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Eric Beers masters his way to 75-lap Mahoning Modified win

By Dino Oberto

Photos by Walter Smith

(LEHIGHTON, PA. 4-29-17) After somewhat of a slow start to the 2017 season, defending Mahoning Valley Speedway Modified track champion Eric Beers got back to his winning ways and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the “Master of Faster” showed his trademark grace and style in notching the first place tally in the extra distance 75-lap event that.
With the change to American Racer as the track tire, Beers had issues in finding a good set-up at first. The previous week he did come on late and recoded a solid runner-up to Bobby Jones. After watching his performance from last evening it is safe to say the team has go things figured out as it was classic Beers motoring his way to his 53rd career Mahoning win.
Beers needed nearly 50 laps to secure the lead as he had a thrilling duel with upstart Joey Jarowicz. But, once he landed the number one spot he was able to maintain a safe distance over those battling for second and would go on to a car length margin of victory over Brian DeFebo. Austin Kochenash, Kyle Strohl and Kris Graver completed the top five.
“We struggled through pre-season practice and on Opening Night. We came back last week with a vengeance and got a little bit better and tonight we showed them what we had,” said Beers, who pocketed $2500 for the victory.
At the outset outside pole sitter Jarowicz took the lead and was followed by Jack Ely and Don Wagner. Jarowicz was by far the show stopper as the sophomore driver was putting in his best run to date and never let Ely get close enough to make a serious challenge.
Beers was hanging back in fifth spot until a restart on lap 15. At that point he stepped past Lou Strohl, Wagner and Ely within a six lap run and was now focused on the leader.
However, Jarowicz proved himself well against the veteran. Over the next 25 laps it was an awe-inspiring battle between the pair with Beers doing everything possible to get by. Yet each time he was turned away as Jarowicz would not allow him access.
It wasn’t until lap 46 that Beers finally slipped ahead for the lead. Unfortunately that would also be the end to Jarowicz’s great run as he suddenly lost control and had his back end get out from under him in turn one and brought out a caution.
“Joey (Jarowicz) ran a heck of a race and he was tough. He was running such a good line and I tried him on the top and I tried him on the bottom and I just couldn’t do it. The kid did a great job,” said Beers.
When the race resumed Beers showed the way and while he would be in control the rest of the distance, second place was a different story as Kochenash, DeFebo, Graver and Kyle Strohl where in a tight pack.
Ten laps from the finish a caution was out and it was a final chance for those aforementioned to make a run at Beers. Kochenash tried as he may but Beers once again had the upper hand. DeFebo was hooked up on the outside lane and ran down Kochenash for second. He was able to get in behind Beers but time was not on his side and he settled for second. DeFebo and Beers are now sharing the point lead after three races.
“The car really didn’t change from the beginning of the race to the end. American Racer has given us a decent product and I think we still have a little bit more work to make them a little better but overall we had a good car tonight,” said Beers.
“Refuse to loose” has become all the buzz around the Mike Sweeney pits. Sweeney has stayed perfect thus far in 2017 and dating back to the final two races of last season, the defending Late Model champion has reeled off five wins in a row. This time it took a bit of time and the help of a caution to aid Sweeney in moving to the lead and eventual win. For the first 17 laps Lorin Arthofer II was making it his race, cruising nicely ahead with a sizeable lead. Jeremy Miller was second and fending off Sweeney.
Unfortunately for Arthofer his spread was wiped away when a caution bunched the field. When the race was restarted Sweeney was alongside, but not for long. Within one lap he was zipping by and heading on to familiar territory, Victory Lane.
“Luck was a big factor in tonight’s win and that caution was a big help. These guys have been running me hard as could be and we need to keep doing our homework during the week because they’re getting fast,” said Sweeney.“I don’t know how long we can ride this streak but we’ll keep it going as long as we can.”Arthofer settled for second with Miller third.
Although Jamie Smith was able to lead every lap of the Street Stock feature, it was by no means an easy task as the entire 30-lap distance he was under close pursuit by one after another, but despite the onslaught he stayed  the course.
He may also be glad that the race didn’t last much longer too as Jon Moser was powering in a hurry in the closing laps and was pulling alongside Smith as they dashed under the checkers.
Mike Stofflet picked up his second Dirt Mod win and he did it in much the same way as his first by easily overpowering his counterparts. Stofflet went to the lead on lap two and from there on he was in cruise control.
For the second time in three Pro 4 races Cody Kohler made the trip from North Carolina and stopped off in Victory Lane.
Kohler made a breathtaking three-wide advance into the lead over Jake Kibler and Johnny Bennett with five laps to go. He then held off Ken Reeder en route to making it two for two in 2017.
In the Hobby Stocks Tiffany Wambold had a very fast car as she thrust her way to the front of the pack with five laps remaining and scored her first win of the year.

