Tag Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Kyle Strohl (2), Earl Paules and Bobby Jones take Teel Memorial wins.Austin Kochenash is overall champion

By DINO OBERTO

Walt Smith Photo

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 8-10-19) The 3rd Annual Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16s produced the expected high level of excitement as four features at 16-laps in distance meant the action was fast and furious each time out.

21-year old Kyle Strohl began the night out like gangbusters as he won the first two mains while Earl Paules and Bobby Jones would capture the next two. Austin Kochenash, the steadiest performer of the night, took the overall prize as champion thanks to his three seconds and a third.

With a random draw to start the first feature Nick Baer and Kyle Strohl where the lucky ones that would bring the field to the green, however, before a single lap could be scored several cars piled into each other just past the start line.

After the cleanup Baer took the lead but by lap four Strohl motored to the front and brought Kochenash with him. The rest of the way it was tooth and nail with the win being narrowly in favor of Strohl.

For the redraw, picked by Strohl, five would be inverted giving Kevin Rex Jr., and Bear the front row. Once again a botched start jumbled things, this time it would be Baer coming up short when he slid into the turn four wall.

When back underway Lou Strohl, who advanced to second after resetting the field, jumped out front. Not long after K. Strohl and Kochenash joined him and made it a gripping three-way battle for the lead. With no room for error, the trio blistered around each lap in tight quarters, a number of times in three-wide formation.

With three laps to go K. Strohl dipped to the inside of L. Strohl for the lead. Kochenash then went side-by-side with L. Strohl until nipping him for second on lap 15. Still plugging hard he then tried his best to make a run at K. Strohl but unfortunately time was not on his side as the checkers fell.

Since the Teel Memorial began no driver to that point had won back-to-back races. It marked the 40th overall win for Strohl.

For the third feature Paules beat out Josh Scherer for the opening lap lead and from there journeyed out for the 16-lap jaunt, getting his second win in the last three weeks and more so entering into a tie with John Bennett as Mahoning Valley Speedway’s all-time wins leader at 60.

For the final race Jones and Brian DeFebo set the stage from row one with Jones rapidly taking the lead. In short order Tyler Haydt powered to second.

There was a multi car incident on lap three and on that restart it helped move Kochenash up to second. When the action resumed and despite a relentless hard charging effort to snag the lead, Jones was able to stay the course and claim his division leading fourth victory of the season.

Jones was racing for car owner Paul French and for the first time in his career he won without his trademark No. 1 as his number. His 43rd career win came using the No. 12.  

With impressive finishes of three seconds and a third, Kochenash was the champion and earned the lion’s share of purse and contingency awards. It was his seventh runner-up in 12 starts at Mahoning and 10th top-5 of the year here.

“We came here to win some races tonight but fell short unfortunately. Winning the overall title is the next best thing. Bill Teel was a great guy both on the track and off and to win this in his name is very special. I want to thank all my sponsors, the race track and Dene Smith for all he did to put this race together,” offered Kochenash.

“Between here, Evergreen (Raceway) and all the other races this is something like are tenth second place finish. But when you run up front every event eventually the wins will come.”

It was clear that Kochenash needed just a few more laps in order to make up that one spot to win. His car was very good no matter what lane he drove but with a mere 16 laps the timing just didn’t work in his favor.

“This car is usually better in long runs so with just 16 laps everyone had to work hard to gain positions. We had good luck with the draws and overall it was a good night for the team.”

In the 30-lap Street Stock feature Randy Ahner Jr., would grab the lead at the outset and then continue there the rest for the way en route to his second victory of the season.

Ahner was able to hold off Cody Geist over the first half of the event and then had strong running Josh Mooney tail him to the checkers. Geist took a respectable third.

Jake Kibler added another victory to his all-time Pro 4 list with a dominating run. Kibler had a commanding lead for most of the race and only had the field close to him when a few late race cautions appeared. He beat out Randy Schaffer and point leader Bobby Kibler Sr., for his 36th class victory.

In the Hobby Stocks it would appear that no one may have been putting in an effort to win this year like Trisha Connolly.

Granted everyone comes to win but each week Connolly is the first car to arrive at the track for early practice and then during the feature has regularly been part of the front pack. In the end, however, luck never swayed her way that is until this night when she finally flourished with a solid run.

Taking the lead on a lap-18 restart over Kassidy Altemose, Connolly then held off Devein Schmidt for her first win of the year and becomes the 11th different winner of the season.

1st Modified Feature Finish (16-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Lou Strohl. 4. Nick Bear, 5. Kevin Rex, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Anthony Sesely, 9. BJ Wambold, 10. Heath Metzger, 11. Josh Scherer, 12. Tyler Haydt, 13. Todd Bear, 14. Earl Paules, 15. Bobby Jones, 16. Kevin Graver Jr.

