Jack Ely, Matt Hirschman and Earl Paules are Mahoning Valley Triple 25 winners

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 5-7-16) The Modified Triple 25s at Mahoning Valley Speedway have always proved to be thrilling, flat out racing as drivers are put to the test in the relatively quick runs to the checkers. There is no time for taking one’s time. With the combination of high speed laps around the ¼-mile saucer and coupled with a very equal playing field of drivers, the features are more times than not all out action filled and it certainly was this night.

And while many come to expect some of the usual suspects in these events when the checker flag waves, there is also the unexpected as well and each of the $1000-to-win jaunts produce those results.

DSC_a810-2113_edited-1Rookie Jack Ely claimed his career first Modified win in race number one while a pair of veterans, Matt Hirschman and Earl Paules, drove to victory in races two and three.

For Ely, it would be safe to say that the 18-year old from Wall Township, NJ furthered his skill level in leaps and bounds. For a driver who was making just his fourth start in a Modified, Ely did a brilliant job of holding off an onslaught of journeymen racers.

He jumped into the lead from his pole starting spot and then proceeded to hold a solid line in defense of his spot. After Nick Baer, another rookie who is soon to make his mark, was passed by John Markovic, Ely was then be put to the task.

Markovic was riding on his outside and making every effort to pull by. Jimmy Zacharias and Paules where then running two-wide behind the leader. Ely, however, remained in concentrated, never once flinching.

As the race was winding down Markovic was beginning to turn up the pressure and just as they were about to complete the five to go signal, he nosed ahead for the lead. Unfortunately it was for naught as the caution also came out at the same time for a spin between Baer and Kyle Strohl.

This was a big break for Ely who was back on top for the restart but even with the few laps remaining there was no time to relax. Markovic once again pulled alongside and would use every bit of horsepower to get past but the young lion would not waver and held on for the memorable victory that was mere .014-second margin of victory.DSC_a2236_edited-1

An invert by way of a pill draw would see the first 11 finishers’ flip-flop the grid for race number two and on the pole would be Hirschman. With that one would think that this would soon be a race for second given all the expectations of the very able first placer starter.

This was not the case at all, however. While Hirschman did take the lead, he was soon joined by Bobby Jones and from there on it was another barnburner.

Jones never let Hirschman pull to any length of a distance, keeping in step with him the entire time. The battle was very intense and although it rarely happens whenever Hirschman is in front, he would momentarily give up the lead to Jones after a lap 18 restart.

In two previous appearances Hirschman had to settle for very close seconds and had no intention of settling there again. With five laps left he surged back on top and held on for a narrow win, his first of the season.

DSC_a2292_edited-1For the third feature the field was again inverted, this time the top 14. The front row would be comprised of Lou Strohl and Gene Bowers and when the action got underway that pair would control the early going while Paules was locked in behind.

Strohl, who was driving a team car for Paules, was running the low line with Bowers tucked in tightly behind him. Paules then began to do his bidding from the outside lane but it would take some time and patience, something that is limited in a 25-lapper.

Paules was able to get a half car by Bowers and at the same time use the other half of his mount to let Strohl know he was there.

After easing by for second he continued to ride the high line and used a burst of momentum to overhaul Strohl at the start of lap nine.

While Paules was now securely in first, Strohl and Bowers kept up their battle which would go to the rookie class driver by lap 12. Bowers would remain there to the finish as he could only watch as Paules had pulled comfortably ahead and took his first win of 2016.

In the closing laps point leader Eric Beers stomped up through the front five and grabbed third at the line over Zacharias.

In Late Model action it was Paul Koehler Jr., picking up his second win of the young season. Koehler needed all of the first 10 laps in order to make a pass on early leader Lorin Arthofer II but once he did it was no contest as he cruised on to a significant margin of victory.

Point leader Mike Sweeney was in a torrid battle with Travis Fisher the entire run and for the fourth time in as many starts had to settle for second at the finish.

Aaron Kromer was on the pole for the Street Stock main and would be there at the end as well, notching his first verdict of the year.

Once the race began there would be no looking back for Kromer. Even though he was under an abundance of stress from Stacey Brown and Jon Tracey, Kromer just refused to back down. And there would be no rest for anyone either as for the second straight week the 30-laps were contested caution free.

The Dirt Mod field was a bit light on this night with just five cars but that did not deter in anyway the competition that saw Billy Lasko drive to his career first victory.

Defending champ Ricky Yetter got our front early on and was making it seem like a race for second, which was until a restart on lap 16 when point leader Aleia Geisler snookered him for the lead.

