ne of those true good guys of racing. A driver who runs everyone clean, is always capable of motoring to the front and has the knack to bring the car home in one piece. That trademark style is exactly what landed the Lafayette, NJ racer the biggest win of his 20 year career, scoring a rousing victory at Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Octoberfast 2015 worth $6000. With a dozen laps to go Coss went underneath leader Chip Santee for the top spot. He then held off Zane Zeiner over the remaining distance. Just prior to the winning pass Coss made a thrilling three-wide maneuver to the low side of Don Wagner and Bobby Jones that was nothing short of breathtaking. Ironically, Coss lost this race the same way in 2012 when he was passed 12 laps from the finish by then winner Matt Hirschman. “Without a doubt this is the biggest win of my career. We spent so much time this week working on everything and it’s really nice to have it pay off,” said Coss. “The first year that they had this race I finished second to Matt (Hirschman). He’s always tough to beat and second that day kind of hurt and I really wanted it and now we got it.”; This was the longest distance race ever run for the Modifieds at Mahoning Valley and throughout the entire race there was amazing action taking place. The majority was an ongoing two-wide duel between Chip Santee and Austin Kochenash. Santee drew the pole and had the early lead over third starting Coss. Kochenash, who has been outstanding on restarts, would use a lap 23 re-go to take over second. Coss would soon fade to the rear and would not be heard from again until it counted. At the front Santee and Kochenash would go toe-to-toe. Santee was holding his line on the bottom groove as Kochenash stayed alongside. As that battle pursued on, Bobby Jones ran third but was never quite able to strike at the leaders. The intense lead fight extended past lap 50, then 60 and was still going strong by halfway. And even though there would be a handful of cautions that would slow the action, the race for the lead always stayed fast and furious following the restarts. Lap 90 and it was still two-by-two. At 100 circuits there no change as Santee and Kochenash kept everyone on the edge with their white-knuckle racing. And, while they kept their fight going, the action behind them was heating up as well. Don Wagner was giving the Matt Higgins owned No. 88w one heck of a ride as he had taken third at lap 75. At the same time Brian DeFebo had thrust into fourth and was having quite the dogfight with Wagner. DeFebo was able to clear Wagner on lap 91 and kept close watch of the lead pair. At lap 110 the caution was out. Under the yellow Kochenash made the decision to pit for new rubber. For Santee there was no relaxing despite that as DeFebo was now second and had Wagner and Jones on his rear bumper when the race resumed. Jones would be the mover at this point, zipping by Wagner and DeFebo then gaining on Santee. It was right back to side-by-side racing for the lead only this time Jones would successfully get around, taking his No. 1J to the front on lap 120. Santee was by far having his best run of the season and not about to give up. He returned the favor on Jones the very next go-around. As the race reached 25 laps to go, positions began to change rapidly. Wagner moved back ahead of Jones for second. Coss, who at one point was running in last spot after a pit stop on lap 74, was fourth while DeFebo slipped back to fifth. As for Santee, he was barely clinging to his lead as everyone was coming on strong. Wagner was giving an out effort for the lead and at the same time fending off Jones. Zeiner had come out of virtually nowhere and into the top five at the same time. Santee was under immense pressure as behind him there was incredible competition and one of the most dramatic portions of the race would occur when Coss pulled off his thrilling heroics. On lap 136 as Wagner was running underneath Jones, Coss saw a bit of an opening and seized the opportunity. It was suddenly a hold-your-breath three wide run into turn two. Coss incredibly would leap into second. He would then keep the momentum going and went after Santee, who was losing traction from worn tires. At the start of lap139 Coss went to the front and would not relinquish it from there to the finish, despite a fast approaching Zeiner. “In the beginning I was just riding behind Chip (Santee) and without radios it’s hard to know just how fast you’re going. I felt we were going to fast of a pace so on the one restart we just dropped to the back. I saw Matt (Hirschman) and Zane (Zeiner) back there and I figured that was a comfortable zone. I thought if they’re waiting then I’m going to wait to and it all paid off,” explained Coss. “Everybody ran clean and I didn’t want to get passed once I got back behind those guys in the front so as soon as I saw a hole and the opening was there I knew I had to make my move.”; Zeiner, a winner of Octoberfast in 2013 and second last year, did not have the time to make a run at Coss. “Congrats to Roger (Coss) he had a good car tonight. Believe or not we were fighting power steering issues all night and it was tough to just hold on,” said Zeiner, who had made several pit stops but then blasted through the pact in the waning laps. “We made a lot of adjustments and just came up a little short. We’ll take second place after all that.”; For the fourth straight time Eric Beers finished third. 2015 track champion Earl Paules and Jones rounded out the top five. 15 of the 22 starters completed the 150 lap distance. Heat wins went to Earl Paules, Lou Strohl and Kochenash.
Modified Feature Finish (150 Laps): 1. Roger Coss, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Bobby Jones, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Glenn Slocum, 8. John Markovic, 9. Eric Kocher, 10. Todd Baer, 11. Brian DeFebo, 12. Ron Frees, 13. Chip Santee, 14. Terry Markovic, 15. Mike Quinn, 16. Calvin Carroll, 17. Austin Kochenash, 18. Matt Hirschman, 19. Lou Strohl, 20. Jimmy Zacharias, 21. Nick Baer, 22. Kevin Rex Jr. DNQ: Anthony Sesely
(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.
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
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.
Eric Beers scores second straight Mahoning Modified win; 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.
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.
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
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
Eric Beers ekes out narrow Mahoning Modified win over Austin Kochenash; Paul Koehler just barely win in Late Models against Mike Sweeney
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 9-19-15) Saturday night’s Modified event at Mahoning Valley Speedway was the tail of two races.
While Eric Beers fended off Austin Kochenash in a thrilling contest, the two also put forth their quest as title hopefuls. Both are part of an amazing showdown of the top five in points heading into the final two weeks of the season and after last night’s race there is just 30 points that separate those championship contenders which include Earl Paules, Kochenash, Don Wagner, Beers and Kris Graver. At the outset of the 35 lap feature pole sitter Kevin Rex Jr., commanded the early lead with Beers riding in second. Wasting little time, Beers went to the outside of Rex and began his push to the lead and with the completion of the seventh circuit that spot was his.Afterwards, thanks to a stretch of green flag laps, Beers was able to open a considerable lead on the rest of the pack as Rex, Chip Santee and ninth starting Kochenash hovered several car lengths behind. However, the game changer occurred on lap 22 when the caution waved and put an end to that ample lead.By that point too, Kochenash had worked his way up to second and for the restart fans could sense where this race was heading. Clearly the two fastest cars of the night where about to face-off for the remaining laps and did they ever. One more additional caution took place on lap 25 but afterwards the battle was on. Beers felt his best line of defense would be to hug the inside lane. Kochenash, however, was showing that he was just as fast and capable to do his bidding from the outside. With that they proceeded to put on a dazzling display of side-by-side high speed action.Kochenash would remain right alongside Beers and no more than a fender away from taking the lead. They would continue race in that fashion right to the wire with the win being determined by less than a 10th of a second. “Austin (Kochenash) is so good on the bottom and I just wanted to keep him on the outside until the end. I knew my car was good enough to beat him on the bottom and I didn’t want him to try and get underneath me,” said Beers, who raced to his 44th Mahoning Modified win.“It was definitely a good race and we’ll be looking to do this again for the next two weeks. I also want to dedicate this win to Jennifer Kutz Flannigan. I’ve known her and her family for a very long time and our hearts our out to them.”;Graver picked up third spot on the final lap over Rex while Brian DeFebo completed the top five.Although Kochenash was oh-so-close to winning, he gained substantial ground on point leader Paules and is only four behind. “I needed more race track to be able to get a run on Eric (Beers). He protected both the bottom and the outside and that’s what you have to do sometimes to win,” stated Kochenash.“I was up against the wall but that’s racing for the win. It was a good race for the fans I’m sure. We ran hard tonight and we’re going to try and win the next two and whatever happens, happens.”
In the Pro 4s it was Jake Kibler taking his fourth win of the season. After some great two-wide racing for the lead, Kibler was able to slip underneath Cody Kohler with four laps to go. He then drove on to the win, his 23rd career verdict.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Kris Graver, 4. Kevin Rex Jr., 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Chip Santee, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Earl Paules, 10. Calvin Carroll, 11. Todd Baer, 12. John Markovic, 13. Bobby Jones, 14. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 15. Nick Baer, 16. Matt Higgins, 17. Tom Wanick III, 18. Lou Stroh, 19. Eric Kocher, 20. Terry Markovic
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Bobby Kibler Jr., 5. Bobby Kibler Sr., 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. JD Light, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. TJ Kemmerer, 10. Nick Baer _________________________________________________________________
Kris Graver wins 4th in Mahoning Modifieds; Mike Sweeney picks up 7th victory in Late Models
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 9-5-15) Kris Graver raced to his class leading fourth Modified win of the season Saturday evening at Mahoning Valley Speedway. And, with just four point races remaining it also keeps the reigning champion in the thick of a very tight championship hunt.But for Graver, another title has not been the main emphasis, rather it’s all about the wins.“When I’m able to get up front and show what my car can do obviously I can win or get a good finish,” said Graver.Over the past two months he has done just that, victorious three times since July while notching seven top five and nine top tens over the last 10 races.“It’s what I come here for. I want to get the wins and good finishes so we can keep on coming back. Those guys that are ahead of us worried about points, you see where that’s getting them. I come here for the win.”;Graver’s campaign to the front began from the ninth starting spot. It would be mid-race that he eventually take the lead and once in front the No. 01 was unhampered.Pole sitter Kevin Rex Jr., set the early pace and maintain the spot for the first 17 laps. Throughout that time he was under intense pressure from a very strong running Eric Kocher.Graver, through the help of a few cautions over the first six laps, was able to maneuver into the top five and by lap eight he was battling in a torrid three car fight for the lead.There was little if no room for error as the front trio put on a sensational crowd pleasing race. Rex was having one of his better races of the year and likewise with Kocher as both where hungry for a win. But Graver was too and with the low line starting to open up as Rex’s car began to get tight, he would take advantage and slip to the bottom by lap 15. More side-by-side racing with take place before the winning pass would occur at the start of lap 19.“He (Rex) really has that car running good and it was a lot of work to try and get around him,” said Graver.Afterwards, Graver was able to make it a race for second as he comfortably pulled away from the pack and on to victory.Kocher would hold on for his best effort to date while Earl Paules came home third and with that moved back into the top spot in points. Kyle Strohl had another solid performance and was fourth while Rex rounded out the five.It was not a good night for several of the title hopefuls. On a lap five restart Don Wagner, who came into the night as the point leader, got his front end damaged in a turn two melee and spent countless laps in the pits for repairs. For the second time in as many weeks Eric Beers had a poor finish. He had stopped to avoid that same incident but in the process suffered race ending damage and was relegated to a 19th place finish. Austin Kochenash was very quick but unfortunately was twice sent to the rear for involvement in separate incidents.
