2008 Season complete - stay tuned for 2009 schedule
December 13: NASCAR Banquet
2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season drew to a close Saturday night as
Ted Christopher was crowned the series’ champion at the annual postseason
awards banquet at Mohegan Sun Resort.Christopher’s 2008 title campaign
included four wins and 13 top 10s. Driver of the No. 36 Al-Lee Installations
Chevrolet, Christopher’s championship season was highlighted by wins
at Stafford Motor Speedway, Mansfield Motorsports Park, New Hampshire Motor
Speedway and Thompson International Speedway. From Plainville, Conn., Christopher
has established a reputation of racing any type of car, anytime, anywhere.
He has won multiple track championships and was the 2001 NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series national champion, but 2008 marked his first NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour crown in his 15th full season in the series. “Throughout my racing
career I have been very fortunate to have driven many different types of race
cars for many different car owners,” Christopher said. “From people
like Joe Brady, who I won my first Modified tour race with, to Curt Chase,
Gary Cretty, Jim Galante, Eddie Whelan and many in between, one common denominator
was: I always loved driving their Modifieds.” Christopher’s night
also included taking home the Whelen Engineering Winner of the Race Award
and, for the first time in his career, the prestigious Most Popular Driver
Award. For the first time, voting for the Most Popular Driver Award was conducted
online through NASCAR.com and NASCARHomeTracks.com. More than 10,600 total
votes were cast in online balloting for NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers.
In addition to the coronation of series champion Christopher, the top drivers
and owners and special award winners from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
were also honored Saturday night. Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., was
recognized for his championship runner-up effort in 2008 when he recorded
11 top 10s and the first two wins of his career. Todd Szegedy, the 2003 NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour Champion, was the third place honoree.Ronnie Silk of
Norwalk, Conn., earned the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award, given to
the driver who earned the award the most times in 2008, while seven-time series
champion Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., likewise took home the POWERade
Power Move of the Race Award. Eric Beers, from Northampton, Pa., was recognized
as the winner of the Coors Light Pole Award. Glen Reen, a native of Wilbraham,
Mass., earned 2008 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. “This was just
a dream a year ago,” Reen said. “It wasn’t until February
that my uncle and I were talking about which direction to go in for the 2008
season and I said something about going Tour racing and he said, ‘hey,
let’s do it.’ In a few short months we pieced together our team
and did what we needed to do to my SK Light car and here we are at the end
of the season with the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Championship. Four special
awards were also presented during the awards banquet. Mike Smeriglio III,
owner of the No. 2 Modified team driven by Szegedy, was bestowed the Sportsmanship
Award and Ken Heagy of Calverton, N.Y., was recognized with the Driver Achievement
Award. The Len Boehler Award was presented to Roger Hill, owner of the No.
79 Modified team driven by Silk and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Women’s
Auxiliary Award went to longtime series veteran Jamie Tomaino and his wife,
Banquet Story by Walt
AWARDS WELL DESERVED AND LONG OVERDUE
by Walter Newcomb
The final 2008 NASCAR banquet was held at the Mohegan Sun resort and casino Saturday night. It was a pleasure to be in attendance. I count myself fortunate to be able to forward a synopsis of what occurred.
Before I go any further, I’d like to thank Rich Grodski for the opportunity to submit articles to The Chrome Horn. Thanks also to Norm and Linda from Precision Automotive for sponsoring TCH and making this all possible. It’s been a while since I’ve had an article published.
Since the most recent post on the MSS front page; I learned how to text message. Shopgirl took me to Key West. And for the first time in over nine years I took a real job.
Enough about me, in the mean time, gasoline rose to over four-fifty per gallon and dropped nearly three bucks per gallon since. We have a new President-elect. Our current President declared we are in a recession, about two years too late. And Ted Christopher won the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title.
It had been a long time since I’d taken the boat out of Orient Point. The dearth of Modified regulars aboard really saddened me. Apparently it was a misdirected harbinger of things to come.
As I would not be staying at the venue overnight I elected to change into semi-formal attire in the parking lot. I knew it would be cold, but I wasn’t counting on the whipping winds. I won’t bore readers with the sordid details but let’s just say I was so cold that I didn’t break a sweat for the next two hours.
The first stop at Mohegan Sun is the bar at the waterfall. That’s where members of the racing public generally hang out whenever they’re at this place. I found an assortment of happy faces and a few folks who were in late-evening form minutes before cocktail hour was scheduled to start.
Once I got to the Uncas Ballroom area I met plenty of people I hadn’t seen since last year’s championship soirée. Signs in the lobby indicated that Martinsville Speedway would be making a special presentation prior to the banquet. As we waited for the announcement, the Carey & Coffey program was broadcasting to the side with a little help from Doug Coby and guests including Mike Stefanik and Ryan Preece.
As it turned out, Ryan was the focus of the Martinsville announcement. Preece and car owner, Janice Bohler, were presented with the trophy for winning the 500th NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race. NASCAR's managing director of racing operations, George Silberman, Whelen Engineering Vice President of Motorsports, Phil Kurze, Clay Campbell of Martinsville Speedway and Whelen Modified Tour race director, Chad Little took part in the presentation.
Thanks go out to Howie Hodge for getting Janice to the front of the group so she showed up in the pictures. Ryan did a great job accepting the award. He exclaimed, “where are my guys?!” And “do we have any water to spray around here?”
The ballroom was set up differently this year with the stage at one of the side walls. The opposite wall was adorned with banners recognizing all of the past Whelen Modified Tour champions and the newest member. The NASCAR special events staff did a fantastic job of making the whole event look incredibly lavish and glamorous.
My favorite Modified advocate, fan and as he discovered Saturday night, sponsor, Mike Joy, emceed the festivities. Joy discovered that he was a sponsor when images of the #96 that Donny Lia drove at Loudon flashed across the screen during the evening. The taillight panel was emblazoned with “M.K. Joy”.
Joy announced that once again, of all of the award ceremonies that NASCAR holds, the Whelen Modified Tour banquet was only eclipsed in attendance by the Sprint Cup banquet at the Waldorf. Despite the fact that we didn’t have John Pinette and Matchbox Twenty there to perform for us, I feel that our crowd easily had as much fun in Connecticut as the Cup people did in New York.
George Silberman made the opening remarks by NASCAR. He kept his comments short and sweet. This was a refreshing change from the norm and one of several themes that carried through the evening.
A special presentation was made to Ed Cox. Fifty members of the Whelen Modified Tour got together and chipped in to get Ed a special present for his many years of service to the Tour. It is a beautiful Rolex watch and an accompanying plaque inscribed with the names of the fifty, owners, drivers, crew members and officials who contributed to the purchase.
One of the most important awards of the evening was presented early in the festivities. The Len Bohler Award is presented by the Bohler family to car owners in recognition of excellence, dedication and generosity. Michael Bohler presented the award to Roger Hill. Roger’s son David accepted it on his behalf.
Some of the awards were surprises and some were not. Ronnie Silk earned the Featherlite “Most Improved” award. Eric Beers sped to the Coors Light Pole award. Mike Stefanik was presented with the POWERade “Power Move of the Race” award. I think Mike had second thoughts on improving his qualifying efforts when he realized what the award actually paid.
Reverend Dan Petfield gave the Invocation prior to the main course being served at the banquet. It was great to see the recognition that Racing with Jesus Ministries received throughout the evening. Somewhere, Reverend Pat is smiling.
Glen Reen was recognized as the 2008 Sunoco “Rookie of the Year” award winner. He was presented with a beautiful piece of framed racing artwork that depicted the season. Reen earned the award by the slimmest of margins over Tom Abele, Jr.
So where were the surprises? How about Ted Christopher earning the Most Popular Driver award? Over ten thousand votes were on the NASCAR Home Tracks website. Mike Joy commented, “He was stunned…who wasn’t?” Ted also earned the Most Popular driver award at Stafford Motor Speedway this year to which he commented, “You gotta have a recount. There is no way [that I won this].”
Ken Heagy was caught off-guard when he was presented with the NASCAR “Driver Achievement” award. The Modified Series Auxiliary presented the Smiley Waterman and Donna Parks awards to Jamie and Cheryl Tomaino. This recognition was a long time coming. The Tomainos have supported every single race that has ever been a part of the Whelen Modified Tour. It is great to recognize them as our Man and Woman of the year.
Mike Smeriglio was presented with the NASCAR “Sportsmanship Award” by six-time Modified champion and 2009 inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, Jerry Cook. Let it be known that not only did Mike lend out backup cars at both races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, he also kept a car at the track so that Jimmy Spencer could be recognized in front of a Modified as a part of the “60 Years of Champions” on SPEED, a day after the Modified race ran.
Each season, Whelen Engineering has presented the top-ten finishers in the Tour standings with a special gift. This year, Phil Kurze presented each of the top-ten drivers with a pair of Puma racing gloves specially embroidered in recognition of the accomplishment. “Glove side out boys.”
Phil Kurze had another surprise. He unveiled the Tour decal for 2009. In honor of the Modified Tour’s twenty-fifth season, the decals will be appropriately silver. The decals are actually chrome Mylar and graphic representations of said decals do not do them justice. They are gorgeous. A big 25 splits “Seasons Running” on the header and the lower extension displays “1985-2009”.
When it came to recognizing the champion, a single common thread was woven into heavy cable by the end of the evening. “Ted Christopher is a racer’s racer” was the refrain. George Silberman related a story about Ted in his opening remarks.
He told of an occurrence at the Rolex 24 where the driver’s meeting is held in Victory Lane due to the sheer mass of competitors. Tony Stewart arrived to the meeting after all of the seats had been taken. He stood for the meeting at the exit to Victory Lane and greeted the other competitors as they exited. Silberman found it remarkable that out of all of the racing champions from various disciplines of motorsports, Tony Stewart reached out to trade information about what his car was doing with Christopher. Two racer’s racers bench racing at Daytona.
Brad LaFontaine was recognized with the “Champion Crew Chief” award. He opened by saying, “Jeez Teddy, just when we thought it couldn’t be done.” One of the first things he did was to invite the ever-popular, Rico Mariani up to the stage to be at his side. “Rico, he’s the backbone of our team…hopefully we’ll recognize everyone on our team but if I miss anyone it’s Rico’s fault.”
Ed Whelan received the “Champion Car Owner” award from Jerry Cook. Cook commented, “You can call it divine intervention or just plain dumb luck, but two events that took place in 2006 season that seemed to be setbacks at the time, for both the car owner and the driver have actually brought us together here tonight.”
“The #36 team had Mike Ewanitsko in the seat, when health issues forced him to the sidelines. Meanwhile, unforeseen circumstances found Ted Christopher without a ride. Eddie Whelan, owner of the #36 car, placed a call to Christopher with an open seat for the race at Jennerstown. Christopher promptly piloted Whelan’s car to Victory Lane and a winning combination was born.”
Ed Whelan seemed incredibly professional and thorough in his remarks. His thoughts were heartfelt and rang of sincerity. Despite all of that, he miraculously kept his comments to less than three minutes. The kudos goes to you Ed.
In introducing the champion driver, Mike Joy commented, “This is killing me! I have so many great Ted Christopher stories. Because we’re in polite company I can tell very few of them.”
The championship video that was produced by NASCAR for Christopher’s recognition was one of the best I have ever seen. I thought the team commentary was appropriate and well chosen. These people make us look good.
Prior to his crowning comments, Christopher received several special awards. Phil Kurze presented Ted the Whelen “Winner of the Race” award. Dan Anderson tried to make a funny. “I’m glad you didn’t step on it” didn’t quite make the highlight reel but I’m sure the Hoosier jacket will.
George Silberman presented Ted with his championship ring. I didn’t look at it up close, but it is big. It felt like Ted was wearing a gold walnut when I shook his hand later.
Christopher had a lot of people to thank and he did a tremendous job doing so. His thanks were humorously punctuated by quick swigs from a small bottle of water he had stowed in the podium earlier. He thanked Joe Brady, the car owner he first went to a Modified Tour Victory Lane with in 1999 at Richmond.
He thanked other past owners Curt Chase, Gary Cretty and Jim Galante. Ted Said, “One common denominator was that he always loved to drive a Modified. While most people always focused on why I hadn’t won a Modified Tour championship, I always focused on the race at hand. Many people said I drove differently this year…I did focus more on the big picture for 2008…I guess I did something right because I’m the last one speaking.”
Although the following comments have been edited, as in previous years, I tried to include much of the champion’s speech. “My car owner Eddie Whelan has been in and out of the Modified Tour for many years. He is someone I have great respect for and someone I especially appreciate as I accept this award. Eddie came to my rescue after the loss of the Mystique team in early ’06.”
“Although we won some races and finished third in points, I ended up getting fired at the end of that year. Go figure that one. I’d never been fired from anything in my life before. That’s water over the dam. So then ’07 comes along and I get hired again. And we brought Brad LaFontaine along as our crew chief.”
“2007 turned out to be the sophomore jinx year. What could go wrong did. We managed to win a race and finish fifth in points but it just wasn’t meant to be that year.”
“For ’08 we changed a few things around on the team, started out running race-to-race and waited to see what happens. Eddie would never commit to running the whole year so it was always race-to-race. Eddie, I sure am glad you decided to run the whole year.”
Ted thanked Brad LaFontaine. “Sometimes we fool around and call him the Pope. “The Pope?” I bet he didn’t make it past his first communion. His strength is in the knowledge of the racecar and his focus and determination are second to none. Winning that final race and the championship at the same time was great and I knew he wanted it that way.”
Ted echoed comments that had been made previously by LaFontaine and Whelan. “I also have to thank our interim car owner Jimmy [and Sally] Paige. He came on board to help us with a car for two races at Thompson and Chemung when we borrowed his car due to circumstances with our car.”
“I can’t forget little Tony or “Shorty” as I call him, our motor man. For such a small guy you sure do produce some big power. From our early Mystique Fords to Fords you produce today for our team, I can’t explain how much I appreciate what you have done for our team and me.”
“Then there is Gary Cretty. Gary and I have had a long racing relationship. I drove for him. Won with him, and have received support from him throughout my racing career. His behind the scenes help are another piece of the puzzle that most people don’t see.”
“One of the biggest shout-outs is to my crew. From preparation during the week, to the race-day work, to pit-stops on race-day, they are truly the unsung heroes who do it for the pit passes. Which is food, sometimes good or bad and hopefully a trip to Victory Lane.”
“Rico, “Mr. Smiles” Mariani, he is always smiling. No matter what, even if there’s no oil in the rear end; he’s always smiling. He’s Brad’s second-hand man, our truck driver and definitely Mr. All-Around.”
“Glen Dixon our tire guy. Everybody needs a tire guy, right? No matter how much I asked him about the stagger he’d always say “three and a quarter”. So I stopped asking him. It was useless.”
“Rocky my spotter, thanks for looking out for me. It’s been good to have a second set of reliable eyes like yours. You are the Rock.”
“Brian McCarthy, Squid, Goober, Butch and I am sure that there are a few that I forgot. Thanks to every one of you.”
“Last, but certainly not least, Tony and Jessie Mattola, Eugene Sena and Michael Sullivan for the last nine years, no matter where I went or who I was driving for they always followed me. Thank you for your undeniable loyalty and support. We finally did it.”
“And then there is my family to whom I also owe many thanks. My lovely wife Quinn, although she might not get to many of my races, I think this year she went to about ten, which is on the high side for her, her support has been there in a different way. Racing sixty to seventy times per year we are apart more than we are together during the summer months. The equation must work because whether I win or lose at the track it doesn’t matter to her. Coming home to her always makes me happy.”
“Another person I’d like to mention is my brother Mike.” He always calls me after each race to see how I did. The conversation never started with hello. Instead, it was like if I didn’t win, he would always ask, “…so what happened?” Like who did I wreck or who wrecked me. But then, if I won he would say “you effing won again?” In the beginning of the year he said this was the year that I was going to win the championship.”
“Then there are people in the business that make racing technically possible. They have been very supportive of my efforts. VP Racing Fuels, who have been a part of my racing career for over thirty years. From go carting, to SK championships, to a national championship, to my first Modified Tour championship they’ve always been there for me.”
“Hoosier Tires, Irish, Bobby, Robby, Dan and everyone at Hoosier Tire, thanks for a great tire and for your support of the Whelen Modified Tour. The following companies have also supported our race team in one way or another. Troyer Race Cars, Quarter Master Industries, Sweet Manufacturing, Hawk Industries, Pro Shocks, Northeast Race Cars and Parts, Bassett Wheels, FK Rod Ends, Fragola Systems and Racing Electronics, thank you for all of your help.”
“I also want to thank Chad Little and all of the NASCAR officials who made this season a memorable and more enjoyable one. I also can’t forget Whelen Engineering, Sonny Whelen, John Olson, Phil Kurze and everyone at Whelen. Thank you for the support of this series and for helping me throughout the years. I’m glad that I was able to become a Whelen Modified Tour champion during my career.”
“Finally, I would like to recognize every car owner in this room for the dedication and support of this series. Without you, the drivers in this room wouldn’t be to do what we love. Drive Modifieds. It takes a special person to be a Modified car owner. Because even if you won every race and the championship, you probably still wouldn’t break even and people say I’m crazy. Thanks to each and every one of you and have a happy holiday.”
It was all over too soon. Everyone seemed to have had a really good time. Shawn Courchesne showed up as the ceremonies concluded. I had been calling and texting him during the program. At least he got there. I flushed a yard down the slots and I was on my way home.
One of the fringe benefits to winning the Whelen Modified Tour title is an invitation to the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge. I look forward to bringing stories back from Lake Placid in three short weeks. Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion, Brian Loftin and Whelen All-American Series champion, Philip Morris will join Ted Christopher on Mt. Van Hoevenberg as a part of the festivities.
Those of you who have satellite radio can tune into
MRN on Sirius NASCAR 128 and XM 104 for live audio coverage from the event.
We will try to keep everyone abreast of results and news on TCH’s Message
Nov 7-8 North South Shootout - 21 in Modified
For the first time in six years, a Southern competitor has earned the title of North-South Shootout champion. Burt Myers of Kernersville, NC, waved the confederate flag from victory lane after winning the 6th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout ™ Modified 125 presented by Town & Country Ford. It was a sweep for Myers who also earned the DMC Pole Award with his fast lap of 15.238 seconds. Myers also earned an impressive $11,280 in cash and prizes for the victory.
Dave McKnight of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, scored the victory in the 2nd Annual East-West Supermodified Shootout. His efforts earned him a cool $4,590 in cash and prizes. Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, survived a very physical SK-Type Modified main event to score the victory. With lap money and contingency sponsorships, Christopher earned $4,890.
Young Erick Rudolph laid down an impressive lap to start on the outside of the front row. He capitalized on his starting position to lead the opening laps taking the defending champion Matt Hirschman along for the ride. Rudolph continued to lead Hirschman, Myers, George Brunnhoelzl III, and Ted Christopher through the first caution on lap 19 for a spin by Daren Scherer. On the ensuing restart, Hirschman was able to catapult into the lead while Myers faded back slightly. During a green flag run, Hirschman began to pull away from the field. Ryan Preece made his first appearance inside the top five.
The second yellow flag of the event flew for an incident that involved Carl Pasteryak, Pete Brittain, and Rick Kluth. Green flag racing was short-lived when a spin by Gene Pack brought out the third caution of the event. Under the caution, a handful of teams headed to pit road for the mandatory pit stop including Hirschman, Rudolph, Brunnhoelzl, Christopher, Preece, Beers, and a host of others. Myers, Jimmy Blewett, Ronnie Silk, and Les Hinckley made up the top five of the running order after the pit stops.
After another quick caution, Myers and Blewett swapped the lead back and forth. The battle for the lead allowed Silk to catch the lead duo. Bobby Santos III had worked his way into the top-five.
The teams struggled near lap 47 when a host of cautions slowed the field. The likes of Eddie Flemke, Jr. and Charlie Pasteryak were involved in separate incidents. On the second attempt at a restart, Blewett got out of shape slightly. As the field checked up a number of cars stacked up on the front stretch including Rowan Pennink, Todd Szegedy, and Chris Whitenight, Jr. Woody Pitkat. Glenn Reen, and Earl Paules, were also involved.
When green flag racing resumed Myers continued to lead Silk and Christopher. Hirschman got around Santos to rejoin the top-five once again. Myers was beginning to stretch out his lead while Christopher and Hirschman were both getting racy at this stage of the event. Brunnhoelzl came back to life as well.
As the race approached halfway, Myers enjoyed a five-car length advantage over Silk, who had little breathing room back to Christopher. Hirschman was a distance back in fourth. Eric Beers was using the high groove in an effort to get to Brunnhoelzl and Santos.
Myers meticulously motored his way through lapped traffic to maintain his comfortable lead. The remainder of the top-five now ran nose-to-tail. Myers had yet to make his pit stop that was required between laps 30-110.
The caution flew on lap #98 when Santos spun in turn four. The caution allowed Myers the opportunity to head to pit road. He was joined by Silk, Szegedy, Rusty Smith and others. With the stop, Hirschman had inherited the top spot. The ensuing restart meant problems for another front runner Christopher, who spun in turn one. After a false start, Hirschman was able to jump out to the lead over Preece and Beers. Preece lost a quick battle for the second spot. Beers began to run down Hirschman. It looked for awhile that it might be a repeat of last year’s finish with the Northampton, PA residents running at the front.
There was a scary moment at lap 104 when the Hillbilly Racing teammates Silk and Flemke split Southern Whelen Modified Tour champion Brian Loftin to make it three-wide exiting turn four. All three cars came through the corner unscathed. Myers, meanwhile, was picking his way back to the front of the pack. He passed his brother Jason, then Flemke, and Brunnhoelzl to find the top-five.
Myers’ march to the front continued by taking the fourth spot from Silk. He immediately erased the distance between himself and Preece. Just as quickly he disposed of Preece. With only four laps remaining, the field was single file with Hirschman at the helm. Beers was losing ground to Hirschman while Myers continued to gain it.
The caution flew on lap 118 when contact dislodged one of the foam blocks placed on the track for safety. Ryan Preece watched his great fun come to an end when he headed to pit road for fuel. A spin by Flemke forced another caution in the event. With two laps remaining, Hirschman lined up ahead of Beers, Myers, Silk, and Brunnhoelzl. Beers faltered on the restart giving way to Myers and others. With the crowd on their feet, Myers got a great run to move ahead of Hirschman to take the lead. The enthusiasm could not quell even when the 13th and final caution flew when the #9 of Beers stalled on the front stretch. Myers pulled away on the final restart to streak under the checkers as the 2008 North-South Shootout champion. Myers was ecstatic in victory lane and proud of his Southern heritage. The two-time winner Hirschman had to settle for second. Silk joined the duo on the podium. Christopher and Santos completed the top five. It was the best showing for the Southern competitors with Brunnhoelzl finishing sixth followed by J. Meyers. Glen Reen, Chuck Hossfeld, and Rusty Smith rounded out the top-ten.
6th Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout Tour Modified 125 Lap Feature Finish (Pos. North/South Designation) Car # Driver’s Name, Hometown): 1. (S) 1 Burt Myers, Kernersville, NC; 2. (N) 60 Matt Hirschman, Northampton, PA; 3. (N) 79x Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 4. (N) 36 Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 5. (N) 98 Bobby Santos III, Franklin, MA; 6. (S) 28 George Brunnhoelzl III, Mooresville, NC; 7. (S) 4 Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, NC; 8. (N) 17 Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA; 9. (N) 98H Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, NY; 10. (N) 34 Rusty Smith, Oxford, NY; 11. (N) 2 Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, CT; 12. (S) 23 Brian Loftin, Lexington, NC; 13. (N) 45 Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, NY; 14. (N) 40 Ryan Preece, Kensington, CT; 15. (N) 88 Woody Pitkat, Stafford, CT; 16. (N) 79 Ed Flemke, Jr., Berlin, CT; 17. (N) 5 Charlie Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 18. (N) 75 Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, CT; 19. (S) 8 Jay Mize, Clemmons, NC; 20. (N) 93 Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, PA; 21. (N) 9 Eric Beers, N. Hampton, PA; 22. (S) 07 Frank Fleming, Mount Airy, NC; 23. (N) 659 Danny Bohn, Rockwell, NC; 24. (S) 31 Gene Pack, Walkertown, NC; 25. (N) 8 Earl Paules, Palmerton, PA; 26. (S) 19 Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 27. (N) 06 Les Hinckley, Windsor Locks, CT; 28. (N) 17 Chris Whitenight, Jr., Berwick, PA; 29. (N) 99 Jamie Tomaino, Howell, NJ; 30. (N) 08 Thomas Farrell III, Neptune, NJ; 31. (N) 44 Rick Kluth, Brockport, NY; 32. (N) 66 Pete Brittain, Oakhurst, NJ; 33. (N) 3 Daren Scherer, Binghamton, NY; DNS (S) 34 Josh Nichols, Cleveland, NC.
Nov 7-8 North South Shootout - 10 in SK Modified
Christopher took top honors in the caution-filled main event for the SK-Type Modifieds. It took several attempts to get the 50-lapper underway. A multi-car accident in turn three that involved Mike Carpenter, Henry Stampfl, Shaun Carrig, Ryan Preece and others required the first of two complete restarts. On the second attempt at a start, contact between Kenny Horton and Steven Reed sent Horton spinning and the caution flag flying once again. Jeffrey Earnhardt, making his SK-Type Modified debut, was also involved.
With green flag racing finally underway, pole sitter Ronnie Silk showed the way with Reed in tow. Cravenho pressured Christopher for third while Jimmy Blewett and Ron Yuhas, Jr. jockeyed for position. A pass on lap five put Christopher at the head of the field.
Keith Rocco, who had started scratch on the field after missing qualifying to attend the early portion of the NASCAR All-American Series banquet, found himself comfortably inside the top ten and making fast tracks to the top-five. His progress was slowed when Richard Schwartz and Michael Carpenter where involved in an incident on lap seven to bring out the caution again.
On lap 9, Rocco was able to make his way passed Yuhas and set sail for Cravenho for third. Up front Christopher continued to chase Silk. Sparks began to fly between Rocco and Cravenho as they battled for position. The two made contact. Yuhas went low to move by both competitors; however, contact with Cravenho sent Yuhas hard into the outside wall. Cravenho was sent to the tail end of the field for his involvement.
Doug Coby was on the move after a lap 16 restart taking the fourth spot from Eric Beers, aboard the TS Haulers #5. Jimmy Blewett was also making his way to the front. Blewett passed Tommy Farrell to take over the fifth spot. While battling for the second position with Silk, Rocco watched his bid for victory end in the turn two wall. Silk was penalized for his involvement. The running order at halfway found Christopher leading Coby, Beers, Blewett, and Farrell.
Things settled down for a portion of the event with Coby taking chase of Christopher through lapped traffic. With only four laps remaining Farrell spun exiting turn four. Christopher watched his sizeable lead disappear with the yellow. Beers encountered mechanical problems falling off the pace on the final restart. Christopher was able to pull away from Coby. Blewett made his move after the restart to grab second from Coby. A scary looking incident that involved Gary Young, Jr. and Marc Nappi slowed the event with only two laps remaining. Christopher was up to the challenge on the final restart to take the victory in the 50 lap main event. Blewett settled for second. Steven Reed also earned a podium finish. Farrell recovered from an early incident to finish fourth. Coby fell back to fifth at the checkers. Horton also rebounded nicely to finish sixth. Reed received the RH2Way bonus as the highest finishing driver to compete in only the SK-Type Modified division.
Annual John Blewett III Memorial North-South Shootout Tour Modified 50 Lap
SK-Type Modified Feature Finish (Pos. Car # Driver’s Name, Hometown): 1. 00
Ted Christopher, Plainville, CT; 2. 12 Jimmy Blewett, Howell, NJ; 3. 55 Steven
Reed, Freehold, NJ; 4. 8 Thomas Farrell III , Neptune, NJ; 5. 10 Doug Coby,
Milford, CT; 6. 19 Kenny Horton, Guilford, CT; 7. 81 Ryan Preece, Kensington,
CT; 8. 91 Shaun Carrig, Little Falls, NJ; 9. 12 Kevin Flockhart, Jr., Whiting,
NJ; 10. 5 Eric Beers, Northampton, PA; 11. 61 Richie Evans, Jr., Sea Girt,
NJ; 12. 51 Rob Janovic, Jr., Waterford, CT; 13. 3 Henry Stampfl, Norwood,
MA; 14. 8 Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, NC; 15. 8 Patti Pruitt, Owego, NY;
16. 45 Gary Young, Jr., Burlington, NC; 17. 31 Tommy Cravenho, Raynham, MA;
18. 58 Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT; 19. 27 Adam LaCicero, Lavallette, NJ; 20.
74 Sherri Hogan, Belwood, Ontario; 21. 71 Jimmy Zacharias, Candor, NY; 22.
14 Marc Nappi, Howell, NJ; 23. 48 Rick Kluth, Brockport, NY; 24. 11 Pete Brittain,
Oakhurst, NJ; 25. 6 Keith Rocco, Wallingford, CT; 26. 4 Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton,
CT; 27. 38 Robert Schwartz, Jr., Cornelius, NC; 28. 77 Michael Carpenter,
Brick, NJ; 29. 1 Richard Knapp, Jr., Mooresville, NC; DNS 8 Earl Paules,
After 7 months, 16 races, at 8 tracks, in 5 states the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Season has come to an end. Eric Beers and the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 finished the year in 6th place in the point standings with 6 top-5 finishes, 10 top-10 finishes, and 3 Coors Light Pole Awards. At this time Eric and the entire Berkley Auto Racing Team would like thank all of our sponsors Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, and Viveiros Insurance. Along with our associate sponsors Sunoco and New England Race Fuels, 'Q' Racing Oil, Pro Shocks, the Joie of Seating, Pro Systems Brakes, QuarterMaster, Sweet Manufacturing and Jones Racing Products. We would also like to thank Performance Technology and Precision Racing Engines for the power under the hood. Finally we would like to say a big thank you to all of our fans, friends, and especially our families for their support this season. Concluding the season is the 2008 awards banquet for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour which takes place on Saturday December 13 in the Uncas Ballroom at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT.
Oct 18 - Thompson Speedway - WMT - Pole - 10th
This past weekend marked the final event of the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season with the running of the Xtra-Mart World Series 150 at the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT. Coming off of a strong performance the previous week at the Stafford Motor Speedway, the Berkley Auto Racing team and driver Eric Beers hoped to have a strong finish to their first season together. Not having had a lot of success at Thompson this year, the crew decided to try a different set-up for this race.
When Saturday morning practice began, it did not take long for the team to realize that they had made the right decision as the # 46 was shown among the fastest cars on the track. Throughout the hour and a half session the crew made only minor adjustments to the car trying to make it better. By the end of practice Eric was shown as the 2nd fastest of the 41 cars in attendance. The qualifying draw found the # 46 as the 36th car to take to the track. When he had finished his two laps, Eric had posted a fast lap of 18.429 sec. for an average speed of 122.090 mph around the 5/8ths mile oval, this would be a new track record for a Whelen Modified at Thompson. This time would hold up and Eric would claim his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, clinching the season-long honors. He would redraw the sixth starting position for Sunday's race.