Modified Feature Finish (75 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Brian DeFebo, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Jack Ely, 7. Nick Baer, 8. John Markovic, 9. Rick Kirkendall, 10. Bobby Jones, 11. Lou Strohl, 12. Josh Scherer, 13. James Prichard, 14. Joey Jarowicz, 15. Terry Markovic, 16. Don Wagner, 17. Ron Haring Jr.

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Lorin Arthofer, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Frankie Althouse, 5. Jacob Kerstetter, 6. Geno Steigerwalt, 7. George Ramos, 8. Kenny Hein, 9. Robbie Kutz, 10. Broc Brown

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jamie Smith, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Shayne Geist, 5. Eric Kocher, 6. Alan Schlenker, 7. Corey Edelman, 8. Stacey brown, 9. Mark Deysher, 10. Jill Long, 11. Dan Freundt, 12, Jared Ahner, 13. Rick Reichenbach, 14. BJ Wambold

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Frank Parastino, 3. Bill Sittler Jr., 4. Larry Beers

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Ken Reeder, 3. Johnny Bennett, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Jason Finken, 6. Kevin Stein, 7.Kailyn Beers, 8. Jeremy Guerra, 9. Tucker Muffley, 10. Ryan Graver

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Tiffany Wambold, 2. Jeff Biegley, 3. Avery Arthofer, 4. Rich Mutarelli, 5. Austin Beers, 6. Travis Solomon, 7. Nicholas Kerstetter, 8. Colton Perry, 9. Devin Schmidt, 10. Lyndsay Buss, 11. Brayden Spencer, 12. Carl Altemose, 13. Michael Wambold, 14. Kevin Behler, 15. Shawn Kistler, 16. Taylor Schmidt, 17. Paul Effrig, 18. Aton Snyder Jr., 19. Ryan Berger, 20. Justin Merkel, 21. Cody Geist DNS: Trisha Connolly DNQ: Jesse Strohl, Thomas Hunsicker Jr., Al Arthofer, Trisha Connolly, Travis Nothstein, Jay Visnosky


