Bobby Jones wins for second time in hot Mahoning Modified action; Geno Steigerwalt scores first Late Model win in nine years

When Brian DeFebo jumped into the lead at the start of the 35-lap Modified main it could have been assumed that it would turn into a race for second as the multi-time winner and champion has infrequently gives up the top spot.

However, Bobby Jones wasn’t playing into that as the reigning track titlist made an inside pass after a restart with 10 laps remaining and went on to score his second win in five starts this season.

For Jones it was emotional after exiting his car in Victory Lane. He lost two close friends the past week and raced with one intent of settling for nothing less than a win.

“I was set on one thing tonight and that was winning, I wasn’t going to settle for anything less. I lost two good friends this past week so this was for both of them and it was a really rough week. Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday so this is for all of them,” said Jones.

From a fan perspective it was a great race to be witnessing as DeFebo was in the company of Josh Scherer, Don Wagner, Jones and Earl Paules who packed raced throughout most of the contest. There were times when DeFebo looked solid enough to go the distance but as the laps wore on side-by-side running Wagner and Jones stepped up and began applying intense pressure to him.

With 10 laps to go there was a pause in the action when several cars got together in Turn 3. On the ensuing restart Jones was lined up alongside DeFebo and able to cut underneath him and by the time the lap was completed.

DeFebo worked hard the rest of the way to reclaim the helm but Jones was would have do doing as he took his Franzosa Trucking No. 1J to his second win of 2020 and 38th with a Modified. Wagner, Scherer and Paules rounded out the top five.

“I had a really good car on the bottom but honestly I thought I was just as good on the top. We made some decisions on set-up and clearly it was the right choice,” said Jones.

“It was hard and clean racing and for a while we were all running side-by-side but you get that here at Mahoning. You see a lot of respect from all of us and you saw that tonight the way we ran so close together. Some things opened up for me and I was there and able to capitalize on them.”

The Late Model race was a wild affair that saw Geno Steigerwalt end a nine year dry-spell in the process. Steigerwalt passed Rich Cooper with one lap to go and then held off Brian Romig Jr., for his first win since July 2011.

Leading up to the finish was some intense high-drama moments. Avery Arthofer was out-front holding steady over Rich Cooper, Steigerwalt and Mike Sweeney. Then with four laps to go Sweeney came from the outside and shot into the lead as lap 22 was going into the books.

However, Arthofer was still closely inside of Sweeney and when the pair entered Turn 2 there was contact that all of a sudden sent both cars veering into the wall. Sweeney had to be towed off while Arthofer drove back to the pits under her own power.

On the restart Cooper was now the leader over Steigerwalt and Romig. As that trio took the white flag Steigerwalt dipped underneath Cooper and picked up the lead, holding there to the long overdue checkers. Romig then nipped Cooper at the line to register and career best second at Mahoning.

Veteran Bobby Kibler Sr., raced in the lead for the entire distance of the Street Stock feature but it was pressure packed the whole ride as point leader Jon Moser and TJ Gursky hovered around him virtually lap after lap.

Racing for just the third time with the car, Kibler used a good line of defense to make certain is challengers would remain at bay. Even though late into the race his car was pushing he still held his lane to secure a close win over Moser and Gursky, his first with the class since 2005.

In the Hobby Stocks it was Travis Solomon finally getting to enjoy victory. After twice having wins called back due to no pass zone advances, Solomon was in the right this time.

The race was also decided by inches as Al Arthofer was able to pull even with Solomon on the final lap and as they reached the finish line it was by a whisker that the outcome was decided.

The trend of different victors in the Rookie Hobby Stocks continued as Jaden Brown became the seventh feature winner in as many events.

Brown used lapped traffic to trap point leader Paul French Jr., in taking the lead halfway through the race and then held on for his career first stock car victory.

Tyler Wagner picked up the victory in with the touring East Coast TQ Midgets. Wagner passed Stephen Nederostek on lap seven and then held off Jasper Ziegafose en route to the checkers.

Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Bobby Jones, 2. Brian DeFebo, 3. Don Wagner, 4. Josh Scherer, 5. Earl Paules, 6. Nick Bear, 7. Lou Strohl, 8. Sean Verwys, 9. John Markovic, 10. Jacob Kerstetter, 11. Codey Boehm, 12. Peyton Arthofer, 13. BJ Wambold, 14. Rod Snyder Jr., 15. Heath Metzger, 16. Kyle Strohl, 17. Frankie Althouse, 18. Jesse Strohl, 19. Terry Markovic, 20. Louie Horvath DNQ: Wes Gilbert, Kristy Arthofer

Late Model Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Geno Steigerwalt, 2. Brian Romig, 3. Rich Cooper, 4. James Yons, 5. Mike Stein, 6. Brooks Smith, 7. Shawn Hoffman, 8. Mike Sweeney, 9. Avery Arthofer, 10. Seth VanFossen

Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Bob Kibler, 2. Jon Moser, 3. TJ Gursky, 4. Mark Deysher, 5. John Bennett, 6. Randy Ahner JR., 7. Mark Martini, 8. Todd Ahner, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Randy Schlenker, 11. Eric Kocher, 12. Matt VanSyckle, 13. Brandon Christman, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Jamie Smith, 16. Rich Moser, 17. Kadie Purcell, 18. Jill Long, 19. Bobby Kibler Jr., 20. Thomas Flanagan DNQ: Kevin Kromer, Kevin Weierbach, Jeremy Scheckler, Dennis Buss

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Travis Solomon, 2. Al Arthofer, 3. Jacob Boehm, 4. Jacob Oswald, 5. Taylor Schmidt, 6. Cody Boehm, 7. Tisha Connolly, 8. Hunter Isabella, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Jesse Bollinger, 11. Mallory Kutz, 12. Kevin Behler, 13. Justin Merkel, 14. Devin Schmidt, 15. Kyle Tout, 16. James Tout, 17. Corey Edelman, 18. Rich Mutarelli, 19. Nick Schaffer, 20. Tad Snyder DNQ: Ricky Weaver, Chase Hoffman, Ralph Borger Jr., John Petro, Tucker Muffley, Cody Geist

Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Paul French Jr., 3. Makayla Kohler, 4. Mia Guy, 5. Elia Tito, 6. Zoe Kuchera, 7. Ryan Kresge, 8. Maggie Yeakel, 9. Lexis Kutz, 10. Corey Gulich DNS: Kevin Mee, Hallie Muffley

East Coast TQ Midgets Feature Finish (20-laps) 1.Tyler Wagner, 2. Jasper Ziegafuse, 3. Stephen Nederostek, 4. Don Zirinski, 5. Matt Smith, 6. Tom Arntz, 7.Jason Hentrich, 8. Ozzie Carlino DNS Chris Hirt