Jasen Sokol

Jasen Sokol

Jasen is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. He found his passion for radio while at WBWC at Baldwin Wallace University. He then went on to Kent State University, where he earned a Master's Degree in broadcast journalism and served as Morning Edition Producer at WKSU. Before becoming the host of The Jasen Sokol Show, he served as morning news editor for AkronNewsNow.com and traffic reporter for 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE, 94.9 WQMX, and 107.3 The WAVE. Off the air, Jasen is an avid sports fan (he lists NASCAR, football, and horse racing among his favorites), a news junkie, and a member of the Young Professionals of Akron. You can reach Jasen by phone at 330-869-9800 or via e-mail at jasen@wakr.net.

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is technically the home track for NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and Hinckley native Matt Tifft. But until just a few weeks ago, he had never even seen the place.

Tifft, who will drive the #19 Akron Community Foundation Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday's Mid-Ohio Challenge, said he played the video game iRacing.com and will race in a Trans Am race to learn the track. He missed last year's race while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. 

Now back on the track and running his first full Xfinity Series season, Tifft is currently seventh in the championship standings. He plans to work with the Akron Community Foundation to help build awareness for brain tumor research.

Tifft joined Jasen to talk about Saturday's race, his partnership with the Akron Community Foundation, his recovery from the brain tumor, and racing against drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Tuesday, 01 August 2017 17:30

AUDIO: Tom Patton Launches Bid For Congress

The race to replace Rep. Jim Renacci in Congress is heating up.

State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) announced he's entering the race for the Republican nomination for the 16th Congressional District. Patton currently serves as Majority Whip in the General Assembly. He also served in the State Senate from 2008-2016. He'll face State Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) in the GOP primary.

Patton joined Jasen to talk about why he's running and share his ideas on health care and the economy.

Sen. Rob Portman was seen as one of the Senators whose vote was in play during the Senate's debate over health care. He ultimately voted yes on the so-called "skinny repeal" bill that failed to pass, and still believes the health care bill known as Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced. He joined Jasen on Tuesday to talk about where Congress goes next on health care. He also talked about a bill he proposed that would allow websites such as Backpage.com to be held liable in cases of human trafficking that involve their websites.

The Senate's failure to pass a health care bill last week left people wondering what will happen to the health care system in America. Will the health care bill commonly known as Obamacare be repealed and replaced with something else? Will it merely be changed? Will Republicans and Democrats be able to work in a bipartisan fashion to improve health care?

Rep. Jim Renacci stopped by The Jasen Sokol Show on Monday to answer those questions, talk about why Republicans couldn't get a bill passed, and talk about what Congress will focus on next.

"Race car drivers aren't athletes."

I hear that one all the time. I know better because I've been a race fan my whole life. And I'm almost certain none of the people who say it have ever been in a race car at speed before.

Thursday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, I had that opportunity.

Thanks to the Pirelli World Challenge and K-PAX Racing, I was able to get in the passenger seat of a McLaren GT two seater with pro driver Bryan Sellers at the wheel as part of the runup to the series' two races at Mid-Ohio this weekend. It was one wild ride.

Sellers says the car gets up to about 160 mph in the high speed portions of the Mid-Ohio road course. But you don't really feel the speed until you're under braking. The rapid deceleration ahead of the corners slams you forward into your seatbelt and really makes you appreciate just how fast you were going.

We only took one lap but I got out of the car exhausted and drenched in sweat, the G-forces and heat taking their toll in less than two minutes. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Check out video of Jasen's ride and an interview with driver Bryan Sellers:

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:41

AUDIO: Jay Brophy Reacts To New CTE Study

A new study of the brains of more than 200 former football players finds almost all of them show signs of the brain disease known as CTE.

The study, led by Boston University neuroscientist Dr. Ann McKee, doesn't confirm that CTE is common among football players. But the percentage of brains studied that had CTE went up with the level of play.

1590 WAKR football analyst Jay Brophy, who played at the University of Miami and with the Miami Dolphins, joined Jasen to talk about the study, what football teams and leagues are doing to combat brain injury, and what high school teams should be doing to protect young players.

The more than 350 racers who descended on Derby Downs this week for the FirstEnergy All American Soap Box Derby knew they would have to face one another. On Saturday, they also had to contend with Mother Nature.

Two torrential downpours forced rain delays that prompted the cancellation of the annual Mayor's Cup race for VIPs. But by the end of the day, seven new champions were crowned.

Only two Akron area racers cracked the top nine in their respective classes. Savannah Fitzgerald of Portage County finished seventh in the Local Super Stock division while Alexis Slack of Green was the seventh place finisher in the Rally Masters division.

