Jones gets back into victory lane
As a successful and seasoned veteran of Mahoning Valley Speedway, Bobby Jones knows a thing or two about winning races at the 14-mile. His accomplishments include 10 Pro4 Late Model wins and the 1994 division crown and 11 Modified triumphs.
This past Saturday night the personable Jones furthered his endeavors with a rousing victory in one of the infamous 100-lap Modified races.
Jones, who started ninth in the 21-car field, did something that is tough to do in these Mahoning century runs, he passed Eric Beers for the lead and in doing so went on to notch his biggest career win in the Hand One 7 Card Stud 100. The Walnutport ace collected $3000 for his effort.
"I can't believe this. This year just started out bad, I thought it was anyway and I was close to maybe thinking about taking a break and instead here we are winning again. We won last week (Sundance) and again tonight. This is good," said Jones.
"I haven't won and been in Victory Circle for a while and tonight we earned it because I'm tired."
It was the first time Jones had won at Mahoning since July 9, 2005.
Tommy Flanagan led the opening circuit and on the next go-around it was Lonnie Behler showing the way. Third starting Beers drove to the outside lane and took the lead with five laps in.
The first 23 circuits were clicked off in a fast pace as Beers was pulling away from the pack. Moments before he was attempting to go past the first of the back-markers, the first of six cautions waved.
On the restart Behler faded back and Flanagan assumed second. Flanagan then kept within reach of Beers, never allowing pulling away as he did in the opening green flag stretch.
Jones emerged into the front five at the same time and ten laps later was fourth behind John Markovic.
As Beers remained in command over Flanagan, Jones jumped to third a lap shy of the midway point which also saw a caution period.
On the restart he lined up behind Beers and followed his tire path to second and then went side-by-side.
What would turn out to be the final caution on lap 56, Jones simply outgunned Beers for the lead at the restart. The rest of the way all Beers could do was watch as he never mounted a challenge.
"I thought he (Beers) was just riding it and then on that restart (lap 56) I told myself I had to go for it. I knew the car was really good on the outside. That first 100-lapper (April 17), we were a lapped car and I vowed to come back tonight and redeem myself but this is beyond what I expected," said Jones.
No more being a bride's maid for Shawn Sitarchyk. After four runner-up finishes in the previous seven starts, Sitarchyk finally aced his first Late Model win.
Lehighton's Sitarchyk earned every bit of the victory too as he had to pass tops in class Paul Koehler Jr., en route to the checkered flag.
In the Street Stock main Jon Moser of Lehighton came out the winner for the first time this season.
Palmerton's Randy Thomas parlayed his pole starting spot into his third Dirt Modified win of the season and did so by leading every lap.
Barry Christman Jr. of Northampton defeated point leader Kris Graver for his second Pro4 Late Model win of the season.
The 4c Super Mods competed for the second time this season and for the second time it was Wes Gilbert of Medford, NY taking the win.
Modified Feature Finish, 100 Laps: 1.Bobby Jones 2.Eric Beers 3.John Markovic 4.Tom Flanagan 5.Brian DeFebo 6.Chip Santee 7.Rick Kirkendall 8.Don Wagner 9.Earl Paules 10.Rob Shultz 11.Matt Hirschman 12.Lou Strohl 13.Rick Reichenbach 14.Jarred Nace 15.Lonnie Behler 16.John Bennett 17.Zane Zeiner 18.Tyaler Haydt 19.Andy Szapacs 20.Scott Adams 21.Matt Wentz Did not start: Matt Higgins, Terry Markovic
Late Model Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Shawn Sitarchyk 2.Paul Koehler, Jr. 3.Jason Zatsko 4.Barry Christman, Sr. 5.Troy Bollinger
Street Stock Feature Finish, 25 Laps: 1.Jon Moser 2.Chris May 3.Devon Gibson 4.Dale Santee 5.TJ Gursky 6.Randy Ahner, Jr. 7.Kristy Morone Arthofer 8.Steve Hoffman 9.Adam Santee 10.Jason Frey 11.Greg Long 12.Bernie Uphold 13.Todd Ahner 14.Austin Santee 15.Jamie Smith 16.Gene Bowers 17.Matt May 18.Chip Wanamaker 19.Steve Steigerwalt 20.Josh Mooney 21.Jim Yamelski 22.Justin Miller Did not start: Joe Mooney, Ethan Rutherford
Dirt Modified Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Randy Thomas 2.Jeff Parker 3.Dave Thomas 4.Tom Cramer 5.Joe Stangle Don Hildebrandt Did not start: Bill Sitler
Pro4 Late Model Make-up Feature 20 Laps: 1.Barry Christman, Jr. 2.Kris Graver 3.Kevin Graver, Jr. 4.Jeremy Miller 5.Mike Stofflet 6.Jake Kibler 7.Chris Kuronya 8.Kevin Stein Did not start: Dave Chapman
4C Super Modified Feature Finish, 15 Laps: 1.Wes Gilbert 2.Mike Renn 3.Ron Merlino 4.Anthony Merlino 5.Rob Renn 6.Mike Crispo