AUSTIN HAS INTERESTING DAY AS A NO PIT STOP STRATEGY NETS BRIAN DEFEBO MAHONING SPEEDWAY FALL BRAWL MODIFIED 125 VICTORY NOV 6
(11-6-21) Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Fall Brawl had dramatic ups and downs all race long but known more edge-of-your seat then the race’s final restart with six laps to go between Brian DeFebo and Jack Ely. Ely had just eked past DeFebo for the lead but the lap was called back when Kyle Strohl and Cody Kohler got together on the back straight. On the double-wide restart and with DeFebo inside of Ely the pair ran side-by-side. As they came off Turn 4 DeFebo moved up a lane and made contact with Ely who then brushed the front stretch wall and quickly fell back a number of spots DeFebo, who was the only driver of the 22 starters that did not make a pit stop, was able to hold off fast-closing Don Wagner by less than half of a car length and go on to collect over $3800 from purse and lap money. “Hey with five laps to go anything’s on. I didn’t stop for tires so I knew we had no option at that point so it was game on,” said DeFebo who won for the second time this season and 109th of his career. “I knew I had no right rear (tire) left but there was a lot of money on the line and we came here with our mind set to win the final race. The car was too good and I didn’t want to make a pit stop.” DeFebo, who started 12th after a redraw, had bided his time and while one car after another made pit stops, he elected to remain on track. Matter of fact it took him 82 laps before he cracked the top five and following a few subsequent cautions he found himself running third to Earl Paules on lap 89. Four laps later he had worked around Paules for the top spot. With 25 laps remaining Don Wagner took second after Paules slid off the pace. At this point Ely, who had made a pit stop back on lap 85, was coming on like gangbusters. He dueled with Wagner over a 10 lap stint and finally got to second with a dozen circuits to go. With his sights honed in on the race leader Ely, who had led a race high 78 laps after starting from the pole, pulled behind DeFebo and was waiting for just the right moment to make his bid and regain the front spot. On lap 119 that chance was there as he edged by for the lead. However, Ely and DeFebo where the only two cars to cross the line as the caution waved for the back straight incident and the lap was called back. Battling hard and on very used tires DeFebo refused to let Ely get the better of him and with racing room in question there was the contact that squashed his shot at the win. “You’re in a bubble when you are in the car and you don’t always know your surroundings so you’re dealt the hand that you have and you do the best you can,” said DeFebo. “I have to thank the boss, my mom (Sophie Welsh) who if it wasn’t for her none of this would be possible. Gary Slusser and Gennie Yamelski and my boys back home with my wife Brandi.” Wagner had been hovering in the top-five with 40 laps to go and stayed within reach of the leaders that whole time. He then made a last ditch effort to get underneath DeFebo but fell short by a mere .097-second margin. “We had a really good car and got some good positions after some of the restarts. We saved it as much as we could for the end but unfortunately ran out of time,” explained Wagner. “From my view what a race it was up front and I’m so glad I had a back row seat for that. It was a great night.” Behind Wagner was 2021 Mahoning champ Bobby Jones. Jones was a threat over most of the race and had led laps 79 through 88. Fourth place finisher and first time Mahoning starter Mark Bakaj of Lebanon, Connecticut was the surprise of the night as he turned in a steady run and landed a respectable fourth. He also won the lion’s share of the Bonus Buck Redraw worth an extra $1500 making his debut here worth close to $3000. Rounding out the top five was Lou Strohl who despite having to make several pit stops hustled late in the going in bringing home the solid finish. Zane Zeiner, Nevin George, Broc Brown, Paules and Nick Baer rounded out the top-10. Zeiner, Beers and Ely copped heat wins. While parked in Victory Lane there was an exchange of unsportsmanlike un-pleasantries with the winner that led to the disqualification of No. 9 and No. 19 cars of Ely and Austin Beers.
Modified feature finish (125-laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Don Wagner, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Mark Bakaj, 5. Lou Strohl, 6. Zane Zeiner, 7. Nevin George, 8. Brock Brown, 9. Earl Paules, 10. Nick Baer, 11. Kyle Strohl, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Chuck Hossfeld, 14. Cody Kohler, 15. Rich Cooper, 16. Geary Rinehimer, 17. Rod Snyder Jr, 18. John Markovic, 19. Carl Altemose, 20. Ghost Rider DQ: Austin Beers, Jack Ely
AUSTIN HAS A STEADY DAY AT SEPTEMBER 26th RACE OF CHAMPIONS FINIHSING 6th AND WINNING ROC TITLE OVER HIRSCHMAN
A great two days this past weekend at Stafford and Lake Erie! On Saturday I made my first trip to Stafford. We qualified an awesome 7th but started a little loose and fell back a little until the first caution on lap 130. We pit for tires and drove back up to 13th in the 64! Once again thank you to Murph and everyone on the team for the great car and opportunity! After our 7 hour trip to Lake Erie Saturday night and getting to the hotel at 3 A.M. We rolled the car off the trailer Sunday really good. We showed good speed in practice and qualified 3rd putting us right into the show! We ran up front most of the race with some great stops by Josh Scherer, Brennen Coulter, Glenn Eberwein, and the rest of the crew! We ran in the top five most of the race, leading a bunch of laps and finished 6th by inches to Daryl Lewis. With our 6th place finish we ended up just winning the Race of Champions point title by 11 points! It’s hard to put into words how amazing it feels to win the championship in such a prestigious series! We couldn’t have done any of it without great car owners like Dave and Laura DeLange, our awesome crew, and great sponsors:
Andy Jankowiak battled back from a mid-race pit stop penalty and went on to a $14,000 victory in Sunday’s 71st Race of Champions 250 at the Lake Erie (Pennsylvania) Speedway. The victory Sunday gave the Tonawanda driver a clean sweep of the weekend RoC modified action after he also won Saturday’s sportsman modified main event. Jankowiak, whose father died in a 1990 modified crash at the Stafford Springs (Connecticut) Speedway, started fifth Sunday but was penalized a lap for unapproved work on his car during a lap 130 mandatory fuel stop. He went to the rear of the field one lap down, but a lucky dog restart put him back on the lead lap. He then easily moved back up through the field and pulled away in the closing laps to the convincing triumph on the three-eighth-mile oval.
Mike Christopher Jr., driving Tom Baldwin Jr.’s Whelen Tour modified, ended up a well-beaten second, with Patrick Emerling, Zane Zeiner, Daryl Lewis Jr., Austin Beers, Danny Knoll Jr., Tim Catalino, Darren Scherer and Ricky Knapp Jr. completing the top 10 finishers.
MATT HIRSCHMAN HAS ENGINE PROBLEMS AT SEPTEMBER 26th RACE OF CHAMPIONS AND LOSES ROC TITLE Matt Hirschman entered Sunday’s main event as a heavy favorite after having won eight of the last nine Race of Champions features. The Northampton, Pennsylvania, driver ran into motor problems early and was forced to the pits. Hirschman had a 41-point lead over Austin Beers for the overall Race of Champions title, so Matt made the motor repairs and returned to the race many laps down to try to pick up some positions and save the championship, Hirschman ended up 21st, but the sixth-place finish for Beers gave him the title by just 11 points.
