Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Bobby Jones withstands the intense challenge from Kyle Strohl for 75-lap Mahoning Modified win

By DINO OBERTO 

Walter Smith Photo

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 7-13-19) Three previous times this season Bobby Jones and Kyle Strohl had one-two finishes, all very close too with Jones winning twice and Strohl the other. However, none could match Saturday night’s 75-lap feature as they not only fashioned another 1-2 run which went in favor of Jones, but it was a thrilling white-knuckle duel that went done to the wire.

After Strohl had taken the lead from Earl Paules on lap 26, it wasn’t long after that Jones stepped into second spot and thus began a torrid battle of side-by-side racing. Each taken turns at the lead in the process and for Jones, he had an exhausting time when out front as Strohl attacked him relentlessly from both inside and outside lanes.

There was even a point when it became a three car battle for the lead when John Markovic made it a triple-wide attempt for the spot. He would later concede to the front pair and over the final dozen laps it was extremely hard fought with Jones doing everything possible to hold off Strohl.

“I’m really tired and I felt I didn’t have a car that could win tonight, maybe second or third place at best. But I never wanted to give up and I really wanted to win this race,” offered Jones who was slightly overcome from heat exhaustion. “I gave everything I had and this kid – he’s is something.”

Jones won $2500 in picking up his class leading third win of the season and remain firm in the points lead with the start of the second half underway.

On a few restarts Jones proved slightly better and that allowed him the advantage in embracing his lead at those times.

“I was good on some of the starts. I could heat that right front (tire) up and get the car a little tighter and stay out on front of him (Strohl). But I only had about three laps to stay there and cover him and I had to decide what line I wanted to run in order to defend because he was much faster,” explained Jones.

“Luckily for me I stayed the higher lane and it didn’t get us loose and it helped me keep enough momentum that he couldn’t fully make the pass and that’s what I needed to get this win.”

Strohl indeed gave it his all having to settle for close second. His car was working perfectly and it showed with his ability to change lanes at will and push Jones to the limit.

“Tonight we really hit it on the set-up. I just needed one little slip up from him (Jones) and this was mine,” bottomed lined Strohl.

“But he held his line prefect and congrats to Bobby. I like aggressive racing but I wasn’t going to wreck him for the win. He gives a lot of respect and despite to hard racing we both have clean race cars.”

Markovic placed a solid third. Eric Kocher had a respectable outing taking fourth with Paules rounding out the top five.

Frankie Althouse continued his amazing streak of either first or second place finishes in garnering his firth Late Model victory in 11 2019 starts.

Early in the day Althouse could be seen watching his top rival, Mike Sweeney, taking in early practice and getting a feel for what lie ahead for him, after all in the last six races alone he was second and of those four times it was behind Sweeney’s No. D11.

Not looking for another runner-up score, this night saw Althouse take the lead at the outset and then what has become a somewhat common scene, there was Sweeney on his tail. This time, though, there would be no denying him as he kept up his front running pace and confidently held back any and all advances from Sweeney in racing to his 31st career Late Model win. In the process he holds onto a slim lead in points.

Jon Moser raced to a third Street Stock win of the season and in doing so would deny a very strong running Jillian Long of her first.

Long roared past Austin Santee on lap two and then proceeded to keep firm in her first time leading a feature this season. When Moser finally came upon her with 10 laps to go, she never gave way and the two competed closely and cleanly.

However, a restart with six laps go would be the decisive moment for Moser as he used that moment to surpass Long for the lead and hold he back to the checkers. For Long it would mark her best finish to date.

Bobby Jones, Frankie Althouse and Jon Moser all won their respective features and all as class point leaders, so for Bobby Kibler Sr., it was much of the same during the Pro 4 main.

Kibler led from the outset and notwithstanding some late race pressure from Jake Kibler, held on to notch his fourth win and add slightly to a slim lead in the standings in his quest for a career firct championship.

In just her second season of Hobby Stock racing, Peyton Arthofer has developed into a highly competitive driver. She proved that statement soundly with a flag to flag run in front of the 20 car pack, at times with a significant distance over the rest.

Had it not been for a late caution that bunched the field her class leading third win of the year would have been considerably ahead of second place Jacob Boehm and third place Devin Schmidt, who were a car length behind at the conclusion.

Modified Feature Finish (75-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. John Markovic, 4. Eric Kocher, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Lou Strohl, 7. Gene Bowers, 8. Kevin Rex Jr., 9. Ron Haring Jr., 10. Josh Scherer, 11. Brian DeFebo, 12. Todd Bear, 13. Heath Metzger, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Nick Baer, 16. Austin Kochenash, 17. Matt Hirschman, 18. Anthony Sesely, 19. Corey Edelman, 20. Jacob Kerstetter, 21. Terry Markovic DNQ: Beau Drobot, BJ Wambold

Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Frankie Althouse, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Samantha Osborn, 5. Brandon Turbush, 6. Dylan Osborn, 7. Rick Smith, 8. Kenny Hein, 9. Avery Arthofer

Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Jon Moser, 2. Jillian Long, 3. Jamie Smith, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Josh Mooney, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Mark Martini, 10. Mark Deysher, 11. Aaron Kromer. 12. Tucker Muffley, 13. Shayne Geist, 14. Dennis Buss, 15. Brennen Coulter, 16. Jeremy Scheckler, 17. Ruch, 18. Todd Ahner, 19. Austin Santee, 20. Bobby Kibler Jr. DNQ: Randy Schlenker, Cody Geist DQ: Steven Steigerwalt

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Peyton Arthofer, 2. Jacob Boehm, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Travis Solomon, 5. Al Arthofer, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Trisha Connolly, 8. John Petro, 9. Cody Boehm. 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Tyler Nemeth, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Ken Reeder, 14. Peter Maier, 15. Kassidy Altemose, 16. Austin Ahner, 17. Eddie Jones, 18. Josh Oswald, 19. Tad Snyder, 20. Taylor Schmidt DNQ: Rich Mutarelli, Mallory Kutz, Terry Peters

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Tucker Muffley, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Tyler Stangle. 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Kadie Pursell, 8. Matt Clark, 9. Randy Schaffer DNS: Bobby Kibler Jr.

$2500-to-win Modified 75-lapper headlines Saturday action at Mahoning Valley Speedway

LEHIGHTON, PA. 6-24-19) Mahoning Valley Speedway heads into the mid-point of the 2019 season this coming Saturday evening, June 29 with a special 75-lap Modified feature that will reward the winner $2500. Race time is 6:00 pm.

            And, all indications are pointing towards a great race for the top prize with a number of noteworthy drivers looking to cash in at the always demanding paved ¼-mile oval.

            Matt Hirschman has tossed his name into the ring and will no doubt be a creditable opponent. He won the season opening 100 and in his home state he is two for two, recently scoring a 75-lap victory at Evergreen Raceway.

            In both those wins Hirschman was followed closely by Austin Kochenash who has three runner-ups at Mahoning and will be looking to advance those finishes by one.

            Two-time and defending Mahoning champ Brian DeFebo is coming off his first win of the season and did so by beating current point leader Bobby Jones. Jones is a double winner in 2019 and has his car running well enough to make it three.

            Kyle Strohl and Josh Scherer have visited Victory Lane twice and have plenty going their way to stop there a third time this Saturday as well.

            John Markovic and Terry Markovic, Don Wagner, Anthony Sesely, Lou Strohl, Nick Baer, Ron Haring Jr., and Earl Paules are among the others who can clearly figure in as winners.

            As an added twist the Modified feature will be a cone race format.

            Joining the Modifieds will be the Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks.

Front gates open at 4:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $18, $2 off for students, seniors 65+ and active military. Children under 10 are free. Pits will open at 11:30 am. Early paid practice ($25 per car) will be from 12:30 to 3:30. Regular warm-ups begin at 4:15. Pit admission $30 members, $40 non-members. Driver sign-ins will be from 3:00 to 4:15.

Mahoning takes a summer break on July 6 and then returns on July 13 with a 50-lap/$1200-to-win Late Model headliner plus there will be a special Mahoning Valley/Dorney Park Legends event to conclude the night.

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

Brian DeFebo holds off Bobby Jones for first win of ’19; Mike Sweeney nips Frankie Althouse again in Late Models.earns 50th class victory

By DINO OBERTO

            (LEHIGHTON, PA. 6-22-19) As the season is reaching the mid-way juncture, it has become commonplace to see Brian DeFebo to have already won at least once if not several times, which has been his calling card to the past two Modified championships at Mahoning Valley Speedway. DeFebo is a 10-time winner in the prior two seasons here.

But a for a number of issues, those winning ways had been sidetracked, his best showing being no better than third, that is until Saturday night when he cracked the win column for the first time in 2019 which was a down-to-the-wire finish over Bobby Jones. 

Brian DeFebo in victory lane at Mahoning Valley Speedway June 22nd 2019 Walt Smith Photo

            “It’s been a while it seems,” said DeFebo after taking his 102nd career win and 72nd with a Modified.

“We’ve been struggling here since the final two races from last year when we wrecked the car. We’ve been trying something new every week to try and get back on our hot streak and tonight it worked. I’ve always been confident and I know once we start winning one race we’ll begin to click off more and that’s fun.”

DeFebo, who started fifth, showed early on that his car was worthy, jumping right into second behind leader Ron Haring Jr., in just two laps. Four circuits later he was in front and pulling away.

            As DeFebo was holding his own, Haring maintained second over John Markovic. By lap 16 point leader Jones had powered to runner-up, gaining the spot after a restart on that tour. That in turn set up what would become a hard fought duel the rest of the way between he and DeFebo.

            Trying inside and outside Jones made every attempt possible to get past. There was even one moment where he almost lost control due to speedy dry that had been spread from a previous incident.

            But after Jones regained his footing he then put heavy pressure on DeFebo and would try one last time when the final lap was underway, looking to the bottom in turns three and four but DeFebo throttled down and was able to eke out the victory.

