LEHIGHTON, Pa. — Earl Paules went from third to first with two laps to go after he narrowly missed a wreck between the front pair of Kevin Rex Jr., and Kyle Strohl. He then went on to record his second victory of the year with the Modifieds and in doing so is the first repeat winner after nine weeks of racing.
That same wreck also collected several others including Bobby Jones who had a massive hit into the front straight wall. Jones slide out of control and slammed this driver-side against the concrete. The hit temporarily knocked him unconscious and after carefully taking him from the car, he was then transported to Lehighton Hospital. After additional examination it was decided to air-lift Jones to Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown for further and more precise tests. As of press time he was reported to have a concussion and was still in the hospital. He is alert and talking with others.
It was Fan Appreciation Night sponsored by Baltimore Life Insurance and Gary Lee’s Brown Daub KIA and a full house was on hand as both the grandstands and pits were filled.
At the start of the Modified feature Paul Hartwig Jr., brought the field of 20 to the green and would hold on to lead the first of 35 circuits. By lap two, however, Rex took over with Strohl and Paules hot on his trail.
The racing was electrifying to say the least as Rex was in a heavy defensive mode, especially when it came to Strohl who was repeatedly trying both high and low to make his way by. Paules was doing much of the same in his struggle to pass Strohl. All the while this action was taking place with no cautions.
The fast paced battle came to a grinding halt on lap 33. As the leaders entered turn four and ready to receive the white flag, Strohl darted to the inside of Rex. They made contact and both skidded out of line. Paules was quick to dive to the bottom of the track which gave him the lead on the restart.
However, during the skirmish a number of cars began to scatter and in the process Jones, who had been running 10th, got hit from both sides and lurched into the wall. The crash brought out the red flag as track and safety crews came to the aid of Jones. Once it was reported that he was responsive, the crowd acknowledged with a rousing round of applause.
When the mess had been cleared Paules was shown as the leader with Don Wagner second and Nevin George third. With a green-white-checker restart it was almost a sure bet that Paules was more than capable of bringing it home.
“We made it to Victory Lane but we were definitely faster than the (Kyle) Strohl and (Kevin) Rex. The 44 (Strohl) car was using up the whole race track. He would try to get under Rex and I would get up alongside him and before you know it he would just hook right again into me and got me all crossed up,” said Paules, who had the front row seat for the Rex/Strohl incident.
“He (Strohl) would fall back into line and try to get another run on Rex. He wasn’t going to make it because he was loose. I drove up along the outside of him and didn’t he run me up again,” he continued.
“He (Strohl) wasn’t going to make it work. His car was to loose. He needed to settle for second and take the $900 home and go from there. It’s was a shame that cars got wrecked out there because of it. He wasn’t up far enough, he was only up to his (Rex) left rear. I was there, I seen it.”
Rex, although he may not have been the fastest car, was holding his line in an effort to collect a win. There was very little room for error on anyone’s part but the end result was in the favor of Paules.
“It was working out in the 48s (Rex) favor because he was a little on the tight side. The 44 (Strohl) tried to get underneath him and he was to loose. He couldn’t make the pass. The 48 was going to win the race tonight, there was no doubt about because I couldn’t get around the 44,” said Paules.
Frankie Althouse won an exhausting Late Model race, his first of the season. Exhausting in the fact that he, Mike Sweeney and Paul Koehler Jr., all ran under a blanket.
Althouse was doing all he could to be shielding of his spot as both sides of his No. 22 where getting an eyeful.
Sweeney tried several times to make a pass and almost lost control in the process, making some impressive saves. Koehler in the meantime was doing his biding from the low lane.
Althouse wasn’t to be denied, though. After four runner-ups, a few that could have easily been wins, he stayed strong and took the hard fought victory.
The amazing streak in the Street Stocks continued on for the ninth straight week as Jared Ahner won for the first time with the class which has seen no repeat winners to date. It was a win that most everyone knew was coming and oh what a thriller it was.
On the final lap Stacey Brown, who had led from the second half of the race was holding off Gene Bowers and Ahner. Entering the back straight on the final lap, Bowers tried to go inside and as he did he made contact with Brown and both spun.
Ahner escaped by darting to the high line. The swift moved landed him the lead and for the final restart he was perfect, taking the unforgettable victory.
Ray Deemer raced to his second Dirt Mod win of the season. After assuming the lead from an aborted start that saw the front row of Paul Effrig and Billy Lasko tangle, Deemer was next to assume the top spot and once the race got underway there was no stopping him as he authored a most dominating performance. Mike Stofflet held of Jack Ely for second.
Wins are what drivers yearn for but in the case of Bobby Kibler Jr., he made an extra special one by beating his dad, Bobby Kibler Sr., to the checkers and scoring his second Pro 4 win of 2015.
Tim Oswald beat his counterparts as well as the curfew clock in winning the Hobby Stock feature.
Alex Greenzweig started from the pole and wired the field in the Micro Stock main for his second straight Mahoning win, backing up his earlier season verdict on April 18.
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com