Tag Archives: Late Models

Eric Beers scores 100th career win; Lorin Arthofer II picks up Late Model 50 laurels

By DINO OBERTO

 (LEHIGHTON, PA. 8-26-17) Eric Beers scored a milestone victory on Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the “Master of Faster” recorded his 100th overall career win.

Starting ninth on the grid, Beers was running second to Kevin Graver Jr., by lap 15. The next time around the DeLange Racing No. 45 was in charge of the pack and proceeded to cruise to the Winner’s Circle and memorable win.

“It’s unbelievable to get 100 wins in anything. I have to thank my father and mother for getting us started in this and teaching us the right way to do things in racing. They always told me don’t drive through people drive around them,” said Beers.

“And my brother-in-law Bob “Heavy” Scherer who stopped driving so I can take over the wheel. I made him proud by winning a lot of races,” he continued.

“My wife Cherrie has been here for all 100 of them. We started dating when I got my first win and she’s still here. And I could never thank Dave and Laura DeLange enough for letting me drive their racecar. It’s a great honor to run for them.”

En route the win Beers had a great battle with Joey Jarowicz before getting to second spot. After taking the lead Jarowicz followed into second with Gene Bowers third. Then over the final 10 laps Kyle Strohl was all over Jarowicz in what turned into a thrilling duel to the finish. At the checkers Strohl just eked his way to runner-up. Bowers and point leader Kris Graver completed the top five.

“They are great up and comer racers. Kyle (Strohl) has been here now for a couple of years running up front and Joey (Jarowicz) has really stepped his game up this season. But as long as I don’t get to old they can still watch the back of my car,” said Beers.

Beers won for the first time on September 13, 1986 at Dorney Park Speedway in a Late Model. In between he registered victories at Nazareth ½-mile dirt track, Adirondack, Seekonk, Thompson, Lancaster, Chemung, Tioga, New Smyrna, Flemington, Oswego and Evergreen.

He has wins on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and was the 2004 winner of the Sunoco Race of Champions. Beers is also a two-time Evergreen Raceway track champion and three-time titlist at Mahoning Valley. Of his 100 wins 55 have come at Mahoning where he is tops among the Modified division.

“Mahoning will always be my home. We left here in 1993 and started traveling and didn’t come back to run weekly until 2013. We took 20 years off but I can tell you that this is the best place for Modified racing that you will ever see,” said Beers.

            When Lorin Arthofer II pulled into Victory Lane after winning the 50-lap Late Model feature the first thing his team all expressed proudly was, “Finally!”

            That’s due to this being his first win of the season which has been filled with a one top-5 finish after another including at one point a string of three straight runner-ups. It was the 35th career win for Arthofer but the first in a Late Model since 2010.

            And, Arthofer worked intensely in gaining the lead as the race was a barnburner among the front runners from start to finish. Lead changing came in earnest including six times during the first 20 laps alone.

            And for Arthofer it was a bit of luck that enabled him to earn the verdict after the then lead dual of Frankie Althouse and Broc Brown tangled while approaching the white flag lap. Third at the time, Arthofer was elevated into the lead and held off Mike Sweeney over the final two tours.

            “I’d rather be lucky than good right now because I’ve been good so far this year and I hadn’t won so this is great. I was just in the right place at the right time when the leaders tangled,” said Arthofer who pocketed $1200.

            “We put a new setup underneath the car tonight and tweaked it and I think we can make it even faster. It’s been a long time since we won in Late Model and I wanted one bad. I can’t thank my family and team enough for sticking behind me.”

            In the Street Stock feature Jillian Long was the benefactor of jumble between the front pair of Jared Ahner and Jon Moser who got together on lap 18 of 30.

Long was third at the time and raced out front the rest of the way for her first win in two years, beating out a very strong Josh Scherer.

2013 Dirt Mod champion Jeff Parker was making his first start in two years and it proved meaningful as he won the main event and in the process snapped the 10-race win streak of Mike Stofflet.

