Mike Sweeney is best in Late Models, Josh Mooney tops Street Stock field during Mahoning Valley Speedway Octoberfast

Date: 10/18/2015 10:20:25 AM


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Mike Sweeney is best in Late Models, Josh Mooney tops Street Stock field during Mahoning Valley Speedway Octoberfast


(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 10-17-15) Mike Sweeney of Nesquehoning and Lehighton’s Josh Mooney took top honors during Mahoning Valley Speedway’s Octoberfast 2015 Late Model and Street Stock features respectively.

Both events ran off in smooth quick fashion while providing an excellent amount of close-knit competition among those vying for the win.

In the 60 lap Late Model feature the race got off to a rough start when Jacob Kerstetter checked up in turn four and collected Troy Bollinger and Tony Hilliard. Hilliard was the only car unable to continue.

The restart went much better and at the end of the first lap Sweeney, who picked the pole position, had the lead over 2015 division champion Paul Koehler Jr.

That would be the storyline the rest of the race as the same two who battled for most of the wins during the regular season would set sail the remainder of the way in a nonstop nose-to-tail bout.

Sweeney, who came up second to Koehler in the championship hunt, was slicing his way through traffic while Koehler stuck close to his rear bumper.

The pace was blistering as the two titans continually picked off cars in what was more of their own personal showdown in this final race. They had, after all won 16 of 20 features between them and it was regularly 1-2 at the finishes.

Travis Fisher was the only other driver who was able to keep in check with the leaders. There were a few times he would be no more than a car length behind when they came up on lapped traffic. But once that was all cleared Sweeney and Koehler kept their battle to themselves. Fisher did, however, turn the fastest lap of the race at one point.

When the checkers waved the difference was a mere one-half second. For Sweeney it was his 10th win of the year and third consecutive victory, the second time he pulled off that feat this season.

“It was definitely a help to start on the pole and the car was really good. We were just riding out there and the way this race went nonstop I really didn’t know where all those other guys where and I just tried to play it safe with all the lapped cars. Win number 10, that’s awesome,” said Sweeney.

“I have to thank all my guys for all the hard work they put in this year. When you had a year like we had you don’t want to see the season end but watch out for next year. We’re going to regroup, we’re going to rebuild.”

Fisher was third, the only other car on the lead lap. Don Wagner and Geno Steigerwalt, both one lap down, rounded out the top five. Fisher and Wagner copped heat wins.

The Street Stock main was contested over a 75 lap distance and although the record book will show that Mooney led all laps, it was by no means an easy run.

After taking the lead once the race commenced, Mooney was being hounded TJ Gursky. Gursky tried to make several pass attempts but Mooney would remain solid each time.

Lorin Arthofer II was making his presence felt as well when he put his No. 77 into third by lap 10 and was giving Gursky fits in battling for second spot. By lap 25 he had secured the position and was setting his sights on Mooney.

At the same time Jared Ahner was showing his speed and over the second half of the race it become a hotly contested matchup among the lead trio.

Mooney was safeguarding a defensive line in holding back Arthofer and Ahner who ran two-wide. There was several times that both of those opponents would pull to either side of Mooney but each time the leader stood his ground.

Coming into the final laps there was no room to error as the three cars run under a very tight blanket. When the white flag waved it was all or nothing.

Mooney, just barley in front, was hammering down as Arthofer squeezed to his inside. Ahner took his fight to the high line and as the headed to the checkers it was Mooney claiming the thrilling victory by a whisker over Arthofer and Ahner.

“I really had to make sure I hit my marks on the restarts because the first few laps back green the car would begin to slide but after that I just coasted in the corners and drive off. The car was perfect and I can’t thank my dad (Steve Mooney) enough, he had it on the money today,” said Mooney, who became the 19th different winner this season with the Street Stocks.

“I really didn’t know anyone was behind me until I got by one of the lapped cars and then Lorin (Arthofer) gave me a little bump to let me know he was there and I knew I had to protect the bottom.”

Gursky and Jillian Long completed the top five. Randy Ahner Jr., Aaron Kromer and Gursky won heats Corey Edelman annexing the consi.


Late Model Feature Finish (60 Laps):  1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Paul Koehler, 3. Travis Fisher, 4. Don Wagner, 5. Geno Steigerwalt, 6. Lorin Arthofer II, 7. Jacob Kerstetter, 8. Jeremy Miller, 9. Barry Kutz, 10. Troy Bollinger, 11. Greg Steigerwalt, 12. Tony Hilliard


Street Stock Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Josh Mooney, 2. Lorin Arthofer II, 3. Jared Ahner, 4. TJ Gursky, 5. Jillian Long, 6. Joe Mooney, 7. Corey Edelman, 8. Jason Frey, 9. Randy Ahner Jr., 10. Mark Martini, 11. Bobby Kibler Sr., 12. Todd Ahner, 13. Gene Bowers, 14. Jason Kuhn, 15. Brian Labar, 16. Stacey Brown, 17. Jonathan Tracey, 18. George Ramos, 19. Jamie Smith, 20. Logan Boyer, 21. Joe Stangle 22. Aaron Kromer DNQ: Jeremy Scheckler, Zach Graver




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