Tag Archives: Modifieds

Andy J on the Road Episode 1

IMG_6182Andy Jankowiak has joined the Myracenews team and will be sharing his travels with our readers. This is his first installment which he originally posted on Facebook. Enjoy following Andy around the country racing his modified, SST modified and his TQ. Welcome aboard Andy.

A long time ago, way back in 2007 I was a hot shot teenage street stock competitor. I enjoyed some success in my sport of choice in my teenage years so I’m sure you can imagine that I could sometimes be a little full of myself. (I know, its hard to imagine me being cocky right?) So one day I’m hanging around the shop over at Trey’s and I’m fresh off of a couple of wins. I’m walking tall. My buddy Alvin was always quick to take me down a peg (still is). He tells me “You think your good? You know Karl won 13 features in one year once.” The challenge was accepted. By years end I had fallen just short. I had 12. Season over. Done. Then I see a poster while vacationing at the North South Shootout. “Turkey Derby”. They had a factory stock division. I fell in love with the idea. This was the first time in my racing career that supporters and friends asked me a now commonly asked question. “Why?” “Why are you going to that race?” At that time my answer was simple. A stubborn persistence to Trey’s challenge. We ended up going. We won the event. The friendships that were established and strengthened in that weekend are some that I value greatly today. (Jersey loves me!) Jake called it the smartest dumb decision we ever made. I spent a grand to win 150 but I get to look at that golden turkey standing atop a marble platform every time I look at my trophy case. I carry that enthusiasm with me to every race. When the nights in the shop seem to go on forever and I want to go home and sleep I have one thought that doesn’t let me quit. “Maybe I’ll win” “What if I skip this one and we were going to win” The guys on my team that are standing next to me at 5 am, covered in grease have the same song in their heart. “Lets get a win tomorrow”. We aren’t always so fortunate, racing is tough and it only gets tougher the father we go. Its impossible to think about going to Bowman Gray, Seekonk, Oswego or Hickory and say we’re going to go and win a race. That’s to lofty for anyone to say. We always believe that we can though. I know I do. Still….when I crossed that finish line at Hickory Motor Speedway to finish out last weekend I’m still not sure I believed it. Its taken this long for me to process what we did that weekend and it still hasn’t completely sunken in. I knew we could do. If I didn’t think we could I wouldn’t have been there. Its all a bit overwhelming I suppose.

A Modified win at Oswego and a win at Hickory Motor Speedway. I may have been able to call it a career on either accomplishment and been satisfied. For a heart that beats for racing you cannot possibly ask for anything more. They say you remember the first wins the best. I can recall my first win in the Hangover 100 in 2004, I can go lap for lap when I won my first street stock race in the 2006 US Open. All I can remember from the Oswego race was trying not to puke on the last lap because I was so nervous. “Just don’t spin out, we have a good lead. All you can do to screw up now is spin out.” This was my logic the last 2 laps. I mean…it worked lol. Oswego was just the perfect race for us. We had a pit stop plan and the race played perfectly into our strategy. The car could not have handled any better and we capitalized. It was just perfect.

Hickory? Not as perfect. We played a similar strategy but I just over adjusted the car on the pit stop. To tight! Ugh. I wasn’t sure where we would fall but I could tell we still had a fast car. I knew some of the guys would back up to us on a long run and all of them pretty much did, except one. We got to second once it was go time but our run stalled out there behind the 95. I adjusted my line but the best I could do was keep pace. Then it happened. Coming to five to go the leader was caught in the left front tire by a lap car. Both cars diverted in different directions and gathered themselves. We pulled a “Moses” and “parted the seas” between them and split though the middle. The yellow lights didn’t come on so I knew that the 95 must have gathered himself. Richie Evans assured me on the radio that he had and that this race wasn’t over. I ran my favorite Perry Speedway line for the last 5 laps, right in the middle. It was enough.

Wow. We just won Hickory. I’m living it as I’m typing it.

