Eric Beers rolls to third straight Mahoning Modified win

By DINO OBERTO

(LEHIGHTON, Pa. 4-30-16) For the third time in as many weeks, Northampton’s Eric Beers has taken the checkered flag in the Modified feature at Mahoning Valley Speedway.

In the first two events Beers was both lucky and good as his wins where produced after front row starts. This time however, he had to drive his way to the front, having to come from 13th on the grid. But thanks to a few cautions and sharp driving, Beers was able to get in behind leader Earl Paules by lap 13. He then hounded the defending champion over the next four circuits before dropping low off turn four and executing his race winning pass as they crossed the start/finish line to begin lap 17.

Paules did try his best to regain the lead, including a last ditch effort on a restart with three laps to go, but the No. 45 of Beers was hitting his marks perfectly as he went on to take a third consecutive victory.

“What really helped us is that we were in the right lane at the start of the race. We were on the outside lane and it went forward so we got some positions,” said Beers.

“On a restart we were on the inside and that lane went forward and from there I just followed Kris Graver and before I knew we were up to third. I could have easily been in the wrong lane and went the other way.”

Paules, who started second, out-ran Nick Baer for the opening lap lead. Afterwards Jack Ely would pull even with Baer and the two rookies did a fine job of keeping up with the wily veteran.

While passing cars under green, Beers was also able to take advantage of restarts to pick his way forward and one moment came during a lap 11 incident which was a bit breathtaking.

Lou Strohl had spun between turns three and four. As cars began to find a way by, John Markovic wasn’t as lucky as he veered into the wall and then rode up along the concrete until coming to a grinding halt at the end of the fourth corner. Markovic was unhurt but his car through for the night.

On the restart Paules had Jimmy Zacharias next to him. As the green waved Zacharias was making a charge at Paules but his throttle suddenly stuck and he skidded into the turn one wall.

That afforded Kris Graver to now challenge Paules but it would be Beers instead on the restart who took control of second and then set his sights on Paules, eventually making the pass for the lead on lap 17.

“We had that restart with Kris (Graver) on the outside of Earl (Paules). He (Paules) ended up going off turn two just a little high every lap and I was just testing the waters to see if I could go there without actually showing him the nose,” said Beers.

“Once we had a few laps in that run I got a good run off turn two and set him up pretty well. I got the car where I needed it to be and without touching him I drove right on by.”

While Beers may be taking the headlines, it’s not to say that his opposition is not measuring up. That can’t be further from the truth by considering the facts.

Paules, in typical fashion, was very strong and made Beers work hard for his win. Third place finisher Austin Kochenash was able to shake off two weeks of tough luck and was nipping away at the lead duel most of the closing laps. Likewise Kyle Strohl, who was fourth, showed plenty of muscle. Then there is Graver who has been on a run of 10 top-5s over the past 11 starts dating back to last season and is a key factor each week. Other likely contenders such as Don Wagner, Bobby Jones, Markovic and others make up what can be considered one of the toughest weekly asphalt Modified fields anywhere. But for now those aforementioned must contend that Beers is the early season man to beat.

                “We’ve been lucky,” admitted Beers. “You look around the pits here and there’s no one easy to get by. There are all good race cars and lots of experience. To come out on top three weeks in a row is a testament to our team who gives me a good enough car.” 

Jeremy Miller held off hard charging Mike Sweeney for the Late Model win. Miller had led from the initial green but was under pressure immediate, having Lorin Arthofer and Sweeney all over him.

Miller was strong and solid until a caution on lap 14. With the field bunched Sweeney was able snag second spot from Arthofer. He would then try every way possible to execute a way by for the lead by Miller would not give in as he held on for a well-earned victory.

Sweeney, who holds the point lead, had to settle for second for a third time in as many weeks and in each of those finishes it was by a second or less. Arthofer stayed close to take third.

2013 Street Stock champion Chip Wanamaker kept made a pass for the lead over Jamie Smith on lap four and then held tight the rest of the distance in notching his first win of the season.