llo, Sharpe and Anasiewicz score victories
LANCASTER, N.Y. (April 29, 2017) – The home of Modified racing in Western New York delivered another memorable moment on Saturday evening as Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y. won the Fans in the Stands 75 at Lancaster National Speedway in the opening round of the Race of Champions Modified Series. It was his first ever Modified win at Lancaster.
In X-Press Signs Stock Car Series support division action, Tim Gullo of Elmira, N.Y. won the Race of Champions Super Stock event, Rich Sharpe of Lancaster won the Advance Auto Parts Street Stock feature and Jason Anasiewicz of Lancaster picked up his second-straight win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders.
Amy Catalano and Tyler Rypkema led the Fans in the Stands 75 field to the opening green flag with Rypkema grabbing the early lead. Most of the first half of the race went caution-free with Rypkema leading Daryl Lewis, Jr., Patrick Emerling, Mike Leaty and Catalano during the opening segment.
A 30-lap stretch of green flag racing was halted on lap 35 for a spin by Kirk Totten in turn 4. When racing resumed Emerling got by Lewis for the runner-up position. A couple more caution periods set up a restart on lap 37 with Rypkema and Emerling on the front row. When the race resumed Emerling would find himself in the lead just as the crossed flags were displayed.
The most serious incident of the day happened after a restart on lap 39. Kevin Miller and Amy Catalano touched tires going down the backstretch, which sent Catalano hard into the wall outside wall. Catalano walked away from the accident, but her day was over.
Emerling developed a flat left front tire during the red flag period to clean-up the accident scene. This sent him to the pits and put his four-race Lancaster Modified win streak in jeopardy.
This also gave the lead back to Rypkema, who was followed by Jankowiak, Chuck Hossfeld and George Skora III. Skora had already had an eventful day by that point as he recorded the fastest overall lap during time trials after being involved in a crash during practice. He then broke a driveshaft in his heat race and started last for the feature. Skora was forced to make a couple pit stops early in the race because his shifter kept popping out of gear and his crew had to secure it in place with a ratchet strap.
Jankowiak took the lead from Rypkema after a restart on lap 46. Hossfeld and Skora eventually moved into second and third respectively to drop Rypkema to fourth. Skora landed in the runner-up spot with 25 laps to go.
During the stretch run to the finish Jankowiak kept his McGrath/Jankowiak Racing #12 just low enough in the corners to prevent Skora from passing him on the inside. A late race move to the outside by Skora also proved to be unsuccessful.
Jankowiak crossed the finish line for his first win in the Race of Champions Modified Series at Lancaster. He is a three-time track champion with numerous wins in the Sportsman, Street Stocks, TQ Midgets and 4-Cylinders, but it took him several years to triumph at his home track in a Modified. The win also came his very first start driving a Modified owned by 2005 Modified track champion Tom McGrath.
Skora settled for second, which was a moral victory of sorts after his long day. Emerling came back to finish third. Hossfeld and Daren Scherer rounded out the top five.
The Race of Champions Super Stocks also opened their season at Lancaster on Saturday. Tim Gullo of Elmira earned his first win at Lancaster after a spirited battle with Joe Mancuso. Gullo led from the drop of the green flag from the outside pole position. Mancuso eventually joined him at the front of the field and the pair pulled away from the pack.
Mancuso took the lead from Gullo on lap 23. Three laps later Gullo worked to the inside of Mancuso in turn 2. The pair made heavy contact down the backstretch as Gullo regained the top spot. Both cars received damage, but continued with Gullo going on to win. Mancuso finished second followed by Josh Hunter, Dana Novoa and Frank Petroski.
In the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, 2015 track champion Rich Sharpe made his first start of the season a memorable one as he captured the 25-lap feature. Sharpe drove around the outside of Tommy Wentland for the lead on lap 10 and never looked back.
Mark Hoch bounced back from a rough opening day to finish second. Nik Welshans had a shot to open the season with back-to-back wins, but settled for third. Wentland and Ken Maltby rounded out the top five.
Jason Anasiewicz remained perfect in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders as he led every lap to win the feature for the second week in a row. Anasiewicz faced stiff competition from Kevin Bainbridge and Bobby Woch this time around, but he held strong in the front of the field. Bainbridge, Woch, Dan Dressel and Dave Brunka completed the top five.
Lancaster National Speedway closes out the Saturday matinee portion of its schedule this Saturday, May 6 at 2 p.m. with the first visit of the year from the X-Press Signs Late Models plus the Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Saturday night racing begins on May 13.

About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, N.Y. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag strip, a 1/2-mile oval track and hosts several non-motorsports events such as car shows and concerts. For the latest information on Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway check out our website www.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).

Time Trials Fast Time – George Skora III – 16.912 seconds
Heat Winners: Patrick Emerling, Andy Jankowiak, Tommy Catalano
Fans in the Stands 75 Finish: ANDY JANKOWIAK, George Skora III, Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, Tyler Rypkema, Camden Barber, TJ Potrzebowski, Bryan Sherwood, Kevin Miller, Mike Leaty, Kirk Totten, Alan Bookmiller, Amy Catalano, Karl Hehr, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Tommy Catalano
Heat Winners: Nik Welshans, Rich Sharpe, Tim Welshans
Feature: RICH SHARPE, Mark Hoch, Nik Welshans, Tommy Wentland, Ken Maltby, Tim Welshans, Dave Wilson, Trevor Pettit, John Carlson, Jarrod Brown, Rob Pocobello, Max Northem, Keith Flanigan, Garrett Cleversley, Lou Carbone, Mike Rogers, Frank Prell, Tom Northem, Jimmy Pierce, Gino Pinto DNSL Michal Dalfonso, Jr., Dennis Londos
Heat Winners: Bobby Schosek, Tim Gullo, Josh Hunter
Feature: TIM GULLO, Joe Mancuso, Josh Hunter, Dana Novoa, Frank Petroski, Bobby Schosek, Rob Misczak, Josh Schoonamaker, Joel Gleason, Robert Fink, Pete Pieczysnki, Jeff Whalen, Kyle Sharpe, Ryan Lagoda, Zach Willis, Ron Richter DNS: Vern Hedderick, Tom Barron
Heat Winners: Dan Dressel, Bobby Woch
Feature: JASON ANASIEWICZ, Kevin Bainbridge, Bobby Woch, Dan Dressel, Dave Brunka, Mark Scarpace, Dave Milbrand, Jr., Alex Morris, Chris Pennell, Russ Hartke, Josh Schosek, Charles Palmer, Bob Palmer, Casey Pew, Paul Flye, Chris Bugenhagen, Zach Cleversley DNS: Joe Brunka


