LEHIGHTON, PA — John Markovic is off to his best season in years. Saturday night he became a winner for the second time this year and for the first time in over a decade he has recorded multiple wins in the same season. The celebrated veteran used a lap 15 restart to get by Scott Meckes for the lead and then had to hold back a strong effort by Earl Paules and Nevin George en route to the victory.
Meckes shot to the early lead and took command of the race by pulling to a huge lead. Brian Romig was keeping second while sixth starter Markovic, Chip Santee and George where putting the strain on him. With ten laps complete Markovic finally got by Romig.
Two laps later Meckes’ big gap was wiped out when the caution waved after Kris Graver had a hard hit against the back stretch wall.
On the restart Meckes was able to hold off Markovic. However, when the field was reset for a second time three laps later, the re-go went the way of Markovic and Santee followed. The two prominent champions then wheeled around the in close two-wide fashion.
On lap 24 there was another slowdown period and when the action resumed Markovic moved up just enough to make a bump on Santee who then got a bit loose. With the field heading full steam into turn one, Santee was trying to correct his car but the back end broke loose and into a spin he went. One of the on-comers then struck him and in turn his left front wheel assembly broke and ended a strong run.
“I really didn’t mean to get into Chip (Santee). We were side-by-side and I slipped up a little bit. He’s a good friend of mine and I feel awful about that,” said Markovic.
Meckes was now next to Markovic as too were George and Paules from his rear bumper. In the final 11 laps there would be no room for error as they all raced tightly packed together. As Markovic showed the way there was quite the clash for second. Paules would finally get around Meckes with four laps to go. Try as he may he could not get past Markovic who went on to score his 34th feature win at Mahoning Valley. It was the second straight runner-up for Paules.
“I just tried to protect the bottom as best I could after I got the lead. I’m really happy,” said Markovic. “It’s a tough group of racers here and I respect them and love racing with them all.”
George nipped Meckes on the final lap to take third with Mike Quinn completing the top five.
Frankie Althouse earned his second Late Model win of the season. Althouse raced into the lead after a lap nine restart but at the same time had point leader Earl Paules giving him a great run for his money.
Paules then picked up the top spot after a restart on the 15th circuit, however, Althouse kept right alongside and edged back out front two laps later. He then pulled away to a car length margin of victory.
“Here comes the Judge!” Ricky Yetter, the Magisterial District Judge in Easton, laid down an old fashion whooping in the 50 lap Dirt Mod main.
Starting from the pole “The Law” as he best known, took the lead from the outset and never looked back. Yetter was simply in a race of his own from there on as no one was keeping pace with him and at times was over a half track ahead. Point leader Kevin Graver was second but never a threat.
Calling it the biggest win of his career with a Dirt Modified, Yetter dedicated the win to his father, Richie Yetter and presented him the checkered flag and a Happy Father’s Day in Victory Lane.
Jamie Smith won the Street Stock main. He led from the start until a restart on lap nine when Matt Wentz assumed control.
Wentz, however, lost any shot of winning when three laps later Jonathan Tracey made a diving inside move to get by him. There was contact and Wentz went spinning. That in turn relegated Tracey to the rear of the pack. When the race continued Smith was back in front and would stay there until the finish. Gene Bowers got second at the stripe over Jason Kuhn.
In the Pro 4s it was Jake Kibler scoring his third win of 2014. Kibler passed Bobby Kibler, Jr., for the lead on lap two and then fought off Tyler Stangle and Nick Bare the rest of the way.
The Hobby Stock feature was a real nail bitter as Corey Edelman eked out a close win over Shayne Geist. After swapping the lead back and forth Edelman took the top spot for good with three laps to go and held on for his third straight win.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. John Markovic, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Nevin George, 4. Scott Meckes, 5. Mike Quinn, 6. Todd Baer, 7. Lou Strohl. 8. Brandon Oltra, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. Eric Beers, 11. Brian Romig, 12. Terry Markovic, 13. Don Wagner, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Vinny Biondolillo, 16. Chip Santee, 17. Kris Graver
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Frankie Althouse, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Paul Koehler, Jr., 4. Mike Sweeney, 5. George Ramos, 6. Paul Effrig, 7. Jeremy Miller, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Danielle Paules, 10. Jacob Nemeth, 11. Geno Steigerwalt, 12. Johnny Vullo
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jamie Smith, 2. Gene Bowers, 3. Jason Kuhn, 4. Joe Mooney, 5. Todd Ahner, 6. Zach Graver, 7. Lonnie Behler, Sr., 8. Jared Ahner, 9. TJ Gursky, 10. Randy Ahner, Jr., 11. Jillian Long, 12. Chip Wanamaker, 13. Jonathan Tracey, 14. Stacey Brown, 15. Josh Mooney, 16. Cody Roth, 17. Aaron Kromer, 18. Matt Wentz, 19. Dan Freundt, 20. Steven Steigerwalt
DNQ: Dave Chapman, DJ Wagner, Logan Boyer
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Kevin Graver, Jr., 3. JP Curry, 4. Billy Lowden, Jr., 5. Mike Stofflet, 6. Ray Deemer, 7. Aleia Geisler, 8. Mark Martini, 9. Joe Stangle, 10. Jack Ely, 11. Geno Steigerwalt, 12. Brian Fucili, 13. Billy Lasko DNS: Kris Graver, Dave Thomas
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Nick Baer, 4. Bobby Kibler, Sr., 5. Bobby Kibler, Jr., 6. Jesse Snyder, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. Kailyn Beers DNS: Dave Chapman
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Tim Oswald, 4. Cody Geist, 5. Steve McDonough, 6. Klem Underwood, 7. Rich Mutarelli, 8. Alton Snyder, Jr.
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com Photo