Kyle Strohl takes Mahoning 75 lapper over…19-year old wins for the fourth time this season
By DINO OBERTO
LEHIGHTON, PA – Despite the fact that Kyle Strohl is frequently surrounded by drivers who are twice his age and have years of experience over him, the 19-year old continues to mature and nurture into a stellar talent in pavement Modified racing.
K. Strohl added to his rising stock with a hard-fought victory over veterans Zane Zeiner and Lou Strohl in Saturday night’s 75-lap feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway. Using a lap 28 restart to gain the lead from Don Wagner he would never relinquished it from there but there was constant pressure to the end from Zeiner and L. Strohl.
“I could feel them in there quite a few times so I just held my line. I knew I had to be on my game because those big dogs where coming,” said Strohl, who pocketed $2500 and now matches Brian DeFebo with a class high four wins.
A redraw from heats saw Austin Kochenash and K. Strohl bring the field of 21 to Bob Stull’s race commencing green. Kochenash then set the early pace with K. Strohl and Wagner in tow.
From the outside lane Wagner was able to take second and by lap 11 began to come up on the leader. After some thrilling two-wide laps, he cleared Kochenash with 17 in.
On lap 28 a caution tighten the field and it was that restart that Kochenash’s shot of getting back to the lead faded when he spun in turn 3. The ensuing restart would place K. Strohl to second. 16th starting Zeiner was up to third with Kevin Rex Jr., fourth.
When the action resumed K. Strohl had the upper hand and powered by Wagner.
“My car was really good but my clutch was slipping and I was having trouble gaining anything on restarts,” said Wagner.
“My only chance was to get out front and run away with it and hope that we didn’t have a lot of cautions but that wasn’t the case. Kyle (Strohl) had a little bit better car than mine.”
With the help of a few more cautions over the next dozen laps, Zeiner and L. Strohl were able to make quick work of Wagner and once the final 25 laps began it would become a torrid three car battle for the win.
Lap by lap Zeiner tried to show his nose while L. Strohl was likewise displaying enough strength to go after both cars in front of him. Notwithstanding K. Strohl was up to all challenges and kept his concentration on the big prize.
“I really didn’t worry about the lead at the beginning. I wanted to save my tires for near the end because I didn’t know how the car was going to work so I just followed them (Kochenash/Wagner) and hope for the best,” said K. Strohl.
“My car was getting tighter and tighter as the race went but the cautions where helping me a lot. I just kept heating up the right rear and it helped me out.”
Zeiner may have needed just a few more laps as he was close to striking when the race ended. He was awarded the Speed Sport Showcase “Hard Charger” award for passing the most cars.
“It was really tough out there because we were so equal. I’m really proud of my guys after coming here tonight and struggling in our heat,” said Zeiner.
“The car wasn’t right and we made a phone call to (crew chief) Barry Kuhnel and he hit it right on the dot. We’re really looking for big things down the road here.”
L. Strohl settled for a solid third with Kochenash and Wagner rounding out the top five.
In the Late Model feature Jeremey Miller has added win number three to what has been his best season to date with the class.
Jacob Kerstetter would jump out front early on while Miller was busy contesting second spot with impressive teenager rookie Samantha Osborn. Needing nearly 10 laps to shake free, Miller then set his sights on Kerstetter and began a thrilling double-wide battle for the lead.
By the time they crossed the stripe to complete lap 15 of 25 Miller had eked his way to the front and from then on stayed the course and went on to a two-car length margin of victory over Mike Sweeney who has just nipped Kerstetter for second at the checkers.
Matt Schlenker became a winner in just his fourth ever Mahoning start, earning the verdict in the 30-lap Street Stock run.
The race was very exciting to say the least as the lead battle was intense. Schlenker would take the control on lap two from Jeremy Scheckler but soon after was battling Rick Reichenbach and Jon Moser. Both would get by Schlenker on lap nine and they then engaged in a stifling fight for the lead.
Side-by-side between Reichenbach and Moser made for some rousing moments and all the while Schlenker was in their shadow.
With six laps remaining Reichenbach and Moser where locking horns and opening up a lane on the bottom. Without hesitation Schlenker seized the opportunity and went underneath Reichenbach. There was some contact that saw Reichenbach made an incredible save. Schlenker meanwhile sprinted off to the unforgettable victory.
In the Dirt Mods it was Ricky Yetter taking the win, his second of the season. Yetter blasted by pole sitter Colton Perry on the opening circuit and then held off a hard charging Billy Lowden Jr. en-route to victory.
Pro 4 standings leader Cody Kohler notched his fifth win in nine 2018 starts and in the process padded a slim point lead over second place finisher Jake Kibler with just three races remaining. Kohler led all 20 laps although Kibler who chased him for most of the distance.
Top five finishes have not come easy this season for Beau Drobot, only three to be exact but when they have its notable as each one has been in the form of a win including Saturday night.
Drobot claimed his class-high third Hobby Stock verdict of the year, doing so by leading every lap. His next top five may not be coming right away, however, as right after the race Drobot noted that the car was sold. Rich Mutarelli was closing near the end and registered a well-earned second.
Modified Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Kyle Strohl, 2. Zane Zeiner, 3. Lou Strohl, 4. Austin Kochenash, 5. Don Wagner, 6. Brian DeFebo, 7. Kevin Rex, 8. James Pritchard, 9. Todd Bear, 10. Ron Haring Jr., 11. Austin Beers, 12. Nick Bear, 13. Josh Scherer, 14. Joey Jarowicz, 15. Kristy Arthofer, 16. Kassidy Altemose, 17. Jesse Strohl, 18. Gene Bowers, 19. Earl Paules, 20. Wes Gilbert, 21. Bobby Jones
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jeremy Miller, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Jacob Kerstetter, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Matt Wentz, 6. Paul Kohler Jr., 7. Dylan Osborn, 8. Geno Steigerwalt, 9. Kenny Hein, 10. Samantha Osborn, 11. Avery Arthofer, 12. Mike Senica, 13. Seth VanFossen
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps) 1. Matt Schlenker, 2. Rick Reichenbach, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Corey Edelman, 5. Jill Long, 6. Josh Mooney, 7. Randy Schlenker, 8. Jon Moser, 9. Jared Ahner, 10. Jamie Smith, 11. Shayne Geist, 12. Stacey Brown 13. Mark Deysher, 14. Jason Beers, 15. Cody Geist, 16. Eric Kocher, 17. Jeremy Schlenker, 18. BJ Wambold
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Ricky Yetter, 2. Billy Lowden Jr, 3. Ray Deemer, 4. Mike Stofflet, 5. Vincent Fegley, 6. Paul Martin, 7. Bill Sittler, 8. Colton Perry, 9. Larry Beers, 10. Corey Edelman, 11. Joe Corrigan, 12. Dave Chapman
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Bill Rooney, 4. Bobby Kibler Sr., 5. Bob Kibler Jr., 6. Tyler Stangle, 7. Randy Schaffer, 8. Tucker Muffley, 9. Jeremey Guerra, 10. Josh Kuronya, 11. Steve McDonough, 12. Matt Clark
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Beau Drobot , 2. Rich Mutarelli, 3. Travis Solomon, 4. Devin Schmidt, 5. Shawn Kistler, 6. Al Arthofer, 7. Ryan Berger, 8. Michael Wambold, 9. Trisha Connolly, 10.Cody Boehm. 11. Jacob Boehm, 12. Peyton Arthofer, 13. Tad Snyder, 14. Don Brink, 15. Lyndsay Buss, 16. Justin Merkel, 17. Peter Maier, 18. Tyler Nemeth