Drivers and teams returned to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday night for the track’s second consecutive week of 70-lap features in each division, a commemorative tribute to the track’s 70th annual season.
After being the highlight race last week, the Sport Series division was the first division to take to the track on Saturday night.
Taylor Pierce pulled away with the early lead in the first 12-lap heat, leaving all of the boys in the dust as she took off in her #21 machine.
Adam Lovejoy was quickly coming through the field, breaking into the top 3 on lap 8.
Taylor Pierce was on a rail, extending her lead to 1/2 straightaway on lap 10.
Pierce took home the heat victory, which was her first of the season.
Chasing the Checkered driver, Charlie Sanborn, took off with the early lead in the second Sport Series heat.
Bubba Pelton and Nick Campbell both faced troubles in the heat, retiring to the pits early.
Charlie maintained his pace at the front of the pack, taking home yet another heat victory.
Next up was the Pro Series, where Dan Winter powered into the early lead in the 12-lap heat.
Dalton Gagnon was all over him for the lead on lap 4, challenging him for the top spot on the outside on lap 5.
The two drivers made contact on lap 6 in turn 4, which allowed Gagnon to pull away with Scarborough Texas Roadhouse driver, Donnie Colpritt, Jr., in tow.
Nick Cusack encountered troubles during the heat, retiring to the pits on lap 10.
Dalton Gagnon continued his dominance at the front of the field, capturing the heat victory.
Dan “Naughty 40” McKeage pulled away with the early lead in the second Pro Series heat.
Curt Gerry was on a mission from the beginning, capturing the third spot by lap 2 after starting the heat toward the tail-end of the field.
Charlie Colby pulled off into the pits on lap 10, retiring from the heat early.
McKeage held off the competition, taking home the heat victory.
Joe Morse took control of the field in the early laps of the first Wildcats qualifying heat.
Nate Leavitt was on the move early, challenging Wade Kennedy for the runner-up spot on lap 3. After racing side-by side for a handful of laps, Leavitt finally cleared Kennedy for the spot on lap 8.
By lap 10, Leavitt was all over Morse for the top spot.
Morse managed to hold off the competition, capturing the heat victory.
Dave Cameron took the early lead in the second 12-lap Wildcats heat.
Josh Childs was all over Cody Webster for the runner-up spot on lap 4, making his way to his outside the following lap. He finally cleared Webster on lap 8, setting his sights on Dave Cameron at the front of the field.
By lap 10, Dave Cameron had extended his lead to nearly a full straightaway over Josh Childs. This resulted in Cameron taking home the final heat victory of the night.
After the fields were officially set, it was time for the 70-lap Sport Series feature.
Devin Curit took the early lead in the feature, pulling away from the competition.
The #85 of Kenny Harrison took a spin on lap 8 in turn 4, leading to the first caution of the feature.
As Devin Curit pulled away with the lead once more, trouble was brewing for Taylor Pierce a little further back in the field. Pierce took a spin on lap 12 in turn 4, miraculously avoiding making contact with any other drivers as the field remained green.
Charlie Sanborn was on a mission in the first half of the race, clearing Adam Lovejoy for third on lap 20. He then set his sights on the #84 of Matt Dow, stealing away the runner-up spot from him on lap 24.
After running a solid race, Adam Lovejoy took a spin on lap 29 in turn 2, clipping both Clyde Hennessey and Frank Wear. The incident led to another caution.
Curit elected the outside line for the restart, but Charlie Sanborn took over the lead on the inside.
By lap 31, Joe Pastore was all over the #1, challenging Charlie for the top spot. He took over the lead just two laps later, pulling away from the competition.
Alex Lacognata was bringing the heat on lap 45, fighting with Charlie Sanborn for the runner-up spot.
Dave Charest had a tough night, retiring to the pits early on lap 47.
With Sanborn and Lacognata battling it out for position behind him, Pastore was able to slowly pull away from the competition in the closing laps.
After battling his way back through the field in the second half of the feature, Kenny Harrison’s transmission broke on lap 62, causing the driver to retire from the race early.
Joe Pastore held off the competition, taking home his third feature victory of the season and taking over the points lead.
