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.
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