The race went caution free as Wanamaker set a torrid pace and made his counterparts work hard to catch him but with each passing lap it was obvious that this was his night as he pulled to a nearly two-second margin of victory of Smith. Greg Long remained on the rear bumper of the runner up for a respectable third.

In the Dirt Mod feature an opening lap crash took out the top two cars of Paul Effrig and Ricky Yetter as well as collecting point leader Mike Stofflet.

When all was sorted out Ray Deemer was at the point and he would stay perfect the entire race to score the verdict over a fast closing Aleia Geisler.

Defending Hobby Stock champion Cody Geist scored his first win of the season, even though he was the second car to cross the finish line.

Reason being was that Michael Wambold, who had taken the lead from Geist with __ to go, was cited for passing in the No Zone area and subsequently was placed back two spots after taking the checkers in first place.

Rookie Colton Perry drove a great race in notching second place.

Bobby Kibler Jr., has stayed perfect in the Pro 4s, winning for a second time. Kibler inherited the lad after Jake Kibler, who led the opening lap, made contact with defending champ Cody Kohler on lap two. Kohler had to pit while J. Kibler was sent to he rear.

That left B. Kibler in charge and there would be no looking back as he held off Shawn Hoffman en route to winning.

A Small Car Enduro closed out the night of racing and Bob Snyder scored another win in the timed run.\

Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Austin Kochenash, 4. Kyle Strohl, 5. Kris Graver, 6. Todd Baer, 7. Anthony Sesely, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Nick Baer, 10. Lou Strohl, 11. Gene Bowers, 12. Bobby Jones, 13. Glenn Slocum, 14. Jack Ely, 15. Brian Labar, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. Jimmy Zacharias, 18. John Markovic

Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jeremy Miller, 2. Mike Sweeny, 3. Lorin Arthofer, 4. Paul Koehler Jr., 5. Frankie Althouse, 6. Troy Bollinger, 7. Geno Steigerwalt, 8. Jr Roth, 9. Josh Oswald, 10. Kenny Hein, 11. Jacob Kerstetter

Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Chip Wanamaker, 2. Jamie Smith, 3. Greg Long, 4. Mark Martini, 5. Randy Ahner Jr., 6. Justin Mooney, 7. Jason Kuhn, 8. Corey Edelman, 9. Rick Reichenbach, 10. Kristy Arthofer, 11. Jonathan Tracy, 12. Zach Graver, 13. George Ramos, 14. Jared Ahner, 15. Josh Mooney, 16. Todd Ahner, 17. Jon Moser, 18. Aaron Kromer, 19. Jason Frey, 20. Stacey Brown DNQ: Dan Freundt, BJ Wambold, Jacob Kerstetter, Logan Boyer, Jeremy Scheckler, Dennis Buss

Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Ray Deemer, 2. Aleia Geisler, 3. Paul Effrig, 4. Ricky Yetter, 5. Billy Lasko, 6. Scott Hyland, 7. Bill Sittler Jr., 8. Ryan Green, 9. Mike Stofflet, 10. Frank Parastino

Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Bobby Kibler Jr., 2. Shawn Hoffman, 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Cody Kohler, 5. Shawn Kistler, 6. Kailyn Beers, 7. Ryan Graver, 8. Tyler Stangle, 9. Jake Kibler, 10. Latonia Barlow

Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Geist, 2. Colton Perry, 3. Michael Wambold, 4. Randy Sicher, 5. Ken Reeder, 6. Nicolas Kerstetter, 7. Avery Arthofer, 8. Jesse Strohl, 9. Austin Beers,  10. Shayne Geist, 11. Gary Lerch, 12. Tiffany Wambold, 13. Taylor Schmidt, 14. Elmer Kennedy, 15. Devon Schmidt, 16. Waylon Speer, 17. Travis Nothstein 18. Seth VanFossen, 19. Ryan Berger

AFTER TREVOR ALSPACH DQ FREES IS WALL MODIFIED WINNER SATURDAY

 

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Trevor Alspach appeared to be on his way to glory Saturday night at Wall Stadium Speedway as he raced into contention halfway through the 40-lap feature race for the Downs Ford Modifieds and took the lead in the closing stages. But when his No. 86 failed a post-race technical inspection the win was awarded to Ron Frees of Brick whose lap 35 restart drive into second turned out to be his winning move.

