Happy Hour: Austin Beers Wins Whelen Mod Tour Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 At Lancaster 

Austin Beers celebrates in victory lane after winning the Whelen Modified Tour Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 Saturday at Lancaster Motorplex (Image: FloRacing)

On April 1 Austin Beers scored his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory, winning the division’s second event of the season at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va. 

It was the first Whelen Modified Tour win for longtime KLM Motorsports team owner Mike Murphy. 

A week after the win Murphy said: “I think we were resigned to the fact that we might not [ever] win. I guess I just felt like it might not ever happen. I thought we’d be that team that, you know, never won a race, but never lost a party.” 

Saturday the party was back on as Beers made sure he and his team owner wouldn’t be any sort of one-hit wonders. 

Beers held off the furious challenges of Matt Hirschman over the final 10 laps to get his second victory of the season in the Whelen Modified Tour Nu-Way Auto Parts 150 at Lancaster (N.Y.) Motorplex. 

Beers, of Northampton, Pa., dedicated the victory to the team’s former crew member Nate Appell Jr.. The 19-year old Appell was killed in a car crash in Westbrook, Ct on July 4. 

“This is for Nate,” Beers said. “He was our crew member. We lost him last month. This is for him. And my mom was here today and she had to go to the hospital, so this is for her.” 

For Beers it was a return to confidence after struggling at times since the Richmond victory. 

“It means a lot,” Beers said. “With the races we’ve had since we switched the [tire] compound, we’ve been struggling with it. Just get back on track like we we were at Richmond.” 

Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., was second and series points leader Ron Silk of Normal was third. 

On lap 22 Hirschman got by pole-sitter Justin Bonsignore off of turn four to go to the lead. 

The race then saw Hirschman drive away during a long green flag before caution flew on lap 81. 

The leaders all headed to pit road under caution. Hirschman’s team went to work making adjustments on his car on pit road, dropping him to sixth place. Beers won the race off pit road. Bonsignore got out second. Silk, who came to pit road in fifth, left in third. 

“This team did a hell of a job,” Beers said. “A hell of a pit stop. They won me this race.” 

On the restart Beers held the top spot, letting the battles begin behind him rage. Silk got by Bonsignore for second on lap 94 with Doug Coby following him to third place. 

With Beers fully in control up front, Silk in second and Hirschman third, caution flew on lap 129 for an Anthony Sesely wreck. The crash necessitated a red flag for clean up. 

Beers was able to get away on the lap 138 restart with Hirschman getting by Silk for second. 

Hirschman was on Beers’ bumper for the final 10 laps, but couldn’t find a way back to the lead. 

“We were just making up the lost ground from the pit stop,” Hirschman said. “Obviously to make a better race we needed a caution. I didn’t need a caution, but the race needed a caution. We just gave up a little more than I would have liked to have seen. We got them all back but one and just came up short at the end. I didn’t have enough at the end to make a pass. I was able to pressure a little bit, but with each lap he was actually starting to inch away. I would have had to got him right away off the restart. Just didn’t get it done tonight.” 

Silk, held tight to his points lead over Bonsignore with the third place run. 

“I’m satisfied with it,” Silk said. “This isn’t one of my favorite race tracks. I struggle a little bit getting around here. But I’m happy to come out of here with a podium.” 

Bonsignore ended up fifth and Chuck Hossfeld rounded out the top-five.

Silk, who came into the event holding an 8-point advantage over Bonsignore at the top of the standings, finished the night with the same advantage.

Beers, who came into the night 46 points off the lead, moved past Coby for third in the standings and now sits 39 points behind Silk. Coby finished seventh and his gap to the lead grow from 38 points to 42 points.


  1. And with a hand full of laps to go the Goodfella favorite driver the 51 slams into the car in front of him turns him sideways right in front of the 7 car good work to grab himself a few more points.