Nick Bear was handed over the lead in the Pro 4 main after race long leader Josh Scherer bowed out under a caution with two laps to go. Baer then went on to his third victory of the season.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Eric Kocher, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. Kevin Rex, 6. Lou Strohl ,7. Brian DeFebo, 8. Austin Kochenash, 9. John Markovic, 10. Mike Quinn, 11. Chip Santee, 12.Nick Bear, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Gene Bowers, 15. Tom Wanick, 16. Del Morgan, 17. Don Wagner, 18. Roger Heffelfinger, 19. Eric Beers, 20. Joe Mooney DNQ: Todd Baer, Brian Romig Sr.
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Nick Baer, 2. Bobby Kibler Jr., 3. Johnny Bennett, 4. JD Light, 5. TJ Kemmerer, 6. Bob Kibler Sr., 7. Jake Kibler, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Cody Kohler, 10. Josh Scherer
Zane Zeiner comes from 14th to 1st for Mahoning Modified win; Jeremy Miller holds on in wild 3-wide Late Model finish
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 8-29-15) For the second time in as many weeks Bath’s Zane Zeiner was part of Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Victory Lane. On the previous Saturday night Chip Santee was victorious thanks in part to a set-up by Zeiner. This time around it would be himself enjoying the laurels as he drove his Atlantic Sprinkler No. 76 to a decisive victory in the 35-lap contest.Coming from 14th on the grid, Zeiner made an inside pass on Lou Strohl with nine laps to go then pulled away to two second margin of victory over Don Wagner and Strohl.“We actually struggled earlier in the night. We had motor issues in practice. We got that straightened out in the heat race but the car still wasn’t right. I have to give a big thanks to (crew chief) Barry Kuhnel who made the right call and here we are in Victory Lane,” said Zeiner. For Zeiner it was a good month at Mahoning as he opened and closed with wins, scoring a verdict during the August 1 Twin 50’s. When the race got underway Kevin Rex Jr., would take the early lead but Strohl made good use of a lap three restart to overtake him. Following in line was John Markovic who would then run alongside Rex. Zeiner in the meantime was making haste in going frontward. Thanks to a caution on lap two that saw several cars ahead of him scatter about he was able to pick up five spots. For a brief time thereafter he was settled in a tight pack but his headway would soon continue as the outside lane would allow him the opportunity to reach the lead runners. Up front the battle remained fierce as lap after lap Strohl was holding onto a slim lead. Markovic took sole possession of second by lap 12 while Wagner emerged to third and by lap16 Zeiner was also in on the action. Zeiner would need one lap to get by Wagner and the emphasis was now on the top pair. Markovic was not backing down, however, as he ran a solid race and made Zeiner work his tail off. A caution on lap 22 brought a halt to the action and on that restart Zeiner was finally able to unseat Markovic. It was now just Strohl that stood between him and victory. While most of his advancement came from the outside, Zeiner tried to take that same course with Strohl but to no avail. With that in mind he then made the switch to the inside and powered past him ii turn three with nine laps to go. Once in front he was smooth and steady en route to the $1800 win. “What a performance tonight. Everyone knows I love running the bottom here but for a while the outside was the lane of choice,” said Zeiner. “I saw him (Strohl) getting tight and our car was getting tight too and I knew I would have to get him as soon as possible. I went underneath him and that was it. It was hard racing with Louie.”; While Zeiner was cruising to the win, Wagner was coming on in a rush and on the last lap went to the outside of Strohl, taking second spot at the line. That swift maneuver also put him back into the point lead with five regular shows to go. “What a good fast bunch of cars this year. Congratulations to Zane (Zeiner), he only comes up here once in a while but he always brings his A-game,” said Wagner.
The Pro 4 feature saw the lead change hands three times in the final four laps including the white flag circuit when Jake Kibler rebounded around Bobby Kibler Jr., for his third win of 2015.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Lou Strohl, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. John Markovic, 6. Bobby Jones, 7.Austin Kochenash, 8. Kristopher Graver, 9.Mike Quinn, 10. Earl Paules, 11. Eric Kocher, 12. Chip Santee, 13. Brian DeFebo, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Kevin Rex Jr., 16. Brian Romig Jr., 17. Matt Higgins, 18. Terry Markovic, 19. Lee Sharpsteen, 20. Eric Beers
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Bobby Kibler Jr., 3. Nick Baer, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Kevin Hoffman, 6. Bobby Kibler Sr., 7. Josh Scherer, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Johnny Bennett DNS: JD Light
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 8-22-15) Saturday night’s racing at Mahoning Valley Speedway was indicative of the type of action that has made the Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval so popular among fans and drivers. And while all of the racing was spot on fantastic, it was the Modified feature that was the real cincher of the “Mahoning Product” as winner Chip Santee and runner-up Earl Paules gave a sterling performance in what side-by-side racing is truly all about.
Santee had taken the lead from the outset, however, when Paules moved to second on lap 15. It was then a nail-biting run to the finish and with no cautions both champion caliber drivers went lap after lap in two wide formation making for one of the more spine-tingling races of the year. “I think that was one of the hardest races I ever won,” said Santee, who won his 30th career feature. “Earl (Paules) and I ran really close out there and we may have bumped a few times but it was nothing major.”; It’s been no mystery that Santee has been struggling this season. The car was not up to par and prior to this night he had only two top-5s, a victory on June 6 followed by a second a few weeks later. Other than that it has been a year of frustration. But a visit to fellow driver and chassis man Zane Zeiner of Zeiner Fabrications earlier in the week paid dividends. Going over a number of details, Zeiner worked his magic off the track while Santee did his part on.“I really have to thank Zane Zeiner and his family for helping me get this car hooked up and of course my crew. I was just about ready to give up. Eric Beers also reassured me of my confidence to drive,” said Santee. “The car was real good the first couple of laps and then it started to get a little tight. I saw Earl try to stick it to the bottom a few times and I have to thank him for giving me room. I saw his left side tires for nearly the last 15-20 laps. It was an awesome race, it was intense and close and that’s why people come to this race track to see this kind of racing.”;Paules indeed did all he could to try and get around Santee. For the most part he stayed to the outside although there were a few attempts to try a low line pass.“It was fun out there. He (Santee) has been working on his car and it paid off. Zane helped him out and you can’t get a better guy then him,” said Paules. “I thought I was going to wear him (Santee) down a little more then that but he held on. I got underneath him once on the back stretch there and I just didn’t feel like I was going to go in there hot without getting into him. That’s just the way you have to race around here.” Paules maintains the point lead over Beers who was third at the finish and making a valid run towards the front pair before the checkers waved.
For a fourth time this year Bobby Kibler Sr., was the top finisher in the Pro 4s. Kibler Sr., inherited the lead on lap four after his son, Bobby Kibler Jr., was bumped out of the lead by Nick Baer. It was then smooth sailing the rest of the way.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Chip Santee, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Kris Graver, 5. Terry Markovic, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Zane Zeiner, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Austin Kochenash, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. John Markovic, 12. Brian Romig Jr., 13. Rick Reichenbach, 14. Lou Strohl, 15. Kevin Rex Jr.,
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Cody Kohler, 3. JD Light, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Josh Scherer, 6. Bobby Kibler Jr., 7. Shawn Kistler, 8. Johnny Bennett, 9. Bill Rooney, 10. Nick Baer, 11. Kailyn Beers, 12. Chad Miller, 13. Joe Stangle
Eric Beers wins battle of Mahoning Modified title contenders; Mike Sweeney by inches over Paul Koehler Jr., in Late Models
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 8-15-15) Eric Beers won his third feature of the season Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway in a race that was flat out thrilling between himself and fellow title contenders Earl Paules, Don Wagner, Austin Kochenash and Kris Graver.All five drivers ran the majority of the race in a tight pack until late in the going when Beers turned up the wick on his No. 45 Horwith Freightliner mount and eased away to a two car length margin of victory over Wagner.Beers, who is coming off two woeful weeks of racing that saw him finish 14th and 13th respectively and fall from second to fourth in points, was in top form on this night but so too where his peers which made for some amazing action.Starting third, Beers went by John Markovic on lap three and then needed only one additional circuit to pass leader Eric Kocher. Markovic would also get around Kocher and was able to stay in check with Beers.Kocher was holding steady over the first half until point leader Paules stepped up to confront him. It would take Paules until lap 15 to secure third and not laying back he soon moved ahead of Markovic, but when it came to getting Beers it was not so easy and making things just as hard was the fast moving Wagner who joined in the on the lead battle following a lap 19 caution.As Beers handled the lead Paules and Wagner went back and forth for second, each looking for any chance at the lead car. At the same time Graver and Kochenash crept into the top five and stayed very close to the front trio.At any given time Paules or Wagner looked as though they could take over from Beers but the “Master of Faster” was upholding his spot with precision and poise in otherwise forceful conditions.Keep in mind that Graver and Kochenash where in striking distance. Graver actually got scored in third over Paules under side-by-side racing. That also allowed for Wagner to breakaway and to alone battle with Beers but despite repeated efforts, Beers held the line and rolled on to his third win of the season.He then dedicated the victory to his late friend and racer John Blewett III who passed away in a racing accident eight years ago on this same weekend.Beers also leaped back up to second in the standings, tied with Wagner. They are only eight points behind Paules while Kochenash and Graver also remain very close.
