Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Mahoning Valley Speedway will close out 2017 Octoberfast weekend, October 28-29

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 10-17-17) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s regular point season came to a close this past Saturday evening but there still remains one more show to run, the annual Octoberfast.

Taking place on Saturday, October 28, this event will go down in track history as the Modifieds will race for 200 laps and $6000-to-win. The distance and payout are both record amounts for the paved ¼-mile oval.

For the 200 the Modified teams will be allotted six American Racer tires. They can change a tire anytime during the feature. The race will also run straight through with no breaks.

The Octoberfast 2017 will also have a 60-lap/$1200-to-win Late Model feature. 75-lap/$1200-to-win Street Stock feature and a 50-lap/$500-to-win Hobby Stock feature. Vintage Stock Cars, many of which formerly raced at Mahoning Valley and Dorney Park Speedways, are also on the docket.

The Modified entry fee is set at $100. The Late Model and Street Stock entry fee is $60. Hobby Stock entry is $30.

Pit entrance is $50 per person. There will be early paid practice from noon to 2:00 pm at $25 per car. Regular warmups will take place starting at 2:30 pm with the first round of heats beginning at 4:00 pm.

Each race will award 100 championship bonus points towards the final 2017 standings. 22 cars will start each feature. Drivers will pick pills for heat starting spots. Feature line-ups will be heads up from the heat finishes.

Times and schedule are subject to change.

The complete purse breakdown will be released later this week.

Adult grandstand admission is $30. $2.00 off admission price for students, seniors 65 + and active Military. Children 10 and under are free.

On Sunday, October 29, Mahoning Valley Speedway will close out the season with the make-up show from October 15.

The track will be hosting a Big/Small/Jr. Car Enduro, Big/Small Car Demo Derby, All-Star Slinghots, Champ Karts and Micro Stocks.

Anyone who attends Octoberfast and returns for the Sunday show will be admitted to the grandstands for $5 provided you have your wristband from the pervious day.

On Saturday, October 21 from noon to 4:00 pm the track will hold an open practice. It will be $25 per car and $10 per person to entry the pits. Grandstand admission is free.

For additional information log onto www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Mahoning Valley Speedway is located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.

Brian DeFebo wins feature and championship

By DINO OBERTO

 (LEHIGHTON, PA. 10-14-17) Veteran crew chief Gary Slusser is known for his setups that have put numerous drivers in Victory Lane over the years. Many of them have also gone on to win championships including this year’s Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified kingpin Brian DeFebo.

Prior to the night’s 35-lap season point finale Slusser indicated to DeFebo that every one of his driver’s ended their championship year with a win. DeFebo in return delivered, capping off his season with a second straight victory and fifth on the year.

After working the outside of Joey Jarowicz for several laps while also dueling alongside Gene Bowers, DeFebo, who started ninth, picked up the lead with 11 laps remaining and then cruised steadily the rest of the way.

“Getting to the front was the tough part. Joey (Jarowicz) was running a smart line. He was taking away the outside and the inside and it was what he had to do,” explained DeFebo.

“I had no opportunity to get to the inside so I had to stay persistent. Once I was able to get up alongside of him I was able to then take a little bit of the line away. After getting in the lead I just ran my own pace and I knew if I kept the car straight we wouldn’t get passed.”

Jarowicz, Bowers and DeFebo provided much of the action. Jarowicz led from the onset and had Bowers giving him a great run. DeFebo joined them by lap seven and the trio then began a blanketed battle.

Jarowicz stepped out to the middle lane and in doing so kept his opponents in check through a stretch of 19 nonstop laps. Bowers was on the low side and looked to make a squeeze play several times but Jarowicz remained very protective. It was much the same for DeFebo in his attempts until finally getting the opportunity to pull alongside and eventually pass for the lead and win.

Bobby Jones used a restart with 10 laps to go and took over second spot but could not keep up with DeFebo. Bowers notched third with Lou Strohl and Jarowicz completing the top 5.

