Category Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Futures class to run together with Rookie Hobby Stocks

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 1-22-21) When Mahoning Valley Speedway promoter Keith Hoffman introduced the Rookie Hobby Stock class last season, at the time little did he or anyone else know the impression it would have with such an influx of young racers looking to drive stock cars.

From the very beginning the division saw an amazing array of up-and-comers, good car counts that stayed steady all year and even a class sponsor in E. Schneider and Sons Inc. Scrap Metal and Recyclers of Allentown.

“I wanted these kids, young and old, to get the feel of racing in a stock car and also what it felt like to win a race at Mahoning Valley and be greeted by a large cheering crowd,’ explained Hoffman.

“We accomplished that and in the process paved the way for the next generation of stars to race here.”

That was indeed the case as eight different winners graced Victory Lane in 11 events held. Hallie Muffley, who never raced a car prior to that, came out as the top winner with three victories while Paul French, Jr., was hailed as the very first class champion.

2021 will see a host of those talents take the step up, which is exactly what the focus of the class is designed for. However, there will be some who may not be quite ready to make that advancement and feel another year of getting better adjusted to the surroundings will be in their best interest.

Parents and guardians agree too, which is what led track management to institute a “Futures” class.

Although those racers not moving up are no longer a rookie with the first year under their belts, the Futures class will combine them with Rookies. Each feature will see two winners, one Rookie and one Futures.

“This was the best course of action that we felt was the right thing to do,” offered Hoffman.

“We saw that some of the Rookies, even though they all did a great job, where not yet ready to make the step into the regular Hobby Stocks or higher and this will now provide a more safe and basic environment for them to do so.”

And, they will have adequate track time to improve and nurture with 21 race dates.

At the present time Hoffman noted that a three-year and out rule will be instituted for the Futures/Rookies.

The Futures/Rookie Hobby Stockers along with all others will get the first opportunity to get on track starting March 13, 20 and 27 with Test and Tune days in advance of the Saturday, April 3 Opening Day which is also race number one of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series featuring the Bill Teel Tribute.

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

Mahoning Valley Speedway reveals 2021 Hall of Fame Series honorees

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 1-17-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2021 race schedule is nearly complete with just a few minor details that remain before officially releasing the full slate of events.

The speedway is, however, proud to announce the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) will be back. After an unqualified successful debut last year in which five selected honorees where paid homage with special races, it is with great privilege that the next selection of esteemed individuals are named.

The late Bill Teel, a three-time Modified champion, the late Ward Crozier Sr., past promoter and racer, 1972 Modified champion Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Lorin Arthofer Sr., a many time winner in Modifieds and patriarch of Arthofer family of racers and Paul Bauscher, Late Model champ of 1972 and many time winner in Modified and Late Model action.

“We’re very excited to be able to follow-up on what was such an amazing run of events last year when we introduced the Hall of Fames Series,” said Mahoning promoter Keith Hoffman.

“This year will see another amazing group of people who are very deserving and I can assure you they and their families where overwhelmed and honored when we contacted them. It’s amazing how in just one year this has blossomed into such great event that both our fans and drivers are so enthusiastic about.”

Teel won Modified titles in 1988, 1990 & 2000 and also was the 2011 car owner champion with driver Tyler Haydt. Although he passed away in 2012, his popularity with fans is still as strong as ever. Teel scored career 16 wins and until last season held the record for consecutive Modified victories at four in a row. Matt Hirschman tied that mark in 2020.

Crozier is best renowned for the reopening of Mahoning Valley Speedway in 1987 following the closing of Dorney Park Speedway. He and wife Dot’s vision has become a legacy as the track will kick off its 34th consecutive season since they brought life back to the paved ¼-mile oval that prior to then had sat dormant for 10 years. Crozier is also noted for his innovative virtuosity as a promoter, evident by the packed house he was able to maintain during his tenure as the helm.

Heffelfinger, who just celebrated his 75th birthday, has been a staple at Mahoning as well as Dorney Park where he began his popular career as hard-charging wheelman. At Dorney he ranks among the top-10 of all-time winners. When Mahoning became an asphalt track in 1970 Heffelfinger quickly became one of the top runners. His son, Roger Jr., and grandson, Austin Kochenash, carried on the family success with championships and wins at not only Mahoning but numerous other tracks as well.

