They tried but the young guns were no match for Eric Beers: Mike Sweeney notch 50th career Late Model win
Story By: Dino Oberto/Mahoning Valley Speedway
Photos By: Walt Smith/RacersGuide.com
(LEHIGHTON, PA. 7-8-17) Eric Beers outdueled a pair of young guns to take the lead and then held off top contender Kris Graver for his second Modified win of the year.
Front row starter Ely and Strohl remained in that order when the 35-lap event got going while eighth starting Beers joined them after a lap two restart.
Then began an intensely contested battle. Ely led the pack while Strohl and Beers went two-wide while also going after the leader.
On lap 23 Strohl was running on the bottom and saw a chance to get past Ely. As he dived underneath there was slight contact that caused Ely to slide a bit to the right and Strohl as well had to gather himself from spinning.
Beers would capitalize from that as he was high enough to throttle past them and take over the lead.
Not surprising point leader Graver was coming on by this point and got around Strohl and Ely with eight laps to go. Beers, however was in good shape to the finish and would notch his 54th career Mahoning win.
“That was some good racing out there tonight,” said Beers. “The three of us where under a blanket for at least 20 laps. I was trying to get on the outside of Jack (Ely) and Kyle (Strohl) at the same time was shooting to the inside of him and they made some contact and I was able to then get a good run to finally take the lead.”
The always improving Joey Jarowicz found a burst of speed over the final laps and took home a career best third. Ely and Strohl held on to complete the top five.
The racing program was almost cut short when a passing rain shower during warm-ups put a question mark on the rest of the evening. After a pole by the drivers it was decided to make a go of it although the track was a bit tricky to drive.
“It was pretty slick. The low groove had a little bit of grip and there was not a whole lot on the top but the bottom line is we’re racing on a Saturday night,” said Beers.
“I want to say a happy birthday to our promoter Floyd Santee. Hats off to him for sticking with the show and getting it all in tonight. Everyone stuck together and there may not have been a whole lot of gripe due to all the rain in the past two days but man did we put on a good show.”
Mike Sweeney not only raced to his division leading fifth Late Model victory of the season but it was also a personal milestone as he notched his 50 career win with that class.
The feature was a cone race and under a process of cautions Sweeney was able to move to second spot by lap eight at which point he was behind Jeremy Miller.
Two laps later Sweeney was charging past Miller for the lead and once in front it was a smooth and steady ride to the checkers. It was also his second win in a row, following a victory the previous week at Evergreen Raceway.
Frankie Althouse, Miller, Lorin Arthofer and Broc Brown rounded out the front five.
“The cautions came out at the right times and we were able to choose the right lane for the restarts. We won last week at Evergreen and then to come back here and park in Victory Lane that’s what we work so hard for,” said Sweeney, who is the leading asphalt Late Model winner throughout the Northeast in 2017 with six wins to date.
Stacey Brown passed Jillian Long for the lead on lap four and would go the rest of the way from the top spot in capturing his first Street Stock win of the season.
Brown did a fine job of holding back his opposition as he showed little signs of wavering. Jon Moser was able to claw his way to second spot over the final half dozen laps but Brown had him covered.
In the Dirt Mods Mike Stofflet raced to a track record eighth consecutive feature win and in dominating fashion as he was the only car on the lead lap by race’s end.
Cody Kohler should think about more trips home from North Carolina where he attends school. For a fourth time in five starts Kohler scored a Pro 4 victory. His other finish was a scant second.
The Hobby Stock feature was quite the barnburner as Tiffany Wambold made a bold inside pass on Colton Perry in the final corner of the final lap for her second win of the year. After nine races Wambold becomes the first driver to repeat in the class.
Modified Feature Finish (35 Laps): 1. Eric Beers, 2.Kristopher Graver, 3. Joey Jarowicz, 4. Jack Ely, 5. Kyle Strohl, 6. Nick Baer, 7. John Markovic, 8. Don Wagner, 9. Terry Markovic, 10. Kevin Graver, 11. Ron Haring Jr., 12. Lou Strohl, 13. Roger Heffelfinger, 14. Bobby Jones, 15. Brain DeFebo
Late Model Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Mike Sweeney, 2. Frankie Althouse, 3. Jeremy Miller, 4. Lorin Arthofer II, 5. Broc Brown, 6. Jacob Nemeth, 7. Kenny Hein, 8. Jacob Kerstetter, 9. George Ramos, 10. Dylan Osborn, 11. Eric Kocher
Street Stock Feature Finish (30 Laps): 1. Stacey Brown, 2. Jon Moser, 3. Todd Ahner, 4. Jared Ahner, 5. Jill Long, 6. Mark Deysher, 7. Shayne Geist, 8. Steven Steigerwalt, 9. Josh Mooney, 10.Eric Kocher, 11. Corey Edelman, 12. Alan Schlenker, 13.Bobby Kibler Jr, 14. Dennis Buss, 15.Jamie Smith, 16. Ken Erney, 17. Josh Huber, 18. BJ Wambold
Dirt Mod Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Mike Stofflet, 2. Frank Parastino, 3. Larry Beers, 4. Denise Devine, 5. Bill Sittler Jr.
Pro 4 Feature Finish (20 Laps): 1. Cody Kohler, 2. Kevin Stein, 3. Jake Kibler, 4. Johnny Bennett, 5. Jeremy Guerra, 6. Ken Reeder, 7. Tucker Muffley, 8. Josh Kuronya, 9. Tanner Laybourn DNS: Jason Finken
Hobby Stock Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. Tiffany Wambold, 2. Michael Wambold, 3. Rich Mutarelli, 4. Austin Beers, 5. Travis Solomon, 6. Colton Perry, 7. Shawn Kistler, 8. Devin Schmidt, 9. Brayden Spencer, 10. Trisha Connolly, 11. Paul Effrig, 12. Ryan Berger, 13. Justin Merkel, 14. Jeff Biegley, 15. Joey Visnosky, 16. Al Arthofer, 17. Todd Geist, 18. Avery Arthofer, 19. Nicholas Kerstetter, 20. Cody Geist DNQ: Colton Breiner