When the races initial green flag flew Sunday afternoon, the # 16 of Mike Stefanik, who had redrawn the second starting spot, broke a shifter causing a jam-up behind him. For the # 46, it caused some front end damage, that would affect the handling of the race car throughout the course of the race and dropped Eric back to the 8th spot. By lap 15, Eric had worked his way back to the 5th position, but was dealing with a loose handling car. The next 50 laps would find the # 46 slip back to the 11th spot. At this time, under the caution flag, the car would be brought in to the attention of the pit crew for 3 tires and fuel. Entering pit road as the 9th car, the quick work by the crew allowed Eric to exit the pits as the 4th car, gaining 5 positions. Once the green came back out, he would settle in to the 10th spot. With the earlier damage still affecting the cars' handling and a bad vibration developing on the left front, Eric would spin coming off of the fourth turn on lap 124. Bringing the car onto pit road, the crew would change the left tire. With the rules only allowing only three tires to be changed, a NASCAR official would have to approve this tire change. Once the official looked over the tire, approval was given and no penalty was assessed. Restarting from the 17th position on lap 129, Eric did not have a lot of time to try to make it back to the front. By lap 144, the # 46 would re-enter the top-10 and when the checkered flag flew, the 10th spot is where it would end up.
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Points Total Award Status
1 5 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 154 180 $7,000 Running
2 4 4 Chuck Hossfeld Mystic Missile Dodge 154 170 3,700 Running
3 8 79 Ronnie Silk Hill Enterprises/Coors Light/Sunoco Pontiac 154 165 3,000 Running
4 9 28 Doug Coby Ramar-Hall/Genesis Shocks Chevrolet 154 160 2,600 Running
5 22 45 Erick Rudolph * Original Pizza Logs/Prime Tyme Chevrolet 154 155 2,178 Running
6 32 99 Jamie Tomaino J Co./Clean-Up Supply Chevrolet 154 150 2,850 Running
7 18 21 Richard Savary Superior Oil/Pine Hill Service Chevrolet 154 146 2,100 Running
8 28 2 Todd Szegedy Wisk-Snuggle Ford 154 142 2,000 Running
9 20 31 Tony Ferrante, Jr. Sunoco Chevrolet 154 138 1,350 Running
10 6 46 Eric Beers Reynold's Auto Wrecking/Sunoco Chevrolet 154 134 2,350 Running
11 16 8 Glenn Tyler Sypher Const./Financial Fed. Credit Chevrolet 154 130 1,625 Running
12 25 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 154 127 1,700 Running
13 30 12 Ken Heagy Buoy One Seafood/TS Haulers Ford 154 124 1,575 Running
14 3 3 Ryan Preece Davidson Co./Reynold's Auto Wrecking 154 121 1,650 Running
15 1 19 Jimmy Blewett TS Haulers Chevrolet 154 118 1,625 Running
16 26 50 Kevin Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 154 115 1,075 Running
17 17 75 Carl Pasteryak Dawley's Auto Center/Sunoco Pontiac 153 112 1,050 Running
18 23 88 Woody Pitkat Ramar-Hall/Genesis Shocks Chevrolet 152 109 1,025 Running
19 14 00 Keith Rocco Earth Technology/Sherm's Towing Chevrolet 152 106 1,000 Running
20 13 32 Tom Abele, Jr. * Synergyn/Crystal Auto Body Chevrolet 152 103 1,375 Running
21 27 70 Andy Seuss Stuart's Auto/Rockingham Boats Chevrolet 146 100 950 Accident
22 11 17 Glen Reen * Reen Orthodontics/Pep Boys Chevrolet 146 97 1,350 Accident
23 29 10 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard Auto/Premier Kitchens Chevrolet 146 94 1,350 Accident
24 2 16 Mike Stefanik Diversified Metals/Ace Moldings Pontiac 145 91 1,450 Running
25 7 59 Matt Hirschman Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet 133 88 1,450 Running
26 21 90 Renee Dupuis UIG/SFI/Featherlite Chevrolet 90 85 950 Suspension
27 19 1 Rob Summers Frasco Fuel/Hook & Ladder Chevrolet 86 82 950 Ignition
28 15 5 Charles Pasteryak Dawley's Auto Center/Sunoco Chevrolet 66 79 950 Accident
29 31 0 Danny Sammons Area Auto Racing News Chevrolet 48 76 1,350 Accident
30 24 77 Rick Fuller Toyota Certified Used Vehicles 48 73 1,350 Accident
31 12 09 Bobby Grigas, III Triple-G Scaffold Services Chevrolet 35 70 1,350 Engine
32 10 98 Bobby Santos ImperialCars.Com Chevrolet 27 67 950 Radiator
Qualifier: Eric Beers, Time: 18.429 Seconds, Speed: 122.080 MPH
Failed to Qualify: (9) Eric Goodale (#58), Gregg Shivers (#53), Billy Pauch, Jr. (#06), Wade Cole (#33), Reggie Ruggiero (#14), Dion Ciccarelli (#18), Joe Hartmann (#05), Jake Marosz (#9), Gary McDonald * (#26).
Time of Race: 1 hrs., 17 mins, 12 secs Average Speed: 74.806 mph Margin of Victory: 0.080 Seconds
COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: Eric Beers, 46 Reynold's Auto Wrecking/Sunoco Chevrolet
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: Richard Savary, 21 Superior Oil/Pine Hill Service Chevrolet
POWERADE POWER MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Jamie Tomaino, 99 J Co./Clean-Up Supply Chevrolet
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Erick Rudolph *, 45 Original Pizza Logs/Prime Tyme Chevrolet
WHELEN WINNER OF THE RACE AWARD: Ted Christopher, 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet
Caution Flags: Laps 16-19; 25-28; 35-38; 40-43; 49-55; 66-70; 125-129; 130-134; 140-143; 146-147; 148-152. 11 for 49 laps.
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Blewett 1-12, Ryan Preece 13-28, Jimmy Blewett 29-43, Ryan Preece 44-67, Woody Pitkat 68-85, Ronnie Silk 86-134, Ted Christopher 135-154.
Total Laps Led: Ronnie Silk 49, Ryan Preece 40, Jimmy Blewett 27, Ted Christopher 20, Woody Pitkat 18. 6 changes involving 5 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Ted Christopher 2441, Matt Hirschman 2314, Todd Szegedy 2260, Chuck Hossfeld 2251, Ronnie Silk 2158, Eric Beers 2115, Mike Stefanik 2102, Rowan Pennink 2016, Jimmy Blewett 1969, Ryan Preece 1948
ERIC BEERS SETS
Eric Beers set the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour track record at Thompson International Speedway with a qualifying lap of 18.429 seconds Saturday afternoon. Beers will start sixth in Sunday's final race of the season, the Xtra Mart World Series, following post-qualifying redraw of the top 10 qualifiers. Beers' lap around the .625-mile oval in his No. 46 Reynold's Auto Wrecking/Sunoco Chevrolet produced an average speed of 122.090 mph and
eclipsed the record set by Todd Szegedy on April 14, 2007 of 18.457 (121.905). It was Beers' third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, clinching the season-long honors. Ted Christopher (No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet) and Matt Hirschman (No. 59 Furnace & Duct Supply Chevrolet) will start fifth and seventh, respectively, following the redraw. Christopher leads Hirschman by 35 points and can clinch his first championship by finishing seventh or better. Hirschman qualified third at 18.568 (121.176) and Christopher
qualified seventh at 18.628 (120.786). Ryan Preece qualified second in the No. 3 Davidson Co./Reynold's Auto Wrecking Chevrolet at 18.464 seconds (121.859). Jimmy Blewett and Mike Stefanik will start Sunday's race on the front row, with Preece and Chuck Hossfeld in the second row.
Oct 11-12 - Stafford Speedway - WMT - 5th
After being postponed due to rain the weekend of September 27 and 28, the 36th Annual Carquest Fall Final took place this past weekend. For Eric Beers and the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 team, it was a return to a track that had been very good to them this season and they entered the event with high expectations. In the three events run this season at Stafford, the team has finishes of 2nd, 5th, and 5th with qualifying runs of 2nd, 6th, and a pole position.
During Saturday morning's practice session, the crew made only minor adjustments to help with the car's handling. By the time the session ended, the # 46 was shown 3rd fastest of the 33 cars in attendance. When it came time to qualify, Eric was the 22nd car to take to the track. He turned a fast lap of 18.168 sec. for an average speed of 99.075 mph around the 1/2 mile oval. This time was almost 2/10ths of a second faster than the next fastest competitor. Unfortunately, 6 cars later the # 16 of Mike Stefanik would turn a lap of 18.158 sec. and would edge out Eric for the Coors Light Pole Award. With the top-8 cars redrawing, Eric drew the number 4 starting spot for Sunday's 150 lap race.
Sunday morning began with a pit party for the fans in attendance and at approximately 3 p.m. the green flag flew. On the first lap, Eric was able to move into the 3rd position. Lap 19 would see the # 46 slip back to 4th and on lap 39 into 5th. The races first caution would come out on lap 60, at this time most of the field headed down pit road for service. Radioing to the crew that the car was loose handling from the center of the corner, off the decision to take 3 tires was made. The crew went to work and had Eric quickly off of pit road, he would be the 7th car to exit but the first with 3 tires as the 6 cars in front only took right side tires. With 3 cars electing not to pit, the # 46 would restart from 10th place. Within one lap of taking the green, Eric had moved up 5 spots into 5th. Over the remaining 83 laps, he would run as high as 4th and as low as 6th, before settling into and finishing in the 5th position.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour by Hazel Meredith
Stafford Motor Speedway, CarQuest Fall Final
The CARQUEST Fall Final, Stafford
Motor Speedway’s traditional season-ending show, was originally scheduled
to be held on September 28. Due to a very rainy weekend, the event was postponed
to this weekend, Oct. 10-12, with all three days beautiful New England fall
Sunday’s main events consist of the NASCAR Camping World East 150, the Stafford SK Modifieds 40 laps; the NASCAR Whelen Modified tour 150 and the Late Models 30 laps.
The Whelen Modified Tour is the 15th of 16 dates on the schedule. Ted Christopher heads into today’s event with a tight 55 point lead over Matt Hirschman. It’s still anyone’s championship to win (or lose). In order to capture the championship Hirschman would have to finish an average of six spots ahead of Christopher in each of the final two events.
"I'm not putting any pressure on myself," Hirschman said. "After New Hampshire I wasn't satisfied because we didn't have the opportunity to beat him [Christopher] on the track. The only way we're going to have a chance at the championship is to beat him on the race track, and now two races in a row we've done that, so I'm very satisfied with what we did at Martinsville and Chemung." Hirschman captured the checkered at Chemung, leading the entire race. This was his second victory of the season and of his career. He has finished in the top ten in 10 of the last 12 races, including the last seven in a row.
Even though his lead has shrunk in the season standings, Christopher will head into the Fall Final as the favorite to reach Victory Lane and boost his points lead. He is the track’s all-time winningest driver with more than 100 total victories, including the Tech-Net Spring Sizzler on April 27. Although his points lead is the smallest it's been since he took it from Hossfeld in mid-August, Christopher has finished no worse than 14th with top-10s in the last three outings.
But there are many more than two drivers to watch in the Fall Final. Chuck Hossfeld finished in the top five at Chemung and has a win at Stafford in 2008. Also, one of Jimmy Blewett’s two wins this year came at Stafford, and Ryan Preece, has had significant success with a pole and 136 laps led.
Mike Stefanik captured the 2007 Fall Final to extend his series record for wins at Stafford to 19. Stefanik, who has registered wins in 20 of his 23 seasons in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour prior to this year, has yet to reach Victory Lane in 2008.
Mike Stefanik tied the all-time
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour record for career pole awards by capturing the
Coors Light Pole Award with a fast time of 18.158 seconds (99.130 mph) on
Saturday. It was the first pole for Stefanik since Martinsville (VA) Speedway
in 2006. He is now tied with Tony Hirschman for the series’ all-time lead
with 41 poles, and has extended his own record for pole at Stafford to 15.
Stefanik pilots the #16 Diversified Metals/Ace Moldings Pontiac.
Eric Beers in the #46 Reynold’s Auto Wrecking/Sunoco Chevrolet, was second fastest with a time of 18.168 seconds (99.075 mph). He will start in the third row following the redraw. Rob Summers in the #1 Frasco Fuel/Hook & Ladder Chevrolet was third quick at 18.316 seconds (98.275 mph). He will start the event in fourth.
Ted Christopher in the #36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet was fastest in morning practice and registered the seventh best lap in time trials at 18.355 seconds (98.066 mph). After the redraw Christopher will start next to Stefanik in the front row.
The Full Field of Starters
1. (16) Mike Stefanik; 2. (36) Ted Christopher, 3. (17) Glen Reen, 4. (46) Eric Beers, 5. (1) Rob Summers, 6. (4) Chuck Hossfeld, 7. (99) Jamie Tomaino, 8. (28) Doug Coby, 9. (0) Danny Sammons, 10. (3) Ryan Preece, 11. (09) Bobby Grigas, 12. (2) Todd Szegedy, 13. (59) Matt Hirschman, 14. (10) Ed Flemke Jr., 15. (19) Jimmy Blewett, 16. (79) Ronnie Silk, 17. (14) Reggie Ruggiero, 18. (64) James Civali, 19. (11) Anthony Sesely, 20. (8) Glenn Tyler, 21. (50) Kevin Goodale, 22. (93) Rowan Pennink, 23. (06) Billy Pauch Jr., 24. (00) Frank Ruocco, 25. (21) Richard Savary, 26. (77) Rick Fuller, 27. (33) Wade Cole, 28. (90) Renee Dupuis, 29. (58) Eric Goodale, 30. (12) Ken Heagy, 31. (05) Joe Hartmann, 32. (32) Tom Abele Jr., 33. (9) Jake Marosz.
The Feature Event
Mike Stefanik led the field to
the green and would lead the first lap with Christopher tucking in behind
him by the end of lap one. Leaders at the end of the first ten laps are Stefanik,
Christopher Beers, Hossfeld, and Preece. Stefanik and Christopher have opened
up a ten car lead over the field. Lap 16 Beers gets squirrelly off turn two
but hangs on and loses just one spot to the #4 of Hossfeld.
Lap 25 and the leaders keep stretching their lead over third place Hossfeld – who is now more than 10 car lengths ahead of fourth place Beers. Preece continues to tail Beers with the #59 of Matt Hirschman in sixth.
Lap 29 the #00 of Frank Ruocco spins into the front stretch grass but we stay under green. It was a little nerve wracking when he tried to merge back into race traffic, however, but no incidents occurred.
Lap 50 and we’ve not had a caution yet! Stefanik continues to hold the point and hap opened up a healthy lead over Christopher. Hossfeld is still in third followed by the #3 of Ryan Preece.
Lap 59 the #58 of Eric Goodale spun into the frontstretch grass (or should I say dirt!) to bring out our first caution of the event. The leaders all head to pit road for right side tires. Only two cars not on the leap stayed out, giving the lead to the #1 of Rob Summers followed by the #99 of Jaime Tomaino. First of the leaders out of the pits was the #3 of Ryan Preece followed by the #4 Chuck Hossfeld. They are followed by Hirschman, #28 Doug Coby, #16 Stefanik, #19 Jimmy Blewett, #46 Beers, and #36 Christopher.
Restart on lap 66 with Summers holding the point ahead of Preece and Hirschman. Stefanik is trying to duck under Hirschman to take the spot. He takes third just a couple of laps later and is now going for second, which he gets on lap 70. Summers now has Stefanik on his back bumper. Stefanik is trying the high line to get around him but can’t complete the pass.
Lap 80 and the #0 of Danny Sammons goes for a spin in turn two bring out the second caution of the event. The #1 of the leader, Summers, heads to the pits as he did not pit when the rest of the field did on the previous caution. This gives the lead back to Stefanik with Preece second, Hirschman third and Beers fourth.
Back to green on lap 83 with Stefanik pulling ahead by the time they come off turn two. Preece tucks in behind and Hirschman in third. The #14 of Reggie Ruggiero abruptly slows on the back stretch causing a traffic jam, but no accidents or cautions. However, on the next lap the yellow flies for the #32 Abele Jr. spinning in turn four. There are currently 21 cars on the lead lap.
Green on lap 92 with Stefanik again leading the pack. The title contenders are running third (Hirschman) and sixth (Christopher). Preece gets the jump on the outside this time, but Stefanik quickly pulls even by the backstretch, clearing Preece by the next lap. Hirschman is now on the inside of Preece trying to take second. They stay side-by-side for three laps until Hirschman pulls ahead of Preece. The top ten are now single file, with Christopher in seventh.
Lap 100 and Hirschman is trying to get alongside Stefanik, but cannot make it stick. The entire field is now single file as we pass lap 102. The top four are starting to pull away from the pack and Hirschman is still glued to the bumper of Stefanik. Lap 115 – still no changes up front. Hirschman continued to try to get to the inside of Stefanik with no luck. The #3 of Preece slows dramatically on the backstretch and heads to pit road – no caution. That moves Hossfeld is now third with 15-car lengths back to the #2 of Todd Szegedy in fourth.
With 25 laps to go, Hirschman is still hanging on the back bumper of Stefanik. This youngster is definitely not trying to “play it safe” going for the points today. He’s giving it all he’s got. The #99 of Jaime Tomaino has been black-flagged as he seems to be smoking and may be dropping fluids.
Lap 134 Hossfeld moves to the outside of Hirschman, trying for second. They stay side-by-side but the caution flies on the next lap (136) as the #17 of Glen Reen and the #79 of Ronnie Silk get together and spin in turn two.
If Hirschman has anything for Stefanik, now is his chance on the restart as they will be side-by-side. They’ll both need to be worried about Hossfeld in third however. (And don’t count out Szegedy in fourth.) There are 20 cars on the lead lap.
Green flies on lap 140 – a ten-lap shootout! Stefanik gets a huge jump on Hirschman and Hossfeld also follows past into second. However, a tire flies off the #28 of Doug Coby as they come off turn four, bringing out the yellow. Since we’re inside ten to go, it will be a single file restart.
Back to racing on lap 145 – hopefully five to go! Szegedy almost runs into the back of Hossfeld, but everyone stays in line. The #33 of Wade Cole spins in turn two, but keeps going – no caution. The leaders get past him and continue in line – Stefanik, Hirschman, Hossfeld, and Szegedy opening up some room back to fifth place Beers. That would be the finish with Christopher finishing sixth.
That makes Christopher’s lead over Hirschman only 35 points heading into next week’s finale at Thompson International Speedway in the World Series of Auto Racing. Todd Szegedy will only be 43 points behind Christopher, so don’t count him out yet either!
Stefanik was quite happy in Victory Lane and humble as always. “We struggled some this year, but just kept plugging away. I’m very happy to get the win, but never expect these things.”
He continued, “There’re a lot of guys who haven’t won a race this year, I’m glad I can say now I’m not one of them! We needed that pole. I never come into any race track over whelmed with confidence. I know the car was good in qualifying, but our car is so different this week than at the last race, you just never know. Early on, we were definitely too free, but we were able to hold on. Matt was a gentleman to me – a good driver like his Dad. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He’s making it an exciting finish to the year by closing in on Teddy. I’m not in it (the championship chase) but I’ll be happy to be watching it next week.”
Matt Hirschman was complimented on how clean the leaders ran. He said, “That’s the only way I’m going to do it for a win. I’m not going to take any cheap shots’ that’s for sure.” I’m disappointed finishing second, because I think I left 10 points on the track by not winning today. As far as next week we’ll have to see what happens, I would love to win the win the championship, but Christopher is tough beat, said Hirschman.
Hossfeld stated, “I know we had a good car and I thought we might have had a shot at the win, but I just couldn’t get past them. This is a tough series, and they are all great drivers. I’m not really happy with third, but with the luck we’ve had lately, it’s a good finish.”
1. (1) Mike Stefanik, Coventry ,
R.I. , Pontiac , 150 laps, 73.912 mph, $7,600.
2. (13) Matt Hirschman, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 150, $3,300.
3. (6) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville , N.Y. , Dodge, 150, $2,900.
4. (12) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield , Conn. , Ford, 150, $2,700.
5. (4) Eric Beers, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 150, $2,900.
6. (2) Ted Christopher, Plainville , Conn. , Chevrolet, 150, $2,200.
7. (22) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley , Pa. , Chevrolet, 150, $2,850.
8. (19) Anthony Sesely, Matawan , N.J. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,500.
9. (20) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,750.
10. (21) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,250.
11. (14) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,550.
12. (5) Rob Summers, Vernon , Conn. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,118.
13. (15) Jimmy Blewett, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,600.
14. (26) Rick Fuller, Auburn , Mass. , 150, $1,075.
15. (16) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk , Conn. , Pontiac , 150, $1,550.
16. (9) Danny Sammons, Hamilton , N.J. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,410.
17. (23) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown , N.J. , Dodge, 150, $1,385.
18. (11) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield , Mass. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,360.
19. (29) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,335.
20. (3) Glen Reen, Wilbraham , Mass. , Chevrolet, 150, $1,610.
21. (8) Doug Coby, Milford , Conn. , Chevrolet, 149, $1,280.
22. (30) Ken Heagy, Calverton , N.Y. , Ford, 149, $1,250.
23. (28) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury , Conn. , Chevrolet, 148, $825.
24. (31) Joe Hartmann, Calverton , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 148, $1,225.
25. (27) Wade Cole, Riverton , Conn. , Chevrolet, 147, $1,225.
26. (7) Jamie Tomaino, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 147, $1,225.
27. (32) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich , Conn. , Chevrolet, 147, $1,225.
28. (10) Ryan Preece, Kensington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 116, timing chain, $1,325.
29. (17) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill , Conn. , Ford, 87, suspension, $825.
30. (24) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire , Conn. , Chevrolet, 80, drive shaft, $825.
31. (18) Eric Berndt, Cromwell , Conn. , Chevrolet, 71, engine, $825.
32. (25) Richard Savary, Canton , Mass. , Chevrolet, 62, caliper, $1,425.
33. (33) Jake Marosz, Middletown , Conn. , Chevrolet, 51, handling, $1,225.
Time of Race: 1 hour 0 minutes 53 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.165 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M.Stefanik (99.130 mph, 18.158 seconds)
Caution Flags: 5 for 27 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M.Stefanik 1-62; R.Summers 63-82; M.Stefanik 83-91; R.Preece 92; M.Stefanik
Standings: 1. T.Christopher, 2261; 2. M.Hirschman, 2226; 3. T.Szegedy, 2118; 4. C.Hossfeld, 2081; 5. M.Stefanik, 2011; 6. R.Silk, 1993; 7. E.Beers, 1981; 8. R.Pennink, 1889; 9. J.Blewett, 1851; 10. R.Preece, 1827.
Oct 4 - Chemung Speedrome - WMT - 15th
Eric Beers and the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 team headed to the Chemung Speedrome in Chemung, NY for the 14th event of the 2008 season. This was the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tours' first visit to the track since 2001. But for Eric, it was the site of his August 17 victory during the Race of Champions Tour event, so he and the entire Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J&R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, Viveiros Insurance team had high expectations coming into the race.
During the afternoon practice session, the # 46 turned over 70 laps around the 3/8th's mile oval trying to find the right handling combination. The end of the session had Eric 5th fastest on the speed charts. When it came time for qualifying a fast lap of 14.167 sec. for an average speed of 94.021 mph was turned, which ended up being good enough for 3rd fastest of all the cars. With this race being run under the "Flash" format, 2 - 25 lap qualifying heat races were next on the schedule. Eric's time trial effort would earn him the 2nd starting position in the first heat. The race would be fairly uneventful as that is where he would also finish. During the time between the heat and the feature, the crew went to work making changes to the car with the hopes of giving the car more bite off of the corners.
At approximately 7:40 p.m. and with temperatures in the 40's, the green flag started the Chemung 120. The first caution of the night came out on lap 21, running in 2nd, Eric radioed the crew that the car became tighter the further into the green flag run. The feeling was, that as the race progressed and the fuel load burned off, the tight handling would diminish. On lap 33, # 46 would slip back to 3rd, but would regain 2nd on the 49th circuit where it remained until lap 89 when he fell back to 3rd. Lap 102 found Eric, slip back to the 4th spot. Entering turn 3 on the 117th lap, while Eric was making a move to the inside of the 3rd place # 16 of Mike Stefanik. The 6th place # 79 car driven by Ronnie Silk made an overaggressive banzai move on the # 4 of Chuck Hossfeld and ended up driving into the left side of the # 46, taking away what was sure to be a top-3 finish for Eric and the team. Under caution, once getting the car pointed in the right direction, Eric drove alongside and expressed his displeasure for Silk and his tactics. Restarting in 18th for the green-white-checker finish, Eric was able to make it up to 16th at the checkered flag. At this point, he moved up behind the # 79 and further expressed his feelings for Silk by driving into the back of his car.
As a result, heading into the final 2 races, Eric slipped one position to 7th in the points. Now 5 points behind 6th place Stefanik and 49 points behind 5th place Silk. This weekend the team heads to the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT for the rescheduled Carquest Fall Final 150. Practice and qualifying is scheduled for Saturday with the feature event on Sunday along with a Pit Party for the fans. Remember to vote for Eric for Most Popular Driver at http://localracing.nascar.com/node/786l balloting ends on Sunday October 19. Also, for more information on Eric and the team please visit www.ericbeers.com. As always Eric and the Berkley Auto Racing team wish to thank all of our sponsors and fans for their suppot
Eric Beers ran second or third most of the race; he eventually slipped back to fourth, until Ronnie Silk turned him with just a couple of laps remaining in turn three. “There are guys on this Tour that you can race with and guys you can’t”, stated Beers who chased down Silk after the checkered and slammed into the back of him. “Look at all the laps where I was second, Chuck (Hossfeld), Mike (Stefanik), Todd (Szegedy) and I raced clean. Even with Matt on the inside on the restarts. He gave me the outside and if I could have got the job done I would have had the room to do it. I don’t know what’s going on at times. Earlier this season, NASCAR made calls to put guys to the rear and as blatant as what he did tonight, they didn’t do anything, so I took things into my own hands. I don’t like doing things like that, but I’m not the only one who has had issues with him. Walk around the pits and ask some of the other drivers, I’m pretty sure you’ll get a consistent response.”
Whelen Modified Tour-Chemung 120 Unofficial Results
At Chemung Speedrome
Lap length: 0.375 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 122 laps, 55.925 mph, $4,300.
2. (6) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 122, $2,200.
3. (8) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 122, $2,400.
4. (2) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 122, $1,700.
5. (7) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 122, $1,600.
6. (12) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122, $1,600.
7. (22) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 122, $2,150.
8. (10) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 122, $1,350.
9. (16) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 122, $1,300.
10. (9) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 122, $1,050.
11. (5) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122, $1,200.
12. (20) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 122, $1,075.
13. (14) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 122, $975.
14. (21) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122, $945.
15. (19) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122, $860.
16. (3) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 122, $800.
17. (18) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 122, $775.
18. (24) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 122, $750.
19. (15) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Chevrolet, 121, $525.
20. (17) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 121, $700.
21. (4) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 111, torque arm, $650.
22. (25) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 111, $600.
23. (11) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 110, ignition, $600.
24. (13) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 101, $600.
25. (23) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 17, handling, $400.
Time of Race: 0 hours 49 minutes 5 seconds
Margin of Victory: Race ended under caution
Fastest Qualifier: M.Hirschman (94.101 mph, 14.155 seconds)
Heat 1 Winner: M.Hirschman
Heat 2 Winner: C.Hossfeld
Caution Flags: 11 for 48 laps.
Lead Changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M.Hirschman 1-122.
Standings: 1. T.Christopher, 2111; 2. M.Hirschman, 2056; 3. T.Szegedy, 1958; 4. C.Hossfeld, 1916; 5. R.Silk, 1875; 6. M.Stefanik, 1831; 7. E.Beers, 1826; 8. R.Preece, 1748; 9. R.Pennink, 1743; 10. J.Blewett, 1727.
The Carquest Fall Final 150, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event, scheduled for this past weekend has been postponed and rescheduled for the weekend of October 11 and 12. This coming Saturday October 4, the tour makes its second ever appearance and first since 2001 at the Chemung Speedrome in Chemung, NY for the running of the Chemung 120. This will be the third and final of the "Flash" events that utilize qualifying heat races that will set the starting grid for the main event
20 - Martinsville Speedway - WMT - 15th
On Saturday Sept. 20, the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 team headed south to the historic half-mile Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for the 4th running of the Whelen Made in America 300. This being a combination event with the NASCAR Southern Modified Tour, the 300 lap race would be run in two 150 lap segments separated by a 10 minute break. This was mainly done to benefit the southern teams most of which do not have live pit stop the refueling capabilities along with smaller pit crews. Also, NASCAR points would be given separately to each tours' teams, with the highest finishing car in each tour receiving 1st place points, the second highest placing cars receiving second place points, and so on and so forth.
During the hour and a half morning practice session, the team work hard to give Eric a good handling racecar. Most of the session, the car was tight in the center of the corner and was skating the nose. By the time the practice was over, the car was still not quite to Eric's liking but, he was shown 8th in the final time sheets. With the race being an "impound" race qualifying would be done in race trim with a full load of fuel. The qualifying draw had Eric the 18th driver to take to the track. He was able to post a fast time of 19.158 seconds for an average speed of 98.841 mph, which would only be good for the 24th starting position.
Following an on-track autograph session, and with pre-race activities completed, the green flag flew just after 3:30 p.m. For the first 60 laps, Eric could be found running right around the 20th spot, he would radio to the crew that the car was pretty tight in the center and free up off. By the 100 lap mark, the # 46 had made its way into the top-20 and was running in the 18th position. By lap 134 into the 16th spot and by lap 144 into 14th which is where he would be when the halfway break would occur. With a ten minute break, the crew went to work changing tires and refueling the car. It also gave the team an opportunity to look over the fluid levels and top them off.
When the race restarted, it did not take long to see that the changes the crew made at halfway were working. As the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, Viveiros Insurance entry moved into the top-10. Over the next 70 laps, Eric would remain in the top-10, running as high as 7th, until an accident occurred in front of him that found him making slight contact knocking the toe out on the front tires. He would bring the car to the pits for fresh right side tires and an adjustment to the toe. To avoid loosing a lap in the pits he would exit and then reenter the pits for more adjustments. Unfortunately, just as he was exiting the pits, the field was taking the green flag, thus putting him half a lap behind the leaders. The race would have an extended green flag period and on lap 266, the leaders would put the # 46 a lap down. The race would remain green until the finish. In the final rundown, Eric would be credited with the 14th position overall and 11th of the northern teams.
Although, the weekend did not go quite as planned, Eric remains 6th in points, now only 9 points out of 5th with 3 races remaining. This coming weekend Sept. 27 and 28 the team heads to the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT for the 36th Annual Carquest Fall Final 150. Remember that voting for Most Popular Driver continues until October 19 at www.nascarhometracks.com
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour celebrated its 500th race in its tradition-rich history, but it was Burt Myers that stole the show and drove his way to Victory Lane in the Made In America Whelen 300.
Myers became the first NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour driver to win the annual combination race with their northern-based counterparts at Martinsville Speedway.
He also became the first Southern driver to win a Modified tour race in a NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville since Johnny Bryant in 1985.
“I tell you what – this is something else,” Myers said. “It will probably sink in tomorrow.”
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Preece became the youngest winner in NASCAR Whelen Modified history as the highest finishing NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver. He appeared poised to take the overall win, taking the lead on lap six and leading throughout the event. But Myers, who spent most of the race in second, tracked him down and made the winning pass on lap 271.
Almost as important, Myers put Tim Brown and L.W. Miller a lap down on lap 183. That, combined with Brian Loftin’s 10th-place finish, allowed Myers to move into second in NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified points. He is 27 behind Loftin with two races remaining.
Myers had briefly taken the lead on lap 223, but Preece got it back when caution flew on the same lap and the running order reverted to the last-completed green-flag lap.
Matt Hirschman finished third, followed by Reggie Ruggiero and Ted Christopher. Todd Szegedy, Woody Pitkat, Ed Flemke Jr., Rowan Pennink, and Loftin rounded out the top 10.
Christopher maintained his NASCAR Whelen Modified points lead. He is 89 up on Hirschman with three races left.
Since the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour was formed in 2005, it has inched closer to beating its older brethren in the combination event. L.W. Miller set the previous best finish with his third-place in 2007.
Made In America Whelen 300-Made In American Whelen 300 Results
Saturday At Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, Va.
Lap length: 0.526 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (4) Burt Myers, Walnut Grove, N.C., Ford, 300 laps, 61.077 mph, $8,000.
2. (1) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 300, $8,400.
3. (10) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 300, $4,300.
4. (13) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 300, $3,800.
5. (8) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 300, $3,500.
6. (9) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 300, $2,675.
7. (31) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 300, $2,900.
8. (28) Eddie Flemke, Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 300, $2,500.
9. (14) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 300, $2,500.
10. (11) Brian Loftin, Lexington, N.C., Chevrolet, 300, $2,175.
11. (26) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 300, $2,350.
12. (16) Tim Brown, Cana, Va., Chevrolet, 299, $1,850.
13. (19) L.W. Miller, Dushore, Pa., Pontiac, 299, $1,825.
14. (22) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 299, $2,200.
15. (24) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 299, $2,243.
16. (36) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 299, $2,075.
17. (2) George Brunnhoelzl, III, Babylon, N.Y., Ford, 297, engine, $2,350.
18. (6) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 292, $1,625.
19. (37) Joe Hartman, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 286, $2,000.
20. (3) Chuck Hossfeld, Buffalo, N.Y., Dodge, 283, $2,075.
21. (38) Rich Kuiken, Staffordville, N.J., Chevrolet, 283, $1,950.
22. (40) Tom Abele, Norwich, Chevrolet, 272, $2,200.
23. (20) Danny Sammons, Trenton, N.J., Chevrolet, 260, $1,875.
24. (12) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 227, drive shaft, $1,950.
25. (21) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 227, $1,925.
26. (18) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 194, battery, $1,900.
27. (23) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 190, rear end, $1,775.
28. (39) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 189, steering, $1,750.
29. (7) Jason Myers, Walnut Cove, N.C., Ford, 188, accident, $1,350.
30. (27) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 183, rear end, $1,750.
31. (29) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Dodge, 176, accident, $1,350.
32. (30) Billy Pauch, Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 152, clutch, $1,750.
33. (45) Jay Foley, Stuart, Va., Chevrolet, 149, oil line, $1,350.
34. (17) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 144, accident, $1,350.
35. (25) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 144, accident, $1,750.
36. (33) John Smith, Mount Airy, N.C., Chevrolet, 143, belts, $1,350.
37. (15) Frank Fleming, Mt Airy, N.C., Pontiac, 140, accident, $1,350.
38. (34) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 128, alternator, $1,750.
39. (5) Bobby Hutchens, Lexington, N.C., Chevrolet, 62, $1,350.
40. (35) Zach Brewer, Winston-Salem, N.C., Chevrolet, 23, accident, $0.
41. (41) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 23, accident, $1,750.
42. (42) Sean Gartner, Sunset Beach, N.C., Pontiac, 18, suspension, $1,350.
43. (32) Buddy Emory, Petersburg, Va., Chevrolet, 11, accident, $1,350.
Time of Race: 2 hours 35 minutes 1 second
Margin of Victory: 1.712 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Preece (100.313 mph, 18.877 seconds)
Caution Flags: 16 for 88 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B.Hutchens 1-5; R.Preece 6-270; B.Myers 271-300
Sept 13 - New Hampshire - WMT - 10th
On Thursday Sept. 11, the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, Viveiros Insurance sponsored # 46 headed north to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the 12th event of the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season. Entering the event 7th in points, Eric and the team had high hopes of bettering the 4th place finish that they had back in June.
During the day's practice session, the crew worked on freeing up a somewhat tight handling racecar and by the time the session had ended, the # 46 was shown 6th fastest of the 39 cars in attendance. When qualifying took place, Eric was the 23rd car to take to the track. He would post a fast lap of 29.855 seconds for an average speed of 127.592 mph around the 1 mile oval, which would be the 4th fastest of all the cars. At New Hampshire there is no redraw, so that is where he would line-up for Saturday's race.
On Saturday morning, a final half-hour of practice was held and the Berkley Auto Racing entry would be 5th fastest. With a crowd of over 40,000, the green flag flew on the New Hampshire 100, a multi-car accident occurring just past the start/finish line involving about half the field in someway, would bring out the red flag. The clean-up would take approximately 20 minutes before the race would resume. By lap 7, Eric had moved into the 2nd position. With the draft having such an effect on the modifieds at New Hampshire, positions can change numerous times a lap. Over the course of the next 35 laps, The # 46 would run within the top-5. When the caution came out on lap 44, and with a somewhat loose handling car, the decision was made to pit for 4 tires, fuels, and an adjustment to the spoiler that would tighten up the cars handling. With only a handful of the leaders choosing to pit, Eric would restart from the 16 position. When the caution flew once again on lap 53, the remaining cars headed to pit road and the # 46 moved up to the 7th spot. The green would appear for less than one lap before the yellow and then the red flag appeared. The red flag was displayed on lap 61, while the track crews worked to repair the inside retaining wall. With the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race scheduled for live television broadcast beginning at 3 p.m., NASCAR officials decided to complete the remaining 39 laps after the truck race was over.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the modifieds took to the track, restarting in the 5th position, Eric began his move toward the front. On lap 68, he took over 4th place and on lap 76 moved into 3rd. Eric would take over the 2nd place on lap 85. But, the race would take a turn for the worse on lap 86, when entering the 1st turn contact was made with the lapped # 9 car of Jake Marosz and Eric went spinning and was run into by the # 09 of Bobby Grigas. Also involved was the # 7 of Sprint Cup regular Ryan Newman. A poor decision by a slower driver to not heed the passing flag took out 3 of the top-5 running cars. Eric would bring the car numerous times under caution to pit road as the crew worked to repair heavy damage to the left rear portion of the car. The green would come back out on lap 92 with Eric in the 14th spot and by the time the checkers flew, he had worked his way up into the 10th spot. The finish was not what Eric and the team had hoped for, as they would have liked the opportunity to race for the win.
LOUDON, N.H. – Ted Christopher reached Victory Lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the fifth time in his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, and 10th time overall, Saturday evening in the New Hampshire 100.Christopher, who finished second to Chuck Hossfeld by just .001 seconds in the New England 100 at New Hampshire in June, garnered his third win of the 2008 season and extended his points lead in the process.“Last time – to lose by inches – it was definitely hard to take, but this thing today was really good,” Christopher said. “My car was rolling through the center so much better, and came off real good, it was a really good car.”With the win, Christopher (No. 36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet) also extended his own track record for victories to double digits. It was the 30th win of his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, fifth most all-time.Jimmy Blewett (No. 19 United Crane/Ling Trucking Chevrolet) led seven times in the race but had to settle for a runner-up finish. Ryan Preece (No. 3 FJ Hubeny/Reynold’s Auto Wrecking Chevrolet) tied his career best finish by placing third.Rob Summer is officially credited with a fourth-place finish although it was Donny Lia that piloted the No. 1 Frasco Fuel/Hook & Ladder Chevrolet to the finish line. Summers drove the first 62 laps prior to a red flag.Danny Sammons came home fifth for his best finish of the season. He was followed in the top 10 by Matt Hirschman, Erick Rudolph, Woody Pitkat, Jamie Tomaino and Eric Beers.Hirschman placed fourth in the NASCAR Camping World Series East’s Heluva Good! Fall 125 earlier in the day.With the win, Christopher now has a 99-point lead on Hirschman in the season standings with four races to go on the schedule.The New Hampshire 100, which originally went green at 1 p.m., was red flagged with 62 laps complete due to extensive damage to the guard rail on the backstretch caused by an accident. The race resumed at just before 6 p.m., following the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. All told, the race had 15 lead changes between five drivers
1. (12) Ted Christopher, Plainville
, Conn. , Chevrolet, 100 laps, 70.549 mph, $15,600.
2. (3) Jimmy Blewett, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 100, $12,200.
3. (34) Ryan Preece, Kensington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 100, $9,350.
4. (25) Rob Summers, Vernon , Conn. , Chevrolet, 100, $6,200.
5. (15) Danny Sammons, Hamilton , N.J. , Chevrolet, 100, $4,600.
6. (20) Matt Hirschman, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 100, $4,050.
7. (17) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 100, $3,750.
8. (23) Woody Pitkat, Stafford , Conn. , Chevrolet, 100, $3,100.
9. (37) Jamie Tomaino, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 100, $3,400.
10. (4) Eric Beers, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 100, $3,350.
11. (30) Tommy Farrell, Neptune , N.J. , Chevrolet, 100, $2,650.
12. (35) Ken Heagy, Calverton , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 100, $2,950.
13. (8) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield , Conn. , Ford, 99, $2,950.
14. (26) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 98, $2,825.
15. (24) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown , N.J. , Dodge, 96, $2,700.
16. (14) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 93, $2,675.
17. (33) Jake Marosz, Middletown , Conn. , Chevrolet, 91, accident, $2,250.
18. (5) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield , Mass. , Chevrolet, 88, accident, $2,625.
19. (22) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk , Conn. , Pontiac , 87, $2,700.
20. (1) Ryan Newman, South Bend , Ind. , Chevrolet, 86, accident, $2,643.
21. (16) Richard Savary, Canton , Mass. , Chevrolet, 82, $2,625.
22. (29) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley , Pa. , Chevrolet, 75, $2,500.
23. (28) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury , Conn. , Chevrolet, 73, ignition, $1,850.
24. (38) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 69, accident, $1,825.
25. (21) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill , Conn. , Ford, 65, transmission, $1,800.
26. (7) Anthony Sesely, Matawan , N.J. , Chevrolet, 57, accident, $1,800.
27. (13) Mike Stefanik, Coventry , R.I. , Pontiac , 56, $2,300.
28. (27) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich , Conn. , Chevrolet, 54, engine, $2,200.
29. (2) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville , N.Y. , Dodge, 52, accident, $2,300.
30. (9) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 51, accident, $2,200.
31. (31) Joe Hartmann, Calverton , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 32, engine, $2,200.
32. (10) Donny Lia, Jericho , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 31, overheating, $1,800.
33. (32) Wade Cole, Riverton , Conn. , Chevrolet, 23, overheating, $2,200.
34. (11) Doug Coby, Milford , Conn. , Chevrolet, 4, suspension, $2,300.
35. (36) Glen Reen, Wilbraham , Mass. , Ford, 0, accident, $2,200.
36. (6) Rick Fuller, Auburn , Mass. , 0, accident, $2,200.
37. (18) Charles Pasteryak, Lisbon , Conn. , Chevrolet, 0, accident, $1,800.
38. (19) Bobby Santos, Franklin , Mass. , Chevrolet, 0, accident, $1,800.
Time of Race: 1 hour 29 minutes 18 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.095 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Newman (127.453 mph, 29.658 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 36 laps.
Lead Changes: 15 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R.Newman 1-7; C.Hossfeld 8-19; J.Blewett 20-21; R.Newman 22-42; J.Blewett 43-49; C.Hossfeld 50-52; J.Blewett 53-64; R.Preece 65; J.Blewett 66-75; T.Christopher 76; J.Blewett 77-79; T.Christopher 80; J.Blewett 81-82; T.Christopher 83-95; J.Blewett 96; T.Christopher 97-100.
Sept 7 - Thompson Speedway - WMT- 10th
This past weekend the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT held the Sunoco Modified Mania 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. On Saturday, the teams were greeted by off and on rain from the fast approaching Tropical Storm Hannah. With practice and qualifying scheduled, the speedway did its best to dry the track and the cars took to the track for a shortened practice session approximately 4 hours behind schedule.
Throughout the 45 minute session, Eric informed the crew that the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 was tight entering the corner and thru the center. After the team made some minor adjustments to help with the handling Eric would be shown as the 5th fastest of the 32 cars in attendance. With the cars lined up for qualifying the skies opened up once again. This time it would bring the days activities to an end, the field would be set by owner's points for Sunday's race with the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregate, Viveiros Insurance entry starting in 7th. Before loading the car for the night, the crew noticed a water leak coming from the radiator and a decision to replace it was made.
Sunday morning brought bright blue skies with a slight breeze and temperatures in the mid-70's. When the green flag flew, Eric would tuck in to the 8th spot. An early caution on lap 6, had him radio the crew that the car was tight on entry and thru the center. By the 2nd caution he had slipped back to the 10th position. On the ensuing restart, he would get freight trained and fall back to 16th. By the third caution on lap 48 he had moved back into 15th. It was at this point that he would bring the car down pit road for fresh right side tires. He would return to the track in 16th. A long green flag run found the # 46 running within the top-15, by this time the handling of many of the leaders cars began to go away because they had not pitted and Eric began to pick up positions. Unfortunately, the yellow came back out on lap 124. At this point many of the leaders pitted and Eric would restart from the 8th position. On lap 133, contact with the # 36 of Ted Christopher found # 46 into the backstretch wall causing right side damage. Bringing the car to pit road, the crew went to work changing right side tires and adjusting the toe. Eric would restart from the 14th spot, the last car on the lead lap. He would move up into 10th by the time the final yellow flag would fly on lap 147. With a green-white-checker finish, Eric would hold on and bring the car home with a 10th place finish.
With the finish Eric retains 7th place in the point standings after 11 of 16 races. The next event takes place this Saturday Sept. 13 with the running of the New Hampshire 100 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. With practice and qualifying set for Thursday afternoon this will be a very short week for the crew to prepare for the race
With Tropical storm Hanna but a memory, Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT, ended nearly a one-year drought with his win in the Whelen Modified Tour 150 under crystal clear blue skies as part of Modified Mania at Thompson International Speedway on Sunday. Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA turned in a dominating performance to win the 75-lap main event for the Race of Champions. Todd Owen of Somers, CT, was declared the winner in a wild 75-lapper for the True Value Modified Racing Series (TVMRS). In weekly series action, Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ, was the winner in the Sunoco Modifieds and R.J. Marcotte of Millville, MA, in the TIS Modifieds. Norm Wrenn of Nashua, NH, was the winner in the visiting Pro-Four Modifieds.
Szegedy took the lead on a late race restart to earn his first win of the 2008 season in Whelen Modified Tour action. After rain forced the cancellation of time trials on Saturday, point leader Ted Christopher started the Whelen Modified Tour event from the point on Sunday. He took full advantage of his starting spot leading the lion’s share of the event. Christopher led from the drop of the green flag through lap 124. The team opted to head to pit road for tires giving up the lead and ultimately the win.
Ronnie Silk inherited the lead but could not hold off the challenges of Szegedy over the stretch run on lap 132. Christopher, a bit too anxious to get back to the front, was involved in a pair of altercations before his hopes of winning went by the wayside.
Szegedy turned back all challenges to score a popular win over Silk. Doug Coby continues to be impressive; scoring his second podium finish in only his second start of the year on the Tour. Veterans Reggie Ruggiero and Rick Fuller completed the top five. It was a season-high finish for both. Christopher finished outside of the top ten.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Sunoco
Modified Mania 150 Results
At Thompson International Speedway
Lap length: 0.625 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (6) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 153 laps, 82.992 mph, $7,700.
2. (5) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 153, $3,400.
3. (12) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $2,400.
4. (28) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 153, $2,800.
5. (22) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 153, $2,150.
6. (21) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 153, $1,550.
7. (26) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 153, $1,850.
8. (10) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,850.
9. (3) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,750.
10. (7) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,725.
11. (13) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 153, $1,600.
12. (18) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 153, $1,575.
13. (17) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 153, $1,550.
14. (1) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,625.
15. (2) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 153, $1,600.
16. (32) Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 152, $1,075.
17. (20) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 151, $1,450.
18. (14) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,425.
19. (19) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,380.
20. (24) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,675.
21. (25) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 148, $1,350.
22. (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 142, accident, $1,425.
23. (30) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 142, $900.
24. (29) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 136, $875.
25. (15) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 134, accident, $1,250.
26. (8) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 131, steering, $1,325.
27. (11) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 130, $1,200.
28. (16) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 109, accident, $1,200.
29. (27) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 34, suspension, $1,400.
30. (9) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 33, $1,300.
31. (31) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 23, accident, $800.
32. (23) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 23, suspension, $1,200.
Time of Race: 1 hour 9 minutes 8 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.141 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: F.set per rule book, rain ( mph, seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 2 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T.Christopher 1-125; R.Silk 126-131; T.Szegedy 132-153.
Standings: 1. T.Christopher, 1625; 2. C.Hossfeld, 1562; 3. M.Hirschman, 1556; 4. T.Szegedy, 1509; 5. R.Silk, 1508; 6. M.Stefanik, 1475; 7. E.Beers, 1447; 8. R.Pennink, 1366; 9. J.Blewett, 1354; 10. E.Flemke,Jr., 1302.
Sept 7 - Thompson Speedway - RoC - 20
From Speed 51
Thompson, Conn. (September 8, 2008) – Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Penn., is on a role right now in DART Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour action. He scored a victory just one week ago at Oswego in a 125-lap drive where he has won the past three events. On Sunday at Thompson Hirschman started 6th and drove to victory in the Race of Champions portion of Modified Mania at Thompson International Speedway on Sunday afternoon. It was also Hirschman’s second consecutive Thompson Race of Champions victory and it was a dominating performance.
“We had a good car today and this is a back-to-back performance at Thompson,” stated Hirschman from victory lane. At the conclusion of the Race of Champions event Hirschman was looking forward to another strong performance in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but unfortunately for him, the handling was quite the same on his Tour mount.
Kirk Alexander drew the pole and led the field to the green but before one lap could be completed New England modified racer Butch Perry lost control in the middle of the field and Ted Christopher drove into the back of him just before the start finish line. Eric Beers looked to have it missed but was pile driven into the crash from behind by several other competitors. Beers and Billy Putney, who towed to Thompson on Saturday during Hurricane Hannah suffered the most damage. Beers returned for a short spell while Putney was done for the day.
“It sucks,” stated Putney following the event. “You tow all this way and can’t even get a good start.”
Beers comments echoed Putney’s. “I know I’ve got another chance today,” offered Beers referring to his NASCAR Whelen Modified fielded by Bobby Katon, Jr. “But sometimes we need to think these things out. I know Matt starting on the pole wouldn’t have made anyone happy, but every other series here started by points with the exception of the Race of Champions. We had a guy on the pole that’s a good racer, but never runs the series or the tires and guys who have never raced with us before in the middle of the pack. I just think the next time we do something like this we need to think it through. Let’s take care of the guys who run the majority of the races. It was pretty disgusting to get wrecked before you get to the starting line.”
Hirschman’s only close call of the day came on the ensuing restart when Kirk Alexander spun to the infield in front of the field. After that a Darren Scherer jumped to the lead and five laps later Hirschman took over.
“It looked like there could be some cautions today,” explained Hirschman. “Rather than get caught up in one of those incidents it was just time to use what we had and get out front.”
For Hirschman that proved to be the move of the race. Jimmy Blewett, who ran four races at Thompson on Sunday (SK, RoC, True Value, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), came from eighth to finish second. Ryan Preece, Ted Christopher and Billy Pauch rounded out the top-five, with Carl Pasteryak 6th, sweep five of the top-six spots for guys who haven’t run the Race of Champions Tour on a regular basis. Even Hirschman could be thrown into that group, but he has run all but one of the RoC races this season, missing just the Mahoning event.
The next highest finishing Race of Champions regular was Rick Kluth in 9th.
From Thompson Post race report
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, PA, proved to be the class of a star-studded Race of Champions Modified Tour event on Sunday at Thompson. Hirschman took the lead on lap five and would never be headed. The RoC competitors had trouble getting started with two cautions flying before a lap could be completed. The first involved the likes of Ted Christopher. The second flew when Alexander spun from the lead to bring out the second caution. Earl Paulus, Jimmy Kuhn, and Kenny White were also collected.Darren Scherer was the leader of the first lap. He held the top spot before Hirschman asserted himself as the new leader on lap five. After a pair of quick cautions, Hirschman continued to lead Scherer, Billy Pauch, Jr., Pete Brittain, and Jimmy Blewett. A single car incident involving Butch Perry brought out the caution once again. On the ensuing restart, Brittain faltered in the outside groove losing spots to Blewett, who had made his way by Pauch, Pasteryak and Preece. He continued to back slide losing positions to Christopher, Silk and Paulus. oth Pasteryak and Ryan Preece were on the move running inside the top five by lap 20. Scherer fell outside of the top ten during the green flag run. Out front, Hirschman continued to extend his lead. With Hirschman leading Blewett and Pauch, Pasteryak continued to look racy. He looked low to take over the third spot from Pauch. The outside groove appeared to be the fast way around the track and Pasteryak went from battling for third to fighting with Christopher to stay inside the top five. Pasteryak withstood the challenge to run in fifth.At halfway, Blewett had begun to chase down Hirschman. The top six of Hirschman, Blewett, Pauch, Preece, Pasteryak and Christopher ran a distance ahead of seventh place runner Ronnie Silk. On lap 47, Christopher was able to take the fifth position from Pasteryak. Pauch and Preece raced hard for the third spot. Blewett, little by little, continued to chip away at Hirschman’s lead. Preece moved into the third position on lap 52. Christopher got alongside Pauch in a bid for the fourth position on lap 55. The two played cat and mouse for several laps.With 25 laps to go, Hirschman turned it on once again building up his lead over Blewett to a 10-car length advantage. Silk watched his solid finish go by the wayside when he headed to pit road with mechanical failure with only two laps remaining in the event. Hirschman went unchallenged to the checkers to score his fourth RoC win of the season. Blewett came home second ahead of Ryan Preece. Ted Christopher and Bill Pauch, Jr., rounded out the top-five
1. 60 Hirschman
2. 19 Blewett
3. 40 Preece
4. 36 Christopher
5. 06 Pauch
6. 75 Carl Pasteryak
7. 8 Paules
8. 43 Alexander
9. 44 Kluth
10. 66 Brittain
11. 47 Storace
12. 3 Scherer
13. 68 Bush
14. 95m Markovic
15. 79 Silk
16. 44x Holmes
17. m5 Shumway
18. 85 Fischer
19. 96 B. Perry
20. 9 Beers
21. 55 Reed
22. 77 White
23. 9x Clemens
24. 72 Kuhn
25. 88 Putney
Aug 30 - Seekonk Speedway - True Value - Rain
On Saturday August 30, Berkley Auto Racing # 46 and driver Dick Houlihan were scheduled to take part in the True Value Modified Series "Del's Lemonade 100" at the Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA. Unfortunately, as has been the case many times this racing season, mother nature intervened with rain showers during the afternoon. This prompted track officials to cancel the evenings races. At this time there is no scheduled make-up date for this race.
This coming weekend Sept. 6 & 7, driver Eric Beers returns to the seat of # 46 Chevy at the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT for the running of the Sunoco Modified Mania 150. This will be the 11th race of the 2008 season
30 - Oswego Speedway - RoC - 2nd
MUD LANE NEIGHBORS BATTLE FOR OSWEGO LAURELS
- Matt Hirschman scores fourth consecutive victory at Oswego –
- Tune up for Sunoco Race of Champion Produces Two Guys on Top Who Might Not Make It –
From Speed 51
Oswego, N.Y. – (August 31, 2008) – Matt Hirschman and Eric Beers are neighbors on Mud Lane in Northampton, Pennsylvania and although they are good friends and softball teammates off the track, on the track it’s ‘Game On’. We’ve told the story several times but once again the duo took home the lion’s share of the prize money and prestige from Saturday the DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour Parts Plus 125. Two strategies played out for the race to get to that point. Hirschman chose not to pit and went the distance, while Beers pitted, put on a fresh right rear tire and made some chassis adjustments. At the checkers the duo was separated by just a car length as Hirschman nearly slipped up at the checkered flag.
“This was a big night for us,” stated Hirschman who scored his fourth consecutive Oswego Modified victory. “I wanted to get some spots earlier in the race, but it didn’t work out that way, so just chose not to pit and tried not to beat the car up at all. It played out well for us tonight and we were able to come home with another win.”
Rusty Smith and Rick Zacharias led the field to the green, but after leading early, Smith relinquished the lead to Jan Leaty who led a lengthy green flag stretch where the field was sorted out. The front running pack of Leaty, his son Mike, Eric Beers and Rusty Smith lapped several machines as well as stretched out a lead that was well over a straightaway on the rest of the field. A caution just past the midway point of the race setup a frenzy of pitstops.
Jan Leaty led everyone down pit road with the exception of Matt Hirschman and Earl Paules. Paules, a former winner at Oswego struggled throughout the event and stated that the car didn’t have “any nose on it and wouldn’t turn all day and night”.
After the pitstops in which most competitors took fresh right rear tires, Hirschman took over the top spot as Jan Leaty, Mike Leaty, Erick Rudolph and Eric Beers gave chase working through traffic. An intense race changing moment occurred on the backstretch when Rick Zacharias spun and slammed the outside wall while Jan Leaty came to a sudden stop on the inside of the backstretch with ignition troubles that removed him from contention.
This incident setup the run to the finish as Beers slipped by Mike Leaty on the outside for third with Rudolph applying heavy pressure to Hirschman in an effort to get by. With less then 40 laps remaining Rudolph tried the high side but Beers filled the gap and slipped to second.
“I knew with the new tire we’d have to get by Matt rather quickly,” stated Rudolph after the event. “I was getting tighter and tighter and I knew had to go and we tried. When we did Eric (Beers) filled the hole and we finished third.”
Beers got loose once with about 25-to-go which gave Hirschman a bit of a breather from Beers, but coming to the checkers Hirschman slipped off of turn four and Beers shot to the inside and the duo dragged race to the line with Hirschman earning the top spot.
Rudolph hung on for third with Mike Leaty fourth. Billy Putney recovered a time trial crash to finish 5th.
Lee Sherwood won the pole in time trials while Mark Tychoniewicz captured the qualifying event.
The next event for the DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour is this coming Sunday (September 7th) at the Thompson International Speedway with a 75-lap event as part of the Modified Mania weekend.
BEERS FINDING HIS LEGS AGAIN
For Eric Beers Oswego has been a special place. He has won the Race of Champions
at the track and several other events, but for whatever reason this year it’s
been a struggle. A blown motor in the first race, a myriad of broken parts
in the second that led to a couple of weeks off to regroup and regroup he
has. In three races with the family-owned familiar blue Horwith Freightliner
machine, he’s finished no worse then 2nd and if you throw in his NASCAR
Whelen Modified Tour effort, in four races he hasn’t finished outside
the top-five. Pretty impressive turn around and at Oswego Saturday night,
he looked like he might have played his cards perfectly again.
“We just went too far on the pit stop,” stated Beers, who tried to take the blame for tightening up his car too much. “I asked for a little too much to be taken out of the stagger and it cost us. Still, two wins, a fourth and a second in the last four races isn’t too bad. I think we can live with that.”
Beers reflected on the rivalry between he and his Mud Lane neighbor.
“We’re close friends, but finishing second to him is getting old,” Beers tried to smile. “I thought we might have him tonight, but we just couldn’t finish it off because we were too tight.”
Following his performance at Oswego, Beers talked about how things have changed and where things are going in addition to the conflict with the Sunoco Race of Champions event and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event at Martinsville.
“We’re so close here,” he explained. “We just had to stop and look at what we were doing and then move forward. We found a couple of things and going to Mahoning and getting that confidence back really helped. You know, sometimes that is what it takes. We’re going to need some breaks with the weather to run the Race of Champions, I wish that would have been worked out so it wasn’t a conflict. It’s really the Race of Champions date, but I’m committed to the Tour car and will be in Martinsville, but if something happens where we can make it we will. Marylin (and Don) Toal have worked very hard again and they announced tonight a big lap fund, so it is a great paying race. It’s a bit frustrating because when we come back I think we could be better then we were tonight.”
GENERATIONS OF RUDOLPH’S GO FAST
Erick Rudolph is a third generation driver in the racing Rudolph family. His
Father Charlie was a star in the sport on multiple levels, both dirt and asphalt,
as well as his Grandfather Jim. For the younger Rudolph, things are progressing
at a rapid pace as he’s established himself as a strong competitor throughout
the asphalt Modified division on a multitude of levels. On Saturday night,
Rudolph piloted Dave and Laura DeLange’s Troyer machine to a strong
third place finish and when it was over, it sounded like ‘old hat’
to the driver who hasn’t graduated from high school yet.
“We were just too tight,” smiled the young Rudolph. “I thought if we could get by Matt (Hirschman) then we could hold him back there, but we couldn’t get by him and Eric (Beers) slipped by us. I knew it was first or third and we got third. I’m having fun learning and driving this car and it really is a great opportunity for me. I could just feel the car getting tighter and tighter so I knew I had to use the new tire quickly. It just didn’t work out tonight.”
NEW TROYER MACHINE LOOKS SSSAAAHHHWWWEEETTT…
Central New York dirt Modified fans were probably doing a double-take at Oswego
on Saturday afternoon when Chuck Hossfeld rolled out the brand new H&H
Motorsports Troyer Asphalt Modified. It was the first time for the car in
competition, which has been intended to make its debut for a couple of months
now. Billy Colton and company have partnered with John Holland and Al Henke
to create an asphalt team to develop the new mount, much similar to the H&H
effort with Jimmy Phelps driving. The car was a New England Race Fuels entry
with a 98h adorning the door and a beautiful paint scheme. Troyer employee
and driver of Bob Garbarino’s Mystic Missile, Chuck Hossfeld was the
driver of choice, while some late night hours spent in the shop this week
finished up the assembly of the brand new design. Don Ryersee (one of Hossfeld’s
former owners), Greg Aumann (Hossfeld’s spotter), Hossfeld himself and
Bob Mueller burned the midnight oil to get the car ready.