Top finishers in each class:

Local Stock
1 - Cayson Hayes, Southeast Georgia
2 - Emilee Brand, Omaha, Neb.
3 - Logan Sennholtz-Linder, Greater Chicago, Ill.
4 - Ian Jameson, Greater Washington, DC
5 - Connor Bledsoe, Hopkinsville, Ky.
6 - Bryan Johnson, Erie, Pa.
7 - Aaron Eberly, DuBois, Pa.
8 - Allysa Goon, Tullahoma, Tenn.
9 - Halee Jo McDaniel, Owensboro, Ky.

Local Super Stock
1 - Brianna Roth, Liberty, N.Y.
2 - Zander Kokotajlo, Cincinnati, Ohio
3 - Zachary Miller, Culpeper, Va.
4 - Ruben Navarro, Beaumont, Texas
5 - Taylor Williams, Rochester, N.Y.
6 - Riley Joy, Cleveland Area, Ohio
7 - Savannah Fitzgerald, Portage County, Ohio
8 - Cody Ojeda, Silicon Valley, Calif.
9 - Andrew Ream, DuBois, Pa.

Local Masters
1 - Malena Shipley, North Georgia
2 - Ronan Johnson, Silicon Valley, Calif.
3 - Jacob Leonard, Owensboro, Ky.
4 - Owen Lynch, Omaha, Neb.
5 - Christian Fortner, Moss Point, Miss.
6 - Abigail Mills, Valparaiso, Ind.
7 - Samantha Uhler, DuBois, Pa.
8 - Faith Potter, Indianapolis, Ind.
9 - Nikolas Amussen, Fredericksburg, Va.

Rally Stock
1 - Aidyn Driggers, Tarrytown, Ga.
2 - Lane Schlafke, Glasgow, Ky.
3 - Jamison Geisler, Palm City, Fla.
4 - Riley Gresko, Las Vegas, Nev.
5 - Sydnie Hill, Lancaster, Ohio
6 - Connor Magnuson, Loves Park, Ill.
7 - Dylan DenHaese, Port Byron, N.Y.
8 - Teagan Lynch, Omaha, Neb.
9 - Logan Dempsey, New Port Richey, Fla.

Rally Super Stock
1 - Celina Murty, Rochester, N.Y.
2 - Karlye Murphy, Hilton, N.Y.
3 - Ava Gamello, Schenectady, N.Y.
4 - Miranda Terry, Milton, W. Va.
5 - Jenna Wolfe, Conneaut, Ohio
6 - Audrey Rains, Hopkinsville, Ky.
7 - Dakota Thomas, Hurricane, W. Va.
8 - Tucker Copeland, Lyons, Ga.
9 - Ashton Stevenson, Hixson, Tenn.

Rally Masters
1 - Marlon Wells, Indianapolis, Ind.
2 - Bryanna Plog, Omaha, Neb.
3 - Joshua Ostrander, Rantoul, Ill.
4 - Cameron Burdgick, Schenectady, N.Y.
5 - Matthew Williams, Geneva, Ill.
6 - Lukas Ramey, Hanson, Ky.
7 - Alexis Sklack, Green, Ohio
8 - Aiden Potter, Indianapolis, Ind.
9 - Ryan Chasse, Fremont, N.H.

National Super Kids Classic
1 - Haylee Rodgers, Athens, Tenn.
2 - Jacob Pritchett, Culpepper, Va.

The All American Soap Box Derby is this Saturday at Derby Downs. But it isn't all American. 

Two champs from New Zealand will join competitors from Canada and Japan among the more than 350 racers taking to the hill. Maddie Pester will compete in the Masters division, while Kaythi Finn will race in the Super Stock class.

Pester, Finn, 2016 International Division champion Sam Pester, and New Zealand team member Caitlin Pester joined Soap Box Derby President and CEO Mark Gerberich on The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about making it to Akron, what they're looking forward to doing off the track, and how they're preparing for the big race.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 17:26

AUDIO: Tim Ryan Talks Health Care

Now that the Republican health care bill has died in the Senate, many are wondering if GOP congressmen will reach across the aisle to try to get a bill passed and whether Democrats will work with them. Jasen talked to Rep. Tim Ryan Wednesday about what parts of health care reform he would be willing to work on with Republicans and what can be done to reduce the sticker price of health care.

The Senate health care bill fizzled out Monday after two more senators announced they wouldn't support it, bringing the total to four and leaving Republicans with less than 50 senators who would vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then announced that he would put forward a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act after a two year transition period.

Rep. Jim Renacci joined Jasen Tuesday to give his thoughts on the health care bill, why he will support a repeal bill in the House, and what should be done to fix the health care system.

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