Tag Archives: Mahoning Valley Speedway

Austin Kochenash earns Mahoning Modified 100 victory…Earl Paules is class champ;

unnamedMike Sweeney wins again in Late Models but Paul Koehler Jr., wins title

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 10-4-15) You couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish out the Modified point season at Mahoning Valley Speedway. There were five drivers that all had a shot at the title. They had 100 laps to play it out and over the final circuits there would be four of them gunning for the win.

In the end Austin Kochenash, who came into the day second in points, did all that he could by winning the main, his first at that distance, however, when the final tally of points where added, his title attempt fell just short to Earl Paules, thanks to his fifth place run.

In between them title hopefuls Kris Graver and Eric Beers tried as well for the victory as did Bobby Jones, but truth be told Kochenash showed that once he took the lead he was going to be tough to beat.

The race was the and 2nd Annual Bob “Heavy” Scherer Memorial, named in honor the former driver and later championship crew chief to Beers. He passed away last year after a courageous bout with cancer.

“It was a good run and we finished the year out strong. We didn’t win as many races as we’d have liked but this was great to win one of these 100-lappers. Heavy always made the time to come over and talk with me so to win this race in his name is very special,” said Kochenash after notching his third triumph of the season.

“The car was decent but not great. I was able to manage my tires early and when I got to the front it was good enough to win.”

Kochenash started 11th and would play a waiting game over the first half of the event. During that time Eric Kocher led and was steadfast while holding off Kevin Rex Jr., and Kyle Strohl.

Still bidding his, Kochenash made his way into the top five on lap 27 and was patiently waiting for the right moment to start picking off the next four cars ahead of him. He would get a little help in the form of cautions that allowed him to move ahead and the best of those situations came on lap 52 when second running Rex Jr., got spun after a dust-up with Strohl.

On the ensuing restart Kochenash was now second and with that the waiting was soon over. One lap back to green and he was out front. On his tail though was Jones and not long after came Beers.

“I let those guys play it out ahead of me early on and then once the outside opened up I was able to pass quite a few cars there,” said Kochenash.

Paules in the meantime was having his own issues and had made several pit stops before settling in past the lap sixty mark. He was, at one point, far enough behind that would have given the title away.

At the front Kochenash was in charge but by no means running away with from the pack. Jones and Beers battled for second while staying right with him.

The final 25 laps had all kinds of intensity as the race for the win and the title was up for grabs. Beers, who had no choice but to go for the win in order to stake his claim for the crown, picked up second on lap 70 and was going all out to pass Kochenash. Nothing doing as Kochenash wasn’t letting this one slip away.

Despite the blitz from Beers, then Jones and finally Graver with five laps to go, Kochenash held his ground and earned the $3500 paycheck, which was increased even more thanks to lap bonus money.

Paules finally got his car dialed in as the laps wound down and was fifth at the finish, good enough to earn his second Mahoning Modified championship.

“It was a clean race and up until about two (laps) to go just I ran fast enough to keep the car on the bottom. With them on the outside of me I knew where they were and with two to go I just stepped it up. The car ran well and I know it will be good for the (Octoberfast) 150,” said Kochenash.

In the Late Models Mike Sweeney for the second time in as many weeks and ninth on the season would win the battle but it would be Paul Koehler Jr., who would win the war and title.

Sweeney, who was the only driver that could surpass Koehler, had to go for broke by taking the victory and hope that the standings leader was far enough behind in the process.

On a lap 10 restart he grabbed take the lead over Jacob Kerstetter. Sweeney then had some close racing with Travis Fisher but wouldn’t stick around long enough to let that tussle or anything else get in his way.

The task at hand was to win and he did just that, taking a two-car length advantage at the checkers. Jeremy Miller and Fisher had a great duel for second.

Sweeney’s hope for a bad run by Koehler never happened as he was fourth and became the first driver to win four Late Model championships.

Outgoing Street Stock champ TJ Gursky ended weeks of frustration by picking up his second win of the season over Stacey Brown.

While Gursky was on his way to winning there was and concentrated fight being waged for the class title. Zach Graver, by just one spot over Randy Schlenker, was crowned the titlist.

JP Curry authored an impressive performance in claiming his second Dirt Mod win of the season. Curry led every lap and was never challenged at all.

The Pro 4 win went to Bobby Kibler Jr., for a fifth time but it wasn’t enough for his bid at the title as Cody Kohler’s fourth place effort garnered him the top ranking.

Rookie Kyle Krempasky capped off a super season by scoring his fifth feature win with the Hobby Stocks. Cody Geist, who was runner up, received the big prize, that of champion driver.

