Mahoning Valley Speedway/Evergreen Raceway announce special twin-track Enduro Series

(OAKS, PA. 1-20-19) Eastern Pennsylvania’s two paved short tracks, Evergreen Raceway in St; Johns and Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway, took advantage at the 2019 PPB Motorsports Race Car & Trade Show in Oaks to announce a special Enduro Car Series to be held between the two facilities during the upcoming season.

Both tracks have had a supportive history of Enduro races over the years and many of those who compete race both speedways. That led to a sparked interest and the concept of the Mahoning Valley Speedway/Evergreen Raceway Small Car Enduro Series.

Nine races, alternating once a month per each track, will make of the series. Each race will award $500 to win, with 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th receiving $300, $200, $150 and $100 respectively. Points will be tallied for each driver and the top five in the final standings will be awarded the same payout.

The series kicks off on Saturday, March 30 at Evergreen. Then it’s on to Mahoning Valley on Sunday, April 28. Sunday, May 19 race No. 3 moves back to Evergreen. On Sunday, June 16 Mahoning welcomes back the show for round 4 and then Evergreen on Sunday, July 21. The series stays at Evergreen for a Sunday, August 25 event while Mahoning gets a reappearance for the next two on Sunday, September 15 and Sunday, October 20. The conclusion of the inaugural twin-track outing will be Saturday afternoon, November 2 at Evergreen.

The series is open to all 4-cylinder, front wheel drive Enduro cars.

Each track has other racing events slated for all of the aforementioned dates as well.

Additional information will be upcoming. Interested parties can also keep updated on each track’s website www.evergreenracewaypark.com and www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com

A NEW FAITH

With the New Year comes new decisions. If you are like me you have a routine, things you do to start the day, things you do during the day and things you do at the end of the day. They help give a structure to our day, a framework that has a certain security and comfort to it. Let’s break out of that this year and step out on faith. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Many race teams have them; checklists. You can see them if you visit the garage, taped to the side of the car with a list of work to be done, items to be checked. Some of the best teams have a process they do religiously after each race. The checklist is completed, initials identify the person who completed the work. Once the car is put back to a baseline condition then the preparations for the next race can start. Out comes the new list.

I read about a successful young driver trying to make his way up the ranks, you may have heard of him, Carl Edwards. He shared about the routine he had developed after each race. When he would return to the shop, no matter what hour, he would clean the car; he drove on dirt. He would put the car up on stands, tires off and any issue at the track would be addressed. He shared if it was time for a refresh then the engine would be taken out and prepared to go to the engine builder. His theory was that although it was late and he was tired he would be ready to hit the ground running the next day instead of trying to remember what needed to be done to the car for the next race. He credited this strategy with helping him be one step ahead of the competition. 

Religious activity can be applied to many things in life, from racing to church. Sometimes we get so caught up in religion that we forget the life we have been called to requires that we walk in faith. Faith means trusting God to lead, guide, council, convict and discipline. Giving someone else control of our life is not a comfortable place for us. We like the framework of religion, dos and don’ts that help us define boundaries. The problem is that when we limit ourselves by that framework we are not allowing God to prompt us to step out of our box.

We can see the same thing at the track, teams that just do what they know works perform well for a while, but by not looking for a way to improve, change, move forward soon they are not at the top of their game. We need to continue to push outside of the box if we want to improve. Faith requires that we use the framework to give us the confidence to broaden our horizons.

Hebrews 11:1-3, (NIV), Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

You see there was this community in Texas and all five churches were having a terrible problem with squirrel infestations. Predictably, they all had different ways of dealing with the problem.

The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.

In the Baptist church, the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Methodist church got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

The Catholic church came up with what they thought was the best and most effective solution: they baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Still, the Jewish synagogue beat them all: they took one squirrel and had a short service with him called a bris — and they haven’t seen a squirrel on the property since.

Keeping within their religious framework didn’t allow them to think outside their box to deal with the problem. Religion can be a hindrance to stepping out on faith. God provides a baseline security for each of us. Jesus died for our sins, through acceptance of Him we receive forgiveness and our eternity is secure. Our relationship with God is secure, we will be victorious. He then challenges us to step out and trust Him. The Bible records the examples for us.

