Austin Kochenash Dominates to Evergreen Raceway Park Checkered Flag

Date: 4/27/2014 11:40:59 PM

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Evergreen Raceway Park media contact:

Gene Ostrowski  (570) 231-1272      

Manager:  Harry Buchman (570) 401-3021


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Sunday, May 4- Cargill Driver Appreciation Day

Sport Modifieds, Late Models, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Four Cylinders and INEX Legends


Sunday, May 11- Mother's Day

Modifieds (Twin 20s), Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, Four Cylinders, Dirt Modifieds and INEX Legends


Austin Kochenash Dominates to Evergreen Raceway Park Checkered Flag

By: Gene Ostrowski

April 27, 2014


St. Johns, PA- The much-anticipated Inaugural season opener at Evergreen Raceway Park is finally in the books. The day began with a ribbon cutting to make the 2014 racing season official and it was a day in which one of Evergreen’s own, Jerry Kick, was honored after his recent passing.

Despite being heavily pursued by Brian DeFebo in the middle portion of the 35-lap Modified main event Sunday at Evergreen Raceway Park, Austin Kochenash of Danielsville, PA distanced himself in the latter stages and cruised to the inaugural feature at the famed 1/3-mile asphalt oval. Travis Fisher of Freeland, PA is no newcomer to victory lane in the Late Model division and claimed his first feature under the Evergreen banner by holding off Kyle Harvell for the checkered. Chip Wanamaker of Walnutport, PA edged his teammate for top honors in the Street Stock division and Tom Cassagrande of Drums, PA also bested his teammate to claim his first Pure Stock feature in years. Ricky Yetter of Easton, PA grabbed the race lead in the Dirt Modified main on lap two and then drove off to his first ever victory at the track. Following a side-by-side duel, Todd McCollum of Somerset, NJ bested Brandon DeBrakleer for the INEX Legends victory and after door and body slamming with Harry O’Neill off of turn four to the checkered flag, John Banashefski of Wilkes-Barre went to victory lane in Four Cylinder action.


Prior to the start of the 35-lap Modified main event and in memory of a man that was loved by many, members of the Jerry Klick’s family gave the emotional command for drivers to start their engines and then Dawn Klick threw the green flag for the start of the contest.


Austin Kochenash began the show from the pole position and led the opening lap over Bobby Jones, Todd Baer, Jim Bojohnny and Brian DeFebo. It took two laps for DeFebo to move into the fourth spot.


With Kochenash still showing the way and with four laps complete, Baer moved by Jones for second and DeFebo followed suit. Then, after a pair of lap seven restarts for quick on track incidents, DeFebo shot by Baer for second. He then pressured Kochenash, which didn’t seem to break his concentration.


Kochenash continued to lead at halfway with DeFebo trailing. Baer ran in third, followed by Geary Rinehimer, Jr. and Chad Churilla.


As the laps wound down, Kochenash extended his lead over DeFebo and it heated up for third. In the closing laps, Churilla moved to fourth and then battled with Baer for third. The two swapped the spot on several occasions before Churilla took the position for good.


Kochenash took the checkers over DeFebo for his first win under the Evergreen name and DeFebo settled for second. Churilla, Baer and Scott Adams completed the top five.


Randall Richard and Austin Kochenash were heat race winners.


Travis Fisher started from the pole position and led the opening circuit of the 30-lap Late Model feature over Kyle Harvell, Steve Shultz and Mark Tyson.


Although Harvell was running lap times equivalent to the leader, track position was key and following three restarts for quick yellow flags, Harvell settled for the runner up spot behind Fisher, who was also the heat race winner.


Teammates Justin Mooney and Chip Wanamaker shared the front row for the start of the 30-lap Street Stock feature and from the pole, Mooney led the opening lap over Wanamaker, Bernie Uphold, Robert Fink and Matt Wentz.


Wanamaker never tucked in line and raced his teammate hard in the early going. The pair ran side by side for a number of laps before Wanamaker led by a bumper, and then two.


At this point in the event Randy Schlenker had cracked the top five and joined in the mix for third with his teammate, Uphold. The battle was fierce and solely, Schlenker moved into the spot.


Without a lack of effort by Mooney, Wanamaker held his line to claim yet another opening day feature win. Mooney crossed the strip in second, followed by Schlenker, Matt Wentz and Rich Emel.


Randy Schlenker and Chip Wanamaker were heat race winners.


Tom Casagrande led the Pure Stock field to the drop of the green flag in the 20-lap feature. He led the opening circuit over Matt Mattern, Jr, Scott Sipe and Frank Katona.


Casagrande began to pull away from the field in the caution-free event, but the battle to watch on track was for third. Katona grabbed the spot in the early going and Sipe retook the spot just after halfway.


Casagrande was flawless throughout and ran away with the checkers over Mattern, Sipe and Katona. Casagrande was also the heat race victory. The feature win was his first since 1997.


