Saturday’s RoC Modified race at Tioga Speedway (NY). If there were any doubts about whether or not Beers was ready to race, they were erased there. He led all 100 laps of the feature and won the event.
LIA WINS ANOTHER BUD POLE
Before it rained, teams did get the chance to qualify at Stafford and the results weren’t much of a surprise. Donny Lia won his second Bud Pole Award in three attempts this season at Stafford. The young New Yorker is now hoping that some of what has been going right in time trials will translate into the races since he is in the middle of a stretch of bad luck.
NASCAR WHELEN MODIFIED NOTES FROM A RAINY STAFFORD by Mike Twist
Showers Keep Back the Race, Beers Comes Back, Another Pole for Donny and More
RAIN IMPACTS ANOTHER STAFFORD RACE
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour cheated weather forecasts earlier this season at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) when they got the Spring Sizzler in after, by many accounts, it should have been washed out completely. This past weekend, the track was not quite as lucky.
Friday afternoon, there were few clouds in the sky and the temperatures were in the 70’s. As the sun went down though, dark clouds gathered to the west. Time trials were held, but before the feature could get underway heavy rains and strong winds came through. Track and series officials had no choice but to call off the night’s racing card.
The event has been now rescheduled to Sunday, July 3rd. This sets up a long stretch run of Mod racing through the summer. Between this weekend’s race at Riverhead Raceway (NY) and the September 16th event at New Hampshire International Speedway, there will only be one off weekend for the Mod squad.
BEERS COMES BACK AND DOESN’T MISS A STEP
Nobody could rain on Eric Beers’ parade at Stafford though. Beers suffered a broken collarbone and ribs after a crash in the Icebreaker at Thompson back in early April. He missed the Spring Sizzler and has been on the road to recovery ever since.
“We seem to be very good at winning poles,” said Lia. “It’s the races that we need to work on. The guys are working really hard and we’re trying to figure a few things out. We’ve figured out what we need to qualify, so now we need to figure out what we need for the races. We need to work on keeping the wheels on the car and finishing.”
Lia now knows that when he returns to the track on July 3rd, that he will be up near the front. He redrew the seventh position in the redraw and will start the race there. That is unless he gets really lucky and Tour officials redraw once again on raceday.
He was back behind the wheel at Stafford and did not appear to miss a beat. He qualified fifth and then redrew the pole position for the race.
“My time trials went well and I think that we’ll be alright,” said Beers. “I feel pretty good. I felt good in practice. I’m gaining strength in my left arm. That helps because I’ve been sitting and doing nothing. It’s great to just get back and race the car again. To be around the people and do what I love to do in just awesome.”
Unlike most of the other drivers in the Modified ranks who will have to wait until this week to race, Beers loaded up after the Stafford rainout and headed west to compete in
The most notable driver not to make it in was Rookie of the Year contender Tyler Haydt in the Don King-owned #28 car. Stafford has not been a good track so far in Haydt’s career. He also missed making it into the Spring Sizzler after recording a top ten finish to start out his rookie season in the Icebreaker at Thompson Speedway (CT).
Haydt had plenty of company though. The other drivers not making it into the starting lineup for this event at Stafford were Kevin Konopka, Darren Stevens, Steve Whitt, Mike Molleur, Danny Knoll, Wade Cole, Kelly McDougal, Roy Seidel and Jake Morosz.
Nevin George races by the wet infield.
“I was hoping that they might redo the pill draw, but I don’t think that is going to happen,” said Lia with a laugh.
STARTING FIELD TOUGH TO CRACK
On the other end of the spectrum, a few good cars went home early from the Stafford race and won’t be making a return trip to the track over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“I’m a big drag racing fan,” said Pasteryak. “I really enjoy watching Top Fuel, the Funny Cars and the Pro Stocks. They put on one heck of a show on TV and there is never a dull moment.”
In fact, he doesn’t rule out ever trying it himself someday.
“I’ve been too involved in circle track racing my whole life. But if I was ever to move on, I think it would be to drag racing.”
If Pasteryak ever does giving straightline racing a try, don’t expect it to be in simple bracket racing though. He would have his eye on a funny car or dragster.
Eric Beers is back behind the wheel. (51 Photos)
CIVALLI GETS INTO FIRST MOD TOUR RACE
Former SK Modified regular James Civalli did get into the starting field however. The young driver took a former Ronnie Silk car and qualified for the race in the 21st position.
PASTERYAK SHOWS HIS SUPPORT FOR STRAIGHT LINERS
Next to the number on Charlie Pasteryak’s car was an interesting decal. It was a membership decal for NHRA drag racing. As it turns out, Pasteryak is quite a follower of the type of racing.
“If I’m going to do it, I’ll do it all the way,” said Pasteryak.
EWANISTKO AT THE TRACK
Spotted in the pit area at Stafford was a very popular faces that has been absent from the track lately. Mike Ewanistko was an interested observer and talked with Speed51.com about his current status and future plans. We’ll have a story on what he told us very shortly.
Pasteryak showed his support for the NHRA, and Speed51.com, on his #5.
Donny Lia was in a familar place after qualifying.