Ken Matlach of New Hyde Park, N.Y. was the star of the race through the initial 30 laps as he paced the field. Meanwhile Alspach, Frees and a host of others were finding paths to the front of the pack. Alspach was able to drive into the lead after racing side-by-side with Matlach for a couple of laps before Frees made what would become his winning move a few moments later.

Once the finish was official Frees was named the winner with Justin Gumley of Howell second and the 17th place starting Jimmy Blewett, also of Howell, finishing third. Matlach was fourth and Adam LaCicero of Lavallette was fifth.

Second year Snap On Sportsman driver Ricky Collins of Willow Grove, Pa. won his first ever 30-lapper Saturday night fighting off several of the best drivers in the class. Opening night winner Shanon Mongeau of Manchester was on his rear bumper at the finish, while former champ Kevin Davison of Howell, Manasquan’s Kenny Van Wickle and Brian Doyle of Ronkonkoma, NY completed the top five.

Ron Booth of Toms River took his first win of the year in the 25-lap main event for the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks. Booth tracked down early leader Gerry Koenig of Seaford, NY to take the lead with ten laps to go. Koenig held on for second with defending champ Joe Mongeau of Brick third, Wall’s Rob Haberstick fourth and Jerry Stanzione of Keansburg fifth.

Taking the lead early Lou Keraitis of Toms River raced to his first ever win in the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Car 25 lap race over Kevin Nowak of Medford, NY, Nick Van Wickle of Edgewater Park, Jim Sylvester and Malcolm Campbell.

Beachwood’s Todd Pilla won his first 25-lap race of the year in the Surf Side Collision 4 Cylinder Stocks. Randy Hart and Jason Lane, both of Brick, were second and third while Fred Cannock of Port Monmouth and Howell’s Brian Osborn wrapped up the top five.

Wall’s Cole Ormsbee was the big winner in the 25-lap race for the Elite Maintenance Limited Late Modifieds. Former champ Brian Doyle was the runner-up with Howell’s Howie Conk, Mike Tillett of Bayville and Ray Minieri completing the top five.

Racing returns this Saturday evening (May 7) with grandstand seating opening at 5:00 p.m. and qualifying at 6:00 p.m. Main event action, which will start around 7:00 p.m., will see the Modifieds race in a 40-lapper, the Sportsman cars compete in a 30-lapper and the Legend Cars, Factory Stocks and the Microstocks also in racing action.

The complete regular season schedule, which runs on Saturday nights through the end of September, is available at wallspeedwayracing.com as are the rules and regulations for all divisions. Post-season events, the “Spooky Spectacular” in October and the Thanksgiving weekend “Turkey Derby,” are also being planned.

Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is CKMotorsports@aol.com.

 

MODIFIED FEATURE – 40 Laps – 1. RON FREES, BRICK, 2. Justin Gumley, 3. Jimmy Blewett, 4. Ken Matlach, 5. Adam LaCicero, 6. Steven Reed, 7. Chas Okerson, 8. Andrew Krause, 9. Shaun Carrig, 10. Robby Walton, 11. Zack Alspach, 12. Shawna Ingraham, 13. Ed DeLage, 14. Derek Hopkinson, 15. Jason Treat, 16. Eric Mauriello, 17. Chris Reynolds, 18. Jonathan Mandato, DQ Trevor Alspach

SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 30 Laps – 1. RICKY COLLINS, WILLOW GROVE, PA., 2. Shanon Mongeau, 3. Kevin Davison, 4. Kenny Van Wickle, 5. Brian Doyle, 6. Scott Brannick, 7. Matt Langbein, 8. Eric Lane, 9. Jonathan Laureigh, 10. Dave Bailey, 11. Jason Caruso, 12. Jimmy Wolcott, 13. Tyler Truex, 14. Dom Fattaruso, 15. Jarrett DeGiantomasso, 16. Blake Barney, 17. Robert Sutphin, 18. Roland DeMartino, 19. Joe Cocca, 20. Dan Roslin, 21. Larry Thompson, 22. Tim Stephan

