Mahoning Valley Mods Get 37 Laps in Before Rains Hit
Adjustments Are Made to Track Schedule
By Dino Oberto, Track PR Report
37-laps into the Hand Three Modified 100 Poker Series race at Mahoning Valley Speedway, rains hit the area and put an abrupt halt the event as well as all remaining features.

The race will be restarted on August 22 when the Hand Four Poker Series event takes place. The remaining 63 laps will be run and a complete program of time trials, heats and 100-lap feature, along with all other tracks classes.

The night began with Matt Hirschman turning the fastest lap in time trials at 9.843-seconds.

A redraw of the top 12 in time trials then took place and for the outset of the feature James Pritchard, Jr., and Tom Flanagan shared the front row.

At the drop of Dick Brown’s race commencing green Flanagan shot past Pritchard for the opening lap lead.

He firmly held the spot while a host of others shuffled their way through the pack. Pritchard kept pace with Flanagan while Earl Paules and Lou Strohl had a side-by-side duel for third.

Paules surged by Strohl and then got past Pritchard by lap 15 and immediately began his pursuit on Flanagan. Ninth starting John Bennett had emerged into the top five by lap 13 and was having a hard fought battle with Chip Santee.

At 30 laps Flanagan and Paules where still a close one-two while Santee, his teammate Eric Beers and Bennett diced it out for third.

Two laps later a caution waved for Pritchard who spun in turn four. Under the yellow Paules made an unscheduled pit stop which then elevated Lonnie Behler into the top five.

On the restart Bennett, who was lined up on the outside of Flanagan, rocketed past and took over the lead.

Behind him the shuffling was still going on amongst the rest of the pack including Santee, Flanagan and Beers who all exchanged spots. Rick Reichenbach also raced his way to the front five.

On lap 37 the caution was back out after Keith Mellars spun in turn three. As others avoided him, not so lucky were Brian DeFebo and Paules who got collected in the incident. Paules again had to dive into the pits, this time to change a left rear tire.

While under the yellow the weather then took a change for the worse as the rains came and although after about an hour of waiting things out, it was too far gone to try and save the track, thus putting a halt to the rest of the program.

As it stands the race will pick up with 63-laps to go on August 22 with Bennett leading over Santee, Flanagan, Beers and Reichenbach.

Heat race class winners in were Austin Kochenash in the Late Models, Devin Gibson, Zach Graver and Randy Ahner, Jr., in Street Stocks, Jeremy Miller and Mike Stringer in the Pro4 Late Models and Randy Thomas in the Dirt Modifieds.

This was also the second time in the past three weeks that rain forced a postponement of the action and track management has again had to rearrange the schedule beginning next week.

On August 1, the evening will see the Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pro4’s and Dirt Mods plus the make-up June 13 features for the Dirt Mods and Micro Stocks. In addition the 600cc Mods will be in action.

On August 8 the card will start off with the July 11 Pro4 and Late Model make-ups plus a complete show of all regular track classes and the 4c Super Mods.

August 15 will be all regular track classes plus the July 11 Street Stock makeup and the July 25 Pro4 make-up.

As mentioned the conclusion of the Hand Three Poker Series 100 will take place along with Hand Four and all regular track classes plus the micro stocks.

August 29 will be all regular track classes along with the July 25 make-up for the Late Models and Street Stocks plus the 4c Super Mods.

September 5 is slated to have the Street Stock 100 as the lead show plus all regular track classes and the July 25 Dirt Mod make-up.

There is no racing on September 12.

The final make-up of events will be on September 19 with the Modified make-up from July 11, all regular track classes plus the 600cc Mods.