(LEHIGHTON, PA) Three weeks ago Eric Beers was involved in an altercation that did something which has rarely occurred over the course of his career, it sidelined him due to a busted left hand.
One week as a spectator was more than he could take. Beers returned to finish a solid sixth the next race out and was back in top form on Saturday night as he easily went on to win for a fourth time this season.
“My hand is still a little sore but winning makes it a lot easier to deal with,” said Beers, who has now won 40 Modified features at Mahoning Valley.
During Beers’ brief downslide, Kris Graver emerged as the star, winning three straight weeks and taking over as the point leader. Graver was leading yet again but two laps after a lap 21 restart, Beers simply powered by and drove on to victory.
“Kris (graver) has been kicking everyone’s butt the last month and I just wanted to show him that I’m still a bit of the king and he’ll have to work harder,” said Beers.
When the race began Roger Coss took the early lead and had Lou Strohl tracking him. Kyle Strohl and Graver raced alongside each other while in the shadows of the front two.
One of the cleanest, smoothest drivers in the business, Coss was enjoying his best run to date. He nicely held off L. Strohl and began to pull ahead of the pack. Graver took over second by lap nine and was starting to reel in Coss.
The first caution waved on lap 18 when L. Strohl spun in turn two. It was a big break for Graver as on the restart he was able to hustle by Coss. With Graver leading there was an immediate feel of a fourth win in the past five races. But, when Graver took over the lead, Beers also passed Coss and then sprang right towards the front-runner.
A second and final caution then came out with 20 laps complete. On the continuation Graver protected his spot but Beers was able to overtake him the next time around. Once in front there was no countering from as Beers pulled away for the win.
“I sat in the grandstands two weeks ago and watched these guys out here and it wasn’t easy for me,” admitted Beers. “The long runs actually helped us dice through the field. Our car was hooked up tonight.”
Graver, K. Strohl, Coss and Nevin George completed the top five.
“Eric Beers has been doing this longer than I’ve been alive and he had the better car. I can’t make up excuses. We’ll just have to go home and do our homework a little bit better and hopefully we’ll be able to come back and get him next time,” said Graver.
In the Late Model feature, Earl Paules may not have crossed the finish line in first but he did get the win. In an exciting three car battle, Paul Koehler beat Paules and Mike Sweeney by a very narrow margin but unfortunately his car did not make the specified height at the end of the race, coming up to low, leading to his disqualification.
Paules, who nipped Sweeney by the blink of an eye, was awarded the win, his sixth of the season.
A much improved Jacob Kerstetter held the early lead until Koehler took control on lap eight. Paules and Sweeney were all over him from there on. At one point the trio even went a heart stopping three wide. In that scene Paules actually took the lead but Koehler rebounded back the next lap and went on to the supposed checkers, only to come up short at post-race inspection.
In a real slugfest between the top two area winners in Street Stocks, Todd Baer and Chip Wanamaker raced each other in a classic battle that went right down to the wire.
Ahner was the first to cross the finish line but like Koehler in the Late Model race, he too was disqualified for improper ride height and Wanamaker was elevated into first place. It marked his second win of the season and 37th time with a Street Stock.
It seems that every time Jack Ely takes the lead in a Dirt Mod race he will not give it up. Indeed that was again the case as the 16-year old picked up his third victory of the year and led every lap in the process, just as he did in the previous two.
In what has been a breakout year, Ely was solid in this run and was able to hold off hard chargers Kevin Graver Jr., and Ricky Yetter en route to the win.
In the Hobby Stocks, Corey Edelman shot past Shayne Geist on the final lap and annexed his seventh win.
S. Geist and taken the lead from his brother Cody Geist at the midway point. Edelman in the meantime was weaving his way through traffic. He went by Devin Gibson for second with five to go and then zeroed in on Geist, getting the job done with no time remaining.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2. Kris Graver, 3. Kyle Strohl, 4. Roger Coss, 5. Nevin George, 6. Earl Paules, 7. Bobby Jones, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Lou Strohl, 10. Brain Romig, 11. John Bennett, 12. Kevin Rex Jr., 13. Brandon Kressler, 14. Rick Reichenbach, 15. Scott Meckes, 16. Terry Markovic, 17. John Markovic, 18. Mike Quinn, 19. Todd Baer, 20. Chip Santee DNQ: Jim Bojohnny, Joe Mooney
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Earl Paules, 2. Mike Sweeney, 3. Paul Effrig, 4. Jacob Kerstetter, 5. Frankie Althouse, 6. Nevin George, 7. Danielle Paules, 8. Mitch Hawk, 9. Geno Steigerwalt, 10. Josh Oswald, 11. Jeremy Miller, 12. George Ramos, 13. Rick Reichenbach DNS: Jacob Nemeth DQ: Paul Koehler Jr
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Chip Wanamaker, 2. Josh Mooney, 3. Randy Ahner Jr., 4. Zach Graver, 5. Gene Bowers, 6. Steven Steigerwalt, 7. Jillian Long, 8. Tiffany Wambold, 9.. Matt Wentz, 10. Jonathan Tracey, 11. TJ Gursky, 12. Jared Ahner, 13. Troy Bollinger, 14. Jason Kuhn, 15. Lonnie Behler Jr., 16. Stacey Brown, 17. Aaron Kromer, 18. Logan Boyer, 19. Jamie Smith, 20. DJ Wagner DQ: Todd Ahner, Dave Chapman DNQ: Steve Shultz, Justin Mooney, Jared Ahner, Dan Freundt, Robert Fink, Brian Labar, Rich Emel, Jon Smith
Dirt Modified Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Jack Ely, 2. Kevin Graver Jr., 3. Ricky Yetter, 4. Mike Stofflet, 5. Billy Lowden Jr., 6. JP Curry, 7. Jeff Parker, 8. Aleia Geisler, 9. Billy Lasko, 10. Ray Deemer, 11. Joe Stangle
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Corey Edelman, 2. Shayne Geist, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. Devin Gibson, 5. Peter Verwys, 6. Bob Azarowitz, 7. Ron Heeter, 8. Tim Oswald, 9. Elyse Bollinger, 10. Alton Snyder Jr., 11. Cody Geist
Track PR – File Photo