FACTORY STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. RON BOOTH, TOMS RIVER, 2. Gerry Koenig, 3. Joe Mongeau, 4. Rob Haberstick, 5. Jerry Stanzione, 6. Marty Van Druten, 7. Scott Riggleman, 8. Richie Byrne, 9. John Bowers, 10. Mike Montano, 11. Neil Rutt, 12. Tim O’Shea, 13. Scott Maher, 14. Bill Stockert, 15. Dave Green, 16. Tom Rajkowski, 17. Joey Helberg, 18. Steve West, 19. Danny Bruer, 20. Matt Badessa, 21. Tony Bartone, 22. Rick Siddons.

LEGEND CARS FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. LOU KERAITIS, TOMS RIVER, 2. Kevin Nowak, 3. Nick Van Wickle, 4. Jim Sylvester, 5. Malcolm Campbell, 6. Chris Gall, 7. James Van Wickle, 8. Peter Bruno, 9. Brian Russell, 10. Thomas Stavola, 11. Mitchell Dowd, 12. Richie Davidowitz, 13. Casey Robicheau, 14. Robert French.

4 CYLINDER STOCK FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. TODD PILLA, BEACHWOOD, 2. Randy Hart, 3. Jason Lane, 4. Fred Cannock, 5. Brian Osborn, 6. Darren Burdge, 7. Jeff Loesch, 8. Richard Smith, 9. Mike Lavery, 10. Mike Mee, 11. Frank Ciancitti, 12. Cody Mount, 13. TJ Graves, 14. Darianne McLaren, 15. Robert Lane

LIMITED LATE MODEL FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. COLE ORMSBEE, WALL, 2. Brian Doyle, 3. Howie Conk, 4. Mike Tillett, 5. Ray Minieri, 6. Gregg Miranda, 7. Bill Vanderveen, 8. Greg Gastelu, 9. Glen Conk, 10. Neil Rutt

LYON, COCHRANE, BAINBRIDGE & WYLIE TAKE QUEEN CITY CLASH WINS AT LANCASTER

Neal Dietz (84) & Sherri Hogan (74) race side-by-side PHOTO BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

Lancaster kicks off season with stellar car counts and crowd

LANCASTER, N.Y. (April 30, 2016) – Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway celebrated the start of its 58th season of Stock Car racing with the “Queen City Clash” on Saturday afternoon with the biggest turnout of racers and fans for an opening day event in over a decade.

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Lancaster Sportsman Winner Jake Lyon PHOTOS BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

Jake Lyon of Elma, N.Y. captured the opening day win in the Sunoco Sportsman. Lyon started on the pole and led all 35 laps to kick off the 2016 campaign in victory lane.

The Sportsman main event started with a parade lap in honor of Joe Reilly, the crew chief of 2015 Sportsman champion Mark Pennell who passed away last Sunday. Before the race the Thompson Racing cars of Pennell and Jayme Thompson led the field on a parade lap, and then the field took a ceremonial lap with the pole position left open in Reilly’s memory.

Lyon jumped out to the lead once the race went green. Billy Burd eventually moved into the second position, and he and Lyon hooked up to run away from the field during a long green flag run. Burd has returned to the Sportsman division this season as the new hired gun for car owner Paul Graff.

The caution flew on lap 27 when Mike Rogers stopped on the track with mechanical issues to halt the race after a stretch of 26 consecutive green flag laps. This allowed the field to catch up to Lyon and Burd, who had driven off from the pack.

