Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine will be hosting their 70th race season in 2018. With the track reaching this big milestone, there will also be some big changes coming in 2018. The biggest change is seen in the scheduling, where NASCAR Nite drivers will be getting a break every third week of the month during the race season. This will give drivers from the Pro Series, Sport Series and the Wildcats division the opportunity to either explore different race tracks on their off weeks, or enjoy time away from the racetrack with their family and friends. In addition to the scheduling changes, there will be a newly-introduced series making a bigger presence at the track in 2018.
Danny Wolfe introduced the ‘Street Devils’ division last year at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The Street Devils division ran on select Thursday Night Thunder and NASCAR Nite’s in 2017. The division is composed of (once) street-legal cars racing for points, making the division more affordable for those with an interest in the sport of racing that don’t have a lot of financial backing. Defending champion Darryl Quinlan will be back to defend his title in 2018, racing in the 8-race Street Devils season. The division will be racing 3 times in June, two times in July and 3 times in August. Once again, drivers from the division will be competing on a mixture of both Thursday and Saturday nights. The season will begin on Thursday, June 14th and will conclude on Thursday, August 17th. The regular season will then be followed by a non-points shootout on Friday, August 31st.
The biggest series changes will be happening in the Wildcats division, where Ryan Hewins is making his big return to the speedway. Hewins was the 2015 champion in the Wildcats division, where he was a dominant force week after week. Fans haven’t seen much of Hewins at the speedway since 2015, so his return will give dedicated fans the opportunity to see a fan-favorite and former champion back out on the track once again, competing with some of the best in the series.
Another fan favorite, Lewis “Dirty Lew” Anderson, will be competing in the Wildcats division once again in 2018. Anderson calls the 2017 season “one of his worst”, where he wasn’t able to capture a feature victory during the season. Anderson finished third in the points in 2017 and recently went down to Florida for the Snowball Derby weekend, finishing fifth. Anderson is looking forward to rebuilding his car and getting back into the competitive spirit in 2018. 2017 Wildcats champion Adam Lovejoy will not be returning to the speedway in 2018. Lovejoy is reportedly running up at Wiscasset in 2018, where he has advanced from a Wildcat to a Late Model. 2017 Wildcats runner-up and 2016 Rookie of the Year Zach Nicholson also won’t be returning to Beech Ridge in 2017. Nicholson has advanced into a Late Model Sportsman and will be running at Lee USA Speedway in 2018. We will reportedly see the return of father/son duo Jason and Cody Webster in the Wildcats in 2018. Tanner McDougal is also reportedly moving up to the Wildcats division this upcoming season, making his transition from Thursday Night Thunder to NASCAR Nite.
Sally Gherardi will be back to defend her Sport Series title in 2018. Her returning competitors include Clyde Hennessey, Alex Lacognata, Matt Dow and Charlie Sanborn, who was a 4-time race winner in 2017.
Pro Series competitor Dan Winter has a new ride in 2018, where he will be partnering up with Window World for the season. He’s ditched his old red and black paint scheme for a new blue and white car, which won an award this past weekend at the Northeast Motorsports Expo in Augusta for the ‘Best Appearing Super Late Model’.
While defending track champion Reid Lanpher is looking to defend his title in 2018, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway veteran Dan “Naughty 40” McKeage is looking to improve in 2017. McKeage was inducted into the Beech Ridge Hall of Fame at the conclusion of the 2017 season and was also awarded with the “Award of Excellence” at the Northeast Motorsports Expo, joining the likes of Ricky Craven and other Maine racing legends. McKeage wasn’t happy about his performance on the track in 2017, and he’s looking forward to making improvements in 2018 that will help him get into Victory Lane once again.
The Beech Ridge season kicks off with the Pro All Star Series 200 on April 28th at 3:00 PM. The regular NASCAR Nite season opener is on May 5th at 7:00 pm, while the Thursday Night Thunder program doesn’t begin until June 14th at 7:00 pm.
The Thursday Night Thunder season will feature its typical 8-division program, which includes the NELCAR Legends division. TNT season will conclude on August 23rd, ending with an Autograph Night. Meanwhile, the regular NASCAR Nite season will conclude on September 8th. The track’s season will be capped off with the Pro All Star Series 150 on September 23rd.
With many scheduling and roster changes coming in 2018, it’s sure to be an exciting 2018 season at Beech Ridge! Join us on April 28th for the PASS season opener, which is sure to be a great event!
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