This was the first time that DeFebo ran a complete season at Mahoning Valley. He is a six time Evergreen champion which includes four titles in the Modifieds.

“It’s exciting to come here and win this championship. We never concentrated on a (full) season here,” said DeFebo.

“You don’t want to be cocky, you want to be confident and I knew that if we concentrated on running the whole year we could do well. It always worked that way when we ran for points at Evergreen and we were successful with that mindset,” he continued.

“These guys who race here are tough as nails. We’ve run the RoC, we’ve run other tracks but here at Mahoning Valley it is as good as it gets. Lap for lap you have to be thinking and planning and always on your game.”

In a dramatic last lap pass Broc Brown snuck by race long leader Dylan Osborn for top honors in the Late Model feature.

Looking to win for the first time with a full-bodied stock car, 13-year old Osborn was turning perfect laps from the get-go. Brown was settled into second and gradually making headway as the race was coming to a close but Osborn showed enough poise that he could pull off a victory.

However, when Jacob Kerstetter spun with two laps to go it set up the exciting showdown. As the action got back underway Osborn was feeling the pressure by Brown, himself just 14-years old.

When the pair crossed under the white flag Brown stayed glued to Osborn’s rear until entering turn two which at that point he power moved his way underneath. Moments later Brown was leading and winning while Osborn had to settle for an unfortunate but well-run second place.

“It was all I could do to win. In the beginning of the year I had the same move done to me and that taught me something,” said Brown afterwards on his race winning move.

“I learned so much this year racing here, how to pass people clean and if you give them respect they’ll give it back.”

With his fifth place tally Mike Sweeney retained his title as Late Model champion.

Shayne Geist capped off his rookie season with the Street Stocks by winning for a second time. He started pole and although able to lead all 30 laps, it was hard-fought as Mark Deysher and Corey Edelman made him work hard on each passing lap. In the end Geist was not to be denied as he drove a solid and defensive race in garnering the verdict.

Stacey Brown was crowned the Street Stock champion, the first title ever for the respected veteran.

In the dirt Mods Billy Lowden Jr., made a quick dash to the lead at the drop of the green and then proceeded to lead the distance for his first win in three years. Jeff Parker was closing on Lowden but time ran out before any serious challenge could be mounted.

Jake Kibler won for the second straight week and sixth time this season but it wasn’t enough to land him the Pro 4 championship as Kevin Stein’s runner-up finish earned him the 2017 class title.

The Hobby Stock feature was gripping in several ways. In the race Trisha Connolly was able to win for a third time but it came after a tough battle with strong-willed Samantha Osborn whom she passed with eight laps to go.

Heading into the race the championship battle was just one point between first and second. With a third place finish Austin Beers bested Devin Schmidt for the crown.

 Feature Finishes

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Bobby Jones, 3. Gene Bowers, 4. Lou Strohl, 5. Joey Jarowicz, 6. John Markovic, 7. Scott Miller, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Nick Baer, 10. James Haring Jr. 11. Ron Haring Jr., 12. Todd Baer

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1.Broc Brown, 2. Dylan Osborn, 3. Frankie Althouse, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. Mike Sweeney, 6. Lorin Arthofer, 7.George Ramos, 8. Kenny Hein, 9. Jacob Kerstetter

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Corey Edelman, 3. Mark Deysher, 4. Jamie Smith, 5. Todd Ahner, 6. Stacey Brown, 7. Jillian Long, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Alan Schlenker, 10. Jared Ahner, 11. Joe Stangle, 12. Rick Reichenbach, 13. Cody Geist, 14. BJ Wambold

 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Billy Lowden Jr., 2. Jeff Parker, 3. Ricky Ross, 4. Bill Sittler, 5. Mike Stofflet, 6. Vincent Fegley

