DNS: Cody Boehm, Jacob Boehm DNQ: Jake Young

 

Walt Smith Photos.

Fan Appreciation Night this Saturday at Mahoning Valley Speedway

  (LEHIGHTON, PA. 5-29-18) This coming Saturday evening, June 2 at 5:00 pm, Mahoning Valley Speedway presented by Lehighton Ford is eagerly anticipating a great crowd for its annual fan Appreciation Night.

            Grandstand general admission is just $8 and for the reduced price fans will be treated to a seven division show of stock car racing which includes Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Sportsman Modifieds, Dirt Mods, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks.

            This summer season kickoff event has been a fan favorite for years as a meet and greet with all drivers during a special extended intermission takes place on the track. Autographs, photos, goodies, giveaways and a whole lot more is the goings on. Everyone walks away having a great time.

            And, there is also the matter of racing. Rain may have put a damper on four out of eight weeks of competition thus far but that in turn has produced some tight point battles.

            In the headline Modified class alone the top of the standings has a group of seasoned veterans led by Brian DeFebo, Bobby Jones, John Markovic, Earl Paules and Lou Strohl whose combined stats account for over 200 wins and nearly 20 championships.

            The Late Models is seeing an energetic 15-year old who is leading the points over a very stout trio. Broc Brown is showing a slim margin over Frankie Althouse while two-time and defending champ Mike Sweeney and four-time champion Paul Koehler Jr., hover closely in line.

            Much of the same battles are developing in the other classes making this Saturday’s Fan Appreciation Night all the more worth attending.

            The start time has been bumped up one hour to 5:00 pm. Grandstands will open at 3:00 pm.

            Pit gates will open at 11:30. Pits are $25 for members and $30 for non-members. Early paid practice ($25 per car) will be from 12:00 to 3:00. Regular warm-ups begin at 4:00. Driver sign-ins will be from 2:30 to 3:45.

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

John Markovic scores close Modified win over Brian DeFebo

By DINO OBERTO

              (LEHIGHTON, PA. 5-26-18) Saturday night’s racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway was very reflective to Dorney Park Speedway as a trio of drivers with deep ties to the defunct 1/5-mile track in Allentown graced Victory Lane.

            John Markovic edged Brian DeFebo in a thrilling Modified feature, Kenny Hein held off a throng of on-comers in the Late Model main and Ken Erney III scored his career first win in a thrilling 75-lap Street Stock show.

            Markovic and Hein began their careers at “The Park” while Erney’s dad was one of the more prominent drivers who competed there.

            Other winners included Mike Stofflet in Dirt Mods, Cody Kohler in the Pro 4s and Beau Drobot with the Hobby Stocks.

            The 35-lap Modified event saw pole sitter Ron Haring Jr., take control of the early going while Gene Bowers and Markovic ran side-by-side in his path. Markovic was able to just get by Bowers for second when a caution waved for a minor incident after seven laps.

It would be on that restart that the regarded veteran would seize the lead. Bowers, who was very solid, slipped to second by lap 10 and on the ensuing circuit DeFebo worked into third. For Bowers his night was cut short while under close quarters he slide into the turn two wall at lap 14.

From that point on Markovic and DeFebo put on a thrilling duel to the finish. Repeatedly DeFebo was trying to make a pass but each time Markovic stayed unyielding of his spot. He would hold on for a half car length win, his first this season and 61st overall.

“I love racing against Brian (DeFebo), he’s a class act. We did a little bumping and banging and hopefully that didn’t mess him up. It was a good race,” acknowledged Markovic. “The car was a little tight and I wish it had been a bit freer.”

Markovic notched his career first win 38 years ago at Dorney in a Late Model.

“Without racing I’d have nothing else to do. I love the sport and I’m glad to be back in Victory Lane here at Mahoning Valley.”

With his runner-up register DeFebo was able to keep his point lead in tack. Kyle Strohl drove nicely to third while Bobby Jones and Earl Paules rounded out the top five.

“That was fun tonight. I just couldn’t make any moves on the outside though. I tried making magic on the bottom but just couldn’t do it,” bottom lined DeFebo.

