2012 TrackChaser Report #74--Mahoning Valley, PA
After leaving Middle Road Speedway last Saturday afternoon, I headed towards home with the intention of stopping at the Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton. The races were scheduled to start at 6:00, and when I arrived at around 7:20, the heats for the five divisions were already over and they were into intermission.
I have been to Mahoning just about every year since the track reopened in 1987. For the last decade, the crowds have been quite noticeably smaller than they were when it first reopened. I had heard good things about the fan count this year. Apparently first year promoter Floyd Santee is doing a great job, as the crowd was easily the best that I have seen during my annual visit in at least ten years. Admission was $20 because there was an increased distance and purse event for the headliner Modifieds.
After a long wait for the racing to resume (in other words, too long of an intermission), there were three consies, one for the Street Stocks, and two for the Modifieds. They had a very solid field of 30 Modifieds, but why in the world 30 cars would mean they need two consies is beyond me.
I was not feeing well so I did not eat any food while at the track. Right after the consies, they ran the support features with the Dirt Modifieds, Four Cylinders, Late Models, and Street Stocks preceding the Modifieds. Car counts were good in the Street Stocks with a full field on hand, but the other three support class numbers were weak with only between eight and 13 in those classes. The Modified feature was last, but they were still racing the headliners by 9:30. I have a lot easier time with always keeping the top class feature until last when the show runs from 6:00 - 10:00 than when the show runs from 7:00 - 11:00, or even worse 8:00 - Midnight.
The Modified feature was a good one, with Don Wagner starting third and taking the lead just before the halfway point and holding off first Tom Flanagan and eventually John Bennett for the win.
Mahoning continues to offer the best weekly show going for the Flapjackers. You look at the small and saucer shaped bowl of a speedway and think it's not going to be able to support good racing, but when they throw the green flag the track offers two very raceable grooves week after week, even for the gummy-tired Pancake Mods. As usual, I was satisfied with my annual visit to Mahoning.
On Sunday with Pam still in Ohio, I was the guest of Mike Knappenberger and the corporate largesse of Penn Stainless at the Philadelphia Eagles game against the Baltimore Ravens. We started with an opulent tailgate experience in Roosevelt Park, had fantastic row two seats, and the Eagles came from behind in the last few minutes to defeat the Ravens by a single point. Thanks to Mike for inviting me to join him at the game.
The weekend ended with a perfect mix of two races and two football games. This coming weekend, I plan to keep the mix equal, but this time with only one football game and one race.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 New Tracks--Guy 50 / Pam 43
2012 Events--Guy 70 / Pam 43
2012 Total Tracks--Guy 74 / Pam 46
2012 Additional Non Classified Tracks--Guy 6 / NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,468 / Pam 830
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