“Everyone has some bad luck,” said Sylvester. “We’ve got two seconds now, a fourteenth and this. That’s part of racing. I’ll look at the points with three races to go and then determine what we have to do. Until them, we’re going to go to every race track thinking and knowing that we can win and see where it falls.”
Hirschman, son of defending champion Tony Hirschman, finished eighth in Ed Bennett’s #59 car. The first lap of the race was the first time that the young Hirschman had ever driven a competitive lap at Waterford.
Pasteryak, a regular in Waterford’s SK Modified division, drove his father Charlie’s #5 ride and took home a finish of 20th.
Speed51.com talked extensively with both drivers after the race, along with their fathers, And we will have a pair of stories on their maiden races coming soon.
I should have been right on his bumper, but I was a little bit lower. When he stopped, my right front just climbed right over him. I should have been square on his bumper, but I still would have hit him. Whether or not, the same outcome would have happened, I don’t know.”
The wreck dropped Barry out on the spot and left him with a finish of 30th. This season has not been kind so far to last year’s Rookie of the Year. Barry is currently ranked 17th in points with one top 10 finish. His 2005 season has mostly been a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time so far.
“We have no idea what is happening, we just can’t do anything right this year,” said Barry. “We’ll put her back together and see what happens next.”
LIA IS GLAD THE RACE WASN’T 151 LAPS
Donny Lia led all 150 laps of the race and won. On his final lap, the caution came out for Tony Hirschman’s wreck. Since Lia had already taken the white flag, the race went under yellow and no green-white-checkered finish would take place. That was a good thing for Lia since he car died going to the checkered flag.
NASCAR WHELEN MOD LEFTOVERS: WATERFORD by Mike Twist
Lia Barely Makes It, Marquis & Hirschman Tangle, Several Tour Debuts and Much More
LAST MINUTE SPIN TAKES GOOD FINISH FROM HIRSCHMAN
Tony Hirschman did not run in any position lower than fourth-place all night long. That was until lap 148 out of 150. That was when Hirschman’s #48 and Jerry Marquis’ #4 made slight contact with the #48 spinning into the turn three wall. The contact between the two cars might have been an easy hit, but the contact into the wall was not. Hirschman ended up with a 12th-place finish.
The spin occurred after Marquis appeared to be trying to make a pass on the outside.
“Jerry was right behind me and he looked on the outside a couple of times,” said Hirschman. “Going into turn three, I don’t know what happened. I was running my groove as hard as I could without running into Eric and the back of my car just jumped. I don’t know if Jerry got into me with his tire or what, but it was just enough to jerk me and spin me around.”
“I was trying Tony on the outside and went into turn three when his nerf bar touched my left front or I touched his nerf bar. I don’t know,” said Marquis. “He got completely sideways and I don’t know if he was sideways already. I’m not exactly sure. We were racing hard, but we barely, barely touched. We must have touched just enough for me to lift his back end enough and turn him around. I’d like to see that one on the replay.”
“For lack of better words, an idiot SK driver with no patience got me,” said Barry. “He got up into us. He was about to come into the back seat. If he wanted to drive the car, he wanted to drive the car all he had to do was ask.”
Civali doesn’t dispute the fact that he got into the back of Barry, but he doesn’t think that is was an avoidable incident.
“It was one of those things,” said Civali. “He got held up by the #94 [Justin Gaydash] and he was really trying hard to get by him. I was making sure that I would stay with him when he made the move and I was trying to get him to go when coming off of four I guess he hit the #94. They stopped up quick and my front tire was in the rocks.
The culprit? A safety device on his #18 car.
“We run a safety device that replaces the basic throttle linkage. It’s got a kill switch in it. Our throttle linkage is real close to our air cleaner. We angled the air cleaner so it would clear. There can’t be any pressure on the linkage. It’s got a spring loaded trigger switch and if there is pressure on it, it will close just like there is a stuck throttle.
“As the race progressed, the air cleaner wasn’t tight enough and rotated. It got to the point where the kill switch closed. Right as we got to the finish line, the car
Nevin George races by the wet infield.
Hirschman was understandably unhappy after the race, but he knew that contact from another seasoned veteran probably wasn’t something that was by design.
“I don’t think it was intentional,” said Hirschman. “He was trying for something and it happened. Would he have passed me on the outside? Probably not. I was the big loser over one spot. It’s a shame.”
BARRY NOT HAPPY AFTER CIVALI CONTACT
Meanwhile, things weren’t so cordial after sophomore driver Ken Barry got bumped by James Civali in his first Modified Tour start. The race was only 18 laps old when the two cars bumped going into turn four. Barry took a hard bounce off the frontstretch wall as a result. He was not very happy afterwards.
“We were doing all right towards the middle [of the race],” said Sylvester. “We were trying to fill a hole and that hole was sinking. Someone came down into my right front and got into some suspension parts. That was pretty much the end of that. We fixed it the best we could and just rode around to get what we could out of it.”
Both drivers had a positive attitude after the race though.
“Our big focus this year is to try and win a championship,” said Christopher. “We have two wins, and second and a fourth in four races. We go back to Stafford next Sunday and that’s usually a good place for me.”
Jerry Marquis' #4 car. (Howie Hodge Photo)
just shut off. I thought it blew up, but then I could feel in the gas pedal that there was some slop there. I knew what it was and when I got out, I rotated the air cleaner to its correct position and it released it.”
The incident caused a tense moment or two for Lia.
“I didn’t know if the race was completely over, so I was worried that we might not win it.”