There was a scary moment during the race when Frank Parastino crashed into Larry Beers. Oncoming Denise Devine had nowhere to go and hit hard into Parastino and suddenly flipped. Thankfully she emerged unscathed.

Kevin Stein took the lead with six laps to go and went on the win his third Pro 4 feature of the year.

In the Hobby Stock main Michael Wambold raced to his first win of the season, holding off fast closing Austin Beers for the nod.

 Results

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Kyle Strohl, 3. Joey Jarowicz, 4. Gene Bowers, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Kevin Graver Jr., 7. Brian Labar, 8. Lou Strohl, 9. Brian DeFebo, 10. Jack Ely, 11. Bobby Jones, 12. Zane Zeiner, 13. Tyler Haydt, 14. Ron Haring Jr., 15. Nick Baer, 16. Don Wagner, 17. James Pritchard, 18. Jacob Kerstetter, 19. John Markovic, 20. Troy Bollinger DNQ: Terry Markovic

 Late Model Feature Finish (50 Laps): 1. Lorin Arthofer II, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Dylan Osborn, 5. George Ramos, 6. Geno Steigerwalt, 7. Eric Kocher, 8. Broc Brown, 9. Frankie Althouse, 10. Rich Cooper, 11. Brian Romig Jr., 12. Robbie Kutz, 13. Jacob Nemeth, 14. Jacob Kerstetter DNS: Kenny Hein

 Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps):  1. Jill Long, 2. Josh Scherer, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Stacey Brown, 5. Steven Steigerwalt, 6. Rick Reichenbach, 7. Mark Deysher, 8. Jon Moser, 9. Cody Geist, 10. BJ Wambold, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Shayne Geist, 13. Ken Erney III, 14. Steve Hoffman, 15. Corey Edelman, 16. Alan Schlenker, 17. Dennis Buss, 18. Jamie Smith, DNS: Anthony Tombasco

 Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Jeff Parker, 2. Mike Stofflet, 3. Bill Sittler, 4. Larry Beers, 5. Frank Parastino, 6. Denise Devine

 Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Kevin Stein, 2. Jake Kibler, 3. Ken Reeder, 3. Josh Kuronya, 5. Cody Kohler, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Johnny Bennett, 8. Kailyn Beers, 9. Randy Schaffer

 Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Wambold, 2. Austin Beers, 3. Taylor Schmidt, 4. Rich Mutarelli, 5. Al Arthofer, 6. Shawn Kistler, 7. Devin Schmidt, 8. Ryan Berger, 9. Trish Connolly, 10. Nicolas Kerstetter, 11. Justin Merkel, 12. Todd Geist, 13. Lyndsay Buss, 14. Travis Solomon, 15. Colton Breiner, 16. Paul Effrig, 17. Samantha Osborn, 18. Avery Arthofer, 19. Beau Drobot, 20. Hunter Iatalese

LAST LAP PASS EARNS CHRIS TURBUSH RIVERHEAD RACEWAY 50-LAP LATE MODEL VICTORY, MICHAEL RUTKOSKI SCORES FIRST CAREER CRATE MODIFIED VICTORY SATURDAY

 Photos: Kerri Larson Myracenews
Riverhead, NY July 15th.
It was Monster Truck Saturday at Riverhead Raceway with a large crowd on hand at the historic quarter mile oval on a warm & pleasant evening. In the headlining 50-lap Late Model feature event Chris Turbush of Wading River rewarded his hard working team who burnt the midnight oil during the week to repair a heavily damaged car by making a last lap pass of Kyle Soper of Manorville to claim the win. Rookie driver Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck scored his first career Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate victory when he topped their non stop 30-lap main event.
Qualifying found Late Model championship leader Kyke Soper laying down the fastest lap at 12.827 edging out defending champion Jeremy McDermott who turned in a lap of 12.842. The top 4 would redraw for the race with McDermott picking the pole while Roger Oxee drew the outside of the front row with Soper and Chris Turbush making up the second row. When the race got underway McDermott took advantage of his pole position to race to the early lead with Roger Oxee in tow. The class which had a rough and tumble race the week prior clicked off a smooth race Saturday. Oxee seeking his 65th career win would chase McDermott until a 40th lap double file restart that would not only see a change for second but also be the start of several position changes in the top 4. Chris Turbush would make his way under Oxee for second when the field started the 41st lap and he set sail for leader McDermott. The duo went toe to toe for the lead and as they raced hard Kyle Soper was able to make an inside pass of both leaders on lap 45 to claim the top spot with Turbush moving by McDermott for what would new be second.
The second he got to second Turbush went right to work on Soper as they ran nose to tail with less that five laps remaining. Turbush was working the inside lane as they raced off the corner with the race coming down to the white flag lap. After taking the one to go signal Turbush started his inside pass of Soper off turn two as the tandem ran door handle to door handle. Entering the third turn Turbush muscled his way under Soper and it would be a drag race off turn four to the checkers. Chris Tubush steering his East End Building Chevy would collect his 6th career Late Model win in a thriller. “What a team I have” boasted Turbush after the hard earned win, “we’ve had to rebuild this car twice since opening night and my guys and especially Bootsy never say die, they just keep digging”.
Kyle Soper crossed the line second but was moved back to last of the lead laps cars (6th) for after race contact with Turbush. That turn of events moved Kevin Metzger of Massapequa to second his best effort of 2017 in the Complete Well & Pump Chevy with Eric Zeh of Selden coming home third in the Angela’s House racer. Jeremy McDermott of Riverhead and Scott Kulesa of Georgetown, Ma. completed the top five.
After honing his racing skills in the competitive INEX Legend Race Car division Michael Rutkoski and his grandfather & car owner Buzz Chew decided the next step for Michael would be the Eagle Auto Mall Modified Crate class and Buzz was all in purchasing an all new Troyer Engineering built car for his grandson. Saturday that decision paid dividends as Michael Rutkoski led from green to checker for his first career win. Defending champion Dave Brigati broke his own track record he set on June 24th of this year when he toured the track at 12.615 with Dylan Slepian second quick with a time of 12.660. The top six from time would redraw with Rutkoski pulling the #1 pill with Dennis Krupski drawing the outside pole.