Modified Feature Finish (100 Laps): 1. Austin Kochenash, 2. Kris Graver, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Eric Beers, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Kyle Strohl, 7. Roger Coss, 8. Terry Markovic,9. Lou Strohl, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Todd Bear, 12. Chip Santee, 13. JP Curry, 14. John Markovic, 15. Mike Quinn, 16. Calvin Carroll, 17. Kevin Rex Jr., 18. Don Wagner

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps):  1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Jeremy Fisher, 3. Travis Fisher, 4. Paul Kohler Jr., 5. George Ramos, 6. Troy Bollinger, 7. Barry Kutz, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Kenny Hein, 10. Troy Hilliard, 11. Broc Brown, 12. Jacob Kerstetter

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. TJ Gursky, 2. Stacey Brown, 3. Jason Kuhn, 4. Aaron Kromer,   5.  Kristy Arthofer, 6. Jon Tracey, 7. Zach Graver, 8. Randy Schlenker, 9. Randy Ahner Jr, 10. Jared Ahner, 11. Jamie Smith, 12. Jason Frey, 13. John Bennett, 14. Todd Ahner, 15. Gene Bowers, 16. Corey Edelman, 17. Jillian Long, 18. Kevin Kromer, 19. Chris Steigerwalt, 20. Joe Mooney

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. JP Curry, 2. Jack Ely, 3. Aleia Geisler, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Ricky Yetter, 6. Mike Stofflet, 7. Billy Lasko, 8. Dave Gorbatuk, 9. Scott Adams

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Jake Kibler, 3. JD Light, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Kailyn Beers, 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. Josh Scherer DQ: Bobby Kibler Jr.

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Kyle Krempasky, 2. Cody Geist, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. Seth VanFossen, 5. Ken Reeder, 6. Shayne Geist, 7. Ron Heeter, 8. Lyndsay Buss, 9. Waylon Speer, 10. Bob Azarowitz, 11. Nicole Quinter, 12. Michael Wambold, 13. Austin Beers

Due to rain, Saturday, October 3 racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway postponed until Sunday, October 4 at 3:00 pm

unnamed(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 10-2-15) Due to the forecast of rain throughout the day on Saturday, October 3, Mahoning Valley Speedway is postponing the scheduled race event and proceeding with their planned rain date of Sunday, October 4.

Sunday’s racing will start at 3:00 pm with heats, then features.

Pit gates will open at 11:00 am. Warmups will begin shortly after 12:30. Grandstand gates open at 1:00.

Drivers please note that sign-in will take place from noon to 1:15.

Sunday’s racing is the finale for points. The highlight will be the 2nd Annual Bob “Heavy” Scherer Memorial 100 for Modifieds which pays $3500 to win and is race number five of the Central States Modified Gamblers Series.

Late Models, Street Stocks, Dirt Mods, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks will run regular distance features.

Adult grandstand admission is $20. $2.00 off for students, seniors 65 + and active military. Must have ID. Children 10 and under are free.

Pits are $30 for members and $40 for non-members. There is a $50 entry fee to all Modified teams.

Additional news can be found on the track’s official site at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley Speedway and on Twitter at twitter.com/MahoningSpeed.

Mahoning Valley Speedway is adjacent to the Mahoning Valley Farmers Market on PA Route 443 just a few miles west of Lehighton.

Eric Beers scores second straight Mahoning Modified win

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Mike Sweeney extends win total to eight with Late Models; Ricky Yetter claims Dirt Mod title

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 9-26-15) Eric Beers turned in a very impressive drive, coming from 12th to first in just 11 laps and then continued on to a dominating 3-second margin of victory. It was his second consecutive win and fifth of the season.

Beers may have had no one in sight of him, however, being in the thick of a very tight point battle and with just one race to go, he had his own concern and quickly turned to see who had parked behind him while in Victory Lane. Once seeing it was point leader Earl Paules, he knew the win was good but realized he still had his work cut out for him for a shot at another title.

“He’s (Paules) is still ahead of me and there’s more pressure on him then me. We’re going to go after him as good as we can,” said Beers, who sits third in the standings behind Paules and Austin Kochenash.

When the race got underway Chip Santee picked up the opening lap lead. Only one lap was scored before the yellow was waving for an incident that involved title hopeful Don Wagner and Brian DeFebo. Wagner got hit from behind and then slammed into DeFebo in turn four. Also collected was Calvin Carroll. Wagner was double-towed back to the pits and returned without losing a lap, thanks to a lengthy clean up. He then soldiered on to a 13th place tally.

That would be turn out to be the only caution of the race. Santee still led once the action resumed but Beers was clearly on a mission. On the restart he was in 11th but began picking off cars in quick order. By lap four he was in the top five. Three laps later he was running second and swiftly zeroed in on Santee.

After a few circuits of hugging Santee’s rear bumper, Beers then took the low line in turn three and executed his race winning pass by the completion of lap 11. From there on he was in a race of his own as the Freightliner No. 45 was one-sided to his counterparts.

“Once we get a nice rhythm going it’s a fun car to drive. It was good not to see a caution. All the lanes opened up tonight and we showed ‘em what we had,” said Beers.

“We worked really hard the last few weeks to get the car better and better and it’s getting close. We have a little bit more tweaking to do and it will be right where we want it. Hats off to my crew who put a great car under me tonight.”