Throughout the day the car was a focal point of the Modified faithful and in the race Hossfeld put the car through its paces beginning to develop a note book on the new piece.
The good news is that the rolling stock that exists on current Troyer cars will be transferrable to the new frame once it becomes available, but there were several new improvements to the car that will assist in several aspects of the car, including driver comfort, ease of entrance and exit from the cockpit and some of the new NASCAR rules that have been put into place.
“It was a learning experience here tonight,” stated Hossfeld, who finished 11th. “We worked hard and wanted to try some different things, but like anything else that’s new, it was and R & D night. Sure, whenever you race, you want to win, but that’s tough when everything is so new. The car will be good, we just need some time and we’ll get the changes right.”
Jan Leaty was fast – plain and simple. After the pitstop he was certainly
amongst those who would have been thought to be racing for the win until…
“We had a ground go bad,” quipped Leaty from a chair following
the race. “I could see it arching while I was in the car. It was just
one of those things.”
Mike Leaty had a great run in his US Army Troyer machine. The younger Leaty finished fourth but was a little too tight at the end to go for the victory.
Billy Putney had a left rear tire come off in qualifying and he made some serious contact with the outside retaining wall in the turn three and four area of the track. Putney rebounded to come home fifth at the checkers.
“We definitely had a good car,” stated Putney. “We just missed in time trials and it cost us. Then we had to work our way through traffic and got held up a little. Still, for the way the day started, to come home fifth, that’s a pretty good night for us.”
Much of the race was run under green flag conditions on the fast 5/8-mile with a feel of years ago with the Modifieds running on Saturday night before the International Classic at Oswego. Kudos to Pat Furlong, Steve Gioia and the entire Oswego staff for having the Modifieds run on Saturday night and giving the division their rightful home on Classic Weekend.
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by; Dart Machinery, Gater Racing News, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston Rings, Dura – Bond, Competition Engineering by Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, Afco, CV Products, and LA Sleeve.
BOX SCORE – OSWEGO SPEEDWAY – DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour Championship Event #2
2.) Eric Beers
3.) Erick Rudolph
4.) Mike Leaty
5.) Bill Putney
6.) Pete Brittain
7.) Jim Storace
8.) Rusty Smith
9.) Darren Scherer
10.) Rick Kluth
11.) Chuck Hossfeld
12.) Doug Reaume
13.) Dave Wollaber
14.) John Markovic
15.) Earl Paules
16.) Jimmy Zacharias
17.) Jan Leaty
18.) Rick Zacharias
19.) Mark Tychoniewicz
20.) Lee Sherwood
21.) Donnie Stevens
22.) Matt Clemens
Not Start: Ken Canestrari, Dean Ryonkema, Dave Bellis
Hard Charger: Bill Putney Hard Luck Award: Rick Zacharias
GATER Bonus: Doug Reaume DART Head Winner: Mike Leaty
Aug 23 - Mansfield Speedway - WMT - win Pole - Start 2 - Finish 4
Mansfield, Ohio – (August 23rd, 2008) – Plainville, Connecticut’s Ted Christopher is the epitome of what an ‘old school’ racer should be. TC races everywhere in every kind of car imaginable and typically he’s successful. He finds the limit of everything he drives and when you think the car is at its limit, Christopher finds a way to go beyond that limit, but just enough to reach a new corridor of speed. There have been many folks that have said that if they wanted to see just how fast something will go then all they need to do his hire Christopher, there is a lot of truth to that.
On Saturday morning, afternoon and eventually night, Christopher was amongst, if not the fastest of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cars in attendance at the fast half-mile Mansfield Motorsports Park oval in Central Ohio.
After qualifying 6th, Christopher redrew the pole and pretty much dominated to gather his second victory of the season. It was TC’s first visit to victory lane since he won the Spring Sizzler at Stafford back in April.
“I like this race track because it’s a pretty fast place,” beamed Christopher following his win. His first win of the season came at Stafford in the ‘Spring Sizzler’. “The car has been very fast and I’ve got to thank all of the guys and car owner Eddie Whelan for a great night.”
Christopher jumped out and into the lead, but not too quickly.
“It’s been tighter on the Tour this year with penalties and stuff,” explained Christopher. “So, I didn’t want to jump the start. That was on my mind the entire time, but you are the leader and you want to get a little bit of an advantage. Ryan (Preece) was laying back on the start and I got a pretty good jump a couple of times, but a couple of others we raced side-by-side into turn one. I may have got into him a little, but nothing overly aggressive. Once I settled down and got my rhythm then I was good. The track never really seemed to change all day, even with the Camping World cars and the Goodyear rubber, the track never changed. It was just a fun night for me.”
Christopher also talked about his driving and how he has learned to cope with it.
“I overdrive a lot and everyone knows that,” Christopher laughed with his trademark smile. “It’s tough for me sometimes to calm down but I’ve learned how to do it. I’ve been driving like that for a long time and it’s hard, but I’ve worked on it. Like today, we should be on the pole here, but we’re not because I over drove the car. Brad (LaFontaine), my crew chief told me as soon as I got out of the car because I over drove the corner and he was right. I did that a couple of times in the race and once I settled down the car was pretty good.”
Christopher competed in the event in one of Whelan’s own cars, after to having to borrow a car to compete a week ago at Thompson.
“Between the borrowed car and the new motors it’s been a pretty good turn around for us in the points,” smiled Christopher following his win. We’ve had our share of challenges this season, we got wrecked in the closing laps at Spencer and then we had engine troubles. You can look back on stuff and it equals out”
Christopher continued. “Tonight we just had a fast racecar. We went out in time and went sixth but the car was really good. It’s our car and we definitely needed to night. We’re heading to tracks that I enjoy racing at, so the championship chase should really be interesting.”
Christopher led the field to the green flanked by Eric Beers, but Christopher quickly shot into the lead. One of Christopher’s biggest challenges of the night was holding off young Ryan Preece, who dogged Christopher for the majority of the event. Preece, who started fifth worked his way forward quickly and pressured Christopher. Christopher, Preece based their race strategy on not pitting.
Jimmy Blewett pitted early and worked his way through the field to a point and then just rode until making a late race charge, while Beers and Silk, who both finished in the top-five pitted just after halfway and worked their way back to the front near the end of the event. Beers, who won the Coors Light Pole Award, his second this season, didn’t have enough car to get up and chase the leaders, which held him to fourth at the checkers.
A late race crash involving Todd Szegedy sent the race into over-time and Blewett slipped to second applying heavy pressure to Christopher at the checkered flag, but it was to no avail as Christopher held on for the victory. Blewett came home second and Preece wound up third with Beers fourth and Silk fifth.
The victory propelled Christopher into the point lead on the Tour. Chuck Hossfeld held a 41-point advantage heading into the event, but with a broken axle and a 28th place finish, there was a 101-point swing, which gave Christopher a 60-point advantage leaving Mansfield.
“I’ve been through all of this point stuff before,” related TC following the event. “Usually I lead it for a long time and then slide backward, but this time we’re gaining momentum now. Some of the things we’ve been through really hasn’t been our fault. The engines, we’ve never had a problem there and this year we’ve had some. We’re not that far out in front and I realize that one bad day could change everything. I approach it from the standpoint of one race at a time. Our car is running well and even with the borrowed car from the Grigas team we’ve been running well. I think with more time we could have had a chance at winning at Thompson if we had more time with it.”
Christopher continued regarding his team and the always spreading rumors that surround it. “As a team, we’re still very good. Brad and all of the guys do a great job. There are some things happening that could make us even stronger and a much more solid team, but that’s all I can really say about it at this time, but we’re going to be fine. Even in the impound races we’ve done well and we had our challenges at those for a while, but it’s all been going well for us so far and tonight emphasizes that.”
Beers collected the Coors Light Pole Award for the event.
The next event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is the Modified Mania at the Thompson International Speedway on Septermber 6th and 7th with the Sunoco Modified Mania 150.
Hossfeld Struggles Through
Hossfeld and Bob Garbarino struggled through the Mansfield event. They heading
into the event with the point lead and left with a broken axle in the racecar
and without the point lead. The team also went through troubles when long-time
Garbarino / Art Barry crew member, Jimmy Savage was transported to the hospital
earlier in the day.
“Today and tonight was definitely what we wanted,” stated Hossfeld following the event. “Look for us to lift it up a notch at Thompson. Right now I just want Jimmy Savage to know that we’re thinking about him and hope he’s doing okay.”
Coors, Bud it doesn’t really matter, there’s still Beers on the Pole
Beers is going to win an event before the year is out in the Bobby Katon,
JR Precast, Reynold’s Auto Wrecking machine. He’s been close. Strong at the
Sizzler at Stafford and a pole at Stafford before Mansfield. On Saturday he
turned the fastest lap in practice and clicked off a lap good enough to win
the Coors Light Pole Award (that just doesn’t flow). In the race he pitted
for two right side tires after running with the top-five for most of the event,
but in the end he came home fourth.
“We were decent, but not great tonight,” stated Beers. “The car would go away on the long run. We were quick on the short run and I thought I had a top three, but Jimmy (Blewett) came along and got us late in the race. We just didn’t have enough to hold him back and he got to second, so he was pretty good. We’ll take it after our tough night at Thompson a couple of weeks ago and we’ll go from there.”
Blewett rides to second
Blewett is a heck of a young man. A young Father, a darn good racecar driver
and a guy that’s always quick to flash a smile. After his run at Mansfield,
Blewett had plenty to be happy with. After starting seventh Blewett rode it
out, pitted for tires, patiently drove back through the field and finished
a strong second.
“We had a pretty good car, but we couldn’t get past Teddy, even in over time,” smiled Blewett. “We gave it all we had, but we came up just short tonight. Still, second is good and we’ll take it. The car is one piece and we’ll just go from here. We’ve definitely got something to build on.”
Other Tour Information
started the Whelen 150 at Mansfield, but Todd Szegedy’s, Glenn Tyler’s and
Ronnie Silk’s team all had backup cars in the field. So that has 28 teams
towing to the event. Several teams this season have opted out of doing every
event, obviously because of the lengthy and cost of travel. In addition to
the car count one has to wonder why this event would be scheduled directly
against Bristol’s night race, long one of the nights that weekly-type short
tracks have struggled.
Race winner Ted Christopher had this to say on the state of the Tour.
“It is probably about the same as last year,” explained Christopher. “I getr along good with Chad Little and think he’s doing a good job. I didn’t really get along with the past management structure, so overall I’d have to say it’s better. It’s definitely better this year then it was last year.”
BOX SCORE – MANSFIELD MOTORSPORTS PARK, MANSFIELD, OHIO – AUGUST 23, 2008;
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Whelen 150 Results
Saturday August 23, 2008
At Mansfield Motorsports Park
Lap length: 0.5 miles
position in parentheses)
1. (1) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 157 laps, 79.471 mph, $7,100.
2. (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 157, $3,200.
3. (5) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 157, $2,650.
4. (2) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $3,700.
5. (12) Ronnie Silk,Norwalk,Conn., Pontiac, 157, $2,300.
6. (6) Matt Hirschman,Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $2,100.
7. (15) Erick Rudolph,Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 157, $1,800.
8. (20) Mike Stefanik,Coventry, R.I.,Pontiac, 157, $2,625.
9. (14) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 157, $1,625.
10. (21) Glen Reen, Wilbraham,Mass., Chevrolet, 157, $1,600.
11. (4) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown,N.J., Dodge, 157, $1,575.
12. (22) Woody Pitkat, Stafford,Conn., Chevrolet, 157, $1,525.
13. (8) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 157, $1,600.
14. (19) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 157, $1,095.
15. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 156, $1,490.
16. (23) Ken Heagy, Calverton,N.Y., Ford, 156, $1,480.
17. (24) Joe Hartmann, Calverton,N.Y., Chevrolet, 156, $1,425.
18. (11) Danny Sammons,Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 156, $1,400.
19. (18) Rick Fuller,Auburn,Mass., 155, $1,375.
20. (17) Glenn Tyler,Hampton Bays ,N.Y., Chevrolet, 155, $1,350.
21. (26) Jake Marosz, Middletown,Conn., Chevrolet, 154, $1,325.
22. (3) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield,Mass., Chevrolet, 151, suspension, $1,300.
23. (9) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield,Conn., Ford, 147, accident, $1,375.
24. (10) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington,Conn., Chevrolet, 95, $1,350.
25. (28) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn. , Chevrolet, 83, ignition, $1,240.
26. (30) Darrel Krentz, Huntersville, N.C., Chevrolet, 72, head gasket, $800.
27. (27) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 59, clutch, $1,200.
28. (13) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 57, axle, $1,300.
29. (16) Dion Ciccarelli, Crofton, Md., Chevrolet, 38, overheating, $800.
30. (29) Jeremy Stoltz, Walkertown,N.C., Pontiac, 9, suspension, $800.
31. (31) Jamie Tomaino, Jr., Howell,N.J., Ford, 7, vibration, $800.
Time of Race: 0 hours 59 minutes 16 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.177 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: E.Beers (117.501 mph, 15.319 seconds)
Caution Flags: 7 for 40 laps.
Lead Changes: 0 among 1 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T.Christopher 1-157.
Standings: 1. T.Christopher, 1504; 2. C.Hossfeld, 1444; 3. M.Hirschman, 1418; 4. M.Stefanik, 1378; 5. R.Silk, 1338; 6. T.Szegedy, 1329; 7. E.Beers, 1313; 8. J.Blewett, 1269; 9. E.Flemke,Jr., 1229; 10. R.Pennink, 1224
BACK TO BACK WINS IS JUST WHAT THE 9 TEAM NEEDED
read the great Story from Speed 51
Chemung, N.Y. – (August 17, 2008) – For Eric Beers of Northampton, Penn., the 2008 season hasn’t been that great since winning the Richie Evans Memorial 100 at New Smyrna Speedway during ‘Speedweeks’ in Florida. His new ride on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour with Bob Katon’s JR PreCast Team has going well, up until Thursday night when a crashed gave them a 32nd place finish at Thompson, so Beers came home and went to work. On Saturday night Beers took it to the regulars on the tight confines of the Mahoning Valley Speedway as he scored his 24th Mahoning triumph over his friend Chip Santee. It was a victory that Beers needed. “We’ve been struggling a little and it’s good to find our legs here,” Beers related following the event. “This place (Mahoning) is so much fun to race, even when the car isn’t perfect you kind find lanes to race in and there is always plenty of room to race clean. This feels pretty good and I’m very excited about it.”
Beers, believe it or not, captured the same race a year ago, only a couple of days after the passing of John Blewett, III at Thompson. This night was just as meaningful for Beers, but from some different perspectives.
“This game is pretty tough because you lose a whole bunch more then you win,” reflected Beers. “But you’ve got to keep trying, however, sometimes the wallet gets a little thin and you’ve got to take a look at what you are doing and this was one of those times. We didn’t run Spencer or start at Lancaster because we needed to regroup and Mahoning seems to always provide us with a great place to do just that and that’s what happened here tonight.”
Beers wrestled the lead away from John Bennett on lap 54 and steered to victory over Santee and Matt Hirschman, which helped him make the decision to head to Chemung Speedrome for Sunday’s 150-lap DART Race of Champions Asphalt Tour event, which was also the first event of the RoC ‘Championship Season’ events.
It was a late decision that turned out to be the right one of Beers as he visited victory lane for the second straight day. Beers showed up at Chemung, drew the 91st pill, started 6th in his heat, finished second, started 8th in the feature and didn’t take the lead until lap 127 after pitting for a right rear tire just past the halfway mark. “We’ve run good here a couple of times and others we’ve struggled, so today was big, very big,” grinned Beers following the event. “The guys did a great job on the pitstop and beating Matt (Hirschman) out of the pits was huge. It gave us the ability to not have to pass him and run our own race.
Beers continued. “That was one of the most important parts of today. You can’t really write a script for this, but today it worked out for us. Everything did, it was pretty cool for it to go the way it did. You’ve got to enjoy weekends and days like this because they are too far and few between. It’s easy to get down when you are struggling, but it’s even harder to pull yourself back up and I feel like we did just that this weekend. We pulled ourselves right back up and got where we needed to be.”
It wasn’t without making it through some fireworks. On the restart before Beers inherited the lead on lap 127, Hirschman glued himself to the back bumper on Beers’ machine as Beers tried to work his way around Leaty. Seeing the only opportunity that Hirschman had to win, he stuck his machine to the outside of the Beers and then snuck up on Leaty. As the trio exited turn four on the 127th circuit all hell broke loose with Leaty and Hirschman slamming the turn four wall while Beers drove by.
“The right rear definitely helped us and Jan’s (Leaty’s) tires were pretty old at that point,” explained Beers. “He was trying to protect his lines. I got a good run on the bottom at the same time Matt (Hirschman) went to the top and unfortunately, Jan (Leaty) and Matt (Hirschman) got tangled up and crashed. It would have been wild to see what would have happened if we could have raced to the finish. I still think the fans got their monies worth, definitely. It was a good show, of course I might be a little biased, but Matt and I passed a bunch of cars after we pitted.” Beers was happy to be celebrating another birthday on Saturday night and even happier to have his parents with him both nights.
“I’ve got to thank everyone on the crew, like I said, we’ve had tough luck, but we stuck it out and it’s paid off and I can’t forget to thank all of my sponsors, Sunoco, Q Racing Oils, Performance Friction, Adam Horwith and Horwith Freightliner. This was a big weekend for us and my family and friends were with us both days, including my Mom and Dad, which is really nice. Also I need to tip my hat to Andy Harpell and his staff, we get on those guys from the Race of Champions from time-to-time and they give us some neat races to run. I guess it does beat going to Knoebel’s amusement park a little bit.”
In the event T.J. Potrzebowski and Brian Defebo swapped the lead until Tony Hanbury, who is a master at Chemung took over on lap 50 and led all the way up until Jan Leaty forged his way into the lead on lap 116, which brought things to the turning point in the race.
Leaty reflected on the incident with Hirschman.
“I feel pretty bad right now,” stated Leaty in the pits after the event. “I knew we couldn’t finish at least third. We didn’t pit and those guys were coming. I knew Eric was back there trying my spotter said outside, but I looked in my mirror on the window post and I saw Eric had a run, so I moved up and I didn’t take into account that Matt was out there. I moved up and it happened. I feel bad about it and know those guys are upset, but we really can’t go back and change it as much as I want to.”
TJ GOES RETRO
TJ Potrzebowski brought back the original colors that he ran on his Sport Mod in 1995 including a light blue wheel scheme and it helped him run to second in the race.
“We did it for the fans because this is our hometown crowd,” offered Potrzebowski after the race. “It was what we ran back in 1995 and if it brings us some luck, maybe we’ll keep it.”
It must have worked to an extent as Potrzebowski ran in the top-five for most of the event and came back through the field with Beers and Hirschman.
“It was an interesting race today. We planned on pitting somewhere around halfway and ended up pitting the same time as Matt and Eric. We came up through the field with them and had no incidents. We’re satisfied with second today because we didn’t have the car to catch Eric, but we were close and like him we’ve been struggling. The car has just been too tight with everything we’ve been trying this year, plus my day didn’t start out too well as we drew 90th out of 100. (For the record, Beers drew 91st). But we’re happy with the gains we’ve made and with where our program is heading. We’ll take it.”
DEFEBO HAS GOOD RUN COMES HOME THIRD
Brian DeFebo captured a qualifying race, led for a
while and overall had a good day with a third place finish.
“Thinking back we could have pitted earlier, because we waited too long,” began DeFebo. “I could have led everyone down pit road, but it’s a tough call and damn if you do, damn if you don’t. I’m just real happy with third today. We had a good solid effort all around.”
Car Count and Other Notes;
28 teams made the tow to the Central New York oval.
The race should have been a lesson for the upcoming NASCAR Whelen Modified
Tour event. The one tire allotted to the teams for the race and the format
made for a race that had everything, pit strategy, passing, cars coming from
the back to the front and a bit of controversy, which makes for a good event.
JR Kent was back in a modified and looked fairly strong until some challenges on the race track sidelined him for the rest of the event.
Pete Brittain was sporting a soft cast on his right hand after an incident on Saturday night at Lancaster in the Tommy Druar / Tony Jankowiak Memorial 50 which was won by Chuck Hossfeld in his own car.
The next DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour show is this Sunday as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Lancaster (now Dunn Tire Raceway Park) Speedway, which now takes on it’s third date due to uncooperative weather on the last two tries. It’s a features only format as the field was set on the 9th of August when the qualifying heats were run and won by Sege Fidanza, Matt Hirschman and Tom McGrath. Buck Catalano and Erick Rudolph will lead the field to the green flag.
Aug 17 - Chemung Speedway - RoC - Win
Story by J.R. Kennerup
Eric Beers of Northampton, Pa. has had a terrible start to his racing season and now that we’re in August Eric knew that he needed to get his act in gear. Beers certainly got his act in gear this past weekend as he won his second long distance event in less than 24 hours on Sunday afternoon at the Chemung Speedrome. Beers who started sixth pitted for a fresh right rear tire on lap 79 and was the first car to exit the pits and that became the key. Beers then raced his way back through the field to take the lead from Jan Leaty on lap 128 when Leaty and third place Matt Hirschman got together and ended up in the homestretch wall. After getting the lead Beers had to hold off TJ Potrzebowski over the final 28 laps to secure the $3,500 win. Early race leader Brian DeFebo came on strong to end up third with John Markovic in fourth and Lee Sherwood finishing fifth. "This was definitely a big win for us today as we’ve had some pretty terrible luck this year" said the happy race winner. "We’ve had no luck with this car after coming back from New Smyrna in February and it’s nice to get back on track with this car with two long distance feature wins this weekend." The win was Eric’s first career feature win at Chemung and he spoke about that accomplishment. "This was our first ever win here as we have been second here before and had some thirds too. But it feels real good to win at Chemung." The key point of the race for Eric was the pit stop on lap 79 where he came into the pit behind Matt Hirschman and ended up beating Hirschman off pit road to technically be the first car in line with a fresh right rear on the car. "Joe (Skotnicki) made a good call for us to come in at that time and the crew did a great job in getting me back out of the pits first. That was big as they had to tighten the car up too besides changing the right rear tire. We didn’t have to pass Matt on the track as then we could come up and race through the field at our pace." Eric spoke about what his strategy was coming back up through the field. "We passed when we had to and then rode a while because you had to have something for the end. After a yellow we would pick off a couple and then ride again until the next yellow came out. Everything went according to plan today." Eric was back up to fifth on lap 101 after pitting on lap 79. Then he moved into fourth on lap 105 and into third on lap 112 and finally into second on lap 123. All this time Matt Hirschman was glued to the back bumper of Beers as he was making his way to the front also. Then came the lap 127 turn four tangle that changed the entire complexion of the race. With Jan Leaty leading and on old rubber as he didn’t pit Beers and Hirschman were all over Leaty looking for a way around him. Coming out of turn four Beers got under Leaty while Hirschman attempted to go around him. Contact was made which saw heavy front end damage on the Leaty and Hirschman cars ending their day. Eric spoke on how he saw the accident happen. "Jan’s tires were at least 70 laps older than what me and Matt had on. It was inevitable that we were going to get by him but he was doing his best to block both of us. I got a run on the bottom and Jan blocked me at the same time Matt got beside me and Jan tried to keep both of us behind him. Unfortunately for all of us it didn’t work out as Jan and Matt got tangled up and crashed." With only caution flag laps counting from laps 50 to 100 a long period of yellow flag fever took place in the closing stages of the race. This caused some cars to run out of fuel and it caused a little problem for Eric too. "It started to sputter with five to go at the end of the straightaways and I was getting real worried. So I started to back off earlier getting into the corners ands getting back into the gas easier to save fuel. We only had about a gallon left at the end when we measured it." Eric won this weekend with a small motor and carburetor on the car. "It’s actually easier to drive the car when the tires wear off as you don’t have that big motor you have to deal with. I have to thank Scott Ritter at RPM as this is our small motor but it runs really well, just like a Timex." "It’s the middle of August as it’s time to get my ass in gear" said Eric about his successful weekend of racing. "It was an interesting race today" said second place finisher TJ Potrzebowski. "We planned on pitting somewhere around lap 75 and ended up pitting with Matt and Eric. We followed them up through the field, had no incidents, and we’re satisfied with a second today. We didn’t have the car to catch Eric today, but we were close."
TJ’s day didn’t start out too well as he drew 90 out of 100. "It was good to win the heat race after drawing 90. We’ve been struggling all year as the car been tight with everything we’ve been trying. Today finally we got the car too loose, but we made big gains today and happy where we’re going with our program." TJ debuted a retro wheel paint scheme on this day. "It was something different, it was the color I used when we started running Sport Mods back in 1995. We did today for the hometown crowd for memory sake, if it brings us good luck maybe we’ll keep the color." "Thinking of it now I should have pitted on the caution before (lap 79) instead of when we pitted (lap 98)" said third place finisher Brian DeFebo. "I could have been the first one in on lap 79 but it’s a damn if you do, damn if you don’t. I’m just happy to finish third." Qualifying for the 28 car field saw heat wins go to DeFebo, Tony Hanbury, Hirschman, and Potrzebowski. No B Main was run due to two cars that scratched for the day after the heat race.
DROME DROPPINGS: JR Kent debuted a new car for him which was a former Vic Hooker owned car that was bought at the auction earlier this year. Kent looked strong at times but had problems like the throttle linkage breaking in the heat race and getting into a couple of skirmishes in the feature. Dave Bellis made his first RoC appearance in the former George Swansbrough car. Dave had a front row heat race starting spot taken away due to an illegal carburetor. Pete Brittain was sporting a heavily taped right wrist due to and minor injury he suffered from racing the night before. Chris Whitenight was running in his last race of the season as he was heading back to school at UNC – Asheville on Monday. An oil leak sent Jim Storace to the pits ending another strong run. Daren Scherer lost a top three finish as his car was starving for fuel with less than 5 laps to go.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE #1 FINISH: Eric Beers, TJ Potrzebowski, Brian DeFebo, John Markovic, Lee Sherwood, Rick Kluth, Daren Scherer, Pete Brittain, Tony Hanbury, Earl Paules, Kyle Ebersole, Billy Putney, Todd Smith, Doug Reaume, Jimmy Zacharias, JR Kent, Matt Hirschman, Jan Leaty, Jim Storace, Dave Bellis, Rusty Smith, Steven Reed, Tommy Farrell, III, Chris Whitenight, Kevin Lewis, Mike Leaty.
DNS: Matt Clemens, TJ Zacharias.
LAP LEADERS: Potrzebowski (1), DeFebo (2), Potrzebowski (3 – 15), DeFebo (16 – 49) Hanbury (50 – 116), J. Leaty (117 – 127), Beers (128 – 150).
DART MACHINERY AWARD $1,200 SET OF HEADS: Farrell.
GATER RACING NEWS DRIVER BONUS DRAW $500:Whitenight.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD: T. Smith (24th to 13th).
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD: R. Smith ( 6th to 21st ).
Aug 16 - Mahoning Speedway - Special 100 laps - Win
Story by Dino Oberto
With a busy scheduled that is centered around the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Eric Beers of Northampton doesn’t often get the time to come to his home track of Mahoning Valley Speedway to race. When those rare occasions do occur you can always bank on him doing well. With a Saturday night free and Beers wasn’t hesitant to come to Mahoning for the Hot Summer Night Modified 100 and the end result was a $3000 victory. Starting 12th after a redraw, Beers took the lead from John Bennett on lap 54 and never looked back as he scored his 24th career Mahoning win and for the fourth time in a 100-lapper. Chip Santee, who was never lower then second all race long and led from laps 7-17, was second with Matt Hirschman, Don Wagner and Bennett completing the top five. "I want to thank Adam Horwith and all the people at Horwith Freightliner for helping us out and also Sunoco Race Fuels. All the guys on the crew did a great job getting this car ready. We were a hair off in time trials," said Beers who was not only celebrating another Mahoning win but his 39th birthday as well. "I want to say thanks to Chip Santee, John Bennett and all the guys I raced with. Everybody ran a clean race. There was plenty of room and this is so much fun when we come back here."A few of those restarts we lost some spots but we ended up working our way to the front. Chip (Santee) and Johnny (Bennett) were tough. I can see why their names are in the paper every week getting first or second and with Donny (Wagner) in there as well." Time trials were held with the top-12 redrawing for starting spots with Santee setting fast time at 9.839-seconds. Jason Bair, celebrating his 23rd birthday, got a present as he drew the pole spot and then proceeded to lead his first laps with a Modified once the race commenced. Following in second was Santee and after the first caution on lap six, Santee made use of the restart to take the lead. He was then pursued by point leader Bennett that unfolded into a very hot duel. Another caution waved on lap 17 and when the action resumed Bennett pulled off the pass for the lead. With the ensuing 17 laps going nonstop, Bennett was pulling away with each passing lap. On lap 34 the yellow was waving erasing his then huge lead. On the restart Santee was able to keep in the same zone with Bennett while impressive running Stacey Brown maintained third. While Bennett and Santee continued to lock horns, Beers was creeping forward. With the aid of yellows as well as his finely honed driving skills of weaving through Mahoning traffic, he made his entry into the top five at lap 42. On the next circuit he advanced another spot and on lap 48 he drove to the top lane and blew past Santee and went wheel-to-wheel with Bennett. Beers was just about to grab the lead on lap 50 when the caution flew. Lined up two-wide for the restart, Bennett was on his toes and was able to turn back Beers’ challenged but not for long. With 54 laps in Beers went for and got the front spot. Five lap’s later Santee displaced Bennett for second. The remaining distance would be no contest as Beers was way too strong for Santee and everyone else. Even with a restart with 10 laps to go Santee could not face off against him. "We’ve been struggling for a little while this year so this will definitely help to turn our season around and hopefully we can get back here again because I love it here," said Beers."This is the place I started racing a Modified but the thing is no matter how good the car is or how bad the car is you can still race. There’s enough lanes that everybody can run clean. You can see it in every division they run double file and it’s great." Santee, who was trying for his second straight 100-lap win, knew that once Beers got the lead it was going to be hard catching him, thus he was content to come home second."I had gotten the lead in the early going but then the car tightened up and then (John) Bennett got along side me and I figured there was no sense in trying to run him at that point. This is a long race and I needed to save my tires," said Santee."Eric (Beers) got by us both and my car was good on restarts but it was still tight and pushing. That last restart I figured was my last shot and I gave it all I had."It took Hirschman 85 laps to get to third as he was given fits by Wagner and Bennett in gaining the spot.
Modifieds (100 Laps): 1.Eric Beers 2.Chip Santee 3.Matt Hirschman 4.Don Wagner 5.John Bennett 6.Earl Paules 7.Stacy Brown 8.Bup Dreher 9.Tom Flanagan 10.Jarred Nace 11.Paul Skodacek 12.Andy Szapacs 13.Matt Higgins 14.Don Holland 15.Jason Bair 16.Rick Kirkendall 17.Lou Strohl 18.Scott Lesher 19.Eric Kocher 20.Mike Quinn
Aug 14- Thompson Speedway - WMT - 32nd
On Thursday Aug.14, the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregate, Viveiros Insurance sponsored # 46 headed to the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT for the running of the New England Dodge Dealers presented by Budweiser 150. Driver Eric Beers and the team had high hopes entering the event following last weeks fifth place finish at Stafford.