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Field of Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks come to the first green flag of the season PHOTO BY JOE GRABIANOWSK

Shortly after the race went back to green Neal Dietz, Jr. was able to overtake Burd for second. Dietz then chased Lyon for the final six laps, but could not catch the TDH Refrigeration #29 as Lyon crossed under the checkered flag first. Dietz settled for second followed by Burd, John Barber and Mark Pennell.

TJ Cochrane of Cheektowaga, N.Y. took the win in the 25-lap Queen City Clash main event for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. The two-time Street Stock track champion made his first start in the division since 2014 after driving a Sportsman last season.

Cochrane started fifth in the 16-car field as Lou Carbone and Mark Hoch led the pack to the green flag. Hoch jumped out to the early race lead while Cochrane worked his way to the front. He eventually wrestled the lead from Hoch on lap 8. Hoch didn’t let Cochrane get away though as he stayed glued to his back bumper right until the finish.

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TJ Cochrane and father Terry in Street Stock victory lane PHOTO BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

Cochrane held on for the win to make his return to victory lane. He hopes to have his Sportsman car on track later this season. Hoch finished second followed by Dave Wilson, Keith Flanigan and Tommy Wentland.

Kevin Bainbridge of Buffalo won the 25-lap Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature to win on opening day for the second year in row. Bainbridge passed pole sitter Billy Anderson for the lead on lap 9 and then drove on to victory. His teammate, Bobby Woch, was on his back bumper in the closing laps, but could not make the pass for the win. Anderson finished third with Tim Durfy and Chris Pennell rounding out the top five.

Jake Wylie of Blasdell, N.Y. picked up the win in the Race of Champions Big 10 Super Stocks. It was Wylie’s second-straight Super Stock win at Lancaster dating back to last year’s U.S. Open. Wyle passed Tommy Krawczyk for the lead on lap 9 and never looked back.

A total of 64 cars signed in for competition for the Queen City Clash. That is 24 more cars than were on hand for opening day last season. The car count was also higher than any regular season Stock Car event during the 2015 season.

Stock Car racing continues at Lancaster National Speedway on Saturday, May 7 as the Late Models join the three weekly divisions of competitions. Racing starts at 2 p.m. for the final afternoon show before Lancaster switches to its traditional Saturday night start time. It’s also “Walk the Track” day as race fans will be able to walk the ½-mile alongside their favorite drivers.

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). 

RESULTS

SUNOCO SPORTSMAN

Heat Winners: Neal Dietz, Jr., John Barber, Billy Burd

Feature: JAKE LYON, Neal Dietz, Jr., Billy Burd, John Barber, Mark Pennell, Tommy Catalano, Jayme Thompson, Alan Bookmiller, Sherri Hogan, Amy Catalano, Kevin Lewis, Bobby Lippa, Jr., Andy Jankowiak, Mike Ramos, Matt Druar, Dick Kluth, Tim Lewis, Mike Rogers, Scott Stolzenberg, DNS: Tim Garlock, Tim Nies, Ed Cain

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS

Heat Winners: Dave Wilson, Mark Hoch

Feature: TJ COCHRANE, Mark Hoch, Dave Wilson, Keith Flanigan, Tommy Wentland, Jerome Hruby, Dennis Londos, Trevor Pettit, Ken Maltby, Heather Weber, Jarrod Brown, Lou Carbine, Ed Culliton, Garrett Cleversley, Jim Stein

ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS

Heat Winners: Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Pennell

Feature: KEVIN BAINBRIDGE, Bobby Woch, Billy Anderson, Tim Durfy, Chris Pennell, Frank Prell, Howard Guthrie, Billy McNerney, Laurie Krol, Jason Anasiewicz, Jamie Woods, Dan Dressel, Jim Dauer, Joe Brunka, Zach Cleversley, Chris Bugenhagen, Rich Bartel DNS: Bob Bogner

RACE OF CHAMPIONS BIG 10 SUPER STOCK SERIES

Heat Winner: Jake Wylie

Feature: JAKE WYLIE, Tom Krawczyk, Jim Steffenhagen, Robert Fink, Bobby Schosek, Joe Mancuso. Chuck Tripp, Vern Headdrick, Ron Richter

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