Story By: DINO OBERTO / MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY – LEHIGHTON, PA – The popular Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame Series (MVSHoFS) returns this coming Saturday, July 16 with the Earl Keinert Tribute.
Earl “Chico” Keinert from Macungie, a great racer in his own right, was inducted into the Dorney Park Speedway/Mahoning Valley Speedway Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2014.
Keinert was most notable at Dorney Park where he began in the early 1960s and spanned his career well into the 1980s. He not only raced at the Park but Mahoning Valley during the era of the early 1970s when the track was first paved. Evergreen Raceway was also a regular stop for the Keinert team.
He, like so many others from that period, also competed on dirt, doing so at such venues as Nazareth, Reading, Grandview and more, with the same car too.
Of his wins perhaps his biggest came twice and both as 50 lappers at the Park. One a mid-season championship event and the later coming in the Bobby Fenstermaker Memorial.
Keinert gave several top drivers the chance to race his cars including sons Earl Jr., and Homer Keinert, Steve Drabick, Rickie Dorshimer, Dick Ruth and Bob Dresser to name a few. He also carried a variety of car numbers through the years that included 2, 02, 24, 33, 52, 75 and 89.
Earl passed away in 1991 but his legacy is still going strong with his grandson, Ryan Berger, who runs with the Hobby Stock class at Mahoning and proudly uses the No. 12.
Saturday’s Earl Keinert Tribute will be race #3 of the 2022 MVSHoFS. The Modifieds will battle in a 50-lap main and Street Stocks going 30 laps.
As for the Hobby Stocks they will be contesting in Triple 12s and each feature will be a cone race. The best overall highest average finisher of the three races will be proclaimed the champion and receive a special trophy and one-of-a-kind handmade scale replica #2 Keinert Sportsman coupe.
All feature winners will also be presented first place checks.
Heading into Saturday’s event Kyle Strohl and Earl Paules are tied for first in the MVSHoFS with the Modifieds. Brian DeFebo, Lou Strohl and Austin Kochenash are very close behind. TJ Gursky leads the Street Stocks over Matt Schlenker, Jon Moser and Todd Ahner. In the Hobby Stocks it’s Nick Schaeffer on top over Trisha Connolly and the Boehm brothers Cody and Jacob.
The five race MVSHoFS events carry a separate tally of points for each class and at the conclusion champions will be crowned and the top three will receive point fund monies. Drivers must compete in each of the five races in order to be eligible for the point fund.
Also in action will be the Pro 4s and Futures. It is also Checkered Flag Fan Club Night.
Pit gates open at 11:00 am. Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 4:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $20. Pits are $45. Driver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. Racing begins at 6:00 pm.