'King' Bennett gets milestone modified win
After taking most of the season off, the "King" John Bennett, has returned to his castle. Bennett, who reigns as the undisputed leader in wins and championships at Mahoning Valley Speedway, scored his first Modified victory of 2013 and in doing so reached a new milestone in track history. He became the first driver to break into the 60 win category. He was also first at 40 and 50 victories.
Bennett had moderately stepped away from racing this year to concentrate on life away from the sport. There were a few starts at the beginning of the season then a long break in between. But the past few features he began his comeback and started to show the famous savvy that earned him his moniker.
On this night he would roll off from the pole position and after the initial green he never looked back. Bennett was strong, steady and virtually unstoppable as he cruised out front the entire race. He never had a challenge throughout and when he reached the finish his gap was nearly 2.5 seconds over runner up Terry Markovic.
"I have to thank the crew a whole bunch. We had a clutch problem after our heat race and they all dove in and changed it and had it not been for them this night would not have been possible," said Bennett.
"I didn't know how good those guys where behind me. We just tried to keep a nice even pace. Starting position means a ton here. When you start in the back it gets tough because there are so many good cars and it's hard to get all the way to the front."
It was the 29th career Modified win for Bennett and this also marked the ninth straight year of winning at least one feature with the class.
Markovic was also having a great night. The seasoned veteran raced in second spot the whole race and notched his best finish since coming off a 10-year hiatus in 2009. He may not have been able to hang close with Bennett but he was potent enough to race in second with ease.
Matt Wentz, John Markovic and Earl Paules rounded the top five.
Frankie Althouse took his fourth Late Model win and in doing so foiled Paules' plans for a record setting fourth consecutive win.
The Street Stock feature saw a record setting 15th different winner in a single season as Eric Kocher paced the pack for all 30 laps and won his career first with the class.
Jason Kuhn ran with Kocher and gave him loads of pressure but in the end had to settle for runner-up.
Jeff Parker went head-to-head with Ricky Yetter for several laps in an exciting lead swapping duel before securing the top spot for good on lap 21 after Yetter's right rear tire burst.
Afterwards Parker held off JP Curry for the win that also enabled him to pad his point lead.
Kyle Strohl may have been first across the finish in the Pro 4 main but it would be Nick Baer who would later enjoy the spoils of victory.
In a post-race inspection Strohl was found to be with a non-conforming part in his engine and was disqualified. That not only elevated Baer to the win but the point's lead as well. Jake Kibler took second.
In the Hobby Stocks it was point leader Corey Edelman rebounding back after a hard crash from a week ago and notching his seventh win of the season. Edelman took the lead on lap seven and then cruised to victory over a much improved Chad Miller.
In a very exciting and fast paced feature for the Micro Stocks, Roger Snyder scored a personal victory when he won the first annual Doug Hoffman Memorial for the touring series.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. John Bennett, 2. Terry Markovic, 3. Matt Wentz, 4. John Markovic, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Eric Beers, 7. Roger Coss, 8. Nevin George, 9. Kris Graver, 10. Chip Santee, 11. DJ Wagner, 12. Rob Shultz, 13. Lou Strohl, 14. Don Wagner, 15. Bryan Muth, 16, Joe Stamm, 17. Eric Kocher DNS: Kevin Rex Jr.
Late Model (25 Laps): 1. Frankie Althouse, 2. Kevin Graver Jr., 3. Earl Paules, 4. Jim Wismer Jr., 5. Mike Sweeney, 6. George Ramos, 7. Paul Effrig, 8, Jennifer Kutz, 9. Jacob Nemeth, 10. Jason Zatsko, 11. Kenny Hein, 12. Josh Oswald 13. Danielle Paules
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Jason Kuhn, 3. Stacey Brown, 4. Randy Ahner Jr., 5. TJ Gursky, 6. Jamie Smith, 7. Kristy Arthofer, 8. Jason Frey, 9. Jillian Long, 10. Jason Beers, 11. Lonnie Behler, 12. Chip Wanamaker, 13. Kyle Strohl, 14. Gene Bowers, 15. Zach Graver, 16. Aaron Kromer, 17. Josh Mooney, 18. Justin Mooney, 19. Todd Ahner, 20. Willie Knappenberger DNQ: Tiffany Wambold, Jonathan Tracey, Guy Ackerman, Lucas Santee, BJ Wambold, Mike Garris Sr., Steven Steigerwalt
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jeff Parker, 2. JP Curry, 3. Ray Deemer, 4. Dave Gorbatuk, 5.Mike Stofflet, 6. Aleia Geisler, 7. Dave Thomas, 8. Ricky Yetter, 9. Jack Ely, 10. Joe Stangle DNS: Frank Parastino
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Nick Baer, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Bobby Kibler Jr., 4. Robert Miller, 5. Doug Knauss, 6. Bill Rooney, 7. Danielle Paules, 8. Cody Kohler, 9. Tyler Stangle, 10. Joe Stangle DNS: Tanner Laybourn DQ: Kyle Strohl
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Chad Miller, 3. Jeff Biegley, 4. Gunner Yost, 5. Elyse Bollinger, 6. Cody Geist
Micro Stock Feature Finish, (20 Laps): 1. Roger Snyder, 2. Alex Greenzweig, 3. Robert McGuire, 4. Bob Wagner, 5. Walt Mueller, 6. Tyler Wagner, 7. Wayne Krenn, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Bill Darling, 10. Joe Stangle, 11. John Rakos, 12. Kenny Dengler, 13. Tony Fiorello, 14. Joe Pritchard, 15. Ed Scanion, 16. Larry Ealey, 17. James Counterman Jr.