STRONG RoC FIELD
“The Fightin’ Lehighton” Rick Kirkendall did what is expected of him
Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
He defended the hometown turf against the invading Race of
Champions DART Modified Series.
Despite having some of the best in the Modified business in the pit
area, Kirkendall of Lehighton, kept all at bay as he claimed his 11th
career feature win at the track and his first since winning on Sept. 10,
More importantly, Kirkendall won $2,800 in the 75-lap race, which
was his first ever RoC-sanctioned win.
“Incredible,” Kirkendall said after climbing from his car. “This is Zane
Zeiner’s car from last year. He raced it at Mountain Speedway, but we’ve
been working on it and we perfected it for this track.”
Perhaps, Kirkendall’s most perfect move of the night came when he
avoided a huge lap 47 crash that took out leader Eric Beers along with
two other of the top five cars.
On the restart, Bobby Jones passed Kirkendall for the lead, but
Jones’ car faded and Kirkendall passed him on the backstretch on lap 64.
Brian DeFebo grabbed the runner-up spot with a late in the race
charge through the pack at the finish, but he came .156-seconds short of
Kirkendall at the end of the 75-lap race.
DeFebo settled for the runner-up spot, while Rick Kluth was third,
Don Wagner was fourth and Paul Skodacek was fifth. Beers came back to
Modified heat race winners were Larry Fisher and Darren Scherer.
John Bennett won the B Main. Beers posted a lap of 9.864 sec., the best
among the 29 cars that time-trialed.
Jim Thorpe, Todd Stehle, the current Late Model point’s leader,
used patience to his advantage as he passed Travis Fisher on lap 16 of
the 25-lap feature to score the victory.
It was his 25th career win at the track, which moves him into third
on the all-time win list. Add on his two Modified feature wins and
Stehle has a nice 27 checkered flags to his credit.
Stehle started 12th in the 18-car feature field and he chased down
racer leader Travis Fisher for 16 laps.
Paul Koehler Jr. settled for the second spot, some 1.786-seconds
behind the race winner. Fisher settled for the third spot, while Bandit
Christman was fourth and Doug Bell completed the fifth place position.
Late Model qualifiers went to Geno Steigerwalt, Travis Fisher and
Bill Hunara, of Easton, did not start the main event the last time
the Street Stock feature competed at Mahoning Valley Speedway, but a
pole-starting spot meant a lot as he used it to his advantage by scoring
his second feature of the year and 17th career at the track.
Hunara led every lap and beat Todd Ahner by .454-seconds for the
win. Jon Moser settled for a well-earned third place finish as Justin
Mooney and Randy Ahner Jr. settled for the top five.
Street Stock heat winners were Hunara and Randy Ahner Jr.
Lehighton’s Kevin Rex Jr., the defending Pro4 Late Model champion,
passed Glen Anderson for the lead on the frontstretch during the
completion of lap five. He proceeded to lead the 15 laps and, perhaps
the most important, stayed out of any further incident to score the main
Rex steered clear of the accidents, which plagued the main event.
The first of several feature crashes came out just after the first lap
was completed. He defeated Chris Kuronya by .684-seconds, while Jeremy
Miller, Kevin Graver Jr. and Randy Schlenker completed the top five
Pro 4 Late Models heat races went to Rex, Jason Bair and Miller.
Dustin Bair won the consolation race.
Brian Hughes fought with Kevin Behler for five laps in the 20-lap
Factory Stock feature. And, once Hughes of Jim Thorpe, got the lead from
Behler on lap 18, he turned it in to his second win of the season.
Hughes beat Behler by .623-seconds, while Clem Underwood was
third, Randy Ahner Sr. was fourth and Scooter Graver was fifth.
May and Hughes split the Factory Stock qualifying races.
Gene Bowers, 13, of Lehighton, won his fourth 4-Cylinder Stock Car
feature in sixth starts. He passed Jon Smith on lap 13 and led the final
seven laps for the victory.
Bowers held a 2.856-second margin of victory over Dan Freundt at
the finish. Smith settled for third, Brian Kunkle was fourth and Ricky
Kunkle was fifth.
Freundt won the 4-Cylinder Stock qualifying race.
Modifieds (75): 1.Rick Kirkendall 2.Brian DeFebo
3.Rick Kluth 4.Don Wagner 5.Paul Skodacek 6.Eric Beers 7.Jim Storace
8.Bobby Jones 9.Bill Putney 10.Daren Scherer 11.Pete Brittain 12.Tommy
Farrell III 13.Bup Dreher 14.John Markovic 15.Todd Smith 16.Jason Bair
17.John Bennett 18.Chip Santee 19.Lou Strohl 20.Stacy Brown 21.Larry
Fisher 22.Rusty Smith 23.Jarred Nace 24.Jan Leaty 25.Zane Zeiner
26.Kevin Brown. DNQ:Matt Clemens, Keith Mellars, Todd Baer, Mike Quinn.
Late Models (25): 1.Todd Stehle 2.Paul Koehler Jr.
3.Travis Fisher 4.Bandit Christman 5.Doug Bell 6.Frank Althouse 7.Mike
VanFossen 8.Todd Geist 9.Kristian Kalch 10.Dave Wallace 11.Geno
Steigerwalt 12.Troy Bollinger 13.Ed Bauer 14.Francis Gross III 15.Rick
Wallace 16.Dean Ficcarro 17.Pat Hargan DNS: Zane Zeiner.
Street Stocks (25): 1.Bill Hunara 2.Todd Ahner 3.Jon
Moser 4.Justin Mooney 5.Randy Ahner Jr. 6.Lonnie Behler 7.Mike Garris
Jr. 8.Kristy Morone 9.Mark Deysher 10.Steve Hoffman 11.Mathias Hoffman
12.Jamie Smith 13.Alan Schlenker 14.Shawn Sitarchyk 15.Joe Mooney.
Pro4 Late Models (20): 1.Kevin Rex Jr. 2.Chris
Kuronya 3.Jeremy Miller 4.Kevin Graver Jr. 5.Randy Schlenker 6.Corey
Hill 7.Mike Stringer 8.Barry Christman Jr. 9.Jason Bair 10.Kris Gruber
11.Drew Rice 12.Matt Derkosh; 13.Justin Anderson 14.Dennis Silfies
15.Mike Stofflet 16.TJ Kemmerer 17.Brian Ahner 18.Dustin Bair 19.Glen
Anderson 20.Dale Kern 21.Dave Chapman DNQ: James Newman
Factory Stocks (20): 1.Brian Hughes 2.Kevin Behler
3.Clem Underwood 4.Randy Ahner Sr. 5.Scooter Graver 6.Matt May 7.Duane
Eidem 8.Chris May 9.Jason Frey 10.Cody Geist 11.B.J. Wambold 12.Devin
Gibson 13.Doug Knauss 14.Jim Szoke
4-Cyl. Stocks (20): 1.Gene Bowers 2.Dan Freundt
3.Jon Smith 4.Brian Kunkle 5.Ricky Kunkle 6.Peter Maier 7.Steve Corby
8.Jake Kibler DNS: Ryan Campanella