The record will show that Kunkletown's Tyler Haydt led all 100 laps in Hand 3 of the Modified 100 Poker Series event Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway but yet it was a race decided by inches. Just like Hand 2 from two weeks ago, the outcome came down to the last lap, last turn which again included Earl Paules and Matt Hirschman.
Haydt was steadily holding off Hirschman and with the laps dwindling down a caution waved with six to go. Many felt this was a last chance for Hirschman to make his move especially with a two abreast restart.
Indeed there was a move but it instead came from Paules. With two laps to go he was running topside over Hirschman and brought the crowd to their feet as he sailed past and went after Haydt on the final circuit. Both ran virtually dead even as they headed to the checkers.
Haydt made it across first but just barely as he edged Paules by a scant .019-second margin of victory.
"It really feels good to get one of these (100-lapper). We had a good car in a couple of these races and if a couple of things would have went right we would have won one or two already," said 26-year Haydt.
Prior to the race during the redraw Haydt, who picked second starting spot, noted how he would love to get a 100-lap Mahoning win. He had had numerous chances in the past but always fell short when it counted most.
This time around he made it his race to lose as he showed all race long. He out-jumped Rob Shultz at the initial start and right away let everyone else run for positions behind him.
Although not a dominating run, Haydt did have enough power to keep a safe enough distance on second place which was held between Shultz, Paules, Zeiner and Hirschman. Then came that final restart which led to the exciting shootout to the finish.
"I ran too hard in the beginning and that hurt the tires. I had to lean on Earl (Paules) coming off of (turn) four on that last lap. Another two laps and he would have been going by me because I was done. I was holding on for dear life," noted Haydt.
In the last two 100-lap races Paules has lost by a combined total of .412-seconds.
"Tyler ran me clean there at the end and he did what he had to do. He got into my skid rail a little bit but we all came out of here clean. We needed just one more lap," said Paules.
In the Late Model race it was one of Mahoning's best in the business as Jim Thorpe's Rick Wallace made good use of his pole starting spot as he solidly led all 25-laps.
Last week Justin Mooney watched as his brothers Joe and Josh win in the Modifieds and Street Stocks respectively. He was even the key in helping Joe win his race. This time around it would be his turn in tasting victory in the Street Stock main.
The Dirt Mod feature was the closest ever as point leader Kris Graver of Lehighton edged defending champ Randy Thomas by .037-seconds or another words mere inches.
Barry Christman, Jr., of Northampton cruised to his fifth straight and sixth Pro4 Late Model win of the season.
Feature Finish, 100 Laps: 1. Tyler Haydt, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Matt Hirschman, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Zane Zeiner, 6. Kevin Rex, Jr., 7. Joe Mooney, 8. Terry Markovic, 9. Rob Shultz, 10. Brian Romig, 11. Mike Carroll, 12. Frankie Althouse, 13. Troy Bollinger, 14. Brian DeFebo, 15. Matt Higgins, 16. John, Bennett, 17. CJ Jones, 18. John Markovic, 19. Chip Santee
Late Model Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Rick Wallace, 2. Paul Koehler, Jr., 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Dave Wallace, 5. Paul Skodacek, 6. Geno Steigerwalt, 7. Glenn Slocum, 8. George Ramos
Street Stock Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1. Justin Mooney, 2. Jeremy Miller, 3. Jason Frey, 4. Steve Steigerwalt, 5. Gene Bowers, 6. Steve Hoffman, 7. Shawn Sitarchyk, 8. Kevin Smith, 9. Randy Ahner, Jr., 10. Josh Mooney, 11. Todd Ahner, 12. TJ Gursky, 13. Adam Santee, 14. Austin Santee, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Jillian Long, 17. Eric Danyluk, 18. Joe Stamm, 19. Matt May, 20. Brian Labar
Dirt Modified Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Kris Graver, 2. Randy Thomas, 3. Mike Stofflet, 4. Dave Thomas, 5. DJ Wagner, 6. Bill Briggs, 7. Mike Stinger, 8. Brett Ballard, 9. Scott Hulmes, 10. Bill Sitler, 11. Jon Parker, 12. Mark Levy, 13. Joe Stangle
Pro4 Late Model Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1. Barry Christman, Jr., 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Corey Hill, 4. Aleia Geisler, 5. Taya Wentz, 6. Kevin Behler, 7. Chad Keiser