LEHIGHTON, Pa. — Most 16-year-olds dream about getting their driver’s license.
For Kyle Strohl, he’s now $5,000 richer after a windy and cold Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Strohl held off a late-challenge from Lou Strohl (no relation) on a green-white-checkered to claim the Ferris Mowers Race of Champions Octoberfast 150 and a big pay-day for the 16-year-old. The top-two didn’t make a single pit-stop in the 150-lap event to set up the final restart.
“I felt really good to come up with this win,” Kyle said. “I don’t know how I held them off. There’s so many great drivers here, there’s so many I can’t even name them all. Luck was just on my side tonight and I held them off.
“I got a little nervous because I didn’t know how good and how fast he was. I knew my car was slowly getting away and just tried my best not to overdrive the car and came home with the win.”
Strohl won two Modified features in 2016 and also holds the record for youngest track Modified winner at 14 years old set back in 2014. He had a half-track lead until the caution flew with two laps to go for a Jimmy Zacharias spin, setting up the final restart on the cusp for biggest win of his early career.
“I was getting a little anxious because I didn’t know who was behind me and how fast I’d get him,” Kyle said. I just tried to not overdrive the car and the car worked pretty good. The last few laps it started to tighten up on me and thankfully I could pull it off.”
Lou Strohl scored another runner-up finish after a crash-filled night at MVS two months ago. Strohl had one shot at the 16-year-old on the G-W-C, but wasn’t able to hang with the No. 44 car.
“I needed long green-flag runs and I just didn’t get them,” Lou said. “My car was tight until five, six, seven laps into the run. I tried him, I gave it one gallant effort and it wasn’t there. I had to get off the gas or we both would’ve crashed and I didn’t do all of this all night to crash on one lap to go. Happy to finish second to him, he’s a good kid and he runs clean and I’m very happy.”
Kyle inherited the lead from Austin Kochenash after he pitted his No. 72 Wentz Racing machine on lap 112. The race featured a 76-lap green-flag run from lap 46 until Race of Champions points leader Patrick Emerling got caught up in a wreck with fellow RoC competitor Chuck Hossfeld, trying to navigate through heavy lapped traffic.
The fireworks didn’t stop there as Kochenash mounted a charge towards the front and went three-wide in the middle for the third-place battle before the gap closed and caused a chain-reaction crash also involving 2016 Modified track champ Eric Beers. Both Kochenash and Beers were done for the night and also a tough night for DeLange Racing with both cars out of the event on lap 119.
While the winds picked up Saturday night, the cold temps didn’t stop the on-track action. 2013 Octoberfast winner Zane Zeiner made a furious charge to second but lost the spot getting trapped behind lapped cars while allowing Lou Strohl to snatch the runner-up spot back from the No. 76 machine.
“I drove up to second trying to pass Louie there and used it up some more and then by that I had nothing left,” Zeiner said. “All in all, it was a good day for a third. I got a lot of seconds, thirds and one win here but we’ll get back at it, do our homework here and see what we could do.”
“Car wasn’t right early on and kind of fell back. Austin had a fast pace going and started to run us down so I had to pick up the pace which I didn’t really want to go that fast. Used the car up a little bit too much. We came in and we pitted for a tire, made some adjustments and the car fired off pretty fast there.”
After rain early in the day pushed Saturday’s schedule back, all five divisions got to race in the Octoberfast 2016 events. Track champ Mike Sweeney rolled over the competition in the 60-lap Late Model feature while Justin Mooney took home the street-stock portion of the show. Devin Schmidt (Hobby Stock) and Seth Spayd (All-Star Slingshots) were also feature winners on the night.
The Race of Champions Asphalt Modified tour wraps the 2016 season next Saturday with the re-scheduled RoC 250 at the .625-mile Speedway in Upstate New York.
Audio with race-winner Kyle Strohl:
Audio with runner-up Lou Strohl:
Audio with third-place Zane Zeiner:
RESULTS: Ferris Mowers Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series; Octoberfast 150; Mahoning Valley Speedway; Oct. 22, 2016
- Kyle Strohl
- Lou Strohl
- Zane Zeiner
- Don Wagner
- Chuck Hossfeld
- Earl Paules
- Patrick Emerling
- Kris Graver
- Daren Scherer
- Mike Leaty
- Tyler Rypkema
- Blake Barney
- John Markovic
- Joey Jarowicz
- TJ Potrzebowski
- Jimmy Zacharias
- Todd Baer
- Bryan Sherwood
- Calvin Carroll
- Terry Markovic
- Brian DeFebo
- Jack Ely
- Eric Beers
- Austin Kochenash
- DJ Wagner
- Daryl Lewis Jr.
DNQ: Shawna Ingraham, Eric Mauriello, Tommy Rought and Chris Risdale
About the Writer
Kyle Magda is a Northeast Correspondent for Race Chaser Online and a returning guest of both Motorsports Madness and the Stock Car Steel/SRI Motorsports Show, airing at 7 p.m. ET on Monday and Thursday nights, respectively, on the Performance Motorsports Network. Magda broke into racing in mid-2001 as the sport’s tide was beginning to change towards the current modern-era formula, but still has an affinity for the history of NASCAR’s earlier days.
The 23-year-old is a graduate of Penn State University and can be found traveling to numerous tracks across the country, covering everything from NASCAR and the ARCA Racing Series to the UNOH All-Stars Circuit of Champions and the Super Cup Stock Car Series.
Email Kyle at: [email protected]
Follow on Twitter: @KyleMagda
Email Race Chaser Online: [email protected]
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