Story By: DINO OBERTO / MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY – LEHIGHTON, PA – Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Late Model division has been an intricate part in the history of the popular ¼-mile oval dating back to the dirt days of the late 1950s.
2022 marks the 42nd season of the class racing on the pavement and when Nick Ross won the 2021 championship he became the 25th different driver to earn such a feat over that span.
Over those years many great names have entered into the history books as well as some legendary races and thus the class holds a special status to the track and its fans.
However, of late numbers within the division have declined leaving some concern as to where the class stands heading into this year and beyond.
During this past off-season a number of meetings had taken place between track management and teams planning to compete with the focus on helping bolster car counts and maintain stability within the ranks.
After much deliberation both sides have come up with a mutual agreement that most everyone feels is satisfactory and it begins by bumping up first place at a $1000 to win a regular feature provided 16 or more cars are signed in for that night.
It was also decided that at each race drivers will pay a $50 entry fee that will then be disbursed back into the field by way of a percentage scale which is dependent upon the night’s car count. Even if there is a pro-rated purse for a particular night all entry fee monies will still be paid back into the field aside from the night’s payout.
“The Late Model division, just as all of our divisions, is very important to us. After meeting with them and expressing their concerns I’m happy to say that we were able to come up with this payout package,” said Mahoning Valley Speedway owner/promoter Jack Carlino.
“Todd Baer our Operations Manager has worked diligently with the Late Model guys and was able to come to terms with them on what we now have. I really like the fact that we can pay $1000 for a feature win.”
The first Late Model race will be held on Saturday, April 16. They will run a total of nine times throughout the season.
The 2022 season will get underway with Test and Tune days on March 19 & 26 and April 2-3 from noon to 4:00 pm.
Opening Night is slated for Saturday, April 9 at 5:00 pm headlined by race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Fall of Fame Series. On the docket will be Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures.