View Full Version : Rick Reichenbach Makes Overdue Return to Mahoning Winners Circle

05-30-2010, 08:31 AM
(LEHIGHTON, PA 5-29-10) Score one for one of short track racings good guys. Rick Reichenbach of Emmaus, the consummate low-buck racer and long time supporter of Mahoning Valley Speedway, burst through for his first Modified win since August 10, 2002. The race was the make-up event from May 8.

Reichenbach started sixth and was hounding the topside of leader Lonnie Behler from lap 17. Behler, a master of Mahoning with 40 career wins and looking strong to finally score a Modified victory, had to give into Reichenbach’s relentlessness as he soared into the lead with six laps to go and then held off Brian DeFebo and Don Wagner en route to the popular win.

“It was a good win and I was very determined to get this one. The car was a little loose but then it got neutral for me and then equaled out for me in the end. Lonnie (Behler) was tough and raced me real clean. He’s a great guy to race against as is all these guys,” said 44-year old Reichenbach who was welcomed in Victory Lane by a large group of well-wishers as well as a thunderous applause from the crowd for a job well done.

Pole sitter Andy Szapacs made an early run at the lead and was bordered by a slew of on comers including Behler who was giving him fits.

Utilizing the outside line, Behler sped past Szapacs on lap nine and once in front he looked impressive. Second place was being waged between Szapacs, DeFebo, Reichenbach and point leader John Bennett.

On lap 24 Bennett was making a pass on Szapacs and as they headed into turn one they touched and went spinning.

On the restart Behler was again being chased by Reichenbach. With the outside line to his liking, Reichenbach was able to power into the lead with the completion of lap 28. On the same tour Behler bobbled and opened the lane for DeFebo and Wagner to sneak by.
Despite a few late race cautions and the pursuit of DeFebo and Wagner, Reichenbach drove onto victory.

“Those last couple laps, I was double checking all the gauges and hoping nothing goes wrong. This feels great,” said Reichenbach who is now third in points behind Bennett and Wagner.

Behler and Bobby Jones completed the top five.

“Rick (Reichenbach) is always so smooth here and I just couldn’t stay with him on that last lap. The car was just a bit tight and we were trying some different things with the setup,” said DeFebo who raced to his second straight runner-up. “We’ll get a win yet. (Crew chief) Gary Slusser came out to help us out and that showed tonight.”

Reichenbach kept things rolling during the regularly scheduled portion of the program as he picked up a heat win. Jones and Wagner also notched heats, however, the main was postponed as late evening showers wiped out the Modified and Street Stock features. Both will be run at a soon to be date.

In the Late Model feature point leader Paul Koehler, Jr., of Northampton cruised the entire 20-lap distance at the front of the pack and handily went on to his class leading third win in six starts this season.

It was his 32nd class win and is only two away from tying Todd Stehle on the all-time winners list. Koehler also added a heat race verdict to make it a sweep of the night.

Shawn Sitarchyk was in the runner-up spot for a third time. The best racing was taking place for third with Jason Zatsko eking out over Pat Hargan and Austin Kochenash.

The Dirt Modified feature was plenty exciting as winner Jeff Parker of Havertown had to fight his way back to the lead which he lost to Bill Briggs.

Parker led from the start but on lap two Briggs whizzed underneath him off turn four and took control. He was very strong too, putting himself in a comfortable distance from Parker and the rest of the pack.

By mid race Briggs had come upon slower traffic and was blocked from trying to get by. Parker was able to reel him in from that circumstance and retook the lead with eight laps to go.

Despite a close call when Parker made contact with his brother John Parker while trying to lap him, he regrouped and went on to win number three. Briggs had a season best second with point leader Dave Thomas third.

Lehighton’s Kris Graver continues to have a championship like season as the 15-year old drove to a fourth win in just six 2010 starts. In the other two features he was second and third.

Graver began the feature in sixth and caught early leader Jake Kibler by lap five. Once in front he was smooth and steady. Kibler had a dogfight with Dave Chapman in getting his best effort to date.

The touring 4C Super Modifieds made their first of five visits to Mahoning and with two laps to go Wes Gilbert of Preston, MD passed Mike Renn for the win.

Make-up Modified Feature Finish, (5/8) 35 Laps: 1.Rick Reichenbach 2.Brian DeFebo 3.Don Wagner 4.Lonnie Behler 5.Bobby Jones 6.Lou Strohl 7.Chip Santee 8.Keith Mullineaux 9.Matt Higgins 10.John Bennett 11.Scott Adams 12.James Pritchard, Jr. 13.Stacey Brown 14.Andy Szapacs 15.Matt Wentz 16.Rob Schultz 17.Billy Swartz 18.Bill Teel

Late Model Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Paul Koehler, Jr. 2.Shawn Sitarchyk 3.Jason Zatsko 4.Pat Hargan 5.Austin Kochenash 6.Lorin Arthofer II 7.Rick Wallace 8.Cole Lenhart

Dirt Modified Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Jeff Parker 2.Bill Briggs 3.Dave Thomas 4.Randy Thomas 5.John Parker 6.Don Hildebrandt 7.Bill Sitler 8.Scott Hulmes 9.Tom Cremer

Pro4 Late Model Make-up Feature 20 Laps: 1.Kris Graver 2.Jake Kibler 3.Dave Chapman 4.Mike Stofflet 5.Barry Christman, Jr. 6.Jeremy Miller DNS: Kevin Graver, Jr.

4C Super Modified Feature Finish, 20 Laps: 1.Wes Gilbert 2.Mike Renn 3.Steve Renn 4.Ron Merlino 5.Bob Renn 6.Wayne Merlino