Eric Beers has become the undisputed leader in long distance Modified features at Mahoning Valley Speedway as the Northampton star took the win in the opening round of the Modified Madness Series. In front of a full house Beers bested a stellar field to notch his eighth career 100 lap race.
Driving the Dave and Laura Delange No. 45, Beers went around early leader Chip Santee on lap 15 and then onto a convincing victory.
"The car was flawless the first 30 laps. I saw Chip (Santee) starting to tighten up at the end of that long run we had at the beginning. I took my opportunity there because if I would have waited until later I don't think I would have got him," said Beers, who earned $3000 for the night's work.
Time trials locked in the top 12 cars with Chuck Hossfeld setting the quick time at 9.702-seconds at 92.764 mph. Afterwards a redraw was held and Santee drew the pole with Matt Wentz joining him on the front row. In the second row were Hossfeld and Beers.
Santee took second place for good after a lap 59 restart but that would be as far to the front he would go as Beers remained undisputedly in control. Those two clearly had the rest of the pack well covered, but behind them some outstanding action was unfolding.
Hossfeld had a bumper full of George and Wentz and heading into the very late stages he was dealing with Earl Paules, Matt Hirschman, John Markovic and Zane Zeiner.
Paules and Hirschman were taking a stab at Hossfeld with six laps to go. Under tight race conditions, Paules touched Hossfeld and veered hard into the turn three wall to end his night with three laps remaining.
On the final restart Hirschman made a swift move on Hossfeld and then a last ditch effort to go by Santee but fell short by a half car length at the finish. Zeiner and Markovic went past Hossfeld with two laps to go and completed the top five.
Lehighton's Dave Wallace was the winner of the shortened Late Model feature that was called after time constraints and just five laps total.
George Ramos and Earl Paules won Late Model heats.
Jillian Long of Slatington has always been a competitive racer and come close to winning on more than one occasion. Saturday night that all came to fruition as she drove to a much overdue first win in the Street Stock main.
Long is a 25U Signal Support Systems Specialist with the U.S. Army based at Willow Grove. She made the night perfect by also winning her heat. Jason Frey and Jamie Smith also scored prelims while Randy Schlenker annexed the consi.
In the Dirt Mods it was point leader Mike Stofflet of Mertztown taking his second win of the year.
Stofflet was running third when then leader Jeff Parker and second running JP Curry washed up the track on lap 12 while fighting for the lead in turn three. He seized the opening and took control the rest of the way. Parker recovered to finish second.
Jeff Parker and Mark Martini were heat winners.
In the 4 Cylinder Hobby Stocks, Cory Edelman of Northampton cruised to his second win of the year.