It was the 45th career Mahoning win for Beers and the 20th time he was able to give his car owners Dave and Laura DeLange and feature victory.

“They’re the greatest car owners I’ve ever driven for. They’re great people and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to race for them,” said Beers.

Paules was able to take second spot after a close battle between himself, Santee and Kyle Strohl. On lap 22 the trio went three wide that almost became disastrous for all. Santee and Paules had been running side-by-side with Strohl right behind. The inside lane had slightly opened and Strohl took the chance to move in. As he did he bumped into Santee who then did the same to Paules. Amazingly all three kept pointed in the right direction, although Santee would fall off the pace. Paules took second spot from that point while Strohl raced home third.

“Eric (Beers) was just making holes and we were trying to go with him. When you’re point racing it’s only five points from first to second so he gained only five points tonight and I’m not really worried. I just have to keep those guys in front of me and hopefully it will all take care of itself,” said Paules, who is 25 points to the good heading into the finale.

Mike Sweeney made sure the Late Model championship fight will be decided at the season point finale as he captured his class leading eighth win of the year and will face off against Paul Koehler Jr. for the crown.

Sweeney took control of the lead with an outside pass on Kenny Hein with 12 complete and then sailed smoothly ahead the rest of the way. 

Koehler was able to secure second with four laps to go but had nothing for Sweeney. Hein had his best night of the year, running in the lead early on and maintained second until the final circuits.

Jamie Smith began and finished the Street Stock feature in first place. Smith was able to lead all 30 laps for his first win of the season and also becomes the 19th different race winner of the year. Jonathan Tracey was on Smith’s tail over the final laps and took second with Joe Mooney third.

In the Dirt Mods it was Aleia Geisler taking her second win of the season. Geisler started second but was leading by the end of lap one. Afterwards there was no stopping the talented lady racer as she was way too powerful to catch. Runner up Jack Ely did make a late race try but Geisler was not to be denied.

By virtue of his heat win, Ricky Yetter was able to clinch the 2015 championship despite one more race to go.

For the first time in nearly 10 years Josh Scherer has returned to Victory Lane, taking the top spot in the 20-lap Pro 4 main. Scherer led from lap two and was able to hold off Bobby Kibler Jr., by a slim margin.

Shayne Geist scored his fifth Hobby Stock win of the season, keeping his brother, Cody Geist at bay by a half car length. For Cody it wasn’t a total loss as he heads in the next week’s finale tops in points and in a solid position to win the class championship.

Larry Fisher made his first Mahoning start in over 10 years a good one as he cruised to victory in the Small Car Enduro.

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Kris Graver, 5. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 6. Austin Kochenash, 7. John Markovic, 8. Lou Strohl, 9. Kevin Rex Jr., 10. Todd Baer, 11. Terry Markovic, 12. Eric Kocher, 13. Don Wagner, 14. Matt Higgins, 15. Chip Santee, 16. Tony Zatsko, 17. Broc Brown, 18. Brian DeFebo, 19. Don Wagner, 20. Calvin Carroll

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Kenny Hein, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. George Ramos, 6. Barry Kutz, 7. Broc Brown, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Travis Fisher, 10. Darryl Bruenig, 11. Troy Bollinger, 12. Don Wagner, 13. Geno Steigerwalt DNS: Greg Steigerwalt

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jamie Smith, 2. Jonathan Tracey, 3. Joe Mooney, 4. Kristy Arthofer, 5. Joe Stangle, 6. Randy Schlenker, 7. Aaron Kromer, 8. Zach Graver, 9. TJ Gursky, 10. Todd Ahner, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Gene Bowers, 13. Jason Frey, 14. Randy Ahner Jr., 15. Brian Labar, 16. Jillian Long, 17. Stacey Brown, 18. Jason Kuhn, 19. Chris Steigerwalt. 20. Josh Mooney DNQ: Mark Martini, Corey Edelman, Logan Boyer, George Ramos, Jeremy Scheckler

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Aleia Geisler, 2. Jack Ely, 3. Mike Stofflet, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Scott Adams, 6. Ricky Yetter, 7. John Banashefski, 8. Dave Gorbatuk, 9. Bill Sittler Jr., 10. Billy Lasko, 11. JP Curry, 12. Scott Hyland

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Josh Scherer, 2. Bobby Kibler Sr., 3. JD Light, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. TJ Kemmerer, 8. Eric Danyluk, 9. Kailyn Beers, 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Nick Baer

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Cody Geist, 3. Michael Wambold, 4. Ken Reeder, 5. Rich Mutarelli, 6. Kyle Krempasky, 7. Thomas Hunsicker Jr., 8. Jeff Biegley, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Steve Tito, 11. Waylon Speer, 12. Nicole Quinter, 13. Seth VanFossen, 14. Ryan Berger, 15. Bob Azarowitz, 16. Ron Heeter, 17. Kyle Scisco, 18. Devon Schmidt DNS: Tom Cavagnino