Lost to some extent in the excitement was our stellar weekend this past weekend at Waterford! It felt like we had just gotten home from Hickory and we were off to Connecticut before I could type out a long boring racing story! I guess this ones a two-for. We got to Waterford on Saturday and we were fast quick. This can be problematic for two chassis gurus like me and Rick Kluth. Being fast early means we have lots of time to use our awesome chassis knowledge to make it better! In a collective team effort we worked hard and made some big changes. When it was all said and done we successfully lost a half a second and made the car basically UN-driveable. A fantastically terrible pill draw by Steve Mendoza on top of this landed us in the back of a heat, and then a consi. Wisdom finally prevailed for the B-main when we decided to try the Saturday setup again. That was a swell plan. We won our way into the race and got a 6th place finish with a tight race car! I feel like we missed a bit of an opportunity. If we had more practice tuning time and i called for a better adjustment on the stop i think we could have been so much better. We had it up to second but we were just pushing the right front to hard and faded. Still a great effort against a great field! We were happy to take it after a long day.

My favorite part of this stretch run since my last post still may be watching my Leximarie Lily running her first racing laps in me and Jody London’s go kart. I was so very proud of her. She did a good job. Made some passes high and low, clubbed into a few things and got better as the day went.

I was asked in an interview the other day if I’m frustrated about not having a big sponsor. While a big sponsor might make life easier if it ever where to happen, I honestly in my heart could not possibly ask for anything more then what I have in my racing life. To do what were doing and to have the people behind me, I’m the luckiest guy in racing. I wouldn’t trade what I have right now for anything. I owe that to all of you who make this possible for me to do all this. If I had a million years on this earth I don’t think I could ever repay all the favors that got me to that finish line at Hickory. I’m just grateful.

Next time you ask me why I’m going to that race that doesn’t make any sense, I will probably give my rough justification that I made up that week. Deep down though, this is why we do it. I couldn’t be any happier.

Eric Beers ekes out narrow Mahoning Modified win over Austin Kochenash

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 9-19-15) Saturday night’s Modified event at Mahoning Valley Speedway was the tail of two races.

While Eric Beers fended off Austin Kochenash in a thrilling contest, the two also put forth their quest as title hopefuls. Both are part of an amazing showdown of the top five in points heading into the final two weeks of the season and after last night’s race there is just 30 points that separate those championship contenders which include Earl Paules, Kochenash, Don Wagner, Beers and Kris Graver.

At the outset of the 35 lap feature pole sitter Kevin Rex Jr., commanded the early lead with Beers riding in second. Wasting little time, Beers went to the outside of Rex and began his push to the lead and with the completion of the seventh circuit that spot was his.

Afterwards, thanks to a stretch of green flag laps, Beers was able to open a considerable lead on the rest of the pack as Rex, Chip Santee and ninth starting Kochenash hovered several car lengths behind. However, the game changer occurred on lap 22 when the caution waved and put an end to that ample lead.

By that point too, Kochenash had worked his way up to second and for the restart fans could sense where this race was heading. Clearly the two fastest cars of the night where about to face-off for the remaining laps and did they ever. One more additional caution took place on lap 25 but afterwards the battle was on.

Beers felt his best line of defense would be to hug the inside lane. Kochenash, however, was showing that he was just as fast and capable to do his bidding from the outside. With that they proceeded to put on a dazzling display of side-by-side high speed action.

Kochenash would remain right alongside Beers and no more than a fender away from taking the lead. They would continue race in that fashion right to the wire with the win being determined by less than a 10th of a second.

“Austin (Kochenash) is so good on the bottom and I just wanted to keep him on the outside until the end. I knew my car was good enough to beat him on the bottom and I didn’t want him to try and get underneath me,” said Beers, who raced to his 44th Mahoning Modified win.

“It was definitely a good race and we’ll be looking to do this again for the next two weeks. I also want to dedicate this win to Jennifer Kutz Flannigan. I’ve known her and her family for a very long time and our hearts our out to them.”

Graver picked up third spot on the final lap over Rex while Brian DeFebo completed the top five.

Although Kochenash was oh-so-close to winning, he gained substantial ground on point leader Paules and is only four behind.

