Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Matt Hirschman tops the field at Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Lorin Arthofer Sr. Tribute

By DINO OBERTO

            (Lehighton 7-31-21) Matt Hirschman proved yet again his role as one of the premier Northeast pavement Modified stars as he collected his 14th win of the year, this latest one taking place Saturday evening in the fourth installment of the 2021 John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Lorin Arthofer Sr. Tribute 71 lapper.

            Hirschman redrew ninth in the 24 car field. Inside of 11 laps he was in the top five and within eight tours of that was running down the front pair of Cody Kohler and Nick Baer. It only took him another four circuits, a restart on lap 24, in gaining the top spot from Baer and afterwards made it a race for second as he sailed on to his fifth Mahoning win in six starts and 27th at the ¼-mile oval.

            “It was a really good race for us starting from ninth and then to advance and go with all good clean passes all the way to the lead and just hold everyone off from there. It’s was a good night and it’s been a good year for us here at Mahoning,” said Hirschman. 

            “It’s so nice to honor some of these guys with the Hall of Fame Series while there still with us and they’re able to enjoy it and see the recognition they deserve. Those guys were some real wheelmen back in the day.”

            Veteran Don Wagner and rookie Kohler shared the front row and at the waving of the race commencing green by honorary starter Lorin Arthofer Sr., Wagner would get the jump and take the early lead but by the second go-around Kohler unseated him.         

Kohler, who was leading a Modified feature for the first time, then set out on a steady pace while holding off both Wagner and Baer as they raced side-by-side directly behind him. Making haste as well was Austin Kochenash who joined in the lead trio by lap nine and two laps later Hirschman added his No. 60 to the fight.

By lap 18 Baer was finally able to pull ahead of Wagner and once he did continued on towards Kohler’s outside. Hirschman likewise advanced to third, partly from a restarts and lane choice with the fact of this being a cone race.                               

As the leaders then completed lap 21 Baer had his nose out front but unfortunately it would be short lived as Hirschman utilized a restart to move to the front two laps later.

Afterwards he would have to contend with numerous challengers such as Kochenash, Brian DeFebo and eventual runner-up Zane Zeiner, the majority of those encounters taking place on restarts but each time he was quick to go and would leave no doubt of his unquestionable prowess. 

“Restarts is how I got spun out on the last one (June 26) here so I wanted to make sure I got as best start as I could. I felt I got good ones the last time here but I guess there was a little to much room for a nose to get in there so this time I tried to close that off and just try and get away,” explained Hirschman.

“You never know here with no radios and no mirrors. You can always sense if you have pressure or not and feel if their tight on you. So we just needed to execute a few laps and then I felt like we were safe.”

While Hirschman had control of the lead DeFebo and Zeiner would lock horns in a great battle for second spot as they traded the position back and forth all the way to the finish.

“It was a strong run and I may have used my stuff up a little too much but it was hard racing with Brian (DeFebo). Randall Richard’s gives us a great car and I a big thanks to the Arthofer family for all they did to out this race on,” said Zeiner.

Baer had a solid run all race long and took fourth while Earl Paules came on strong late into the race a garnered a respectable fifth.   

In the Street Stock main Cody Geist was finally able to shake off the gremlins and pick up his first win of the season.

Since getting behind the wheel of his brother-owned Shayne’s No. 4, Geist has shown his trademark swiftness but the end results where eluding him. This time, however, with advantage of starting from the pole Geist was not about to let Lady Luck or anyone else for that matter spoil his night.

When the action got underway he wasted no time in darting to the lead. Afterwards it would become a fast paced affair as the race went nonstop through the first 21 laps. All the while Geist was holding his line while close behind the opposition was very tough on him.

Teammates Mark Martini, Randy Ahner Jr., and TJ Gursky all had him in their sites but each lap by there would be no wavering from Geist.

In the closing laps Jillian Snyder was coming on in a hurry and with three laps to go not only was she up to second but began a charge towards Geist. On the final lap she tried to squeeze to the inside of Geist but time ran out as they reached the finish line. Geist held on for a slim and thrilling victory, his first since 2018. Gursky, Todd Ahner and Jon Moser rounded out the top five.

The Hobby Stock feature came down to a race of inches as Corey Edelman eked out a narrow verdict over Justin Merkel.