Arthofer Sr., is another product of Dorney Park, where he quickly established himself as a winner. When the Crozier era began at Mahoning Arthofer won early and often. More so his family including sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughters and nephew have made the Arthofer name one of the most triumphant ever at Mahoning. With a combined 123 feature race wins to date they are the winningest family at the Lehighton speedway.

Bauscher, best known as “The Flying Farmer” was as good as they got, be in a Late Model or Modified. From his earliest days of racing at Dorney Park and then on to Mahoning Valley, Bauscher was a threat each time he rolled his signature No. 91 on the track. He owns three Late Model titles at Dorney and added a Modified crown at Mahoning in 1972. He is also credited with the first Modified victory under Crozier’s reign on May 9, 1987. Bauscher continued to compete into the early 1990s and still attends weekly action at Grandview Speedway.

Matt Hirschman, who won four of the five MVSHoFS races last year, was proclaimed the champion of the inaugural series.

The 2021 season and first race of the MVSHoFS is on Saturday, April 3 with the Bill Teel Tribute. Next comes the Ward Crozier Tribute planned listed for Saturday, May 15. Race number three will be held on Saturday, June 16 featuring the Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Tribute. Next up is the Lorin Arthofer Sr., Tribute on Saturday, July 31. The finale will be held as part of the Hall of Fame Classic weekend on October 1-2, concluding on that Saturday with the Paul Bauscher Tribute.

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

Mahoning Valley Speedway/Evergreen Raceway champion Bobby Jones geared for first run at World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway

Photo Walt Smith

(Palmerton, PA 1-10-21) Over his 30-plus years of racing on the eastern Pennsylvania short track asphalt circuit Bobby Jones has put together a sterling career. Between Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton and Evergreen Raceway in St. Johns, the 48-year old ace who hails from Palmerton, owns a combined 49 feature wins and four championships including this past season when he won the Evergreen Modified class title.

When Jones hits the track at either facility he is immediately pegged as a favorite for the win.

Jones has also been known to race elsewhere too, with stops at Wall Stadium, Stafford Springs, Thompson and other speedways.

Now the popular ace will be adding another new venue, one that he says has been on his bucket list for some time. He has filed an entry to run the 2021 World Series of Asphalt Stock Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida starting the week of February 4.   

“It’s something I wanted to do for a long time and everything just fell nicely together and there’s no time than right now to go down there and I’m excited about it,” said Jones.

“This is definitely something I want to mark off my bucket list. I always wanted to it do but honestly never thought I would.”

Preparation began just over three weeks ago and since then he and the team have been burning the midnight oil in readying themselves. 

“Some of the preparation I had been doing to the car were things I was doing anyhow for the regular season so this kind of just pushed a little faster to get everything done for Florida,” explained Jones, who will bring his 2016 TA Troyer car with the engine primed by RPM Automotive of Lehighton.

“Prepping to go to New Smyrna for five days is basically like prepping for a whole season.

We’re working on all these things now so that our turnaround will be quick for the next day. We’ll get better day after day I’m sure about that,” he explained.   

“Most of my team is coming and we’re all thrilled to be going and enjoy it. Without them this wouldn’t happen and it revolves around them and sponsorships. I’m just a little part of it.”

            Along with his hard-working crew whom largely will be accompanying him for the trip, Jones noted that some other key individuals have stepped in to make this journey possible.

“I have been getting a lot of help from Paul French. I have been driving for him at Evergreen and a few times at Mahoning Valley. He comes down from Connecticut each week to help us and we’ve been working together for a while now and it’s been a very solid relationship. He gives me so much good information and gets me the answers that I can’t get,” he said.

“He’s also been a regular at Stafford (Motor Speedway) for a long time and that’s going to be a great resources for me to better get acclimated to New Smyrna and getting around there quicker.”

            Jones also reached out to close confidant Tom Wanick III who he has driven for over the past few years.

“Tommy Wanick has also been instrumental in making this happen. Over the years we’ve had a great rapport as an owner and driver and this will be no different though this will be my own car. He’s still involved with helping out with parts and other things and is a big part of this.”

            Jones is a driver very accustomed to winning and running at the front and on this venture he plans to be no different in his approach when the racing gets underway.

“Realistically as a racer I want to go there and win races, I can’t stop thinking that. Yes I want to say that I had a good run and was able to compete but I really want to be part of the battles with a shot for winning,” Jones stated.

“For us this is a big deal to travel there and back but we feel we have that and all our other bases covered. I want to win and do the best that I can as well.”