BEERS OPENS RoC CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES WITH A CHEMUNG WIN
Eric Beers of Northampton, Pa. has had a terrible start to his
racing season and now that we’re in August Eric knew that he needed
to get his act in gear. Beers certainly got his act in gear this
past weekend as he won his second long distance event in less than
24 hours on Sunday afternoon at the Chemung Speedrome.
Beers who started sixth pitted for a fresh right rear tire on lap
79 and was the first car to exit the pits and that became the key.
Beers then raced his way back through the field to take the lead
from Jan Leaty on lap 128 when Leaty and third place Matt Hirschman
got together and ended up in the homestretch wall.
After getting the lead Beers had to hold off TJ Potrzebowski over
the final 28 laps to secure the $3,500 win. Early race leader Brian
DeFebo came on strong to end up third with John Markovic in fourth
and Lee Sherwood finishing fifth.
“This was definitely a big win for us today as we’ve had some
pretty terrible luck this year “ said the happy race winner. “ We’ve
had no luck with this car after coming back from New Smyrna in
February and it’s nice to get back on track with this car with two
long distance feature wins this weekend.“
The win was Eric’s first career feature win at Chemung and he spoke
about that accomplishment. “ This was our first ever win here as we
have been second here before and had some thirds too. But it feels
real good to win at Chemung. “
The key point of the race for Eric was the pit stop on lap 79 where
he came into the pit behind Matt Hirschman and ended up beating
Hirschman off pit road to technically be the first car in line with
a fresh right rear on the car. “Joe (Skotnicki) made a good call for
us to come in at that time and the crew did a great job in getting
me back out of the pits first. That was big as they had to tighten
the car up too besides changing the right rear tire. We didn’t have
to pass Matt on the track as then we could come up and race through
the field at our pace.“
Eric spoke about what his strategy was coming back up through the
field. “We passed when we had to and then rode a while because you
had to have something for the end. After a yellow we would pick off
a couple and then ride again until the next yellow came out.
Everything went according to plan today.“
Eric was back up to fifth on lap 101 after pitting on lap 79. Then
he moved into fourth on lap 105 and into third on lap 112 and
finally into second on lap 123. All this time Matt Hirschman was
glued to the back bumper of Beers as he was making his way to the
front also. Then came the lap 127 turn four tangle that changed the
entire complexion of the race.
With Jan Leaty leading and on old rubber as he didn’t pit Beers and
Hirschman were all over Leaty looking for a way around him. Coming
out of turn four Beers got under Leaty while Hirschman attempted to
go around him. Contact was made which saw heavy front end damage on
the Leaty and Hirschman cars ending their day.
Eric spoke on how he saw the accident happen. “Jan’s tires were at
least 70 laps older than what me and Matt had on. It was inevitable
that we were going to get by him but he was doing his best to block
both of us. I got a run on the bottom and Jan blocked me at the same
time Matt got beside me and Jan tried to keep both of us behind him.
Unfortunately for all of us it didn’t work out as Jan and Matt got
tangled up and crashed.“
With only caution flag laps counting from laps 50 to 100 a long
period of yellow flag fever took place in the closing stages of the
race. This caused some cars to run out of fuel and it caused a
little problem for Eric too. “It started to sputter with five to go
at the end of the straightaways and I was getting real worried. So I
started to back off earlier getting into the corners ands getting
back into the gas easier to save fuel. We only had about a gallon
left at the end when we measured it.“
Eric won this weekend with a small motor and carburetor on the car.
“ It’s actually easier to drive the car when the tires wear off as
you don’t have that big motor you have to deal with. I have to thank
Scott Ritter at RPM as this is our small motor but it runs really
well, just like a Timex. “
“It’s the middle of August as it’s time to get my ass in gear“ said
Eric about his successful weekend of racing.
“It was an interesting race today“ said second place finisher TJ
Potrzebowski. “We planned on pitting somewhere around lap 75 and
ended up pitting with Matt and Eric. We followed them up through the
field, had no incidents, and we’re satisfied with a second today. We
didn’t have the car to catch Eric today, but we were close.“
TJ’s day didn’t start out too well as he drew 90 out of 100. “It
was good to win the heat race after drawing 90. We’ve been
struggling all year as the car been tight with everything we’ve been
trying. Today finally we got the car too loose, but we made big
gains today and happy where we’re going with our program.“
TJ debuted a retro wheel paint scheme on this day. “It was
something different, it was the color I used when we started running
Sport Mods back in 1995. We did today for the hometown crowd for
memory sake, if it brings us good luck maybe we’ll keep the color.“
“Thinking of it now I should have pitted on the caution before (lap
79) instead of when we pitted (lap 98)“ said third place finisher
Brian DeFebo. “I could have been the first one in on lap 79 but it’s
a damn if you do, damn if you don’t. I’m just happy to finish
Qualifying for the 28 car field saw heat wins go to DeFebo, Tony
Hanbury, Hirschman, and Potrzebowski. No B Main was run due to two
cars that scratched for the day after the heat race.
DROME DROPPINGS; JR Kent debuted a new car for him which was
a former Vic Hooker owned car that was bought at the auction earlier
this year. Kent looked strong at times but had problems like the
throttle linkage breaking in the heat race and getting into a couple
of skirmishes in the feature. Dave Bellis made his first RoC
appearance in the former George Swansbrough car. Dave had a front
row heat race starting spot taken away due to an illegal carburetor.
Pete Brittain was sporting a heavily taped right wrist due to and
minor injury he suffered from racing the night before. Chris
Whitenight was running in his last race of the season as he was
heading back to school at UNC – Asheville on Monday. An oil leak
sent Jim Storace to the pits ending another strong run. Daren
Scherer lost a top three finish as his car was starving for fuel
with less than 5 laps to go.
RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR
CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES RACE #1
FINISH; Eric Beers, TJ Potrzebowski, Brian DeFebo, John
Markovic, Lee Sherwood, Rick Kluth, Daren Scherer, Pete Brittain,
Tony Hanbury, Earl Paules, Kyle Ebersole, Billy Putney, Todd Smith,
Doug Reaume, Jimmy Zacharias, JR Kent, Matt Hirschman, Jan Leaty,
Jim Storace, Dave Bellis, Rusty Smith, Steven Reed, Tommy Farrell,
III, Chris Whitenight, Kevin Lewis, Mike Leaty.
DNS; Matt Clemens, TJ Zacharias.
LAP LEADERS; Potrzebowski ( 1 ), DeFebo ( 2 ), Potrzebowski (
3 – 15 ), DeFebo ( 16 – 49 ) Hanbury ( 50 – 116 ), J. Leaty ( 117 –
127 ), Beers ( 128 – 150 ).
DART MACHINERY AWARD $1,200 SET OF HEADS; Farrell.
GATER RACING NEWS DRIVER BONUS DRAW $500; Whitenight.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; T. Smith ( 24th to
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; R. Smith ( 6th to 21st
NEXT RoC EVENT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24TH
DUUN TIRE RACEWAY PARK
100 LAPS - $3,500 TO WIN
FINAL REGULAR SEASON POINT SHOW.
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by;
Dart Machinery, Gater Racing News, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race
Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston Rings, Dura –
Bond, Competition Engineering by Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, Afco,
CV Products, LA Sleeve.
JR's Motorsports Media / RoC Dart
Asphalt Modified Series
August 17, 2008