Soak It Up: Austin Beers Gets First Whelen Modified Tour Win At Richmond Raceway 

Austin Beers celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 150 Saturday at Richmond Raceway (Photo: NASCAR)

Last year Austin Beers established himself as the top first year driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

And two races into the 2023 season, the 2022 series Rookie of the Year can now be counted on the list of series winners. 

Beers, of Northampton, Pa., parlayed a poll position into victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Virginia Is For Racing Lovers 150 Saturday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. The race was postponed from Friday because of rain. 

Beers, who made his Whelen Modified Tour debut in 2021, was making his 22nd series start on Saturday at Richmond. Before Saturday his best series finish – and only top-five – was a third place at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. in August of last year. 

It was also the first series victory for the Mike Murphy owned KLM Motorsports team. Beers joined his father Eric – a two-time Whelen Modified Tour winner – on the list of series race winners.

 “My dad just kind of stepped aside from our family car,” Austin Beers said. “That kind of propelled me to get this ride with [car owner] Mike Murphy. Without that — him kind of giving up his career — I would not be here today at all. I would still be racing at my local short track. I can’t thank him enough for that.”

Austin Beers took the lead from Doug Coby on lap 128 and never trailed again. He led a race high 102 laps on the day. 

“I got a little nervous there in the middle of the run, Doug was really good,” Beers said. “But we made that last adjustment, and it was perfect.”

JB Fortin of Holtsville, N.Y. was second, marking his best career series finish over 55 starts. Before Saturday Fortin had one top-five finish with the series, a third place at Jennerstown (Pa.) Speedway in May of last year. 

Max McLaughlin of Mooresville, N.C. was third.

Justin Bonsignore (Holtsville, N.Y.) and Patrick Emerling (Orchard Park, N.Y.) rounded out the top-five respectively. 

Former NASCAR Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte was sixth. Ron Silk of Norwalk, who won the season opening event on Feb. 11 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, was seventh. 

Bryan Narducci of Colchester, who was making his series debut, was eighth. Cory DiMatteo of Farmington, who was also making his series debut, was 21st. 

Austin Beers and Silk are tied at the top of the Whelen Modified Tour standings after two events with 85 points. Bonsignore is third with 84 points. 


  1. Decent race. So glad I didn’t go, last minute call.

    Floracing, need more sound of the engines and lower the volume of the announcers. Maybe too much magic going on.

    The image on the TV must synch with what the announcers are taking about.

    What happened to the 7NY? It went backwards rather suddenly. Good to see JBon up front.

    Interesting how cars got better and got bad.

    Wish Hirschman had time to practice and get his car up to speed.

    Great job for the 01, running at the end, only 6 laps down. Liz must be so proud.

    Great to see the V4 out there… like a deja vu all over again. Hope they get that car running and win some races. Anybody know what Connolly plans on for the season?

    Next stop Monadnock!!!!

  2. The good- great to see the 64 get their first win. Good battle for second at the end, great tv coverage on that battle by Flo. The bad – too many caution laps in the beginning- almost turned it off. Disappointed in Money and Dimatteo runs, not sure what happened on that last pit stop with Dimatteo

  3. wmass01013 says

    I predict the 64 team will win a WMT Tittle in the next few seasons, maybe even this yr, that Kid has Talent!!!
    I know Fortin has a rather dubious reputation but i thought the racing with the 51 and 77 was hard racing, yes some contacts but that’s what racing is in 2023, his car was FAST the last segment.
    Slow start with yellows but overall a very entertaining race, Mad dog should be fun.
    Thompson and NHMS shows next , will Big T get more than 23 Mods??????

  4. Suitcase Jake says

    Congratulations to Mike Murphy and Team… LONG time coming… Also to Austin Beers…Gained lots of experience last year running strong at end of the season & now Getting that all important FIRST WIN… Bryan Narducci showed what kind of talent he has and looked good in OLD BLUE …Fortin passed 10 cars in last 22 laps … He was hooked up at the end..Mad Max in the 77 ran strong also… Good race.. Just wish Flo had an Interview with winning driver and Owner at the end…??? usually they do Victory Lane interviews ??? was Nascar blocking them from doing so ??? something going on there..?? I saw MRN and Nascar crew interview the Driver but no FLO RACING..??? strange…because Flo always has a Winner Interview after the Checkers..???

  5. Maybe not the perfect NWMT race but not far from it.

    -Coss and Dodge modified guys to the core. Great overview of the field with some details of the teams that were interesting before the race. Dodge was strong, something to marvel at considering what he’s been through.
    -the camera and Coss missed the race for 2n,3rd and 4th at the end a shame. Otherwise the multi camera production was first rate and light years ahead of the one camera deal used for so many races. Multi camera switching each lap definitely make the race more enjoyable.
    -Seemed like a lot of cautions because the ones at the beginning were lengthy. Actually only 5 or so, with the center part of the race pure action with a lot of individual battles for position.
    The last caution perfectly timed to set up a good ending.
    -yes cautions but no real wrecks that took out cars in contention. A lot of battles for postion……a real lot.
    -Most of the big guns in the series, the ones expected to contend for the title each had their shot in the front but failed to stick. None was hampered by significant contact and each ended the race in the place they deserved. A first time winner for a team that’s been doing the tour a long time, a journeyman coming in second and a popular part timer third. Very similar to the race at Richmond last year where drivers like Catalano, Hossfeld, Ebersole and Rypkema ended up in the top 5. For some reason Richmond is inviting to teams that are not normally considered favorites.
    -JB Fortin ruffled some feathers that resulted in a sidebar after the race but no wreck, no foul. The announcers highlighting Beers white flag lap then coming to the checkers in dominant fashion you could argue was the right call seeing as how it was special. Still missing the race for 2nd, 3rd and 4th that caused the post race stir was a missed opportunity.
    -SMART regular and NASCAR Hall of famer B. Labonte highlighted in some good racing action and turned in a good finish. Any time you have that kind of name recognition in a race it’s important. The fact he’s a SMART regular doing good in a NWMT race also noteworthy.
    -Narducci piloting the 3 very nicely the entire race with a save at one point, the 7ny so brilliant last year dropping like a lead balloon at the end all interesting to watch. Coby’s finish as well as Heady’s in the SMART race at South Boston more evidence that whatever magic the 7ny had last year didn’t carry over to 2023.

    Consider watching the race again and blast through the cautions. For the purists in the audience that was very close to a pure race with most every caution a spin or otherwise not a multi car competition destroyer.

  6. Fast Eddie says

    Great to see the 64 team victory lane!! Anyone know what happened to Ryan Neuman? Qualified 11th but wasn’t on the “results” list?

  7. Capt. Mike Qbvious says

    Fast Eddie,

    I read on social media that Ryan’s daughter had a race elsewhere which he went to instead. Not sure if anyone here can verify this.

  8. Rafter fan says

    Is Austin Beers scheduled to race for Doug DiPisa in the Tri-Track series?

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Thanks Capt.Mike.

  10. Cast. Mike Obvious wrote,

    “I read on social media that Ryan’s daughter had a race elsewhere which he went to instead. Not sure if anyone here can verify this.”

    Really? Do we really need to verify this?

    And if we did verify this, either way or any way, would it matter?

  11. Rafter Fan,
    Not sure on that.

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