  2. Another one in the win column for Austin, Murph and the team. Great job guys!

  3. 🥃🥃🥃 Liz Cherokee 🥃🥃🥃 says

    If my calculations are as good as my legal briefs, Melissa is either now tied for 13th or 14th in points. Great job! It’s late, so I think I’ll have a quick nightcap to celebrate!

  4. I wish someone could explain to me how the 64 goes from what it had been for years and years to what they are now. Can a driver alone take a car from an also ran to a contender? Does Beers and his supporters bring fresher engines, better components and better setups to the team? Or all of the above?
    Is it overstating that the Beers/64 team is one of the most remarkable turn arounds in the more recent modified racing era? The only example I can think of that comes close might be Corey DiMatteo taking over in the SK11. Where at one time Flemke’s creation was a fixture starting in front and going backward it now starts in the back and moves up.
    Good drivers like Pitkat, Lutz and Nocella to name a few have hopped into different rides without producing miracles. Yet Beers has. What’s up with that?

  5. Liz Cherokee,
    Your calculations are correct. Melissa sits 13th in the standings, tied with Anthony Sesely. Each of them has 221 points.

  6. Suitcase Jake says

    Doug , It’s the combination ..Young talented driver with racing in the veins. Beer’s family very much a good tradition of winning races and great friends and live on same street as Hirschman’s who are Troyer/ set up & repair shop for that area .. They had knowledge of Lancaster already in the “notebook” along with .. Sly S. in your corner with the knowledge he has is huge. The amount of races He Won with Mighty Mike Stefanick is amazing ..His Dad Eric was a really good shoe too… Car Owner not afraid to spend money or miss a good time , Win or Lose… If it was anyone other than Beers leading , Big money would have forced it in there down low , which he had a couple of chances after the last restart if you watch the replay , Beers went a little wide a few times off of 4… to gain a good arc into 1… kinda leaves the door open down low .. but Matt didn’t take advantage of that early opportunity and later on Beers pulled away at the late stages…Beers has a great future ahead of him in the Tour Mods and open shows..Very talented, very clean …Good pit crew also got him off pit road first which is huge at Lancaster … Look for them to be strong at Langley also a track they have a Good notebook for.. See what they have for the HighBanks at Thompson….?

  7. Doug – 64 team has been around .. a long time. It was a matter of time when they would start to figure it out. Austins dad and sly are smart guys. Just goes to
    Show a basic troyer modified design that hasn’t changed in 20 years and a set of pro shocks can WIN. Just goes to show you don’t need the “ Future of modifieds .. LFR “ with 5 thousand dollar shocks that may fall apart after a race or two and some fancy pull down machine 🤣 keep it simple stupid . Congrats 64 team

  8. Fast Eddie says

    Didnt see the race, but I’d bet part of the victory to amount of Beers wheel time against Hirschman in the ROC and Mahoning, he knows how to run against him more than most.

  9. What can be said about the top 6 cars they’re all first class modified teams and all deserving of being where they are in the standings. Then Hirschman a part timer in 7th having missed two races. Fortin in 8th missing two and soon to miss more. Heagy has raced in every event, comes in at nine but his average finish is 19. Then more part timers and it’s not until Fifield at 14 until you get to a car that’s been at all 10 events.
    Fifield inhabits her own space in the hearts and minds of race fans. Otherwise the standings after the first 6 have meaning only for the purpose of determining payouts at the end of the season. Now a patchwork of teams picking their own spots with the season long championship battle being a lower priority.
    Is it sad it’s come to this? Not in my view. The mentality in tour modified racing these days is teams empowered to make their own schedule depending on what’s right for them. Promoters providing a menu of options for them to chose from. The NWMT a dinosaur in regard to their championship model but that doesn’t mean any given race can’t be loaded with talent and the race riveting.
    It’s just a fact that there are more teams in the tour modified class of race car then there were 20 years ago and by a lot. It just doesn’t seem that way because the tour modified universe no longer spins around the NWMT. On the whole it’s worked out pretty well hasn’t it?

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