Story By: DINO OBERTO / MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY – LEHIGHTON, PA – The hype was there and the cars where too for the 2022 season opener at Mahoning Valley Speedway this past Sunday but unfortunately the Freddy Hamm Tribute fell to inclement weather.
The focus now switches to this Saturday evening, April 16 with the Mahoning Valley Speedway Season Opener version 2. Start time is 5:00 pm.
For the fans they will get their primary look at the Sportsman Modifieds, Late Models and Pro 4s who will be racing for the first time and joining the Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures for the night of stock car racing.
For the kids they will get a special visit from the Easter Bunny who will have treats and goodies to give out.
The Sportsman Modifieds will be starting their fifth year as a weekly class and all indications are pointing towards this being a real breakout season as the division will not only have a number of returning drivers including 2021 champion Jaden Brown but there is an influx of newcomers that will be hitting the track as well which will bolster the fields like never before.
The Late Models are back for their 41st season dating back to 1970. Nick Ross is the defending champion. Ross was the winner in six of eight races last year including a record tying five in a row. A win on Saturday will give him the record for consecutive victories that he currently shares with Mike Sweeney.
There is a new purse structure in place for the class this year and it begins by bumping up the winner’s take at a $1000 for a regular feature provided 16 or more cars are signed in for that night.
It was also decided during a pre-season meeting that at each race all 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.
Also checking in for the first time will be the Pro 4s. A staple at Mahoning Valley since 1989, the Pro 4 division is a compact, rear-wheel driver 4-cylinder racecar. Cody Kohler was the 2021 and ’22 champ as well as ’17.
Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures round out the card.
Pit gates open at 10:30 am. Early paid practice will take place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 3:00 pm and racing gets the green flag at 5:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. Pits are $40.
Freddy Hamm Tribute reset for June 25
The April 10 weather postponed Freddy Hamm Tribute has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 25.
The event was slated as race #1 of the Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series with twin 45-lap features for the Modifieds along with Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Futures.
However, rain and snow passed over the speedway at the scheduled 2:00 pm start time and officials along with members of the Hamm family felt it was in the best interest to call of the show and reset it for a later date.
After discussing the best available date it was decided on June 25 as the make-up day.
With that wrist bands from Sunday, April 10 will be good for either the next two regular Saturday shows, April 16 and 23 (no monetary refund) or the next two Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series events on either June 11, the Dave Schlenker Tribute or June 25 the re-scheduled Freddy Hamm Tribute.
Also, for the Freddy Hamm Tribute there will be a complete redraw of heat starting spots for the Modifieds, Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks.