Blewett started ninth, but patiently worked his way towards the front. He finished a season-best second.
Having Blewett in his tire tracks late in the race required Beers to play it cool. He was able to do just that with a little help from his spotter Michael Boehler.
“He really kept me calm over the last couple of laps. John was all over us and Michael told me to run my line. He told me to keep it to the bottom and make John pass me on the outside. He did a good job.
BEERS TAKES "OLE' BLUE" TO VICTORY LANE AT SEEKONKby Mike Twist
#3 RETURNS TO MOD TOUR VICTORY LANE WITH FIRST TIME WINNER
There’s an age-old question in racing. When somebody wins a race is it because of the driver or the car?
Well, Saturday night at Seekonk Speedway (MA), it had to be a near 50/50 mix when Eric Beers took the #3 car to victory lane in the 150-lap NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour feature.
On one hand, Beers won with a team that is probably the most storied operation in Modified racing today, maybe even of all-time. The #3 cars have been owned by the Boehler family for nearly 50 years. Bugsy Stevens, Fred DeSarro, Ron Bouchard, Tony Hirschman and Jerry Marquis are just a few of the Hall-of-Fame caliber drivers who have driven the “Ole’ Blue” #3 throughout the years.
On the other hand, Eric Beers is a hard-nosed, old-fashioned racer. He races hard, he races clean, and he races as often he possible.
Beers enjoyed his battles with both Christopher and Blewett. Beating those particular drivers only made his win more meaningful.
“I’ve raced with Ted awhile,” said Beers. “We’ve raced together at New Smyrna every year since ’94 or so. We’ve followed him in some races and kept it clean with him. Tonight, he kept it clean with us. You appreciate things like that and the next time that he races with me, he’ll get the same respect back.
“With John, we’ve raced together since the Flemington days when he raced the #14 and I raced my own stuff. That was in the mid 90’s. So we’ve been racing together for a long time and never had a problem.”
Beers’ two rivals had very different nights at Seekonk. Christopher led early, faded a little bit later and then got booted around on the front stretch to lose a ton of track position near the end of the event. That incident led to TC being very agitated (we’ll have his reaction later this week in Modified Leftovers right here at Speed51.com) and dropped him to a finish of 17th.
“When they threw the checkered, I was looking and was looking to see if it really was the checkered. Michael told me that was it and I knew then that I won.”
The weight of winning with “Ole’ Blue” was not lost on Beers. The victory came at the team’s home track and in front of a grandstand audience who got the opportunity to view a restored #3 Coupe that was on display in the grandstand area.
“Today the coupe was here and they were taking
Eric Beers hoists his new hardware. (Howie Hodge Photo)
And at Seekonk, he had to beat two of the hardest chargers in Modified racing to get the victory. Beers took the lead from Ted Christopher early in the race and he held off a hungry John Blewett, III to hold on to the top spot at the finish.
“We had a good racecar,” said Beers. “We were good in the beginning and flew by some cars there. We worked our way past Ted before the tires got greasy.”
The Mods played before a packed house at Seekonk Speedway (MA) on Saturday. (51 Photo)
pictures of it on the backstretch. That car won so many races. Just to see a car like that, it’s like 'Man!'. Sure, there’s pressure. There’s a lot of pressure getting into a car that been a top three car forever. It’s always been the car to beat no matter where you go.”
And whether it was 1975, 1985, 1995 or 2005, some things in the Modified world never change.
“You can go to a race track and look around in the pits and you’ll point out cars and say ‘That one I need to beat, that one I need to beat and that one I need to beat,’ and this car is always on that list.”
That meant Beers had some big shoes to fill when he took the #3 ride this year.
“If you raced that car for a year and don’t win a race, you’d look pretty bad. It’s July and we’ve won here. Hopefully, we’ll keep this ball rolling right along. We have two thirds [place finishes] and a win in the last three tour races. If we can keep that going, we’ll be good.”
As excited as Beers was to win, the close-knit Boehler family team was equally thrilled.
“They were really excited. We did a Polish victory lap for their mother and a lot of other people who are probably smiling down on us from upstairs tonight.”
Speed51.com will have more from Seekonk in our Modified leftovers later this week.
"Ole' Blue", Beers' #3 car, was flawless at Seekonk. (Howie Hodge Photo)