The driver-team combination of the DeLange and Beers families has become a familiar one over the years in Modified racing, particularly in the New York-Penn region. After a valiant campaign by Eric Beers in the No. 45 in 2019 on the Race of Champions Modified Series, a new generation is ready to take the wheel from 2020 on.
After winning RoC Modified Rookie of the Year in 2019 with his own No. 19 car, Austin Beers is ready to take over the seat that his father has held. While Eric isn’t out of the driver’s seat entirely, he will be dedicating his time during the RoC season to the role of crew chief for son Austin.
“I’m really excited, unfortunately it’s my dad stepping back that’s the bad part of it, but I’m looking forward to taking over. I’ve known the DeLange’s since I was four or five when they started with my dad. That car has had so much success, I’m excited to get in there, and it’ll be better than last year with the B-Mod engine now that I’m full Tour. Ready to go,” Austin Beers told Speed51.
It has been a steady rise to this point for the teenager from Northampton, Pennsylvania, winning titles at the two paved short tracks in Eastern Pennsylvania. Beers claimed the 2019 Modified championship at Evergreen Raceway and 2018 Sportsman Modified title at Mahoning Valley Speedway. The success at home, coupled with an education on the RoC in 2019 has Beers feeling confident enough to make a mark in 2020.
“It’s been fun, the way we’ve taken it is nice and slow, and I’ve learned a lot throughout the whole period we’ve been doing this. Moving up the way I did, I’ve learned so much. I’m ready right now, I’m prepared enough.”
Having dad Eric on top of the pit box and in his ear this season is only boosting Austin’s confidence.
“That’s going to be cool, he has so much experience that it helped me starting out because of the setups that he knew at Mahoning and Evergreen. Now that he’s had that notebook the past couple of years from racing the RoC I’ll be able to use some of that. We’ll be racing real well right away.”
With still two months until the first RoC race of 2020 at Chemung Speedrome (NY), Beers has a good grip on his strengths and weaknesses. Now, it’s time to plan accordingly.
“Spencer was kind of tough for me to get around that track, it’s a tough and long track with no banking at all. Holland, I didn’t get to run because it wasn’t on the schedule last year, but now it’s back. Chemung was fun, I think we’ll do well there, it’s more of a bullring track. We’re hoping for a win or two, and Top 10 in points, those are our main goals.”
Despite the big commitment, Beers once again has a busy schedule on the homefront planned for 2020.
“I’ll be running Mahoning Valley with the car I ran last year, the Hall of Fame races will be with my dad, he’s running all of those. It’ll be great to end the RoC season there, we’re usually traveling to tracks where guys like Emerling, Leaty, and Andy J have been racing their whole lives, so it’ll be nice to have them come to our house. We’ll also be doing the full schedule at Evergreen to go and defend our title.”
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51