For the third consecutive event, mother nature had something to say. Shortly before practice was to take place the skies opened up with heavy rain, thunder, and lightning. This would result in practice being delayed for four hours and the cancellation of qualifying. The starting grid would be set by owner's points, which would have the Berkley Auto Racing entry starting from the fifth position.
When the green flag flew Eric would settle into the 6th spot, on lap 23 he would slip back to 7th . On lap 28, the transmission popped out of gear and he would lose 2 more positions. By lap 43 he had regained the 8th spot, he would radio to the crew that the car was tight entering the corner, thru the middle, and loose off. A caution at lap 52 found Eric and most of the leaders head to pit road for service. The crew would change right side tires and refuel the car. Unfortunately for the 2nd straight week the # 46 found itself blocked in by another car and Eric would have to carefully exit the pit stall to avoid hitting the other teams crew members. He would restart from the 12th position. When the caution flew again on lap 63 he had moved up to 10th, but he radioed that the car was popping out of gear again. With some front runners pitting this time, Eric restarted from 7th on lap 66. Coming off of turn 2 on lap 67, the # 70 of Andy Seuss got loose and when he corrected it contact was made sending Eric sliding off the track. With all of the rain that had fallen earlier in the day, as soon as the car hit the grass it picked up speed and heavy contact was made with the inside retaining wall. Eric radioed that he was okay, but that the car needed to be towed behind the wall. When the car came in the crew went to work assessing the damage. It quickly was realized that the damage was to severe to repair. The contact split the rear-end in two, both ride side nerf bars along with the door and quarter panels were wrecked, the torque arm and all of the rear suspension pieces were also destroyed. In the final rundown Eric was credited with 32nd place.
For the second time this season NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Ronnie Silk reached Victory Lane at Thompson International Speedway. Silk led 35 laps en route to the checkered flag Thursday night in the New England Dodge Dealers 150 presented by Budweiser. For Silk, the win brought his career total to three, all at Thompson. The Norwalk, Conn., driver was a winner at the northern Connecticut oval earlier this season on June 19. “Our car is just great here, that’s for sure,” Silk said. “We’ve had good cars other places as well. Spencer we were second, Riverhead we were second. The breaks go our way here.” With the win, Silk moved up to sixth in the season points standings, his highest ranking of the year. Matt Hirschman, who led nine laps on the evening, came home second for his best career finish at Thompson. Bobby Santos, Ted Christopher and Mike Stefanik rounded out the top five. Glen Reen came home sixth and was followed in the top 10 by Rowan Pennink, Danny Sammons, Jamie Tomaino and Bobby Grigas III. The starting grid for the race was set by the NASCAR rule book as rain washed out qualifying earlier in the evening.
1. (9) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk , Conn. , Pontiac , 154 laps, 63.765 mph, $7,800.
2. (4) Matt Hirschman, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 154, $3,400.
3. (21) Bobby Santos, Franklin , Mass. , Chevrolet, 154, $3,150.
4. (2) Ted Christopher, Plainville , Conn. , Chevrolet, 154, $2,600.
5. (6) Mike Stefanik, Coventry , R.I. , Pontiac , 154, $2,300.
6. (18) Glen Reen, Wilbraham , Mass. , Chevrolet, 154, $2,250.
7. (11) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley , Pa. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,850.
8. (20) Danny Sammons, Hamilton , N.J. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,725.
9. (23) Jamie Tomaino, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,600.
10. (19) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield , Mass. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,550.
11. (27) Richard Savary, Canton , Mass. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,725.
12. (25) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich , Conn. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,488.
13. (24) Anthony Sesely, Matawan , N.J. , Dodge, 154, $1,475.
14. (28) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown , N.J. , Dodge, 154, $1,450.
15. (31) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 154, $1,036.
16. (1) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville , N.Y. , Dodge, 154, $1,500.
17. (15) Ken Heagy, Calverton , N.Y. , Ford, 148, $1,375.
18. (13) Woody Pitkat, Stafford , Conn. , Chevrolet, 145, accident, $1,350.
19. (16) Wade Cole, Riverton , Conn. , Chevrolet, 132, $1,325.
20. (3) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield , Conn. , Ford, 132, $1,400.
21. (33) Andy Seuss, Hampstead , N.H. , Chevrolet, 130, accident, $875.
22. (26) Jake Marosz, Middletown , Conn. , Chevrolet, 125, accident, $850.
23. (22) Rick Fuller, Auburn , Mass. , 117, $825.
24. (10) Ryan Preece, Kensington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 115, $1,300.
25. (8) Jimmy Blewett, Howell , N.J. , Chevrolet, 114, battery, $1,290.
26. (7) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington , Conn. , Chevrolet, 114, $1,250.
27. (14) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 98, $1,150.
28. (30) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury , Conn. , Chevrolet, 87, accident, $750.
29. (17) Joe Hartmann, Calverton , N.Y. , Chevrolet, 87, accident, $1,150.
30. (29) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill , Conn. , Ford, 81, accident, $750.
31. (32) Eric Berndt, Cromwell , Conn. , Chevrolet, 72, suspension, $750.
32. (5) Eric Beers, Northampton , Pa. , Chevrolet, 67, axle, $1,250.
33. (12) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 3, accident, $1,150.
Time of Race: 1 hour 30 minutes 34 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.397 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: F.set per rule book, rain ( mph, seconds)
Caution Flags: 13 for 66 laps.
Lead Changes: 9 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C.Hossfeld 1; T.Szegedy 2-48; T.Christopher 49-79; B.Grigas,III 80-96;
M.Hirschman 97; B.Grigas,III 98-111; M.Hirschman 112-115; R.Silk 116-138; M.Hirschman
139-142; R.Silk 143-154.
1. C.Hossfeld, 1365; 2. T.Christopher, 1324; 3. M.Hirschman, 1268; 4.
M.Stefanik, 1236; 5. T.Szegedy, 1235; 6. R.Silk, 1183; 7. E.Beers, 1153; 8. E.Flemke,Jr.,
1138; 9. R.Pennink, 1100; 10. J.Blewett, 1099
Aug 8 - Stafford Speedway - WMT - 5th
On Friday August 8, Eric Beers and the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 headed to the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, CT for the 18th Annual New England Dodge Dealers 150. This event was the halfway point in the 16 race NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season.
During the hour and a half afternoon practice session Eric was able to turn the 2nd fastest lap of the 37 cars in attendance. While the cars were lined-up for time trials, the skies opened up and thundershowers moved into the area. After an approximately two and a half hour delay qualifying began shortly after 8 p.m. A late qualifying draw had Eric take to the track the 36th car of the 37 cars on hand. With a fast lap of 18.298 sec. and an average speed of 98.371 mph Eric would capture the Coors Light Pole Award for the first time in the 2008 season. This would be the 7th of his career and the first ever pole award for the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregate, Viveiros Insurance sponsored Berkley Auto Racing team. During the redraw Eric would draw the 8th starting position.
When the green flag flew the # 46 would quickly move into the 6th spot by lap 2 and would remain there until lap 54 when it would enter the top-5. A caution on lap 58 had most of the cars head to pit road for service. The crew would decide to make a 3 tire change and add fuel on the stop. Unfortunately, Eric would get blocked in on pit road by the # 16 of Mike Stefanik and had to be pushed back before he could exit his pit stall. With many of the teams electing to take just 2 tires he would restart from the 11th position. When the race resumed it would not take long before he re-entered the top-10. Eric would retain the 7th position thru several caution periods and a yellow on lap 144 would set-up a green-white-checker finish. When racing resumed on the white flag lap, contact between the 1st and 2nd place cars of Todd Szegedy and Ryan Preece would have Eric bring home the car in the 5th position.
by: Dave & Hazel Meredith / The Chrome Horn
Between the afternoon practice session and the scheduled qualifying time, the nasty New England weather continued with more rain showers following the deluges that hit the state yesterday.
Eric Beers, of Northampton, PA, in the #46 Reynold’s Auto Wrecking Chevrolet, captured his seventh career pole with a quick time of 18.298 seconds for a speed of 98.371 mph. He bested Todd Szegedy of Ridgefield, CT, in the #2 Wisk-Snuggle Ford, who had a time of 18.371 for 97.981 mph. Third quick was Matt Hirschman, also of Northampton, in the #59 Ed Bennett Properties Chevrolet, with a time of 18.375 and 97.959 mph. Fourth fastest was Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ, in the Major motion Transport/TS Haulers Chevrolet, with a time of 18.387 and 97.895 mph. Fifth was Ted Christopher of Plainville, CT, in the #36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet, with a time of 18.397 for a speed of 97.842 mph. Rounding out the top ten were: 6) #4 Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, NY, Mystic Missile Dodge; 7) #3 Ryan Preece, Kensington, CT, Davidson Co./Reynold’s Auto Wrecking Chevrolet; 8) #79 Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, CT, Hill Enterprises/Coors Light/Sunoco Pontiac; 9) #21 Richard Savary, Canton, MA, Superior Oil/Pine Hill Service Chevrolet; 10) #09 Bobby Grigas III, Marshfield, MA, Triple-G Scaffold Services Chevrolet. Cars that did not qualify were: #32 Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, CT; #9 Jake Marosz, Middletown, CT; #14 Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, CT; #90 Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, CT; #26 Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, NY; and #00 Frank Ruocco, Cheshire, CT who attempted qualifying after crashing in practice earlier today. The top eight qualifiers redrew for starting positions. They will take the green as follows: #79 Ronnie Silk; #4 Chuck Hossfeld; #59 Matt Hirschman; #2 Todd Szegedy; #36 Ted Christopher; #3 Ryan Preece; #19 Jimmy Blewett; #46 Eric Beers.
Prior to the running of the WMT main event, the Stafford SK modifieds took to the track for a 40 lap feature. This event was a qualifying race for the North-South Shootout to be held in Concord, NC, on November 8th. Doug Coby took the checkers and is now guaranteed a starting spot in the Shootout.
We finally got to the green flag at 10:15 p.m., an hour after the scheduled start. Hossfeld jumped to the point on the start and led the first lap. The yellow was quick to fly on lap two for Charlie Pasteryak in the #5 Dawley’s auto Center/Sunoco Chevrolet who spun on the backstretch.
Cautions laps do count in this 150-lap event. Back to green on lap 5 with Hossfeld leading Szegedy, Silk and Preece.
Szegedy get around Hossfeld as they head into turn one and Preece tucks in behind Hossfeld. The field starts to stretch out in the next few circuits. By lap 10 almost the whole field is single file. Szegedy starts to open up the lead on the straights by lap 17, but Hossfeld stays within striking distance as they hit the turns.
By lap 25 the top 7 cars have broken away from the field by at least 20 car lengths. Szegedy still holds the point followed by Hossfeld, Preece, Silk, Christopher, Beers and Savary. The #93 of Rowan Pennink is black flagged for smoke coming out of it – he must pit to get it checked out.
The #11 of Anthony Sesely is the next car to get the black flag on lap 31. The #64 of Eric Berndt also hits the pits for adjustments. The #1 of Rob Summers pits and gets pushed behind the wall on lap 35 and is out for a power steering problem.
Still green at lap 40 – leaders haven’t changed much except that Christopher has passed Silk for fourth. Szegedy gets caught behind lapped traffic and Hossfeld is able to close up to his bumper. The top three (Szegedy, Hossfeld and Preece) get by the lapped cars, and Christopher and the rest of the field get caught behind them.
Its 10:35 and we’re already at lap 50, a third of the way through the race. The top three are a quarter of a track ahead of Christopher and the rest of the field. Lap 53 – looks like Christopher blew up in a puff of smoke.
Lap 55 the #17 of Glen Reen slides through the front stretch grass bringing out just the second caution of the night. The leaders all head to the pits when they open on lap 57. They all take two right side tires and make whatever adjustments are needed. The #45 of Eric Rudolph gets out first, with Hossfeld second, Preece third and Szegedy fourth. Fifth is Savary then Matt Hirschman, Ed Flemke Jr. and Jimmy Blewett.
We go back to green on lap 66 and Rudolph pulls ahead of Hossfeld going into turn one. Quickly back to yellow on lap 67 as Savary spins in turn four. Rudolph gives up the lead and heads to the pits, giving the point to Preece followed by Hossfeld and Szegedy.
Back to green once again on lap 71 with Preece getting a push by Szegedy to get them both ahead of Hossfeld. Unfortunately, the cautions are now flying heavy as the #05 of Joe Hartmann spins in turn three (cautions breed cautions!). The #79 of Silk heads to the pits with rocker arm problems on lap 73.
Lap 76 Savary and Hartmann both head off pit road. We try again to get going on lap 77, just past the half-way point. Preece leads Szegedy, Hossfeld and Flemke. Preece and Szegedy stay side-by-side through the first lap, while the #99 of Jaime Tomaino spins into the grass on the front stretch. Szegedy took the lead just before the caution came out.
Another try to return to racing lap 85. Preece gets the jump on Szegedy and pulls quickly to the front. They are followed by Flemke and Hossfeld, though Hossfeld makes the pass on lap 87 to move into third. The two leaders are opening up a 10 car lead on Hossfeld and Flemke, who are 10 cars ahead of Blewett and Coby.
The leaders continue to pull away and now there’s a big gap between third and fourth – Hossfeld and Flemke respectively, on lap 95. Szegedy continues to ride the bumper of Preece.
Caution lap 102 as Bobby Grigas spins into the turn three wall – possibly something broke on the car. While trying to avoid the field, Kenny Horton in the #29 also spins.
The young Ryan Preece is running a skilled race against veteran champion Todd Szegedy. Green lap 109 and Preece again leads Szegedy through the first two turns. The stay side-by-side however through the rest of the circuit until Preece clears him in turn two. Blewett is third and Hossfeld is fourth. The two leaders are much faster than the field and again open up more than a ten-car length lead by lap 120. With 25 laps to go, the field remains the same up front. Preece is driving a great race with Szegedy staying right on his bumper. Lap 137 Flemke passes Heagy for fifth. Lap 139 the #06 of Billy Pauch Jr., and #21 Richard Savary tangle coming off turn four and spin down the frontstretch. It will be a single file restart as there will be less than ten laps to go. Leaders are Preece, Szegedy, Blewett, Hossfeld, Flemke and Coby. Green on lap 145 and Szegedy gets the jump on Preece. Hossfeld spins between turns one and two. However, Preece goes back to the lead for the restart. It will be a green-white-checker finish with two laps to go at the green on lap 148. Single file are Preece, Szegedy, Blewett and Flemke.
Preece gets a clean start and the 3 leaders are nose to tail. Todd gets under him going into turn 3 and gets bumped by Preece coming off turn one – Preece crosses the line first, but gets put to the end of the lead lap by NASCAR and Blewett inherits the win.
The top ten are Blewett, Flemke, Coby, Hirschman, Beers, Goodale, Stefanik, Sammons, Carl Pasteryak and Charlie Pasteryak. This would have been the first WMT win for Ryan Preece, who is just 17 years old. In Victory lane Jimmy Blewett was jubilant, but disappointed for Preece. “He showed us how to get around here tonight. It’s unfortunate for him, but I’ll take a win any way I can get it!” Later in the press box interview Blewett said when asked where you expecting the call in regards to Preece being put back to last car on the lead lap? “No, honestly I wasn’t. Ryan was just driving his heart out; I probably would have tried what ever I had to do to go around on the last lap myself. He sent it in there and got the call.” Blewett continued, “Like I said before, I hate to win that way, but I’ll take a win anyway I can get it.” Do you think it should have been no call? “No, not really. I’ve been reprimanded for racing incidents. This series is getting strict -- zero tolerance with anything. I think it’s good for the series and bad for the series. I feel for Preece, but they (NASCAR) are cutting back on the stuff people used to get away with. With the people who are here now [officials] they are making changes. Some for the better. Some are really not well received,” he concluded. Personally, Hazel thinks this was a totally unwarranted call by NASCAR and inconsistent with anything that has come before. “There have been many occasions when a car is spun both during a race and on the last lap, and no action has been taken. Maybe we’ll learn more about why in the ‘official’ press release.” Dave’s opinion – “While I saw a young driver Preece get set up by bumper tag from Szegedy in the waning laps, Preece’s slight contact with Szegedy coming out of turn one spun Szegedy out. Last season no call would have been made to affect the outcome of the race. This season it seems director Chad Little and his crew are tightening the screws on the competitors, to be more professional. I think the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has had many changes including the Flash races, reduced prize money and exorbitant cost increases to compete in this series. Most of the changes have been received poorly. The professional behavior may have a chance with the racers if applied uniformly.” Little’s quest to make the Whelen Modified Tour a more professional organization is a good idea. But if they are going to enforce rules with bumping, then Todd Szegedy should have been put to the rear for rough riding over the last 10 laps as he applied the chrome horn quite a few times. The use of the chrome horn has been an iconic part of the modified racing in general since its inception, and is just part of the racing.
1. (7) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 62.937 mph, $6,900.
2. (18) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $4,200.
3. (16) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $2,700.
4. (3) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 150, $2,800.
5. (8) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 150, $3,000.
6. (14) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,950.
7. (26) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 150, $2,700.
8. (12) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 150, $1,750.
9. (17) Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Pontiac, 150, $1,300.
10. (20) Charles Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,250.
11. (21) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 150, $1,225.
12. (15) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,600.
13. (24) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 150, $1,525.
14. (9) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $1,700.
15. (2) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 150, $1,575.
16. (4) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 150, $1,550.
17. (11) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,325.
18. (6) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,500.
19. (30) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 149, $1,375.
20. (29) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 149, $1,325.
21. (28) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 148, $1,300.
22. (25) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 146, $1,275.
23. (10) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 145, $1,250.
24. (19) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 140, $1,225.
25. (27) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 138, $1,318.
26. (23) Ken Horton, Guilford, Conn., Chevrolet, 102, suspension, $800.
27. (1) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 77, vibration, $1,300.
28. (5) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, ignition, $1,300.
29. (13) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 32, distributor, $800.
30. (31) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 30, engine, $1,200.
31. (22) Rob Summers, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 28, steering, $800.
Time of Race: 1 hour 11 minutes 30 seconds
Margin of Victory: 0.982 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: E.Beers (98.371 mph, 18.298 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 46 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C.Hossfeld 1-4; T.Szegedy 5-58; E.Rudolph 59-70; R.Preece 71-77; T.Szegedy
78-84; R.Preece 85-148; T.Szegedy 149; J.Blewett 150.
Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 1250; 2. T.Christopher, 1164; 3. T.Szegedy, 1132; 4.
M.Hirschman, 1098; 5. E.Beers, 1086; 6. M.Stefanik, 1081; 7. E.Flemke,Jr., 1053; 8. J.Blewett, 1011; 9. R.Silk, 1003; 10. R.Preece, 956.
Aug 2 - Riverhead Raceway - 10th
On Saturday Aug. 2, the Berkley Auto Racing # 46 headed to the tight quarter-mile Riverhead Raceway on Long Island, New York for the running of the Miller Lite 140. This was to be the second of three NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour events this season using the heat race qualifying format.
Weather was a big concern as forecasts called for an 80% chance of thundershowers. During the practice session Eric informed the crew that the car's handling was not quite where it need to be and that it was difficult to find the needed grip off the corners. The crew would make adjustments throughout the session to try to correct this problem. With 25 minutes remaining in the practice, rain showers moved in and put a halt to the session. The # 46 would end up 16th fastest on the practice time sheets about 2/10ths of a second off of the fastest time. The rain would last for a little over an hour and at 5 p.m. the cars would begin time trials. During time trials Eric would post the 16th fastest time with a fast lap of 12.040 sec. for an average speed of 74.736 mph around the 1/4 mile oval. This would place him in the 8th starting position in the 2nd heat race.
At approximately 6:15 p.m. the 25 lap heat race would take to the track. With an outside row starting position the # 46 would lose a spot at the green flag to the # 28 of James Civali and fall into the 9th spot. On lap 14, the # 59 of Matt Hirschman would also get by the # 46. At the finish, Eric would cross the line in 10th, placing him in the 20th starting position for the feature. He would radio the crew that the car was really tight and had no grip anywhere. NASCAR would give all teams just 20 minutes to prepare the cars for the main event, after that all cars would need to go thru pre-race inspection. During this time the crew made adjustments that they hoped would help make the car handle better in the feature event.
When the 28 car starting field took the green it did not take long for the events first yellow to fly on lap 5 and it would be a common site throughout the race. Eric at this point had moved up to the 17th spot. With numerous cautions, the first 50 laps would find the # 46 running in the top-20 and on lap 51 Eric would move into the top-15. He had radioed that the car was not handling very well, but that it could possibly be due to the fact that several cars were leaking fluid on the track. By lap 100, Eric had moved up to the 12th position, he would take over 11th on lap 123 and 10th on lap 135. A late race caution would set-up a green-white-checker finish and Eric would bring home the # 46 in 10th. Eric and the team were happy with the finish and to be able to bring the car home in one piece in a race that was slowed by a total of 11 caution periods.
Berkley Auto Racing wishes to thank our sponsors Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, and Viveiros Insurance along with our many product sponsors.
RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (Aug. 2, 2008) – Jimmy Blewett registered his third career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory Saturday night when he took the checkered flag in the Miller Lite 140 at Riverhead Raceway. Blewett, ofHowell, N.J., was strong throughout the evening as he led three times for 80 laps, including the final 46. After qualifying fourth-fastest, Blewett took the win in the second of two 25-lap heat races that preceded the 140-lap main. He was then able to parlay his qualifying success into front-running in the feature. After staring on the outside pole, Blewett led the first 10 circuits and swapped the lead with pole-sitter Bill Park twice in the early going. He would take his third and final lead of the night on a restart on lap 102. The win was the third of Blewett’s career and his first at Riverhead. He had previously won at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Wall Township (N.J.) Speedway. For the second race in a row, Ronnie Silk finished as the runner-up. With four top-10s in a row, including a win, Silk has moved up to seventh in the season points standings after a slow start. Making his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour start of the year after he captured the series title a year ago, Donny Lia finished third and was followed in the top five by Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece. The fifth place finish was the best of Preece’s young career.
Ken Heagy, Mike Stefanik, Dan Jivanelli, Glenn Tyler and Eric Beers filled out the top 10
1. (2) Jimmy Blewett,Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 147 laps, 33.418 mph, $3,300.
2. (10) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 147, $2,100.
3. (15) Donny Lia, Jericho, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $1,400.
4. (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 147, $1,600.
5. (7) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 147, $2,000.
6. (21) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 147, $2,150.
7. (9) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 147, $1,250.
8. (23) Dan Jivanelli, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $1,000.
9. (4) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $1,175.
10. (20) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 147, $1,150.
11. (11) Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $925.
12. (27) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 147, $1,300.
13. (6) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $900.
14. (13) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 147, $850.
15. (1) Bill Park, Manorville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147, $1,200.
16. (14) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 147, $775.
17. (12) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 146, $725.
18. (26) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145, $700.
19. (24) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 140, $675.
20. (17) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 139, $625.
21. (25) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 134, $600.
22. (22) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Chevrolet, 134, $550.
23. (19) Wayne Anderson, Yaphank, N.Y., Chevrolet, 96, accident, $327.
24. (8) Chuck Steuer, Bohemia, N.Y., Chevrolet, 83, accident, $300.
25. (5) Mike Andrews, Bohemia, Chevrolet, 81, suspension, $300.
26. (18) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 55, engine, $500.
27. (16) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 54, accident, $500.
28. (28) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 14, accident, $300.
Time of Race: 1 hour 5
minutes 59 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.579 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: B.Park (75.462 mph, 11.926 seconds)
Caution Flags: 11 for 95 laps.
Lead Changes: 5 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J.Blewett 1-10; B.Park 11-12; J.Blewett 13-36; B.Park 37-58; T.Christopher 59-101; J.Blewett 102-147.
Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 1132; 2. T.Christopher, 1085; 3. T.Szegedy, 1017; 4. M.Hirschman, 938; 5. M.Stefanik, 935; 6. E.Beers, 931; 7. R.Silk, 921; 8. E.Flemke,Jr., 883; 9. R.Pennink, 866; 10. R.Preece, 847.
Aug 1 - Spencer Speedway - RoC
Due to work commitments Eric will be unable to attend the Race of Champions Tour Race at Spencer Speedway, August 1
July 26 - Mountain Speedway - 8
Rusty Smith Perfect to Third Mountain Win of the Season
By: Gene Ostrowski
July 26, 2008
Smith of Oxford, NY became the first modified driver to win three feature events this season during Saturday night “Summer Racefest” at Mountain Speedway. Richie DiMarco kept consistent and took the checkers in the 50-lap double points street stock main event. Don Adams was victorious in the TQ midget feature, as was Ken Kleppinger in the 4 Cyl. FWD division.
After starting from the pole position, Harry Buchman led the field of modified drivers to the drop of the green flag. With one lap recorded, Brian DeFebo was scored in second, followed by Geary Rinehimer Sr, Lew Hallock and Barry Callavini.
DeFebo worked underneath Buchman and took the race lead on lap three. Hallock and Callavini followed by Buchman as well, as did Rusty Smith and Andy Walko to take fourth and fifth respectively.
The first of five cautions waved on lap fifteen when Jerry Woody spun in turn four.
By this point into the event, Smith had already taken second. Walko retained third, followed by Billy Weichert.
The restart gave Smith the chance that he was looking for to take the race lead, which he did when green flag racing resumed.
After a quick caution on lap twenty-three, the yellow came out again when Keith Mullineaux, Robert Fink, Rinehimer Sr. and Tommy Wanick III collected in turn one. Only Rinehimer was able to continue. Like the restart before, the yellow flew again, this time for Woody, who pounded the wall coming out of turn four. Again, Rinehimer Sr. was collected in the incident.
Green flag racing resumed and Walko slipped underneath DeFebo for second with ten laps to go. Weichert followed through to take third. DeFebo slipped back to fourth and Callavini held fifth.
Smith held on to take the win, which was his third of the season in the regular modified division. Smith also has one win at the speedway in the PA Asphalt Modified Championship Series.
“It’s always great to drive home after winning one of these”, said Smith in victory lane. “It makes the two and a half hour trip much more enjoyable”.
Brian DeFebo and Rusty Smith were heat race winners.
Modifieds (40-laps) 1. RUSTY SMITH 2. Andy Walko 3. Billy Weichert 4. Brian DeFebo 5. Barry Callavini 6. Kyle Ebersole 7. Lewis Hallock 8. Eric Beers 9. Amber Levandowski 10. Geary Rinehimer Sr. 11. Harry Buchman 12. Todd Baer 13. Jerry Woody 14. Tommy Wanick III 15. Robert Fink 16. Keith Mullineaux DNS: Cal Snyder
July 19 - Oswego Speedway - RoC - 19
Last time the #9 team was in Oswego they got 3 laps of practice in when something broke in the motor ending the night. Tonight it was not that bad but the list of crazy things sure added up to a long day for driver and crew. On a hot and humid day the team got 4 laps of practice in when the drive shaft broke - not only did it break but on its way out it took some of the oil lines off - so there goes practice. As the consi is getting ready to go Eric goes to shift and the shifter comes out - so he came in and got it back on and then proceeded to qualify through the the consi. Details form the race ar forthcoming but the oil cooler stopped working at one point during the race. So all in all a long hot day and a 19th place finish.
A little less than two months ago Matt Hirschman dominated the Richie Evans Memorial in the first Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour race of the year at the Oswego Speedway. In race number three of the RoC Tour and the second of the year at Oswego on Saturday night for the Summer 100, the story was just about the same as it was in late May.
By JR Kennerup
Unlike in May where he led all 100 laps, on Saturday night Hirschman powered his way from the sixth starting spot to move into second by the end of the first lap. Then just after lap two was completed the second generation driver ducked under leader Earl Paules going into turn one. Once in lead Hirschman was never seriously challenged as he led the next 85 laps until a heavy rainstorm halted the race on lap 87.
After a delay of 20 minutes the race was called official and Hirschman was awarded the $3,500 feature win. Paules returning to the RoC Tour ended up second with defending RoC Tour champion and new point leader Pete Brittain ending up in third. Third generation driver Erick Rudolph pitted for fresh tires on lap 45 was coming on strong at the end to finish fourth and veteran Rick Zacharias brought the second of three Zacharias Racing entries home in fifth.
“ The great start going from sixth to second on the first lap definitely helped “ said Matt who won for the third time in seven days. “ By making that move it put me in a position early to go for the lead in the race. It just worked out for us on that first lap as the cars in front of us fell into line and we filled the hole on the outside. “
Matt continued on. “ Last time here I started on the pole and I set the car up to run 100 laps out front. This time I made a little adjustment to what I had planned to go with before the feature, based on starting sixth. I think that change I made really helped to make the car fire better and able me to pass cars quicker early in the race. The change might have hurt me later in the race but we were still good at the end of the race. “
Matt spoke about the increasing weather threat and whether it changed his pit strategy. “ A lot depended on where I was racing on the track. Leading the race I wasn’t planning on pitting, even if I was second or third I would have stayed out. If I was running back in the pack I would have probably planned on pitting. But we have no weather radar in our pit and it kind of surprised me when it did start to rain as I didn’t expect it. I don’t think the rain affected the outcome of the race. The race ended up being a couple of laps short but we earned it tonight. “
Many observers thought that tire wear would be a factor for the front running trio who didn’t stop. But Matt downplayed the tire wear factor by saying. “ It ( tire wear ) wasn’t that bad tonight as it seemed that the track rubbered up. There were a lot of cars here tonight as there were more cars in the Supers and more cars in the other division than before. The track rubbered up with all of the racing taking place on it and it didn’t seem to be as hard on tires as it normally is some other times here. “
With the win Matt claimed his seventh win of the year and third within the last week. “ It’s incredible, I really don’t even know what to say about it. It’s a heck of a run we’re on to win three races in a row in three different series within a week. It’s not like we’re winning them all on the same series, we’re winning them in different series and that is tougher than you think. There are a lot of highs and lows in this sport and right now we’re about as high as you can get. I’m going to enjoy it and take one race at a time as I have a lot of races coming up in August. To past my win total of six that I had last year, that’s a pretty good year. Now I’m looking for maybe getting into double digits for feature wins this year as I have a half a season left. “
Looking ahead to the next Oswego show on August 30th Matt will be classified as the favorite with him being two for two this year so far at Oswego. “ Yes, I think you could call me the favorite but you can’t forget about Jan Leaty. Jan won here more last year than I did and he has won that Labor Day Weekend show two years in a row. I haven’t been here on Classic Weekend for a couple of years and Jan might have the upper hand for that race because it’s an even longer race. I’m looking forward to Classic Weekend as I love being here because of the environment. “
“ It was a good run for us “ said second place finisher and former RoC Tour champion Earl Paules. “ Coming from sixth in the heat to get to the redraw and then to draw the pole was a key for me tonight. “
“ Matt kind of surprised me when he got by me, but I had nothing for him tonight. It was sooner or later he was going to get by me and he did it sooner, second place is good. “
“ If Matt would have pitted I would pit but if Matt stayed out I was going to stay out “ answered Earl when asked if there was any pit strategy. “
Earl finished third last week in a RoC Dirt Sportsman event. “ It’s fun racing both surfaces. RoC is where it’s at. I tried some local race tracks and it didn’t work out and I don’t know why as it seemed they liked to pick on me. We’ll be on the RoC Tour both dirt and asphalt for the remainder of the year. “
“ You’re never happy with a third, but it was a good run “ said defending RoC Tour champion and current point leader Pete Brittain, who started fourth. “ Matty won the race on the first lap as I hesitated and went to the bottom and he went to the outside and that was the winning move. I think the top three cars were pretty much equal all night long. “
Qualifying for the 32 car field saw heat wins go to Hirschman, Brittain, Billy Putney, and Steven Reed with Rusty Smith capturing the B Main.