Charlie Sanborn, Alex Lacognata, Terry Merrill and Devin Curit rounded out the top five.
Donnie Colpritt took off with the initial lead in the Pro Series 70-lapper, but Corey Bubar was quick to steal it away from him.
Charlie Colby’s troubles continued during the feature race, where he backed into the turn 3 wall on lap 11. The red flag was brought out during this period for extended cleanup.
After the field got rolling once again, Donnie Colpritt took a spin on lap 15 in turn 4, clipping Curt Gerry. The incident led to yet another early-race caution.
There was a 4-way battle for the lead on the restart between Bubar, McKeage, Trevor Sanborn and Brandon Barker.
Dan McKeage and Corey Bubar made contact on the backstretch on lap 29 while battling or the lead, an incident which led to a mid-race caution.
Brandon Barker took over the lead on the restart.
Trevor Sanborn was all over him for the lead on lap 38, with Curt Gerry joining the battle for the top spot just a handful of laps later.
While Barker slightly pulled away at the front of the field, Curt Gerry began battling Sanborn for the runner-up spot, which he eventually took over on lap 56.
The leaders were once again locked into a 3-wide battle for the lead on lap 66.
Trevor Sanborn’s night ended with heartbreak as his car unexpectedly broke on lap 67, resulting in him retiring from the feature early.
This left Brandon Barker and Curt Gerry battling for the win at the front of the field. The drivers were completely door-to-door in the closing laps, with Barker beating Gerry to the line by 0.0014 seconds.
The margin of victory was one of the closest in track history, but also Barker’s first feature win at Beech Ridge in three years.
Corey Bubar, Calvin Rose, Jr. and David Oliver rounded out the top five.
With his runner-up finish, Curt Gerry was able to (slightly) extend his point lead over the #24 of Mike Rowe.
Nate Leavitt took off with the early lead in the 70-lap Wildcats feature.
Josh Childs was on the move early, breaking the top 3 on lap 13.
Dave Vaughn also showed strength in the early laps of the race, powering into the runner-up spot on lap 13.
Dave Cameron broke the top 5 on lap 15, searching for more.
The leaders already began approaching lap traffic by lap 21, setting the pace.
The #71 of Gary Levesque took a spin on the front stretch on lap 22, leading to the first caution of the feature.
Dave Vaughn took over the lead on the restart, pulling away from his competitors.
Nate Leavitt and Josh Childs made contact on lap 25 in turn 4, resulting in Leavitt taking a spin. The incident led to yet another early-race caution.
While Dave Vaughn pulled away once more, Oxford Plains Speedway driver Zach Bowie was on a roll, breaking into the top four at the halfway mark.
After his previous incident, Josh Childs was back in action by lap 38, clearing Dave Cameron for the runner-up spot.
The #84 of Troy Morse took a spin on lap 38 in turn 1, leading to a mid-race caution.
Wade Kennedy shot across the front stretch on lap 41, making hard contact with the turn 1 wall. Ed Connolly and Lewis Anderson also made contact on the front stretch, resulting in Anderson making impact with the sand pit in front of the start/finish line. Thankfully, both drivers walked away from their cars under their own power.
Jason Gammon and Nate Leavitt both took spins on lap 45 in turn 2, resulting in yet another caution.
By lap 55, Josh Childs was all over Dave Vaughn, challenging him for the top spot.
The leaders began approaching lap traffic on lap 60, but Vaughn was able to hold off Childs for the victory. Dave Cameron, Zach Bowie and Cody Webster rounded out the top five.
The runner-up finish for Josh Childs would extend his point lead over Cody Webster, but the official point standings have not been posted yet.
With just one week remaining in the 2018 NASCAR Nite season, the point battles are heating up more and more in each and every division.
Join us on Saturday, September 8th, for the season finale! You don’t want to miss it!
Championship Night is also my little sister Amber’s 13th birthday, so please make sure to stop and wish her a Happy Birthday if you see us in the stands on Saturday!
Get out there and support your local short track.
We hope to see you there!
Thank you again to Drown Excavation and Four Season Synthetic for their endless support for Chasing the Checkered. Contact Drown Excavation for all of your demolition and excavation needs and Four Season Synthetic for all of your oil, lube and filter needs!