Chuck Potts won the Dirt Modified heat race and then started the 25-lap feature from the pole position. He led the first lap over Ricky Yetter, Mark Levy, Jack Ely and Aleia Geisler.


Yetter wasted no time and powered by Potts on the second circuit. Meanwhile, things heated up from second on back. With Yetter showing the way, Potts and Ely tangled on lap 12. The incident in turns three and four not only slowed the event, but it also gave second place Levy a shot at the race leader.


Yetter was flawless following the restart and went on to claim the checkers over Levy, Geisler, Potts and Mike Garris, Sr.


Nick Baer started from the pole and led the opening circuit of the 20-lap Four Cylinder feature over Luke Colleran, Eric Banashefski, Harry O’Neill and Frank Hughes, Jr.


With Baer showing the way and with three laps complete, John Banashefski, who had just cracked the top five, overtook O’Neill who was running in third.


With five laps complete, J. Banashefski worked on Colleran for the second spot and O’Neill followed through for third. As the laps clicked off, the battle for second became more intense.


Baer tried to fend off J. Banashefski and O’Neill on lap 12, as one of his competitors went high and the other went low through turns one and two. The three wide battle ended with J. Banashefski as the leader, with O’Neill in second and with a flat tire for Baer. His crew replaced the tire during a lap 14 yellow.


J. Banashefki had his hand full with O’Neill following the restart and during the last lap and in the final turn and down the home straight, the pair swapped paint. With both drivers sideways to the line, J. Banashefski edged O’Neill for the win. E. Banashefski, Baer and Colleran completed the top five.


Heat race wins went to Harry O’Neill, Ray Fennell III and John Banashefski.


Vinny Troia led the INEX Legends field to the drop of the green in the 20-lap feature. He led the opening lap over Brandon DeBrakleer, Todd McCollum and Joe Graf.


McCollum overtook DeBrakleer and battled hard with Troia in the early going, but Troia’s mount slowed on lap three and he pulled to the infield. The change of events gave the race lead to McCollum.


As the green flag laps clicked off, DeBrakleer stayed with the leader and DeBrakleer jumped to the outside to lead lap 15. McCollum retook the top spot to lead lap 19, but McCollum by a very small margin led the final lap. DeBrakleer was the runner up, followed by Tyler McArdel and Graf.


Vinny Troia was the heat race winner.


Evergreen Raceway Park is proud to announce that Cargill of Hazleton is hosting “Cargill Driver Appreciation Day” at the third mile oval on Sunday, May 4. As a terrific sponsor of Moyer Racing, many of the Cargill employees will be in the pit area will plenty of steaks and grills, in which they will grill to please for the folks in the pit area, including the drivers and crew members. It’s just their way to say thank you to all of the people that take part in the greatest sport in NEPA- short track auto racing!


Also, due to ongoing work at on the speedway grounds, the Enduro that was scheduled for Saturday, May 3 has been cancelled. In no way, shape or form does it mean that Enduro racing at Evergreen is axed. The speedway officials do need that day on the weekend freed up for ongoing construction and maintenance projects due to the weather not cooperating as much as they would have liked since taking over the grounds on March 1.


Evergreen Raceway Park is just minutes from Hazleton, Pa, located on St. John’s Road, between Routes 93 and 309. For more information, including upcoming shows, rules, payouts and news, please visit


Modified (30-laps) 1. AUSTIN KOCHENASH 2. Brian DeFebo 3. Chad Churilla 4. Todd Baer 5. Scott Adams 6. Geary Rinehimer, Jr. 7. Jim Bojohnny 8. Bobby Jones 9. Brian Sones 10. Donny Hartzell 11. Randy Richard


Late Model (30-laps) 1. TRAVIS FISHER 2. Kyle Harvell 3. Steve Shultz 4. Mark Tyson


Street Stock (30-laps) 1. CHIP WANAMAKER 2. Justin Mooney 3. Randy Schlenker 4. Matt Wentz 5. Rich Emel 6. Bernie Uphold 7. Robert Fink 8. Todd Ahner 9. Mike Garris, Sr. 10. Dennis Buss


Dirt Modified (25-laps) 1. RICKY YETTER 2. Mark Levy 3. Aleia Geisler 4. Chuck Potts 5. Mike Garris, Sr. 6. Jack Ely


Pure Stock (20-laps) 1. TOM CASAGRANDE 2. Matt Mattern, Jr. 3. Scott Sipe 4. Frank Katona


Four Cylinder (20-laps) 1. JOHN BANASHEFSKI 2. Harry O'neill 3. Ray Fennell III 4. Eric Banashefski 5. Nick Baer 6. Luke Colleran 7. Heather Fennell 8. Anthony Pugliese 9. Sam Danahar 10. Ray Fennell IV 11. Frank Hughes 12. Matt Westover 13. Chuck McDonald 14. Bob Azarowicz 15. Ron Heeter


INEX Legends (20-laps) 1. TODD MCCOLLUM 2. Brandon DaBrakleer 3. Tyler McArdel 4. Joe Graf 5. Vinny Troia

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