STEEL PALACE NOTES; Everyone associated with RoC from the officials to the drivers to the Modified fans would like to thank Oswego management for making the change in the running order of the feature events because of the increasing weather threat. Many drivers altered their pit strategy due to the worsening weather conditions that kept RoC and Oswego officials busy during the feature as they watched the live weather radar. Drivers and teams were kept informed of the weather by RoC Officials through their one & two way radio communication with the drivers and crews. A majority of the field didn’t pit because of the weather and most reported that they would have had enough tire to go the advertised 100 lap distance. However most drivers were happy that the race was stopped when it was and not restarted because most drivers felt it would be a dangerous situation with the tires. Kyle Ebersole was making his first ever Oswego & RoC appearance and it ended up only being a short one as the motor expired in hot laps. Jason Hearne in the second Rick Kluth entry and after Kluth wrecked the primary car in the heat they switched cars for the consi. Mike Leaty looked good and competitive with his new DART steel headed motor that costs about half of the motor everyone else is currently using. Eric Beers was unable to shift into high gear at the start of the consi. Bringing out the yellow Beers pitted and his fast working crew got the problem repaired just in time to tag the field and ended up qualifying. Drivers once again had to start the feature on the same exact tires they qualified on through their respective heat or consi.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR
RACE # 3 AT OSWEGO
FINISH; Matt Hirschman, Earl Paules, Pete Brittain, Erick Rudolph, Rick Zacharias, Daren Scherer, Billy Putney, Dave Wollaber, TJ Potrzebowski, Tom Kinsella, John Markovic, Jan Leaty, Rusty Smith, Todd Smith, Doug Reaume, Jimmy Zacharias, Chris Whitenight, Lee Sherwood, Eric Beers, Sege Fidanza, Steven Reed, Mark Tychoniewicz, Jim Storace, Dean Rypkema, Tommy Farrell, III, Rick Kluth, Ken Canestrari, Mike Leaty.
DNQ’S; Vern LaFave, Jason Hearne, Kyle Ebersole, Matt Clemens.
LAP LEADERS; Paules ( 1 – 2 ) Hirschman ( 3 – 87 ).
DART MACHINERY AWARD SET OF $1,200 HEADS; Storace.
GATER RACING NEWS $500 DRIVER BONUS DRAW; Rypkema.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Storace ( 2nd to 23rd ).
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Potrzebowski ( 24th to 9th ).
RoC PROVISIONAL; Kluth.
– IN PROVISIONAL; Canestrar
July 16 - Seekonk Speedway - $10k - 10th
What an interesting night - The head line of "Eric meet Ed and Ed meet Eric" is a spoof on the fact that when something happened to Eric at Seekonk on July 16- it seemed to involve Ed D. Without doing any research not sure if Eric and Ed raced together before other than maybe past Seekonk races, but after Seekonk on July 16th - Eric certainly knows Ed. Eric was decent in practice and lined up in his heat race behind the Reynolds Auto Wrecking team car of Dick Houlihan in the 46. They finished one-two in the heat and lined up 3 and 6 in the feature. As you can see by the finish if you could stay out of trouble and not get hit or do the hitting you had a chance. Eric's night changed around lap 15 of the race when the 10 of Edddie D and Eric got together causing Eric to spin. After that Eric was flying and was in the top ten when he hit the right front tire on the 10 car of Edie D after he crashed into Ryan Preese after the 3 car spun. Eric brought it home for a top ten finish - not what the team expected but thats racing.
When the 24 car field rolled out for the 4th Annual Viveiros Insurance Modified Madness, it was Matt Hirschman and Bobby Grigas III sitting on the front row. In a race that saw only 3 cautions, it wasn’t enough to slow Matt from putting his name in the record books as the fourth driver to pick up the $10,000 grand prize. When the green flag dropped, Matt took command, and let the rest of the field fight for second. And fight they did. Grigas held on for second for several laps, until the Viveiros Insurance sponsored Chevy of Dick Houlihan jumped into second by lap 10. Ryan Preece had worked himself into third by that point, and was putting pressure on Houly.
The first caution came out on lap 14, when Eric Beers spun his Cape Cod Aggregates Chevy in turn 2. John Fortin’s SGS Stoneworks machine broke, and needed assistance as well. Dave Berghman had moved his Hub Construction 82 into fourth, with Grigas fifth. Chuck Hossfeld, Ed Dachenhausen, Ted Christopher, Rob Summers, and Jimmy Blewett made out the top ten. After a false restart, the field was back underway. Hirschman continued to set the pace in the Furnace and Duct Corvette, but behind him, positions were up for grabs. Ryan Preece used an inside move on Houlihan and put the Reynolds Auto Wrecking 3 into second, and began to pressure the leader.
By lap 25, Berghman was running third, with Houly and Hossfeld the top five. One driver on the move was reigning True Value Modified Champion Kirk Alexander, as the Gary’s Best 43 was passing cars wholesale style. Between laps 25 and 30, he moved up 6 positions on the outside, and wasn’t done yet. He cleared the Triple G Scaffolding mount of Grigas, but had almost a full straightaway of distance ahead to the Jerry Gradl Motors 22 of Hossfeld.
At the halfway point, the top six remained unchanged, while Dachenhausen, McKennedy, Les Hinckley, and Grigas rounded out the top ten. The gap between Hossfeld and Alexander had shrunk to a couple of car lengths at this point, and by lap 55, there was a new fourth place runner. Hirschman was started to close in on the tail end of the field, and the drivers behind him knew then had to start making a move. About this time, Berghman started to flex some muscle, and he looked to the outside of Preece, trying to pick up second. As the leaders ran through heavy lapped traffic, they were jockeying for position, trying to use the lapped cars as picks. Lap 67 saw the second yellow of the event when Carl Pasteryak spun his Bill Dawley’s Collision Center Pontiac just in front of the leaders. Everyone was able to make it through unscathed.
As the field completed lap 70, Dave Berghman and Ryan Preece made contact, sending Preece around. Berghman was sent to the rear for the contact. This moved Houlihan back into second. Hossfeld was third, with Alexander and McKennedy now rounding out the top 5. Rob Summers, Eric Beers, Jimmy Kuhn, Ken Bouchard and Vinny Annarummo now rounded out the top ten.
Rob Summers started to show he was here for the money, as the outside lane became his friend. Working the second groove, the Frasco Oil machine quickly found his way into the top 4 by lap 73. After holding off Alexander for several laps, lap 80 saw him lose the back end of the car for just a bit. With a great save, he lost only one position to Alexander. The handles started to go away, and Summers faded out of the top 5. Jon McKennedy had worked his way into fourth by lap 88, but over the last 10 laps, the Power Mist Racing Fuels 73 fell back into fifth.
In the end, Matt Hirschman, fresh off his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Series win just 4 days prior, showed the kind of groove he has gotten into, as he drove under the checkered flag $10,000 richer. Dick Houlihan finished second, while Chuck Hossfeld was third. Alexander and McKennedy rounded out the top 5. Summers, Bouchard, Christopher, Grigas and Beers rounded out the top ten.
“This is a great win for the car owner, Wayne Darling.” said Hirschman, after taking his victory lap. “This is his home track. It’s been a great week for me. $10,000 to win is awesome. I got a good pick, and was able to use it to my advantage. Two years ago, I didn’t qualify for this race. Last year I started last and finished second, so I know haw much qualifying means. I had a car to win this year, and we were able to do it. Thanks to Viveiros insurance for putting this race on.”
Matt Hirschman, Northampton PA
Disk Houlihan, Bridgewater MA
Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville NY
Kirk Alexander, West Swanzey NH
Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford MA
Rob Summers, Manchester NH
Ken Bouchard, Fitchburg MA
Ted Christopher, Plainville CT
Bobby Grigas III, Marshfield MA
Eric Beers, Northampton PA
Les Hinckley, Winsdor Locks CT
Jimmy Kuhn Jr, Bridgewater MA
Ed Dachenhausen, Danbury CT
Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon CT
Ryan Preece, Kensington CT
Dan Sammons, Hamilton, NJ
Ken Spencer, Taunton MA
Mike Andrews, Bohemia NY
Andy Suess, Hampstead NH
Vinny Annarummo, Swansea MA
Dave Berghman, Seekonk MA
Jimmy Blewett, Howell NJ
Rowan Pennick, Huntington PA
John Fortin, Holtsville NY
July 12 - Spencer - WMT - 17th
had one of the fastest cars at the track - The qualifying was strange because
they put ten cars out on the track and the guys tried to spread themselves
out but then you would run up on a slower car and lose time and tehn have
to back off and retry the lap - and then you still had to run the 25 lap heat
race. Spencer is a tough place to pass when the cars are so equal - After
running in the top three in the begining in the race Eric got put into the
wall by a car trying to pass on the inside - that messed up a bunch of parts
and the car was never the same after that. Eric was doing his best to hold
onto a top 7 spot when he was punted and sent spining throught he infield
which bent up some more stuff. Eric was the first car one lap down to finish
- What happened was Eric was spun he did not cause the caution but was waiting
to come in the next caution - Caution comes out - the pits are closed for
the first two laps then they open it up and as the cars come in they say they
are going to throw the green - Thats tough to straighten a car back out in
less than half a lap. After that Eric had no chance to get a lap back or back
MATT HIRSCHMAN GETS TO VICTORY LANE AT SPENCER
- HIRSCHMAN WINS NEW FORMAT RACE, JOINS FATHER-SON WINNERS ON NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR -
N.Y. – (July 12, 2007) – Matt Hirschman has a pretty good record
in asphalt modified racing. He’s an Race of Champions Tour champion,
he’s won everywhere in his RoC car, including a couple of big victories
the North/South Shootout in Concord, N.C., and he’s been dominant at
Mountain Speedway near his Northampton home in Pennsylvania, but a win on
the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, considered the premier asphalt modified tour
by many, has eluded him.
That all changed this past Saturday night when Hirschman found himself in victory lane after a dominating victory in the Tour’s first stop at the Rochester speed plant since Mike Ewanitsko drove Art Barry’s machine to victory lane in 1994.
“The tracks in Western New and Central New York have been very good to me,” smiled Hirschman from victory lane.
Hirschman joined his Father, Tony, as the third Father and son duo to have won NASCAR Modified Tour races. The other two are John Blewett, Jr., and John Blewett, III, along with Steve and Bob Park.
In the end Hirschman had to battle back Chuck Hossfeld, Mike Stefanik and ultimately Ronnie Silk, but he was able to drive to victory lane for the first time in his career.
“This is a big night for us,” offered Hirschman as he received the accolades of his victory and congratulatory offerings from his family and teammates. “We had a good car tonight. Ed Bennett and all of the guys worked very hard to make this happen and we’re finally here. It’s very rewarding.”
Hirschman has won several DART Race of Champions Asphalt Tour events as well as several special events, but the NASCAR victory had eluded him until Saturday night, when he wrestled the lead away from Chuck Hossfeld on the 19th circuit with a bold outside move on a restart and then held off Stefanik, who was credited with leading lap 89. Hossfeld and Hirschman did swap the lead on a couple of mid-race restarts, but Hirschman held the dominate car.
“Everyone has asked me when I’m going to win a Tour race and I finally don’t have to answer that question anymore and that feels very good,” Hirschman added. “It’s been a long time coming and I would have liked to win sooner, but winning here at Spencer suits me just fine and I hope we don’t have as a long of a spell for the next one.”
The fireworks began early in the 100-lap grind, in fact before one lap was completed. Jan Leaty, who won the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day, and started the race, fifth slammed the outside retaining wall in turn four in a scary fashion. Leaty was okay, but his night was over and it set the tone for the event as the yellow flag was displayed on nine occasions placing the field at a reduced pace for 40 laps of the event.
Probably the most controversial incident of the night came on lap 89 when Ronnie Silk got up under second place running and hard charging Mike Stefanik and the two made contact. Stefanik spun around and caused several cars to be collected, while Silk motored on to second. Stefanik recovered without damage and finished fifth.
Over the last couple of laps Hirschman drew away from Silk in the short green flag run to the checkers, while Chuck Hossfeld came home third. Jimmy Blewett and Stefanik rounded out the top-five. Hossfeld and Hirschman split the 25-lap qualifying races, while Jan Leaty set fast time.
The next event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is the Miller Lite 140 at the Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, Long Island, New York on August 2nd.
Little Hirschy Stands Tall Under Big Pressure
Hirschman is a pretty cool customer. He’s grown up around modified racing,
so many of us take him for granted, but he truly knows how to get the job
done. He served as a co-crew chief for his Father in championship seasons,
he spotted for races before he was old enough to get in the pits, he has been
an observant preserver of the sport since birth and Saturday night his talent
Most folks did think Hirschman had an advantage at Spencer, but the truth of the matter was, that he had only raced there once prior to Saturday, when he finished third in the RoC event last season, behind Jan Leaty and Eric Beers.
“I knew we had a good car and we did a good job of dialing it in during practice, the guys really hit it,” offered Hirschman. “But with Chuck (Hossfeld) on the pole and his experience there and recent success with that team, I thought it might be an easy night for him. We got a good run on him as soon as the green flag dropped and from that point on those thoughts went away, it was kind of like ‘game on’.”
After Hossfeld faded Mike Stefanik and Ronnie Silk were able to run second and try to run down Hirschman’s Ed Bennett 59, but it was to no avail, however, Hirschman was inquiring.
“I can’t say I was worried about one guy more then the other, but I kept asking the crew who was doing what and if they had anything for us. It really wasn’t a factor of who was back there, but how strong their cars were?”
Following the checkered flags, you could sense the relief in the air for Hirschman, he had finally silenced his critics and for the first time in 45 starts pulled into victory lane.
“It was good, I felt good and super excited and I was honestly pretty relieved too,” Hirschman smiled and reflected. “The fact that I hadn’t won a tour race weighed in my mind, it bothered me and I was glad to get it over with. They say winning the first one is the hardest and I believe that now. I didn’t think it would take this long because we’ve run good and qualified at the front and been very competitive. The relief part is good and it will silence those critics who say I haven’t won a tour race and remember, this is just the first one, there is plenty more that I want to do and plenty more that I want to win.”
One of the first folks to victory lane was Matt’s Mother, Brenda and his Father, Tony, wasn’t too far behind. For Matt, that helped to make things that much more worthwhile.
“My Mother and Father support me in everything I do,” related Hirschman. “And having them here for tonight made things pretty special. My Mother is very excited and I am proud to join my Dad as a winner on this series, even though I’ve got a long way to go if I want to catch up to him.”
Tony Hirschman is five-time series champion and currently sits third on the all-time victory list with 35. The eldest Hirschman, currently has not run a Tour race this season. In fact, his last race was last year in the season ender at Thompson for the Kehley’s. Currently they still have one car and recently Tony Hirschman took it to a Key Materials location for an appearance, but as of right now there is no racing in site for him.
SILK AND STEFANIK
Tour’s last visit to the Stafford Motor Speedway seven-time series champion
Mike Stefanik got into the back of Ronnie Silk, who drives the Hill Enterprises
entry. At Spencer, the roles were reversed, when Silk turned Stefanik on a
late race restart. Stefanik recovered to finish fifth while Silk ran to second.
“I kind of got pushed in down there,” stated Silk regarding his contact with Stefanik in his post race interview. “We had a good car tonight and this finish shows it, because I’ve never been here before.”
Stefanik obviously had a different view of it and was visibly upset during the cool down lap when he pulled up next to Silk in turn four, but after cooling down he had this to say.
“We had a good car tonight. I think I got the right rear a little hot chasing Matty down. But it’s the racing game and we got a fifth,” related Stefanik without saying as much of a word about the incident.
You could however sense that Stefanik wasn’t very happy and race fans should probably keep an eye on this battle. It could get interesting.
NEW FORMATS ARE FOR COMPUTER DISKS NOT RACES…
Speedway race was a version of the not well received ‘Flash’ races
of 2007, with a purse reduction. Teams were put through a multi-car time trial
format as well as 25-lap heat races in addition to the 100-lap feature, in
which only 60 laps were run under green flag conditions. There are several
ways to look at the race, in both a positive light and a negative light, but
perhaps, the race winner put it into a great perspective. In the coming weeks,
much will be said about the facility, the purse, etc…, but Matt Hirschman
had this to say.
“I think people get spoiled by Thompson and Stafford,” stated Hirschman. “Those racetracks are first class facilities, that this series has helped build up, but I wouldn’t say I feel more privileged racing at those tracks as opposed to Spencer. A race track is a race track and the modifieds are able to put on a good show whether racing on a quarter mile or a mile and everything in between, so I wouldn’t put one track in front of the other, plus looking at the win, I still beat everyone that runs this series on a regular basis and that makes the win so gratifying.”
Hirschman followed up with some thoughts on the format and where he thought changes could be made.
“The challenge is that, it’s probably what Spencer could afford,” Hirschman said regarding Spencer’s purse. “But the thing we need to look at is that with the race, we actually increased our cost, when we should have focused on reducing those costs. There was some added cost to the tire expense for this type of race and then adding additional races and more time on the track with other cars adds risk to damaging your equipment. Most often heat races aren’t 25 laps, I know because I run a lot of races that have heat races, plus they don’t have 16 or 17 cars, they have 8 or 9 cars. It’s just that we need to look at this from the cost perspective and NASCAR needs to look at ways of cutting that expense when it comes to a situation like this.”
Hirschman continued, “I certainly don’t take anything away from the speedway or the fact that we won with this format, but the purse was significantly less and the format that was presented actually cost us more. I just feel the entire approach needs to be changed and all of the elements need to be addressed.”
The multiple car time trials (the first ever at a NASCAR oval for the division, it is common in road course events) set the lineups for the two 25-lap qualifying races that established the inside and outside rows of the feature lineup. The show, although it got done, never seemingly was on time and it was a severely condensed scheduled. The teams racing were given only 25 less laps to compete on the night and the cost of traveling to and from the race because of the length from the team base placed a premium on travel plans.
The next event on the schedule at Riverhead Raceway is similar, with a purse that is paying less to win then Spencer, but it is just as challenging for the teams to travel to Long Island as anywhere else and due to the high price of things on Long Island it could cause some strain on several teams.
Car Count and Locals…
made the tow to the Rochester oval with Buck Catalano, Wilbur Hebing, Jan
Leaty and Mike Leaty were the local cars making the event. Erik Rudolph raced
in the event, but has run three Tour events prior to Spencer in 2008. Hebing
scored the best finish of the evening for the locals as he came home 20th.
Young Rudolph, who is ultra-talented (he won two features, the SST and Modified at Lancaster on a recent Saturday night) was penalized during his qualifying race for jumping the start with a pass through penalty and it essentially ruined his night after a very strong time trial session. The most notable absentees were Curt Chase and the Pasteryak’s who did not bring their cars to compete.
– STAFFORD SPRINGS, CONN., -
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour-Mason Farms 100 Results Saturday At Spencer Speedway Williamson, NY Lap length: 0.5 miles (Start position in parentheses) 1. (2) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 100 laps, 45.374 mph, $3,700.
2. (8) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 100, $2,200.
3. (1) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 100, $1,900.
4. (10) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, $1,650.
5. (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 100, $1,550.
6. (19) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 100, $2,050.
7. (23) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 100, $1,350.
8. (29) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $2,050.
9. (25) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, $1,050.
10. (9) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 100, $1,200.
11. (18) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 100, $1,150.
12. (13) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 100, $1,025.
13. (24) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, $925.
14. (22) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, $875.
15. (30) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $630.
16. (17) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $800.
17. (3) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 99, $775.
18. (28) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 99, $725.
19. (6) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 90, suspension, $700.
20. (27) Bill Hebing, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 89, accident, $475.
21. (21) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 89, $425.
22. (26) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 83, $600.
23. (15) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 67, steering, $575.
24. (31) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 63, clutch, $325.
25. (12) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 62, accident, $500.
26. (20) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 61, $500.
27. (7) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 36, accident, $500.
28. (16) Jim Storace, Kingston, N.H., Pontiac, 24, accident, $300.
29. (11) Mike Leaty, Williamson, N.Y., Chevrolet, 14, accident, $300.
30. (14) Buck Catalano, Ontario, N.Y., Chevrolet, 12, accident, $300.
31. (5) Jan Leaty, Williamson, N.Y., Pontiac, 0, accident, $900.
Time of Race: 1 hour 6 minutes 7 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.782 seconds Fastest Qualifier: J.Leaty (94.251 mph, 19.098 seconds) Caution Flags: 9 for 40 laps. Lead Changes: 7 among 3 drivers. Lap Leaders: C.Hossfeld 1-18; M.Hirschman 19-39; C.Hossfeld 40; M.Hirschman 41-59; C.Hossfeld 60; M.Hirschman 61-88; M.Stefanik 89; M.Hirschman 90-100. Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 1020; 2. T.Christopher, 925; 3. T.Szegedy, 896; 4. M.Hirschman, 823; 5. E.Beers, 797; 6. M.Stefanik, 789; 7. E.Flemke,Jr., 777; 8. R.Pennink, 766; 9. R.Silk, 751; 10. R.Preece, 692
June 28 - New Hampshire - Start 6th - Finish 4
On Wednesday June 25th Eric Beers and the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, Cape Cod Aggregates, J&R Pre-Cast, Viveiros Insurance sponsored # 46 team headed north to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the New Hampshire 100. Practice and Qualifying was to take place on Thursday the 26th with the race taking place on Saturday the 28th.
Rain showers delayed the start of practice by 2 1/2 hours and when the Whelen Modified Tour cars took to the track, the practice session would be short lived, as rain quickly moved back in. During the short practice session Eric was able to make a total of 12 laps posting the 10th fastest time of the 42 cars on hand. It was at this time that he relayed to the crew that the clutch was slipping. After taking apart the clutch, the crew decided to replace it, before the garage area closed for the day. With qualifying being rained out, the starting lineup would be determined by owner's points and would find the # 46 starting from the 6th position. Friday would be an off day with no activities scheduled for the Whelen Modified Tour.
Saturday morning the garage area opened at 6 a.m. and the crew went to work preparing the car for the morning practice session. When the # 46 took to the track it didn't take long for Eric and the crew to realize that they had a very fast race car. At the end of the session Eric was 2nd fastest of the 38 cars that would start the race. He turned a fast lap of 29.472 sec. for an average speed of 129.626 mph around the 1 mile oval.
When the green flag flew at 1 p.m. Eric began what would be an impressive race. By lap 5 he was running in the 5th spot and he radioed that the car was a little tight on entry but he felt that the handling would come around. Lap 12 would find him running in the 4th position and on lap 21 he would move into 3rd. On lap 38, Eric would take over the 2nd spot, he would battle side by side for many laps with race leader Ted Christopher in the # 36 car until the caution would come out on lap 54. It was at this point that he would bring the # 46 down pit road to the attention of the crew for 4 tires and fuel. He would lineup in 7th, the first car to take 4 fresh tires. Unfortunately, NASCAR's timing and scoring was showing that Eric was too fast exiting pit road and penalized him to the tail end of the longest line. This would have him restarting from 28th place. When the green came back out, Eric went to work. By lap 69 he was running in 15th, lap 80 he would crack the top-10, and the top-5 on lap 94. With 2 laps to go Eric would move into 4th and when the checkered flag waved that is where he would be. Many people commented that Eric and the # 46 car stole the show and wondered what would have happened if the race was 10 laps longer.
It was certainly a day of highs and lows for the 46 team at New Hampshire. Time trials were rained out and the field was set by points, which meant Eric started 6th. In practice the morning of the race Eric was 2nd fastest behind eventual race winner, Hossfeld. THe race began and immediately you could see that the car was good and slowly waited as the car came in and Eric worked his way up to 2nd. Eric and Teddy put on a typical New Hampshire race battle as Eric would gain an advantage on the inside and then Teddy would power off to keep Eric at bay. The complexion of the race changed on lap 57 when a caution flew and with Eric in 2nd the team came in to take 4 tires. The crew did a great job changing 4 tires in the same amount of time it took other teams to change 2. The problem came when Eric pulled out from his pit stop he sped to the end of the pit road wall and because he was the 6th car in on pit road it was that too far a distance to worry about speeding on pit road. . . BUT the NASCAR scoring loop was a cone about 20 feet past the end of pit road which meant Eric was caught speeding in the pits. That meant that instead of restarting in 7th as the highest place car with 4 fresh tires he was in the back at the end of the longest line. . Here are Eric's thoughts on the speeding penalty from Walt Stubbs article below: "It was all my fault. We pulled out of the pits there and I thought the end of pit row was the end of the pit wall and it was the pit cone, which was another ten feet. I guess I picked up the gas a little early. I think it's a good thing that they are making calls and they are penalizing people for being over aggressive. It's going to help people save equipment in the long run. If you're letting stuff go, and guys are putting people in the wall and nothing is being said, everybody else is seeing it and they're going to do it too. Now, you turn somebody around and they put you to the rear or hold you a lap or something, that's a big penalty. That's a positive because back when I started racing this series that's not how it was. People drove clean and then it got to a point where a lot of people started to get carried away, for whatever reason, and figured they could get away with stuff since nothing was being done so people were getting the wrong idea. I think it's coming back around to where it's going to be good, clean hard racing without tearing up a lot of cars." At this point the 46 car with driver Eric Beers was the star of the show. Yes they were dicing it up pretty good in the front but Eric passsed 30 plus cars to make his way back to the front group. Eric simply ran out of laps because he was still catching the front group who he was dicing it up with early in the race. All in all a great day - fast car - still in one piece. Eric may not have made to the podium this day but I assure you he was the most sought after driver following the race as he never has had to give so many comments to the large contingent of press on hand.
Below are the results and a great story by Walt Stubbs about the race:
1. (1) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 100 laps, 96.675 mph, $15,600.
2. (2) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $11,700.
3. (9) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $9,200.
4. (6) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 100, $6,700.
5. (29) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 100, $4,200.
6. (22) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 100, $3,550.
7. (3) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 100, $3,950.
8. (12) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $3,500.
9. (38) Jeff Fuller, Auburn, Mass., Chevrolet, 100, $3,750.
10. (15) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 100, $3,250.
11. (36) Brian Loftin, Lexington, N.C., Chevrolet, 100, $2,650.
12. (8) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 100, $3,050.
13. (21) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, $2,940.
14. (23) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 100, $2,425.
15. (34) Rob Summers, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, $2,300.
16. (7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 100, $2,775.
17. (11) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, $2,650.
18. (35) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., 100, $2,225.
19. (37) L.W. Miller, Dushore, Pa., Pontiac, 100, $2,200.
20. (26) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 100, $2,443.
21. (24) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, $2,425.
22. (17) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 100, $2,400.
23. (28) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 100, $1,850.
24. (18) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 99, $2,225.
25. (20) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 99, $2,200.
26. (4) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 98, $2,300.
27. (32) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Chevrolet, 98, $1,800.
28. (30) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 96, $1,800.
29. (5) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 79, overheating, $2,300.
30. (19) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 56, carburetor, $2,200.
31. (10) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 54, rear end, $2,300.
32. (31) Dale Quarterly, Westfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 42, ignition, $1,800.
33. (33) Sean Patterson, Wading River, N.Y., Pontiac, 22, axle, $2,100.
34. (27) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Ford, 20, transmission, $2,200.
35. (25) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 12, accident, $2,200.
36. (13) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 6, accident, $2,200.
37. (14) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 5, accident, $2,400.
38. (16) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 5, accident, $2,200.
Race Statistics Time of Race: 1 hour 5 minutes 10 seconds Margin of Victory: .001 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: Field set per rule book, rain Caution Flags: 4 for 20 laps.
Lead Changes: 9 among 4 drivers. Lap Leaders: T.Christopher 1-23; T.Szegedy 24; T.Christopher 25; T.Szegedy 26; T.Christopher 27-29; T.Szegedy 30-32; T.Christopher 33-67; B.Santos 68; T.Christopher
69-99; C.Hossfeld 100. Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 855; 2. T.Christopher, 819; 3. T.Szegedy, 750; 4. E.Beers, 685; 5. E.Flemke,Jr., 662; 6. M.Hirschman, 643; 7. R.Pennink, 639; 8. M.Stefanik, 634; 9. R.Preece, 604; 10. J.Civali, 602
PAVEMENT NOTES: 6/28/08 by Walt Stubbs
Now I remember why I fell in love with the modified division. Boy, how things can change from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day and week to week. Just last week, as I was driving back home to Jersey in the early morning hours from the just concluded Tour race at Thompson, I found myself talking to myself and asking the question why I even bothered to make the trip up I95 to Connecticut to watch a caution marred race. It wasn't just that 75 lap disaster, but it seemed that most of the modified Tour races that I had attended lately had become nothing more than a picture of yellow, with all the caution flags flown. And to be honest, without a good race to see, what's the point in even going? I can assure you, it's not because I want to deal with the traffic, tolls and out of whack gas prices, that's for sure.
Things, though, can change in a nano second, or in the case this past Saturday afternoon, .001 seconds. That's all that separated second place finisher Ted Christopher and winner Chuck Hossfeld as they crossed the stripe at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the New England 100 Whelen Modified Tour race. And it wasn't just the last lap that had the fans on their seats. That's what can happen when you ONLY see four cautions for a total of 20 laps. It's racing the way it oughta be, and to be fair, is mostly the norm when the modifieds come to Loudon. Six drivers all had a shot at winning, with Christopher appearing to have the best shot. TC had led the most laps, and had managed to hold off Hossfeld each and every time that Hossfeld had taken the lead from him going into turn one. However, getting out of the turn was a different story as Christopher had more than enough car to pull away coming out of turn two. Hossfeld even acknowledged as much, and knew he had to do something different on the last lap. "I think you guys have watched Teddy long enough to know that he is a hard racer and he wasn't going to let me win easily. I tried to use some patience because I figured if we were side by side lap after lap it was going to be a six or seven car race rather than a two car race. Teddy's car was tight so I was able to watch that and make a couple of moves on him, but like I said, he's a hard nosed racer and he was able to keep coming back. I'm not the smartest driver out there but when I kept passing him (Christopher) in one and two and then he'd get me back in three and four; I pretty much knew that wasn't going to work for the last lap. I kind of set him up. What's good about restrictor plate racing is that he was able to make that run back on us on the outside and luckily we kind of held him off. I thought about squeezing him and I tried to do it clean and it worked out great."
