TONY HANBURY READY TO BREAK THE ICE
AT MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY SEASON OPENER
a variety of drivers came out this past Saturday for the first on
track activity at Mahoning Valley Speedway as part of three Test and
Tune days, one driver in particular was noticed taking on as much
input as possible.
Tony Hanbury of Owego NY, one of the many Modified teams at the
track, had good reason for coming to the Lehighton paved ¼-mile oval
for the first time in six years as he was prepping for the Ferris
Mowers Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series Fueled by Sunoco
“Break-the-Ice 75” season opening event on April 9.
Hanbury is part of the contingent of top notch stars that run on the
Race of Champions Asphalt Tour and made the journey to Mahoning with
the mindset of knowing that the he will not just have to beat the
tour drivers in order to claim the $2800 top prize, but more so deal
with the Mahoning regulars.
“It will be interesting and exciting with a lot of cars that are
expected to be here,” said Hanbury, who pilots the Dan Kurzejewski
owned No. 21 sponsored by Costy’s Energy Service, Manzari’s Bar &
Grill. Pine City Tools and Kountry Krullers Bakery.
Hanbury comes into the Mahoning race fresh off a great 2015 season
on the RoC tour that saw him take down wins and had a great run at
the overall title in the process.
Now with the point title opening up at Mahoning Valley, a venue that
has not hosted a Race of Champions event since 2008, it makes for a
track that many on the tour have never been to before which adds
plenty of significance to the outcome.
“This is probably the best way they could have done it for the RoC.
You have a solid field of 20 or more Modifieds each week here
(Mahoning Valley) and then you factor in the 20 or so cars from us,”
“It will be interesting with qualifying with the RoC guys and
everyone else who can get in and who can’t. I’ve raced here a few
times before with a Modified and a Sport Modified but as far as a
RoC event I haven’t done one of those here since 2004. I’ll be
honest I’ve struggled here because it’s not one of my normal tracks
but being the opener this will be pretty much neutral for everyone.”
Hanbury got plenty of laps in during his day long visit to Mahoning
Valley. The Morgantini Race Engines powered mount was smooth and by
the end of the day the team was pleased with the results.
“We feel like we have a good car. I can’t say for sure that we’re
capable of running away with it but come race day we know we’ll have
a good car under us,” noted Hanbury.
“I’m looking forward to it and we came out today to shake the car
down. We had a few little minor problems but that’s why we are
Hanbury will run the entire 2016 Race of Champions Tour plus take in
some Friday night action at Chemung Speedrome with his Sport Mod and
also head further up north to run some shows at Lancaster Speedway
“As far as the RoC goes they have a pretty good schedule set up for
us and we’re looking forward to some new faces and new tracks like
here at Mahoning Valley. We’ll be at all the races,” said Hanbury.
The Tour and other tracks from around New York State are where
Hanbury has always showed his best. But, now that Mahoning Valley
has been added, it brings in a whole new element for him as well as
others who have little if any time previously around the demanding
circular bullring that puts a driver to the test lap after lap.
“Some of the guys who have raced here may have the advantage on all
of us but you’ll have that anywhere you go,” admitted Hanbury.
“I’ve watched guys like Eric Beers race here quite a bit and he’s
always fast. You’ll have guys like Zane (Zeiner), Matt (Hirschman),
who is fast no matter where he goes and all the home track guys here
that will no doubt be tough.”
Hanbury, however, is confident about his trip back to Pennsylvania
for the Break-The-Ice-75 and feels that not only can he come out
with a possible victory or respectable finish, it will also build on
the final return when the Tour closes out the year right back in
Lehighton for the season ending Octoberfast 150 on October 22.
“I was cool when I saw the first race here but for that last one it
could be something especially if it comes down to points. As far as
the top ten guys in (RoC) points plus all these guys here that
should be a great way to close out the season,” he added.
Another weekend of Test and Tune will be held this upcoming Saturday
and Sunday, April 2-3 from noon to 4:00 pm.
On Opening Day 2016 will see race teams enter the pits starting at
11:00 a.m. followed by Modified inspection at 11:30 a.m. Sign-in
takes place from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Heat racing will begin at 4:00
p.m. Also on the card will be Late Models, Street Stocks and Hobby
For additional information please log onto
http://www.mahoningvalley-speedway.com or on Facebook at Mahoning Valley
Speedway. Likewise with the Race of Champions at
Dino Oberto / Mahoning Valley Speedway
March 28, 2016