Pos Start Driver Hometown Car 1 6 Andy Jankowiak Tonawanda, NY 73 2 2 Michael Christopher Jr Mooresville, NC 7NY 3 5 Patrick Emerling Orchard Park, NY 07 4 23 Zane Zeiner Bath, PA 22 5 9 Daryl Lewis Jr. Ontario, NY 10 6 3 Austin Beers Northampton, PA 45B 7 17 Danny Knoll Jr Amherst, NY 17 8 20 Timmy Catalano Ontario, NY 45PJ 9 14 Daren Scherer Binghamton, NY 3 10 15 Ricky Knapp Jr. Buffalo, NY 11 11 11 Bryan Sherwood APALACHIN, NY 95 12 28 Dan Majchrzak Perry, NY 14M 13 24 Sean Verwys East Stroudsburg, PA 88V 14 16 Earl Paules Palmertown, PA 8 15 25 Gary Noe Barton, NY 99 16 4 Tommy Catalano Ontario, NY 54PJ 17 21 Kyle Strohl Palmertown, PA 44 18 22 Jim Gavek Effort, PA 21 19 13 Jack Ely Wall Township, NJ 81 20 10 Kevin Miller Rochester, NY 2 21 1 Matt Hirschman Northampton, PA 60 22 19 Randall Richard 0 23 26 Jeff Szafraniec Akron, NY 83 24 18 T.J. Potrzebowski Elmira, NY 72 25 12 Blake Barney Jackson, NJ 14 26 7 Jimmy Zacharias Candor, NY 71 27 8 Tyler Catalano Ontario, NY 64PJ 28 27 Craig Dolphin North Tonawanda, NY 98
Austin Timed 7th fastest and finished 13th in his first run at Stafford Speedway On September 24th
For all the accomplishments Justin Bonsignore has achieved over 15 years on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, he was seemingly known just as well for the curse that followed him. Stafford Speedway had become the seemingly unbeatable beast that the Holtsville, N.Y. driver couldn’t find a way to slay. Bonsignore came into Saturday’s season ending NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford winless in 40 career Whelen Modified Tour starts at the track dating back to 2010. Saturday Bonsignore clinched his third Whelen Modified Tour championship and did it by finally beating the track that has beat him for so long. Bonsignore held off Doug Coby on a green-white-checkered finish to win the NAPA Fall Final 150, clinching his second consecutive series championship and third in the last four seasons. “1-for-41!” Bonsignore screamed in victory lane. “I’m so glad we got that. Three-time champion, but I can’t get past winning at Stafford, and to beat Doug [Coby]. He beat me at Riverhead [Raceway] to get his first this year so it was only fitting that we were able to outrun him.” It was the 31st career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Bonsignore. “Unbelievable to get another championship, to go back-to-back,” Bonsignore said. “What we’ve accomplished since [crew chief Ryan Stone] came on board. And everything we’ve been able to do this year. We only had one win until tonight. I’m glad we could get a second one. I’m forever indebted to [team owners] Ken and Janine Massa.” Bonsignore joined Mike Stefanik (seven titles), Coby (six titles) and Tony Hirschman (five titles) as the only drivers to win three or more Whelen Modified Tour championships since the series’ inception in 1985. “I don’t belong in that crowd,” Bonsignore said. “Those guys are unbelievable. Doug is still accomplishing things. And Michael what he accomplished overall. And Tony doesn’t really get credit for what he accomplshed I feel. He’s very under the radar. It’s pretty special.” Coby, of Milford, was second. “I always made fun of Justin for not getting a win [at Stafford],” Coby said. “He stuffs it in my face by winning the championship and the race. I told him earlier in the week I said ‘I don’t care if you’re clear by two on the last lap, if I’m second you’re not winning.’ And he was just way better than me. I couldn’t get there. That team, we have a friendly rivalry. We really want to beat each other as often as we can. And man they are just on their game.” Bonsignore came into the event leading second place Patrick Emerling by 16 points. Emerling, of Orchard Park, N.Y., finished third. He finished the season with a 22-point advantage over Emerling. “Congrats to Justin, they’ve been the fastest car all season,” Emerling said. “We were chasing them. Hats off to my crew as well. We had a tight points battle there for a while and we had a lot of fun all season long. I’m just happy we were in contention up until the last race. We can finish the season and hang our heads high. I’m real proud of what we did.” Ron Silk finished third in the final season standings, 79 points behind Bonsignore. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth, 81 points off the lead and Coby was fifth, 82 points off the top spot. Anthony Nocella started on the pole and controlled the race at the front for the first half of the event. Bonsignore started second but fell to fifth at the start. Bonsignore clawed his way back with the leaders over the first 70 laps. By lap 69 Bonsignore was in a heated battle for second place with Doug Coby. Two laps later Bonsignore moved past Coby for second and quickly closed on Nocella out front. On lap 78 Bonsignore got under Nocella coming off of turn two to take over the lead for the first time in the event. The first caution of the race flew on lap 130 with Bonsignore leading. Woody Pitkat in second and Coby in third. All the leaders went to the pits with Bonsignore coming out first with Matt Swanson in second and Coby third. Coby went to second on the lap 137 restart but it was Bonsignore quickly checking out on the field. Caution flew once again on lap 146 to set up the green-white-checkered. On the restart Coby seemed to get the jump into turn one, but Bonsignore fought back to the front off of turn two and stayed out front to the checkered. “I didn’t want to see that lap  caution at all,” Bonsignore said. “And then with four [laps] to go you don’t want to see another caution. The car was just really good on the long run. I was just trying to do whatever I could to save fuel.” Said Coby: “The caution comes out there at the end and I just feel like home turf, I should have been able to defend it,” Coby said. Kyle Bonsignore was fourth and Craig Lutz fifth.
1 2 51 Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communications Inc. (Ken Massa) Chevrolet 152 running 74 47 2 5 10 Doug Coby Mayhew Tools (Philip Moran) Ford 152 running 1 43 3 14 07 Patrick Emerling Captain Pip Marina & Hideaway (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 152 running 0 41 4 16 22 Kyle Bonsignore Chalew Performance (Kyle Bonsignore) Chevrolet 152 running 0 40 5 6 63 Craig Lutz Sapienza Enterprise (Tim Thilberg) Chevrolet 152 running 0 39 6 1 82 Anthony Nocella Nocella Paving / Horton Avenue Materials (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 152 running 77 40 7 15 32 Tyler Rypkema Nelcorp Electrical / Musco (Dean Rypkema) Chevrolet 152 running 0 37 8 8 85 Ron Silk Stuart's Automotive (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 152 running 0 36 9 4 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 152 running 0 35 10 10 50 Ronnie Williams Empower Financial Advisory / RB Enterprises (Paul Les) Ford 152 running 0 34 11 22 66 Timmy Solomito New England Gear / East West Marine / Highmar (Jerry Solomito) Chevrolet 152 running 0 33 12 3 7 Jon McKennedy Ultra Wheel (Tommy Baldwin) Chevrolet 152 running 0 32 13 7 64 Austin Beers * Dell Elect / Lumierre Elect / Andrew James In (Mike Murphy) Chevrolet 152 running 0 31 14 17 2 Stephen Kopcik * Gershow Recycling (Joseph Bertuccio) Chevrolet 152 running 0 30 15 13 88 Joey Cipriano III * J&R Pre-Cast / Stuart's Auto / Gunsmoke Stabl (Robert Katon Jr.) 152 running 0 29 16 12 35 Andrew Molleur * CBYD 811.com / Green Construction (Mike Molleur) Chevrolet 152 running 0 28 17 11 3 Matt Swanson Propane Plus / Ceravolo's Auto (Jan Boehler) Chevrolet 152 running 0 27 18 18 34 J.B. Fortin Whip It City Jerky / Peerless / Golden Jalape (Nicole Fortin) Chevrolet 152 running 0 26 19 9 1 Woody Pitkat Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer / Gunsmoke Stables (Eddie Harvey) Chevrolet 152 running 0 25 20 21 36 Dave Sapienza Sapienza Enterprise (Judy Thilberg) Chevrolet 152 running 0 24 21 19 77 Gary Putnam Curb Records (Mike Curb) Chevrolet 150 running 0 23 22 24 59 C.J. Lehmann * BNP Machine (Jody Lauzon) Dodge 149 running 0 22 23 23 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood and Restaurant (Robert Pollifrone) Chevrolet 146 running 0 21 24 20 44 Bobby Santos III Think Light Air / Harshaw Paving (Lawney Tinio) Chevrolet 126 mechanical 0 20 25 25 26 Gary McDonald Lakeland Landscape / TRC Electric (Sean McDonald) Chevrolet 43 vibration 0 19 26 26 01 Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 35 vibration 0 18
Austin has a up and down night on his first trip to Riverhead Raceway, September 18th - finishing 15th
Austin truly had a top five car and was running as high as 9th when a set of unfortunate circumstances and incidents that were of not fault of his own caused a flat front tire and then another incident caused issues with the rear. Austin can not wait to get back there with such a great car provided but he team
NASCAR STORY: On May 15 at Riverhead Raceway it was Patrick Emerling looking up the podium one spot to see race winner Doug Coby celebrating victory in the Whelen Modified Tour event at the historic Long Island bullring. On June 20 it happened again for Emerling, staring up at Doug Coby celebrating victory after another series event at Riverhead. Saturday there was no looking up at anyone else for Emerling. Emerling, of Orchard Park, N.Y., dominated the final 60 laps to win the Whelen Modified Tour Miller Lite 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway. It was the first series event at the facility since the death of track owner and series team owner Eddie Partridge on Sept. 11. It was the fourth career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Emerling and third in 2021. It was his first victory at Riverhead Raceway. “I’d like to dedicate this race to Eddie Partridge,” Emerling said in victory lane . “I started racing and I was racing against his car and it was a hell of a team always, hell of a car. That was a team you always looked up to. … Several years ago Riverhead was a place that we kind of struggled at a little bit. And so to get a first here is unbelievable.” Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. was second. Riverhead Raceway Modified division regular Roger Turbush of Riverhead was third. Emerling came into the night second in the series standings, trailing Bonsignore by 22 points. The pair will go to the season ending NAPA Fall Final 150 at Stafford on Sept. 25 with Bonsignore holding a 16-point advantage. Bonsignore is looking for his second consecutive series title and third overall in the last four seasons. Emerling has never won a series championship. “To win here today, we had two seconds here, it’s just unbelievable,” Emerling said. “It’s kind of what we had to do with the points situation here.” Said Bonsignore: “Congrats to Patrick. … Congrats to them guys. It’s been a hell of a battle between the two of us all year. They gained some tonight. We’ll go to Stafford next week and have a good run and try and get another [championship].” Turbush had a 21st and 15th in Whelen Modified Tour starts earlier this season at Riverhead. “To run with the [Whelen Modified] Tour, even run in the top-10 with the Tour for us has been a struggle,” Turbush said. “We struggled every time we came out here, but we kept trying.” Riverhead Modified division regular Tom Rogers Jr. won the pole in qualifying and controlled the pace from the start. Doug Coby pestered Rogers over the first 20 laps. By lap 23 the leaders were encountering lapped traffic all the way around the track. The first caution flew on lap 44 for the spinning car of Tyler Rypkema. The race restarted on lap 52 but the action was short-lived. The caution returned on lap 53 due to an aggressive battle for the lead. Coby tried to go to the outside of Rogers. Contact between the two put Coby into the wall hard and ended his night. The race restarted with Rogers leading fellow Riverhead regular Dave Brigati, with Bonsignore in third and Ron Silk in fourth. On the restart it was Brigati using the outside to overtake Rogers for the top spot. Behind them Silk moved past Bonsignore for third place. Caution flew once again on lap 90 after a wreck involving Craig Lutz and JB Fortin. The race restarted with Brigati leading Rogers on the front row. On the lap 102 restart the two made heavy contact, which also collected third place running Ron Silk. Kyle Soper was able to move to the top spot through the mess with Emerling following him to second. “It was hairy there with the leaders and [Emerling] and Soper just got through that mess,” Bonsignore said. “Track position is huge.” The race restarted on lap 111 but immediately went back to caution for the slowed car of Austin Beers. On the lap 117 restart it was Emerling moving past Soper to take over the top spot. Emerling became the first series regular to lead the event. A wreck at the back of the field brought the caution right back out on lap 121. The ensuing lap 131 restart saw little action as caution flew again two laps later for a wreck involving Dylan Slepian and Chuck Hossfeld. The race restarted on lap 140 and would go green the rest of the way. Bonsignore got by Soper for second place on lap 166 but never cut much into the big lead of Emerling over the final 30 laps.