Christopher, who now has had to settle for consecutive runner up finishes despite, some would argue, of being the car to beat in both races, blamed himself on his finish this time around. "We really had a good car. It's really kind of funny because we're usually the ones who pit for tires and this time it was everybody else pitting but us. The car was that good. I was able to lead and any time anybody got by me, it was when they would dive bomb in there and take my lane away but then I'd pass them right back. I really made a mistake myself there on the last lap and that's how it goes sometimes. Sometimes you take the right lane and sometimes you take the wrong one. I just didn't keep my momentum," said Christopher.
Right behind Hossfeld and Christopher, waging their own battle were Todd Szegedy, Ed Flemke, Eric Beers and Reggie Ruggiero. Going into the final turn, Flemke got into Szegedy, sending Szegedy high into the fourth turn wall, where he stuck to the wall and rode across the finish line seventh, losing four spots in the process. Flemke was apologetic afterward towards Szegedy. "My car was a little bit too tight. In the last lap, I drove down into the bottom and it wouldn't stay there and I got into Todd a little bit, we rubbed and sent him back a little bit. I feel bad about that because Todd's one of the few guys that you can race and not expect to be banged around. But it's the last lap, and you're getting pushed and shoved, you gotta either get in or get out and today we got in."
For Szegedy, a sure top five finish was taken away. "I would have had third wrapped up but I didn't have anything for Teddy or Chuck. I was just a little too tight coming up off the turn and couldn't get the run coming off. I couldn't close up so I was satisfied with finishing third when we got banged in to. I didn't even know he (Flemke) was there. I knew the 46 (Beers) was behind me and then he came out of nowhere. I got hit so hard it just shot me up into the wall. Once I hit the wall, I just floored it so I wouldn't lose anymore speed and rode the wall through three and four and to the finish," said Szegedy.
While Flemke was not penalized for the incident, this is not to say that the new NASCAR Modified regime, headed by Chad Little, has gotten more lenient after it handed down three penalties the week before at Thompson for what they termed "aggressive or stupid driving." Eric Beers found that out the hard way after he was penalized at New Hampshire for going too fast off of pit road. The mistake cost Beers around 21 spots on the ensuing restart as he had to go back to the longest line. As a result, Beers had to use up most of his car to get back to where he was for much of the afternoon, which was in the front. He wound up fourth, which could have been much better. Even so, he did not fault NASCAR for the call, only himself and actually gave credit to NASCAR for toughening up on the competitors . "It was all my fault. We pulled out of the pits there and I thought the end of pit row was the end of the pit wall and it was the pit cone, which was another ten feet. I guess I picked up the gas a little early. I think it's a good thing that they are making calls and they are penalizing people for being over aggressive. It's going to help people save equipment in the long run. If you're letting stuff go, and guys are putting people in the wall and nothing is being said, everybody else is seeing it and they're going to do it too. Now, you turn somebody around and they put you to the rear or hold you a lap or something, that's a big penalty. That's a positive because back when I started racing this series that's not how it was. People drove clean and then it got to a point where a lot of people started to get carried away, for whatever reason, and figured they could get away with stuff since nothing was being done so people were getting the wrong idea. I think it's coming back around to where it's going to be good, clean hard racing without tearing up a lot of cars."
Flemke is also a proponent of the goings on so far with NASCAR and its officiating. "If the roles were reversed, and Chad went out and Ed Cox (Former race director) came in . He has an opportunity to start clean. I think that is what he is doing. Chad's setting his base line with what he feels he has to because he's starting fresh. On one hand, Chad has one different perspective that Ed didn't have. He was a race car driver. I think I ruined his day when I admitted to him that I screwed up last week and got what I deserved. There was no question I should have been called on it and I was. I do think the new regime is doing a good job but I do believe the old one could have if it could have started all over again and that's the big key," said Flemke.
Even the modified car owners see the positives in the new regime. Bob Garbarino, who has seen many faces in the NASCAR community, sees things moving forward smoothly. "Every time there is change, there seems to be a resistance to change," said Garbarino. "I think it's going to be good. I certainly respect Ed Cox and I think he is a great guy who did a hell of a job. But after standing in front of the fan for 18 years, I respect his decision to do what he did. I think it's going to be a little different. There seems to be a lot more meetings, organization, and paper work and I'm not too crazy about that but maybe that will work its way off the table as they get more familiar with what's going on. I think Chad's going to do a good job. He's certainly approachable and you can talk to him by phone or what not. In this day and age you can get put off a lot but he's there to answer any questions I might have, which I like."
One driver who was concerned was Jamie Tomaino, who has made more starts than anyone on the Tour. Tomaino's concern has to do more with the direction the Tour could be headed. "The bottom line is that this Tour, though we have some wealthy guys, are still regular people. If I need something, they'll get me whatever I want. This isn't Sprint Cup or the Nationwide Series. It seems that they are trying to push this Tour in that direction and if that happens too much, you are going to see a demise in the series. I think Don Hoenig has already taken a stand, and without Thompson Speedway, there isn't a Tour," said Tomaino. Tomaino, by the way, will be honored as a former Tour Champion when the Tour heads to Spencer Speedway in two weeks.
NEW HAMPSHIRE NOTES: This weekend marked the first Cup weekend with Bruton Smith taking over the reigns from the Bahre family. This first thing getting used to is that the track is now referred to as New Hampshire Motor Speedway, not New Hampshire International Speedway. And, as with any Bruton Smith track, there was plans for some interesting pre and post race festivities. Unfortunately, the Elephant Race, which was to be a part of the pre race show, was cancelled due to last minute permit issues. Apparently pachyderm permits were required to move an elephant across state lines as well as some health certifications that were required. Oh well, maybe next time. As of early last week, it appeared that Kyle Busch would be running in the Tour event at New Hampshire in the JR Motorsports entry. However, Busch had a change of heart, supposedly not wanting to get in the way of the modifieds "Daytona." Anyway, a call Wednesday evening was made to Jeff Fuller in North Carolina and a deal was struck and Fuller made it up to New Hampshire on Thursday. Fuller last drove a modified six years ago but after taking his time in the early laps, Fuller wound up getting more comfortable and finished a very respectable ninth. "I know I had fun," said Fuller before heading to the airport to head back to Carolina. "It seems like the rest of the guys also had fun, which was the main thing. Honestly, I had my mind set that I was going to go the first 1/4 of the race just to get back in the mode because it had been six years since I last raced one of these cars. They are so fun to drive but so different. Somebody was busting me after the race telling me that I thought I was going to take it easy and then saying I made it three wide on the second lap. I don't remember that move but I guess I just threw that all out the window. I forgot as usual."
was honored at New Hampshire as one of the past modified champions and once
again had everyone in the media center in hysterics with some of the old stories
of his battles in the mid 80's. Of course, I would have voted that he be honored
at Spencer versus New Hampshire, considering his same last name and the fact
that he raced at Spencer many times but I guess the economics of already being
at Loudon factored in... Also good to see the Hard Charger himself, former
modified driver Bruce D'Alessandro at Loudon. After "retiring" as
a driver, Bruce Dell moved down south and now has been working at Joe Gibbs
for the last six years. He only gets to travel to a few races with the team,
which is just fine with him. He'd much rather stay back at the shop. But getting
up to Loudon, not far from his home roots in Connecticut, wasn't a bad race
to get to. Dell doesn't get to as many modified shows as he used to but tries
to take in the show at Martinsville every year. Well, it's off to Spencer
in two weeks for the first Tour race since the early 90's... Well, I was going
to tell all of you who didn't have the opportunity to make it up to Loudon
that you would get the chance to watch a re-broadcast of the race on Speed
Channel. Unfortunately, that deal fell through, which for the life of me I
can't understand based on the fact that you had THREE television networks
at Loudon (Speed, ESPN and TNT) and you would think one of there crews could
have at least taped the race. But once again, the best race of the weekend
gets the shaft. It's not like the announcers and the like aren't aware of
how good the modified races can be. I saw Dr. Jerry Punch, Brad Daugherty
and some of the other ESPN announcers after Saturday's events at The Yard,
a restaurant in Manchester (I recommend the Prime Rib) and asked Punch about
the modifieds. And while he might have been just trying to be nice to me,
based on my Modified Tour hat, he said he'd love to telecast the modifieds
again. I wonder if that would have happened if Kyle Busch did decide to race
in a modified? Also, I love the idea of going "green" to help with
our societal issues, but is it really possible in a sport where gas is needed?
The only suggestion I can think of for NASCAR would be to but the number of
"green" laps it runs for some of its Cup races. And as we end this
week's edition, we wonder whatever happened to Tim Mroka? And This Week's
Quote of The Week comes from Ted Christopher, when asked how old he is, "I'm
50 but have a 28 year old wife." All news and views can reach me at 2
Constitution Court Unit 501 Hoboken, N.J. 07030
June 19 - Thompson Speedway - 14th
The 46 team had much higher expectations than a 14th place finish after qualifying 7th and redrawing the pole starting position. This was the first time for the new 75 lap race format where cautions do not count. The race ended up going 120 plus laps (if you count running under the caution) but the problem seemed to be that everyone thought that you could win the race early. As it turned out the race never got into a flow. Start - one lap green - caution - restart - 3 green laps - caution - restart - half a green flag lap - caution. This was the flow of the race. The 46 team was waiting for the tires to come in but it did not so Eric had a very very tight racecar. Considering that half the field wrecked the 46 team will take it and move on to New Hampshire where they cant wait for the car to get on the track as they have been working hard for this coming weekend.
Silk Edges Christopher In Wreckfest
By SHAWN COURCHESNE
Courant Staff Writer
June 20, 2008
The Whelen Modified Tour showed off a new racing format at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday.
Instead of the normal 125-150 lap event, track owner
Don Hoenig decided on a plan for a 75-lap race in which caution flags didn't
count. The sprint format seemed to make the drivers more aggressive, which
made the event more about dodging spinning cars than racing. In the end, Ron
Silk of Norwalk came out of the wreckfest to win the New England Dodge Dealers
75. The race was slowed 13 times by cautions. Silk passed Ted Christopher
on a lap 53 restart and then held off Christopher over the final 22 laps for
his second career victory. "I thought I would be all right if we could
get him on a restart and we finally got him," said Silk, who got his
first victory at Thompson last season."His car was good, but it took
a long time to get going. I'm just happy I had to beat the best. Teddy is
the best and it feels good to beat him." Christopher, of Plainville,
held on for second and Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., was third. "When
we would get the lead and pull away, we would get in a good groove,"
Christopher said. "But then when you're chasing, you're using a little
bit more and we were just a little too free at the end there." It was
the first victory for Silk with Hillbilly Racing, the North Carolina-based
team he joined over the winter. "We're just really excited to be here,"
Silk said. "We had an awesome car all race. The car just kept getting
better and better."
Walt Stubbs-Racing Report - thompson Speedway - June 19, 2008
Ah, to go back in time. I’m sure each and every
one of us at one time or another remembers someone or something from there
past and wishes they could go back to that time frame and just freeze it.
Unfortunately, there is no Michael J Fox or Time Machine to get us back to
whatever period in time of our past that we would refer to as the good old
days. For a lot of who have been involved in modified racing, that “Golden
Era” would be the 70’s and early 80’s, when drivers like
Richie Evans, Bugs Stevens, Jimmy Spencer, Roger Treichler, Greg Sacks, Fred
Harbach, Gil Hearne and any other driver at there weekly race track. To see
those drivers, be it at Shangri-La, Stafford, Lancaster, Islip or Wall Stadium,
coming from the back of the pack and win a feature event, with no caution
laps counting, was a sight to behold. With the formation of the NASCAR Modified
Tour in 1985 and the closing of many weekly tracks, those type of races gradually
disappeared in NASCAR’s oldest division. Long distance races with caution
laps counting became the norm, for better or worse. While there might not
be a Time Machine to go back to that era, Don Hoenig and the management team
at Thompson Speedway attempted to bring back “the good old days”
by running a 75 lap Tour race in which only green laps would count this past
Thursday Night. To be honest, it sounded like a great idea and concept going
in. However, like most concepts, it never quite turns out like you envisioned
it would, for whatever reason. Circumstances beyond your control usually come
into play, which is kind of what happened during the 75 lap feature. I’m
sure going in, most were hoping for a good, clean, exciting race, with minimal
cautions. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case as The Stubbs Meter counted
12 cautions for a total of 46 laps. Yes, I was counting the laps, just for
curiosity sake. And according to my calculations, that would have led to a
121 lap race, four laps less than a typical 125 lap Tour race. So, the questions
then become, was it a success, or better yet, what really was the difference?
The easier question to answer might be the latter one. While caution laps
are caution laps, whether you count them or not, there is still a different
type of strategy that goes into racing this type of race versus your typical
Tour race, which Mike Stefanik, who wound up third, pointed out afterward.
“It’s really ridiculous that we only have one scoring loop. Modified's
were always founded on pitting and racing. When the green comes out you go.
I’ve never passed so many cars for nothing. I’m just aggravated
with the system. One scoring loop just doesn’t cut it instead of having
three and four. At least have two scoring loops. I don’t really care
much for a 75 lap race. I love to pit and I love to include the crew. I like
to not feel that when you start the race, you have no real means of adjustments.
I’m true blue old school and love races where you have to pit. I think
the fans love them as well, where you have to pit and blast your way from
the back to the front. It seemed tonight that there was a lot of follow the
leader for the first 25 to 30 laps, with everybody being conservative. I just
don’t like it. Modifieds are all about standing on the gas and going.
You know you’re going to burn the tires off but so what? You’ll
get three more tires in 50 or 75 laps and that’s always been my mind
set. This time you had to be a little more cautious with your tires and it’s
not fun. Modified racing is supposed to be about fun and racing hard and it
wasn’t tonight.” As far as the format being a success or not,
it’s all in your point of view. Rowan Pennink, who has only been racing
the Tour for two years, might have had the most insightful comment of all.
Said Pennink of the 75 lap format, “It’s not really a problem
to run 75 green laps. It’s basically the same as running 125 laps but
I guess people get it in there heads that it’s 75 laps and they have
to run as hard as they can in the beginning, which caused many of the cautions.
It’s just a mind thing because it really is more than a 75 lap race,
whether you count the cautions or not.” I couldn’t have said it
any better myself and with that, maybe instead of blame being put on the race
format, maybe, just maybe, it should be put on the drivers themselves and
some of there aggressive driving methods. Remember, anyway you look at it,
a caution is a caution, whether it counts on the lap counter or not. It still
slows the pace and rhythm of the race, which cannot please the paying customer,
track promoter or grouchy media member like myself. It’s kind of ironic
then, that the new NASCAR Tour regime, headed by Chad Little, found reason
to penalize three drivers for what it called aggressive or stupid driving.
I don’t think there was that many penalties handed out in the ten previous
years on the Tour, let alone three in one night. Maybe this type of officiating
will help lead to better racing. Time will only tell. You have to hand it
to Ronnie Silk. He and the Hill Racing team had more than enough chances to
get by leader Ted Christopher on restarts, there were that many of them. Each
time, though, Christopher managed to hold off the upcoming driver. That changed,
however, on the lap 53 restart in which Silk was able to shoot by Christopher.
Once out front, Silk was able to keep Christopher at bay in winning his second
career Tour race. When asked how he managed to get by Christopher on that
particular restart, versus the other failed attempts, Silk said, “I
actually had some race track to work with that time around rather than marbles.
Ted’s car just wasn’t good for a few laps and then it would get
going. I’d say we were about the same but when I got stuck behind him
on the restarts, I’d be side by side with Chuck (Hossfeld) for a while
which would enable Ted to get quite a few car length lead. I knew if I got
him on one of those restarts, I’d have a chance which we managed on
that restart.” For Christopher, it wasn’t the finish he was looking
for, considering he led for the majority of the race. “There was just
too many cautions. When I got the lead, I pulled away and get in a good groove
and then the caution would come out. Then, when your chasing, which we were
doing at the end, we just used too much up,” said Christopher. When
Chuck Hossfeld first hooked up with car owner Bob Garbarino and the Mystic
Missile team a few years ago, there were a lot of ups and downs. After going
separate ways, Hossfeld wound up hooking up with Hill Enterprises before eventually
parting ways with them and was without a ride. Garbarino, on the other hand,
finally got his long coveted Championship last season with driver Donny Lia.
After Lia left to pursue his career in the Craftsmen Truck Series, there was
much speculation that Garbarino would ride off into the sunset. However, there
was Garbarino and the Mystic team bringing back Hossfeld to compete on the
Tour in 2008. And it’s been smooth sailing since, with Hossfeld leading
the points chase going into Thursday’s race. As Hossfeld, who wound
up fourth, admitted, “I’m so happy to be here. I feel like I’m
home. I honestly feel we have the best team going. We have old guys, young
guys, a couple of girls. Maybe I’ve matured a little bit, I don’t
know what it is. We think we had success the last time too. I guess the best
way to put it is that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
All I can say now to someone else is that I’m happy to be back, I’ll
tell you that much.”
1. (5) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 75 laps, 34.105 mph, $5,200. 2. (7) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, $2,700. 3. (14) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 75, $2,200. 4. (4) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 75, $1,900. 5. (15) Tony Ferrante, Jr., New Hyde Park, N.Y., Chevrolet, 75, $1,300. 6. (11) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 75, $1,500 7. (9) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 75, $1,400. 8. (22) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 75, $975.9. (2) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 75, $1,125.10. (16) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, $1,100.11. (18) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, $875.12. (17) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 75, $825.13. (13) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 75, $1,200.14. (1) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 75, $1,175.15. (30) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 75, $925.16. (24) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, $918.17. (34) Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Pontiac, 74, $1,450.18. (31) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 75, $1,200.19. (27) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 74, $1,100.20. (12) Charles Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 74, $700.21. (6) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 74, $1,700.22. (35) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 73, accident, $700.23. (33) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 73, $700.24. (32) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 55, $90025. (28) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 52, accident, $900.26. (8) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 52, accident, $1,100.27. (23) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 52, accident, $900.28. (29) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 50, accident, $1,100.29. (10) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 35, accident, $90030. (20) Tommy Farrell, Neptune, N.J., Chevrolet, 34, accident, $700.31. (26) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 33, accident, $900.32. (19) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 33, accident, $700.33. (25) Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H., Chevrolet, 21, clutch, $700.34. (3) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 2, accident, $900.35. (21) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 0, accident, $900.
Time of Race: 1 hour 22 minutes 28 seconds Margin of Victory: .733 secondsFastest Qualifier: B.Grigas (119.994 mph, 18.751 seconds)Caution Flags: 12 cautions (caution laps did not count)Lead Changes: 5 among 6 drivers.Lap Leaders: E.Beers 1; K.Goodale 2; C.Hossfeld 3-6; B.Grigas,III 7-27; T.Christopher 28-52; R.Silk 53-75.Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 675; 2. T.Christopher, 649; 3. T.Szegedy, 604; 4. M.Stefanik, 549; 5. J.Civali, 526; 6. E.Beers, 525; 7. R.Pennink, 524; 8. M.Hirschman, 516; 9. E.Flemke,Jr., 497; 10. K.Heagy, 472
Although the races at Wyoming for the RoC Tour race was rained out there was a Beers racing this past weekend - Austin Captured his first ever feature win at the quarter midget track at Blue Mountain Speedway - Also the 46 car was in action at Seekonk for the True Value tour race - Dick Houlihan made his return appearance and was doing ok until he was collected in someone else's accident to put the car out for the night.
June 14 - Wyoming - RoC - Rain
June 7- Mahoning Speedway - ROC - Time 1 - Start 8 - Finish 8
It was a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time with a fast race car and leading. Eric timed 1st and redrew 8th. By lap 19 Eric was in the lead making some wonderful moves. There was talk in the pits that this might have been the fastest car that was sticking that some have seen at Mahoning in a long time. But its difficult to race when the car about to be lapped don't adhere to the move over flag. Two cars fighting for position came past the flag man who was waving the move over flag when as they were fighting for position got together which ended up with the 6 car of Jan Leaty on top of the 29 car. Eric came out of one with no where to go as they collected each other. At that point the cat was probably ok with some damage to the horn and the nose piece but as Eric tried to pull down to the left he got clipped just a bit by a car going under the accident and it broke the hymen. Eric brought the car in and the crew fixed it as Eric restarted from the rear and worked his way up to a disappointing 6th place finish after having the dominant car all night.
Modifieds (75 Laps): 1.Rick Kirkendall 2.Brian DeFebo 3.Rick Kluth 4.Don Wagner 5.Paul Skodacek 6.Eric Beers 7.Jim Storace 8.Bobby Jones 9.Bill Putney 10.Daren Scherer 11.Pete Brittain 12.Tommy Farrell III 13.Bup Dreher 14.John Markovic 15.Todd Smith 16.Jason Bair 17.John Bennett 18.Chip Santee 19.Lou Strohl 20.Stacy Brown 21.Larry Fisher 22.Rusty Smith 23.Jarred Nace 24.Jan Leaty 25.Zane Zeiner 26.Kevin Brown. DNQ: Matt Clemens, Keith Mellars, Todd Baer, Mike Quinn
May 24 - Oswego Speedway - ROC - Blown motor on lap 3 of practice - Did not Start
HIRSCHMAN SWEEPS AWAY TALENTED RoC MODIFIED FIELD
TO WIN RICHIE EVANS MEMORIAL AT OSWEGO - by J.R. Kennerup
Looking at the talented racing field assembled at the Oswego Speedway Saturday night for the Richie Evans Memorial. Not many people would have predicted that one driver would be able to sweep the evenings’ racing activity, which was the first race in the Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour. As over 1,000 feature wins by the drivers in attendance were represented along with close to 50 career track / series championships as well in the Oswego Speedway Parts Plus sponsored Modified Series.
All of this talent assembled didn’t bother second generation driver Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pennsylvania. Matt just simply went out and showed that he had the fastest racecar on Saturday night. As he led all of the laps in the heat race for a win and promptly redrew the pole for the 100 lap feature.
Hirschman had a trio of challengers in Dave Wollaber, Sege Fidanza and finally Jan Leaty that all took a shot at taking the win away. But each time Hirschman would turn up the wick in his self owned Troyer chassis, Bob Bruneau Engine Research powered, Hirschman’s Garage sponsored car.
Hirschman claimed his first Richie Evans Memorial win worth $3,000 by a half a straightaway over the 18th place starting Jan Leaty of Williamson, New York. Neptune, New Jersey hot shoe Tommy Farrell III, who started sixth excited the crowd during the late stages of the race in the Jim Wolff Racing Modified as he charged from deep in the field after a lap 68 pit stop for a tire change to end up a fast closing third. Fidanza of Lockport, New York who started eighth ran as high as second from laps 69 to 72 slipped back to fourth. While defending RoC Dart Tour champion Pete Brittain of Oakhurst, New Jersey nipped Wollaber at the line for fifth.
“Luck I think is an overused term in this sport but you still got to have the car to do it and you as a driver have to get the job done. We don’t need to start from the pole to win but when you do we have that kind of car “ said the smiling race winner.
Since Matt has taken over the ownership of this car two years ago he’s really been on a roll at the Oswego Speedway.“ The last two years and going into the third year now we’re either a first or second place car here every time we’re here“ said Matt. “Some times it might not work out and you don’t finish first or second but we’re really a first or second place car here. I really run strong here, I just got it figured out and I like coming here.“
Matt spoke on the talented field assembled for the first race of the season.“ There were an impressive field of cars here today, bottom line. There were a lot of fast, well prepared, and pretty race cars here today and all of us should be proud of that. There were a few incidents but no one got torn up that bad and in the end it came down to me and Jan Leaty. It’s come down to me and Jan Leaty a lot lately and it’s carried over into this year. Their program hasn’t fallen off any and my program hasn’t fallen off any and I expect to be battling him more than one time this year.“
Despite starting on the pole Matt knew that just in case anyone was going to challenge him for the lead late in the race. He would need something in the reserve tank to keep him out in front. Matt proved that he had plenty in the reserve tank after the fourth yellow of the race when Sege Fidanza moved into second and then for the final 28 laps of the race when Jan Leaty was in second.
“Good competition will bring the best out in you“ said Matt.“ When Jan Leaty got into second and in the back of your mind before the race even started you have an idea of who is going to challenge you. Jan Leaty is number one on that list and when they tell you Jan is in second and he’s catching you, you’re going to dig for everything you got and I did. I dug down and we were more than able to hold him off.“
Matt finished up by talking about the importance of winning the Richie Evans Memorial at the Oswego Speedway on the same night they ran a memorial race in memory of Jimmy Shampine. “The win is very high on my list “ said Matt. “Here at Oswego they’re honoring not only Richie Evans but also Jimmy Shampine this weekend. I have no memory of either of them racing but I have read their books and I have a lot of respect for both of them even though I have no memory of them. The respect that both of them have in this sport and to have a memorial races named after them and to win that memorial race, it means a lot to me. Richie Evans is known as the greatest Modified driver of all time and Jimmy Shampine is probably known as the greatest driver in the history of the Oswego Speedway. I think it’s great that the track honors them and on Memorial Day weekend, that’s fantastic.“
Jan Leaty the defending Race of Champions winner had an up and down day with many things happening to him but in the end wound up with a satisfied second place finish.
“I’m satisfied with the finish and coming here I was hoping for a top five run because a lot of guys run good here“ said the multi time track and series champion. “I wanted to get a good finish as I plan on running the entire Tour this year right now. But it seemed the hill was awful high to climb today.“
Jan’s day of highs and lows started in the heat race. “Very simple, no names need to be mentioned. It was just a simple honest mistake as both cars were fueled up at the same time and both caps were left off“ recalled Jan. “Then I got black flagged for the 3 car for running into the inside wall and that wasn’t real cool. So then I said I’m going to run the consi so I can get two tires for the feature. We did that a couple of years ago here and won a race that way. Then that idea didn’t work either ( with a big laugh ) as Mike’s car was light due to the fuel he lost. Then after getting into the wreck ( lap 14 ) in the feature the car was never quite right after that. The guys in the pits did their best to get it back to where it was and we didn’t want to pit again. The car was just a little too free and if you’re going to run with Matt Hirschman for the win you need to be right on the money and we weren’t at the end of the race. It’s still a good night “
“I burned the tires up real bad during the first 50 laps“ said new Oswego fan favorite Tommy Farrell III, who finished third.“ I figured if I could get to the lead I would be all right, but we were just a little bit too free. Once we pitted and put the new right rear on it really woke the car up.“
Tommy spoke about his finish, “I’m very happy with a third. We got some good notes to use when we come back next time to give the guys who race all the time a run for their money.“
Qualifying races for the 35 Modifieds on hand saw heat wins go to Hirschman, Farrell, Jim Storace, and Fidanza while Ronnie Silk captured the B Main.
PALACE EVANS MEMORIAL NOTES; Many thought with the brisk wind and chilly temperatures
that passing would be at a premium. But it certainly was not the case as during
the century grind there were many occasions where side by side racing was
the norm instead. All of this passing led to an extremely exciting feature
event. Pre – race favorite Eric Beers was done for the day after the
first hot lap session on Saturday afternoon, the culprit was a spun bearing
in the motor. Hilton , New York veteran driver Dick Kluth made his return
to the Modified racing wars running a second entry as a team mate to his son
Rick. After hot lap session one Dick’s day was over with as engine woes
developed on his car. The loss of fuel on the Mike Leaty car in the heat race,
due to the fuel cap being left off ended up costing him dearly. As after pitting
and having the problem fixed Mike raced his way into a qualifying spot only
to come up light at the scales and that put his father Jan who missed transferring
by one position into the feature field. Hard luck once again struck Jim Storace
as the Kingston , New Hampshire driver had to scratch from the feature field
where he was slated to start fourth due to a broken push arm on the engine
rocker arm. Many pit side observers enjoyed the rear panel of the Pete Brittain
car which said, “ Support your local Speedway before it’s too
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by; Dart Machinery, Hoosier Racing Tires, Sunoco Race Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston Rings, Dura – Bond, Competition Engineering by Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, Afco, CV Products, and LA Sleeve.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR RACE # 1 RICHIE EVANS MEMORIAL OSWEGO SPEEDWAY
Matt Hirschman, Jan Leaty, Tommy Farrell III, Sege Fidanza, Pete Brittain,
Dave Wollaber, Daren Scherer, Ronnie Silk, Ryan Preece, John Markovic, Rusty
Smith, Tommy Kinsella, Billy Putney, Dean Rypkema, Rowan Pennink, Steven Reed,
Rick Kluth, Mike Leaty, Jimmy Zacharias, Todd Smith, TJ Potrzebowski, Lee
Sherwood, Vern LaFave, Doug Reaume, Wilbur Hebing.
DNS; Jim Storace
DNQ’S; JR Swansbrough, Bobby Jones, Todd Baer, Chris Risdale, Ken Canestrari, Matt Clemens, Mark Tychoniewicz, Eric Beers, Dick Kluth.
LAP LEADERS; Hirschman ( 1 – 100 ).
GATER RACING NEWS DRIVER BONUS DRAW $500; Hirschman.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; J. Leaty ( 18th to 2nd ).
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Sherwood ( 4th to 22nd )
May 23 - Stafford Speedway - Time 6 Start 3 - Finish 5 (Jimmy Blewett DQ'd moving Eric to 5th)
On Friday May 23, 2008 the Berkley Auto Racing #46 headed back to the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, CT for the 18th running of the TSI Harley-Davidson 150. This was the third event on the 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule.
Entering the event, the team had high expectations following their 2nd place finish at the Spring Sizzler just 4 weeks ago. Following the hour and a half practice session the #46 was shown 7th on the speed charts of the 37 cars in attendance. The team, for the third race in a row drew an early number, as Eric would be the 7th car to take to the 1/2 mile oval during the qualifying session. He would post a first lap time of 18.433 seconds followed by a lap of 18.226 seconds during time trials. The time would end up being the 6th fastest of the day and would ensure the #46 of being included in the redraw for starting position. With the top-6 cars redrawing, Eric would find himself starting from the 3rd spot. With this being an impound race, the teams were only allowed to make minor changes following qualifying.
While the teams were preparing to bring their equipment to the infield, rain began to fall at around 8:30 p.m. This would put the nights activities into a rain delay. This delay would last for over 2 1/2 hours, as it would not be until after 11 p.m. that the teams would move the pit boxes to the infield. When the green flag finally flew at 11:27 p.m. Eric settled into the 3rd spot. Over the next 90 laps and several caution periods, he would remain in the 3rd position. A caution on the 90th lap had most of the top running cars head to pit road, only the 8th place # 59 of Matt Hirschman and the 11th running # 99 of Jamie Tomaino elected to stay out under the yellow. Eric brought the # 46 to the attention of the crew who quickly changed right side tires and fueled the car, hoping to tighten up what had become a loose handling race car. The fast work by the crew had Eric exiting the pits first. He would restart the race from the 3rd spot. Throughout the remainder of the race, The #46 ran in the top-5. A late race caution on the 146th lap had the race go into "overtime" with a green/white/checker finish. When the green flew for the final time the # 19 of Jimmy Blewett used the outside groove to make his way past Eric and at the checkers the # 46 crossed the line in 6th place at around 12:41 a.m. Unfortunately, the car was just way too loose at the end of the race.
