Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Young guns Gene Bowers and Jack Ely made a strong statement with rousing Modified wins at Mahoning Valley Speedway

By DINO OBERTO

 (LEHIGHTON, PA. 9-9-17) Mahoning Valley is well known for its core of veteran Modified stars but a pair of young guns showed that the future is also in good hands as Gene Bowers and Jack Ely scored impressive wins on Saturday evening.

Bowers made a crowd thrilling pass over Bobby Jones with one lap to go to win the make-up feature from August 19 which netted him his first win with a Modified.

In the regular feature Ely was settled in behind Brian Labar and seemed content to ride home second but as the laps clicked off he had the power to drive to the lead and go on to win for the first time this season.

In the make-up race Lou Strohl and Ron Haring Jr., brought the field to the green with Strohl jumping into the early lead. Fifth starting Bowers made haste as he picked his way to second in just six laps.

The race was fast-paced as only one caution would slow the action and that didn’t occur until lap 30. That in turn made for some very high stakes action as the front runners ran tightly grouped.

Jones and Bowers at most times where two-wide while hanging closely with Strohl. On lap 17 Jones used the outside line to work by Strohl for the lead.

Bowers was then chomping at the bit as he pressured Jones but had to also contend with Strohl. Lap after lap Jones was fending off the pair as they each made relentless attempts at his lead.

A break in the action finally came with five lap to go but unfortunately it would involve Strohl who spun under the tight conditions.

Despite the single file restart, Bowers wasted no time in going the outside of Jones. Momentum was on his side as he used the clear lane to be scored the lead as the white flag was waved. Over the final circuit it was side-by-side with Bowers nipping Jones for his memorable victory.

“It feels awesome. To win in a Modified is something I always dreamed about as far as racing goes and to finally get it and in such a dramatic fashion was amazing,” said Bowers.

“Honestly I had this feeling the past week that something good was going to come soon but to pull this off with this group of guys who have been racing Modifieds almost as long as I’ve been alive, that says a lot for this team.”

            In the regular scheduled show Troy Bollinger slipped by Terry Markovic on lap two and controlled the lead while holding back Nick Baer. Labar was showing great strength as well and began dueling with Baer for second.

            A skirmish on lap 15 put a halt to the action. The incident involved Markovic, Haring and Eric Beers who saw his night end there.

            At the resumption Labar was able to overtake Bollinger for the lead. Ely in the meantime had worked up to third and was sizing up his chance to take second spot which he succeeded to do in by lap 21.

            Labar was now in Ely’s his sights although the leader looked significant to stay the course. With the help of no cautions the rest of the way, Ely used that to his advantage.

            “When we got into second I was able to chase down Brain (Labar) and he was running well. But our car was working so good and I started to get solid runs going into the corners and I felt I had a shot at this so I was up on the wheel,” said Ely. “He raced me clean for the lead and I can’t thank him enough.

“I think it was a great show tonight for the fans and it looks like the youth is taking over here at Mahoning Valley.”

In the previous Late Model race, Frankie Althouse was within reach of victory but he unfortunately got tangled and crashed with a few laps to go. The typical resilient Althouse rallied as he always does in those situations and the result was a fourth win of the year.

Althouse motored by Kenny Hien after five laps and from there cruised to the checkers. Point leader Mike Sweeney was second but Althouse was too far gone by the end for him to make a challenge.

Jake Kibler scored big in the special 40-lap/$400 to win Pro 4 feature. Kibler zipped into the lead after eight laps and would then leave everyone to battle for second and beyond as the veteran roared to his fourth win of the season and 30th career victory.

Corey Edelman notched his first Street Stock win of the year but not in the car he started out the day in. Edelman was at the track early on to work out some bugs but soon found out that additional problems had compounded things.

He then loaded up and headed back home to make a swap. The back-up car, despite not being run at all this year, was quickly gone over and ready by race time.

When the feature began Edelman was settled in behind then leader Alan Schlenker and before long they began a fierce battle. With eight laps to go Edelman got the upper hand and went on to gain the verdict.

In the Dirt Mods it only took Mike Stofflet one week to get back into the winning groove. After losing for the first time the race prior, Stofflet wasted no time in this week’s event as he took the lead from the get-go and sailed on to his 11th triumph in 12 starts.

Todd Geist is a wily veteran who has deep roots among the local asphalt racing community. He has not raced much in the past few years instead opting to help out his sons, Shayne and Cody Geist build on their budding careers.

His boys, however, wanted to show their appreciation and built dad a Hobby Stock. In turn the elder Geist rewarded their efforts with a well-run race and his first win in eight years.

 Make-up 8/19 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps) 1. Gene Bowers, 2. Bobby Jones, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. Eric Beers, 6. Zane Zeiner, 7. Jack Ely, 8. Kris Graver, 9. John Markovic, 10. Don Wagner, 11. Roger Heffelfinger, 12. Joey Jarowicz, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Ron Haring Jr., 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Nick Baer, 17. Josh Oswald, 18. Troy Bollinger, 19, Brian Labar, 20. Robert Wagner DNS: James Pritchard Jr.

 Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Ely, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Zeiner, 4. Labar, 5. Jones, 6. DeFebo, 7. Jarowicz, 8. John Markovic, 9. Kris Graver, 10. Nick Baer, 11. Haydt, 12. Lou Strohl, 13. Bowers, 14. Todd Baer, 15. Wagner, 16. Bollinger, 17. Terry Markovic, 18. Haring Jr., 19. Beers, 20. Heffelfinger Jr. DNQ: Josh Oswald, Kevin Graver Jr., Scott Miller, Jacob Kerstetter

 Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Frankie Althouse, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Lorin Arthofer, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. Dylan Osborn, 6. Kenny Hein, 7. George Ramos, 8. Geno Steigerwalt, 9. Mike Snyder, 10. Austin Santee

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps):  1. Corey Edelman, 2. Alan Schlenker, 3. Rick Reichenbach, 4. Steven Steigerwalt, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Cody Geist, 7. Todd Ahner, 8. Stacey Brown, 9. Jon Moser, 10. Josh Scherer, 11. BJ Wambold, 12. Jared Ahner, 13. Jill Long, 14. Jamie Smith, 15. Shayne Geist, 16. Ken Erney III, 17. Dennis Buss, 18. Devin Schmidt, 19. Steven Hoffman

 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Jeff Parker, 3. Billy Lowden Jr., 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Brian Fuclli DNS: Denise Devine

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2.Kevin Stein, 3. John Bennett, 4. Bobby Kibler Jr., 5. Jason Finken, 6. Kailyn Beers, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. Josh Scherer, 9. Ken Reeder, 10. Josh Kuronya, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Randy Schaffer

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Todd Geist, 2. Devin Schmidt, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Trisha Connolly 6. Al Arthofer 7. Michael Wambold, 8. Travis Solomon, 9. Justin Merkel, 10. Samantha Osborn, 11. Avery Arthofer, 12. Ryan Berger, 13. Beau Drobot, 14. Nicholas Kerstetter, 15. Taylor Schmidt, 16. Paul Effrig, 17. Lyndsay Buss, 18. Kevin Behler, 19. Peyton Arthofer

Mahoning Valley Speedway readies for three busy weeks of racing

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 8-28-17) As the month of September begins so too does a busy trio of Saturday night’s at Mahoning Valley Speedway.

This coming Saturday, September 2, race fans are in for a great serving of stock car racing as the Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval will present a 75-lap Street Stock feature paying $900-to-win along with all regular track classes of Modifieds, Late Models, Dirt Mods, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks.

Also, the make-up Hobby Stock feature that was rained-out on August 19 will be held. The make-up feature will be the first event for the evening which will get underway at 6:00 pm. All regular heat and features will then follow.

Main gates open at 4:00 pm. Adult general admission is $16. There will be early paid practice for anyone interested starting at 12:30 pm and run until 3:30.

The following Saturday, September 9, will see an abundance of action with another six division show plus the rained-out August 19 Modified feature will run. And, the Pro 4s will be contesting in a 40-lap/$400-to-win main event.

Furthermore, on Saturday, September 16 Mahoning Valley Speedway is proudly looking forward to paying honor to former driving great Bill Teel, a three time Modified track champion and an owner champion who passed away in 2012.

The Bill Teel Memorial 4-16s is going to be a must see night of racing as the Modifieds will race in our 16-lap features paying $1016 to win each plus the overall winner will receive an additional $1016, a custom trophy and a guaranteed starting spot for the season ending Octoberfast 200.

Along with the Modifieds for the Teel race will be all regular track classes plus the ATQMRA TQ Midgets.

For additional information log onto www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway.

 

Eric Beers scores 100th career win; Lorin Arthofer II picks up Late Model 50 laurels

By DINO OBERTO

 (LEHIGHTON, PA. 8-26-17) Eric Beers scored a milestone victory on Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the “Master of Faster” recorded his 100th overall career win.

Starting ninth on the grid, Beers was running second to Kevin Graver Jr., by lap 15. The next time around the DeLange Racing No. 45 was in charge of the pack and proceeded to cruise to the Winner’s Circle and memorable win.

“It’s unbelievable to get 100 wins in anything. I have to thank my father and mother for getting us started in this and teaching us the right way to do things in racing. They always told me don’t drive through people drive around them,” said Beers.

“And my brother-in-law Bob “Heavy” Scherer who stopped driving so I can take over the wheel. I made him proud by winning a lot of races,” he continued.

“My wife Cherrie has been here for all 100 of them. We started dating when I got my first win and she’s still here. And I could never thank Dave and Laura DeLange enough for letting me drive their racecar. It’s a great honor to run for them.”

En route the win Beers had a great battle with Joey Jarowicz before getting to second spot. After taking the lead Jarowicz followed into second with Gene Bowers third. Then over the final 10 laps Kyle Strohl was all over Jarowicz in what turned into a thrilling duel to the finish. At the checkers Strohl just eked his way to runner-up. Bowers and point leader Kris Graver completed the top five.

