MAKE A STRONG DEBUT IN NEW YORK
After running in Pennsylvania in their first two races together, Eric Beers
and DeLange Racing finally headed "home" to New York last weekend. On
Saturday they raced in the Modified portion of the Port City 150 program at
famed Oswego Speedway, the Richie Evans Memorial, which was the 2009 season
opener for the Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour.
Beers had to qualify for the Evans 75 through the consolation race,
earning the 21st position on the feature starting grid. The DeLange #45
quickly climbed to just outside the top ten before pitting for a right rear
tire. After that Eric drove to the front and battled with the leaders,
clashing in the closing laps with veteran Jan Leaty before he ran out of
time and finished fourth.
"We had to qualify for the feature through the consi and won that,"
explained Beers after the race, "and that gave us some momentum for the
feature. We gained ten positions in the first third of the race but I knew
we had used up our right rear tire so we pitted for a new one on lap 28.
That really perked up the car and we drove up into the top-five. In the
closing laps we battled for third with Jan Leaty and we were faster than he
was, but he used his experience to hold us off and we ran out of time to
finish fourth. I think we had a better car than our finish showed but we had
to race from the back of the field twice so a top-five outcome was a real
On Sunday the team headed home to Dunn Tire Raceway Park in
Lancaster for the opening race of the season at DTRP. Beers drove the
DeLange Modified to a second place finish in his heat race and then drew the
seventh starting position for the 50-lap feature. Eric battled the
competition and also a brake problem with his racecar, but managed to climb
into the top-five and edged out multi-time track champion Sege Fidanza for
fourth on the final lap.
"We fought a problem with the brakes all race and did the best we
could," recalled Beers later. "I think we would have finished further up if
the car was right, but it was still good to beat out a track legend like
Sege Fidanza on the final lap. We learned a lot today that will help us when
we return here next Saturday."
Team owner Dave DeLange was pleased with his team's performance
over the weekend. "We had a good car at Oswego. Starting toward the back
twice was a big hurdle but we cleared it and climbed to the front. We
battled with Jan Leaty for third in the final laps and we were better than
him, at least a top-three car, but it's always tough to pass a veteran like
Jan in the closing laps. Then on Sunday at DTRP we fought a brake problem
and still managed to finish fourth. It could have been better, but it was
still a good weekend all things considered. And we learned a lot that will
help us at DTRP next weekend."
The DeLange team returns to Dunn Tire Raceway Park next Saturday
night for a 50-lap Modified feature. The following Saturday night, June 6,
they will revisit Lehighton, Pennsylvania to compete in the second hand of
the Mahoning Valley Speedway Poker Tournament, hoping to match their winning
first hand from April 18.
Boucher / DeLange Racing