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.
By winning for a seventh time in the Late Models, Mike Sweeney continues to enjoy one of the best seasons of his career.
However, before getting the lead Sweeney was deeply engrossed in a three way battle with early leader George Ramos and Jeremy Miller as they all ran raced within inches of each other.
But when lap nine came around Sweeney had shaken free from the riveting clash and was unstoppable from there on, going on to win in a caution free race that lasted just 4:36 over the 25-lap distance.
While Sweeney may have recorded another victory, his championship rival Paul Koehler Jr., took his fourth consecutive runner-up and remains number one in points with four weeks of racing to go.
The Street Stocks had three feature events as the annual Mike Krempasky Triple 19s took place. The always exciting 19 lap runs saw Jillian Long, Stacey Brown and Todd Ahner score the wins while Jason Frey was awarded as the overall champion for having the best average finishing position for all three races.
Dirt Modified point leader Ricky Yetter is beginning to seal his quest for the division crown as he won for a third consecutive week thanks to a dominating performance.
Yetter, who almost missed the feature after he crashed in his heat, thrashed afterwards in order to make the starting grid for the main. Not only did he do so but was on a mission of speed, blasting through the pack and getting by Jack Ely on a lap 14 restart. He then pulled away to a commanding half-track margin of victory, his fifth of 2015.
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.
Hobby Stock rookie Kyle Krempasky continues to impress and turn heads as the young talent scored his fourth win. Rich Mutarelli was second but was no match for Krempasky by the time the checkers waved.
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com
MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
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.
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. George Ramos, 5. Travis Fisher, 6. Darryl Bruenig, 7. Kenny Hein, 8. Eric Nemeth, 9. Jacob Kerstetter, 10. Broc Brown, 11. Dave Imler
1st Street Stock Feature Finish (19 Laps): 1. Jillian Long, 2. Jonathan Tracey, 3. Jared Ahner, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 5. Randy Schlenker, 6. Jason Frey, 7. Brian Labar, 8. Stacey Brown, 9. Gene Bowers, 10. Corey Edelman, 11. Zach Graver, 12. TJ Gursky, 13. Kristy Arthofer, 14. Todd Ahner, 15. George Ramos, 16. Logan Boyer, 17. Josh Mooney, 18. Aaron Kromer, 19. Joe Stangle, 20. Jason Kuhn DNQ: Bernie Uphold, Jamie Smith, Joe Mooney, Chris Steigerwalt
2nd Street Stock Feature Finish (19 Laps): 1. Brown, 2. Frey, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Schlenker, 5. Tracey, 6. Bowers, 7. Long, 8. Graver, 9. Jared Ahner, 10. Labar, 11. Edelman, 12. Arthofer, 13. Ramos, 14. Todd Ahner, 15. Josh Mooney, 16. Kromer, 17. Kuhn, 18. Stangle, 19. Gursky, 20. Boyer
3rd Street Stock Feature Finish (19 Laps): 1. Todd Ahner, 2. Labar, 3. Zach Graver, 4. Bowers, 5. Frey, 6. Arthofer, 7. Long, 8. Jared Ahner, 9. Edelman, 10. Randy Ahner Jr., 11. Josh Mooney, 12. Brown, 13. Tracey, 14. Kromer, 15. Kuhn, 16. Gursky, 17. Schlenker, 18. Boyer, 19. Stangle, 20. Ramos
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Jack Ely, 3. Lorin Arthofer II, 4. Mike Stofflet, 5. Aleia Geisler, 6. Scott Adams, 7. Billy Lasko, 8. Dave Gorbatuk, 9. John Banashefski, 10. Bill Sittler Jr., 11. Ray Deemer
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
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Kyle Krempasky, 2. Rich Mutarelli, 3. Sam Ryan, 4. Shayne Geist, 5. Cody Geist, 6. Daniel Hargan, 7. Lyndsay Buss, 8. Ryan Berger, 9. Michael Wambold, 10. Seth VanFossen, 11. Ken Reeder, 12. Devon Schmidt, 13. Jennifer Adams DNS: Arland Moyer Jr.