In the Pro 4’s it was point leader Cody Kohler winning for the third time and in doing so put a slight buffer between him and current point’s runner Bobby Kibler Sr. who was third. In between them at the conclusion was Nick Baer.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Kris Graver, 5. Austin Kochenash, 6. Kyle Strohl, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 9. Eric Kocher, 10. John Markovic, 11. Chip Santee, 12. Kevin Rex Jr., 13. Terry Markovic
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Nick Baer, 3. Bob Kibler, Sr., 4. JD Light, 5. Shawn Kistler, 6. Bobby Kibler Jr., 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Josh Scherer, 9. Kailyn Beers, 10. Joe Stangle 11. Jake Kibler
________________________________________________________ August 8 - After taking the lead with six laps to go, Kris Graver had no problem pulling away to his third Modified win of the year on Checkered Flag Fan Club Night at Mahoning Valley Speedway. However, getting to the front was a whole other story as he was in the grip of a torrid battle with Eric Kocher and Kevin Rex Jr., which began on lap nine and lasted until his race-winning pass.“We think we found some things that were wrong with the car and what other people are missing,” said Graver.And, while Graver was on his way to victory, Austin Kochenash continued his run of rock solid top-5 finishes with his seventh straight tally of fifth or better and in the process has heated up the division championship battle, now moving to second, just four points away from leader Earl Paules. At the outset pole sitter Kocher jumped into the lead over Kyle Strohl with Rex third. When the race reached lap five a red flag waved for a frightening crash by Paul Frantz. Frantz got turned while racing on the outside lane exiting turn two and then went nearly head-on into the turn three wall. Emergency medical crew where quickly on the scene and Frantz was taken off by ambulance for further observation. He was later transported to the hospital for an addition examination. After getting the OK he was released and returned to the track by night’s end. Unfortunately his car was severely damaged from the hit.Kocher remained at the lead on the restart while Rex took over second. Graver then came into play on lap nine and once in place he would go side-by-side with Rex and all the while they rode the rear bumper of Kocher over the next 24 circuits.With Graver running the low groove, he was repeatedly trying to sneak underneath Kocher but each time the leader would close that door. Kocher was also busy fending off Rex who was aggressively making moves from the top.For Kocher, he was also dealing with his car tightening up which was making it difficult for him to protect the inside, thus Graver got the opportunity to again put his nose in. As the field began to record the 30th lap the trio of leaders came to the line and Graver was now in front.At the same time the caution also waved for a back straight incident that took out Eric Beers. On the single file restart Graver then wasted little time in pulling away from everyone.“I was just biding my time and it was all about patience. I saw when it was seven (laps) to go he (Kocher) moved up just that little bit and I felt that was my time to get under him,” said Graver.Kochenash, who was fifth when the race resumed, quickly powered by Strohl, Rex and Kocher but time had run out for any chance at catching Graver.“Coming from 12th it’s tough to sometimes get in the right lanes. Towards the end though the outside opened up and I was able to drive to the front,” said Kochenash. “You have to know when to be patient and when to go. Kris (Graver) ran well tonight and he was able to unitize the opportunity when it came his way. Hopefully it will come our way again soon.”;Kocher held on for third, his best effort to date. Rex was fourth and Strohl rounded out the top five.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kris Graver 2. Austin Kochenash 3. Eric Kocher 4. Kevin Rex 5. Kyle Strohl 6. Don Wagner 7. Earl Paules 8. Lou Strohl 9. John Markovic 10. Mike Quinn 11. Chip Santee 12. Bobby Jones 13. Eric Beers 14. Terry Markovic 15. Matt Higgins 16. Brian Sones 17. Paul Frantz
In the make-up Pro 4 feature from July 20 Bobby Kibler Sr., took the lead on lap one and was able to stay that way for the rest of the caution free race. His son, Bobby Kibler Jr., was second. In the regular feature the win was taken by Jake Kibler who had a tooth and nail race long battle with Nick Baer.
Pro 4 7/18 Make-up Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Bobby Kibler Jr., 3. Nick Baer, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Cody Kohler, 6. Joe Stangle, 7. Kailyn Beers, 8. Johnny Bennett DNS: JD Light, Chad Miller, Harvey Keiper, Lou Gara
Regular Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Baer, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Kistler, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Kohler, 7. Bill Rooney, 8. Beers, 9. Stangle, 10. Bennett __________________________________________________________
August 1 - Zane Zeiner and Nevin George took victories in the Central States Modified Gamblers Series (CSMGS) Twin 50s Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Zeiner, of Bath, has not been a point racer for a number of years. George, from Kunkletown, has also stepped back from the grind of title chasing this season. Both look instead to the big shows thus they have made it a must on their calendar to be part of the high-dollar CSMGS. And while the field of weekly regulars is as tough as it gets, both veteran wheelmen proved their worth by turning in solid performances against a stout field. In the first 50, the line-up was determined after heats and a redraw. To begin the race the front row was made up of 15-year old Kyle Strohl and Eric Kocher. Strohl wasted no time in taking command while Bobby Jones quickly slipped into second. Fifth starting Zeiner was third. Under a blanket, the trio provided a thrilling display of close-knit action. Strohl was being heavily challenged by Jones while Zeiner stalked, ready to strike at any moment. After a lap nine restart Jones was able to take the lead but Strohl was not letting him gain ground as he stayed alongside. In an extended stretch of green flag laps, the battle for the lead became edge of the seat racing. Jones was showing the way but insistently Strohl was keeping stride and likewise Zeiner was hot on their heels. After laps of pressure, Strohl regained the top spot with an outside pass of lap 28. Two laps later Jones came back to the front. By this time Zeiner was no longer laying back and began his surge. He went around Strohl on lap 33 and then set sight on Jones. Zeiner was in the process to go underneath for the lead when the caution waved for debris. It would be on that restart which he would then use to make the race wining move. Strohl took second with 10 laps to go and two laps later Eric Beers joined in the battle. It was quite amazing too, watching young Strohl show no signs of intimidation while racing between a pair of well-seasoned veterans and two former Race of Champions 200 winners. “We’ll take this. We’ve been having good cars all year but just haven’t had Lady Luck on our side and I had said that once it breaks it will be a good thing and tonight it was,” said Zeiner. “We travel around to the big shows but I like to call Mahoning our home track and to come here and win is a wonderful feeling. Kyle (Strohl) drove a heck of race and Bobby (Jones) you could see that his car was tightening up but with his experience he made it work. We all had some side-by-side and a little rubbing but that’s what the fans come out for.” An invert of 11 was used to line-up the second 50 and George and Kocher shared front row honors. When the green waved to start the race George took the early lead while Kevin Rex Jr., moved to second. On the third circuit Austin Kochenash powered into third. Maintaining himself and able to control the pace, George was showing that he was going to be tough. Meanwhile Rex and Kochenash were in a dogfight for second. 14 laps in and Kochenash would finally win that battle. Afterwards Kochenash was on the rear bumper of the race leading No. 3 but despite a well-founded effort, George was the car to beat. Matt Hirschman, came into sight by lap 33, taking third but would not be able to match up with George and Kochenash as they sped to the checkers nose-to-tail. “Our focus is on these big shows here and the guys have done a great job getting us prepared,” said George, who was making just his fourth start of the season. “There’s a handful of cars that when you see them pull up alongside you have to be on your game and Austin (Kochenash) is one of those top guys here.
In the Pro 4’s New Tripoli’s Nick Bear took the lead on lap one and never looked back, taking his second win of the season.
1st Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Zane Zeiner, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Austin Kochenash, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Kris Graver, 9. Kevin Rex Jr., 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Nevin George, 12. Todd Baer, 13. John Markovic, 14. Matt Higgins, 15. Matt Hirschman, 16. Lou Strohl, 17. Chip Santee, 18. Terry Markovic, 19. Earl Paules, 20. Calvin Carrol, 21. Paul Frantz
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. George Ramos, 4. Broc Brown, 5. Pat Hargan, 6. Tony Hilliard, 7. Jacob Kerstetter, 8. Jeremy Miller, 9. Kenny Hein, 10. Francis Gross III, 11. Franke Althouse, 12. Josh Oswald
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Joe Mooney, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Stacey Brown, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 5. Lonnie Behler, 6. Jonathan Tracey, 7. Aaron Kromer, 8. Kristy Arthofer, 9. Randy Schlenker, 10. Jillian Long, 11. Todd Ahner, 12. TJ Gursky, 13. Jason Frey, 14. Jared Ahner, 15. Brian Labar, 16. Gene Bowers, 17. Jason Kuhn, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Zach Graver, 20. Corey Edelman, 21. George Ramos
DNQ: Joe Stangle, Bernie Uphold, Logan Boyer, SteveHoffman
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Aleia Geisler, 2. Dave Gorbatuk, 3. Lorin Arthofer II, 4. Scott Adams, 5. Ray Deemer, 6. Steve Shultz, 7. Billy Lasko, 8. Bill Sittler Jr., 9. Jack Ely, 10. Ricky Yetter, 11. JP Curry, 12. Mike Stofflet
Pro 4 Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Nick Baer, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Kailyn Beers, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Johnny Bennet, 8. Bobby Kibler Jr. ____________________________________________________________________
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 7-25-15) On a hot and humid night at Mahoning Valley Speedway, Eric Beers exited his DeLange Racing No. 45 a bit exhausted but elated none-the-less after winning the make-up Modified feature from July 18. As for runner-up Austin Kochenash, the 19-year old was not as much bothered by the heat and noted that “I’m still a kid so it’s easy and I’m ready to go again.” In an outstanding drive he did just that, returning later in the evening to capture the regular 35-lap feature and just like the first race Kochenash seemed fresh at the conclusion, considering too that this was the third feature he ran in less than 24 hours. He raced to a fourth place finish the night before in a RoC event at Spencer Speedway in upstate New York.
In the make-up feature Beers started seventh and slipped by early leader and Terry Markovic on lap 16 and then had to fight off Kochenash the rest of the distance. When the race started T. Markovic led over Paul Frantz and John Markovic. On lap two Frantz was just about to make a strike at the lead when the caution waved for a spin by Eric Kocher. On the restart T. Markovic stayed strong while younger brother J. Markovic tailed in second. Beers, then fourth, made haste of Frantz, passing him on lap eight and went into a great side-by-side battle with J. Markovic while running inches behind the leader. Making good use of the outside groove, Beers eased by J. Markovic on lap 12 and went to work on the front-runner. He needed just four laps before vaulting ahead. At the same time Kochenash had been picking his way forward and was in second one lap after Beers attained the lead. From then on it was a remarkable battle of two-wide racing. Kochenash came close in advancing to the front on several tries but Beers always held tight. The steamy action was then slowed five laps from the finish when the caution waved for a spun car. Thanks in part to a single file restart, Beers held on for the win, his second of 2015 and 42nd at Mahoning Valley. “Austin (Kochenash) continues to get better and better and he’s a force to be reckoned with the rest of the year. He is good,” said Beers.“We were just a hair off and we usually don’t run 35 laps feature in the sun like this. But it feels great to get another win and we’ll be looking for a few more of them over the second half of the season.”;
In the regular scheduled feature, Kyle Strohl jumped out front early but a speedy Chip Santee went topside on lap six to take control. Within a few laps J. Markovic and Kris Graver where breathing all over the back of Santee.Santee was very busy protecting his spot as he was being pursued from both sides. And, as J. Markovic and Graver continued to made attacks at the leader, Kochenash and Earl Paules lunged into the fray as well, making for one very energizing race.As laps where clicking off Santee kept firm. Graver, who had a solid third in the opening race of the night, was now second but at the same time Kochenash was making a charge as well and dueled for the runner-up spot. And, not only did he succeed in reaching the spot by the 27th tour, he used the same surge of momentum to carry him straight past Santee and into the lead.The rest of the way Kochenash would hold the position and take the victory, his second of the season. Santee claimed second with new point leader Paules in third.“We ran well tonight and we finally got the car working real good,” said Kochenash. “It was close out there and we had to force the issue a little but that’s racing for the win. Chip (Santee) drove a great race but we were able to get in the right lanes at the end.”