1 7 07 Patrick Emerling Captain Pip Marina & Hideaway (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 200 running 85 48 2 4 51 Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communications Inc. (Ken Massa) Chevrolet 200 running 0 42 3 9 88 Roger Turbush Hydro Action (Patrick Kennedy) Chevrolet 200 running 0 41 4 11 15 Kyle Soper Eastport Feeds (Wayne Anderson) Chevrolet 200 running 12 41 5 15 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 200 running 0 39 6 22 1 Woody Pitkat Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer / Gunsmoke Stables (Eddie Harvey) 200 running 0 38 7 12 66 Timmy Solomito New England Gear / East West Marine / Highmar (Jerry Solomito) 200 running 0 37 8 1 03 Tom Rogers, Jr. License to Chill (Ken Darch) Chevrolet 200 running 0 37 9 14 22 Kyle Bonsignore Chateau Performance (Kyle Bonsignore) Chevrolet 200 running 0 35 10 25 59 Andy Jankowiak * BNP Machine (Judy Lauzon) Dodge 200 running 0 34 11 21 70 Dylan Slepian * Eastport Feeds (Rob Pelis) Chevrolet 199 running 0 33 12 10 32 Tyler Rypkema Nelcorp Electrical / Musco (Dean Rypkema) Chevrolet 199 running 0 32 13 16 2 Chuck Hossfeld Gershow Recycling (Joseph Bertuccio) Chevrolet 199 running 0 31 14 20 7 Mike Christopher, Jr. * Ultra Wheel (Tommy Baldwin) Chevrolet 197 running 0 30 15 17 64 Austin Beers * Dell Elect / Lumierre Elect / Andrew James In (Mike Murphy) 197 running 0 29 16 5 34 J.B. Fortin John's Fuel Oil Inc / John's Tree Removal (Nicole Fortin) Chevrolet 139 oil leak 0 28 17 6 85 Ron Silk Stuart's Automotive (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 122 crash 0 27 18 19 36 Dave Sapienza Sapienza Enterprise (Judy Thilberg) Chevrolet 120 crash 0 26 19 23 78 Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Last Minute Racing (Steven Sutcliffe) Chevrolet 120 crash 0 25 20 26 17 Kyle Ellwood Buzz Chew Chevrolet Cadillac (Buzz Chew) Chevrolet 118 crash 0 24 21 18 18 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood and Restaurant (Robert Pollifrone) Chevrolet 106 crash 0 23 22 3 98 Dave Brigati JDL Environmental / Coors Light Chevrolet 103 crash 44 23 23 8 82 Craig Lutz Danny's Cesspool Service (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 88 crash 0 21 24 2 10 Doug Coby Mayhew Tools (Philip Moran) Ford 53 crash 0 20 25 13 87 John Baker * Stania Automotive / Elite Towing (Darryl Baker) Chevrolet 35 crash 0 19 26 24 01 Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 7 handling 18
Statement by Austin after Richmond September 10th.
If you would have told me a month ago I would finish 7th at Richmond on the Nascar Whelen Modified Tour I would have called you crazy. Well Friday night that happened! We came off the truck very stable in practice logging laps and learning the track. We ended up 8th in practice. After that we ran qualifying and we were just a tad tight and ended up 9th. We set a goal of staying out of trouble and running all the laps which showed in the beginning when we dropped back outside of the top 15 just keeping the car clean. The guys had a great 3 tire pit stop at about lap 55 and we restarted 4th and held that until a lap 95 caution which saw us come in for 3 more tires and another great stop. After restarting about 11th and avoiding 4 wrecks right around us we came home P7! Wish we had a long run at the end to see what else could’ve had with the guys up front but unfortunately that never happened. Can’t thank Mike Murphy and everyone from the 64 team for all that they do and for giving me this amazing opportunity!
Austin has a great 8th place finish as A part-time schedule on the Whelen Modified Tour has turned into a full-time job visiting victory lane of late for Ryan Preece on September 10th. Preece, of Berlin, dominated in the late stages to score victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Virginia Is For Lovers 150 Friday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. “I haven’t had a perfect race car in a long time, but that was one sporty hot rod,” Preece said of the ride from his Eddie and Connie Partridge owned TS Haulers team “… This entire team right here, these guys, they stick with me whether I’m running a short track up in Connecticut, up in New York, wherever it is. … This team has been together for quite a while now so it’s cool to have them here in victory lane.” It was the third victory in the last three Whelen Modfied Tour starts for Preece, the 2013 series champion who now competes regularly on the NASCAR Cup Series. Preece, who was making his seventh series start of the season, also won on July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and on Aug. 6 at Stafford Speedway. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. was second and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third. The race kicked off with Preece and series points leader and reigning champion Justin Bonsignore playing the lead swap game early. Preece went past Bonsignore – the pole winner – for the lead on lap two. Bonsignore went back to the front on lap eight. It was Preece regaining the top spot on lap 12. The first caution flew on lap 19 for the stopped car of Bobby Santos III. Following the restart it was Bonsignore going back to the front by Preece on lap 26, but the pass was negated due to the second caution of the event. After the ensuing restart Bonsignore went back by Preece for the lead on lap 34. Preece jumped back to the front on lap 36. On lap 37 Patrick Emerling, who came into the night second in the series standings, 20 points behind Bonsignore, slowed on the track and stopped on pit road. On lap 44 Ryan Newman went by Bonsignore for second place. Newman stalked down Preece out front and went to the lead on lap 51. Caution flew on lap 55 for debris with Newman leading, Preece in second, Bonsignore in third and Ronnie Williams in fourth. Most of the the leaders pitted under caution The race restarted with Tyler Rypkema leading, Andrew Krause in second and Andy Jankowiak third. Preece restarted fifth on lap 61 and was up to second by lap 64. On lap 65 Preece got by Krause for the lead with Williams going to second. On lap 67 Williams went by Preece for the lead and then set sail out front. On lap 75 Bonsignore went to the garage under green with mechanical issues. Williams opened up a 1.3 second lead over Preece before caution flew on lap 94 when Bonsignore stalled trying to return to the track. Under caution most of the leaders headed back to pit road. Preece took four tires under caution and restarted the race in eighth. The race restarted with Krause leading, Ron Silk second, Williams third and Jankowiak fourth. On the lap 100 restart it was Williams going past Krause for the lead, Jon McKennedy going to second and Preece going from eighth to third. Preece went by McKennedy for second on lap 102 and a lap later he overtook Williams for the lead. “This thing was just stout,” Preece said. “You don’t have perfect race cars very often, but when we put those four stickers on there she was rolling.” The race got ugly in the closing stages, ultimately leading to an overtime green-white-checkered finish. Caution flew on lap 128 when Jamie Tomaino got together with the spinning car of Eric Goodale. Preece got the jump on the ensuring restart, but caution came out immediately for a wreck involving Newman and Woody Pitkat. The race restarted on lap 138 with Preece holding the lead, but caution flew again on lap 140 for a wreck involving Krause and Goodale. The restart came on lap 145 with Preece holding the top spot and Williams moving past McKennedy for second. But caution flew again on lap 147 for a multi-car wreck involving Kyle Ebersole, Ron Silk and Rypkema. Preece was able to easily get away on the final restart with McKennedy overtaking Williams for second as they came to the white flag. “Obviously I’m happy,” Preece said of the return for the series to Richmond. “I’m the guy standing here in victory lane. The track widened out, I just didn’t expect it. Newman was making the second lane work in [turns] three and four. Ronnie Williams was making the high side work in [turns] one and two. It ended up being a lot racier than I thought it was going to be. I hope all you fans out there had a good time. I know we don’t swap the lead like we do at [New Hampshire Motor Speedway], but we had a good time.” Newman, who started at the rear overcame numerous incidents and ended up fourth. Six-time series champion Doug Coby was fifth. Kyle Bonsignore, Austin Beers, Andy Jankowiak, Burt Myers and Pitkat rounded out the top-10 respectively. Bonsignore ended up credited with a 24th place in the 26-car field with Emerling scored 25th. Silk, who came into the race third in the standings, 57 points off the lead, was 19th. Two events remain on the 2021 schedule with the series visiting Riverhead Raceway on Sept. 18 before closing the season on lap Sept. 25 at Stafford.
