Kochenash Grabs Second Mahoning Triumph
LEHIGHTON, Pa. – Austin Kochenash is off to a great start in 2013 as the young talent from Danielsville withstood an onslaught of advances from reigning track champion Earl Paules to score his second Modified win in three races at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Both drivers thrilled the fans with an amazing job battling virtually side-by-side for most of the 35 laps.
“Towards the end the car got a little tight. Earl (Paules) is a good driver and he ran me clean and that was good racing tonight,” said Kochenash.
“To come out and win two races in the first three weeks is amazing. The credit goes to my crew. There’s a lot of good competition here and when you win at Mahoning you really earned it.”
Paules started from the pole and had point leader Nevin George to his right. Kochenash lined up third and when the action commenced those three immediately ran under a blanket. Paules was protecting both his left and right flank as George and Kochenash where attacking from each side.
Kochenash had the inside lane and repeatedly dove down under Paules. He was able to finally sneak by him for the lead on lap nine but while making the pass there was some contact in the process, evident by the bent left side rub rail on Paules’ No. 8 afterwards.
After taking the lead this race was far from over as Paules would not let him pull far ahead. A master of the high side, he continued to fight back and unceasingly would show Kochenash his nose from the right. Yet each time it looked as though he would have the energy to spring ahead, Kochenash held his ground.
“I tried to go by him (Kochenash) a couple times and as you can see my skid rail is pushed into my door. He was giving me room though and the car is in one piece and we’re walking away with another second place finish,” said Paules while examining his car after the race.