(Lehighton, PA) Eric Beers turned in a very impressive drive, coming from 12th to first in just 11 laps and then continued on to a dominating 3-second margin of victory. It was his second consecutive win and fifth of the season.
Beers may have had no one in sight of him, however, being in the thick of a very tight point battle and with just one race to go, he had his own concern and quickly turned to see who had parked behind him while in Victory Lane. Once seeing it was point leader Earl Paules, he knew the win was good but realized he still had his work cut out for him for a shot at another title.
“He’s (Paules) is still ahead of me and there’s more pressure on him then me. We’re going to go after him as good as we can,” said Beers, who sits third in the standings behind Paules and Austin Kochenash.
When the race got underway Chip Santee picked up the opening lap lead. Only one lap was scored before the yellow was waving for an incident that involved title hopeful Don Wagner and Brian DeFebo. Wagner got hit from behind and then slammed into DeFebo in turn four. Also collected was Calvin Carroll. Wagner was double-towed back to the pits and returned without losing a lap, thanks to a lengthy clean up. He then soldiered on to a 13th place tally.
That would be turn out to be the only caution of the race. Santee still led once the action resumed but Beers was clearly on a mission. On the restart he was in 11th but began picking off cars in quick order. By lap four he was in the top five. Three laps later he was running second and swiftly zeroed in on Santee.
After a few circuits of hugging Santee’s rear bumper, Beers then took the low line in turn three and executed his race winning pass by the completion of lap 11. From there on he was in a race of his own as the Freightliner No. 45 was one-sided to his counterparts.
“Once we get a nice rhythm going it’s a fun car to drive. It was good not to see a caution. All the lanes opened up tonight and we showed ‘em what we had,” said Beers.
“We worked really hard the last few weeks to get the car better and better and it’s getting close. We have a little bit more tweaking to do and it will be right where we want it. Hats off to my crew who put a great car under me tonight.”
It was the 45th career Mahoning win for Beers and the 20th time he was able to give his car owners Dave and Laura DeLange and feature victory.
“They’re the greatest car owners I’ve ever driven for. They’re great people and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to race for them,” said Beers.
Paules was able to take second spot after a close battle between himself, Santee and Kyle Strohl. On lap 22 the trio went three wide that almost became disastrous for all. Santee and Paules had been running side-by-side with Strohl right behind. The inside lane had slightly opened and Strohl took the chance to move in. As he did he bumped into Santee who then did the same to Paules. Amazingly all three kept pointed in the right direction, although Santee would fall off the pace. Paules took second spot from that point while Strohl raced home third.
“Eric (Beers) was just making holes and we were trying to go with him. When you’re point racing it’s only five points from first to second so he gained only five points tonight and I’m not really worried. I just have to keep those guys in front of me and hopefully it will all take care of itself,” said Paules, who is 25 points to the good heading into the finale.
Mike Sweeney made sure the Late Model championship fight will be decided at the season point finale as he captured his class leading eighth win of the year and will face off against Paul Koehler Jr. for the crown.
Sweeney took control of the lead with an outside pass on Kenny Hein with 12 complete and then sailed smoothly ahead the rest of the way.
Koehler was able to secure second with four laps to go but had nothing for Sweeney. Hein had his best night of the year, running in the lead early on and maintained second until the final circuits.
Jamie Smith began and finished the Street Stock feature in first place. Smith was able to lead all 30 laps for his first win of the season and also becomes the 19th different race winner of the year. Jonathan Tracey was on Smith’s tail over the final laps and took second with Joe Mooney third.
In the Dirt Mods it was Aleia Geisler taking her second win of the season. Geisler started second but was leading by the end of lap one. Afterwards there was no stopping the talented lady racer as she was way too powerful to catch. Runner up Jack Ely did make a late race try but Geisler was not to be denied.
By virtue of his heat win, Ricky Yetter was able to clinch the 2015 championship despite one more race to go.
For the first time in nearly 10 years Josh Scherer has returned to Victory Lane, taking the top spot in the 20-lap Pro 4 main. Scherer led from lap two and was able to hold off Bobby Kibler Jr., by a slim margin.
Shayne Geist scored his fifth Hobby Stock win of the season, keeping his brother, Cody Geist at bay by a half car length. For Cody it wasn’t a total loss as he heads in the next week’s finale tops in points and in a solid position to win the class championship.
Larry Fisher made his first Mahoning start in over 10 years a good one as he cruised to victory in the Small Car Enduro.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Earl Paules, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Kris Graver, 5. Roger Heffelfinger Jr., 6. Austin Kochenash, 7. John Markovic, 8. Lou Strohl, 9. Kevin Rex Jr., 10. Todd Baer, 11. Terry Markovic, 12. Eric Kocher, 13. Don Wagner, 14. Matt Higgins, 15. Chip Santee, 16. Tony Zatsko, 17. Broc Brown, 18. Brian DeFebo, 19. Don Wagner, 20. Calvin Carroll
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Paul Koehler Jr., 3. Kenny Hein, 4. Jeremy Miller, 5. George Ramos, 6. Barry Kutz, 7. Broc Brown, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. Travis Fisher, 10. Darryl Bruenig, 11. Troy Bollinger, 12. Don Wagner, 13. Geno Steigerwalt DNS: Greg Steigerwalt
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Jamie Smith, 2. Jonathan Tracey, 3. Joe Mooney, 4. Kristy Arthofer, 5. Joe Stangle, 6. Randy Schlenker, 7. Aaron Kromer, 8. Zach Graver, 9. TJ Gursky, 10. Todd Ahner, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Gene Bowers, 13. Jason Frey, 14. Randy Ahner Jr., 15. Brian Labar, 16. Jillian Long, 17. Stacey Brown, 18. Jason Kuhn, 19. Chris Steigerwalt. 20. Josh Mooney DNQ: Mark Martini, Corey Edelman, Logan Boyer, George Ramos, Jeremy Scheckler
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Aleia Geisler, 2. Jack Ely, 3. Mike Stofflet, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Scott Adams, 6. Ricky Yetter, 7. John Banashefski, 8. Dave Gorbatuk, 9. Bill Sittler Jr., 10. Billy Lasko, 11. JP Curry, 12. Scott Hyland
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Josh Scherer, 2. Bobby Kibler Sr., 3. JD Light, 4. Jake Kibler, 5. Bobby Kibler Jr., 6. Johnny Bennett, 7. TJ Kemmerer, 8. Eric Danyluk, 9. Kailyn Beers, 10. Cody Kohler, 11. Nick Baer
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (15 Laps): 1. Shayne Geist, 2. Cody Geist, 3. Michael Wambold, 4. Ken Reeder, 5. Rich Mutarelli, 6. Kyle Krempasky, 7. Thomas Hunsicker Jr., 8. Jeff Biegley, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Steve Tito, 11. Waylon Speer, 12. Nicole Quinter, 13. Seth VanFossen, 14. Ryan Berger, 15. Bob Azarowitz, 16. Ron Heeter, 17. Kyle Scisco, 18. Devon Schmidt DNS: Tom Cavagnino
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com