1 3 6 Ryan Preece Riverhead Raceway (Ed Partridge) Chevrolet 156 running 98 48 2 20 7 Jon McKennedy Ultra Wheel (Tommy Baldwin) Chevrolet 156 running 0 42 3 7 50 Ronnie Williams Empower Financial Advisory / RB Enterprises (Paul Les) Ford 156 running 34 42 4 4 53 Ryan Newman Curb Records / BrakeSafe (Mike Curb) Chevrolet 156 running 6 41 5 13 10 Doug Coby Mayhew Tools (Philip Moran) Ford 156 running 0 39 6 11 22 Kyle Bonsignore Chateu Performance / Bonsignore Perf Tool (Kyle Bonsignore) Chevrolet 156 running 0 38 7 9 64 Austin Beers * Fastrack Electric / Andrew James Interior / L (Mike Murphy) 156 running 0 37 8 26 59 Andy Jankowiak BNP Machine (Jody Lauzon) Dodge 156 running 0 36 9 6 63 Burt Myers Sapienza Enterprise (Tim Thilberg) Chevrolet 156 running 0 35 10 15 1 Woody Pitkat Dunleavy's Truck & Trailer / Gunsmoke Stables (Eddie Harvey) 156 running 0 34 11 8 82 Anthony Nocella Danny's Cess Pool Service / Nocella Paving (Danny Watts Jr.) Chevrolet 156 running 0 33 12 10 32 Tyler Rypkema Nelcorp Electrical / Musco (Dean Rypkema) Chevrolet 156 running 5 33 13 18 58 Eric Goodale GAF Roofing (Edgar Goodale) Chevrolet 156 running 0 31 14 19 20 Eddie McCarthy * McCarthy's Marine (Edward McCarthy Jr.) Chevrolet 155 running 0 30 15 22 14 Bobby Measmer, Jr. Alcova Mtg / The Knorr Group / Lead 2 Real Es (Kevin Hughes) 155 running 0 29 16 12 34 J.B. Fortin Peerless / Whip It City Jerky / Johns Fuel (Nicole Fortin) Chevrolet 154 running 0 28 17 23 78 Walter Sutcliffe, Jr. Last Minute Racing (Steven Sutcliffe) Chevrolet 148 running 0 27 18 14 5 Kyle Ebersole Ebersole Excavating / Technique Chassis (Bob Ebersole) Ford 146 crash 0 26 19 5 85 Ron Silk Stuart's Automotive (Kevin Stuart) Chevrolet 146 crash 0 25 20 16 24 Andrew Krause Supreme Manufacturing (Diane Krause) Chevrolet 140 crash 5 25 21 24 99 Jamie Tomaino Trump 2024 (Cheryl Tomaino) Chevrolet 124 crash 0 23 22 25 01 Melissa Fifield Pine Knoll Auto Sales (Kenneth Fifield) Chevrolet 116 handling 0 22 23 17 44 Bobby Santos III Think Light Air / Harshaw Paving (Lawney Tinio) Chevrolet 93 suspension 0 21 24 1 51 Justin Bonsignore Phoenix Communications Inc. (Ken Massa) Chevrolet 60 drive shaft 8 21 25 2 07 Patrick Emerling Captain Pip Marina & Hideaway (Jennifer Emerling) Chevrolet 47 drive shaft 0 19 26 21 36 Dave Sapienza Sapienza Enterprise (Judy Thilberg) Chevrolet 25 crash 0 18
Ron Silk wins Oswego Speedway NASCAR Modified Tour Race September 4th - Matt crashes and comes back for 2nd. Austin was running in 8th when he got harpooned by Kyle Bonesigure ending his NASCAR debut
Sometimes those breakups can be ugly, and sometimes not. Earlier this week Ron Silk made it publicly known that he would be leaving the Kevin Stuart Motorsports Whelen Modified Tour team at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Both Silk and team owner Kevin Stuart insisted last Monday that it was an amicable breakup and all parties involved hoped to make the most of the final four events of the 2021 Whelen Modified Tour season. Saturday at Oswego Silk and the team showed that no matter the impending divorce, winning as a team is still priority number one. Silk scored a dominating victory in winning the Whelen Modified Tour Toyota Mod Classic 150 Saturday at Oswego (N.Y.) Speedway. It was the second consecutive series victory for Silk, of Norwalk, who won at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine on Aug. 21. Silk, who started on the pole and led the majority of the event, beat second place Matt Hirschman to the checkered by 2.9 seconds. “It was just a fantastic job by my guys,” Silk said. “The car was spot on. I’m just real excited for my team to get back to victory lane.” Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. furiously rallied from a lap 43 wreck to grab the runner-up spot. “We just had to overcame a lot,” Hirschman said. “I wish we didn’t have to. We came up with a strong second at the end.” Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. was third and extended his lead at the top of the series standings. Bonsignore, the reigning series champion – who is looking for his third series title in four years – went from holding an eight-point lead over second place Patrick Emerling coming into the event to a 20-point lead over Emerling, who was 15th Saturday. “It was a good night for us,” Bonsignore said. “It’s getting down to crunch time as far as points are concerned. Gives us a little bit of breathing room, but we still have to race hard the next three [races].” Bonsignore went by Silk for the lead on lap five. Silk went back to the front on lap 15. The first caution of the event flew on lap 37 for the spinning car of Mike Leaty. The race restarted on lap 43 with Silk fending off Bonsignore on the restart. But the red flag was shown on lap 44 for a huge wreck. The melee began with Hirschman and Doug Coby battling for fourth place. Hirschman looked under Coby but Coby closed the door on him and contact from sixth place running Anthony Nocella sent Hirschman spinning. The wreck collected a number of cars, including Bobby Santos III, Woody Pitkat, Tommy Catalano, Gary Putnam and Leaty. “I was thinking it wasn’t looking to good,” Hirschman said. “[Coby] hacked us and it spun us around there. We got clipped and a bunch of other cars got wrecked there. We didn’t need that to happen.” The race went back to green on lap 49 with Bonsignore going back to the front by Silk, but it was a short-lived stretch. Caution flew once again on lap 55 when Austin Beers ended up in the wall. The race went back to green on lap 62 with Bonsignore continuing to fend off the stalking Silk in second. On lap 78 Silk found the way by Bonsignore to regain the lead, and he was quickly able to open some breathing room on second place. “I knew if it was a longer run that I would be able to drive back by him,” Silk said. “My car took a few laps to fire off on restarts.” With a long green flag stretch Silk was able to check out from Bonsignore, opening up a 2.6 second lead by lap 120. By lap 127 Silk had opened that lead to 3.3 seconds, but heavy traffic slowed Silk by lap 130. On lap 132 Bonsignore had cut the lead back to 1.9 seconds. By lap 134 Bonsignore closed the gap to 1.1 seconds behind Silk. Silk was able to clear the heavy traffic issues and quickly opened his lead back to 2.8 seconds by lap 138. “I went pretty hard there like halfway through the race and I said ‘I’m sure there will be a caution and we’ll end up taking tires.’” Silk said. “With 20 to go I was getting a little nervous wondering ‘Did I save enough?’ Hirschman got by Coby for third with nine laps remaining and then went by Bonsignore for second with seven to go. Hirschman was 3.4 seconds behind Silk when he got to second, and at one point cut Silk’s lead to about two seconds, but Silk pulled away over the final two laps. Said Hirschman: “We made a charge. … Congrats to [Silk], he went the whole way and still was driving away from the rest of us. He had a very good car.”
1. Ron Silk (85), 2. Matt Hirschman (60), 3. Justin Bonsignore (51), 4. Doug Coby (10), 5. Anthony Nocella (82), 6. Bobby Santos III (44), 7. Andrew Krause (24), 8. Woody Pitkat (1), 9. Kyle Bonsignore (22), 10. Kyle Ebersole (5), 11. Gary Putnam (77), 12. Eric Goodale (58), 13. Chuck Hossfeld (2), 14. Tyler Rypkema (32), 15. Patrick Emerling (07), 16. Jon McKennedy (7), 17. J.B. Fortin (34), 18. Melissa Fifield (01), 19. Walter Sutcliffe Jr. (78), 20. Austin Beers (64), 21. Tommy Catalano (54), 22. Mike Leaty (25
MATT HIRSCHMAN WINS MAYNARD TROYER CLASSIC AT SPENCER SPEEDWAY - SEPT 3rd - Austin great run for 5th
Red-hot Matt Hirschman won Friday night’s 2nd annual Maynard Troyer Classic at the Spencer Speedway in Williamson. The victor picked up more than $7,000 for the win on the half-mile paved oval
Pos Start Driver Hometown Car 1 4 Matt Hirschman Northampton, PA 60 2 1 Andy Jankowiak Tonawanda, NY 73 3 12 Chuck Hossfeld Lockport, NY 14 4 6 Patrick Emerling Orchard Park, NY 07 5 8 Austin Beers Northampton, PA 45 6 7 Mike Leaty Williamson, NY 25 7 2 Zane Zeiner Bath, PA 22 8 9 Jimmy Zacharias Candor, NY 71Z 9 15 T.J. Potrzebowski Elmira, NY 72 10 17 Kevin Timmerman Ontario, NY 17T 11 16 Bryan Sherwood APALACHIN, NY 95 12 3 Amy Catalano Ontario, NY 56 13 11 Timmy Catalano Ontario, NY 45PJ 14 22 Tyler Catalano Ontario, NY 64PJ 15 21 Daren Scherer Binghamton, NY 3 16 23 Jim Gavek Effort, PA 21G 17 10 Danny Knoll Jr Amherst, NY 17K 18 19 Sean Verwys East Stroudsburg, PA 88V 19 18 Kreig Heroth Fort Plain, NY 00 20 20 Tom Keyes Fairport, NY 5 21 5 Daryl Lewis Jr. Ontario, NY 10 22 14 Chris Finocchario Macedon, NY 8 23 13 Gary Putnam Concord, NC 77
Matt Hirschman Holds Off Chase Dowling To Win Tri-Track Open Wheel Wednesday At Seekonk on August 25 while Austin has to make adjustments and finishes 15th
Open Wheel Wednesday proved to be almost a Sunday cruise for Matt Hirschman. It was a virtual race-long sail away out front for Hirschman until the final four laps when Chase Dowling turned Hirschman’s smooth seas into a rough ride into harbor. In the end Hirschman was able to hold off the charges of Dowling over the final four laps and the driver dubbed “Money Matt” once again took home the big cash in winning the 100-lap Tri-Track Open Modified Series Open Wheel Wednesday feature at Seekonk Speedway. It was the fourth time that Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., has been victorious in the $10,000 to win event. Hirschman went from second to first on the opening lap and led 99 of 100 laps. “I feel very winded, very relieved to hold on to that,” Hirschman said. “I almost lost it into [turn] one a couple times. … It’s a big race. This is a big win. … This one of less than maybe a handful of races all year you look forward to and if you don’t get it done you’ve got to wait a whole calendar year for another chance.” Dowling, of Roxbury, held on for second and Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Mass. was third. “I was just doing everything we could with the apron, trying to use the apron and the whole race track just to figure out something to make the car the best we could,” Dowling said. “That’s all she had there at the end.” With five laps remaining Hirschman rolled up on a pack of lapped cars. With four laps left Hirschman went to the outside of Blake Barney, who was running at the tail end of the lead lap. With Barney staying to the inside Hirschman wasn’t able to complete the pass on the high side by Barney and it was Dowling filling the hole in the low lane behind Barney and under Hirschman. For two laps Hirschman stayed to the outside of Barney while Dowling tried to find a lane under Barney. At the white flag Hirschman was able to clear Barney into turn one, leaving Dowling chasing his bumper for the remainder of the final lap. “That was kind of close at the end,” Hirschman said. “I didn’t have anything left there. [Barney] didn’t do anything wrong there. He gave me a lane [on the outside] and I just couldn’t do anymore and [Dowling] filled it. He did what he had to do too. It’s good to be racing with quality racers there at the end with Nocella and [Dowling] and even [Barney] there holding onto his car. I know [Dowling] was working him some. You can’t blame him for that.” Said Dowling: “That lapped car, I gave him as many big shots as I could to move him up a lane, just wasn’t enough to fit my nose in there and get by him on the bottom. In contention for the win at the end, but it sucks to finish second obviously.” Hirschman went by pole-sitter Brian Robie on the first lap and took control at the front early. The first caution flew on lap three for the spinning car of Russ Hersey. On the restart it was Doug Coby going by Ron Silk for third and then making quick work of Brian Robie for second. Hersey brought out the second caution of the event on lap 29. The yellow sent third place Silk, fourth place Justin Bonsignore and fifth place Dowling to the pits. Caution flew for the third time on lap 58 for the spinning car of Devin O’Connell with Hirschman leading Coby at the front of the field. Coby headed to the pits under caution putting Nocella in second place for the restart with Matt Swanson in third. The fourth caution came on lap 64 for the spinning car of Kirk Alexander with Hirschman leading, Nocella in second, Swanson in third and Dowling fourth. Dowling went by Nocella for second place on lap 78 and then began the hunt to catch Hirschman. Richard Savary of Canton, Mass. was fourth and Joey Cipriano of Waterbury fifth. Silk, Robie, Coby, Les Hinckley III and Angelo Belsito rounded out the top-10 respectively.
