AUSTIN KOCHENASH HAS SIGHTS SET ON RACE OF CHAMPIONS TOUR
AT MAHONING VALLEY SPEEDWAY SEASON OPENER
the green flag drops on the season opening Ferris Mowers Race of
Champions Asphalt Modified Series Fueled by Sunoco “Break-the-Ice
75” feature on April 9 at Lehighton’s Mahoning Valley Speedway, fans
will be treated to a wide-open field of amazing talent that will be
lined-up, all with the main focus of collecting the $2800 top prize.
Of those drivers look for 20-year old Austin Kochenash to be among
the likely favorites and for good reason. In just a five year span
of racing a Modified, “Kid Kochenash” has risen to the ranks of
probable winner each and every time he rolls out onto the demanding
quarter mile oval.
Kochenash’s talents aren’t just limited to Mahoning Valley either
where he has 22 career wins, 17 in a Late Model plus a championship.
He also has five Modified victories at Evergreen Raceway.
And now he stands the chance to win a Race of Champions Asphalt Tour
race and with this being at his home track, the Mahoning opener
could very well be it.
“I was excited when they first announced that the RoC would be
coming here because we are able to race an event like this so close
to home and at a track that I’m really familiar with,” said
Kochenash, who drives the Performance Driveline/M & T Repair/Fastenal
of Lehighton/Circle 1 Designs No. 66 Troyer with power coming from
Boardwick Racing Engines.
“A lot of the (RoC) Tour guys may have the advantage when we are in
New York at most of those tracks but here at Mahoning I feel we
definitely have a good shot at the win. We ran well in the extra
distance races here last year and that’s where I seem to be at my
best. It will come down to if you have the luck.”
Kochenash is coming off a great season that saw him loose a very
tight point battle to champion Earl Paules. He clicked off three
wins including a 100 lapper and finished all but one point race
inside the top ten. He also came close to a victory in the marquee
season ending Octoberfast 150 before being scooped up in a late race
For two years, 2013-14, he was part of the Race of Champions Asphalt
Tour where he was named Rookie of the Year and had a best point
finish of third. Same goes for his best race finish.
Although he been close to a win on numerous occasions when he
traveled the Tour, now that it’s on his home turf he feels poised to
bring his first RoC checkered flag back to his nearby Danielsville
“We’ve been close at other tracks too but I feel that this race is
our best opportunity to get that first RoC Tour victory. I have been
racing here since I was a kid and there is no doubt I know this
track better than any others that we go to,” said Kochenash.
As the race draws near the list of Modified teams continues to grow
and that number is expected to exceed 40 come race day. Kochenash
knows the job of winning won’t come easy but he is ready to put is
expertise of racing at Mahoning to good use.
“75 laps could click off here in a hurry so getting a good starting
spot will be important. If you’re set-up right then you won’t see a
lot of tire fall off. You’ll pretty much have to jump out right from
the green. I think starting anywhere beyond 12th will be tough to
win that day,” admitted Kochenash.
“When I won Opening Night a couple of years ago that was the same
thing. It was only 50 laps and you had to hammer down right from the
Mahoning Valley is known for its two-wide racing and Kochenash
stated that lane choice will be pivotal.
“If there’s someone on the outside that will drag you back then it’s
best to get to the bottom in a hurry and wait it out. With the
inside you always have the opportunity to drive underneath for the
pass which works well here but for this race you’ll have to make
that decision quick.”
The matchup among the weekly regulars is tough enough and then you
add in a host of New Jersey aces plus all of the RoC Tour drivers
and Break-The-Ice-75 has the components of one amazing must see
“There are going to be a lot of great teams rolling in here and you
certainly can’t count any of them out. They’ll adapt and the fans
are going to be in for a good entertaining race. If you have the
right setup you should be able to run all 75 laps hard from start to
finish,” said Kochenash.
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