When the green flag waved Rutkoski broke our front with Dave Brigati coming from his third place starting berth under Krupski for second. For the remainder of the race Brigati the leading winner in the Crate Mods with 7 victories between 2016 and this season would stay right in the tire tracks of the freshman driver Rutkoski. For the race leader even though there were no caution flags during the race with a driver of Brigati’s caliber filling his mirror Michael might have thought the laps were clicking off slowly. As the race hit it’s second half Rutkoski in the Buzz Chew Chevrolet machine was hitting his marks and if Brigati was going to get by him it would have to be the the outside as the leader did a masterful job of protecting the inside lane.
At the finish it was the thrill of a first career win for Michael Rutkoski as his grandfather, long time track pace car sponsor Buzz Chew & their family looked on with pride. Dave Brigati of Calverton put the pressure on the young driver but had to be content with runner-up money in the Quest Machining & Fabricating Chevy while CJ Lehmann of Center Moriches was third in the IGA Food markets entry.
Tom Rogers Jr. scored his second consecutive Figure Eight win his third overall this season as well the 29th of his career tying him with Tom Kraft for 4th on the all time win list. Rookie talent Greg Harris broke to the early race lead at the throw of the green with Charles Macwhiinie in tow for the first lap before a quick yellow came out. On the restart Tom Rogers Jr, who started the race from 8th quickly made his way to second with Harris still leading the contest until a lap 3 yellow set up another double file restart. On that restart Tom Rogers Jr. in his Bays Bar & Grill coupe made his way to the race lead with Tom Ferrara racing his way to second. For the remainder of the race Ferrara would fill the rearview mirror of Rogers but was never able to mount a serious bid for the lead. When the race concluded championship leader Tom Rogers Jr. padded his point lead over Tom Ferrara of Patchogue who was second in the Extreme Auto Body Cadillac. Early leader Greg Harris of Riverhead was third in the SGS Stone Works machine of Ken Hyde Jr.
In the 20-ap Blunderbust feature event popular Tom Sullivan of Massapequa seemingly had won his first race of the season but post race inspection would find his car being too low and he was moved to last in the running order. That turn of events moved “The Wildchild” Tommy Walkowiak of Ridge into victory lane in his Blaze Fuel Oil Caprice for the 62nd time in his illustrious career. Walkowiak moved by Bill Wegmann Sr. on lap 2 for second with an inside pass entering the third turn which would prove to be the winning pass of the race. Championship leader Tom Pickerell of Huntington was second in the Sequel Group Chevy while Max Handley of Medford was third in the Liccardi Builders Caprice in just his third start of his career.
On the strength of a late race pass Jack Handley Jr. of Medford scored his first Super Pro Truck win of 2017 in their 20-lap feature. Sophomore driver Sean Glennon led the way for the first lap of the race before he was passed by Jimmy Rennick Jr. on lap 2. Glennon chased Rennick until the 4th circuit when he was passed by Lou Maestri who’d run second until lap 9 before he was overtaken by Owen Grennan. Meanwhile Handley who started the race 7th was making his way towards the front of the pack and on the 18th lap made his way by Grennan for second. Once he got to leader Rennick’s rear deck lid Handley, the 2016 Blunderbust champion wasted no time in making a bid for the race lead. With the laps winding down Jack ducked inside of Jimmy to take the lead for good in the Hollis Court Collision Chevy driving off in his Mike Albasini owned truck. Jimmy Rennick Jr. of Howard Beach had his best run of the year coming within laps of his first career win before settling for second in the Metropolitan Recycling Chevy. Early leader Sean Glennon of Northport took home third place money in the Rib’s Deli machine.