RESULTS: Tri Track Open Modified Series at Seekonk Speedway
Matt Hirschman Chase Dowling Anthony Nocella Richard Savary Joey Cipriano Ron Silk Brian Robie Doug Coby Les Hinckley Angelo Belsito Chris Pasteryak Dylan Izzo Justin Bonsignore Tommy Barrett Matt Swanson Austin Beers Russ Hersey Woody Pitkat Max Zachem Matt Galko Anthony Sesely Devin O’Connell Blake Barney Kirk Alexander Austin Kochenash Ronnie Williams
AUSTIN BATTLES UNDERPOWERED CAR AND TIRE CONSERVATION FOR 9th PLACE FINISH AT HOLLAND ON AUG 14
1 7 Andy Jankowiak Tonawanda, NY 73 2 8 Timmy Catalano Ontario, NY 45PJ 3 17 Zane Zeiner Bath, PA 22 4 6 Patrick Emerling Orchard Park, NY 07 5 15 Mike Leaty Williamson, NY 25 6 14 George Skora III Eden, NY 65 7 5 Daryl Lewis Jr. Ontario, NY 10 8 24 Scott Wylie Blasdell , NY 71 9 13 Austin Beers Northampton, PA 45 10 12 Daren Scherer Binghamton, NY 3 11 10 Bryan Sherwood APALACHIN, NY 95 12 19 Alan Bookmiller Castile, NY 40 13 1 Bill Mislin Buffalo, NY 99 14 2 Kevin Miller Rochester, NY 2 15 20 Jim Gavek Effort, PA 21G 16 3 Tyler Catalano Ontario, NY 64PJ 17 9 Amy Catalano Ontario, NY 56 18 16 Randall Richard 0 19 4 Danny Knoll Jr Amherst, NY 17K 20 11 Tommy Catalano Ontario, NY 54PJ 21 21 Jeff Szafraniec Akron, NY 83 22 22 Craig Dolphin North Tonawanda, NY 98 23 18 Sean Verwys East Stroudsburg, PA 88V 24 23 Gunnar Zeiner Bath, PA 16
MATT HiRSCHMAN SCORES HARD FOUGHT VICTORY OVER AUSTIN BEERS AT CHEMUNG ON AUGUST 7
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., chalked up another victory in the Race of Champions Modified Series this past Saturday night in the Night before the Glen, Rod Spalding Classic 75 at the Chemung Speedrome. Hirschman made all of the right moves darting through traffic, eventually working himself to the lead on lap 60 of the event as he worked past early race leader Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo, N.Y. “We had a good car and it was a challenging race, it always seems that way here,” stated Hirschman. “It was good racing and we did have a good car, we are just happy to be back here in victory lane. Thank you to all of the fans who came out and all of my guys on the team for a great job today.” Hirschman led Austin Beers of Northampton, Pa., to the line. Beers had been involved in an early race altercation with Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y., but recovered to finish second. Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., finished third. Former Race of Champions driver, Rete Britten of Howell, N.J., posted a $500 bonus in a random draw to the 5th through 10th place finishers, which went to the 9th place finisher. The award went to Scott Wylie of Blasdell, N.Y.
1 6 Matt Hirschman Northampton, PA 60 2 12 Austin Beers Northampton, PA 45 3 11 Ryan Preece Berlin, CT 6 4 2 Andy Jankowiak Tonawanda, NY 73 5 10 Danny Knoll Jr Amherst, NY 17K 6 5 Daryl Lewis Jr. Ontario, NY 10 7 7 Zane Zeiner Bath, PA 0 8 8 Patrick Emerling Orchard Park, NY 07 9 1 Scott Wylie Blasdell , NY 14 10 15 Tony Hanbury Owego, NY 99 11 13 Tommy Rought Rome, PA 40 12 4 Daren Scherer Binghamton, NY 3 13 20 Gunnar Zeiner Bath, PA 16 14 17 Jim Gavek Effort, PA 21G 15 16 Ricky Knapp Jr. Buffalo, NY 11 16 19 Sean Verwys East Stroudsburg, PA 88V 17 9 Roger Coss Lafayette, NJ 17C 18 14 Gary Noe Barton, NY 1 19 18 Travis Montgomery Ontario, NY 65 20 3 T.J. Potrzebowski Elmira, NY 72
Bad tire never gives Austin a chance to compete in the front finishes 10th at Spencer Speedway in RoC Race on July 30
Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. dominated the Race of Champions Modified Series Billy Whittaker Ford F-50 on Friday night at the Spencer Speedway. Emerling led all 50 laps to earn his second RoC Modified Series win of 2021. Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y. finished second followed by Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA. A near capacity crowd took in the action that featured five divisions of racing. Gary Noe of Barton, N.Y. won the Race of Champions Super Stock 30-lap feature. Jacob Gustafson of Webster, N.Y. captured the Wilbert’s U-Pull It 4-Cylinder race. The Super Sixes feature was won by Ashley Schoonmaker of Williamson, while Andrew Lewis, Jr. won his third Rocket Performance 602 Sportsman Modified feature of the season. Emerling started third in a stacked field of 24 Race of Champions Modifieds. He was able to overtake front row starters Zane Zeiner and Ricky Knapp on the opening lap by the time the field of Modifieds exited the fourth turn. Zeiner chased Emerling for the opening 12 laps before giving up the runner-up position to Jankowiak, who started fourth. While the duo of Emerling and Jankowiak paced the field for most of the event, it was Hirschman that played the role of hard charger. Hirschman started eighth and it took him 20 laps before landing in the third position. In the end the race came down to Emerling being able to grab the lead on the opening lap to keep himself ahead of Jankowiak and Hirschman all the way to the finish. “My guys gave me a great car, but track position is so important here,” said Emerling. “It was awesome to win in front of this great crowd at Spencer and now we’re 2-for-2 with the Race of Champions this year.” Emerling now has 20 career Race of Champions Modified Series wins, which is fourth best in series history. The three-time and defending series champion is just two wins behind George Kent for third place on the win list. Hirschman padded his series points lead over Austin Beers, who finished tenth.
Bobby Jones held off a very determined Kyle Strohl and equally fast Brian DeFebo en route to his second Modified win of the season at Mahoning Valley Speedway on July 10 Austin gets 4th
(July 10) “I came in here tonight a little more aggressive to get this win. We had a dominant win the night before and that car was awesome and this car tonight was a little off but it was good,” said Jones after collecting his 52nd career win. “Near the end I just had to protect. I had Kyle (Strohl) and Brian (DeFebo) behind me and their two of the best guys here and I wouldn’t come off that bottom, I wanted to make sure they passed me on the outside and we got it done.” When the 35-lap contest got underway pole sitter Carl Altemose jumped into the early lead while Cody Kohler, Nick Baer and fifth starting Jones all ran tightly behind him. With the first 19 laps going nonstop, Altemose set out on a blistering pace with a solid handle on the lead while the aforesaid trio remained under a blanket. The fast-paced affair was slowed when Mia Guy had a spin in Turn 3 and just prior to that Baer and Jones got by Kohler and had been hot on Altemose’s tail. There would be another caution two laps later due to Kohler turning around in the second corner and it would be on that restart when a change at the front would take place. Altemose and Baer restarted side-by-side with Jones third. As they made their way off the final turn to complete lap 22 the low lane opened up as Altemose was fending off Strohl. That in turn allowed Jones to slip to the bottom and grab the lead. In the process, however, Altemose’s fine run came to an end as he was bumped by the oncoming cars and spun from contention. “He (Altemose) was running good and when I darted under him everyone was checking up and it opened the bottom and I just mashed the gas and didn’t even think twice about it,” said Jones. From there on it was an intense fight as Strohl tried numerous times to get by but each time Jones held off his relentless charge. At the same time DeFebo lurked closely in their tire tracks. “There at the end I just stayed glued to the bottom and I wasn’t going to open it up for anyone to get under me,” noted Jones. “This is the second time I’ve swept a weekend and it’s been a long time since I’ve done that and it’s something to be proud of and that was my goal to tonight. I was coming here to win this race.”