“I needed more race track to be able to get a run on Eric (Beers). He protected both the bottom and the outside and that’s what you have to do sometimes to win,” stated Kochenash.

“I was up against the wall but that’s racing for the win. It was a good race for the fans I’m sure. We ran hard tonight and we’re going to try and win the next two and whatever happens, happens.”

In what has become somewhat of a common sight this year with the Late Models, Paul Koehler Jr., and Mike Sweeney raced for the win and in another fantastic battle.

After Koehler took the lead from Jacob Kerstetter on lap seven, he soon had Sweeney on his tail and the top two point men would then thrill the fans as they sparred with each other en route to the finish.

Koehler would hold the lead but never by much as Sweeney tried everything in an attempt to pass him. On the final lap it was all or nothing for Sweeney. He drove his way to the inside of Koehler and where running virtually even as the exited turn four. Koehler, though, showed he wanted more and eked out the victory by the blink of an eye.

Bernie Uphold was running perfectly in first place during the Street Stock main but abruptly fell off the pace on lap 20. The lead then went to Corey Edelman and the rookie star was strong the rest of the way as notched his second win of the year.

The Dirt Mods opened the night with their make-up feature from July 18 and soundly scoring the win was point leader Ricky Yetter over Jack Ely. Yetter took the lead on lap nine and cruised in front the rest of the way. The victory was also one for the record books as Yetter became the first driver to win four consecutive Dirt Mod features.

In the regular feature it was Mike Stofflet gracing Victory Lane for a second time this season. Stofflet did not take the lead until five laps to go as he worked his tail off trying to get by Bill Sittler Jr., who was having a sensational night and came as close as ever to his career first win.

In the Pro 4s it was Jake Kibler taking his fourth win of the season. After some great two-wide racing for the lead, Kibler was able to slip underneath Cody Kohler with four laps to go. He then drove on to the win, his 23rd career verdict.

Michael Wambold celebrated his 15th birthday in style by winning his career first feature. The son of the legendary George Wambold, Michael shot into the lead on the opening circuit and then stayed at the front the rest of the way.

Rich Mutarelli gave him an excellent run and nearly pulled off a pass as the checkers where waving but Wambold held his ground and scored the memorable victory.

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Kris Graver, 4. Kevin Rex Jr., 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Chip Santee, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Earl Paules, 10. Calvin Carroll, 11. Todd Baer, 12. John Markovic, 13. Bobby Jones, 14. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 15. Nick Baer, 16. Matt Higgins, 17. Tom Wanick III, 18. Lou Stroh, 19. Eric Kocher, 20. Terry Markovic

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Paul Koehler Jr., 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Troy Bollinger, 4. Don Wagner, 5. George Ramos, 6. Barry Kutz, 7. Jeremy Miller, 8. Kenny Hein, 9. Jacob Kerstetter, 10. Tony Hilliard, 11. Travis Fisher, 12. Darryl Bruenig, 13. Broc Brown, 14. Dave Imler

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Aaron Kromer, 3. Randy Schlenker, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 5. Jason Kuhn, 6. Jason Frey, 7. Zach Graver, 8. Jillian Long, 9. Joe Mooney, 10. Gene Bowers, 11. TJ Gursky, 12. Jared Ahner, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. George Ramos, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Kristy Arthofer, 17. Logan Boyer, 18. Stacey Brown, 19. Jonathan Tracey, 20. Bernie Uphold DNQ: Josh Mooney, Joe Stangle, Chris Steigerwalt

Make-up 7/18 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Jack Ely, 3. JP Curry, 4. Dave Gorbatuk, 5. Ray Deemer, 6. Lorin Arthofer II, 7. Scott Adams, 8. Aleia Geisler, 9. Mike Stofflet, 10. Bill Sittler Jr., 11.Billy Lasko DNS: Steve Shultz

Regular Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Stofflet, 2. Adams, 3. Deemer, 4. Sittler, 5. Arthofer II, 6. Gorbatuk, 7. Ely, 8. Yetter, 9. Curry, 10. Lasko, 11. Scott Hyland, 12. Geisler DNS: John Banashefski