Merkel had been out front for the first 24 laps while ninth starting Edelman had to meticulously pick his way frontward as the race was going rapidly thanks to no cautions taking place.

That was until three laps to go when the only yellow of the event waved. On that restart Merkel was still ahead with James Tout and Edelman in line. When the action resumed Edelman made an outside power move over Tout and then closed in on Merkel. Then on the final lap slower traffic came into play and as the top two reached that car they split with Merkel went low and Edelman staying on the top.

At the checkers it would be very tight and a closer review deemed Edelman the winner, which was his class leading 19th.

In the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks Body George and Greyson Ahner put on a crowd please duel that also came down to the wire.

Ahner had been leading but with the laps running out and making use of a restart with there laps to go George was able to put the pressure on. The talented upstarts then went into the final lap trading paint in an exciting double-wide race to the finish. As they wheeled off turn four George was inside of Ahner and would cross the line by bumper for his ninth Futures win of the season.

Ahner’s runner-up, although tough to absorb, wasn’t a complete loss as he gained his seventh victory for the Rookie class.   

Modified feature finish (71-laps) 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Zane Zeiner, 2. Brian DeFebo, 4. Nick Baer, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Terry Markovic, 7. Carl Altemose, 7. Sean Verwys, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Tommy Flanagan, 11. Cody Kohler, 12. Wes Gilbert, 13. John Markovic, 14. Lou Strohl, 15. Don Wagner, 16. Rod Snyder Jr, 17. Avery Arthofer, 18. Austin Kochenash, 19. Nevin George, 20. Lorin Arthofer, 21. Peyton Arthofer, 22. Stephanie Moyer, 23. Bobby Jones, 24. Rich Cooper

Street Stock feature finish (30-laps) 1.Cody Geist, 2. Jill Snyder, 3. TJ Gursky, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Jon Moser, 6. Mark Martini, 7. Mark Deysher, 8. Randy Ahner Jr., 9. Matt VanSyckle, 10. Rick Reichenbach, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Brandon Christman, 13. Jeremy Scheckler, 14. Jamie Smith, 15. Lonnie Behler Jr., 16. Toby Behler, 17. Thomas Flanagan, 18. Dennis Buss

Hobby Stock feature finish (25-laps) 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Justin Merkel, 3. James Tout, 4. Ryan Berger, 5. Jake Oswald, 5. BJ Wambold, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. Travis Solomon, 9. Tad Snyder, 10. Nick Schaeffer, 11. Jacob Boehm, 12. Nicholas Kerstetter, 13. Shayne Geist, 14. Mallory Kutz, 15. Ralph Boger, 16. Terry Peters, 17. Cody Boehm

Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock feature finish (12-laps) 1. Brody George, 2. Greyson Ahner, 3. Reid Levengood, 4. Jared Green, 5. Maggie Yeakel, 6. Adam Steigerwalt, 7. Gabi Steigerwalt, 8. Hallie Muffley, 9. Deegan Underwood, 10. Zoey Moyer, 11. Makayla Kohler, 12. Dave Kerr, 13. Ryan Kresge, 14. Lexus Kutz, 15. Zoe Kuchera

71-lap Lorin Arthofer Sr. Tribute this coming Saturday at Mahoning Valley Speedway.Extra $$ to Modified Dash Cash top three

(Lehighton 7-26-21) This coming Saturday evening, July 31 at 7:00 pm Mahoning Valley Speedway proudly presents Race #4 of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) and the Lorin Arthofer Sr. Tribute 71-lapper for Modifieds.

            Lorin Arthofer Sr., is the patriarch of the racing Arthofer family which stands as one of the most prominent in the annuals of eastern Pennsylvania short track asphalt racing as they account for a combined 138 feature wins and five championships.

            The 71-lap Modified feature distance, which will be a cone race and pay $2500-to-win, reflects Arthofer’s signature car number throughout his career and a carried him to 18 victories between Mahoning Valley and Dorney Park Speedways.        

            “It is hard to put in words how honored I am that Mahoning Valley Speedway has considered me for a Hall of Fame tribute race,” said Arthofer.

            “I am truly blessed and grateful. My wife Betty has also had an important part in all of this too and without her encouragement and sacrifice very little would have been achieved. She made sure the home fires kept burning while the boys and I spent countless hours in the garage building, fixing and preparing for the coming races.”