Modified feature finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Jayden Brown, 6. Earl Paules, 7. John Markovic, 8. Nick Baer, 9. Cody Kohler, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Kassidy Altemose, 12. Mia Guy, 13. Carl Altemose Austin Beers shakes off runner-up blues with win in Roger Heffelfinger Sr. Tribute at Mahoning Valley Speedway June 26th
(June 26, 2021) There is a saying in racing, ‘Second place is the first loser’ and no one would know that better than Austin Beers who was a runner-up five times this season and most of those coming in close thrillers. However, for the second generation talent from Northampton he was finally able to shake the runner-up finish with his victory on the 66-lap Roger Heffelfinger Sr., Tribute, which was race #3 in the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series. And, as it had been for him during his spell of seconds it was a close battle to the wire with this time with Austin Kochenash en route. “This means so much to me to win this tribute race for Roger (Heffelfinger). He ran for my grandfather (Dale Beers) back in the day so it’s an honor to win this and with Austin (Kochenash) coming in second and him being his grandson and all. It was a clean race and it was awesome,” expressed an elated Beers. Beers started second and ran behind early leader Matt Hirschman and at the same time had to deal with strong running Zane Zeiner. With Hirschman leading it was looking as though he would be in position to chalk up another win but that notion went away when he was pinched from behind by Zeiner on a lap 35 restart. Both drivers then pitted which elevated Kochenash to the lead over Bobby Jones, Nevin George and Nick Baer. The lap prior to that Beers had checked into the pits also with his crew swapping around tires on his DeLange Racing No. 45. As the action was back underway there was a passionate feeling of excitement as Kochenash looked poised to see victory on a night honoring his legendary grandfather who was watching attentively from the sidelines. Beers though began a charge and began picking his way to the front, eventually closing in behind Kochenash by lap 51. He then began to apply pressure on him and after several side-by-side laps was able to slip underneath Kochenash with seven laps to go. “We changed a tire and put the right front to the right rear and this thing just came alive,” said Beers. “He (Kochenash) gave me good room and ran me very clean but I knew I had to get it done because I was tired of finishing second. I very thankful too for Dave and Laura DeLange giving me the opportunity to give their car and my dad and the whole crew for the hard work they put in.” For Kochenash, although a tough pill to swallow, it was a very respectable, solid run and his second straight runner-up finish. Jones was steady over the last half of the race in garnering third with George and John Markovic rounding out the top five.
Modified feature finish (66-laps): 1. Austin Beers, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Nevin George, 5. John Markovic, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Matt Hirschman, 8. Terry Markovic, 9. Brian DeFebo, 10. Kyle Strohl, 11. Carl Altemose, 12. Zane Zeiner, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Nick Baer, 15. Jesse Strohl,
Great Night for Jack Ely in the 19 while Austin had an up and down night in the 45
Less than a week ago Matt Hirschman and Ryan Preece were battling for the win at Oswego Speedway on the NASCAR Whelan Modified Tour. Ironically both modified drivers made to victory lane on June 18th as Ryan Preece won in his first career start in a NASCAR Truck at Nashville Speedway while Matt Hirschman was winning the 50 Lap Tour Type Modified feature at Evergreen Raceway in Drums, PA.
While Matt continued his winning streak at Evergreen Raceway this win was far from a given. From the green flag it was an exercise in survival as Kyle Strohl and Wayne Szerencsits got together bringing out the caution and ending Waynes night. The caution flew again on lap 3 as Austin Beers running in 7th looked to get tight and got moved out the groove while rubbing the back stretch wall. While Austin never went into the pits, his chance for the win at this point was out of the question but was able to survive and bring the Delange Racing #45 Modified across the line for a 8th place finish.
The next race changing moment was an accident on lap 11 where a number of competitors running in the top 10 stacked up causing some interesting damage. Hirshman ended up with a bent up rear bumper, Roger Coss's left rear looked like a freshly opened sardine can, Kochenosh had cosmetic damage as well. Up to this point the Future Homes #16 modified driven by Ron Silk was making his way to the front but after this incident never really was in contention again.
With he green flag now back in the air, The action settled down and it was Daren Scherer with a strong showing and running a great race however by lap 16 Hirschman was up to 2nd with Silk falling back and Jack Ely putting the Beers Motorsports #19 in there top 5. For the next 10 laps Scherer and Hirschman put on a great show and on Lap 21 Hirschman was one car back, Lap 25 Matt was up to the bumper and on Lap 27 Matt made the move in turn one going under Scherer who pushed up just a bit.
From there the battles on the track behind Matt were fierce and furious, especially with Blake Barney getting around Scherer for 2nd and Ely battling with Paules to grab the 4th spot.
They say you never know what might happen during a race while leading, on lap 46 Hirschman was probably wondering what was going on as he got pinned in behind Roger Coss and under the 44 of Kyle Strohl, who was making his first career Modified start at Evergreen. Blake Barney was able to get close but not close enough as Matt was able to navigate out of trouble and bring it home in one piece for the win.
Heartbreak ending for Austin as he and Marcovik get together as Austin is going for the lead that leads to Kyle Strohl picking up his second Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified win: Jared Ahner and Peyton Arthofer continue family winning legacy with Sportsman Modified victories on June 5
(June 5, 2021) In a matter of a lap’s time Kyle Strohl was able to come out on top of an intense three-wide battle between himself, Austin Beers and John Markovic that put him in place to collect his second Modified win of the season Saturday evening at Mahoning Valley Speedway. It was on lap 17 of the 35-lapper that the race winning outcome took place. The scene began two laps prior when a restart saw Markovic at the point with Beers second and Strohl third. When the race had resumed Markovic was on the inside of Beers and left enough of an opening for Strohl to take the inside lane. As the trio were about to conclude lap 16 Markovic squeezed Beers that caused him to smack the wall. At the same moment Strohl had a clear lane to drive into the lead. From then on he was smooth and strong allowing him to score a one car length win over runner-up Austin Kochenash. “These last couple of weeks we had been struggling and this week we really hit on the button and I felt we were going to be in good contention,” said Strohl, now an 18 time Modified winner. “Honestly to me after we got the lead the car felt like a rocket ship and especially with so many good cars here and with the racing in the Modifieds here is top notch.” At the outset Terry Markovic was the early leader but on lap three Carl Altemose powered his way to the front and started to set a solid pace while the Markovic brothers stayed in his tire tracks. On lap 15 J. Markovic was able to slip inside of Altemose for the lead. However on the same circuit and under very tight conditions Altemose was collected up in a multi-car incident, putting an abrupt end to his impressive night as well as several others. It was that restart that led to the dramatic outcome. Kochenash, who was making his first Mahoning start of the season, was part of the lap 15 melee and had to pit. Afterwards he drove his way up to second only to run out of time as he was honing in on Strohl. J. Markovic held on for third with Bobby Jones and new point leader Brian DeFebo rounding out the top five.
Modified feature finish (35-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Austin Kochenash, 3. John Markovic, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Roger Cross, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Austin Beers, 10. Carl Altemose, 11. Nick Bear, 12. Rod Snyder Jr., 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Tommy Flanagan, 15. Paul Hartwig
Brian DeFebo gets his winning touch back; as he has to hold off Austin Beers who has a wecked race car at Mahoning Speedway May 22
(May 22, 2021) It’s hard to imagine that when Brian DeFebo won Saturday night’s 35-lap Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway it ended a dry spell for eastern Pennsylvania’s all-time wins leader in asphalt short track racing, dating back to September of 2019, and considering that prior to that he had been on a roll, scoring 13 victories in a three year span and earning back-to-back championships (2017-18). And, that was just at Mahoning as he’s been adding wins at Evergreen Raceway too. However, 2020 turned out to be a one-off year for the 42-year Berwick driver as he went winless for the first time during a single season in recent memory. DeFebo, though, put it all together with a solid performance. After passing Nick Baer on lap 16 he remained perfect the rest of the way and drove to his 18th Mahoning win and 106th overall. “You just don’t realize how hard it is to win a race here until you go on a drought. After having some good winning years and then last year we were just off so this is exciting and I’m so happy to get this first one out of the way,” said DeFebo. “I have thousands of laps at other tracks and this is the toughest one we race at.” At the outset Terry Markovic led the way over Jesse Strohl, Cody Kohler, Nick Baer and DeFebo. Strohl utilized a lap three restart to take the lead but was in some tight company as Baer came along with him and was running closely to his outside. Baer was then able to assume the front spot thanks to a restart six laps in and following him into second was DeFebo while Bobby Jones had dashed his way to third. While Baer was continuing at the front DeFebo and Jones connected in two-wide duel. In the process Jones was able to slip by but only briefly before DeFebo retook the spot and now set his attention towards Baer. Waiting for just the right opportunity, DeFebo’s moment of certainty came with an inside pass on lap 15. Afterwards there was no looking back as he piloted to his first win of the season. “You have such a good group of guys down here that always race you hard and you earn ever spot you get. I want to thank my mom (Sophie Welsh) who make this fun and makes racing fun,” said DeFebo. As DeFebo was on his way to victory there was an amazing battle taking place for second spot between John Markovic and Austin Beers. Both had moved past Baer by lap 20 and from then on began a hard fought battle. Beers was relentlessly do all he could to work underneath Markovic and finally did so at the finish line by a mere few inches for his fifth runner-up of the year.
