Northampton, PA. . . . . Northampton, PA, NASCAR Modified Driver competed in the Sunoco Race of Champions and the King of the Mountain at Pocono Mountain Speedway this weekend running in over 300 laps of racing. The team decided to take the 94...
Northampton, PA. . . . . Northampton, PA, NASCAR Modified Driver competed in the Sunoco Race of Champions and the King of the Mountain at Pocono Mountain Speedway this weekend running in over 300 laps of racing.
The team decided to take the 94 Modified up to the Race of Champions to compete in the Small Block Race. Eric was running in a qualified position in his heat when he got stuck behind a slower car that the competitor behind him used as a pick. This meant running a consi to get in the feature which Eric did and captured the last qualifying spot. Eric finished 2nd in his Modified heat in the #19 Modified and redrew the outside pole.
Eric started the Small Block race in 32nd position and just waited his time, as attrition played a big part in front of him. He ran a smart race to bring the Sunoco Race Fuels, Horwith Racing #94 home for a 8th place finish.
The 51st annual Sunoco Race of Champions took the green flag a 10:08 PM on Saturday night with Eric running second for the 1st 75 laps behind Tim Mangus. On lap 75 Tim Mangus spun coming out of Turn 4 handing Eric the lead. Eric led the 200 lap race until caution flew on lap 122. Pit strategy is key at this race, for example eventual winner George Kent pitted on lap 51 and had worked his way up to 3 when Eric pitted for fresh rubber. Eric came out of the pits in about the 25th position on the restart. He was the car on the move, passing inside, outside - the car was hooked up. Within 20 laps (including a few cautions) Eric was up to 8th when something mechanical went wrong, relegating the car to the pits on lap 154, dashing any chance of that first RoC victory even though he had the fastest car on the track.
Not enough sleep and a few cups of coffee later, the team headed from Oswego, NY to Hazleton PA for the Consolation Race for the 100 Lap Modified King of the Mountain Show at Pocono Mountain Speedway. Time trials were run on Saturday, setting the top 15 in the feature and on Sunday they ran a last chance race to fill the field. Eric qualified the 94 Modified with just a change in tires. After qualifying the team got a chance to set up the car for the feature. Eric started the race in the 20th position and used the same strategy that he used during the 2001 season when he was crowned Modified Champion - "pass on the outside and stay out of trouble." Eric had worked his way up to the second position when lapped traffic and not enough laps remaining had Eric follow winner Matt Hirschman past the Checkered flag.
Overall, it was an exciting, disappointing and satisfactory weekend for Eric Beers, who ran hard and had a chance to win in all the races and kept the cars in one piece.