Keeping close tabs was Lasko and just a few laps later he was driving underneath Geisler and into the lead. Over the final tours the “Bethlehem Bandit” did what was evident from the start of the season, he held his ground and took a well-earned first ever stock car win.

In the Pro 4 feature it was Josh Scherer going to the head of the pack over Ryan Graver on lap three. Then when point leader Bobby Kibler Jr., showed up next to him it became be a nail-bitter the rest of the way. Scherer would win by .001-second margin.

Rich Mutarelli passed Michael Wambold on a lap six restart and went on to top another full field of Hobby Stocks for his first visit to Victory Lane this season.

Race Recaps May 7th 2016

1st Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jack Ely, 2. John Markovic, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Jimmy Zacharias, 5. Gene Bowers, 6. Terry Markovic, 7. Eric Beers,  8. Kristopher  Graver,  9. Bobby Jones, 10. Lou Strohl, 11. Matt Hirschman, 12. Earl Paules, 13. Glenn Slocum, 14. Kyle Strohl, 15. Don Wagner, 16. Calvin Carroll, 17. Nick Bear, 18. Todd Bear, 19. Anthony Sesely, 20. Brian Sones DNQ: Mike Quinn, Mike Bednar

2nd Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Hirschman, 2. Jones, 3. Kochenash, 4. Beers, 5. Ely, 6. Graver 7. Kyle Strohl, 8. John Markovic, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Todd Baer, 11. Zacharias, 12. Paules, 13. Bowers, 14. Lou Strohl, 15. Slocum, 16. Nick Baer, 17. Sones, 18. Carroll, 19. Sesely, 20. Wagner

3rd Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Paules, 2. Bowers, 3. Beers, 4. Zacharias, 5. John Markovic, 6. Todd Bear, 7. Hirschman, 8. Kochenash, 9. Jones, 10. Graver, 11. Ely, 12. Kyle Strohl, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Nick Baer, 15. Mike Quinn, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. Mike Bednar, 18. Slocum, 19. Carroll, 20. Sones DNS: Sesely, Wagner

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Paul Kohler Jr, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Travis Fisher, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Jeremy Miller, 6. Lorin Arthofer, 7. Josh Oswald, 8. Troy Bollinger, 8. Chris Anderson

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Aaron Kromer, 2, Stacey Brown, 3. Jon Tracy, 4. Todd Ahner, 5. Mark Martini, 6. Jason Frey, 7. Justin Mooney, 8. Jared Ahner, 9. Corey Edelman, 10. Zach Graver, 11. Josh Mooney, 12. Chip Wanamaker, 13. Kristy Arthofer, 14. Jon Moser, 15. Jason Kuhn, 16. Randy Ahner Jr, 17. Rick Reichenbach, 18. George Ramos, 19. Greg Long, 20. Logan Boyer DNQ: Jamie Smith, Dan Freundt, Joe Stangle, Jeremy Scheckler,

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Billy Lasko, 2. Ricky Yetter, 3. Aleia Geisler, 4. Ray Deemer,Mark Levy

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Josh Scherer, 2. Bobby Kibler Jr., 3. Shawn Hoffman, 4. Tyler Stangle, 5. JD Light, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. John Bennett, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Ryan Graver, 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Latonia Barlow

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Rich Mutarelli, 2. Colton Perry, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Michael Wambold, 5. Shayne Geist, 6, Seth VanFossen, 7. Avery Arthofer, 8. Waylon Speer, 9. Ken Reeder, 10. Tiffany Wambold, 11. Randy Sicher, 12. Dean Strohl Jr., 13. Nicolas Kerstetter, 14. Ryan Berger, 15. Austin Beers, 16. Brayden Spencer, 17. Cody Geist, 18. Jesse Strohl, 19. Sam Ryan, 20. Devon Schmidt DNQ: Dean Strohl Sr.,

Photos by Walt Smith

 

Otto Sitterly Tops Supermodified Charts with xXx Independent Super; Mike Bond Fastest SBS in Oswego Testing

Bill Taylor Photo

 

OSWEGO, NY (May 7, 2016) – On a near perfect Saturday afternoon, nearly 40 racecars took to Oswego Speedway for its annual open practice session with Otto Sitterly and defending Pathfinder Bank SBS champion Mike Bond leading the speed charts.

A total of 14 different Novelis Supermodifieds were on hand with 12 machines recording official lap times on the fast 5/8 mile oval.