TC AND ZACH HAVE DIFFERENT POINT NIGHTS
Ted Christopher and Zach Sylvester entered the Waterford race first and second in the standings respectively. They couldn’t have had more different nights either. Christopher finished a solid second and added to his lead. Sylvester got caught up in trouble and spent more than a dozen laps getting repaired. He finished the race in the 23rd position and dropped to fifth in the standings.
Donny Lia's #18 gets a push after the race. (Howie Hodge Photo)
The first two races of the season weren’t too kind though. Marquis was shut out of the top ten in both the Thompson and Stafford races. Things are changing though. Marquis has a pair of fourth-place runs in the last two events.
“We’re looking pretty good now,” said Marquis. “It took a little to get going I guess. We had a little bit of bad luck the first couple of races. I think that things have turned around now the last few races, we’re starting to finish races and we need to do that. Things are coming together. I’m learning what this car needs and the guys are learning what I need. I’m happy about that. Hopefully, it will get better.”
Barry's car didn't look so great after it got run over. (51 Photo)
Marquis chases the #13 after Christopher. (Howie Hodge Photo)
Zach Sylvester. (51 Photo)
CIVALI FINISHES ON LEAD LAP IN FIRST RACE
The first race is in the books for James Civali. He made his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour debut and he finished. The former SK Modified driver got together early in the race with Ken Barry [see above], but stayed out of trouble for most of the night and finished on the lead lap in 16th. It might not have been spectacular, but it was a very solid and respectable finish at a tough place for a newbie.
“It was good overall,” said Civali. “We finished, the car is still in one piece and I got one under my belt I guess. I guess this wasn’t really the best track to go to [for his first Tour race}. It was a little rough out there. This track is really tough to get around with a Tour car.”
BEERS READY TO TURN A CORNER
With his performances of late on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, you would never know that Eric Beers hasn’t won a Tour event yet. He’s contended for the victory at both Riverhead and Waterford and has become a fixture out front. He also knows how to win elsewhere and is extremely competitive running RoC Modified events and local Mod shows near his Pennsylvania home. Is his first Tour win around the corner?
“I hope so,” said Beers. “I won a race with my car and with my buddy George’s car this year, now we have to win one with this car [the #3 that he races for the Boehler family on the Mod Tour]. We’d have all three teams covered then and after that it would be a race to see who gets the most.”
You would also never know that Beers suffered multiple injuries in an April wreck at Thompson. He missed one Tour races, but since coming back has finished second and third. The scary thing is that he’s not completely back to normal yet.
“I’m not 100% yet, I’ll tell you that,” said Beers. But when you get in a racecar, things heal right up. I’ll be 100% soon. You’ll see.”
Another scary thing, for the competition at least, is that Beers will start first in the rain delayed race this coming weekend at Stafford.
MARQUIS’ FORTUNES ARE TURNING AROUND
Jerry Marquis and the #4 Mystic Missile team know a thing or two about strong runs. Both have won a ton of Modified Tour races through the years. So when the two teamed up for the 2005 season, there were great expectations.
Cravenho shared initials with another driver who finished in the top 10. (51 Photo)
Shivers' #23. (Howie Hodge Photo)
SHIVERS HAS GOOD LUCK CHARM TO HELP WITH A TOP 10 FINISH
Gregg Shivers has a new good luck charm at home. His newborn daughter Kaitlyn Marie
probably won’t be at the track until later this season, but she helped to cheer her father on to a finish of tenth from the family’s Long Island home where Shivers’ wife missed a rare event to tend to the newest member of the family.
GAYDASH RUNS FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR – HE THINKS
With all of the rainouts that the Modified have had this season, it’s hard to keep track of what the schedule should be. Events at Stafford and Thompson have been postponed while other races have been threatened or have barely gotten in. It’s hard to keep track of what has and hasn’t taken place.
So when Justin Gaydash couldn’t tell for sure if he made his first Modified Tour race of the season at Waterford, it’s easy to understand how he could be a bit lost.
“I’ve had a couple”
“I think it was the first race this year, I don’t even know,” said Gaydash after climbing from his car. “Every race I go to gets rained out.”
Gaydash finished one lap down in 22nd.
“I couldn’t get the car handling,” said Gaydash. “It was wicked, wicked loose going in and we’d make changes, but it wasn’t enough. It started coming alive at the end. We finished in one piece, but I’m disappointed.”
WHITT AND CRAVENHO FINISH STRONG
There were two drivers who Speed51.com didn’t catch up with after the race still deserve a mention and a big pat on the back. Steve Whitt ran strong all night at Waterford and finished fifth in the #06. Tommy Cravenho made his first start of the season by filling in for Mike Stefanik aboard the Brady Bunch #00. Cravenho finished seventh.
Stefanik was absent to race at Holland Speedway (NY) in the Busch North Series. The trip was well worth it for him, as he won his first Busch North event since 1998 in the event.
“Everyone says that I’ll have a different perspective now,” said Shivers. “I don’t know if I’m thinking any differently, but I do know that the first thing I did when I got out of the car was to call home and tell them how I did.”
The top 10 finish might help to turn Shivers’ racing luck around a little bit.
“I’m definitely happy with that,” Shivers said. “Hopefully, we can carry a little momentum on from this. It always happens this way, it seems like you can’t catch a break and then you finally do and things go your way. Hopefully this will be the start of things going our way and we can get some of the finishes that we know we are capable of.”
TWO OTHER DRIVERS ALSO MAKE TOUR DEBUTS
Also making their Tour debuts at Waterford were second generation drivers Matt Hirschman and Chris Pasteryak. The two qualified together on the sixth row and both stayed out of trouble and on the lead lap all night.
James Civali (51 Photo)
Matt Hirschman (L) and Chris Pasteryak (R) made their Tour debuts at Waterford. (Howie Hodge Photo)