            While heats, set by random draw, will help determine the starting feature grid, there is added incentives being offered as part of the preliminary action. The top two in each 12-lap heat will then go into a “Dash Cash” sponsored by Arthofer Towing and Transport of Bath and the first, second and third place finishers will each be awarded $500, $300 and $200 respectively. There will also be a check presentation sponsored by Himmer Graphics of Moscow.

            And, if the Dash winner chooses to start at the rear of the main event field and then goes on to win there will be an additional $500 coming to them.                

            There are more contingencies also courtesy of Touch of Class Detailing & Power Washing LLC of Easton, Jones Racing Products of Ottsville, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse of Florida, NY, Sherwood Racing Wheels, Arthofer Racing and Touch of Class Detailing & Power Washing LLC of Easton.

            The Modifieds will be allotted four tires for this race.

            Also on the card will be the Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks, which are also contesting in the MVSHoFS plus the Futures/Rookie Hobby Stocks.

            After three of five MVSHoFS races Matt Hirschman, who won the first two events, leads the Modified points over most recent winner Austin Beers followed by Earl Paules, Brian DeFebo and Zane Zeiner.

            Mark Deysher is tops on the Street Stocks with Randy Ahner Jr., Jon Moser, TJ Gursky and Mark Martini all in the top five.

            The Hobby Stock HoF points show Justin Merkel at the top of the rankings over Devin Schmidt, Trisha Connolly, Corey Edelman and Cody Boehm. 

            In the event of inclement weather a rain date of Saturday, August 21 will be used.

Adult admission is $20. There is a $2 discount for active military, students and seniors 65+. Must have valid ID. Children 10 & under are free. Grandstands open at 5:00 pm and racing begins at 7:00 pm.

Please log onto the official track website www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com, Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway or Twitter @MahoningSpeed for updated info and news. Mahoning Valley Speedway located on PA route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.

Jaden Brown cruises to second straight Sportsman Mod win at Mahoning Valley Speedway

By DINO OBERTO

            (Lehighton 7-24-21) In a short period of time Jaden Brown has become a reckoning force in the Sportsman Modified division at Mahoning Valley Speedway. With just five starts under his belt the 15-year talent picked up his second straight win on Saturday night, this one coming in a very strong performance as he circled the 1/4-mile paved oval virtually uncontested once the lead was his and then cruised to an uncontested victory.

            “It was really good and the car was great. I could put it anywhere I had to and it stuck no matter which lane we ran,” said Brown.

            Outside pole sitter Mia Guy would get the jump on Al Arthofer at the outset and by lap two third starting Brown was in pursuit of her.

            A lap three caution allowed Brown to restart next to Guy and then the action got back underway he had plenty of momentum running the top side to take the lead on the ensuing tour.

            “We had done some adjustments during the week and tonight was one of the few times that I felt that I can take my car to the outside and it stuck so I could run the high line and do what I had to from up there,” admitted Brown.

            Once Brown was in front it wasn’t long before it became a race for second as each passing lap his lead continued to open.

            “I felt pretty confident that I was gone and I wasn’t sure if anyone was near me or not so I was just riding,” explained Brown,

            While Brown was having his way the racing behind him was good. After yielding the lead Guy stayed second and was having her best run to date. Repeatedly she had to fend off Randy Ahner Jr., and was doing so very well until an unfortunate miscue caused her to spin from contention eight laps from the finish.

            From there Ahner Jr., held onto second spot while the top two point battlers, Jared Ahner and Paulie Hartwig III engaged closely to the end. First time starter Johnny Bennett rounded out the top five.

            The Street Stock feature saw TJ Gursky score his second win of the season but en route to his 32nd career victory it was as hard fought as could be.

            Tucker Muffley had the pole and went into the early lead and soon after Gursky and Jillian Snyder zeroed in on him and thus began a torrid three-cat battle.

            Under a tight blanket the trio dazzled the crowd with their close action. Muffley, in quest of a first ever win, was conducting the intense pace from the lead but at all times Gursky was on his outside with Snyder glued to his rear bumper.