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Bobby Kibler Jr., 5. Bobby Kibler Sr., 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. JD Light, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. TJ Kemmerer, 10. Nick Baer

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Michael Wambold, 2. Rich Mutarelli, 3. Lyndsay Buss, 4. Cody Geist, 5. Kyle Krempasky, 6. Shayne Geist, 7. Kyle Scisco, 8. Ken Reeder, 9. Ryan Berger, 10. Seth VanFossen, 11. Thomas Hunsicker Jr., 12. Jennifer Adams, 13. Nicole Quinter, 14. Waylon Speer

BIG NIGHT FOR SHANON MONGEAU AT WALL STADIUM SATURDAY

wallstadium_239129296WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Veteran stock car driver Shanon Mongeau enjoyed the biggest night of career on Saturday at Wall Stadium Speedway as he won both the Downs Ford Modified and Snap-on Sportsman main events and the overall “Triple Crown” title for the Sportsman cars. The Jackson resident, who was taking his first ever ride in the Brannick Racing No. 51 in the Modified race, noted in the winner’s circle that his wife and young son were in the grandstands to witness the events.

The Modified 40-lapper started off on a sour note when several of the top runners tangled while fighting for the lead in the third turn triggering a big pile-up. Mongeau was somehow able to avoid the chaos and restarted the race from the pole position. From that point on he fought off both Trevor Alspach of Willingboro and point leader Steven Reed of Jackson for the win. Alspach and Reed swapped the second position a couple of times before Alspach nailed down the spot with Derek Hopkinson of Toms River recovering from that lap one incident for third. Reed was fourth at the stripe after getting caught up on lap one and title contender Eric Mauriello of Howell, who was also involved in that first lap crash, was fifth.

Chas Okerson of Freehold, also a title contender, lost ground in the season-long race as his car suffered damage in the lap one crash. After making repairs he finished 11th.

Thanks to posting fast time in qualifying Mongeau started on the front row of the Sportsman 35-lapper and never looked back. Manasquan’s Kenny Van Wickle applied almost constant pressure before finishing second followed by title contender Kevin Davison of Howell, Willingboro’s Trevor Alspach and Robby Walton of Tuckerton. Holmdel’s Andrew Krause, who was the point leader going into the event, was involved in a lap 15 crash and finished 18th.

“I have to thank Scott Brannick for offering me his Modified tonight,” Mongeau said. “That car may be old but it is top notch equipment. My Sportsman car isn’t brand new either but Steve Ferrara and Joe Wisniewski make sure it is the very best.

“Steve Blauvelt said he just needed a couple of nights off with the No. 41 Modified I usually drive. I’m real fortunate to drive for some great people.”

The Mongeau family had even more to celebrate as Rich Mongeau of Brick, Shanon’s father, won the 35-lapper for the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks. Joey Helberg of Union advanced to second in the late going to win the division’s “Triple Crown” title, while Joe Mongeau of Brick, Manchester’s Scott Riggleman and Wall’s Bob Haberstick wrapped up the top five.

Wall’s Robert French won both the 35-lap main event and the “Triple Crown” title for the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars while defending champion Brian Spencer of Edison chased him most of the way for second. Mitchell Dowd, Chris Gall and Raven Schrantz completed the top five.

Howell’s Darren Burdge won the Green Monster Insulation 4 Cylinder Stock 35-lapper and the division’s “Triple Crown” title over the constant pressure of Wall’s TJ Graves. Robert Sutphin and Ronnie Mullen, both of Brick, and Fred Cannock of Port Monmouth completed the top five.

Anthony Crimaldi of Port Monmouth won the 20-lapper for the Elite Maintenance Limited Late Models over the fast closing Howie Conk of Jackson. Greg Miranda of Hazlet and Michelle Moorman and Jim Moorman, both of Beachwood, were fourth and fifth.