Brian Brown of Baiting Hollow topped the 30-lap Street Stock event for his first career win. Brandon Hubbard zipped out to the early race lead and the second generation driver would lead the first five laps before disaster struck as the field started the 6th lap. Heading into the first turn Hubbard’s throttle hung wide open and the driver known as “Hubcap” was along for the ride hitting the wall hard. Fortunately Brandon was okay but his Royalty Tattoo Chevy was totaled. When the race resumed Brian Brown was the new race leader with Kyle Curtis running second until the 11th lap when he was passed by veteran driver Rhett Fogg. The challenger was able to stay in the leaders tire tracks but that be as good as it would get as Brian Brown drove the Staria Automotive Chevy to victory lane. Rhett Fogg if Westhampton was second in his McBetts Racing Engines Chevy with Anthony Pizzo of Lake Ronkonkoma third in the Fleming’s Landscape Design Caprice.
Joe Warren Jr. of Ridge would win the 40-lap Gut & Go Enduro after starting 17th in the 47 car field. Bryan Kelly showed the way at the throw of the green leading the first 19 laps of the contest before Warren came calling with an inside pass of Kelly racing into the first turn. As per usual once in the lead Joe Warren Jr. put the hammer down leading the reminder of the race. As his customarily does when he wins Warren dedicated the win to ‘Lil Jason Trinca and his mom Keri. The performance of the race belonged to runner-up Brandon Esposito of Farmingville who started the race in the 42nd position in his Hilltop Bagel Café racer. Christian Conklin of Flanders was third.
Late Models: 1. Chris Turbush 2. Kevin Metzger 3. Eric Zeh 4. Jeremy McDermott 5. Scott Kulesa 6. Kyke Soper 7. Shawn Patrick 8. Roger Oxee 9. Ray Minieri 10. Steve Mastro Jr.
Crate Modifieds: 1. Michael Rutkoski 2. Dave Brigati 3. CJ Lehmann 4. Dylan Slepain 5. Peter Bertuccio 6. Justin Brown 7. Kurt Kreiger 8. Michael Rommeney 9. AJ DeSantis 10. Tony Vecchio 11. Cary Rogers 12. Jack Orlando 13. Dennis Krupski
Figure Eights: 1. Tom Rogers Jr. 2. Tom Ferrara 3. Greg Harris 4. Scott Pedersen 5. Gary Fritz Jr. 6. Charles Macwhinne 7. Eric Zeh 8. Tom Kraft Jr. 9. Brian Hansen 10. Bob Dalke
Blunderbusts: 1. Tommy Walkowiak 2, Tom Pickerell 3. Max Handley 4. Eric Zeh 5. Jim Laird 6. Wayne Meyer 7. Derek Wegmann 8. Bill Wegmann Sr. 9. Tom Puccia 10. Alyssa Paprocky 11. Kenny King 12. Tim Mulqueen 13. Tom Sullivan DNS Bobby Ehrle
Super Pro Trucks: 1. Jack Handley Jr. 2. Jimmy Rennick 3. Sean Glennon 4. Owen Grennan 5. Dave Brigati 6. Roger Turbush 7. Eddie Schutze 8. Lou Maestri 9. Mike Albasini
Street Stocks: 1. Brian Brown 2. Rhett Fogg 3. Anthony Pizzo 4. Greg Harris 5. Greg Zaleski 6. Brian McCormack 7. Chris Lescenski 8. Glenn Simonin 9. Logan Fogg 10. Kyle Curtis 11. Sal Sinatro 12. Joe Boccia 13. Gerard Lawrence 14. Brandon Hubbard
Gut & Go Enduro: 1. Joe Warren Jr. 2. Brandon Esposito 3. Christian Conklin 4. Mitch Pattern 5. Woot Lawrence 6. AJ DeSantis 7. Tom Pickerell 8. Mike Farrell 9. Tony Collingsworth 10,. Kevin Augustine 11. Bryan Moore 12. Ryan Warren 13. Ryan Dupuis 14. James Johnson 15. Kevin Rommeney 16. Don Laskey 17. John Palmeri 18. Dan Dimodungo 19. Mitch Halfern 20. Eric Germuth 21. Brad Bess 22. John Marino 23. Drew Fohrkolb 24 Rob Dugre 25. Doug Tittle 26 Rob Henninger 27. Scott Phillips 28. CJ Zukowski 29. Alyssa Paprocky 30. Bryan Kelly 31. Charles Astacio 32. Corey Beverly 33. Dan Augustine 34. Kris Dane 35. Mitch Rippe 36. Peter Barlotta 37. Joe Palmeri 38. Angela Bowman 39. Anthony Rennick 40. Dimitra Pickerell 41. George Astacio 42. Preston Prydatko 43. Michael Schlie 44. Joey Palmeri 45. James Volmer 46. Robert Savoy 47. Joseph Gaimo

