(LEHIGHTON, Pa.) What a very exciting and scintillating Modified feature fans were treated to Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway as they watched Austin Kochenash of Danielsville hold off Earl Paules and score his first win of 2015.After Kochenash made a gripping pass over then leader Lou Strohl on lap 29, Paules was able to do the same and for the final six laps the top two raced in a side-by-side shootout to the finish. Kochenash did all he could to protect his line and much to the disapproval of Paules who was none too happy afterwards.“We had to the make the car work all over tonight, from the bottom to up against the wall but that’s just racing for the win,” said Kochenash. “The car was fast, especially towards the end. I just drove fast enough to keep it on the bottom and hold on.”;The entire 35 lap event was tight knit. Strohl led from the pole and had Kevin Rex Jr., running next to him. By lap 10, however, Kochenash was in second and Paules, who owns Strohl’s car, was third.With Strohl on the bottom, Kochenash was doing all he could to pass from the outside line but there was nothing doing. Opportunities would also come during a few restarts also but each time Strohl was hanging tough. Meanwhile Paules was looking both high and low to get by either of the front pair.The excitement level was peaked when on lap 28 Strohl bobbled just a bit coming off turn three. He and Kochenash touched and it appeared that havoc was about to unfold but amazingly they corrected. Kochenash darted into the lead and Paules followed.“He (Strohl) just backed off which was good. He did hit us in the left rear and he lifted and I was able to save it,” said Kochenash.Kochenash and Paules then preformed in a spine-tingling duel the remainder of laps. The winning margin was by a mere .0172-seconds.“I can’t thank my crew enough. We’ve been struggling a little bit this year and we finally found something,” said Kochenash. Eric Beers made haste over the final 10 laps, passing several cars and was third. Lou Strohl held on for fourth and Kyle Strohl took fifth.Afterwards Paules spoke candid about the outcome and had quite a stir from the fans who expressed both cheers and jeers.“He (Kochenash) said about Louie (Strohl) running him up a little bit but when I got to him he was using the whole race track up to, that’s just Mahoning Valley. I’m not complaining, it just happens. I was running in third and he was squeezing me down in the infield but that’s just what it is. We were the faster car and everyone knows that,” said Paules.
For the second time in as many starts Mike Sweeney rolled to victory in the Late Model feature and in doing so is now tied for first place in points with Paul Koehler Jr.Sweeney raced his way into the lead by taking the low line under Jason Zatsko on lap 15. He then had to keep Frankie Althouse at bay, which he had no trouble doing, and cruised to the win.
Dave Chapman was the winner of the Gene Bowers Sr., Memorial 100 for Street Stocks. It was also race number two of the American Rental Street Stock Gamblers Series.It seems too that Chapman is a win big or go home driver. He took a $2000 victory in the season finale of 2014, then only was only able to qualify for the first race of this year. After four weeks of failing to make the starting grid, Chapman was again celebrating a huge win and another hefty payday as he won $1200 for the race and with added lap money his night’s earnings were over $2000.Aaron Kromer was a solid second followed by Jonathan Tracey, Randy Schlenker and Jillian Long.
Jack Ely raced his way to a resounding second Dirt Mod win. After running a number of laps in close proximity behind early leader Dave Gorbatuk along with Ricky Yetter, Ely saw an opening emerge on lap 12 and he dove to the bottom of the track to make the winning pass.
Afterwards he was on cruise control and easily motored on to claim win over Yetter and Gorbatuk.
In the Pro 4 feature Bobby Kibler Sr., held off point leader Cody Kohler and became the first repeat winner with the class this season.
Shayne Geist was the fourth and final leader in the Hobby Stock main and was able to notch his third win in six starts.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Austin Kochenash, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Eric Beers, 4. Lou Strohl, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Don Wagner, 7. Kevin Rex Jr., 8. Terry Markovic, 9. Calvin Carroll, 10. Mike Quinn, 11. John Markovic, 12. Eric Kocher, 13. Neil Rutt III, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Wayne Szerencsits, 16. Paul Hartwig Jr., 17. Brain Romig Jr., 18. Kris Graver, 19. Chip Santee, 20. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 21. Paul Frantz
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Frankie Althouse, 3. Jason Zatsko, 4. Kenny Hein, 5. George Ramos, 6. Geno Steigerwalt, 7. Francis Gross III, 8. Jeremy Miller, 9. Jacob Kerstetter, 10. Jacob Nemeth, 11. Scott Kotran, 12. Paul Koehler Jr. DNS: Tony Hilliard
Street Stock Feature Finish (100 Laps): 1. Dave Chapman, 2. Aaron Kromer, 3. Jonathan Tracey, 4. Randy Schlenker, 5. Jillian Long, 6. Zach Graver, 7. Kristy Arthofer, 8. TJ Gursky, 9. Josh Mooney, 10. Steven Steigerwalt, 11. Jason Frey, 12. Todd Ahner, 13. Randy Ahner Jr., 14. Jason Kuhn, 15. Gene Bowers, 16. Corey Edelman, 17. Paul Morgan Jr., 18. Justin Mooney, 19. Jared Ahner, 20. Stacey Brown
DNQ: Brian Labar, Joe Stangle, Lonnie Behler Sr., Jamie Smith, Nick Ross, Mike Pieshota, George Ramos
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jack Ely, 2. Ricky Yetter, 3. Dave Gorbatuk, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Josh Schaffer, 6. Aleia Geisler, 7. JP Curry, 8. Ray Deemer, 9. Bill Sittler, 10. Paul Effrig, 11. Billy Lasko, 12. Mike Stofflet
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Sr., 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Jason Muffley, 5. Kailyn Beers, 6. Alton Snyder Jr., 7. Jonny Bennett, 8. Bobby Kibler Jr., 9. TJ Kemmerer, 10. Chad Miller, 11. Nick Baer, 12. JD Light DNS: Tyler Stangle
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Lyndsay Buss, 3. Tim Oswald, 4. Collin Bollinger, 5. Kyle Krempasky, 6. Kevin Behler, 7. Cody Geist, 8. Devon Schmidt, 9. Rich Mutarelli ,10. Kyle Williams, 11. Daniel Hargan, 12. Steve Gehman
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com