LANCASTER, N.Y. (April 13, 2017) – Before the roar of engines returns to the historic Western New York motorsports facility, Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway (LNS&D) is proud to announce its family of marketing partners for the 2017 racing season.

Both of Lancaster’s weekly motorsports programs have title sponsors for the 2017 campaign. Franco’s Pizza returns for a third season as the naming rights partner for the Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing program. Franco’s is also the “Official Pizza” of Lancaster and race fans will once again be able to enjoy fresh, hot slices of Franco’s Pizza on race nights.

X-Press Signs has expanded their relationship with LNS&D to become the title sponsor for the Saturday Stock Car program this season. They were previously involved as the official sign partner for the facility. The X-Press Signs Stock Car Series season kicks off on Saturday, April 22.

New marketing partners for 2017 include: MacKenzie’s Automotive and Performance Center of Niagara Falls as the official sponsor of Lane 1 of the ⅛-mile dragstrip. Magruder’s Pub and Jerry Gradl Motors are new victory lane sponsors on the fronstretch of the stock car oval. Old Man Engineering will be the new title sponsor for the kids big wheel races during stock car events.  LNS&D anticipates future announcements of new brands once contracts become finalized.

All of Lancaster’s divisional and class sponsors from 2016 are returning for this season. The stock car program’s weekly divisions will once again be the Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. IHRA Drag Racing weekly classes include Mallare Enterprises Top ET, McGard Mod ET, Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds and Tread City Tire Street ET. Advance Auto Parts also returns as the presenting sponsor for the weekly Tuesday Test n’ Tune nights.

Additional returning marketing partners include 12 Gates Brewing, which is the official sponsor of the brand new beer stand being constructed. 12 Gates hosted a season kickoff party for Lancaster at the brewery this past Wednesday to give racers and fans a chance to sample their locally-made craft beers.

The 12 Gates Brewing beer stand will be stocked with products from Try-It Distributing. The family-owned beverage distributor is the “Official Adult Beverage Supplier” of LNS&D. They proudly deliver products from Budweiser, Labatt’s, Yuengling and more from their warehouse, conveniently located just five minutes from the speedway

Coca-Cola of Buffalo will continue to be the “Official Soft Drink” of Lancaster National Speedway. Race fans have been enjoying Coca-Cola products at Lancaster since 2015.

One of the most familiar features of Lancaster National Speedway are the Thermal Foam blocks lining the walls of the ½-mile stock car oval. Thermal Foams and the Wopperer family have provided LNS&D with the blocks of expandable polystyrene for 25 years to help protect our drivers in the event of a crash.

The stars and cars of LNS&D will once again run on Sunoco Race Fuels, delivered by Insinger Race Fuels. They will also ride on tires from Hoosier Racing Tires and East Coast Speed. The Lancaster National Speedway Chevrolet Camaro pace car features lighting from 10-75 Emergency Lighting. Our track safety crew is supplied with equipment from First Out Rescue.

Cumulus Radio and 97 Rock continues their relationship as LNS&D’s “Official Media Partner”. A-Verdi Storage Containers returns as the title sponsor for the Nitro Night of Fire on July 14. O’Donnell Heating & Air Conditioning remains a trackside marketing partner.

Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway kicks off the 2017 schedule of events this Saturday with a practice session for the X-Press Signs Stock Car Series at 4 p.m. The 59th season of stock car racing begins on Saturday, April 22 with the Queen City Clash at 2 p.m. The 2017 Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing season opens with Test n’ Tune on Friday, April 28 followed by the first points race on Friday, May 5.