(1) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 153 laps, 62.449 mph, $7,100.
2. (14) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 153, $3,200.
3. (4) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conan., Chevrolet, 153, $2,700.
4. (27) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 153, $3,050.
5. (6) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 153, $1,900.
6. (3) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,600.
7. (17) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,500.
8. (5) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,900.
9. (19) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,350.
10. (9) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 153, $1,600.
11. (7) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,250.
12. (24) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 153, $1,225.
13. (21) Charles Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,150.
14. (13) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 153, $1,100.
15. (29) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 153, $1,075.
16. (2) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 153, $1,050.
17. (26) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 153, $1,025.
18. (20) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, $1,000.
19. (28) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 153, $950.
20. (15) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 153, $925.
21. (25) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Pontiac, 153, $900.
22. (30) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 152, $875.
23. (31) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 151, $850.
24. (8) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 148, $825.
25. (22) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 145, ignition, $800.
26. (11) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 133, accident, $768.
27. (23) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 109, accident, $750.
28. (16) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Chevrolet, 108, suspension, $750.
29. (10) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 19, accident, $750.
30. (12) Rob Summers, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 18, accident, $750.
31. (18) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 18, accident, $750.
Race: 1 hour 13 minutes 30 seconds Margin of Victory: .416 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: C.Hossfeld (99.272 mph, 18.132 seconds)
Caution Flags: 9 for 46 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: B.Grigas,III 1; C.Hossfeld 2-39; B.Grigas,III 40-92; M.Hirschman 93-106; C.Hossfeld 107-153.
Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 515; 2. T.Christopher, 479; 3. T.Szegedy, 454; 4. J.Civali, 443; 5. R.Pennink, 415; 6. E.Flemke,Jr., 408; 7. E.Beers, 399; 8. M.Stefanik, 384; 9. J.Blewett, 376; 10. M.Hirschman, 366
May 10 - All Star Speedway - Heat Start 1 - Finish 3 - Start 9 - Race Finish 10
On Saturday May 10, the Reynold's Auto Wrecking, Cape Cod Aggregates, J & R Pre-Cast #46 headed to the All-Star Speedway in Epping, NH for the running of the WaterSnoGo Modified Showdown 150 presented by Laticrete. This was the first of a four race series pitting the best of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, the True Value Modified Racing Series, and the All-Star Modifieds against one another.
Throughout the days practice sessions the crew would make several adjustments to the car in hopes of finding the right combination for a successful first visit by Eric and the team to the track. A 3rd place finish in his heat race would have the #46 start the feature from the 9th position for the 150 green flag lap race.
When the green flag flew it wasn't long before Eric radioed that the car was way too tight and would not turn. A caution on the 13th lap had Eric bring the car to the pits for adjustments. He would return in the 22nd spot. By the time that the yellow flew on lap 75 for a 10 minute halfway break, Eric had avoided all trouble and was running in the 7th position. At this time the crew changed right side tires and added fuel for the remaining 75 laps. When the race resumed Eric worked his way up to the 5th position, but handling issues once again returned and on the 135th lap Eric spun coming off of turn 2. He would bring the car to pit road for adjustments and at the end of the race he was able to salvage a 10th place finish. Throughout the race, officiating was questionable and many calls affected several teams including the #46. Eric and the team were just happy to leave the track with the car in one piece.
BY KEVIN RICE
EPPING, NH- Mike Stefanik won the LATICRETE 150 Modified Open event at All-Star Speedway on Saturday night, taking the lead on lap 113 when Matt Hirschman spun after slight contact while racing Stefanik for the lead. Andy Seuss drove from starting position 25 to challenge Stefanik in the closing laps for the win, but settled for a second place finish.
Stefanik commented, "We came here to have some fun. It's just fun for me. There's no pressure and whatever we do, we do. Early in the race I didn't think the car was this good. I thought we might have a top five at first.
"Then we adjusted on it, tightened the car up some more and put some tires on it. Then I just found a nice sweet spot where the car really seemed to like it, and I closed back up on Matt."
The race began with Rowan Pennink taking the initial lead in the Gary Casella car, but he was overtaken by Louie Mechalides on lap three. Mechalides continued to lead, with Jimmy Kuhn, Ken Barry and Hirschman close behind. There were several instances where cars raced side-by-side at the front of the field during the first half of the race, but there were also several cautions for spinning cars in the 30-car field during that time. Hirschman got beside Mechalides on lap 45 and he stayed there until finally taking the lead on lap 49 when the caution came out for Brett Gonyaw, who spun with apparent engine failure, collecting Kirk Alexander. Hirschman continued to lead after the restart, with Mechalides, Stefanik and Kuhn in a close race for the second spot. Jon McKennedy was sent spinning on lap 70 by another car, halting his run to the front. Seuss, however made it from the back, to the top five by that point of the race. The field reached a lap 75 halfway break with Hirschman leading Stefanik, Kuhn, Seuss and Ronnie Silk. Hirschman earned the CD Tile $300 halfway bonus money for his efforts. On lap 76, ROC Series regular Rusty Smith was sent into the turn three wall. On the restart, Hirschman was able to pull away from Stefanik for a time, but Stefanik soon found his "sweet spot" and closed the gap to a carlength by lap 98.
Hirschman stated, "We had a real good car the first half. After the halfway break it was like I was driving a different car. We really don't have an explanation, but it wasn't the same and it just wasn't good. It's kind of frustrating." As Seuss moved to fourth place on lap 108, the lead duo continued to race close for the lead until the lap 113 incident that had Hirschman spinning out of the lead in turn four. "I knew Mike was there and I thought I held my line going into three," Hirschman recalled. "I have a lot of respect for Mike. I'm not going to say any more. I thought I held my line and pretty much surrendered the line I thought because he was quicker and I knew he was in there."
Stefanik countered, "I hate it that we came together. He was running me hard. He didn't hang onto it. I didn't turn up into him. That's for sure. I felt bad for Matt. He's a good driver and I enjoyed racing with him." Before one lap could be completed on the lap 113 restart, Tony Ricci slammed the third turn wall after contact with another car. James Civali and Jimmy Blewett pitted for adjustments at that time. On the next lap 113 restart, Kuhn made a serious bid for the lead, edging ahead of Stefanik on the outside. They raced nearly even for several laps before Stefanik took command, with Seuss riding Stefanik's rear bumper into second place on lap 120.
Over the final 30 laps it was Seuss challenging Stefanik high and low, looking to find a way into the lead. Seuss noted, "It was a lot of fun racing with these tour guys. A lot of fun racing with Mike Stefanik. I wish I could have had him at the end, but after our day we're happy with second."
Kuhn's impressive run was slowed on lap 135, when he was helped into a spin as the close racing up front caused cars behind them to bunch up. Civali, Blewett and Danny Sammons were among the lead lap cars damaged in that incident. An apparent radiator leak sent 2007 ROC Champion Pete Brittain to the pits one lap later. Seuss got a wheel under Stefanik a couple of times in the closing laps, but he was unable to overtake the driver of the Ed Marceau owned number 66. Silk finished third, with Tommy Cravenho and McKennedy rounding out the top five. Race number two of the four race WaterSnoGo Modified Series takes place on June 7 at All-Star with a 100-lap affair.
Official LATICRETE 150 Finish: MIKE STEFANIK, Andy Seuss, Ronnie Silk, Tommy Cravenho, Jon McKenendy, Chris Pasteryak, Matt Hirschman, Jimmy Kuhn, Jim Boniface, Eric Beers, Kenny White, Josh Cantara, Bruce batchelder, Pete Brittain, Danny Sammons, Jimmy Blewett, James Civali, Carl Pasteryak, Tony Ricci, Bobby Grigas, Rusty Smith, Ken Barry, Brett Gonyaw, Rowan Pennink, Jim Storace, Butch Perry, Louie Mechalides, Kirk Alexander, Gene MacLain, Ted Christopher. DNS Rob Summers, Eric Leclair
May 3 - Mahoning Speedway - 100 Laps - Rain Out
April 26-27 - Stafford Speedway - NASCAR Tour - Time 2 - Finish 2
On Saturday April 26 the Berkley Auto Racing #46 unloaded at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford, CT for the 37th Annual running of the Carquest Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. The team's preparation for the race showed during the morning practice session. As Eric only practiced for 20 laps while posting the 5th fastest time of the 35 cars in attendance.
An early qualifying draw had the #46 the 3rd car to take time in the qualifying session. The first lap produced a time of 18.252 sec. for a speed of 98.634 mph around the 1/2 mile oval. On the second lap a time of 18.084 sec. with an average speed of 99.536 mph was turned. The lap would hold up as the fastest until the #3 car of Ryan Preece would turn a lap of 18.057 sec for a speed of 99.684 mph. That is how qualifying would end with #3 car taking the Coors Light Pole Award and the yellow #46 the 2nd fastest. The redraw for Sunday's race would have the Eric starting from the 4th position.
After a morning pit party where fans had the opportunity to meet with Eric. The green flag would fly shortly after 2:30 p.m. several caution periods would slow the early part of the race. By lap 55, the #46 would take over the 3rd spot and then 2nd place 12 laps later. The leader at this point was the #3 car of Preece. On lap 90, the engine on the #3 would expire and Eric would take over the lead. It was at this point that the decision was made to pit for 4 tires and gas, the crew made a quick stop and the #46 was the first car off of pit road. Several cars decided to stay out on the track and when the green came back out on lap 96 Eric would restart from the 9th spot. It wasn't long before the #46 was back in the top-5 and at lap 143 it took over at the front of the pack. He would hold the lead until lap 171 when the #36 of Ted Christopher on fresher tires would take over the lead. Over the final 29 laps Eric made several attempts to regain the lead but was unable to do so and finished a close 2nd. The finish vaulted Eric up to the 9th spot in the standings after 2 races. The race had the entire team pumped up after the finish. Knowing that a trip to victory lane is only a matter of time. Berkley Auto Racing wishes to extend its thanks to partners; Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, Viveiros Insurance and also to our product sponsors for all of their support.
Story from Speed 51 about the Teddy Nudge:
The story about the Spring Sizzler NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) could be about how Ted Christopher won his 28th career Tour race. It could be about how Christopher nudged eventual second place finisher Eric Beers out of the way with just 30 laps remaining to accomplish his win. The story could even be about the triumphant return of third place finisher Chuck Hossfeld to the Whelen Modified Tour, after he only sporadically raced this last season.Christopher has often taken great pleasure during his career in being the guy that the fans love to hate, and what could be seen as confidence by some often comes across as cockiness to others. Still, it's hard to deny his record at Stafford, where he is the reigning SK Modified champion, and has scored right of his career Modified Tour victories. “It was real fun. I like passing cars,” said a happy Christopher. “I don't want to start up front and just ride around. Maybe that puts me in a tough situation some times, but I love doing that.” Beers, while expressing some frustration about being moved from the lead, still was able to walk away from the race knowing he had given his #46 team, which he made only his second start for in this race, their best ever finish.
“It's disappointing when you're leading and someone bashes you like that,” said Beers. “But what are you going to do? He [Christopher] pitted, he had fresher tires, and he made a good move off of [turn] 2. He caught us on the backstretch. But other than that, I'm just happy the way this team is going.”
the point leader after two events was just thrilled with the way his season
has begun thus far. “We were second and third so far, and I'm sure if we keep
hanging around the top five, then a win will be coming,” explained Hossfeld.
“We came back from some adversity there in the beginning when we got hit and
spun out. To wind up third after all that, I'm pretty happy with that. I really
need to thank my team for their hard work.”
1. (5) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 200 laps, 56.057 mph, $8,320.
2. (4) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 200, $4,820.
3. (8) Chuck Hossfeld, Ransomville, N.Y., Dodge, 200, $3,320.
4. (10) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Pontiac, 200, $3,320.
5. (12) James Civali, Meriden, Conn., Chevrolet, 200, $3,020.
6. (18) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 200, $2,620.
7. (19) Richard Savary, Canton, Mass., Chevrolet, 200, $2,720.
8. (11) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 200, $2,920.
9. (23) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 200, $2,220.
10. (22) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200, $2,020.
11. (9) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200, $1,920.
12. (29) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200, $2,245.
13. (34) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, Mass., Chevrolet, 200, $1,450.
14. (6) Matt Hirschman, Northampton, Pa., Chevrolet, 200, $1,899.
15. (17) Anthony Sesely, Matawan, N.J., Dodge, 200, $1,050.
16. (28) Danny Sammons, Hamilton, N.J., Chevrolet, 199, $1,760.
17. (33) Tom Abele, Jr., Norwich, Conn., Chevrolet, 196, $1,025.
18. (14) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 193, $975.
19. (35) Sean Patterson, Wading River, N.Y., Pontiac, 193, $950.
20. (2) Frank Ruocco, Cheshire, Conn., Chevrolet, 185, accident, $925.
21. (21) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 185, $1,620.
22. (25) Billy Pauch, Jr., Frenchtown, N.J., Dodge, 184, accident, $1,595.
23. (3) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 179, accident, $1,670.
24. (16) Erick Rudolph, Ransomville, N.Y., Chevrolet, 174, accident, $825.
25. (24) Carl Pasteryak, Lisbon, Conn., Chevrolet, 156, $800.
26. (26) Renee Dupuis, Glastonbury, Conn., Chevrolet, 153, suspension, $1,200.
27. (30) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 109, $1,620.
28. (13) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk, Conn., Pontiac, 103, $1,620.
29. (7) Ryan Preece, Kensington, Conn., Chevrolet, 91, engine, $2,120.
30. (27) Bobby Grigas, III, Marshfield, Mass., Chevrolet, 60, oil pressure, $1,520.
31. (20) Joe Hartmann, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 59, accident, $1,520.
32. (31) Reggie Ruggiero, Rocky Hill, Conn., Ford, 54, ignition, $1,520.
33. (1) Rob Summers, Vernon, Conn., Chevrolet, 50, drive shaft, $800.
34. (15) Rick Fuller, Auburn, Mass., 26, timing chain, $1,520.
35. (32) Jake Marosz, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 11, accident, $1,200.
Time of Race: 1 hour 47 minutes
2 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.719 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Preece (99.684 mph, 18.057 seconds)
Caution Flags: 13 for 71 laps.
Lead Changes: 7 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: R.Summers 1-5; J.Blewett 6; R.Summers 7-26; R.Preece 27-90; E.Beers 91-92; T.Christopher 93-142; E.Beers 143-171; T.Christopher 172-200.
Standings: 1. C.Hossfeld, 335; 2. T.Christopher, 314; 3. J.Civali, 305; 4. R.Pennink, 288; 5. T.Szegedy, 284; 6. T.Abele,Jr., 267; 7. E.Flemke,Jr., 262; 8. G.Tyler, 255; 9. E.Beers, 249; 10. A.Sesely, 248.
April 12 - Mahoning Speedway - 100 laps -- unable to attend
What an interesting day for Eric. The #9 Modified car was ready to go to Mahoning for Opening night and the 100 lap Frost Free Event- even loaded in the trailer - when Eric had an unfortunate accident while working on a project in the morning. While using a torch to cut re barb - Eric made a cut to get the re bard loose when just that quick it rebounded back at Eric and actually penetrated Eric's leg going in about a half an inch and since it was hot it not only penetrated Eric's leg it also burned it - fortunately it corterized it as it penetrated Eric's inner thigh. The doctors at the Burn unit recommended that Eric just chill with the racing program for a little while to allow the wound to heal properly. If Eric is not careful now he runs the risk of the wound becoming infected which would could put him out indefinitely. Everything happens for a reason and we will update on the upcoming schedule.
April 5-6 - Thompson Speedway - NASCAR Tour - Start/Time 14 - Finish 28
The 2008 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season opened at the Thompson Speedway in Thompson, CT with the running of the Icebreaker. For Berkley Auto Racing it not only was the start of a new racing season, it was also the start of a new chapter in the teams history, as Eric Beers of Northampton, PA took over behind the wheel of the teams #46 Chevy's. This season, the team partners with Reynold's Auto Wrecking, J & R Pre-Cast, Cape Cod Aggregates, and Viveiros Insurance, they along with a host of fine product sponsors, help to put the car on the track.
On Friday, the hauler arrived at the track and was unloaded for NASCAR's technical inspection. NASCAR officials thoroughly looked over the car and motor for anything that they felt did not conform to the rules. When the inspection process was complete the team was given list of things that needed to be fixed before the car would be allowed to practice on Saturday.
Saturday morning the team was ready to go to work fixing what needed to be fixed when the garage area opened at 8 a.m. Due to a light drizzle, the practice that was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. was pushed back until 3 p.m. and qualifying rescheduled for 6 p.m. When Eric took to the track for the first practice he radioed to the crew that the car was handling tight into the corner, through the middle and a little tight off. Throughout the next hour and a half the crew would make different chassis and tire stagger adjustments with the hope of finding the right combination that would give Eric the feel that he was looking for. By the end of the practice session the #46 was 16th fastest of the 39 cars on hand. An unlucky draw for qualifying had Eric the 4th driver to make a qualifying attempt. His first lap around the 5/8th mile oval was 19.391 sec. for an average speed of 115.129 mph on his second lap he turned a lap of 18.904 sec. with a speed of 118.070 mph. When qualifying was completed the #46 would be the 14th fastest of the 39 cars.
Sunday morning would be cloudy and cold with temperatures in the 40's. The team spent the morning doing its pre-race checklist getting the car ready for the race. With a slight mist coming down the green flag flew and Eric would begin to make his move towards the front from his 14th starting spot. By lap 5 he had moved into the 11th position, he radioed to the crew on lap 7 that the car was good in through the middle and a little free off the corners and that he felt it needed a little more bite. Continuing to pass cars when the caution flag came out on lap 17 the #46 was running in the 7th spot. After a couple more caution flags he remained in 7th, a restart on lap 34 had Eric get caught behind the #09 of Bobby Grigas and slip back to 10th before being able to get back in line. Another yellow on lap 45 had Eric radio that the car was free up off and a little tight in the center the longer the green flag run. By lap 56, he had moved up to the 8th position, when the caution came out again on lap 66 the decision was made that when pit road opened, if the leaders pitted, Eric would pit. The leaders did pit and the crew went to work changing right side tires, making a wedge adjustment, and adding fuel. When he returned to the track with other cars not electing to pit, he would restart from the 10th position. When the green flag flew trouble would be just around the corner. The #06 of Billy Pauch Jr. would spin in the 3rd and 4th turns Eric was just able to slowdown and avoid contact when the #31 of Tony Ferrante Jr. ran into the back and push him into the #06. The contact would result in the front bumper going through the radiator. Eric would pull the car behind the wall where the crew worked replacing the radiator and front bumper, it was also at this time that the rain began to fall a little harder. The #46 returned to the track having lost 17 laps while repairs were being made, unfortunately Eric would complete only 1 lap before NASCAR officials brought the cars down pit road and red flagged the race. After a short period of time officials decided to call the race complete as the rain continued to fall. The final finishing order would find the #46 in the 28th position. Although not the result that they were looking for, Eric and the crew were upbeat after the race knowing that they had a competitive race car and look towards the next race.
You could look at the finish from the Thompson Speedway April 6th Icebreaker, NASCAR Modified Tour opener and say - "Holy Mackerel what a bad finish. Kid's got himself in the hole after one race - What was the matter with the car today? - Another tough Icebreaker for Beersy!" But the finish does not tell the whole story. Eric was one of the fastest and best handling cars out there. He had his fans on the edge of their seats. Everyone knew that the car was good as he was fast and passing people and running up front. Eric drives with patience so he could have moved up even further but he was great. If you take a look at the photo of the accident from this race it was sure a matter of being at the wrong place at the wrong time and getting caught up in someone else's mess. Bobby Katon (team owner) better watch out he might loose his entire pit crew to a NASCAR CUP team if they keep up the lightening fast stops they are capable of pulling off. On this day when everyone came in to pit the 46 car also came in and next thing you know the 46 is driving down pit road passing car after car still making their pit stop because the team gave Eric an incredible stop. For having a 28th place finish Eric and the team were in great spirits because they know they all did their job and had a good car capable of winning if it weren't for the instant of bad luck. Eric explained after the race, "Normally after a 28th place finish I am in a miserable mood and replaying the race in my mind over and over wondering what I could have done better. But today the team gave me a great car - our pit stop was wicked fast and we were just being patient and letting the race come to us. Am I disappointed, of course, but the optimism going on from this point forward is the highest with this team as I have ever been associated with. All of us cant wait to get to Stafford as opposed to some years in the past where we finished the race and then I started wondering - ok what are we going to have to overcome at the next race. But not with this team - everybody knows their role and works until the job is done and best yet - the team excels in putting a good safe car under me."the race and running that well still made him happy.
Finish - Thompson Speedway, April 6 - NASCAR Modfiied Tour
1 8 10 Ed Flemke, Jr. Ron Bouchard Auto Center/Premier Kitchens 92 185 5 $7,920 Running
2 10 4 Chuck Hossfeld Mystic Missile Dodge 92 170 3,220 Running
3 2 09 Bobby Grigas, III Triple-G Scaffold Services Chevrolet 92 165 3,070 Running
4 34 05 Joe Hartmann WMS Construction Chevrolet 92 160 3,295 Running
5 36 32 Tom Abele, Jr. * Synergyn/M&W Sheet Metal/Crystal Auto 92 155 2,825 Running
6 1 28 James Civali Ramar-Hall Inc./Genesis Shocks Chevrolet 92 150 2,995 Running
7 3 2 Todd Szegedy Wisk-Snuggle Ford 92 146 2,295 Running
8 11 14 Reggie Ruggiero Atlantic Sprinkler Ford 92 142 2,095 Running
9 18 93 Rowan Pennink Monk Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet 92 138 1,945 Running
10 15 36 Ted Christopher Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet 92 134 1,995 Running
11 29 11 Anthony Sesely A-1 Auto Center Dodge 92 130 1,150 Running
12 5 19 Jimmy Blewett Major Motion Transport/TS Haulers Chevrolet 92 127 1,965 Running
13 19 5 Charles Pasteryak Dawley's Auto Center/Sunoco Chevrolet 92 124 1,134 Running
14 22 8 Glenn Tyler Sypher Construction Chevrolet 92 121 1,850 Running
15 23 12 Ken Heagy Budy One Seafood Chevrolet 92 118 1,385 Running
16 17 59 Matt Hirschman Furnace & Duct Chevrolet 92 115 1,870 Running
17 30 90 Renee Dupuis SFI/Featherlite Chevrolet 92 112 1,430 Running
18 21 06 Billy Pauch, Jr. Greenfield Dodge Dodge 92 109 1,695 Running
19 12 3 Ryan Preece Mizzy Construction/FJ Hubany Chevrolet 92 106 1,670 Running
20 26 75 Carl Pasteryak Sunoco/Dawley's Collision Chevrolet 92 103 925 Running
21 4 79 Ronnie Silk Hill Enterprises/Coors Light/Sunoco Pontiac 92 100 1,720 Running
22 37 33 Wade Cole Performance Engines/Kendall Oil/Ryan's Oil 91 97 1,570 Running
23 35 9 Jake Marosz Middlesex Auto Center Chevrolet 91 94 1,225 Running
24 39 53 Sean Patterson * John DeLisa & AXA Financial Pontiac 88 91 800 Running
25 9 58 Kevin Goodale Riverhead Building Supply Chevrolet 84 88 1,510 Running
26 28 21 Richard Savary Superior Oil Chevrolet 82 85 1,700 Running
27 33 17 Glen Reen * Reen Orthodontics Chevrolet 81 82 770 Running
28 14 46 Eric Beers Reynold's Auto Wrecking/J&R Pre-Cast 75 79 1,580 Running
29 25 45 Erick Rudolph * Original Pizza Logs/Prime Tyme Motorsports 75 76 750 Steering
30 6 31 Tony Ferrante, Jr. Sunoco Chevrolet 73 73 750 Accident
31 16 64 Eric Berndt Northend Auto Parts/Cos Central Auto Chevrolet 37 70 750 Accident
32 32 77 Rick Fuller Toyota Certified Used Vehicles 34 67 1,470 Running
33 20 16 Mike Stefanik Diversified Metals/Ace Moldings Pontiac 32 64 1,570 Running
34 13 0 Danny Sammons Area Auto Racing News Chevrolet 29 61 1,470 Accident
35 7 00 Bobby Santos Sherm's Towing Chevrolet 23 58 1,470 Accident
36 24 74 J.R. Bertuccio Gershow Recycling Dodge 23 55 750 Accident
37 27 47 Jim Storace Harry's Fuel/TRC Race Components Pontiac 23 52 750 Steering
38 31 99 Jamie Tomaino J Co./Clean-Up Supply Chevrolet 19 49 1,570 Accident
39 38 26 Gary McDonald * Lakeland Landscaping Supply/RC Electric 10 46 750 Accident
Qualifier: James Civali, Time: 18.585 Seconds, Speed: 120.097 MPH
Time of Race:1 hrs., 0 mins, 25 secs Average Speed: 56.647 mph Margin of Victory: Under Caution
COORS LIGHT POLE AWARD: James Civali, 28 Ramar-Hall Inc./Genesis Shocks Chevrolet
FEATHERLITE MOST IMPROVED DRIVER AWARD: Joe Hartmann, 05 WMS Construction Chevrolet
POWERADE POWER MOVE OF THE RACE AWARD: Tom Abele, Jr. *, 32 Synergyn/M&W Sheet Metal/Crystal Auto Chevrolet
SUNOCO ROOKIE OF THE RACE AWARD: Tom Abele, Jr. *, 32 Synergyn/M&W Sheet Metal/Crystal Auto Chevrolet
WHELEN WINNER OF THE RACE AWARD: Ed Flemke, Jr., 10 Ron Bouchard Auto Center/Premier Kitchens Chevrolet
Caution Flags: Laps 8-11; 17-21; 23-32; 45-52; 67-92. 5 for 53 laps.
Lap Leaders: Bobby Grigas, III 1-12, James Civali 13-42, Todd Szegedy 43-70, Ed Flemke, Jr. 71-92.
Total Laps Led: James Civali 30, Todd Szegedy 28, Ed Flemke, Jr. 22, Bobby Grigas, III 12. 3 changes involving 4 drivers.
Top 10 Driver Points: Ed Flemke, Jr. 185, Chuck Hossfeld 170, Bobby Grigas, III 165, Joe Hartmann 160, Tom Abele, Jr. * 155, James Civali 150, Todd Szegedy 146, Reggie Ruggiero 142, Rowan Pennink 138, Ted Christopher 134
March 29 - Thompson Speedway Modified Test
Eric was very happy with the results with the test at Thompson Speedway on this day. The whole package was working together. The car was handling great and the engine had good power to get it going down the straight away. In fact as Eric said, "I think we got more practice today in te 46 car at Thompson than we did in the 5 races we participated in 2007"
Thanks to all who attended the great night of Fun at the Party on March 22 - Good dun and funds raised for a great cause/
Welcome to a night of fun. For over a decade each spring we celebrate the beginning of the upcoming Race season for a local race car driver, Eric Beers, “our own Koncrete Kid”. Above you see a picture of the Beers Motorsports #9. This family run operation is based in Northampton PA and travels from Maine to Florida hitting the big NASCAR Modified Races. The year has started off good so far with a win in Florida during Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway and the team is excited about the upcoming 2008 season.
The Eric Beers racing party is set for Saturday night March 22nd at the American Club in Coplay. This is a party where you will be treated to a great meal, plenty of beverages, Chinese auction, raffles and entertainment. It’s a great night to get together and enjoy the company of folks who only get together once or twice a year.
For more information or to order your tickets (Tickets are limited and we do sell out) call 610-261-9468
Look forward to seeing you all there.
BERKLEY AUTO RACING GIVES THE KEYS TO ERIC
- FULL NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED TOUR SCHEDULE, PLUS SPECIALS AT ALL-STAR & SEEKONK SPEEDWAY ON THE SCHEDULE -
Northampton, Penn. (January 30, 2008) – In
2008 two fixtures on the Northeast and New England racing scene will join
together and tackle one of, if not the most competitive series in the United
States. Eric Beers of Northampton, Penn., will pilot the familiar yellow 46
J & R Precast Troyer Chevrolets fielded by Berkley Auto Racing and car
owner Bobby Katon. Beers, who has competed on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
for the past six seasons, is looking forward to the opportunity.
“As always it will be a busy season, but I can’t wait to get going,” offered Beers, who will also pilot his own machine in selected events throughout the Northeast. “Bobby (Katon) is just a tremendous individual and I’m really looking forward to working with him and all of his guys. In addition his crew members, we’ve had the opportunity to bring over some of our crew members, Kevin Crowley will be joining Dave Phillips working as co-crew chiefs, so I think all of the pieces are in place to have success right off the bat at Thompson.”
The team ran in an audition of sort when they competed together at the North/South Shootout at the Concord Motorsport Park in North Carolina where they finished second. Katon hopes it’s a sign of things to come for his race team, who had Dick Houlihan behind the wheel for 20 years. Houlihan semi-retired at the conclusion of the 2007 season as he will appear in selected event for the Berkley Auto Racing Team at Seekonk Speedway.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Eric,”
related Katon. “It was a challenging decision to make when Dick (Houhlihan) decided to retire. He had been with us for so many years, but that is also the way we are viewing this opportunity with Eric. We’re not looking to join the driver-of-the-week-club, we want to create a long term relationship that benefits everyone. We have some great people on board, we’ve had some experienced folks join us, so things are really going forward. We’ve also got the support from our marketing partners, which is such a crucial element for success these days.”
In addition to sponsorship from long-time and existing sponsors; Reynold’s Auto Wrecking, J & R Precast and Viveiros Insurance support will come from; Cape Cod Aggregates Freetown Corporation, Shell Oil in the form of their ‘Q’ Racing Oil brand, New England Race Fuels with, Sunoco Racing Fuel, Pro Shocks with power being produced by Jim Mikkel’s Performance Technology in Indiana. Other product supporters include Randy LaJoie and The Joie of Seating, Pro Systems Brakes and QuarterMaster.
Beers and the Berkley Auto Racing Team will make their season debut at ‘The Icebreaker’, the season opening event for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, at the Thompson International Speedway on April 5th & 6th, with intentions of racing for the Tour championship in the 16-race slate, along with select open-competition appearances at Seekonk and All-Star Speedway throughout the 2008 season.
For More Information, Contact;
Jim Lumi: 617-852-8352
1 Eric Beers
2 Jimmy Blewett
3 Bobby Grigas III
4 Ronny Silk
5 JR Bertuccio
6 Chuck Hossfeld
7 James Civali
8 Jon McKennedy
9 Ted Christopher
10 Rowan Pennick
11 Ryan Preece
12 Butch Perry
13 Kevin Goodale
14 Charlie Pasteryak
15 Buck Catalino
16 Billy Pauch, Jr
17 Andy Seuss
18 Billy Anderson
19 George Bierce