By faith Noah, by faith Abraham, by faith Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, by faith …. All these people were still living by faith when they died. That faith was credited to them as righteousness. What will be said about us? Will we be safe and comfortable in our religious activity? Or will we step out on faith and let the Lord lead us to a life that accomplishes things that only God could do?

We can’t just claim to be God’s Children, we must walk by faith! We will only experience God’s continued blessings by stepping out on faith. Has your life become routine, flat, comfortable, and secure? My guess is you haven’t stepped out on faith in a while. You haven’t trusted God to cover you as you followed His lead. We can fall into the trap of religion and routine. Life needs to be more than that. Ask a racer, if you are not pushing the envelope you are not getting faster. Likewise, if you are not stepping out on faith, you are not living life to the fullest, you are not experiencing the abundant life that comes with following God by faith.

Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

Andy’s View

Andy Jankowiak at Jukasa Speedway July 14th 2018 Michael Jaworecki Myracenews Photo

Well our Allentown venture didn’t go as planned, my year never starts out well since we started going there. I won the pole for the first event they held in 2015 and its been all down hill ever since. Allentown seems to bring out the worst in us indoor guys. Lots of crashes, of course. The straights are narrow due to the layout of the grandstands so you end up with a paper clip type shaped track. I think the layout difference equates to why we see more contact and more problems. The tight confines of Allentown’s ppl center threw curve balls all weekend it seems. Our car was so dominant in the most recent indoor event at Albany and I didn’t give the different track layout enough respect when I was deciding how to set my car up for the weekend.  We were out to lunch when we unloaded, which was humbling after a long summer of fond memories about how dominant our car was in last years indoor finale at Albany.


You never want to admit it when its not going to be your day. No one ever does until its over. Regardless of how far our reality drifts  away from expectations we never believe our goals are out of reach. That’s a human condition. Looking back it was clear that this just wasn’t our day. We qualified through the heat, barely. Still, having to pass and making the top four in a twelve car heat isn’t an accomplishment ill take for granted. This indoor deal is tough. Things did feel like they were getting better and the car felt great early in the race. We made our move into the top ten quickly and the car had great speed. For a moment it seemed like things may be looking up and we still had a chance to make some noise here in Allentown. Then the transmission stripped third gear around lap 10, the gear my rear end was set up to run in. I stripped forth next so I tried running in fifth. For reference to my regular Saturday night racing friends, racing in fifth is the big car equivalent of putting your quick change gears in upsides down. I dropped to the rear hoping to ride it out for some points and to my surprise we still had some speed. We passed some cars and held our own.


It became obvious very quickly that last year was in the past. We walked in there with high expectations and we were getting punched in the face. I guess this is how those football teams feel when they go into a game as an 8 point favorite and get run over by a team with a 3 – 13 record. We just couldn’t seem to get anything rolling. Things got real for me during time trials when the car fell into the wrong gear and we missed the inversion. I had gone from trying to plan on how to win to trying to figure out how to qualify. The transmission shifting was also my first clue that we may have a transmission issue going on. In a tq engine the engine and the trans are one in the same, same oil and all. So a transmission issue equates to an engine change. I do not have a spare engine so I played the only card in my deck.. I ignored it and pretended all was well. Its called the “turn up the radio” theory on how to deal with stressful mechanical issues and it comes with a soothing feeling of relief once one allows oneself to indulge.


I kept going for a little bit hoping to hold on but at some point my mind recalled that the engine and transmission share oil. At this point the competing voices in my mind began having a conversation. Racer Andy wanted to stay out and snake a top ten for the points but budget Andy didn’t want to blow up the expensive engine. In the end I decided… or maybe we decided… that I still needed an engine for the gamblers classic in a few weeks. Boring cautious Andy won the day and my race was over.


Ill be happy to forget night number one of Allentown. Now that I’ve so carefully articulated the event for your reading pleasure ill be settling onto that task right now actually. I know what your thinking, stories over. Terrible right? Well fret not. Allentown is a two day event with another feature to explore and relive. The story of night number two starts out at the end of night number one and features our star pupil once again, otherwise known as a boy with a car but no engine.


