Beers Wins First Night Tour-Type Mod Feature at Smyrna by Steve Neely
Hossfeld Likes Running The High Line
After a rocky opening to the first night of The World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, RoC Champion Eric Beers was able to hang on down the stretch for a convincing win in the Tour-Type Modifieds feature race.
Eric Beers found victory lane on night one. (51 photo)
The start of the race was anything but smooth for the Pennsylvania driver. After starting from the pole, Beers quickly found himself struggling with an ill-handling car. His crew chief immediately knew why.
“The first restart there, we had caution and he radioed it in to me that the sway bar fell off,” said Beers. ‘He could see it from the infield that the sway bar arm fell off. It made the car horrible to drive from the middle off. It would get in decent and get to the center but I couldn’t get on the throttle until you get some heat in the tires. It was a handful until about six or eight laps.”
This meant that Beers would have to fend off challenges from the tight field of Modifieds, including pressure from John Blewett, Chuck Hossfeld, and Andy Seuss at different points in the night. In the end, though, Beers was able to hold on for a three-car length win over Blewett.
“Once we got some heat in the tires we could still drive away from them,” said Beers. “I think with the sway bar hooked up we’d have been a little quicker, but wow.”
Beers also offered his thoughts about the repaved surface at what speedway officials are calling the “new” New Smyrna.
“The track’s gonna get better and better and I think faster and faster the more rubber we get down, and until that time, it’s going to be tough to race on.
“Right now it’s super smooth and really quick.”
MOD NOTES: NIGHT ONE
Bonsignore Chasing Tire Issues
Justin Bonsignore took a nap before qualifying. (51 photo)
Justin Bonsignore had a tough night, with two spins in the 25-lap feature race.
“The first time we actually had a right rear go down,” said Bonsignore. “The valve stem came out of the tire.”
Later in the race, Bonsignore was battling hard with the #09 of Bobby Grigas when Bonsignore slid up the track.
“The second one, Bobby Grigas caught me off guard and I got in that second groove, and there’s just no grip up there,” said the New York native, adding that the learning curve is steeper for him since it’s the first time he’s raced at New Smyrna Speedway. “I never raced the old track, so it’s all new to me. We’re still trying to get a handle on it, and we’re blistering tires every time we go out there.”
Paules And TC Get Together, But Its All Good
The Tour Modified race at New Smyrna was plagued with cautions, so much so that the race was started as a single-file event due to the three spins before the first lap was officially completed. One of those wrecks involved a skirmish involving Ted Christopher and Earl Paules.
"Teddy Christopher got crossed up and we didn’t have any choice but to spin out and go to the rear,” said Paules.
After going to the back of the pack, he was able to follow Christopher back up through the field en route to a sixth-place finish.
“I just followed him up through there, since I knew he was going to knock some holes for me. And he did.”
Chuck Hossfeld (#79) found the high line not to his liking on Friday night. (Jim Dupont photo)
Wild Night For Hossfeld And His Radio
Chuck Hossfeld looked like he was part of a drifting competition on the first feature for the Tour-Type Modifieds. After starting fourth, he avoided the initial series of cautions to move as high as second position. After that, things started to go south for the upstate New York driver.
“I went to try the high side and there was just nothing there,” said Hossfeld. “I got freight-trained and it’s my own stupid fault. I learned a lesson.”
After he dropped back, Hossfeld battled a loose race car, making three amazing saves because of some rather unusual circumstances.
“The radio fell into my lap and kept hitting the wheel,” said Hossfeld. “I saved it a couple times and got on the high side, and there’s just nothing there.”
Hossfeld’s impressive saves and battle back up to a ninth-place finish was little consolation for what he thought could’ve been a much better night.