Coming into the championship night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, the Pro Series championship race was the closest of all 3 NASCAR Nite divisions. Entering the night, Trevor Sanborn held a 6 point lead over Corey Bubar, 13 point lead over Dave Farrington, Jr. and 23 point lead over Dave Oliver. With 2 feature races remaining, the championship crown was up for grabs among these 4 drivers.
Donnie Colpritt, Jr. and Dave Farrington, Jr. scored heat victories before the previous week’s rain out. With the field already set, it was time for the 40-lap makeup feature. Gary Smith took off with the early lead of Donnie Colpritt, Jr. Colpritt, Travis Buzzell and Dave Oliver were neck & nech for the runner-up spot on lap 10, with Farrington, Jr. joining the battle a handful of laps later.
Gary Smith had checked out over the course of the race, leading by half a straightaway by lap 25. Donnie Colpritt, Jr. finally pulled away with the runner-up spot on lap 25 as Travis Buzzell and Dave Oliver filed in behind him. Corey Bubar cleared point leader, Trevor Sanborn, for sixth with just two laps to go. The maneuver scored Bubar 2 valuable points over the points leader. Gary Smith sailed into the victory, picking up his second feature win of the 2019 season. Donnie Colpritt, Jr., Dave Oliver, Travis Buzzell and Dave Farrington, Jr. rounded out the top five.
The Pro Series had a brief break following their first feature race as the Wildcats and Sport Series took on their qualifying heats. When it came time, Bill Rodgers pulled away with the early lead in the first Pro Series qualifying heat. Mike Rowe was also on the move in the first half of the race, making his way into the runner-up spot on lap 5. Rodgers took home the heat victory, followed by Mike Rowe and Travis Buzzell.
Dave Oliver powered into the early lead in the second qualifying heat as Corey Bubar quickly shot into the runner-up spot behind him. By lap 3, Bubar was challenging Oliver for the lead. Dave Oliver managed to hold him off, capturing the heat victory. Corey Bubar and Dave Farrington, Jr. rounded out the top 3 as Trevor Sanborn finished in fourth.
Going into the feature, Corey Bubar had cut Trevor Sanborn’s point lead down to 3 points and Dave Farrington, Jr. had cut his deficit down to 8 points.
Bill Rodgers pulled away with the early lead in the 50-lap Pro Series feature, the final feature race of the 2019 race season. Donnie Colpritt, Jr. took a spin on lap 2 in turn 2, leading to an early-race caution.
Bill Rodgers pulled away with the lead once again on the restart. Trevor Sanborn was grasping onto his point lead, clearing Dave Farrington, Jr. for fifth on lap 7. Dave Oliver was also on the move, advancing into the runner-up spot over Mike Rowe on lap 12. Gary Smith and championship contender, Corey Bubar, made contact on lap 22 in turn 4. Bubar cut down a tire during the incident, forcing him to the pits and causing him to lose valuable track position.
Bubar returned to the track before the green and Dave Oliver and Bill Rodgers began battling it out for the top spot on the restart. Meanwhile, Dave Farrington, Jr. was slowly creeping his way through the field, climbing up to third as Trevor Sanborn fell back slightly and was struggling to make it back into the top five over the course of the second half of the race.
Dave Oliver Finally cleared Bill Rodgers for the lead on lap 27. Corey Bubar wasn’t giving up a little further back, clearing Gary Smith for seventh on lap 32, putting him just one spot behind Trevor Sanborn. The clock was ticking for both Sanborn and Bubar as the laps began to wind down and both drivers struggled to advance in position.
Dave Oliver sailed into the victory, adding another checkered to his impressive finishes in 2019. Bill Rodgers, Dave Farrington, Jr., Travis Buzzell and Mike Rowe rounded out the top five.
After the race was complete and the points were tallied, Dave Farrington, Jr. was crowned the 2019 track champion, beating out Dave Oliver by just one point.
But, NASCAR does not count heat points toward their championship points system and the 125 lap “blanket race” for Beech Ridge is a points race for the state of Maine NASCAR championship. Given these statistics, Dave Oliver was crowned as the 2019 state of Maine NASCAR champion following Saturday’s events.
The official “track” point standings in the Pro Series were as follows:
1. Dave Farrington, Jr. 947
2. David Oliver 946
3. Trevor Sanborn 945
4. Corey Bubar 940
5. Travis Buzzell 909
6. Gary Smith 904
7. Mike Rowe 891
8. Nick Cusack 878
9. Donnie Colpritt 874
10. Bill Rodgers 862
There was a wild and unexpected shakeup to the Pro Series championship race on finale night and it’ll be interesting seeing how it all shapes up again in 2020!