Sitterly, the seven time Speedway champion, had three racecars at his disposal during the afternoon including one un-numbered machine that instead donned the letters xXx.

The xXx, which is the No. 2 driven by Dave Shullick Jr., sported the fresh independent front suspension design recently allowed once again in the Speedway’s rule regulations.  Initially the car was not expected to be at the Speedway until closer to Memorial Day Weekend, but instead the racer was ready for open practice.

Sitterly spent the majority of the afternoon in the ride, wheeling it to the quickest lap of the day with a circuit of 16.549 seconds.

“The No. 6 and the No. 7 are ready to race next week, so we have just been working on this car (xXx),” said Sitterly.  “It feels good.  No shakes, no vibrations.  We are really just trying to build a notebook on the independent car.  I think it turns good, but it still feels a bit tight.”

When asked if there was any game plan set for Sitterly to run the IFS on opening night, Sitterly finished with a usual calm and relaxed, one liner.

“Dan, the game plan changes 500 times a day.”

Dave Danzer, who set the quickest time in hot laps last year, was the second fastest driver of the day in the No. 52.

Danzer blitzed the Speedway with a lap of 16.611 seconds, but felt that the engine in the machine may be slightly flat.

“The car is good but the motor feels a bit down,” said Danzer.  “Overall the track is pretty tight.”

Danzer said the team has plans to update the No. 72 ride driven last season by Dave Cliff.

“We’re going to be making updates to the car Cliffy ran last year, I hope to have it out in a few weeks,” said Danzer.  “It should be as good or better than this car today.”

Michael Muldoon, Brandon Bellinger, Pat Lavery, and Dave McKnight joined Sitterly and Danzer in the 16-second bracket.

Lavery was able to take his first laps in his Xtreme chassis ride for 2016, while McKnight began adapting to the converted Gary Morton No. 70.

Lou LeVea Jr. made his first laps in the former Nicotra No. 00 driven last year by Joe Gosek.  LeVea adapted quickly taking the No. 83 down to a lap of 17.161 seconds.

Jeff Abold, Dave Gruel, and Dan Connors Jr. completed the Supermodified lineup of drivers to take time.

The Aric Iosue No. 11 and the all new Kody Graham No. 21 were also in the pit area, but only to fire their engines.

A total of 18 Pathfinder Bank SBS were on hand with defending champion Bond leading test times at 18.851 seconds.  Bond was the only car under the 19-second bracket.

Kreig Heroth, Anthony Losurdo, Jason Simmons, and Dave Cliff set the five fastest times of the day.

For more information on Oswego Speedway be sure to visit www.oswegospeedway.com.  You can also FOLLOW on Twitter @OswegoSpeedway and LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OswegoSpeedway.
Pathfinder Bank SBS:
74 – Mike Bond
04 – Kreig Heroth
1 – Anthony Losurdo
98 – Jason Simmons
50 – Dave Cliff
87 – Matt Magner
01 – Dalton Doyle
54 – Camden Proud
7 – Alex Hoag
9 – Jack Patrick
37 – Jesse Bearup
69 – Mark Castiglia
90 – Greg O’Connor
77 – Cameron Rowe
47 – Dennis Rupert
91 – Barry Kingsley
23 – Cameron Black
15 – James Babcock
Novelis Supermodifieds:
xXx – Otto Sitterly
52 – Dave Danzer
15 – Michael Muldoon
02 – Brandon Bellinger
91 – Pat Lavery
70 – Dave McKnight
6 – Otto Sitterly
83 – Lou LeVea Jr.
05 – Jeff Abold
50 – Dave Gruel
01 – Dan Connors Jr.
7 – Otto Sitterly
11 – Aric Iosue
21 – Kody Graham

 

BLEWETT GRABS MODIFIED WIN AT WALL SATURDAY

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ By both avoiding a couple of accidents and passing several cars in the early going Jimmy Blewett of Howell raced to victory in the 40-lap Downs Ford Modified stock car main event at Wall Stadium Saturday night. It was his first win of the season here.

Jason Treat of Jackson was the early leader as Blewett began his march to the front from 14th on the grid. A couple of cautions for minor incidents slowed the pace early and Blewett was able to move into striking distance. Blewett then chased Treat for a couple of laps before taking the lead for good.

Howell’s Eric Mauriello, who was debuting a new car, soon charged into second and chased Blewett to the finish. Derek Hopkinson of Toms River, Howell’s Justin Gumley and Trevor Alspach of Willingboro wrapped up the top five.