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Kevin Stein, 3. John Bennett, 4. Tucker Muffley, 5. Austin Beers, 6. Jason Finken, 7. Ken Reeder, 8. Jeremy Guerra, 9. Matt Clark

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Trisha Connolly, 2. Paul Effrig, 3. Austin Beers, 4. Rich Mutarelli, 5. Devin Schmidt, 6. Samantha Osborn, 7. Shawn Kistler, 8. Al Arthofer, 9. Avery Arthofer, 10. Beau Drobot, 11. Cody Boehm, 12. Zach Weidner, 13. Mark Schwalm, 14. Travis Solomon, 15. Colton Breiner, 16. Lyndsay Buss, 17. Ryan Berger, 18. Michael Wambold, 19. Carl Altemose

Brian DeFebo wins hotly contested Modified battle over Kris Graver.takes point lead with one race to go

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 10-7-17) Mahoning Valley Speedway is known for close racing and thrilling outcomes and Saturday night’s Modified feature entailed all of that and more.

In a race that had huge point championship implications on the line between Kris Graver and Brian DeFebo, the top two heading into the evening, the outcome was one that will be remembered for a long time as the pair dueled in a gun-slinging showdown on the final lap.

When it was all said and done DeFebo would emerge the victor and new point leader with one race remaining. Graver disappointedly finished 10th after spinning from contention while battling to keep the lead.

The high drama stakes played out with virtually each lap and it would come to a boiling point on the final time around.

With Graver leading and DeFebo running second over the final seven laps, it looked straightforward enough that a one-two finish in that order was apparent and the points would add up to a very close amount heading into the upcoming week’s finale.

However, DeFebo was putting on the pressure although Graver stood firm in his tracks. Then on lap 32 a caution flew that would allow the possibility of last chance shot by DeFebo to shoot by. It did not happen but as luck would have it there came one more opportunity when the yellow waved once again.

Now with a green-white-checker restart it was game on for the win.

Graver had DeFebo glued to his rear bumper. As they entered turn two DeFebo looked low and got Graver unsettled slightly which then opened up the bottom lane. They would then race side-by-side as the white flag was displayed.

Entering the back straight Graver got loose. DeFebo was making his way ahead by then and charged on to the complete the pass and go on to the win.

Afterwards Graver tried to straighten out and as he did there was incidental contact with third running James Pritchard Jr., which caused him to spin in turn three and come home 10th in the rundown.

“At the beginning of the race we were running our own deal. I was on the outside and there are some teammates in the race. The 29 (Kevin Graver Jr.) didn’t give me the room I needed and that allowed Kris (Graver) to get back on the inside,’ explained DeFebo, who now has four wins and a 17 point edge in the standings.

“You just can’t give up and you have to play it out the whole way. I was able to get back up into second. With two races to go the old saying comes into play, ‘The gloves are off.’ We come here to win and I’m here to win races for me and my team.”

DeFebo started out the night 11 points behind Graver and knew that he had to keep the No. 01 in his sights the entire time. They paired up in the same heat race which saw DeFebo gain slightly and then during the feature it was a game of nip and tuck the whole while.

            He gave his account of the final laps from his seat.

“He (Graver) was overdriving into the turns and moving up the track. I didn’t move up because I knew my only shot was going to be the inside. When we got the one to go signal he got a little sideways going into (turn) three. When we got to turn four that’s when I put my nose under him because it was open game at that point,” said DeFebo.

“Then he tried hooking me and turning me in the wall but that didn’t work well for him and we ended up winning,” he continued.

“I’ve said for years it’s a chess match when you race here. I never said I could play chess but I’m learning the game down here. You have to try and get yourself in the right spot and it worked out tonight. We have one more to go and the big picture is next week and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

            Pritchard, who led 24 laps, took a season best second. John Markovic was in the path of the front pair’s clash and snuck past the spinning Graver to secure third. Joey Jarowicz and Nick Baer completed the top five.