Modified feature finish (35-laps): 1. Brian DeFebo, 2. Austin Beers, 3. John Markovic, 4. Bobby Jones, 5. Nick Bear, 6. Cody Kohler, 7. Terry Markovic, 8. Eric Kocher, 9. Avery Arthofer, 10. Wes Gilbert, 11. Mia Guy, 12. Rich Cooper, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Jesse Strohl, 15. Jayden Brown, 16. Jacob Kerstetter, 17. Kyle Strohl, 18. Carl Altemose
Matt Hirschman remains undefeated at Mahoning Valley Speedway with win in Ward Crozier Sr. Tribute on May 15th- Austin was there and going for the lead when a caution occurred and Austin got clipped that caused his right front tire to shred
(May 15, 2021) If ever there was a driver on a roll at Mahoning Valley Speedway its Matt Hirschman who, in his fourth consecutive start at the ¼-mile paved oval, raced to victory and dating back to last season has now reeled off eight straight wins. In race #2 of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Ward Crozier Sr., Tribute, the Northampton driver came from 12th on the grid and made the winning pass over Earl Paules with six laps to go, parking his Harry's U Pull It Allentown No. 60 into Victory Lane for his 26th career win here. The start of the 50-lap event saw Paules – who drew the pole position – jump to the early lead and then steadily remain there. Behind him though was some intense action as Jack Ely was second, Blake Barney third and by lap 10 Austin Beers and Hirschman entered the top five which from that point saw the aforementioned battle under a tight blanket, especially considering a long green flag stint from lap nine until six tours remaining which kept the crowd quite captivated by their close proximity. By lap 24 Hirschman had maneuvered into second and began laying down heavy pressure on leader Paules. Barney was still third with teammates Beers and Ely next in line. With the laps winding down Hirschman was trying every avenue to get by Paules and not making matters an easier at the same time had Beers alongside. Then Terry Markovic spun in front of the front-runners to bring out the caution with a half dozen laps remaining. On the ensuing green Hirschman used his outside restart flank on Paules to edge his way to the front and from there he would go on to another win – his 10th in 16 2021 starts. “This was far from a predictable finish even though we won again. The laps tick off quick here when you get green flag runs like we had and this was not an easy race. The lap counter wasn’t working so I really didn’t know how close we were to the end until that caution came out and they said there was only six (laps) to go,” said Hirschman. “I think actually if you were to divide up the odds of who was going to win this race I feel you could have went evenly between any of us in the front pack. It wasn’t decided at all until that restart helped me to get the lead.” Paules was impressive and fought hard to maintain the front spot before setting for his best effort of the season. Barney was never lower then fourth all race long and registered a fine third. Zane Zeiner and Brian DeFebo came on strong in the final laps to round out the top five.
Modified feature finish (50-laps) 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Blake Barney, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Nevin George, 7. Don Wagner, 8. Austin Beers, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Jack Ely, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Cody Koehler, 14.Nick Bear, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Rod Snyder Jr. 17. Al Arthofer, 18. Bobby Jones, 19.John Markovic, 20. Sean Verwys, 21. Bobby Butler
Matt Hirschman christens new Evergreen pavement with Opening Day Modified win with Austin getting 3rd
By DINO OBERTO
(May 2, 2021) Evergreen Raceway opened up the 2021 season with a brand new layer of asphalt but it was the same old results as Matt Hirschman continued to showcase his dominance of the Butler Township 1/3-mile oval with another winning effort, his ninth victory in 14 overall starts this season. Hirschman was gridded seventh for the 75-lap affair and then picked his way forward over the first 30 laps. With 35 circuits in he was tailing early pace setter Blake Barney who had been running a strong race while holding the front spot since the drop of the initial green. Hirschman hounded Barney and tried several times over the next ten laps after to overtake him but each time the talented driver of the Big Red No. 14 was having nothing of it. Then with the field realigned following a lap 45 restart Hirschman was able to run even with Barney and when they rolled out of Turn 4 ready to complete lap 47 the lead would pass. From then on Hirschman held off the untiring efforts by Barney to regain the top spot but the undisputed kingpin of Evergreen was not about to let up as he raced to his 44th career win at the track. “I tried to get to the lead and I had to work pretty hard to get there. Blake (Barney) was running good and he was still good at the end and was real competitive and it was not easy to get by him,” said Hirschman, who thus far has not lost a race in his home state this year which includes three straight wins at Mahoning Valley Speedway. With the fresh blacktop down Hirschman, like everyone else, came into the day with open minded optimism. “You didn’t know what you had to do and the changes you needed to make. You couldn’t really be set on what use to work because it was going to be different so you just had to adapt. I feel that today is not a true test but it was still racy out there and it’s only going to get better,” surmised Hirschman. “It’s always good to win when we come here and I’ve won with so many different variations of the track here over the years before either end was paved then (turns) three and four was paved or when the aprons were paved and you could run on them and then you couldn’t but now with the new blacktop it’s nice to see the investment and it’s a real positive.” Barney’s second place was well fought. He was never any further back then second and clearly made Hirschman work for the win. His car was quick from the start and after giving up the lead he remained close for his best Evergreen finish in recent years. “I thought I was setting a good pace and honestly I was saving so much, lifting and giving it no throttle and treating the right rear (tire) but it wasn’t the rear tires that got me it was my right front,” said Barney. “I can’t be down on finishing second here today. Of course I wanted to win but to come here and get this kind of results, hopefully we can improve on it the next time. For me to be that guy to challenge him (Hirschman), I was running good times with him near the end and I’m so proud of my guys and my grandfather (Dick Barney) for giving me a great car and my dad for setting it up.” Third place finisher Austin Beers may very well have passed more cars than anyone. Having to start last due to a tire change he charged up through the pack not once but several times due to pit stops. “It was kind of crazy from where we started. We pitted four times because the car just wasn’t right all day. Unfortunately we just never got to where we needed to be to contend and our car was just good enough for third,” explained Beers, who has had all top-5 finishes in each of his 2021 starts. Former track champion Dave Brigati and Jack Ely rounded out the top five.
Modified feature finish (75-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Blake Barney, 3. Austin Beers, 4. Dave Brigati, 5. Jack Ely, 6. Chuck Hossfeld, 7. Brian DeFebo, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Chris Turbush, 10. Jerry Hildebrand, 11. Amber Fortin, 12. James Pritchard, 13. Daren Scherer, 14. Todd Baer, 15. Gerry Rinehimer Jr., 16. Tom Wanick III, 17. Bobby Jones, 18. Ricky Ross Jr., 19. Wayne Szerencsits, 20. Carl Altemose
Kyle Strohl holds off hard chargers Austin Beers and Bobby Jones in hot Mahoning Modified Action May 1
(May 1, 2021) Over the first month of the season Kyle Strohl had respectable runs but from a team perspective they were not all that pleased with the car and kept chasing the set-up. They made headway the previous week with a very competitive third place run during the Race of Champions 75-lap feature and on Saturday evening all fell into place as Strohl led flag to flag in caution free race and earned a hard-fought verdict over Austin Beers and Bobby Jones. “This is a really big confidence booster for us. Our car was loose coming into the night and we made some adjustments and with a little luck we were able to hold them guys off,” said Strohl after notching his 17th career Modified victory. Strohl’s first Modified win of the season was a barnburner event as he had to fend off the likes of Beers and Jones over the waning laps. The trio dazzled the crowd with their amazing high speed proximity of each other and as they blazed toward the checkers finished under a blanket with Strohl able to hold off his opponents by the narrowest of margins. “I knew the top runners where coming and I had protect the bottom and the high side at the same time but we got it done and it’s great to pull off a win,” emphasized Strohl. Early on Nick Baer was giving Strohl a good battle and continued to do so through the first 20 laps. But after Baer’s car began to tighten Jones and Beers slipped by and began their assault on Strohl. Strohl certainly had his hands full with Jones and Beers who tracked him ever so tightly. When they arrived to the white flag Jones and Beers where side-by-side and bearing down heavily on Strohl but he remained protective and confident in securing the win. “I can hear those guys all the while and I knew I just had to keep my guard up. I’m very proud of my guys and very proud of how we’ve improved each week and I can’t wait to get back here for the Ward Crozier Tribute in two weeks,” noted Strohl. For the fourth time in five races this season Beers has had to settle for second spot. Bear took fourth with Brian DeFebo rounding out the top five. “It was definitely an exciting race between Kyle, Bobby and I running three wide, splitting lapped cars and running through the field was a lot of fun. Kyle ran a perfect line and I feel I needed just a few more laps,” said Beers.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Nick Baer, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Jesse Strohl, 7. Don Wagner, 8. John Markovic, 9. Carl Altemose, 10. Devin Schmidt, 11. Cody Kohler
Matt Hirschman takes RoC 75-lap opener and seventh straight Mahoning win on April 24; Austin Beers is runner-up in as many times
(April 24, 2021) For the seventh time in as many starts at Mahoning Valley Speedway Matt Hirschman has driven to victory, this time doing so for the season opening Race of Champions (RoC) Asphalt Modified Series 75-lapper. And, in each of those wins the runner-up has been Austin Beers. At one point the race had an extended stretch of green flag laps which put Hirschman as the pace setter but never by far. Bobby Jones was very tough on him and late into the event a strong Kyle Strohl was giving him a run before Beers took up the chase to the checkers. “That was a workout and sometimes it’s harder to do it from out front than it is when you’re coming from behind,” admitted Hirschman, who collected his 25th Mahoning win. “We took advantage of a good starting spot and the outside lane opened up. We got to the lead but as I said this was a harder drive then some of the ones when we come from the back.” An equal mix of RoC and Mahoning regulars made for a well-defined field. A redraw of the top 13 from the three heats run saw Snyder Jr., and Daryl Lewis Jr., on the front row and within one lap after the initial green Snyder led the way but on the subsequent tour the outside lane opened up in the path of Hirschman and he quickly vaulted to the lead. Jones, who won here the previous week, followed right behind and planted himself on Hirschman’s rear bumper while Snyder held steady in third. There was a few minor incidents on laps six, 13 and 19 that slowed the action but from that point it was stint of nonstop laps over next 36 circuits. All the while the front trio of Hirschman, Jones and Snyder stayed nose-to-tail. At lap 55 Lewis came to a halt which in turn prompted a caution. On that restart Hirschman and Jones where still one-two but into third came Strohl who had done a remarkable job of working up from 13th and then took second just prior what was the final caution with 14 laps remaining. At the same time Beers had also joined the front fray. As the race resumed Beers made a quick move to get around Strohl and from then on kept his sights set on Hirschman. Regrettably for him it was another runner-up. “I know it’s getting old for him (Beers) but I have to remember that when the roles are reversed not to get too frustrated because he was on the other end,” said Hirschman after “I actually preferred it if we kept going green because on the restarts the cars are tougher to handle and I was already starting to struggle on that last run.” For Beers and his runner-up to Hirschman hasn’t just been at Mahoning Valley but elsewhere as well. “We got pushed back pretty early and fell to about 17th but it we made a good recovery. When we got to second I saw that he (Hirschman) was loose and I stayed with him not thinking that I had a chance but I did and it kind of shocked me and I feel we could have gotten him but unfortunately we ran out of time,” explained Beers. “Matt is probably the best Modified driver right now and it’s good to know that we’re right with him and not just here but at different tracks too.” Zane Zeiner worked from as far back as 17th to take fourth while Don Wagner rounded out the top five.
