LEHIGHTON, PA — Winning the Mahoning Valley Speedway Octoberfast Dirt Mod 60 sponsored by Tom Ring was welled scripted for Easton’s Ricky Yetter.
In the weeks leading up to the $3000 to win show Yetter regularly noted that he was fixated on winning this race. After his early season hopes of a track title had faded in the final month, he went to work on getting his car set up for the long haul run and it showed, winning twice while reeling off a strong of top-5s over the last five regular season races.
As race day finally arrived Yetter was loaded for bear. He first notched a win in his heat then after a redraw he picked the number two starting spot. When the race got underway he wasted no time in dashing past Dave Gorbatuk for the lead and would never surrender it the rest of the way.
“I’m just so happy and I worked my tail off to get to this race. I got the best crew and I have to thank them all and my great sponsors. I just wanted to complete the mission,” said Yetter.
Yetter may have led every lap but there was plenty of pressure being applied. Mark Martini had a nice drive going in second spot over the first dozen laps. Point champion Kevin Graver Jr., then got by Martini after a lap 15 restart and just short of halfway the 2013 Octoberfast winner Ricky Ross Jr., became a factor.
With very few cautions traffic was everywhere but Yetter was able to pick and choose his spots with little trouble despite Graver and Ross weighing down on him. Each time Graver tried to use a back-marker to set up a pass and each time Yetter was quick to clear the hassle.
“It was hectic. When you pass someone on the outside it takes the momentum out of you. I tried to run the bottom most of the time but with lapped cars we had to make some wise moves,” said Yetter.
Ross took over second after a lap 38 restart and he too would hound Yetter but once again he was unaffected by the persistence of his challengers.
“I was a little worried towards the end because this is a 32 gallon fuel cell and running on alcohol – man it got tight at the end when the weight came off the back of the wheels and I was wondering if I had enough in the right rear to make it,” said Yetter.
Ross scored second at the finish with Graver Jr., Scott Adams and Kris Graver rounding out the top five.
In the 40 lap USAC SpeedSTR feature, a very diverse and impressive field of drivers where on hand but when it was all said and done Kris Graver once again emerged as the winner after a thrilling late race pass over Ryan Smith.
When the SpeedSTRs first raced at Mahoning Valley in June, Graver was offered a ride and despite never even sitting in a car, went on to a huge upset win.
With the class back as part of the track’s season ending show, Graver was again recommended to wheel a car and once again it would be with some pretty heavy hitters in Northeast short track racing.
Fresh off his huge win with the World of Outlaws at Port Royal Speedway in less than 24 hours, Smith was at Mahoning and drew the pole. As the race began so too did Smith who set out on a fast pace.
Graver, who started third, had a torrid battle for a number of laps with Tim Buckwalter. After shaking free of him by lap 18 Graver then set his sight on Smith.
After chasing Smith for a run of 10 laps, Graver then went to the high side and began an energizing battle for the lead. In the final eight laps the pair but on a terrific fight in side-by-side formation. With five to go Graver had just eked out front but the lap was called back when Frank Yankoswki lost a wheel. Good thing for Smith too because he had spun after the fact while trying to regain the lead.
On the single file reset Smith charged out ahead but Graver was not ready to throw in the towel. It all came down to the final two laps. Graver blasted to the high groove and thrust past Smith as the white flag came out which sealed his fortune. Two starts in a SpeedSTR and two wins.
“That was one heck of a race Ryan (Smith) and I put on. It was absolutely phenomenal and that was the most fun I had in a long time,” said Graver after his $3000 win. “These cars are a handful. It’s all about momentum and you just have to bide your time.”
Kevin Graver Jr., Buckwalter and Mike Bednar completed the top-5.
In the All-Star Slingshot main John Gilroy took the lead at the drop of the green and held tight for all 25 laps. Closing in on him in the waning laps was Dylan Hoch but with two to go he suddenly fell off the pace allowing Gilroy to cruise to the win.
In an exciting two car duel from start to finish, Joel Smith pulled off a last lap pass over Dylan Martin to win the Stage 1 Modified feature.
10-year old Ryan Graver of Lehighton went wire-to-wire in winning the Jr. Slingshot feature. It was his first time racing at the track and with the win it continued a family tradition of winning as a fourth generation of Mahoning racers.
Alex Greenzweig not only led every lap of the Micro Stock feature but he claimed the 2014 championship with the Micro Stock Racing Series in the process.
In the Jr. Sportsman Champ Kart event John Kendall fended off Brayden Spencer for the win.
Mahoning Dirt Mod regular JP Curry was able to lead every lap en route to victory in the Sr. Champ Kart race.
John Kendall defeated Brayden Spencer in the Jr. Sportsman event.
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (60 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Ricky Ross Jr., 3. Kevin Graver Jr., 4. Scott Adams, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Aleia Geisler, 7. Dave Gorbatuk, 8. Heath Metzger, 9. Bill Briggs, 10. Paul Effrig, 11. Richie Pratt Jr., 12. Guy Harby, 13. Billy Lasko, 14. Bill Sittler Jr., 15. Mike Stofflet, 16. Mark Martini, 17. Ray Deemer, 18. Drew Reinbold, 19. Jack Ely, 20. Steve Folk, 21. Jesse Mueller 22. JP Curry
SpeedSTR Feature Finish (40 Laps): 1. Kris Graver, 2. Ryan Smith, 3. Kevin Graver Jr., 4. Tim Buckwalter, 5. Mike Bednar, 6. Kyle Lick, 7. Billy Pauch Jr., 8. Frank Cozze, 9. Brandon Grosso, 10. Earl Paules, 11. Frank Yankowski, 12. Matt Janisch, 13. Jason Miller, 14. Nick Baer, 15. Rick Kirkendall, 16. Kenny Brightbill, 17. Barry Christman Jr., 18. Ryan Karchun, 19. Wayne Weaver