Who ever said you need to go to North Carolina's Bowman Grey Stadium to be a part of Madhouse apparently has never been to a race at Lehighton's Mahoning Valley Speedway as Saturday night was yet another typical evening of high tension racing at the paved quarter mile.
As always there was plenty action and drama amongst the racers and coupled with the fanatical fans it's no wonder Mahoning provides that same level of theatrics that helped make Madhouse so popular.
In a crowd pleasing duel, Don Wagner and Lonnie Behler went head-to head with each other in a hard-nosed battle that ended five laps shy of the checkered flag after they collided while battling fiercely for the win.
Then it was Tyler Haydt who inherited the top spot and had to fend off none other then track kingpin John Bennett en route to his second win in just four starts.
"It feels good but this one wasn't our race, we weren't the best car this week but it just worked out for us the way the cards were dealt," said 25-year Haydt from Kunkletown.
Haydt was right in the path of the leaders when they touched and somehow squeaked by the incident.
"I saw a lot of smoke and I saw Lonnie (Behler) come spinning down. I ripped it sideways as good as I could and stood on it and tried to get by before he came down and I'll tell you what, we just missed it."
Haydt knew that his night was far from over as he had Bennett behind him for the final few laps.
"You always are going to have to beat John Bennett at this place. Everything is really going good right now and hopefully we can keep it that way," said Haydt.
Bennett was more lucky than good tonight as he came very close to losing his point lead had Wagner not tangled with Behler. Instead he was able to take his runner up finish and earn much needed championship markers.
"The track was a little different than it normally is and that kind of caught us off guard. The car was real loose the whole time," said Bennett.
"It was unfortunate for Donny (Wagner) and Lonnie (Behler). They got tangled up and had to go to the rear. We'll take a second place out of it though. Sometimes you can't be good and you have to be lucky. I think Tyler (Haydt) and I where about event near the end and he just happened to be out ahead of me."
14-year old Austin Kochenash of Danielsville picked up his division leading fourth Late Model win of the season in a drive that had plenty of heart and determination.
Earlier in the week his grandfather, 1972 Mahoning Modified champion Roger Heffelfinger, Sr., suffered a heart attack and had to have emergency open heart surgery. He is now on the mend at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown.
Prior to the races Kochenash vowed to his 'Pap' that he would bring home a win. Happy Father's Day Pap.
"This win was for Pap. I told him that I was going to come out tonight and get one for him. Paul "Koehler" is one of the best drivers in a Late Model here at Mahoning and when you can beat him you beat one of the best. I raced him clean and he made me earn this," said Kochenash.
Steve Hoffman of Lehighton has been among the fast pack all season and in the make-up Street Stock feature from May 29 he proved that and more by scoring his first win of the year in a solid performance.
In the regular scheduled main pole sitter Josh Mooney of Lehighton stayed out front the entire distance and grabbed his first win of the season.
After all was said and done it was a familiar name in Victory Lane as Lehighton's Kevin Graver, Jr., notched his third victory of the season.
In the Dirt Mods Randy Thomas of Palmerton picked up his second straight and fourth overall win of the season.
Bob Wagner of Rockaway, NJ remains undefeated in Micro Stock action this season.
Modified Feature Finish
1.Tyler Haydt 2.John Bennett 3.Chip Santee 4.Brian DeFebo 5.Lou Strohl 6.Rob Schultz 7.Stacey Brown 8.Jarred Nace 9.Keith Mullineaux 10.Don Wagner 11.John Udes 12.Matt Higgins 13.Andy Szapacs 14.Rick Reichenbach 15.Terry Markovic 16.Lonnie Behler 17.Tommy Flanagan 18.Matt Wentz 19.Joe Mooney 20.Brian Romig
Late Model Feature Finish
1.Austin Kochenash 2.Shawn Sitarchyk 3.Geno Steigerwalt 4.Barry Christman, Sr. 5.Paul Koehler 6.Cole Lenhart 7.Kristina Kalch
SS Feature Finish (25 Laps)
1.Steve Hoffman 2.Eric Danyluk 3.Steven Steigerwalt 4.Joe Mooney 5.Kristy Morone Arthofer 6.Adam Santee 7.Jason Frey 8.Randy Ahner, Jr. 9.TJ Gursky 10.Todd Ahner 11.Gene Bowers 12.Devin Gibson 13.Brian Labar 14.Chris May 15.Jillian Long 16.Austin Santee 17.Jon Moser 18.Joe Mooney 19.Jamie Smith 20.Justin Miller 21.Paul Effrig 22.Bernie Uphold 23.Dale Santee 24.Dale Santee DNS: Josh Mooney, Chip Wanamaker, Ethan Rutherford
Regular SS Feature Finish
1.Josh Mooney 2.Steigerwalt 3.Adam Santee 4.Randy Ahner, Jr. 5.Todd Ahner 6.Gursky 7.Gibson 8.Moser 9.Justin Mooney 10.Bowers 11.Labar 12.Morone Arthofer 13.May 14.Austin Santee 15.Smith 16.Miller 17.Effrig 18.Long 19.Santee 20.Frey 21.Hoffman 22.Uphold 23.Ron Babula DNQ: Danyluk, Rutherford
Dirt Modified Feature Finish
1.Randy Thomas 2.Jeff Parker 3.Dave Thomas 4.Joe Stangle 5.Bill Sitler
Pro4 Late Model
Make-up Feature (20 Laps)
1.Kevin Graver, Jr. 2.Barry Christman, Jr. 3.Kris Graver 4.Kevin Stein 5.Jeremy Miller 6.Jake Kibler 7.Dennis Silfies 8.Mike Stofflet
Micro Stock Feature Finish
1.Bob Wagner 2.John Rakos 3.Brian Correll 4.Calvin Carroll 5.Joe Carroll 6.Roger Snyder 7.Pete Bayles 8.Wayne Kern 9.Suzie Carroll 10.DJ Wagner