Ryan Tidman of Levittown, Pa. beat a 25-car field in the 25-lapper for the TQ Midgets on the flat “inner oval.”

Wall Stadium will conclude the 2015 Saturday night regular season this Saturday night (9/26) with “Champions Night” activities. Double points will be offered in all six divisions as the title winners are crowned. Due to the importance of the event, a rain date of Oct. 3 only is in effect to settle the titles. Spectator seating opens at 5:00 p.m. with qualifying at 5:30 p.m. and main event action to follow

An auto racers flea market is then set for October 10 and the “Spooky Spectacular” is slated for Saturday October 24. The “Awards Dinner” will then be enjoyed on Sunday, November 1, and the annual “Turkey Derby” will be presented on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend

Wall Stadium Speedway is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. More information can be obtained by visiting www.wallspeedway.com. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is CKMotorsports@aol.com.

MODIFIED FEATURE – 40 Laps – 1. SHANON MONGEAU, JACKSON, 2. Trevor Alspach, 3. Derek Hopkinson, 4. Steven Reed, 5. Eric Mauriello, 6. Ron Frees, 7. Ken Matlach, 8. Dom Fattaruso, 9. Renee Dupuis, 10. Ronnie Mullen, 11. Chas Okerson, 12. Brian Doyle, 13. Geoff Sutton, 14. Andrew Krause, 15. Zack Alspach, 16. Jonathan Mandato, 17. Jason Hearne, 18. Kevin Davison, 19. Shawna Ingraham, 20. Adam LaCicero

SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 35 Laps – 1. SHANON MONGEAU, JACKSON, 2. Kenny Van Wickle, 3. Kevin Davison, 4. Trevor Alspach, 5. Robby Walton, 6. Matt Langbein, 7. Rob Silver, 8. Ricky Collins, 9. Larry Thompson, 10. Eric Lane, 11. Jarret DeGiantomasso, 12. Chris Owsik, 13. Dave Bailey, 14. Roland DeMartino, 15. Scott Brannick, 16. Chris Lane, 17. Tyler Truex, 18. Andrew Krause, 19. Robert Sutphin

FACTORY STOCK FEATURE – 35 Laps – 1. RICH MONGEAU, BRICK, 2. Joey Helberg, 3. Joe Mongeau, 4. Scott Riggleman, 5. Bob Haberstick, 6. Tiffany Olejnik, 7. Richie Byrne, 8. Gerry Koenig, 9. John Bowers, 10. Lee Allen, 11. Tom Rajkowski, 12. Ron Booth, 13. Jerry Stanzione, 14. Neil Rutt, 15. Bill Stockert, 16. Tim O’Shea, 17. Rick Patterson, 18. Matt Badessa, 19. Tony Bartone, 20. Ronnie Mullen, 21. Scott Maher, 22. Steve West, 23. Whitey Miller

LEGEND CARS FEATURE – 35 Laps – 1. ROBERT FRENCH, WALL, 2. Brian Spencer, 3. Mitchell Dowd, 4. Chris Gall, 5. Raven Schrantz, 6. Casey Robicheau, 7. Lowbed Johnson, 8 Steven Woytysiak, 9. Peter Bruno, 10. Art Marrera, 11. Matt Marzano, 12. Beth MacFarlane, 13. Luke Marzano, 14. Nick Van Wickle

4 CYLINDER STOCKS FEATURE – 35 Laps – 1. DARREN BURDGE, HOWELL, 2. TJ Graves, 3. Robert Sutphin, 4. Ronnie Mullen, 5. Fred Cannock, 6. Jason Lane, 7. Jeff Ackerman, 8. Darianne McLaren, 9. JC Duvall, 10. Mike Bilello
LIMITED LATE MODEL FEATURE – 20 Laps – 1. ANTHONY CRIMALDI, PORT MONMOUTH, 2. Howie Conk, 3. Greg Miranda, 4. Michelle Moorman, 5. Jim Moorman, 6. Bill Vanderveen, 7. Mike Tillett, 8. Cole Ormsbee, 9. Dominic Casola, 10. Brian Doyle