Who doesn’t love Days of Thunder? Its just the best movie ever. I know you have all see it but just for the sake of me telling this story with perfect clarity lets revisit the part of the movie I want to highlight here. The movie ends with Cole Trickle in need of an engine the night before Daytona. As you all know, he borrows an engine from his former car owner who is now his competition and then goes on to win the 500 (and get his face all dirty minus the area shielded by his goggles). The goggles part is mostly irrelevant but I like that part so I said it anyway. Anyhoo, flash back into our Allentown weekend and I am in need of an engine to borrow. The favor would be extended by my former car owner, Trey Hoddick who had a spare engine for his entry but would be able to spare it for the race the next day. Days of Thunder started playing in my head and I began to feel a bit of fate and opportunity being placed into my lap. What an excellent story this would make I thought to myself…


Before glory was to be had and stories were to be written there was the matter of actually installing the engine… As I’m sure you can guess at this point that didn’t go as smoothly as we thought it might. Notice a trend here? We had the old engine out before the pits closed Friday and we got to work as soon as we could Saturday to get the new one in. We had ambitions of making the first warm up but of course, the engine wouldn’t start. We fought with it and missed the first two warm ups until Treys engine builder came over and figured out that we had a plug in wire loose. We got her fired up just in time for the final warm up and we ran six laps. Of course we ran the fastest lap of the day and won final practice over 48 cars. Oh how quickly the pengelum of racing fortunes can swing.. 


Next up was the heat. I did the math in my head and my calculation was that I needed to be in the top two to make the inversion if I had any day dreams of completing my Days of Thunder tale. We ended up starting fifth and making it to second. Come redraw time we drew the outside pole. My goal was well within my grasp. I had an excellent start at the drop of the green and went to the business of running the outside. My problem was the guy on the inside didn’t turn when we got to turn one. By turn two we were so high that he was getting past on the inside and I was back to sixth.


Oh how the pengelum swings. If not for that first set of corners I believe we had that race won in my mind. I cant really get to mad, its indoors and I am not an angel. Its just how it goes sometimes.. we live and die by our bumpers. We still had our chances. I would claw my way back up but I would always be behind someone who wouldn’t go on a restart or I would make a pass and the yellow would fly and they would go back a lap. We ran the fastest lap of anyone in the race while in traffic at the halfway point which made our failure to close this deal out ever tougher to swallow. I got frustrated as the race went on and I made a mistake when I ran out of patience trying to make a pass for forth towards the end and we were penalized to the rear of the field. We ended up getting back to sixth in a chaotic final ten laps that saw lots of yellows. 


This will be one weekend we will be eager to have behind us. I made way to many mistakes, both in preparation and my driving. You really have to be perfect all weekend to win an indoor race. Its so hard to rebound from a bad time trail lap or a mistake in the heats or features. We just have to do better, our car is to good to missing these opportunities. I know what my team is capable of and that makes it so much harder to accept it when we fail to execute. If you do the little things right the good luck will follow, that’s just how racing works.


I do have some good things that I can take away from weekend number one of 2019. For all of our troubles, both self inflicted and the unavoidable, we stuck together as a team and gave ourselves a chance. It was a true struggle. We were beat up after this one. Changing engines and all, its just a lot of work. We were one corner away from holding another indoor trophy despite our troubles, so I have hope. Id like to give a mention to my diligent and dedicated group that gave me a chance this weekend, Jake, Rick, Bruce, Tony and Leximarie in the pits as well as Rick from 2kwik as an advice council all weekend and my boy Jimmy G back at the shop doing all the hard work so we can go have the glory on the weekends. I would also like to thank our engine builder, Sparky Grape who always takes time to offer his knowledge whether he is at the track or not. Total team effort all the way.


I would also like to thank Trey, Karl and the entire Hoddick racing team for loaning us the engine to use. If not for them we would not have been able to race on Saturday. We may be competitors on the track but we are always a racing family in our hearts. 


In closing I want to mention that our team was racing with a heavy heart in Allentown with the loss of our dear friend and indoor team sponsor Christine Simon. She was from the Allentown area and was always a huge supporter of al my racing, especially the indoor racing. We lost her very suddenly just before Christmas and she was in our thoughts all weekend. We were grateful to have her husband, Edward with us in the pits over the weekend. I am confident Chrissy was with us as well in spirit. 


Up next, fixing an engine and heading to Atlantic City for the Gamblers Classic. Be sure to tune in for our next adventure. 

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