            “I knew he (Jones) was there and it’s always tough when you’re in the lead and you have to go to defense because you don’t know what line to be in and you wind up backing yourself up. I saw him on the outside and then heard him on the inside but we stood our ground,” said DeFebo.

“Bobby (Jones) is a great guy to race with. We seem to think alike and that’s why we get along both on and off the track. Where both here to win races.”

            Josh Scherer turned in another solid performance with third while Lorin Arthofer II had a notable fourth place tally. Markovic rounded out the top five.

            For the third consecutive week Mike Sweeney won the Late Model feature and for the third time it was under tense conditions with Frankie Althouse.

            Sweeney wrangled the lead from one very impressive Avery Arthofer who had led from the outset. The rookie was in front for the first time and showed remarkable skill in leading a group of accomplished veterans in Sweeney, Althouse and Jeremy Miller.

            Sweeney, though, began to apply pressure and made his winning pass by squeezing to the low side of Arthofer with just eight laps to go.

            Althouse was soon to follow and over the waning circuits there was plenty of nip and tuck between the pair. Sweeney would hold tough – again, in what was hard-nose racing between he and Althouse.

            “I’m going to have to invest in some new rear bumpers,” said Sweeney as he received a wave of cheers and jeers in Victory Lane. “Listen to this place, this is what Mahoning Valley is all about, the all-out excitement.”

            This was Sweeney’s 50th career Late Model win at Mahoning and he’s quickly approaching the all-time mark held by Paul Koehler Jr.

            Sweeney made note to the great run by Arthofer who settled for fifth, her second such in as many races.

            “She (Arthofer) ran a great race and has been doing very well. She just gave up the bottom there a little which was enough that I was able to sneak it in for the lead,” offered Sweeney.

            Althouse’s second place, his ninth top-2 in in 10 starts, keeps him ahead in the standings just slightly over Sweeney.

            Randy Ahner Jr., erased a three year dry spell, winning his first Street Stock feature at Mahoning for the first time since 2016.

            Ahner kept a close chase on Jamie Smith for a number of laps, just biding his time and patiently waiting for the right moment to strike. With eight laps to go he got that opportunity when he moved inside of Smith and was able to deliver the race winning pass. He then went on to his 20th career class victory over a fast approaching Todd Ahner and Shayne Geist.

            For the second time in as many weeks and third on the season, Cody Kohler was the winner of the 20-lap affair.

            Kohler passed Bobby Kibler Sr., on lap seven and was seamless the rest of the way in garnering his 23rd career win. Jake Kibler took second.

            The Hobby Stock feature was one that will be talked about for some time as Kassidy Altemose not only won for the first time but it was in a crowd rousing battle between her and Travis Solomon.

            In the final few laps each driver swapped lead not only at the start/finish line but several times around the track.

            Rubbing and banging their way and at times looking as though a wreck was about to happen, they focused themselves on the checkers with Altemose nipping Solomon by inches for the thrilling outcome.

            The Dirt Mod feature, under a cloud of controversy, was won by Mike Stofflet over Ricky Yetter.

            However, after further review of issues that developed throughout the night, Yetter was disqualified for unsportsmanlike actions by his team.

            Also, the class is being suspended and will not run until further notice.

Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Bobby Jones, 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. John Markovic, 6. Lou Strohl, 7. Terry Markovic, 8. Nick Baer, 9. Kyle Strohl 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Ron haring Jr., 12. BJ Wambold, 13. Heath Metzger, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Ear Paules 16. Gene Bowers, 17. Jacob Kerstetter

Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Frankie Althouse, 3. Samantha Osborn, 4. Geno Steigerwalt, 5. Avery Arthofer, 6. Rick Smith, 7. Jeremy Miller, 8. Kenny Hien

Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Randy Ahner Jr., 2. Todd Ahner, 3. Shayne Geist, 4. Jon Moser, 5. Randy Schlenker, 6. Jamie Smith, 7. Mark Martini, 8. Mark Deysher, 9. Cody Geist, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Steven Steigerwalt, 13. Rick Reichenbach, 14. Josh Mooney, 15. Tucker Muffley, 16. Dennis Buss, 17. Brennen Coulter, 18. Bobby Kibler Jr., 19. Austin Santee

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25-laps) 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Louie Horvath, 3. Devin Schmidt, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Colton Perry, 6. Frank Parastino DQ. Ricky Yetter

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Kassidy Altemose, 2. Travis Solomon, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. John Petro, 5. Ken Reeder, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. Al Arthofer, 9. Cody Boehm, 10. Tad Snyder, 11. Peyton Arthofer, 12. Jacob Boehm. 13. Peter Maier, 14. Eddie Jones, 15. Shane Troutman, 16. Ralph Boger Jr., 17. Todd Geist, 18. Daryl Rex DQ: Devin Schmidt, Trisha Connolly DNQ: Mallory Kutz, Austin Ahner

Pro 4 Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Tyler Stangle, 4. Bobby Kibler Sr., 5. Tucker Muffley, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Randy Schaffer, 8. Matt Clark, 9. Kadie Pursell, 10. Gary Schloch