Story By: DINO OBERTO / MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY – LEHIGHTON, PA – It’s never surprising that Jaden Brown is fighting at the front of the pack and vying for a win. The only thing is the talent laden wheel twister has been short on more than one occasion this season in his attempts to score a victory.
But that is all behind him now as he thundered to a rousing win in 602 Crate Modified feature Saturday evening at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Brown used a lap one restart to advance into the lead over Greyson Ahner and from there on was in complete control, leaving everyone else to battle for second on back.
“The car was a little tight and it was pushing but I gotta say this win was a long time coming. We’ve had some pretty bad luck at times and a few times we were close to winning and tonight is really gratifying,” said Brown.
Brown, like everyone else in class are racing for the first time with the 602 Crate Modifieds and he along with the rest are still getting the feel for the cars at Mahoning.
“Everyone out here is still learning with these cars. When I was racing the Sportsman Modified and won the title that was a little different than the 602s and I myself was still learning,” he said.
“Now with the Crate cars you can see that it’s a lot more competitive racing and not just show up and win. You have to really wheel these cars.”
Brown is spot on in terming the action as close and competitive as each race to date has been close and down-to-the-wire. Matter of fact his two car length margin of victory was one of the widest of the season, proving just how tight the competition is.
And proof of that came as Bobby Jones, who battled for second, was under a blanket at the checkers with Zach Lenardo, Greyson Ahner and Brody George. Twice during the night the track record was eclipsed first by Ahner in his heat with a lap of 10.507-seconds and then in the feature by George who set the new standard at 10.437-second.
Nick Ross got back to his winning ways with the Late Models, picking up his second victory of the season and first since the season opener.
The race began with Mark Hudson and Ross going toe-to-toe and staying that way over the first dozen laps. Ross, by way of the outside lane, would finally take charge for good afterwards and stayed the course to the finish for his 33rd overall career win.
Second place came down to the wire as Brian Romig Jr., and Micah Adams raced each other hard and clean for position with Romig able to snag the spot on the final lap.
This season the Street Stock division has been ultra-competitive with no repeat winners across the first nine features. Eric Kocher, though changed all that as he cruised to his second win of the year, leading all 30 laps and becomes the first driver to repeat in class.
Point leader Jillian Snyder shadowed Kocher for most of the race and took second spot which helped her to pad her standings lead. Cody Geist was a strong third with Geary Rinehimer Jr., and Rick Reichenbach rounding out the top five.
In the Pro 4’s the amazing streak of Cody Kohler came to halt as Colton Breiner was able to win for the very first time and in doing so ended an remarkable eight in a row victories run by Kohler.
Breiner would take the lead from the outset, only giving it up once to Bobby Kibler Sr., with six laps to go.
However, with his focus centered on that elusive first win, Breiner, who was in a side-by-side duel with Kibler, regained the lead with two laps to go and held on for a very hard fought and deserving career first feature victory.
In the Dirt Mods Jeff Parker made haste on the start from his third starting spot and quickly dashed into the lead on lap one. There would be no turning back from there on as he was fast and furious en route to his fourth straight win over Rick Yetter.
Defending Harry’s U-Pull-It Hobby Stock champion Corey Edelman hasn’t raced much this season and the few times he has it has been a struggle to say the least.
The always able and strong Edelman showed why he is one of the best in the business when it comes to Hobby Stocks as he scored his first verdict of 2023. But it was tough all the way as he was locking horns with Michael Wambold and then point leader Cody Boehm who was glued behind him to the checkers.
For Edelman it was his 40th career win, 31 of those coming with the Hobby Stocks which his second to none.
In the make-up Futures race Al Gildner led all laps en route to notching his second score of the season. Adam Steigerwalt was a close second with Rodney Breiner third.
In the regular feature Steigerwalt took the lead from Michael Klotz on lap eight. One lap later the race was called after Arland Moyer Jr., had a hard hit with the wall and was taken to the local hospital for observation.
With no ambulance on site the race was called and Steigerwalt declared the winner over Russ Breiner.
602 Crate Modified feature finish (25 laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Bobby Jones, 3. Zach Lenardo, 4. Greyson Ahner, 5. Brody George, 6. Mackenzie Adams, 7. Nick Baer, 8. Makayla Kohler, 9.Paul French Sr
Late Model Feature finish (25 laps): 1. Nick Ross, 2. Brian Romig Jr., 3. Micah Adams, 4. Mark Hudson, 5. Brooks Smith
Street Stock feature finish (30 laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Jillian Snyder, 3. Cody Geist, 4. Geary Rinehimer Jr., 5. Rick Reichenbach, 6. Jamie Smith, 7. Randy Green, 8. Frankie Althouse, 9. Jacob Boehm, 10. Rich Moser, 11. Todd Ahner, 12. Josh Kuronya, 13. 13. Dennis Buss
Dirt Modified feature finish (20 laps): 1. Jeff Parker, 2. Ricky Yetter, 3. Scott Hyland, 4. James Counterman Jr.
Pro 4 feature finish (20 laps): 1. Colton Breiner, 2. Bobby Kibler Sr., 3. Cody Kohler, 5. Ken Reeder, 6. Kadie Pursell, 6. Richie Pursell
Hobby Stock feature finish (25 laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2.Cody Boehm, 3.Michael Wambold, 4. Shayne Geist, 5. Parker Ahner, 6. BJ Wambold, 7. Jake Kibler, 8. Nick Kerstetter, 9. Maggie Yeakel, 10.Lyndsay Buss 11. Jared Frye, 12. Travis Solomon, 13. James Tout, 14. Don Bauder.
Make-up Futures feature finish from 7/15 (15 laps): 1. Al Gildner, 2. Adam Steigerwalt, 3. Rodney Breiner, 4. Michael Klotz, 5. Russ Breiner, 6. Sarabeth Mesko, 7. Adam Heckman, 8. Gabrielle Steigerwalt, 9. Chaz Takacs, 10. Arland Moyer Jr.
Regular Futures feature finish (9 laps): 1. A. Steigerwalt, 2. Russ Breiner, 3. Mesko, 4. G. Steigerwalt, 5. Takacs, 6. Rodney Breiner, 7. Gildner, 8. Klotz, 9. Moyer Jr., 10. Heckman, 11. Zoe Kuchera, 12. Anthony Hirschman III