In the special 35-lap Pro 4 race, Gene Bowers scored an upset win. Making his first start with the class, Bowers drove among the lead pack from early on. It wasn’t until two laps to that he that he would get out front, that coming after then leader Jake Kibler spun in turn two. Bowers wisely dove low and into the top spot and ultimately went on the claim the popular win.
Rained-out Modified Feature from 7/18 (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Kris Graver, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Terry Markovic, 6. Paul Frantz, 7. John Markovic, 8. Kevin Rex Jr., 9. Eric Kocher. 10. Rick Reichenbach, 11. Don Wagner, 12. DJ Wagner, 13. Chip Santee, 14. Mike Quinn, 15. Wayne Szerencsits, 16. Kyle Strohl DNS: Zane Zeiner
Regular Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kochenash, 2. Santee, 3. Earl Paules, 4. Beers, 5. Graver, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Todd Baer, 9. John Markovic, 10. Strohl, 11. Rex, 12. Reichenbach, 13. Quinn, 14. Frantz, 15. Danielle Paules, 16. Matt Higgins, 17. Terry Markovic, 18. Kocher, 19. Szerencsits, 20. DJ Wagner
Pro 4 Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Gene Bowers, 2. Bobby Kibler Sr., 3. Bobby Kibler Jr., 4. Joe Stangle 5. Cody Kohler, 6. Jake Kibler, 7. Kailyn Beers, 8. Harvey Keiper, 9. JD Light, 10. Johnny Bennett, 11. Nick Baer, 12. Chad Miller, 13. Lou Gara, 14. Joe Lane ____________________________________________________
As the weather heats up so does Kris Graver…Reigning Mahoning Modified champ earns second win of ‘15
(7-11-15) After three straight weeks of no racing due to weather related issues, cars and fans where back on track in full force at Mahoning Valley Speedway.It was hot July night too and so was Kris Graver of Lehighton, driving to a solid win in the Modified feature. The defending track champion made a pass on early leader Kevin Rex Jr., just prior to mid-race and from there the 22-year old sailed on to his 40th overall track win.
It was the same time of the season last year during this month that Graver was setting the stage for his championship run, winning several times as July rolled around.“For some reason whenever this time comes around the hotter it is the better it is for me. We made a few adjustments between the heat and feature and it made a big difference,” said Graver.“My pap, (Kevin Graver Sr.,) and the crew did an awesome job of making this car fast and I can’t thank them enough.”;Terry Markovic and Rex would led the field to the green and no sooner did chief starter Bob Stull wave the start, Rex shot ahead to take the opening lap lead. Three laps in and John Markovic was second to Rex while T. Markovic stayed close in third.Rex was on a steady course, holding a solid lead while J. Markovic followed from a few car lengths back. Meanwhile T. Markovic, Kyle Strohl and Paul Frantz where fighting for third spot.Seventh starting Graver was not making himself known all this while as he was content in bidding his time behind the front pack, that was until he power moved his way frontward, snagging two spots to third place on lap 13. He was then trapped briefly behind J. Markovic for two more laps at which time he zipped by and was now second.At the same time the caution waved after Eric Kocher took a spin in turn four. It would be on that restart that Graver advanced by Rex and into the lead. The rest of the way it was all him as Rex could only watch from his vantage of a few intervals back.“Kevin (Rex) is always one of the cleaner guys to race with. He is a lower budgeted team much like we are and you know he’ll not do anything out of line. It’s always good to race up-front with him and to see teams like ours finishing one-two,” said Graver.“To get my 40th win – that’s the icing on the cake. That should be a good selling point for my car because we plan to sell it at the end of the year and take a different route next year.”;As Graver was cruising to the win, the battle for second became hot as Earl Paules stormed his way up to third with eight laps to go and afterward began a sizzling battle with Rex. The fight was tooth and nail as Paules was alongside Rex as the checkers fell.
In the Pro 4’s current point leader Cody Kohler of Schnecksville and defending class champ Nick Baer staged a great dogfight for the win with Kohler coming out the victor, his second this year.In the make-up Pro 4 feature from May 30, Bobby Kibler Jr., took the lead on lap eight and was never headed the rest of the way.16-year old Kyle Krempasky of Lehighton picked up his career first stock car win in the Hobby Stock main. Krempasky did it in solid fashion too, leading all laps en route to the unforgettable night.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Kevin rex Jr., 3. Earl Paules, 4. John Markovic, 5. Austin Kochenash, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Rick Reichenbach, 8. Terry Markovic, 9. Paul Frantz, 10. Eric Beers, 11. DJ Wagner, 12. Kyle Strohl, 13. Eric Kocher, 14. Tom Wanick, 15. Barry Callavini, 16. Chip Santee
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Nick Baer, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. TJ Kemmerer, 5. Chad Miller, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Johnny Bennett, 10. Lou Gara, 11. Tyler Stangle, 12. Bobby Kibler Jr. DNS: JD Light
Story by Race Chaser Online New England and Modified Correspondent Kyle Souza — Frank Lawlor photo –
Could the Seekonk Speedway have any more modified talent headed their way on Thursday night?
Adding himself to a list of an already star-studded field for the Northeast Race Cars and Parts Tri Track Open Modified Series 100 lap event, Eric Beers has filed his entry and will be in competition for the first time in Seekonk’s big dollar event since 2009.
He will be behind the wheel of the famous “Ole Blue” No. 3 modified for Boehler Racing Enterprises.
The family has been in modified racing for the past 55+ seasons and they continue to run full-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with Troy Talman this season.
Beers, a 46-year old modified driver, has finished a career best third in the Open Wheel Wednesday $10,000 to win event. That night, the inaugural event in 2005, he also drove the Boehler Racing No. 3.
Beers has been running the modified division at the Mahoning Valley Speedway so far this season and has collected multiple top-five finishes, but still is looking for a victory.
Fans can see Beers in action Thursday night with heat racing beginning at 7 p.m.
7-1 Seekonk Open Show Pos. No. Driver Laps 1 99 Richard Savary 100 -$11,680 ( including $1480 in lap money, $100 CN Crown Award, $100 Seals-It 2 52 James Civali 100 -$4020 ( including $520 in lap money) 3 42 Woody Pitkat 100 - $5395 ( including $500 from Bridgewater Raynham Overhead Door and $2395 Coil Over Commander 4 12 Todd Annarummo 100 - $2000 5 3 Eric Beers 100 - $2500 ( including $1000 from Bridgewater Raynham Overhead Door 6 07 Patrick Emerling 100 -$1400 7 50 Matt Hirschman 100 -$1600 ( including $300 from Brian Sparky Denton 8 5ct Chris Pasteryak 100 -$1200 9 55 Joe Doucette 100 $1200 ( including $100 CN Crown & Diamond Hard Charger) 10 22n Chuck Hossfeld 100 $1000 11 22 Keith Rocco 100 -$950 12 28 Dwight Jarvis 100 $925 13 66 Austin Kochenash 100 $900 14 27 Andy Jankowiak 100 $875 15 92 Anthony Nocella 100 $1550( including $400 B feature lap money and $300 Coil Over Commander gift cert. 16 6 Ryan Preece 100 $800 17 9 Tommy Barrett, Jr. 99 $800 18 04 Brandon Dion 99 $800 19 53 Norm Wrenn 99 $800 20 89 Matt Swanson 99 $800 21 179 Jeff Rocco 97 $800 22 80 Dick Houlihan 96 $800 23 31 Steve Masse 74 $1400 ( including $300 from Brian Sparky Denton and $300 from Masse's Modified Maniacs (Matthew Gilbert, Marty Griffin, Jessica Bradley, & Tanya Judkins) 24 05 Todd Patnode 72 $800 25 76 Zane Zeiner 72 $800 26 20 Doug Coby 72 $800 27 7ma Kurt Vigeant 37 $800
B feature payouts - Perry $700, Meservey $600, Fournier $500, Gallup $400, and $300 to McKennedy, Fredrickson, Grubisa, Dolan, Medrerios, Richardi, Zacharias, Dupuis,, Summers, Benevides, and K. James. $600 to Chapin ( including Hard luck award of $300) Holdridge ended up with $400 as he also got $100 from lap leader money.
Late Race Crash Aides Earl Paules In Scoring Mahoning Modified Win; Accident Sends Bobby Jones To Hospital
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 6-13-15) Earl Paules went from third to first with two laps to go after he narrowly missed a wreck between the front pair of Kevin Rex Jr., and Kyle Strohl. He then went on to record his second victory of the year with the Modifieds and in doing so is the first repeat winner after nine weeks of racing.
That same wreck also collected several others including Bobby Jones who had a massive hit into the front straight wall. Jones slide out of control and slammed this driver-side against the concrete. The hit temporarily knocked him unconscious and after carefully taking him from the car, he was then transported to Lehighton Hospital. After additional examination it was decided to air-lift Jones to Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown for further and more precise tests. As of press time he was reported to have a concussion and was still in the hospital. He is alert and talking with others.
It was Fan Appreciation Night sponsored by Baltimore Life Insurance and Gary Lee’s Brown Daub KIA and a full house was on hand as both the grandstands and pits were filled.
At the start of the Modified feature Paul Hartwig Jr., brought the field of 20 to the green and would hold on to lead the first of 35 circuits. By lap two, however, Rex took over with Strohl and Paules hot on his trail.The racing was electrifying to say the least as Rex was in a heavy defensive mode, especially when it came to Strohl who was repeatedly trying both high and low to make his way by. Paules was doing much of the same in his struggle to pass Strohl. All the while this action was taking place with no cautions.The fast paced battle came to a grinding halt on lap 33. As the leaders entered turn four and ready to receive the white flag, Strohl darted to the inside of Rex. They made contact and both skidded out of line. Paules was quick to dive to the bottom of the track which gave him the lead on the restart.However, during the skirmish a number of cars began to scatter and in the process Jones, who had been running 10th, got hit from both sides and lurched into the wall. The crash brought out the red flag as track and safety crews came to the aid of Jones. Once it was reported that he was responsive, the crowd acknowledged with a rousing round of applause.When the mess had been cleared Paules was shown as the leader with Don Wagner second and Nevin George third. With a green-white-checker restart it was almost a sure bet that Paules was more than capable of bringing it home.“We made it to Victory Lane but we were definitely faster than the (Kyle) Strohl and (Kevin) Rex. The 44 (Strohl) car was using up the whole race track. He would try to get under Rex and I would get up alongside him and before you know it he would just hook right again into me and got me all crossed up,” said Paules, who had the front row seat for the Rex/Strohl incident.“He (Strohl) would fall back into line and try to get another run on Rex. He wasn’t going to make it because he was loose. I drove up along the outside of him and didn’t he run me up again,” he continued.“He (Strohl) wasn’t going to make it work. His car was to loose. He needed to settle for second and take the $900 home and go from there. It’s was a shame that cars got wrecked out there because of it. He wasn’t up far enough, he was only up to his (Rex) left rear. I was there, I seen it.”;Rex, although he may not have been the fastest car, was holding his line in an effort to collect a win. There was very little room for error on anyone’s part but the end result was in the favor of Paules.“It was working out in the 48s (Rex) favor because he was a little on the tight side. The 44 (Strohl) tried to get underneath him and he was to loose. He couldn’t make the pass. The 48 was going to win the race tonight, there was no doubt about because I couldn’t get around the 44,” said Paules.