They tried but the young guns where no match for Eric Beers

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 7-8-17) Eric Beers outdueled a pair of young guns to take the lead and then held off top contender Kris Graver for his second Modified win of the year.

Front row starter Ely and Strohl remained in that order when the 35-lap event got going while eighth starting Beers joined them after a lap two restart.

Then began an intensely contested battle. Ely led the pack while Strohl and Beers went two-wide while also going after the leader.

On lap 23 Strohl was running on the bottom and saw a chance to get past Ely. As he dived underneath there was slight contact that caused Ely to slide a bit to the right and Strohl as well had to gather himself from spinning.

Beers would capitalize from that as he was high enough to throttle past them and take over the lead.

Not surprising point leader Graver was coming on by this point and got around Strohl and Ely with eight laps to go. Beers, however was in good shape to the finish and would notch his 54th career Mahoning win.

“That was some good racing out there tonight,” said Beers. “The three of us where under a blanket for at least 20 laps. I was trying to get on the outside of Jack (Ely) and Kyle (Strohl) at the same time was shooting to the inside of him and they made some contact and I was able to then get a good run to finally take the lead.”
The always improving Joey Jarowicz found a burst of speed over the final laps and took home a career best third. Ely and Strohl held on to complete the top five.

The racing program was almost cut short when a passing rain shower during warm-ups put a question mark on the rest of the evening. After a pole by the drivers it was decided to make a go of it although the track was a bit tricky to drive.

“It was pretty slick. The low groove had a little bit of grip and there was not a whole lot on the top but the bottom line is we’re racing on a Saturday night,” said Beers.

“I want to say a happy birthday to our promoter Floyd Santee. Hats off to him for sticking with the show and getting it all in tonight. Everyone stuck together and there may not have been a whole lot of gripe due to all the rain in the past two days but man did we put on a good show.”

Mike Sweeney not only raced to his division leading fifth Late Model victory of the season but it was also  a personal milestone as he notched his 50 career win with that class.

The feature was a cone race and under a process of cautions Sweeney was able to move to second spot by lap eight at which point he was behind Jeremy Miller.

Two laps later Sweeney was charging past Miller for the lead and once in front it was a smooth and steady ride to the checkers. It was also his second win in a row, following a victory the previous week at Evergreen Raceway.

Frankie Althouse, Miller, Lorin Arthofer and Broc Brown rounded out the front five.

“The cautions came out at the right times and we were able to choose the right lane for the restarts. We won last week at Evergreen and then to come back here and park in Victory Lane that’s what we work so hard for,” said Sweeney, who is the leading asphalt Late Model winner throughout the Northeast in 2017 with six wins to date.

Stacey Brown passed Jillian Long for the lead on lap four and would go the rest of the way from the top spot in capturing his first Street Stock win of the season.

Brown did a fine job of holding back his opposition as he showed little signs of wavering. Jon Moser was able to claw his way to second spot over the final half dozen laps but Brown had him covered.

In the Dirt Mods Mike Stofflet raced to a track record eighth consecutive feature win and in dominating fashion as he was the only car on the lead lap by race’s end.

Cody Kohler should think about more trips home from North Carolina where he attends school. For a fourth time in five starts Kohler scored a Pro 4 victory. His other finish was a scant second.

The Hobby Stock feature was quite the barnburner as Tiffany Wambold made a bold inside pass on Colton Perry in the final corner of the final lap for her second win of the year. After nine races Wambold becomes the first driver to repeat in the class.

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2.Kristopher Graver, 3. Joey Jarowicz, 4. Jack Ely, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Nick Baer, 7. John Markovic, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Kevin Graver, 11. Ron Haring Jr., 12. Lou Strohl, 13. Roger Heffelfinger, 14. Bobby Jones, 15. Brain DeFebo

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Frankie Althouse, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Broc Brown, 6. Jacob Nemeth, 7. Kenny Hein, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. George Ramos, 10. Dylan Osborn, 11. Eric Kocher

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps):  1. Stacey Brown, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Jared Ahner, 5. Jill Long, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Shayne Geist,  8. Steven Steigerwalt, 9. Josh Mooney, 10.Eric Kocher, 11. Corey Edelman, 12. Alan Schlenker, 13.Bobby Kibler Jr, 14. Dennis Buss, 15.Jamie Smith, 16. Ken Erney, 17. Josh Huber, 18. BJ Wambold

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Frank Parastino, 3. Larry Beers, 4. Denise Devine, 5. Bill Sittler Jr.

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Kevin Stein, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Johnny Bennett, 5. Jeremy Guerra, 6. Ken Reeder, 7. Tucker Muffley, 8. Josh Kuronya,  9. Tanner Laybourn DNS: Jason Finken

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Tiffany Wambold, 2. Michael Wambold, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Colton Perry, 7. Shawn Kistler, 8. Devin Schmidt, 9. Brayden Spencer, 10. Trisha Connolly, 11. Paul Effrig, 12. Ryan Berger, 13. Justin Merkel, 14. Jeff Biegley, 15. Joey Visnosky, 16. Al Arthofer, 17. Todd Geist, 18. Avery Arthofer, 19. Nicholas Kerstetter, 20. Cody Geist DNQ: Colton Breiner