“Troyer Race Cars has really come up with a great car and Rob Ormsbee knows the details to make it fast,” Blewett said. “As far as getting through those accidents I guess you can say I have a guardian angel up there.”

Shanon Mongeau of Manchester won his second Snap On Sportsman race in three starts Saturday night. He chased down early leader Larry Thompson of Parlin in the early going before the duo touched exiting turn two on the 23rd lap. With Thompson momentarily loosing control Mongeau was able to race the final seven circuits to the win. Kevin Davison of Howell was the runner up with Ricky Collins of Willow Grove, Pa., Manasquan’s Kenny Van Wickle and Thompson rounding out the top five.

In a wild O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stock 25-lapper former champion Scott Riggleman of Manchester came from the rear of the pack twice to take down his first win of the year. Last year’s champion Joe Mongeau of Brick was the runner up with John Bowers of Pt. Pleasant, Jerry Koenig and Tom Rajkowski completing the top five.

Long Island racer Richie Davidowitz won the 25-lap Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars main event over opening night winner Kevin Nowak. Louie Keraitis, Malcolm Campbell and Vinny Troia were third through fifth.

Dalton Rovira won the 20-lapper for the Sunday Series Microstocks.

Racing returns this Saturday evening (May 14) with grandstand seating opening at 5:00 p.m. and qualifying at 5:45 p.m. Main event action, which will start around 7:00 p.m., will see the Sportsman cars compete in a 30-lapper and the Factory Stocks, Limited Late Models, 4 Cylinder Stocks, ATQMRA TQ Midgets and the Dirt Cars also in racing action. Scout Night festivities will honor both Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts during the evening.

The complete regular season schedule, which runs on Saturday nights through the end of September, is available at wallspeedwayracing.com as are the rules and regulations for all divisions. Post-season events, the “Spooky Spectacular” in October and the Thanksgiving weekend “Turkey Derby,” are also being planned.

Wall Stadium 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. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is CKMotorsports@aol.com.

May 7th  Wall Stadium Feature Finishes

MODIFIED FEATURE – 40 Laps – 1. JIMMY BLEWETT, HOWELL, 2. Eric Mauriello, 3. Derek Hopkinson, 4. Justin Gumley, 5. Trevor Alspach, 6. Andrew Krause, 7. Shawna Ingraham, 8. Chas Okerson, 9. Steven Reed, 10. Ron Frees, 11. Chris Lane, 12. Shaun Carrig, 13. Jason Treat, 14. Robby Walton, 15. Ed DeLage, 16. Jonathan Mandato, 17. Zack Alspach, 18. Jason Hearne

SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 30 Laps – 1. SHANON MONGEAU, MANCHESTER, 2. Kevin Davison, 3. Ricky Collins, 4. Kenny Van Wickle, 5. Larry Thompson, 6. Jonathan Laureigh, 7. Blake Barney, 8. Eric Lane, 9. Brian Doyle, 10. Dominic Fattaruso, 11. Dave Bailey, 12. Jarret DeGiantomasso, 13. Robert Sutphin, 14. Jimmy Wolcott, 15. Dan Roslin, 16. Scott Brannick, 17. Jason Caruso, 18. Matt Langbein, 19. Robert Silver

FACTORY STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. SCOTT RIGGLEMAN, MANCHESTER, 2. Joe Mongeau, 3. John Bowers, 4. Jerry Koenig, 5. Tom Rajkowski, 6. Ron Booth, 7. Richie Byrne, 8. Jerry Stanzione, 9. Rob McCormick, 10. Dave Green, 11. Rob Haberstick, 12. Eric Bodenschatz, 13. Steve West, 14. Matt Badessa, 15. Scott Maher, 16. Tony Bartone, 17. Marty Van Druten, DQ Kenny Green

LEGEND CARS FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. RICHIE DAVIDOWITZ, CENTER MORICHES, NY, 2. Kevin Nowak, 3. Louie Keraitis, 4. Malcolm Campbell, 5. Vinny Troia, 6. Ron Merlino, 7. Nick Van Wickle, 8. Chris Gall, 9. Peter Bruno, 10. Roger Nickerson, 11. Thomas Stavola

 

MICROSTOCK FEATURE – 20 Laps – 1. DALTON ROVIRA, 2 Harry Burd, 3. Tom Ervin, 4. Bob Wagner, 5. Chris Gall, 6. Jeff Weinacker, 7. Gary Scheffen, 8. Mike Fox, 9. Art Head.

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