When Austin Beers was presented the opportunity to take over the ride of his legendary father, Eric Beers, in the infamous No. 45 for car owners Dave and Laura DeLange, there was no indecision for the 17-year old. In just five races since first getting into the mount on June 27 for a RoC event at Lake Erie Speedway, the second generation racer scored a fan pleasing victory Saturday night at Mahoning Valley Speedway over seasoned veteran Rod Snyder Jr.
Beers made an impressive drive to the front too, coming from 15th to first and in the process pulled off his race winning move by getting by renowned track star Snyder Jr., on lap 20. From there on it was as if watching his father as he did time and again, simply pulling away with each passing lap and leaving the field far enough behind en route to the checkers.
“This feels amazing winning with Dave and Laura DeLange who believed in me and I’m so glad to drive their race car and win at my home track. To get this win with the 45 car is a huge confidence booster,” an elated Beers said afterwards.
“The track was awesome and the car was on rails. To come from 15th to first is a testament to the great team effort and no doubt winning a Modified feature here at Mahoning Valley – this is the biggest win of my career.”
At the start of the 35 lap contest Kyle Strohl assumed the early lead and was gapping from the pack. Some distance back second place running Terry Markovic was holding off Snyder, Nick Baer and Brian DeFebo in what was a very tight battle.
Then on lap 16 Strohl’s large lead was erased when the caution waved for point leader Lou Strohl who came to a halt. On the restart Snyder, who had just moved to second prior to the yellow, used his classic outside line style and shot to the front. A lap later saw Beers race his way into second.
For fans of Mahoning Valley is was nothing new to see Snyder, a five time Modified track champion, waging battle with Eric Beers, as they have a combined 76 wins. Snyder, however, was now taking that fight with Austin and it was just like days of old.
Snyder held steady to the outside while the younger Beers took his car low. Side-by-side they then went at it and on lap 19 while approaching Turn 3 Snyder bobbled just a tad. That was all Beers needed as he came out the leader at the conclusion of the circuit. From there to the finish he was on cruise control beating Snyder by nearly two seconds.
“He’s (Snyder) a heck of a racer and he gave me a lot of room and respect out there. Rod and all these guys here are great racers and champions and it’s definitely hard to get through the field but tonight it all came together,” noted Beers.
In Victory Lane the first to congratulate the happy winner where car owners the DeLange’s.
“Austin is a great young talent and I’ve had faith in him for the past two years as we watched him run these Modifieds and this year we made the change to put him in the seat and it’s paid off nicely,” said Dave DeLange. “We couldn’t be more proud and happy for him and his entire family.”
Josh Scherer netted a solid third and in the process assumed the point lead with one regular season race to go. Baer had a great run in taking fourth while rookie Jesse Strohl notch a career best fifth. Eric Kocher was the Street Stock winner but his stop in Victory Lane wasn’t without debate.
Kocher had been chasing closing behind leader Brandon Christman who was attempting to win for the second straight time.
However, with 11 laps to go and the front pair running nose-to-tail, Kocher pinched Christman in Turn 3. The slight bump caused Christman to slide out of line and spin. Officials deemed the incident as non-aggressive and Kocher was placed as the new leader. For the rest of the way he would hold off Todd Ahner and garner his second win of 2020.
The Sportsman Modifieds where back in action and winning for the second time in three starts was point leader Earl Paules. Prior to Paules getting the lead for good on lap 10, it what was a very hard-driven fight for the top spot.
Gunner Zeiner from the pole led the first two laps before Paules took control. A scuffle on lap six for the lead then took out Paules and Randy Ahner Jr, handing the point to Lorin Arthofer II. That also would be short lived as two laps back under green he was bumped by Zeiner and spun.
Kassidy Altemose was now shown as the lead car with her owner Paules alongside for the restart. No sooner did the action resume Paules wasted no time in passing her and then journeyed unopposed the rest of the way.
Pro 4 veteran and past champion Jake Kibler won for the first time this season and doing so snapped the win streak of point leader Cody Kohler at four. Kibler took the lead at the halfway mark after being in a close battle with Kohler and Jeremy Guerra.
Guerra had been out front from the start but on lap nine he and Kohler tangled and it sending both to the pits for repairs and landed Kibler in the lead where he would stay the rest of the way for his 43rd overall career win. Kohler rebounded to take second with Randy Schaffer third.
Al Arthofer pulled off a thrilling restart pass over Corey Edelman with two laps to go and then held him off by a narrow margin for his second Hobby Stock victory of the season. And with only one point race to go he has taken over as the standings leader.
In the Rookie Hobby Stocks Jaden Brown slipped inside of Corey Gulich on lap six and then pulled away to a rousing second victory of the season and becoming the first driver to repeat in nine previous features.
Modified Feature Finish (35-laps): 1. Austin Beers, 2. Rod Snyder Jr., 3. Josh Scherer, 4. Nick bear, 5. Jesse Strohl, 6. Eric Kocher, 7. Brian DeFebo, 8. Earl Paules, 9. Kyle Strohl, 10. John Markovic, 11. Jared Ahner, 12. Sean Verwys, 13. Terry Markovic, 14. Jacob Kerstetter, 15. Gene Bowers, 16. BJ Wambold, 17. Avery Arthofer, 18. Lou Strohl, 19. Bobby Jones
Street Stock Feature Finish (30-laps): 1. Eric Kocher, 2. Todd Ahner, 3. Mark Deysher, 4. Mark Martini, 5. Randy Ahner Jr. 6. TJ Gursky, 7. Randy Schlenker, 8. Rick Reichenbach, 9. Jon Moser, 10. Tucker Muffle, 11. Jill Long, 12. Matt VanSyckle, 13. Dennis Buss, 14. Rich Moser, 15. Kevin Weierbach, 16. Brandon Christman, 17. Logan Boyer, 18. Jamie Smith, 19. Kadie Pursell, Thomas Flanagan, DNQ: Randy Green
Sportsman Modified Feature (25-laps) 1. Earl Paules, 2. Kassidy Altemose, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Lorin Arthofer, 5. Brian Rygielski, 6. Gunner Zeiner, 7. Payton Arthofer, 8. Brenner Coulter, DNS: Stacey Brown
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20-laps): 1. Jake Kibler, 2. Cody Kohler, 3. Randy Schaffer, 4. Josh Kuronya, 5. Kadie Pursell, 6. Jeremy Guerra, 7. Robert Derfler, 8. Phil Sabatine, 9. Tyler Stangle
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25-laps): 1. Al Arthofer, 2. Corey Edelman, 3. Tisha Connolly, 4. Jacob Boehm, 5. Nick Schaffer, 6. Cody Geist, 7. Cody Boehm, 8. James Tout, 9. Lyndsay Buss, 10. Tad Snyder, 11. Tucker Muffley, 12. Jake Oswald, 13. Terry Peters, 14. Mallory Kutz, 15, Taylor Schmidt, 16. Hunter Iatalese, 17. Jesse Bollinger, 18. Travis Solomon, 19.Nicholas Kerstetter
Rookie Hobby Stock Feature Finish (12-laps): 1. Jaden Brown, 2. Haley Muffley, 3. Paul French Jr., 4. Mckayla Kohler, 5. Toby Behler, 6. Corey Gulich, 7. Brody George, 8. Mia Guy, 9. Elia Tito, 10. Greyson Ahner, 11. Maggie Yeakel, 12. Zoe Kuchera
-Mahoning Valley Speedway Press Release and Photo