Park's Return Ends Early, Beers & Hossfeld Barnstorm and Much More
LOOSE CAR EQUALS BIG WRECK FOR NEVIN GEORGE
Nevin George took a hard hit on lap 26, when his #0 Modified spun into the outside wall coming out of turn four. His car was very heavily damaged, but the Pennsylvania driver was not injured.
I’m fine,” said George. “We were just battling car problems all day. Unfortunately, we missed the set-up. We practiced real well and I was looking forward to the race. But the car was no good in the draft. We tried to fix the problem and coming up through the field, you kind of expect something like this to happen. There was a car spun down on the bottom and somebody checked up. That was it.”
Earlier in the race, George got together with Donny Lia, who brushed the wall, but continued on to a fourth-place finish.
Nevin George slams the wall hard coming off turn four. (51 Photos)
George blamed his evil handling car for the incident.
“I was battling loose problems,” said George. “I was underneath him (Lia) trying to save my own car and I bumped his car. I don’t know if he got into the fence or if he saved it but I feel bad about that.”
Lia could tell that George’s car was a handful before the incident.
“Nevin’s car got into mine,” Lia said. “He was pretty sideways and out of control. I could tell that his car was really loose. It could have been worse, we could have gone in there and ended both of our days. We got the wall with our right rear, but what really hurt us was loosing the track position. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
PARK’S DAY CUT SHORT
The Featherlite Modified Series welcomed back on old friend at New Hampshire. Steve Park, driver of the Orleans Racing #62 Dodge in the Craftsman Truck Series made a return to NASCAR’s oldest division in Joe Brady’s #00 car.
Unfortunately, Park’s day ended early.
“The engine blew up,” said Park. “We lost a cylinder and tried to nurse it and see what it would do. We changed ignition boxes to see if it would help the miss. It didn’t and the engine let go. That put us out.”
Although Park has gone on to many accomplishments, including winning Busch Series and Cup races, after moving through the ranks of the Modifieds, the open wheeled cars still hold a special place in his heart.
“It was great to be back with the Modified guys and mix it up a little bit,” said Park. “Nothing beats running a Modified here at New Hampshire.”
Lia (#18) leads Flemke (#79) to the finish.
“This is our first good finish in a couple of races,” said Lia. “I’m happy with that and definitely can’t complain.”
GOOD NHIS RUN FOR FLEMKE
Although he lost the fourth position to Lia in the closing laps, the New Hampshire race was still a good run for Eddie Flemke. He has not always run well at the one-mile oval and was happy with a top five finish.
“When we needed a caution, we didn’t have one,” said Flemke. “If we had a caution at the end, we probably would have been in the top three, but hey to come out of here with a top five is good for us. Well, it’s good for me, not for us. The team’s better than that. We’re alright. We’ll just come back and go to the next race.”
Flemke now sits 20 points behind Tony Hirschman in the title fight with two races to go. Flemke wasn’t sure that he was going to gain any points at NHIS, but he’s happy to have not given many markers up either.
“We could have lost of lot,” said Flemke. “By all means, we lost a lot for awhile and we’re getting out of that hole.”
PRODUCE FINDS WAY TO VICTORY LANE
Steve Park looked right at home back in the seat of a Modified.
Speed 51 asked Park if he might be back in a Modified anytime soon, if his schedule allowed him to do so.
“I don’t know about soon, but I’d like to come back and at least finish a race,” said Park. “Who knows what’s going to happen.”
FLEMKE AND LIA BATTLE TO THE END
The battle between Donny Lia and Eddie Flemke in the final few laps of the race might have been the best on the track. Flemke passed Lia with five laps to go. With two laps remaining, Lia got alongside Flemke again and beat him to the finish line.
"That was fun,” said Lia. “I was just setting him up for the end. He did what I thought he would do. Once I got by him, I knew that he wasn’t going to press the issue because he’s concerned about points.
Lia has been fast in recent weeks, but has gotten run into from behind or caught up in other people’s wrecks and he has not finished well since winning the late summer race at Riverhead Speedway (NY).
BUSY BEERS WEEKEND PAYS OFF
It was a very long, but very productive, weekend for Eric Beers and his #19 team. They arrived at New Hampshire on Wednesday to check-in for Friday’s race. After rain washed out the scheduled event, Beers took a gamble and towed out of the track to head for western New York and Saturday’s Race of Champions Modified show at Oswego Speedway. The rescheduled Modified Series race was also rained out on Saturday at New Hampshire, so Beers and his team made it back to the one-mile oval in time for Monday’s make-up race where he finished seventh.
“It will be good to go home, I haven’t been there since Wednesday,” said Beers. “The car was good today, we ended up getting tight with 25 laps to go. I should have listened to my crew chief. I told me that we were going to get tight and wanted to free that car up, but I told him that we were pretty good. It was good until about 20 to go. We were running fourth and ended up seventh. All in all, winning that races and finishing seventh here was pretty great.”
Beers was very proud to have won the Race of Champions.
“We had a real good car,” said Beers. “Winning that race is amazing. The tradition, the history and the people who have won that race is just awesome. We’ve had a couple of chances to win before and now we finally got it.”
HOSSFELD ALSO HAS BUSY WEEKEND
Chuck Hossfeld might have had the quickest car at the end of the race. He made his way from the bottom part of the top ten to finish fourth and with a few more laps, he might have even gone further through the field.
Hossfeld sits ready to go before the NASCAR Modified event on Monday.
Ted Christopher didn’t have any bottles of Gatorade or PowerAide on the roof of his car in victory lane. He did however have two grapefruit.
And of course, there was a colorful story behind it.
“That’s for (Dr. Dick) Berggren and his guys (at Speedway Illustrated Magazine),” said Christopher. “They wanted to know why I drive so hard and the grapefruit are…the…well…instead of putting balls up there, we put grapefruit on the roof. We’ll let everyone else figure it out.”
“If the race would have kept going and going, we would have had something for them,” said Hossfeld. “Our car just all of a sudden came on like a light switch. After everyone pitted, the track took more rubber down and our car was fast all of a sudden. Maybe if the race went on, we would have had something for them. But, it’s easy to say like that after the race.”
Like Beers, Hossfeld also raced in Saturday night’s Race of Champions at Oswego Speedway (NY). He didn’t run both races with the same team. Hossfeld drove the #22 Car at Oswego and finished fourth and competed at New Hampshire behind the wheel of the familiar yellow Mystic Missile.
“I’m glad that this long weekend is finally over,” said Hossfeld. “It was a long week.”
Hossfeld also did not have the benefit of a plane for his road trip. All of his miles were logged on the ground, with some help from a friend.
“My buddy Greg Aumann drove me and was on top of his game more than I’ve ever seen,” said Hossfeld. “He’s got experience in this game and drove me around back and forth. He really made it easy for me. I’m not tired one bit, I got a good night’s rest and I had a lot of fun this weekend.”
All in all, it ended up as a satisfying weekend for Hossfeld.
“I’m happy for this team being as strong as we were at the end and I‘m happy for my team at home finishing fourth,” said Hossfeld. “It wasn’t a bad weekend.”
MONDAY RACE HAS A FEW NO SHOWS
Having the Modified race rescheduled for Monday threw teams for a loop. With mostly volunteer crews, several teams had to scramble to field a racecar, or work without a few crew members. A couple of teams, left early and did not come back.
Reggie Ruggiero, Charlie Pasteryak, Kevin Goodale, Gregg Shivers and Joe Czarnecki all qualified for the event, but left the track on Saturday and did not return to take the green flag.