(LEHIGHTON, PA 6-28-14) Don Wagner won for the second time this year in the Modifieds but never mind that he almost lost it control when he got into Lou Strohl while racing for the lead. Never mind the fact that he and Kris Graver had one whale of a battle. And never mind that when he took the lead from Graver after a restart with six laps to go that there were some who felt he may have jumped.
No, the first thing he spoke about after exiting his car was his son, DJ Wagner, who raced to a second place tally in his very first Street Stock feature.
“Let’s talk about my kid. I’m so proud of him. I have so much respect for the Street Stock division here. It’s such a close-knit field of cars and they run very clean. Floyd (Santee, promoter) and I were watching them run three wide at times and the respect they show for each other is amazing,” said Wagner.
And what about that Modified race? Wagner and Graver simply amazed the crowd with their continuous two-wide racing that began on lap nine and lasted until lap 29 when the final caution waved.
Graver had been holding off the advances of Wagner but when they lined up for the final restart, Wagner spurted past and took the lead which led him to the win.
“I’m sure there where some sparks flying but that’s why we have bumpers. We can loosen each other up and not turn each other around and race good and hard,” commented Wagner.
Graver was fresh off a 50-lap win the previous week and had a prime opportunity to go for another conquest. He had taken the lead from Wagner on lap nine and then made good use to the bottom lane to protect his spot. He and Wagner would essentially run side-by-side from there on until the caution flag flew at lap 29.
As the green waved to restart the race Wagner dashed by Graver and made him settle for second.
“I don’t know how they (officials) let that last restart go but it is what it is. We’ll take this and move on. I have to thank my crew and sponsors for keeping me coming here again and again. Sooner or later I’m sure we’ll get another win. The car is in one piece and I’m trying to think positive,” said Graver.
Roger Coss was a very close third with John Markovic and Bobby Jones rounding out the top five.
Taking sixth was Earl Paules and coupled with the 18th place tally of Eric Beers, he took over the point lead for the first time since his championship season of 2012.
Beers was involved in a lap 28 altercation that put him out to the event. When he got back to his pit it was discovered that he had badly sprained his left hand and went to the emergency room for further evaluation.
In what has become a familiarity with the Late Model division in which side-by-side and lead swapping is the norm, two wily champions, Earl Paules and Paul Koehler Jr., went door-to-door while battling for the win.
Koehler had moved into the lead on 12 and was being pursued by Paules. In the final five laps came the best racing in the event as they would trade the lead four times, Paules would go to the front for a final time on the white flag lap and held on for his fourth win that was by the blink of an eye, or .085-seconds.
Zach Graver picked up the lead on lap nine of the 30 lap Street Stock feature and went on to win for the first time this season.
The feature was also a ‘cone race,’ a first for any division at Mahoning Valley but with only one caution there came just one try at the repositioning. Still it added an added element of excitement to an already thrilling class.
Graver was able to pull away nicely for the win. DJ Wagner, making his first start with a Street Stock, led early and took a respectable second.
In the Dirt Mods JP Curry won for the first time this season. For Curry, the year has been either feast or fathom. He has either been running near the front or not at all and this week’s win came as a huge relief.
Curry battled closely with Ray Deemer from the outset. After several times of trying low, he went topside on lap 13 and was able to take the lead. Afterward it was smooth sailing as he cruised to a solid win over Ricky Yetter.
Pro 4 point leader Nick Baer took the lead on lap six and once there let everyone else sort out the spots behind him as he went on to his fourth victory of the season. While Baer was leading numerous cautions waved as cars where beating and banging and because of that the race was called two laps short of the original 20 lap distance.
Corey Edelman has another Hobby Stock win but not after a feisty dual with Rich Mutarelli who led since lap three and then had a nice lead until a caution on lap 12 tightened the pack.
Edelman was lined up next to Mutarelli and on the restart made his race winning move. It was his fourth win in the last five races and sixth in 10 starts this season.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Don Wagner, 2. Kris Graver, 3. Roger Coss, 4/John Markovic, 6. Bobby Jones, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Nevin George 8. Joe Mooney, 9. Matt Wentz, 10. Lou Strohl, 11. Kyle Strohl, 12. Brian DeFebo, 13. Scott Meckes, 14. Brandon Oltra, 15. Brian Romig, 16. Chip Santee, 17. Gene Bowers, 18. Eric Beers, 19. Brandon Kressler, 20. Terry Markovic DNQ: Bob Snyder
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Paul Effrig, 4. Mike Sweeney, 5. Frankie Althouse, 6. George Ramos, 7. Jeremy Miller, 8. Jacob Nemeth, 9. Jacob Kerstetter, 10. Geno Steigerwalt, 11. Danielle Paules, 12. Wayne Prutzman, 13. Bob Snyder
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Zach Graver, 2. DJ Wagner, 3. Jason Kuhn, 4. Matt Wentz, 5. Steven Steigerwalt, 6. Jared Ahner, 7. Justin Mooney, 8. Stacey Brown, 9. Lonnie Behler Sr., 10. TJ Gursky, 11. Chip Wanamaker, 12. Jonathan Tracey, 13. Todd Ahner, 14. Jillian Long, 155. Gene Bowers, 16. Dave Chapman, 17. Dan Freundt, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Aaron Kromer, 20. Josh Mooney, 21. Randy Ahner Jr., 22. George Ramos
DNQ: Justin Mooney, Jamie Smith, Tiffany Wambold, Lonnie Behler Jr., Cody Roth, Logan, Doug Knauss, BJ Wambold
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. JP Curry, 2. Ricky Yetter, 3. Kevin Graver Jr., 4. Jack Ely, 5. Jeff Parker, 6. Mike Stofflet, 7. Billy Lowden Jr., 8. Aleia Geisler, 9. Billy Lasko, 10. Ray Deemer, 11. Joe Stangle
Pro 4 Feature Finish (18 Laps): 1. Nick Baer, 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Chad Miller, 5. Kailyn Beers, 6. Jesse Snyder, 7. Cody Kohler, 8. JD Light, 9. Dave Chapman
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cory Edelman, 2. Rich Mutarelli, 3. Shayne Geist, 4. Devin Gibson, 5. Tim Oswald, 6. Shawn Hoffman, 7. Alton Snyder Jr., 8. Cody Geist