            On lap 20 the leaders would get a breather when the caution was out for multi-car spinning incident. On that restart Muffley and Gursky lined up side-by-side. With a good head of steam going his way Gursky used the outside lane to overtake Muffley for the lead on the following circuit.

            Not about to give up the fight, however, Muffley would keep the pressure on Gursky to the finish and likewise with Snyder as the threesome crossed the finish line all within a few tenths of a second between each other.

            Rick Reichenbach and Mark Deysher also had a close battle and stayed within reach of the leader in completing the top five.

            The Pro 4 class race was one for the history books as it marked the 700th feature since beginning in 1988 and as to be expected all drivers were geared to make the special event their own. And, the race did not disappoint.

            Cody Kohler would come on top which would be his 35th career win but getting to the checkers was hard fought. Randy Schaffer, Tyler Stangle and Josh Kuronya all had stints at the lead. However, with just three laps to go Kohler got the better of Kuronya, taking the lead and going on to take the popular verdict. 

            Jacob Boehm raced to his second Hobby Stock victory of the season in what was a fatiguing 25-lap feature among the lead pack.

            John Petro pulled out to the early lead and was being chased by Boehm. Corey Edelman and Devin Schmidt came into the picture as the laps ticked off and in between the hot action was a rash of cautions, all making for a wild affair.

            Throughout it all though Petro and Boehm ran side-by-side. During the course of the thrilling duel Boehm frequently kept looking to the inside of Petro and at the mid-way point would be scored the new leader but his run to the checkers was far from over.

            Edelman and then Schmidt stepped in to challenge. With five laps to go Schmidt was making a run at Boehm but in the process there was contact and Schmidt encountered a right front flat that ended his hopes. The remaining distance Boehm would hold off his brother, Cody Boehm for the hard-fought win.    

            The Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock event had extra monetary bonuses on the line courtesy of the Kutz Racing Team and scoring a rousing overall win was Greyson Ahner thrillingly picked his way through the field in short order, leading with just three laps in and then going on to solid sixth Rookie win of the season.

            Futures point leader Brody George followed in second and earned himself an unprecedented eighth victory.              

Sportsman Modified feature finish (25-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Randy Ahner Jr., 3. Jared Ahner, 4. Paulie Hartwig III, 5. Johnny Bennett, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Rick Smith, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Avert Arthofer, 10.  Troy Bollinger, 12. Peyton Arthofer

Street Stock feature finish (30-laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Tucker Muffley, 3. Jillian Snyder, 4. Rick Reichenbach, 5. Mark Deysher, 6. Tobie Behler, 7. Matt VanSyckle, 8. Thomas Flanagan, 9. Mark Martini, 10. Jamie Smith, 11. Lonnie Behler Jr., 12. Jon Moser, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. Randy Ahner Jr., 15. Brandon Christman, 16. Rich Moser, 17. Dennis Buss, 18. Jeremy Scheckler DNS: Jacob Christman

Hobby Stock feature finish (25-laps): 1. Jacob Boehm, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Trisha Connolly, 4. Nick Schaeffer, 5. John Petro, 6. Taylor Schmidt, 7. Shayne Geist, 8. Justin Merkel, 9. Travis Solomon, 10. James Tout, 11. Dave Imler Jr., 12. Nicholas Kerstetter, 13. Devin Schmidt, 14. Kip George, 15. Tony Hilliard, 16. Ralph Borer Jr., 17. Corey Edelman, 18. Mallory Kutz, 19. Tad Snyder, 20. BJ Wambold, 21. Tucker Muffley

Pro 4 feature finish (20-laps) 1. Cody Kohler. 2. Mark Schaffer, 3. Kadie Pursell, 4. Terry Peters, 5. Josh Kuronya, 6. Tyler Stangle, 7. Nick Baer, 8. Keith Villiano, 9. Jake Kibler, 10. Mark Fister

Futures/Rookie Hobby Stock feature finish (15-laps): 1. Greyson Ahner, 2. Brody George, 3. Hallie Muffley, 4. Deegen Underwood, 5. Reid Levengood, 6. Dace Kerr, 7. Gabrielle Steigerwalt, 8. Makayla Kohler, 9. Arland Moyer Jr., 10. Maggie Yeakel, 11. Adam Steigerwalt, 12. Lexus Kutz, 13. Zoey Moyer, 14. Zoe Kuchera