Strohl Ends Mahoning Valley Drought
LEHIGHTON, Pa. – It had been five years since veteran Lou Strohl last won a modified race at Mahoning Valley Speedway, but on Saturday night his long overdue visit to victory lane came to an end as he posted his 33rd career win at the Lehighton paved quarter mile oval and first since May 9, 2009.
In the final 10 laps Strohl would battle intensely with another well-experienced hand, John Markovic, trying every way possible to get by. With two laps to run Strohl finally snuck underneath and would hold on for one more lap, earning the very popular win.
“That was one awesome race and Johnny (Markovic) and I had one hell of a race. He did what he had to do to protect the lead and I did what I had to do to pass him,” said Strohl.
Markovic was leading after eclipsing Scott Meckes from the head of the pack on lap 23. Eighth starting Strohl would follow suite and from then on the dogfight was in motion.
Be it high or low Strohl attempted to drive around Markovic but it was no doing as the multi-time champion was steadfast in his protection of first place. Strohl would not give up, however, and showed that he still had the knack of how to win a race, finally gaining the lead with two to go.
“Wow what a car I had tonight. That was awesome,” explained Strohl, who got his third top five in four races since getting behind the wheel of a second Earl Paules owned car.
“There is a lot of talent here and I have to thank Earl Paules for putting me in his car. He still believed in me and I wanted to show him that his decision wasn’t the wrong one.”
Markovic had worked his tail off running with Meckes and then dealing with Strohl. He was just a half car length from a third 2014 win, yet it was a race that had so much excitement and thrills that second place was just as rewarding.
“Scott (Meckes) ran me tough and my car was just so tight by the time I got the lead. My hat’s off to Louie (Strohl). He was faster than me and deserved to win. I just gave him the bottom and it’s something I should never have done. I’m glad to see him win.”