LEHIGHTON, Pa. – Todd Baer won Saturday night’s Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway, his first of the season at the paved quarter-mile oval.
Baer started third and by lap two pulled behind leader Chip Santee. He then took the lead on a lap six restart but was far from in the clear as Coss took over second on lap eight and from there to the finish they engaged in an exciting dogfight.
Coss was looking at every possible angle to wheel by but Baer was able to shield himself lap after lap. Even on the final lap Coss would make one last try by peeking inside through the final two corners but the effort would fall short and the victory was Baer’s in what was a good, clean hard fought race between them. The margin of victory was a mere .156-second.
“Roger (Coss) gave it a hell of shot there at the end and I can’t blame him for anything, we both had to do what we had to do,” said Baer. “He was giving me all kinds of pressure and I just figured I need to run my line and hope that this would be the outcome.”
It was a tough loss for Coss. In the previous event, a 100 lapper, Coss passed Baer for the lead and was cruising out front until 12 laps from the end when a power steering hose let go, yielding the lead to eventual winner Matt Hirschman. Although he has had regular finishes this season in the top five, he seems to be snake bitten when it comes to the elusive top spot.
With his third place finish Earl Paules has moved back into the point lead. Santee and Lou Strohl rounded out the top five.
Late Model veteran Paul Koehler Jr., was able to withstand the side-by-side duel behind him of Earl Paules and Frankie Althouse which then netted him his second win of the ’14 season.
Koehler started second and outdid Jeremy Miller at the drop of the race commencing green. Before long Paules was on his tail and soon after Althouse joined the battle. From then on it was all three running in tight formation.
Despite the closeness Koehler never let up and remained on top when the checkered flag waved, earning his 59th career win with a Late Model.
Todd Baer, Roger Coss, Earl Paules, Chip Santee, Lou Strohl, Kris Graver, Kyle Strohl, Nevin George, Don Wagner, Scott Meckes, Brain Romig, Chris Young, Eric Beers, Terry Markovic, John Markovic