2nd Modified Feature Finish (16-laps): 1. K. Strohl, 2. Kochenash, 3. L. Strohl, 4. Wagner, 5. DeFebo, 6. Sesely, 7. Rex, 8. Graver, 9. Haydt, 10. Paules, 11. Scherer, 12. Wambold, 13. Metzger, 14. Jones, 15. N. Bear DNS: T. Bear

3rd Modified Feature Finish (16-laps): 1. Paules, 2. Scherer, 3. Kochenash, 4. Haydt, 5. DeFebo, 6. Jones, 7. K. Strohl, 8. Graver, 9. L. Strohl, 10. Wagner, 11. N. Bear, 12. Sesely, 13. Rex, 14. Metzger DNS: T. Bear, Wambold

4th Modified Feature Finish (16-laps): 1. Jones, 2. Kochenash, 3. Haydt, 4. L. Strohl, 5. Wagner, 6. Sesely, 7. DeFebo, 8. K. Strohl, 9.Paules, 10. N. Bear, 11. Rex, 12. Metzger, 13. Scherer, 14. Graver DNS: Wambold, T. Bear

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

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Trisha Connolly, 2. Devin Schmidt, 3. Kassidy Altemose, 4. Al Arthofer, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Peyton Arthofer, 7. Jacob Boehm, 8. Shawn Kistler, 9. Austin Ahner, 10. Todd Geist, 11. John Petro, 12. Jesse Bollinger, 13. Philip Sabatine, 14. Tad Snyder, 15. Rich Mutarelli, 16. Ralph Borger, 17. Terry Peters, 18. Mallory Kutz, 19. Josh Oswald DQ: Cody Kohler

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Randy Schaffer, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Josh Kuronya, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Cody Kohler, 7. Matt Clark, 8. Jeremey Guerra, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Kadie Purce

Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16’s highlight Saturday racing card at Mahoning Valley Speedway

Walt Smith Photo


(LEHIGHTON, PA. 7-29-19) This coming Saturday evening, August 3, Mahoning Valley Speedway proudly stages the 3rd Annual Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16s.

In just two years’ time the Bill Teel Memorial Modified 4-16s has become a popular event for Modified racers of the paved Lehighton ¼-mile oval. 16-lap features paying $816 each along with contingencies plus an overall champion crowned and a huge trophy, Modified drivers have made certain that this event is circled on their yearly calendar.

The format will again consist of four 16 lap features. Drivers will draw for heat starting spots to qualify for the first feature. The next three races will be an invert for starting positions to be determined and provided all drivers are on the lead lap at the respective finishes. In-between features cars will be pitted in the staging area.

This will be a non-point race, however there will be “50 show-up” points towards the regular season standings.

Teel passed away in 2012. He won Modified titles in 1988, 1990 and 2000. He was also the 2011 Modified car owner champion with Tyler Haydt.

During his driving career, that began at Dorney Park Speedway and also included stints at Flemington Fair Speedway, Evergreen Raceway and selected touring events, Teel was one of the most respected drivers both on and off the track. He won a fair share of features and more so made a lasting impression with everyone who met and knew him from his outgoing demeanor. 

The 16 is significant in the fact it was Teel’s signature car number and ironically when he won his last feature on July 8, 2000, it would be his 16th

Thus far in two outings to date the race has been well received. The unique 16-lap feature format piques racers and fans alike. And, with such a short distance to get things done contemplating the right moves is never easy. Drivers need to act quickly in order to get positions and none more so than that of the lead.

In 2017 Don Wagner, Bobby Jones, Todd Baer and John Markovic scored the respective victories. Wagner also earned the champion title for his best overall finish across the four features.

Last year saw Kyle Strohl, James Pritchard Jr., Tyler Haydt and Joey Jarowicz take the wins while Markovic was named the champion.

Also on the card that evening will be Late Models, Street Stocks, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks. Race time is 6:00 pm.

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. Heats get underway starting at 6:00.

A special thanks to Dene Smith for once again spearheading the event and doing an outstanding job of putting together a respectable purse and collecting contingencies.

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.

40-year veteran John Markovic still as good as ever after dazzling Modified verdict

By DINO OBERTO

Walt Smith Photo

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 7-27-19) John Markovic has been racing for 40 years, amassing a distinguished career over that span of countless wins, numerous championships and respect amongst his peers.

Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway in front of packed grandstand for Fan Appreciation Night, his years of experience shined with a brilliant drive over hard charging Austin Kochenash and Kevin Rex Jr.

Markovic nabbed the lead from Nick Baer on lap 12. For the balance of the race he was lodged in a torrid battle with Kochenash, who made frequent attempts to gain the lead. Under intense conditions both thrilled the enthusiastic crowd in a spectacular double-wide formation.

Late into the going Rex joined in the fight as he and Kochenash traded back and forth for second spot all while looking for the opportunity to advance past Markovic.

After a grueling battle among the trio, Markovic finally powered far enough ahead over the waning laps to secure his second win of the season and 38th overall at Mahoning Valley.

In the meanwhile Kochenash and Rex remained locked neck and neck to the finish with Kochenash earning the spot by a bumper. Austin Beers and Baer completed the top five.

