Team owner Dave DeLange confirmed Friday that his team, DeLange Racing, will not compete full-time with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2013.
DeLange, of Lockport, N.Y., had fielded a car for Eric Beers, who finished sixth in the Whelen Modified Tour standings driving for the organization in 2012.
“Right now we will not be returning to the [Whelen Modified] Tour next year,” DeLange said. “There’s a myriad of reasons. One is Eric spends a lot of time working. He has to put in a lot of overtime. He’s on the road a lot and he’s a very hands on guy. It’s made it very difficult on him with his family obligations and so on. And as far our situation, goes, frankly I’m getting beat up with the travel. We live near Buffalo, N.Y. and the closest races for us are six and seven hours away. It’s tough and it’s started to beat me up a bit. That’s another factor.”
DeLange began competing on the Modified Tour in 2008 with driver Erick Rudolph. After parting ways with Rudolph after the 2008 season, DeLange and Beers connected for the 2009 season. DeLange shared the responsibility of fielding a car for Beers in 2009 with fellow team owner Bob Katon Jr. Beers drove to an eighth place in the standings in 2009. DeLange then teamed with owner John Blewett Sr. in 2010 to field cars for Beers, who finished ninth in the standings that year.
DeLange has fielded cars full-time as the sole owner for the season for the last two years for Beers. The team was third in the Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2011.
“The Tour has become not fun any more,” DeLange said. “It’s costing us more and more money to run on the Tour. My opinion, and this is strictly my opinion, I believe that NASCAR has lost sight of who we are. And by we I mean, the Modifieds. We’re weekend racers and we don’t have full-time paid crews like a Sprint Cup operation or a Nationwide operation. The financial burden has been very tough. They change the rules at the drop of a hat and changing those rules always costs us money. The up and coming year  we’ve got to go to a new seat, we’ve got make adjustments to the car itself and all these things cost money. There’s a price tag to everything and it has become very very difficult with everything they do.
“I’ve enjoyed the Tour, I’ve been able to meet a lot of nice people. There’s nobody better than the Eddie Flemke’s and the Jamie Tomaino’s and the Jimmy Blewett’s. I’ll miss racing with those people, I’ll miss interacting with those people, but we won’t miss a lot of the stuff that goes along with the NASCAR operation.”
DeLange said he will continue to work with Beers, of Northampton, Pa. He will field a car full-time for Beers next season at Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Pa.
“Mahoning is a great place to race, it’s a lot of fun,” DeLange said. “It’s a throwback to the old days, which I miss greatly. It’s a very enjoyable.”
He said the team will also run special events at Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster, N.Y., just outside of Buffalo. He said he doesn’t rule out the possibility of making selected starts on the Modified Tour.
“A lot will depend on what it looks like cost-wise to make the changes to the car that are necessary for racing with NASCAR next year,” DeLange said.
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