“I come here every week with the fire within as if I hadn’t won in 10 years. And had it been anyone else but John (Markovic) I would have drove harder underneath. But I just have so much respect for him and his career. I watched and admired him when I was a kid and I wasn’t going to be the one to take him out.”

In the Late Model race Hein would start from the pole and lead the way after the opening lap. However, bearing down heavily where Mike Sweeney and Matt Wentz who ran in tight formation. Also in the front pack included Broc Brown and Frankie Althouse.

That group would go lap after lap in what would turn out to be a caution free race. All the while Hein refused to waver as he kept his aim despite the onslaught.

At the end Hein, who like Markovic began racing at Dorney Park in the mid-1980s, picked up a stirring win, his first in six seasons. Wentz, Althouse, Sweeney and Brown completed the front five.           

The Street Stocks contested in a special 75-lap/$1000-to-win run. Erney would lead the field to the race commencing green and afterwards lead for the first time in a feature race.

This is Erney’s sophomore season and prior to this night had neither a top-5 nor top-10 finish. Setting the early pace it was clear to see that those marks where about to change for the better.

Despite immense pressure from Mark Deysher and Todd Ahner while at the same time running two-wide with each other, Erney never flinched. His restarts where timed perfectly and played a key in his maintaining the lead.

In the waning laps a fast charging Josh Mooney zipped by Ahner and Deysher and would make a strong-willed attempt on the final lap to get past but Erney was determined to not let this one slip away as he took the unforgettable first career victory.

It was the first time the Erney name was in Victory Lane since Ken Erney Sr., won at Dorney in 1984.

Defending Dirt Mod champ Mike Stofflet roared to his second straight win with a dominating performance. Stofflet unseated teammate Colton Perry for the lead on lap two and afterwards went into cruise control the rest of the distance.

Cody Kohler rolled to his third consecutive Pro 4 win. It took the former class champ eight hard fought laps to get around early leader Bobby Kibler Sr., but once he did it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

There is nothing quite like a career first win and for Beau Drobot his came with extra special feel to it. Drobot was unchallenged for all 20 laps of the Hobby Stock win and was understandably emotional when standing in Victory Lane as it was the first time winning in s stock car since his dad, Nimmy Drobot, passed away some 10 years ago.

 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. John Markovic, 2. Brian DeFebo, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Joey Jarowicz, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Avery Arthofer, 9. Ron Haring Jr., 10. Kassidy Altemose, 11. Gene Bowers, 12. Devin Schmidt, 13. Nick Baer

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Ken Hein, 2. Matt Wentz, 3. Frankie Althouse, 4. Mike Sweeney, 5. Broc Brown, 6. Jeremy Miller, 7. Paul Koehler Jr., 8. Geno Steigerwalt, 9. Jacob Kerstetter, 10. Samantha Osborn, 11. Nick Kerstetter, 12. Kevin Behler

Street Stock Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Ken Erney III, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Mark Deysher, 4. Lonnie Behler, 5. Todd Ahner, 6. Corey Edelman, 7. Stacey Brown, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Jillian Long, 10. BJ Wambold, 11. Cody Geist, 12. Shayne Geist, 13. Devin Schmidt, 14. Jamie Smith, 15. Lyndsay Buss, 16. Jeremy Scheckler, 17. Jared Ahner, 18. Jon Moser

 Dirt Modified Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Colton Perry, 3. Ricky Yetter, 4. Billy Lowden Jr., 5. Ricky Ross, 6. Corey Edelman, 7. Bill Sitler Jr., 8. Ray Deemer DNS: Vince Fegley Jr.

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Bill Rooney, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Johnny Bennett, 5. Jake Kibler, 6. Randy Schaffer, 7. Josh Kuronya DNS: Tyler Stangle DQ: Steven McDonough

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Beau Drobot, 2. Tiffany Wambold, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Michael Wambold, 5. Ryan Berger, 6. Peyton Arthofer, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. Gary Reed, 9. Jacob Boehm, 10. Al Arthofer, 11. Shawn Kistler, 12. Kassidy Altemose, 13. Travis Solomon, 14. Lyndsay Buss DNS: Cody Boehm