Mike Sweeney scored his fifth Late Model victory of the season and in the process remains closely behind Frankie Althouse in the season-long battle for the class championship.

Jeremy Miller got the jump at the outset over Avery Arthofer with Sweeney third. Following a restart on lap three Sweeney had advanced to second and one lap later slipped by Miller for the lead. However, Miller returned the favor the ensuing time around and over the next dozen laps the pair would run a tight 1-2.

Another restart with six laps to go would prove beneficial to Sweeney as he used the outside line and zip by Miller for the lead and eventually the win, his 51st at Mahoning in a Late Model.

Eric Kocher picked up his second Street Stock win of the season in a fan pleasing feature that showcased the great talent of the division.

In a dazzling exhibition of near nonstop action and with Cody Geist showing the way, the class had the crowd on edge with their rousing side-by-side engagement.

Although the field was closely bunched, Geist seemed poised to grab the checkers as he was the only driver not having to deal with opposition. That all went by the wayside with five laps to go when the only caution waved.

At the time Kocher had just passed Jillian Long for second spot and on the restart was able to keep pace with Geist. Taking pathway from the high line, Kocher had the power to strike at Geist and score his second win of the year.

Geist, who has struggled for most of the year, held on for a season best finish of second while Long was third.

For Lorin Arthofer II, winning the Sportsman Modified feature was a huge redemption for the venerable veteran. The week prior he was leading the race but with two laps to go was taken out and ended up with heavy front end damage.

But perseverance paid off. Working all week long to repair the car, Arthofer came to track not quite knowing what to expect from the repairs. All was answered soon after the event began as he led from the outset and would not waver the rest of the way, taking his class leading third win over Kyle Strohl.

Winning is nothing new for Cody Kohler, matter of fact in the previous week’s action he picked up his 24th career Pro 4 victory.

However, Kohler has been doing double duty of late, also racing in the Hobby Stocks, running a car fielded by the Arthofer team and when all was said and done he can now add that class to his winning resume.

Kohler took the lead on lap five and was then immersed in scorching battle the rest of the way over Al Arthofer and Devin Schmidt as the trio ran under a blanket all the way to the checkers.

Jeremy Guerra can finally breathe a sigh of relief after finally notching his career first win, coming in the 20-lap Pro 4 feature. Guerra has had his moments when victory looked certain only to have Lady Luck spoil the outcome.

On this night all the stars aligned as he led flag to flag, hit his marks perfectly and raced to the unforgettable victory. Point leader Bobby Kibler Sr., gave chase but had to settle with second place.

Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1.John Markovic, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Kevin Rex, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Nick Baer, 6. Kyle Strohl, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Bobby Jones, 9. Beau Drobot, 10. Heath Metzger, 11. Jacob Kerstetter, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Brett Wentz, 14. BJ Wambold, 15. Corey Edelman, 16. Ron Haring Jr., 17. Brian DeFebo, 18. Earl Paules, 19. Todd Bear, 20. Gene Bowers, DNS: Eric Kocher

Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1.Mike Sweeney, 2. Jeremy Miller, 3. Samantha Osborne, 4. Geno Steigerwalt, 5. Frankie Althouse, 6. Avery Arthofer, 7. Brandon Turbush, 8. Todd Cooper, 9. Wayne Kerstetter, 10. Rich Cooper,  11. Barry Kutz, 12. Kenny Hein, 13. Matt Wentz

Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Cody Geist, 3. Jillian Long, 4. Randy Schlenker, 5. Jared Ahner, 6. Shayne Geist, 7. Jon Moser, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Mark Martini, 10. Johnny Bennett, 11. Jamie Smith, 12. Rick Reichenbach, 13. Mark Deysher, 14. Tucker Muffley, 15. Josh Mooney, 16. Bobby Kibler Jr., 17. Randy Ahner Jr., 18. Dennis Buss, 19. Brennen Coulter, 20. Stacey Brown DNQ: Ronald Herman, Jeremy Scheckler

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Sportsman Modified Feature Finish (25-laps) 1. Lorin Arthofer, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Kassidy Altemose, 4. Danielle Paules, 5. Joe Edinger

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Al Arthofer, 3.Devin Schmidt, 4. Jacob Boehm, 5.Shawn Kistler, 6. Travis Solomon, 7. Cody Boehm, 8. Jesse Bollinger, 9. Tad Snyder, 10. Tyler Nemeth, 11.John Petro, 12. Ralph Borger Jr., 13. Austin Ahner, 14. Trisha Connolly, 15. Peyton Arthofer, 16. Mallory Kutz, 17. Paul Effrig, 18. Terry Peters, 19. Kassidy Altemose, 20. Peter Maier DNS: Ken Reeder DNQ: Lyndsay Buss

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jeremy Guerra, 2. Bobby Kibler Sr., 3. Cody Kohler, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Tucker Muffley, 6. Randy Schaffer, 7. Kadie Pursell, 8. Matt Clark, 9. Josh Kuronya, 10. Tyler Stangle