By DINO OBERTO
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