Story By: DINO OBERTO / MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY – LEHIGHTON, PA – At 57 years old Earl Paules of Palmerton is showing no signs of slowing as the seasoned veteran turned in a solid run in capturing his first Modified win of the year and second overall.
For Paules, restarts were the key as he had to apply them several times in gaining spots and the lead.
Starting ninth Paules had already advanced four positions on the first lap but before the next circuit could be scored a hard crash in Turn 3 took out Nick Baer who was fighting for the lead with Terry Markovic and Lou Strohl.
When the field was sorted out and reset Rod Snyder Jr., was in command with Paules lined up alongside. No sooner did the action resume Paules was able to circulate his way around Snyder for the lead, not for long though as two laps later Snyder returned the favor.
Another yellow was out on lap seven when Tyler Wager went for a spin. Once again Paules made good on the restart and retook the lead, this time for keeps.
“57 years old doesn’t mean anything. Restarts have always been my thing and I love them. You have to be on top of your game when it comes to restarts to beat these guys, they’re all very good,” said Paules.
Afterwards he was cruising comfortably out front with a nice gap ahead of Bobby Jones. However, what was at one point a commanding lead soon began to taper over the waning laps as Kyle Strohl had a burst of speed going his way. He had taken second spot with 10 laps to go and was rapidly closing in on Paules.
By the time the white flag waved Strohl was on Paules’ rear bumper but needed more than just the final lap if there was a chance for him to pass. Paules was in a good enough position to fend off the challenge and take the victory, his track leading 67th overall. Earlier this year Paules had won with the Sportsman Modifieds.
“I first want to say to all the fathers out there happy Father’s Day and thanks for coming to Mahoning Valley Speedway,” said Paules.
“From what I was told Kyle Strohl was coming real fast there at the end but I didn’t hear anything and so I just held the bottom for the rest of the race.”
Paules had competed the night before at Evergreen Raceway, placing eighth in a 50 lap race that he wasn’t content with and led to a host of wholesale changes for Mahoning.
“I felt really bad about last night up at Evergreen. We ran real bad and I didn’t have a good car so when we came home we burned the midnight oil and starting digging in and changed just about everything on it because I didn’t want to run like that and it paid off.”
For the third time in four starts Strohl had to settle for second spot although he is now the new point leader. Jones, Snyder and L. Strohl completed the top five.
In the Late Model feature Mike VanFossen of Lehighton erased a long dry spell, recording his first win in 14 years.
After Brooks Smith and Todd Cooper traded the lead over the first dozen laps, VanFossen then took charge and despite being pressured closely the rest of the way by Geno Steigerwalt, he stood his ground and won for the first time since April 19, 2008.
Defending Sportsman Modified champion Jaden Brown of Kunkletown picked up his first win of the season.
Rookie Greyson Ahner jumped into the early lead and was notably holding his own over the more experienced Brown and Troy Bollinger as well as Paulie Hartwig III who joined the front fray by mid-race.
Ahner’s fine run took a turn – literally – on lap 13 when he spun while under very tight quarters. That allowed Brown to assume the lead that he would then keep although Hartwig and eventual runner-up Earl Paules never gave him much breathing room.
Tommy Flanagan III of Bethlehem can now add the Street Stocks to his list of class victories at Mahoning Valley.
Taking the lead from Randy Green on lap six, Flanagan had a tough go the rest of the way as Mark Deysher stayed fastened on him the rest of the way. The two veterans battled nose-to-tail right down to the wire with Flanagan taking the verdict with no room to spare.
With the Street Stock now part of winning his resume Flanagan now has victories in Modifieds, Late Models, D/A Mods and Pro 4s.
Cody Kohler of Schnecksville raced to his second Pro 4 win of 2022, this one coming in a nonstop run that took just over a tick over four minutes to compete.
Kohler grabbed the lead from the outset and was never headed the rest of the way as he authored a sterling performance in collecting his 37th class win over Jake Kibler.
In the Hobby Stock main Corey Edelman chocked up another win, his third in six starts this season. And just as each race has been this season it was another hard fought down-to-the-wire showdown.
In this latest action packed spectacle Edelman, who took the lead on lap 13, had to battle against the Boehm brothers, Cody and Jacob who hounded him unremittingly. Edelman though was not to be denied as he held back the blitz and upped his all-time division wins total to 25.
For Parker Ahner of Palmerton each week just keeps getting better and better. The first year Futures driver has now won three consecutive features and for the second straight time set a new track record, this time at 12.040-seconds.
Makayla Kohler continues to make a strong case with Ahner as she has been runner-up in each of his wins.
Alex Greenzweig of Lehighton proved once again to be no match with the visiting Micro Stocks as he handily raced to victory over Isaiah Flyte.
It was Fan Appreciation Night at Mahoning Valley Speedway and it showed too as a great crowd came out in support of a jammed slate of eight divisions of racing.
Modified feature finish (35 laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3.Bobby Jones, 4. Rod Snyder Jr., 5. Lou Strohl, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7.Tyler Wagner, 8. Carl Altemose, 9. Eric Kocher, 10. Terry Markovic, 11. Nick Bear
Late Model feature finish (25 laps): 1. Mike VanFossen, 2. Geno Steigerwalt, 3. Roger Maynor, 4. Nick Ross, 5. Mark Hudson, 6. Todd Cooper, 7. Seth VanFossen, 8. Brooks Smith, 9. Dave Imler Sr.
Sportsman Modified feature finish (25 laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Troy Bollinger, 4. Nick Baer, 5. Paulie Hartwig III, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Brody George, 8. Zach Lenardo, 9. Greyson Ahner
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Tommy Flanagan III, 2. Mark Deysher, 3. Stacey Brown, 4. Brandon Christman, 5.Matt Kocher, 6. Jacob Boehm, 7. Logan Boyer, 8.Shayne Geist, 9. John Bennett, 10. Jill Snyder, 11.Todd Ahner, 12. Rick Reichenbach, 13. Randy green, 14. Thomas Flanagan, 15. Tucker Muffley
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Cody Boehm, 3. Jacob Boehm, 4. Trisha Connolly, 5. Micah Adams, 6. Justin merkel, 7. James Tout, 8. Nick Schaeffer, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Mackenzie Adams, 11. Shayne Geist, 12. Tyler Schmeltzle, 13. Nicholas Kerstetter, 14 Dave Kerr, 15. Jared Frye, 16. Don Bauder, 17. Mallory Kutz, 18. Travis Solomon, 19. Ralph Borger Jr. DNS: Ed Herman
Pro 4 feature finish (20 laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Tyler Stangle, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Terry Peters, 5. Ken Reeder, 6. Colton Breiner, 7. Richie Pursell, 8. Jake Kibler, 9. Kadie Pursell
Futures feature finish (15 laps): 1. Parker Ahner, 2. Makayla Kohler, 3. Arland Moyer Jr., 4.Adam Steigerwalt, 5. Maggie Yeakel, 6. Ryan Petro, 7. Mayson Moyer, 8. Gabi Steigerwalt, 9. Michael Klotz. DNS: Zoe Kuchera, Lexus Kutz
Micro Stock feature finish (20 laps): 1. Alex Greenzweig, 2. Isaiah Flyte, 3. Eddie Geiger Jr., 4. Chad Weaver, 5. Lydia Snyder, 6. Roger Snyder, 7. Logan Crout, 8. John Rakos, 9. Josh Heiser, 10. TJ Kemmerer, 11. Wayne Krenn, 12. DJ Fredrick, 13. Shawn Dengler