Wins are what drivers yearn for but in the case of Bobby Kibler Jr., he made an extra special one by beating his dad, Bobby Kibler Sr., to the checkers and scoring his second Pro 4 win of 2015.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Nevin George, 4. Eric Beers, 5. Austin Kochenash, 6. Kris Graver, 7. Chip Santee, 8. Todd Baer, 9. Rick Reichenbach, 10. DJ Wagner, 11. JP Curry, 12. Kevin Rex Jr., 13. Kyle Strohl, 14. Brian Romig Jr., 15. John Markovic, 16. Matt Higgins, 17. Terry Markovic, 18. Paul Frantz, 19. Bobby Jones, 20. Paul Hartwig Jr. DNQ: Neil Rutt III, Roger Heffelfinger Jr., Danielle Paules
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Tim Oswald, 2. Cody Geist, 3. Shayne Geist, 4. Lyndsay Buss, 5. Daniel Hargan, 6. Rich Mutarelli, 7. Kevin Behler, 8. Gunner Yost, 9. Thomas Hunsicker Jr., 10. BJ Wambold, 11. Devon Schmidt, 12. Kyle Krempasky, 13. Collin Bollinger, 14. Tiffany Wambold, 15. Jeff Biegley, 16. John Schmidt ______________________________________________________________________
Bad Luck Behind, Chip Santee Is Back To Mahoning Winner’s Circle
LEHIGHTON, Pa. 6-6-15. To say Chip Santee has struggled in recent times would be a bit of an understatement. His keen driving has always been on, that was never the issue, rather his Central States Used Clothing No. 5 has gone through a slew changes as the team had been chasing the set-up for the right combination to get the two-time Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified champion back into the Winner’s Circle. On Saturday night, Santee, of Walnutport, had the magic touch back as he raced in the lead for all 35 laps and won for the first time in nearly two years. He is the eighth different winner so far in 2015. Santee took advantage of his pole starting spot and grabbed the opening lap lead and despite continued pressure he was top notch all the way. Paul Frantz had a crowd pleasing battle for the first 26 laps, turning in his best ever performance at this track. Earl Paules was able to sneak by in the waning portion of the race and would then hound Santee to the checkers. “I’ve been struggling out here for a number of weeks. My car still wasn’t perfect tonight but I tried hard. The 10 (Frantz) ran me hard and he kept coming down on me and I got into him and I didn’t mean to, we were just racing hard. I’ll take this win and it feels great to get that monkey off our backs,” said Santee. After Santee took the early lead, Frantz, who started second, was turning in quite the performance, never letting up and fighting tooth and nail for the lead. It was indeed an exciting two-by-two battle and the energetic crowd was loving every lap. Frantz did take a share of the lead at times but Santee was just as determined and hustled right back to the front in short order. After 26 hard fought laps, Santee and Frantz touched and it was just enough to cause the No. 10 to falter a tad, which allowed Paules and Austin Kochenash to slip by. After shaking off Frantz, Santee was far from home free as now it was Paules who would shadow him the rest of the way. So hungry to shudder his bad run of late, Santee was not about to give up the front and would hold off Paules for his 28th career Modified win. “Like the old saying goes…I’ve been on the other end of the shoe with good luck when my car was working well. I figured I got the lead and I was going to do what I had to in order to hold on and get my first victory in over two years. There’s a bunch of great guys behind me that finished second and third and everywhere here. The last couple years they all picked up the pace and you have to work hard for every win at this place,” said Santee. Kochenash was third while Frantz held on for a career best Mahoning finish of fourth. Point leader Don Wagner started last and drove to respectable fifth.
Nick Baer, from New Tripoli, had to beat and bang his way to a second Pro 4 win as the cars of Tyler Stangle and Jake Kibler traded paint and rubbed fenders with him. On lap 12 that same action caused Stangle and Kibler to lock horns and crash out. Baer then took over from there to the finish.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Chip Santee, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Paul Frantz, 5. Don Wagner, 6. DJ Wagner, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Eric Beers, 9. Kevin Rex Jr., 10. Brian Romig Jr., 11. John Markovic, 12. Zane Zeiner, 13. Kris Graver, 14. Matt Higgins, 15. Neil Rutt III, 16. Eric Kocher, 17. Kyle Strohl, 18. Paul Hartwig Jr., 19. Terry Markovic
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Nick Baer, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Jason Muffley, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. TJ Kemmerer, 6. Tyler Stangle, 7. Kailyn Beers, 8. JD Light, 9. Bobby Kibler Jr., 10. Johnny Bennett, 11. Bobby Kibler Sr., 12. Chad Miller
Defending Mahoning Mod Champ Kris Graver Notches First Win of ’15…Is Seventh Different Winner Thus Far
By DINO OBERTO
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 5-30-15) Defending Mahoning Valley Speedway track champion Kris Graver of Lehighton picked up his first feature win of the season, holding off several drivers en route to victory and in doing so continued a trend of no repeat winners over the first seven weeks of the season.Graver, who started fourth, needed just six laps before taking the lead. Once in front he would have to fend off several aggressors with the likes of John Markovic, Kyle Strohl and then Eric Beers, who made the race to the checkers quite exciting in the waning laps.Last year it seemed nothing went wrong for the 22-year Graver. He won numerous times and in several classes. However, his reign as Modified track champion has been an admittedly a tough road. Prior to tonight’s verdict he had just two top fives, both being fifth place finishes, as his best results and other than that he has not been seen on the radar that much.“The car was a little free at the end but I’ll take it any way I could, especially the way the season has been going for us,” said Graver.“It just seems that no matter what we did we couldn’t find any luck. This season up to now was like a two step forward, ten step back process. But it finally all clicked together tonight and hopefully the luck stays on our side and we can get a couple more decent finishes and maybe a win or two more.”;At the race commencing green pole sitter Paul Frantz took to the opening lap lead. One lap later Markovic assumed command and was being hounded by Graver who was on his outside. Hungry to lead his first laps of the season, Graver needed only two circuits before taking the top spot.One of the traits of Graver is that rarely does he relinquish the lead once he has it, evident by his now 39 career wins. There would indeed be several attempts by the others to do so but each time he would turn them away. Restarts made things interesting, particularly when Strohl was alongside him.“He (Strohl) was trying to go a little bit before me, having his nose ahead but I was able to clear him. That was probably the hardest part, keeping him at bay. Other than that I felt pretty comfortable until the end when I started to get a little loose,” said Graver. While Graver was holding back Strohl, Beers had raced his way into third and was hovering closely behind them. Beers then used a lap 26 restart to go by Strohl. For the final nine tours he would try all he could to get by but Graver was not about to let his first win slip away.“At one point I heard over the radio that Eric (Beers) was fourth so I knew he was going to be there at the end somewhere. I didn’t worry about that though. I just concentrated on knowing I had a couple more laps and I have to hold this lead,” explained Graver.“We have been short on money from not having the greatest finishes this year so far. Some of the special races we had was a strain on our account so this win tonight really gives us a boost. I have to thank my crew and sponsors for all they do.”;Strohl maintained third at the finish. “The Silver Fox” Don Wagner, who made an amazing charge through the pack after a spin put him in the back of the field on lap 15 and Eric Kocher rounded out the top five. Graver, Markovic and Chip Santee won heats. The seven different winners to start the year is the most since 2005.“It’s always been tough and it seems like every year since (promoter) Floyd (Santee) took over the track it continues that way. You have to come here with all your ducks in a row. Up until tonight I hadn’t been any better than fifth and we’ve had seven races already so when you win a race here you know you’ve earned it,” said Graver.
Unfortunately the remaining feature events where postponed due to rain and will be made up in the upcoming weeks.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Eric Beers, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. John Markovic, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Austin Kochenash, 9. Paul Frantz, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Rick Reichenbach, 12. Wayne Szerencsits, 13. Earl Paules, 14. Paul Hartwig Jr., 15. Kevin Rex Jr., 16. Neil Rutt III, 17. Brian Romig Jr., 18. Chip Santee, 19. Scott Adams ______________________________________________________________________
MAY 23: Kid Kochenash" Withstands "The Hurricane" In Thrilling Mahoning Modified Feature
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 5-23-15) What a very exciting and scintillating Modified feature fans were treated to Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway as they watched Austin Kochenash of Danielsville hold off Earl Paules and score his first win of 2015.After Kochenash made a gripping pass over then leader Lou Strohl on lap 29, Paules was able to do the same and for the final six laps the top two raced in a side-by-side shootout to the finish. Kochenash did all he could to protect his line and much to the disapproval of Paules who was none too happy afterwards.“We had to the make the car work all over tonight, from the bottom to up against the wall but that’s just racing for the win,” said Kochenash. “The car was fast, especially towards the end. I just drove fast enough to keep it on the bottom and hold on.”;The entire 35 lap event was tight knit. Strohl led from the pole and had Kevin Rex Jr., running next to him. By lap 10, however, Kochenash was in second and Paules, who owns Strohl’s car, was third.With Strohl on the bottom, Kochenash was doing all he could to pass from the outside line but there was nothing doing. Opportunities would also come during a few restarts also but each time Strohl was hanging tough. Meanwhile Paules was looking both high and low to get by either of the front pair.The excitement level was peaked when on lap 28 Strohl bobbled just a bit coming off turn three. He and Kochenash touched and it appeared that havoc was about to unfold but amazingly they corrected. Kochenash darted into the lead and Paules followed.“He (Strohl) just backed off which was good. He did hit us in the left rear and he lifted and I was able to save it,” said Kochenash.Kochenash and Paules then preformed in a spine-tingling duel the remainder of laps. The winning margin was by a mere .0172-seconds.“I can’t thank my crew enough. We’ve been struggling a little bit this year and we finally found something,” said Kochenash. Eric Beers made haste over the final 10 laps, passing several cars and was third. Lou Strohl held on for fourth and Kyle Strohl took fifth.Afterwards Paules spoke candid about the outcome and had quite a stir from the fans who expressed both cheers and jeers.“He (Kochenash) said about Louie (Strohl) running him up a little bit but when I got to him he was using the whole race track up to, that’s just Mahoning Valley. I’m not complaining, it just happens. I was running in third and he was squeezing me down in the infield but that’s just what it is. We were the faster car and everyone knows that,” said Paules.
In the Pro 4 feature Bobby Kibler Sr., held off point leader Cody Kohler and became the first repeat winner with the class this season.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Austin Kochenash, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Lou Strohl, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Kevin Rex Jr., 8. Terry Markovic, 9. Calvin Carroll, 10. Mike Quinn, 11. John Markovic, 12. Eric Kocher, 13. Neil Rutt III, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Wayne Szerencsits, 16. Paul Hartwig Jr., 17. Brain Romig Jr., 18. Kris Graver, 19. Chip Santee, 20. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 21. Paul Frantz
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Jason Muffley, 5. Kailyn Beers, 6. Alton Snyder Jr., 7. Jonny Bennett, 8. Bobby Kibler Jr., 9. TJ Kemmerer, 10. Chad Miller, 11. Nick Baer, 12. JD Light DNS: Tyler Stangle
MAY 9 - “The Master of Faster” Eric Beers Claims $3000 Mahoning Gamblers Series Win
By DINO OBERTO
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 5-9-15) He has been dubbed “The Master of Faster” and on Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway Northampton’s Eric Beers showed everyone why he is just that after driving to a convincing win in the 100-lap Central States Modified Gamblers Series (CSMGS) feature. After passing Don Wagner for the lead on a lap 41 restart, Beers drove off to a resounding victory in round two of the special high-paying six race series. It was his first win of the year and netted the celebrated veteran $3000.Point leader Don Wagner, Kyle Strohl, Austin Kochenash and Lou Strohl rounded out the top five.It’s actually hard to believe that five races into the season and Beers is just finding Victory Lane. But it hasn’t been for lack of anything on his or his team’s part. The 2015 playing field is equaled throughout, evident by five different winners in as many races thus far. “A couple of years ago they (competition) where chasing us and the first few weeks of this year we were chasing them and it’s a testament to how hard those guys work to make their cars fast. I’m just glad we came out on top tonight, we needed it,” said Beers.A redraw of the top 12 finishers from the three heats put Wagner and Kris Graver on the front row. Beers would start seventh.At the outset Wagner would take early charge of the 20-car field while Graver and Mike Quinn tailed him. Lou Strohl held fourth and by lap two Beers was fifth.Beers is one of the experts when it comes to extra distance races at Mahoning Valley, having already won a 10 of them and knows how patience pays off in these type of events.Wagner, who won the opening round of the CSMGS on April 11, was looking strong while setting the pace. He did a fine job of holding off Graver and then a very determined Lou Strohl who tried several times to make a pass for the lead.But, while Wagner and L. Strohl dueled, Beers had begun his assault to the front. He went to the outside of Graver on lap 13 and then set his sights on the front pair. Beers would need the next 8 laps to take care of business with L. Strohl and once he did it was game on between him and Wagner.“I was watching Donny (Wagner) at the beginning of the race and I was trying to find a weakness but I couldn’t find one to pass him so I was riding him, hoping he would slow down because I didn’t think I would get him,” said Beers.Wagner was indeed doing his best at keeping Beers at bay, running the bottom line and shielding himself from relinquishing the lead.However, on lap 41 a caution waved when last week’s winner Todd Baer and Quinn got together on the front straight. Beers knew the opportunity was at hand and he seized the moment on the restart to vault into the top spot. “We got lucky there on the restart. We got a good run and Donny gave me enough room, we cleared him and we just held on from there,” said Beers.Beers would be on his own at the closing laps and even with a restart with one to go, it wasn’t enough for Wagner or anyone else to make a bid at him. His win was the 41st at Mahoning Valley in a Modified.After being passed for the lead Wagner had a plan in mind to lay back and conserve his tires for a run near the end. However, what he didn’t expect was the hard charging 15-year old Kyle Strohl coming into play. K. Strohl had made several pits stops including one after a wild spin on lap 19 that forced his team to make a tire change.It wasn’t until mid-race that he then got going. With 30 laps to remaining he was in the top five and for the final 15 was all over Wagner.“I was trying to save something for the end. Eric (Beers) was running away with it and I thought, ‘Go ahead, wear your tires out.’ I just wanted to try and save mine,” said Wagner.“I wasn’t feeling any pressure until this kid (Kyle Strohl) stuck his nose under me. Then I had to get up and go again and there just wasn’t enough in the tank at that end to get Eric.”
Mike Sweeney took advantage of his front row starting spot and went on to lead all 25 laps of the Late Model feature. In doing so he not only grabbed his first win of the year but also put a stop to the three-race win streak of Paul Koehler Jr. Sweeney was at one point holding a commanding lead but after a restart on lap 17 he was encircled by Jeremy Miller, Frankie Althouse and Koehler. However, once the action resumed he went right back into his power mode and was able to pull away from his trackers.
Defending Street Stock champ TJ Gursky got his first win of 2015. Gursky, who started sixth, passed then runner-up Paul Morgan Jr., on lap 11 and immediately began to pressure leader Joe Stangle.
Stangle did not make it easy as he was fending off Gursky nicely while in pursuit of his career first win. Gursky then got a big break when Stangle dropped out while under caution on lap 19, his car smoking heavily. From then on there was no denying Gursky as he motored on to victory over fast closing Randy Schlenker.
Racing with a very heavy heart, Dirt Mod point leader Ricky Yetter won for the second time in four races. Earlier in the day Yetter had attended funeral services for his best friend and Car Chief Lewis Gruppo Jr., who passed away suddenly on Monday of that week. With a mission in mind to settle for nothing less than a win, Yetter zipped by early leader Billy Lasko on lap 10 and would stay the course in front the rest of the way.
Jake Kibler picked up the win in the Pro 4 feature that was a real nail bitter between him and point leader Cody Kohler. With two laps to go the pair where in a torrid dogfight and as they raced to the checkers Kibler was able to nip Kohler by a slim. .036-second margin of victory.
After being oh-so-close on so many occasions, Tim Oswald finally got his first career Hobby Stock win. And even this time is was another heart stopper as Shayne Geist tried to use a last lap restart to overtake the leader but the determined Oswald stood his ground.
Modified Feature Finish (100 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Lou Strohl, 6. Nevin George, 7. Kris Graver, 8. John Markovic, 9. Kevin Rex Jr., 10. Earl Paules, 11. Todd Baer, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Paul Frantz, 14. Bobby Jones, 15. Calvin Carroll, 16. Anthony Sesely, 17. Mike Quinn, 18. Jimmy Zacharias, 19. Chip Santee, 20. Eric Kocher
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Nick Baer, 4. JD Light, 5. Bobby Kibler Sr., 6. Tyler Stangle, 7. Chad Miller, 8. Bobby Kibler Sr., 9. Johnny Bennett, 10. TJ Kemmerer, 11. Kailyn Beers, 12. Alton Snyder DNS: Lou Gara
May 2 - Todd Bear Hangs On For Mahoning Modified Win; Paul Koehler Remains Undefeated In Late Models
By DINO OBERTO Todd Baer may have led every lap en route to winning Saturday night’s 35-lap Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway, however, it was by no means a cake walk as he had a constant onslaught of pressure. First came Eric Kocher and then it was Earl Paules who would apply his force yet there was no wavering on the part of Bear who would stand his ground and hold on for the $1800 payday.“It was pretty tough out here tonight and I knew there was some real good guys behind me,” said Baer who hails from New Tripoli. “I was a little tight on the bottom so I had to widen out the race track.”;Baer started the race in second and made quick work of pole sitter Terry Markovic at the drop of the initial green.Kocher, Chip Santee and Paules also raced by Markovic by lap two and where right all over the rear of Baer. It stayed a close affair with that group until a second restart on lap 11 eliminated Santee.The incident transpired when Kocher pinched Santee in turn four and the No. 5 car went around. In the process he collected Eric Beers and both had to rejoin from the rear.When the race did get going Kocher was able to put his bumper out front for one lap. Baer came right back on the very next circuit but still had no room to breathe.Paules, as well as point leader Don Wagner got around Kocher after his car began to tighten and once they hooked up at the back of Baer it was white-knuckle from there to the conclusion. Bear did what he needed too to keep his mount low, but also a tad high as well in order to hold back Paules.You have to do what works. There was so many good cars behind me and our car really got tight,” said Baer. “I felt real comfortable with Eric (Kocher) out there and we were both giving and taking. Then Earl (Paules) was there at the end and he let me know a few times that he was behind me but thankfully we kept it pointed in the right direction and here we are in Victory Lane.”;Paules had to settle for second with Wagner, Beers and Kris Graver rounding out the top five."He just wouldn’t move over. I was bumping him and bumping him and I thought for sure he would move out of the way but he wasn’t budging. He took all the race track away that I needed,” said Paules.
Slatington’s Bobby Kibler Jr., won the Pro 4 feature. At the outset the race became the Kibler, Kibler and Kibler show as Bobby Jr., led over his dad, Bobby Sr., and Jake Kibler.The race was looking to be a son/father 1-2 finish until point leader Cody Kohler charged his way up to second with five laps to go. Kibler Jr., however, would not back down and scored his first win of the season.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Todd Baer, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Don Wagner, 4. Eric Beers, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Eric Kocher, 7. Kevin Rex Jr., 8. Chip Santee, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Jon Moser, 11. Kyle Strohl, 12. Mike Quinn, 13. John Markovic, 14. Austin Kochenash, 15. Paul Frantz, 16. Lou Strohl, 17. JP Curry
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Jr., 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Bobby Kibler Sr., 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Nick Baer, 6. JD Light, 7. TJ Kemmerer, 8. Alton Snyder Jr., 9. Kailyn Beers, 10. Johnny Bennett DNS: Tyler Stangle, Chad Miller
APRIL 25: Strohl’s Modified win is no match for the veterans: Kris Graver continues his SpeedSTR dominance
By DINO OBERTO
(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-25-15) In 2014 then 14-year old Kyle Strohl burst onto the Modified scene at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway as the youngest driver to ever win a feature race with the division, that coming in just his third time out. By mid-summer he won again, finished fifth in points and was named Rookie of the Year. Now a year older and nearly one year to the day of that memorable first victory Strohl notched a convincing triumph and firmly validated himself as a genuine contender among the many elite veterans. The 15-year old from Palmerton beat such notables as Jimmy Zacharias, Eric Beers and Earl Paules in a seamless effort. After passing Zacharias for the lead on a lap 18 restart, Strohl was unchallenged en route to victory.“The car was great tonight and it had so much power. I can’t thank my crew enough for all their work. Once I was able to get by Jimmy (Zacharias) we just hammered down and it was perfect from there on,” said Strohl. When the race started rookie JP Curry jumped into the early lead and led his first laps in a Modified. Zacharias was up to second by lap two and for the third time in as many weeks was displaying impressive power. He used an inside tactic on lap four to advance to the lead and soon afterwards was pulling away from the pack. While Zacharias was building on his lead Terry Markovic was controlling second spot and holding off Strohl. After numerous attempts to get by, Strohl finally progressed to the runner-up spot on lap 16. Two laps later the caution was out for Markovic who spun in turn two and it would be on that restart where Strohl would make his race winning move. Getting a burst of momentum once the race restarted, Strohl powered around Zacharias for the top spot and was never headed from there on. “It’s a great feeling to be able to beat these guys. They are some of the best Modified racers around. That restart was the key for us and Jimmy gave me plenty of room,” said Strohl. Ironically Strohl is racing a car that was purchased from Zacharias. While Strohl was cruising towards his conquest, there remained a hotly contested battle for second spot. Zacharias was in the midst of an intense four car battle with Beers, Paules and Austin Kochenash. All four ran closely bunched with little room to spare.As Strohl comfortably took the checkered flag, Zacharias, Beers and Paules all fought for second spot. Zacharias would claim the position at the wire while Beers just eked third. Kochenash and point leader Don Wagner rounded out the top five. “If it wasn’t for that restart I think we may have had something for Kyle (Strohl),” said Zacharias. “Once that restart came I knew I was going to hurdle a little bit. The car has been real good, the problem here is the driver. This is only my seventh race here but we’re getting better.”;
The USAC All Pro SpeedSTRs raced for the first time this season and in a carbon copy performance of last when the popular open wheel racers invaded Mahoning, Kris Graver of Lehighton was again the winner, making it three for three on his home turf. Driving the John Kovatch owned No. 01, Graver started second to his uncle, Kevin Graver Jr., and with the waving of Bobby Stull’s race commencing green, Kris blasted into the lead and over the next 40 laps was never headed. The only time he was in jeopardy of giving up the lead was during a few restarts but each time the race got back underway there was no denying his incredible adaptation to the cars which he has limited seat time in. His victory was worth $3000, however, Graver made note that all of his 2015 winnings with the SpeedSTR will be donated to the Sonny Kovatch Scholarship foundation.
Kevin Graver held off 2014 Bowman Gray Stadium Modified champion Danny Bohn for second. Steve Nederostek and Mike Bednar completed the top five.
In a very thrilling and very close run Street Stock feature, Troy Bollinger held off Josh Mooney by mere inches to score his first win with the class since 1999. Bollinger used an outside pass on lap eight to take the lead from George Ramos. He would then have Mooney as his pursuer and the pair would soon engage in a torrid clash, running side-by-side and exchanging the lead in the process. In the closing laps Bollinger squeezed out just enough power to nip Mooney for the win, his first in a Street Stock since June 26, 1999.
For Cody Kohler, winning the Pro 4 feature was as easy 3-2-1. Kohler was third on opening night and followed that up with a close second a week later. On week three the third time was the charm. Kohler and Jake Kibler battled hard for the lead over the first seven laps. Kohler then took charge with a dozen circuits to go and would not waver, despite a constant effort by Kibler. Thanks to the win Kohler is the new point leader.
Shayne Geist raced to his second straight Hobby Stock win. Geist passed Rich Mutarelli three laps into the contest and then had to fend off his younger brother Cody on his way to the win.
Brett Beiber was uncontested in winning the All Star Slingshot feature, as he led all 20 laps with little to no opposition. Dylan Hoch
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Jimmy Zacharias, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Earl Paules, 5. Austin Kochenash, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Kris Graver, 8. Paul Frantz, 9. Chip Santee, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. John Markovic, 12. Kevin Rex Jr., 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Jon Moser, 15. Rick Reichenbach
SpeedSTR Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Kevin Graver Jr., 3. Danny Bohn, 4. Steve Nederostek, 5. Mike Bednar, 6. Kyle Lick, 7. Wayne Weaver, 8. Rick Kirkendall, 9. Matt Janisch, 10. Earl Paules, 11. Eric Beers, 12. Tim Iulg, 13. Jason Miller, 14. John Bockhorn, 15. Nick Baer
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Nick Baer, 4. Tyler Stangle, 5. Bobby Kibler, 6. Bobby Kibler Sr., 7. Joe Pritchard, 8. Chad Miller, 9. Kailyn Beers, 10. Jason Muffley, 11. Alton Snyder Jr. DNS: Johnny Bennett
APRIL 18: PAULES HOLDS OFF BEERS By DINO OBERTO (LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-18-15) It was hard to imagine that Earl Paules went a whole season without a Modified victory, which actually is a rarity in the career of one of the winningest drivers in eastern Pennsylvania short track pavement racing.Running two, three and at times four different cars each week may have had a role in that too. So for the first time in three years Paules hauled just one car to the race track and it made an immediate difference as the prolific racer notched his first Modified win since late August of 2013.It turned out to be a great battle of past track champions too as Paules held off Eric Beers in winning Saturday’s 35-lap feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway.Paules dashed by Calvin Carroll on lap two for lead. He then had to fend off Kyle Strohl, Jimmy Zacharias and Austin Kochenash over the next 20 laps. Zacharias did manage to get by for a brief stint at the lead but after he spun with 10 laps to go the front spot went back to Paules and from there on the outcome would be decided between him and Beers.“We needed this. We decided we were going to park the Late Model and concentrate more on the Modified and it paid off tonight,” said Paules, who won for the 22nd time at Mahoning in Modified and 42nd overall with the class.Making his Modified feature debut, rookie Carroll led the 20-car field to the green and recorded the opening lap lead. Afterwards Paules, Strohl, Zacharias and Kochenash all made quick work of the young apprentice.By lap 15 Zacharias and Kochenash went into a thrilling side-by-side duel while hot on the heels of Paules. Zacharias opted to take the outside lane over Kochenash which also cleared the path for him to advance past Paules for the lead at the completion of lap 21.Paules and Kochenash did not let Zacharias get too far, however, as they poured on the pressure. After crossing the stripe for the 25th lap, Kochenash tried to squeeze under Zacharias. There was a slight tap and the leader went for a spin. Paules wisely took to the high side and zipped around both to retake the lead.“I was just at the right place. The 71 (Zacharias) got around me. I was trying him on the outside and then the 66 (Kochenash) got underneath there and they got together a little bit and that always helps,” said Paules.Beers stepped up to second with ten laps to go and gave it his all in trying to unseat Paules but the crafty veteran held his ground. “Having him (Beers) back there was a big thing. I knew he was going to run me clean and we never touched. He had a better car then we did but I just happen to get out front tonight,” said Paules.Point leader Don Wagner, Strohl and John Markovic rounded out the top five.
Tyler Stangle held off a last lap charge by Cody Kohler to win the Pro 4 feature. Stangle led all 20 laps but it was no easy task. Kohler came on like gangbusters during the final laps and heading to the checkered flag made a daring inside move on Stangle only to come up inches short.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Eric Beers, 3. Don Wagner, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. John Markovic, 6. Chip Santee, 7. Jimmy Zacharias, 8. Austin Kochenash, 9. Eric Kocher, 10. Rick Reichenbach, 11. Kris Graver, 12. Kevin Rex Jr., 13. Todd Baer, 14. Calvin Carroll, 15. Terry Markovic, 16. Roger Heffelfinger, 17. Mike Quinn, 18. DJ Wagner, 19. Bobby Jones, 20. JP CurryDNQ: Del Morgan ______________________________________________________________________
APRIL 11, 2015 Opening Night Mod 125 Win to Don Wagner
Ace’s High For Don Wagner In Mahoning Valley Speedway Opening Night Modified Gamblers Series By DINO OBERTO (LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-11-15) Don Wagner got his 2015 season off to a great start by taking the victory in the opening round of the Central States Modified Gamblers Series at Mahoning Valley Speedway. The Opening Night 125 lap feature netted the Wharton, NJ veteran $5000, an Ace card and the early division point lead.Wagner waged a great duel with Zane Zeiner over the final 50 laps before grabbing the lead with 23 circuits to go and remained solid en route to his 17th career Mahoning win.“We’ve been shooting for a big race like this for a long time. It helps pay the bills. It was some good racing upfront and Zane (Zeiner) gave me room,” said Wagner. “We raced hard but we would never turn each other. I love racing with the guy.”;Kevin Rex Jr., came on strong in the final laps to earn second with Zeiner, Nevin George and 2014 track champion Kris Graver rounding out the top five.After starting eighth, Wagner was running fourth by lap 51 and keeping close tabs behind the front trio of Matt Hirschman, Eric Beers and Lou Strohl. It was right after a mid-race mandatory pit stop that Wagner got his big break. When the event restarted Beers edged into the lead over Hirschman, however, no sooner did he do so he then spun after being nudged under very tight quarters. Likewise did Hirschman and Strohl and afterwards all were relegated to the rear of the pack. Wagner averted the skirmish by quickly wheeling to the outside and was now the new race leader. “When I got up to the top five I knew I had more than those the guys ahead of me. We made the tire change at the halfway break and I don’t know if the car was as good as it was before that but we still had a good piece. Ed Flemke up at Race Works built us a great car,” said Wagner. “Circumstances did fall the way they did for us to get the lead but, we did race hard to get up there too.”;When the race went back green Wagner’s lead did not last long, however, as Eric Kocher out-raced him on the restart. Wagner would return the favor on a similar move two laps later and was now being pressured by Zeiner. Zeiner, who came from 18th on the grid, powered his way to the front at the completion of lap 74.In what was a very even matchup as the next 50 laps became a dogfight between Zeiner and Wagner. Numerous cautions also played into keeping the action close as extended green flag runs were few and far between. It wasn’t until the later laps that Wagner began clicking off his fastest times. Once he made his race winning pass Zeiner’s car began tightening up and he was unable to keep pace. “We just got super tight there in near the end and over-used the car up. When (Kevin) Rex got me there at the end I was trying to figure out what was wrong with the car and it appeared there was a brake caliper sticking and that was making it tight on early entry,” said Zeiner.“All in all we’re happy with the run. It was clean racing with Donny (Wagner). We may have bumped and banged a little but we would never take each out. I got him a little free a couple times but I let him straighten out because I just don’t want to win like that.”;In the final 10 laps Wagner held a car length advantage. At the same time Rex, as well as George, where both battling with Zeiner. Rex, made it up to second with three laps remaining but there was no catching Wagner at that point. “He (Zeiner) was strong but the longer we ran green the tighter he got. I saw him shove in the nose and I saw that he had a little too much wheel in it and I took advantage from that,” said Wagner. Heat wins for the 29 Modifieds checked went to Jimmy Zacharias, Austin Kochenash, who also led the first 14 laps of the feature and Hirschman. The split consi were annexed by Kyle Strohl and Bobby Jones.
In the Pro 4s Bob Kibler Sr., was the benefactor of several lead car mishaps that helped elevate him into the number one spot and then go on to claim his first win in 11 years. Defending champ Nick Baer, Bobby Kibler Jr., Bill Rooney and Cody Kohler all had a share at the lead but in on-track misfortunes all took them from contention. Kibler Sr., was in front for the final eight laps and won for the first time since April 24, 2004.
Because of time constraints the Street Stock and Dirt Mod features were postponed and will be made up in short order.
Modified Feature Finish (125 Laps): 1. Don Wagner, 2. Kevin Rex Jr., 3. Zane Zeiner, 4. Nevin George, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Todd Baer, 7. Chip Santee, 8. Eric Beers, 9. Austin Kochenash, 10. Eric Kocher, 11. Matt Hirschman, 12. Anthony Sesely, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Paul Frantz, 15. Pat Verwys, 16. John Markovic, 17. Mike Quinn, 18. Kyle Strohl, 19. Bobby Jones, 20. DJ Wagner, 21. Paul Hartwig, 22. Earl Paules, 23. Jimmy Zacharias DNQ: Brian DeFebo, JP Curry, Calvin Carroll, Vincent Biondilillo, Terry Markovic, Neil Rutt III
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bob Kibler Sr., 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Cody Kohler, 4. Nick Baer, 5. Chad Miller, 6. Bobby Kibler Jr., 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Bill Rooney, 10. Joe Pritchard, 11. Jason Muffley, 12. Alton Snyder Jr. DNS: Tyler Stangle
Excitement building for Mahoning Valley Speedway Opening Night (LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-9-15) This coming Saturday night, April 11 starting at 6:00 pm, the green flag drops to officially begin to the 2015 season at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway and keeping in tune with previous Opening Night shows, promoter Floyd Santee will present a high paying Modified feature as the winner will pocket $5000 for going the 125 lap distance. It will be race number one in the six race Central States Modified Gamblers Series events.Late Models, Street Stocks, Dirt Mods, Pro 4s and Hobby Stocks will also be in action with regular distance feature races.100+ Modified features have become great season kickoff shows at Mahoning. The first was in 2006 with perennial Eastern Pennsylvania asphalt Modified star Brian DeFebo coming from 16th to first in claiming the $3000 victory. In 2007 New York state invader Rusty Smith beat the home track regulars and won his only Mahoning race.Lou Strohl pulled off a daring pass on Pete Brittain with two laps to go and took a stunning victory as well as the $3000 first place prize money in 2008.“The Master of Going Faster” Eric Beers, cruised out front for all 100 laps in a dominating run to open the 2009 season. The following year it was Matt Hirschman who at the time won his second career Mahoning 100-lapper and has since gone on to earn a record 11 extra distance races.In 2011 rain wiped out back-to-back tries of running 100 laps. The first race turned out to be a regular 35-lapper three weeks in but still it was still worth $3000 to winner Earl Paules who had his winnings matched by long-time sponsor John Schneider of Schneider and Sons, Inc., Scrap Medal of Allentown, making it the most money every won for a regular Modified feature.Zane Zeiner opened the Santee promoted era with his win in 2012. That too was a regular show.Mahoning’s lid-lifter in 2013 was a memorable one for then 17-year old Austin Kochenash as he won his career first Modified feature, a 50-lap main worth $2000 and then came back later in the night to claim the Late Model feature and pocket an additional $1000.Last year Beers, fresh off his title winning year of ’13, started out with another win in a long list of 100 lap Mahoning victories.And now it’s time for another go at the big cash, only this time it will be $5000, the highest amount ever offered for a Mahoning Opening Night feature and know that there will be an unbelievable field assembled. Every one of the past Opening Night winners are expected to be on hand plus many others, making this an amazing night to start off the year.Along with the host of local talent, race teams are coming in from New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.Grandstands open at 4:00 pm. Admission is $20 and no discounts for this event. Children 10 and under are free.Pits gates open at 11:00 am. There will be early paid practice from noon to 3:00 pm. Warm-ups will run from 4:00 – 5:00 followed by a mandatory drivers meeting at 5:10.Heats will begin at 6:00 pm. All drivers will pick for heat race starting spots. All feature line-ups will be heads up from the heat finishes.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. You can also call the track hotline on race day at 570-386-4900.
Mahoning Valley Speedway Opening Night agenda set (LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-6-15) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2015 Opening Night is fast approaching and there is a high amount of excitement leading into the April 11 lid-lifter, especially after the recently held Test and Tune days that saw a preview of what’s to come as well as so many of the Mahoning faithful having to withstand a long harsh winter. Everyone is ready for racing.All indications are that the pit area will be filled solid and to better ease the day track officials have announced the tentative schedule of events and fees.Pits gates open at 11:00 am. There will be early paid practice from noon to 3:00 pm. The cost is $25 per car for early practice. Warm-ups will run from 4:00 – 5:00 followed by a mandatory drivers meeting at 5:10.Pit fees are $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Modified teams please note there is a $50 entry fee to run the Central States Modified Gamblers Series 125.Grandstands open at 4:00 pm. Admission is $20 and no discounts for this event. Children 10 and under are free.Heats will begin at 6:00 pm. All drivers will pick for heat race starting spots. Driver sign-in will take place from 3:00 – 4:15. A valid driver’s license is required when renting a transponder.All feature line-ups will be heads up from the heat finishes. The Modified feature will start 20 cars with two provisionals if needed. If no provisionals are used then the field will be 22 starters with the additional cars coming from the consi. Provisionals are awarded to the top-10 from final 2014 points.All feature qualified Modifieds must run the main with the same tires used in their heat. They can, however, change tires for the consi but must then replace with their heat run tires if they qualify for the feature. The running order will be Hobby Stocks – 20 laps, Pro 4s – 20 laps, Late Models – 25 laps, Modifieds – 125 laps, Street Stocks – 30 laps and Dirt Mods – 25 laps. Modified 125 payout is as follows: 1. $5000, 2. $2800, 3. $1800, 4. $1400, 5. $1100, 6. $1000, 7. $900, 8. $700, 9. $600, 10. $550 11 – 15. $350, 16 – 18. $325, 19 – 22. $300
Mix of Young and Old Creates Diverse Roster at Mahoning Valley-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @Aaron_Creed Short track racing typically runs in the family, with the next generation showing their hand often after guidance and expertise from their elders. Indications show that sight will be one of the more prevalent topics heading into Mahoning Valley Speedway (PA) 2015 Opening Night.2013 Modified champion and 2014 season opener winner Eric Beers will be regularly competing in another full season for the DeLange Racing Team, but will be splitting some of his time to get his kids acclimated to the tight quarter-mile facility.Eric’s son Austin, perhaps best known in the Modified community for his multiple Pedal Car wins at the North South Shootout a few years ago, is ready to grow up into the Hobby Stock division and make his debut in the month of June. His daughter Kailyn enters her second season in a Pro Four Cylinder where she continues to steadily improve.Eric Beers looks forward to the year ahead for himself as well; especially the Central States Modified Gamblers Series that will offer some impressive paydays for those that are successful.“We’re really excited running that poker series,” Beers told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I really think it should be a lot of fun with the longer races; 125 (laps on Opening Night) and 150 at the end of the year. Should be some real good clean racing here hopefully, and looking forward to seeing everybody and getting out there.”;The series, which will be in addition to the season long track championship, will run a unique poker game format in which cards will be awarded to the top 13 finishers in each of the six scheduled races. After the final race at Octoberfast 2015, the five drivers with the best five-card poker hands will be awarded cash prizes. The winner of the Opening Night feature will also receive a $5,000 payout.New Jersey veteran Don Wagner has been another mainstay at Mahoning, and will be handing over the reins of his successful trademark red and white No. 22 car to his son DJ.“We won three races with it last year so it’s a good car for him to step into,” said Don Wagner. “He’s had a lot of laps in Modifieds here, but never had a really good car with good tires. We’re going to give him that this year. He’ll run mainly just the big races. He’s still a college kid and has an internship this summer so he’s going to be a busy boy.”;The past track champion will not be stepping away from the driver’s seat anytime soon, as the team purchased a brand new Raceworks chassis for 2015. After its performance in the preseason test and tune, turning laps under 10 seconds on old tires, he could very well enter the season as one of the favorites.“We’re going to run every week and we’re going to try to win the championship with the new car,” assured Wagner. “We are here for the long haul.”;With additional experienced drivers such as Earl Paules, Nevin George, John Markovic, Chip Santee and Roger Coss all expected to be back weekly there will be little room for error for anyone throughout the scheduled 25 race season.Kris Graver will defend his 2014 title with a freshened motor with a new rolling cam. Throw in heavy hitters like Matt Hirschman, Zane Zeiner, Austin Kochenash, Anthony Sesely, and Eric Mauriello who often visit the track for bigger events when their schedule allows, and there may not be many open spots up for grabs in the field from week to week.As a result, the goal for some of the newer talent is to familiarize themselves with the equipment and simply make the show. 14-year-old Calvin Carroll has previous starts in a Micro Stock at Mahoning and has raced USAC Midgets across the east coast with success, but will enter the Modified ranks starting opening night for the first time for longtime area car owner and racer Geary Rinehimer.“It’s a big change; a lot more stuff to remember to do and a lot more power,” said Carroll. “Right now my goal is to first make the feature and to gain the respect from the veteran drivers.”;Another story that can be seen in grassroots short track racing is the progression of drivers up to the headlining division through hard work and determination. After a long tenure in karting, JP Curry decided to give weekly racing at Mahoning a try in 2013. After success in the Dirt Modified division, Curry moves up to the Tour-type Modified this year with similar realizations and goals to Carroll.“It’s so different; the way the front end feels, the way the car rolls through the corner, the horsepower when you apply it,” explained Curry. “I’m really looking forward to it. I think that with our experience and the people that I have helping me, I think that we will be okay right off the bat. My goal Opening Night for the big race is just to make the race. That would be an accomplishment in itself and then we’re going to run every week as long as the money holds out for the rest of the year.”;One thing is for sure as long as the full size field’s worth of competition practicing preceding Opening Night is any indication; Mahoning Valley Speedway’s 2015 season is set for quite the kickoff.“(Promoter) Floyd (Santee) is doing the right thing putting some money into the Modified division,” praised Don Wagner. “That’s the future of this speedway is a good healthy Modified field, and it’s nice to see some young guys getting in the Modifieds.”;Speed51.com will have live Trackside Now coverage of all six divisions competing as part of Opening Night, and will continue to cover the track periodically for some of the biggest shows of the season at the Lehighton, Pennsylvania facility.-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @Aaron_Creed