“They are great up and comer racers. Kyle (Strohl) has been here now for a couple of years running up front and Joey (Jarowicz) has really stepped his game up this season. But as long as I don’t get to old they can still watch the back of my car,” said Beers.

Beers won for the first time on September 13, 1986 at Dorney Park Speedway in a Late Model. In between he registered victories at Nazareth ½-mile dirt track, Adirondack, Seekonk, Thompson, Lancaster, Chemung, Tioga, New Smyrna, Flemington, Oswego and Evergreen.

He has wins on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and was the 2004 winner of the Sunoco Race of Champions. Beers is also a two-time Evergreen Raceway track champion and three-time titlist at Mahoning Valley. Of his 100 wins 55 have come at Mahoning where he is tops among the Modified division.

“Mahoning will always be my home. We left here in 1993 and started traveling and didn’t come back to run weekly until 2013. We took 20 years off but I can tell you that this is the best place for Modified racing that you will ever see,” said Beers.

            When Lorin Arthofer II pulled into Victory Lane after winning the 50-lap Late Model feature the first thing his team all expressed proudly was, “Finally!”

            That’s due to this being his first win of the season which has been filled with a one top-5 finish after another including at one point a string of three straight runner-ups. It was the 35th career win for Arthofer but the first in a Late Model since 2010.

            And, Arthofer worked intensely in gaining the lead as the race was a barnburner among the front runners from start to finish. Lead changing came in earnest including six times during the first 20 laps alone.

            And for Arthofer it was a bit of luck that enabled him to earn the verdict after the then lead dual of Frankie Althouse and Broc Brown tangled while approaching the white flag lap. Third at the time, Arthofer was elevated into the lead and held off Mike Sweeney over the final two tours.

            “I’d rather be lucky than good right now because I’ve been good so far this year and I hadn’t won so this is great. I was just in the right place at the right time when the leaders tangled,” said Arthofer who pocketed $1200.

            “We put a new setup underneath the car tonight and tweaked it and I think we can make it even faster. It’s been a long time since we won in Late Model and I wanted one bad. I can’t thank my family and team enough for sticking behind me.”

            In the Street Stock feature Jillian Long was the benefactor of jumble between the front pair of Jared Ahner and Jon Moser who got together on lap 18 of 30.

Long was third at the time and raced out front the rest of the way for her first win in two years, beating out a very strong Josh Scherer.

2013 Dirt Mod champion Jeff Parker was making his first start in two years and it proved meaningful as he won the main event and in the process snapped the 10-race win streak of Mike Stofflet.

There was a scary moment during the race when Frank Parastino crashed into Larry Beers. Oncoming Denise Devine had nowhere to go and hit hard into Parastino and suddenly flipped. Thankfully she emerged unscathed.

Kevin Stein took the lead with six laps to go and went on the win his third Pro 4 feature of the year.

In the Hobby Stock main Michael Wambold raced to his first win of the season, holding off fast closing Austin Beers for the nod.

 Results

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Joey Jarowicz, 4. Gene Bowers, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Kevin Graver Jr., 7. Brian Labar, 8. Lou Strohl, 9. Brian DeFebo, 10. Jack Ely, 11. Bobby Jones, 12. Zane Zeiner, 13. Tyler Haydt, 14. Ron Haring Jr., 15. Nick Baer, 16. Don Wagner, 17. James Pritchard, 18. Jacob Kerstetter, 19. John Markovic, 20. Troy Bollinger DNQ: Terry Markovic

 Late Model Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Lorin Arthofer II, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Dylan Osborn, 5. George Ramos, 6. Geno Steigerwalt, 7. Eric Kocher, 8. Broc Brown, 9. Frankie Althouse, 10. Rich Cooper, 11. Brian Romig Jr., 12. Robbie Kutz, 13. Jacob Nemeth, 14. Jacob Kerstetter DNS: Kenny Hein

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps):  1. Jill Long, 2. Josh Scherer, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Stacey Brown, 5. Steven Steigerwalt, 6. Rick Reichenbach, 7. Mark Deysher, 8. Jon Moser, 9. Cody Geist, 10. BJ Wambold, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Shayne Geist, 13. Ken Erney III, 14. Steve Hoffman, 15. Corey Edelman, 16. Alan Schlenker, 17. Dennis Buss, 18. Jamie Smith, DNS: Anthony Tombasco

 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jeff Parker, 2. Mike Stofflet, 3. Bill Sittler, 4. Larry Beers, 5. Frank Parastino, 6. Denise Devine

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Kevin Stein, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Ken Reeder, 3. Josh Kuronya, 5. Cody Kohler, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Randy Schaffer

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Wambold, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Taylor Schmidt, 4. Rich Mutarelli, 5. Al Arthofer, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Devin Schmidt, 8. Ryan Berger, 9. Trish Connolly, 10. Nicolas Kerstetter, 11. Justin Merkel, 12. Todd Geist, 13. Lyndsay Buss, 14. Travis Solomon, 15. Colton Breiner, 16. Paul Effrig, 17. Samantha Osborn, 18. Avery Arthofer, 19. Beau Drobot, 20. Hunter Iatalese