            Clearly dejected and frustrated, Graver was able to compose himself in giving his assessment of the situation.

            “On the last restart he (DeFebo) gave me the bump and run. He did what he had to do and I was fine with that,” said Graver.

            “He then got underneath me and we came to the white flag and he got under my left rear going into (turn) one. Basically that entire lap I was turning more right then left just trying to save my car because going in there he got into me and got me loose and he just stayed in the side of me.

            “I was doing my best to try and save it and not wreck us both. He just stayed hammered down flat to the floor. I did everything I could to possibly save my car but I ended up over correcting. I went up the track and back down because I had put so much left wheel into it and it wound up coming down and across the 7 (Pritchard) and almost ended up in the wall.”

            Lorin Arthofer II showed power and straight in claiming his second Late Model win of the season.

            Arthofer went by George Ramos at the start of lap six and would then maintain a well-balanced effort the rest of the way. 14-year old Broc Brown was in pursuit but there was no denying that the smooth and steady laps being turned by Arthofer as he raced to the solid verdict.

The Street Stocks contested in a 75-lap feature and with Eric Kocher netting the $900 first place prize.

Kocher will be shown as the leader of each lap but that is only on paper. He was in a battle that imaged each circuit as though it where the final one. Kocher was engaged in an ongoing fight with Corey Edelman and Todd Ahner with no room at all to spare.

But despite the onslaught he kept his No. 20 Camaro planted firmly to the bottom and had a mere half-car length margin of victory over Josh Mooney, who on the final lap blasted to second.

In the Dirt Mods Jeff Parker was back in action again and back winning as well. In just his fourth start Parker again bested division kingpin Mike Stofflet for a third time.

Jake Kibler picked up his fifth Pro 4 win with a solid run that saw him hold the lead the entire race. Jason Finken held off point leader Kevin Stein for second.

Rich Mutarelli was undisputedly the car to beat this night in the Hobby Stocks. From the start of the night and right on through to the final checker he dominated.

Mutarelli led every lap of his heat and likewise in the feature in garnering his first win of the season.

 Feature Finishes

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. James Pritchard Jr., 3. John Markovic, 4. Joey Jarowicz, 5. Nick Baer, 6. Lou Strohl, 7. Kevin Graver Jr., 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Kris Graver, 11. Gene Bowers, 12, Ron Haring Jr.

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Lorin Arthofer II, 2. Broc Brown, 3. Jacob Kerstetter, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Austin Santee, 6. George Ramos, 7. Kenny Hein, 8. Mike Sweeney, 9. Jeremy Miller, 10. Dylan Osborn, 11. Barry Kutz

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Zach Graver, 5. Stacey Brown, 6. Corey Edelman, 7. Rick Reichenbach, 8. Jared Ahner, 9. Jillian Long, 10. Mark Deysher, 11. Alan Schlenker, 12. BJ Wambold, 13. Randy Ahner Jr., 14. Shayne Geist, 15. Ken Erney III, 16. Cody Geist, 17. Josh Huber, 18. Kevin Weierbach DNS: Jamie Smith

 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jeff Parker, 2. Mike Stofflet, 3. Billy Lowden Jr., 4. Vince Fegley Jr., 5. Patrick Corrigan, 6. Denise Devine

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Jason Finken, 3. Kevin Stein, 4. Ken Reeder, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Kailyn Beers, 7. Tucker Muffley, 8. Johnny Bennett, 9. Randy Schaffer

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Rich Mutarelli, 2. Avert Arthofer, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Trisha Connolly, 5. Devin Schmidt, 6. Beau Drobot, 7. Austin Beers, 8. Paul Effrig, 9, Justin Merkel, 11. Michael Wambold, 12. Samantha Osborn, 13. Al Arthofer, 14. Lyndsay Buss, 15. Cody Boehm, 16. Peyton Arthofer, 17. Shawn Kistler, 18. Keith Boehm DNS: Nicholas Kerstetter