Modified Feature Finish (75-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Zane Zeiner, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Daren Scherer, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Daryl Lewis Jr., 11. Kirk Totten, 12. Rod Snyder Jr., 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Chris Risdale, 15. Sean Verwys, 16. Carl Altemose, 17. Cody Kohler, 18. Jim Gavek, 19. Danny Knoll Jr.
Bobby Jones picks up first Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified win of season on April 17 - Teammates Austin and Jack Ely did not get the results they wanted
(April 17, 2021) For the past four years Bobby Jones had a unique streak going which was winning the Modified feature on the second week of the season. That, however, ended last week with his third place finish although it wasn’t for lack of trying. So with one streak over a new one began as Jones picked up his first victory of 2021 coming on week three. And what a tough battle it was for Jones. After taking the lead from Brian DeFebo with nine laps to go he then had to fend off Nevin George before parking his Franzosa Trucking/APS Powder Coating No. 1J in Victory Lane. “Sure we would have liked to have won last week but this hopefully will start a new trend of winning for us early in the season,” said Jones after picking up his 30th Modified feature at Mahoning Valley. “We’ve been working on something new here and it’s definitely getting better and I don’t think it was exactly right today but it’s definitely in the right direction. It was hard fought that’s for sure.” The race began with Kyle Strohl and Jesse Strohl (no relation) sharing the front row. At the end of the opening circuit K. Strohl showed the way while J. Strohl and Earl Paules ran side-by-side for second. Paules would acquire the runner-up spot by lap four and then applied plenty of pressure on leader K. Strohl. The tension by Paules paid off when he used a lap 14 restart to take over the lead but it would be short lived as DeFebo slipped underneath him on a start over two laps later. Not long afterwards Paules tried to move under DeFebo but got crossed up, spun and collected several others in the wake. When the field was reset DeFebo and Jones where one and two with George and Austin Beers battling for third. The lead pair would soon engage in a torrid fight and on lap 25 Jones put his front wheels inside of DeFebo coming off Turn 4. When they entered the first corner DeFebo suddenly checked up and Jones snatched the front spot with George following in close pursuit. The rest of the way Jones would hold on despite a noble effort from George. DeFebo and Beers where next in line with Don Wagner rounding out the top five. “It was all good hard racing and you look back at the list of guys in this race and all of them have achieved something here. In this Modified field you cannot sit still from the time the green waves and right up to the checkers,” noted Jones.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Nevin George, 3. Brian DeFebo, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Rod Snyder Jr., 7.Cody Kohler, 8. Kyle Strohl, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Bobby Butler, 11. Carl Altemose, 12. Jesse Strohl, 13. Mia Guy, 14. Earl Paules, 15. John Markovic, 16. Jack Ely, 17. Terry Markovic
Matt Hirschman returns for a second week and repeats as Mahoning Valley Speedway winner on April 10
(April 10, 2021) Matt Hirschman took advantage of a rare weekend off from his usual traveling the region to more high profile events, instead returning to his home base of Mahoning Valley Speedway and in doing so was able to claim a second straight win in the process. Hirschman, who was fresh off of a thrilling Opening Day photo finish victory over Austin Beers in the Bill Teel Tribute, once again bested his fellow Northampton opponent only this time he would be the one in control rather than the week prior when he had to chase down leader. Hirschman drew the pole for the 35-lap contest and would stay out-front the entire distance for his seventh win in 11 starts this season. “We really only had the option of racing closer to home. It’s been a busy early season and the plan was to not race at all this weekend and prep for the upcoming races but we made a last minute decision and I’m glad we did,” said Hirschman, who picked up his 24th career win at Mahoning Valley and sixth in as many starts. “I think the longer the race went on we needed to improve a little on the handling. On a shorter run like today we were okay but I think if the race continued I feel we were going to struggle a little.” At the outset Hirschman jumped to the early lead over Nick Baer and Earl Paules. Paules then took second spot on lap six and was able to stay very close to the leader. Bobby Jones, who had raced up to third on lap seven, was also running strong and remaining nearby the front pair. The race was slowed for the first time on lap 13 when Kyle Strohl spun in Turn 3. Under that caution Paules was pulled to the side by officials to check for leaking and it was confirmed positive which then sent him pit-side. On the restart Jones took aim at Hirschman but the No. 60 again had the upper hand. By lap 21 Beers propelled into second spot and it was yet again a familiar scene playing out between the two Mud Lane racers – running one-two while battling for the win. Unlike the last week though when Beers led until the finish line and was overtaken by Hirschman, there would be no denying the Harry’s U-Pull-It No. 60 as he drove to a car length margin of victory. “We’re not use to racing here in daytime conditions and last week during the opener I don’t think was a true reading on the track and out next show for us planned is the (April 24) RoC here in two weeks and it’s again a day show,” said Hirschman. “I prefer the night shows and I think we have it dialed in but that’s why we’re here today to see if we can get a little bit better because I feel we need to for the 75-lap RoC race.” Jones took third with Brian DeFebo and Baer rounding out the top five.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Bobby Jones, 4. Brian DeFebo, 5. Nick Baer, 6. Cody Kohler, 7. Terry Markovic, 8. Jesse Strohl, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Earl Paules
Hirschman over Beers in photo finish at Mahoning Valley Speedway season opener on April 3rd
(April 3, 2021) You couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season at Mahoning Valley Speedway with an incredible Modified finish that was decided by a whisker by two drivers who came from deep in the pack as 13th starting Matt Hirschman nipped Austin Beers, who drove to the lead from 16th on the grid, for the win in the opening round of the John Blewett Inc., Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series Bill Teel Tribute, equally exiting action in the support classes, a sun splashed afternoon and a five division program that was in the books in just a bit over four hours.
And, for Hirschman, he may have chocked another victory at the paved quarter mile oval – his fifth in a row and 23rd overall – but it was by far one of the most hard-earned yet. After a revenge draw, Hirschman used every bit of talent he had to execute his drive to victory as he was placed to the back after getting caught up in a lap seven dust up, then methodically picked his way back with savvy driving and the help of a sprinkling of cautions. Within the final half dozen laps he was able to move past Zane Zeiner and Jack Ely leaving only Beers to contend with which immediately began a fierce side-by-side duel.Beers would actually catch a break with three laps to go when a caution flew and the ensuing restart would go single file, however, Hirschman went right back at it and as the white flag waved it was a hard charging battle to the end. The pair where dead even as they rolled out of turn four and when they crossed the finish line it was determined that Hirschman was barely ahead to claim the verdict. “That was a hell of finish and I’ve been a part of some amazing last lap finishes this year and we keep coming out on top and it’s an awesome way to win a race but it also stinks to lose a race that way too,” expressed Hirschman. “The fans were certainly treated to a great finish whether they were cheering for us or Austin (Beers), they got a great race and at the end of the day that’s what you come to see,” he continued. “We actually got handicapped twice between the redraw and then getting spun near the start but you never give up and that’s always been my motto, never give up until the checkered flag falls.” The thrilling finish between Hirschman and Beers was only part of the story. At the outset Nevin George overtook pole sitter Ely for the early lead but then gave way to Zeiner after a lap-12 restart. Bobby Jones was then glued to Zeiner’s rear bumper with George just as close. Zeiner and Jones continued on one-two until Ely found a burst to get by Jones with 39 laps in and the next time around did the same to Zeiner. Following Ely was his teammate Beers who wasted little time in taking the DeLange Racing No. 45 to the front as the field recorded 43 laps. It was evident to both Beers and Ely that Hirschman was on their heels and they worked there best to keep him at bay. But after Hirschman passed Ely the stage was set to the thrilling run to the checkers. “The laps where ticking off and once it got past 50 I was thinking ‘Man 14 laps and we’re in sixth spot and we have to do something quick.’ Then things started to open up and we made some good passes,” explained Hirschman. “People may not like that we’re winning and our success but there isn’t one guy at this race track that can be mad about me today and the way I raced them and it was a good entertaining finish and you’re going to leave here talking about this finish for a long time.” For the second time in as many races Beers finished second to Hirschman at Mahoning. They closed out 2020 in the same order and a number of times prior to this race as well. “It was very tough to swallow this one but I’m sure it was a great show for the fans, what a race. It was an honor to race in the memory of Bill Teel,” said Beers. “Our right rear (tire) went around lap 45 so that didn’t help but honestly to finish second to Matt (Hirschman), it’s hard to swallow because it’s happened now several times but I think we’re going to get him soon.” Taking third was Tyler Haydt, who’s Future Homes Custom Builders stepped with additional first place money. Ely hung in for fourth while Brian DeFebo rounded out the top five,
ure Finish (64-laps): 1. Matt Hirschman, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Tyler Haydt, 4. Jack Ely, 5. Brian DeFebo, 6. Zane Zeiner, 7. Nick Bear, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Don Wagner, 10. Austin Kochenash, 11. Kyle Strohl, 12. Blake Barney, 13. Cody Kohler, 14. Sean Verwys, 15. Lou Strohl, 16. Rod Snyder Jr., 17. Brian Romig, 18. John Markovic, 19. Nevin George, 20. Terry Markovic, 21. Bobby Jones, 22. Jacob Kerstetter DNQ: Jesse Strohl