The 2018 NASCAR Nite season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway was plagued with a string of mid-season rain out’s, which shortened the season by a handful of weeks.
The racing God’s have blessed Scarborough for the past three weeks, allowing NASCAR Nite to go off without a hitch at Southern Maine’s premier race track.
Drivers and teams persevered through the weather all season, which came to a conclusion this past Saturday, September 8th.
The night’s schedule of events mirrored the opening night of the track’s 70th season, with the Wildcats hitting the track first for their 12-lap heats.
Lewis “Dirty Lew” Anderson rocketed into the early lead in the first heat, showing some late-season strength after a trying season for the #81 team.
Nate Leavitt powered into the runner-up spot on lap 9, followed by Leavitt challenging Anderson for the top spot the following lap.
Lewis Anderson was able to hold him off, rolling into the heat victory.
Dave Cameron took off with the early lead in the second Wildcats heat.
Point leader Josh Childs was on the move mid-heat, sneaking into the top 5 on lap 5. He continued his pursuit to the front the following lap, making his way up to fourth.
Chaz Briggs was back in the field on Saturday, breaking the top 5 by lap 7.
By lap 10, Josh Childs was sitting pretty in the runner-up spot with Chaz following close behind.
Dave Cameron held off his competitors, capturing the heat victory.
Taylor Pierce held the early lead in the first 12-lap Sport Series heat, with Mike St. Pierre quickly making his way into the runner-up spot.
Taylor was able to hold off the competition, taking home her second consecutive heat victory in the division.
Clyde Hennessey ran away with the early lead in the second Sport Series heat.
Top points contender Frank Wear faced troubles early, taking a spin on lap 5 in turn 2. This led to the first caution of the night.
Chasing the Checkered driver, Charlie Sanborn, showed strength on the restart, powering into the runner-up spot on the restart.
Clyde Hennessey was able to hold off Charlie Sanborn and Joe Pastore, reeling in the heat victory.
Nick Cusack took off with the early lead in the first Pro Series heat, but Dalton Gagnon was slowly reeling him in throughout the race.
Gagnon pulled to Cusack’s outside on the final lap, challenging him for the top spot.
Cusack edged him out by a nose, capturing the heat win.
Trevor Sanborn took off with the early lead in the final heat of the season.
Dan McKeage and Bill Rodgers made contact while battling for position on lap 5 in turn 1. McKeage returned the favor to Rodgers on the backstretch, giving the #54 car a love tap. Rodgers bounced back in turn 3, sending McKeage for a spin through the dirt. The incident led to the first caution of the heat.
The dust settled after the restart, as Trevor Sanborn was able to hold off the competition for the heat victory.
After the Valenti Modified Racing Series completed their heat races, it was go-time for all 3 weekly divisions.
Lewis Anderson took off with the early lead in the 30-lap Wildcats feature, but Wade Kennedy quickly stole it away from him in the early laps of the race.
Drivers were 3-wide for fifth on lap 7, with Dave Vaughn capturing the spot over his competitors. Vaughn continued his pursuit to the front the following lap, breaking the top 4.
Cody Webster rook a spin on lap 11 in turn 2. Dave Cameron and the #84 of Troy Morse also made contact this lap, resulting in Dave Cameron taking a trip to the pits. The two incidents led to the first caution of the feature.
As Wade Kennedy took off with the lead once more, Nate Leavitt beat out Lewis Anderson for the runner-up spot on the restart.
Dave Cameron and Troy Morse got into each other on the front stretch after the restart, seemingly continuing their spat from a few laps prior. The incident led to yet another caution.
While battling for position, Lewis Anderson and Dave Vaughn made contact on lap 16 in turn 1, resulting on Anderson taking a hard spin into the turn 1 sand pile. After a solid night on the track, Anderson’s chances of winning the feature were becoming more slim. The yellow was brought out as Anderson’s #81 car was removed from the sand pile.
Dave Vaughn made his way to the inside of Wade Kennedy on lap 19, challenging him for the top spot. He advanced to the lead the following lap, pulling away from his competitors.
Vaughn took home his second consecutive feature victory in the division. Wade Kennedy, Nate Leavitt, Josh Childs and Joe Morse rounded out the top five.
With a solid third-place finish, Josh Childs took home his first career Beech Ridge championship with the #03 machine.
Cody Webster, Dave Cameron, Cole Watson and Nate Leavitt rounded out the top 5 in points.
The Sport Series division was up next with their 35-lap feature.
Mike St. Pierre took off with the early lead in the feature.
Curt Gleason took a spin on the front stretch on lap 2, but the field stayed green as he was able to get going once again.
Devin Curit was on a mission in the early laps, challenging St. Pierre for the top spot on lap 8.
Taylor Pierce took a spin on the backstretch on lap 13, leading to the first caution of the feature.
As Devin Curit stole away the lead on the restart, point leader Joey Pastore also powered into the runner-up spot.
Charlie Sanborn had fought his way through the field, climbing into the fourth spot on lap 17.
Pastore and Curit began their battle for the top spot on lap 21, with Pastore jumping to Curit’s inside.
By lap 30, there was a 2-car breakaway at the front of the field with Curit and Pastore still battling it out.
Devin Curit was able to hold off Joey Pastore for the victory, capturing his first feature victory of the 2018 season. Frank Wear, Clyde Hennessey and Alex Lacognata rounded out the top five.
With his runner-up finish, Joey Pastore clinched his first-ever Sport Seriees championship, capping off a bittersweet season for the #20p team.
Frank Wear, Charlie Sanborn, Terry Merrill and Clyde Hennessey rounded out the top five in points.
After the Sport Series feature concluded, the Pro Series drivers pulled onto the track for their final 40-lap feature of the 2018 season.
Dalton Gagnon stole the early lead away from Nick Cusack, pulling away from his competitors.
Corey Bubar was on the move mid-race, pulling close to Gagnon’s bumper on lap 19.
Donnie Colpritt, Jr. took a spin on lap 19 in turn 4, leading to the first caution of the feature.
Corey Bubar took over the lead on the restart as Gary Smith fell back to fifth in the #75 machine.
Trevor Sanborn joined Corey Bubar and Dalton Gagnon at the front of the field on lap 25, jumping into the battle for the top spot.
Bill Rodgers blew up on lap 31, retiring his car to the pits shortly after.
Gary Smith made his way to the inside of Mike Rowe for the fourth spot on lap 38, taking over the position the following lap. The move set Rowe within an arm’s length of point leader Curt Gerry, who was hanging out mid-pack for the majority of the race, avoiding any potential incidents on the track.
Corey Bubar took home the feature victory, finishing out the 2018 season exactly how he had started it. Dalton Gagnon, Trevor Sanborn, Gary Smith and Mike Rowe rounded out the top five.
With his safe and smart decision making Championship Night, Curt Gerry captured his second career Pro Series Championship. The Championship is Gerry’s second track title in three years.
Mike Rowe, Gary Smith, Trevor Sanborn and Corey Bubar rounded out the top five in points.
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway’s 70th annual season certainly didn’t disappoint, as we saw two brand-new champions in 2018 as well as one repeat champion.
The season was full of exciting racing action in all three divisions, which heated up more and more with each continuing week.
As we roll into the off-season, it will be interesting seeing what changes are in store for 2019.
Until then, there are plenty of races remaining in 2018 at different race tracks throughout New England and even at Beech Ridge, where the track is hosting a Pro All Star Series race and open racing events in just two short weeks.
Get out there, explore a new track and support short track racing!
Here’s to 2019!
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!