Beech Ridge Motor Speedway welcomed all 3 NASCAR Nite divisions back to the track this past Saturday for the second-to-last week of NASCAR Nite competition. With weather plaguing the area, the track made all attempts to get the full night of racing in and it all kicked off with the two 12-lap qualifying heats for the Wildcats division.
Kaleb Bean took off with the early lead in the first Wildcats heat. Kris Knox and Ray Letellier tangled on lap 4 in turns 1 and 2, but the field remained green as Ed Connolly joined Kaleb Bean at the front of the field.
Dan Bean and Joe Morse got together on lap 11 in turn 3, but the field remained green once again. Ed Connolly finally got the advantage over Kaleb Bean on the final lap of the heat, pulling to the lead. Ed Connolly took home the heat victory, followed by Kaleb Bean and Wade Kennedy.
Cole Watson pulled away with the early lead in the second Wildcats heat. By lap 2, points leader, Dave Cameron, was all over him for the lead. Cameron finally cleared him on lap 4 and quickly pulled away from the competition, extending his lead to 1/2 of a straightaway by lap 11. Cameron took home the heat victory, followed by Cole Watson and Nate Leavitt.
After all 3 fields were set, the Wildcats returned to the track for their 30-lap feature as the rain softly began coming down, with Ed Connolly taking off with the early lead. Dave Cameron took a spin on lap 5 in turn 4, miracuously avoiding contact with any of his competitors. The incident led to the first caution of the feature.
Wade Kennedy and Ed Connolly were head-to-head for the lead on the restart. Joe Morse was also on the move, breaking the top 3 on lap 13. By lap 20, he was head-to-head with Nate Leavitt for third. Wade Kennedy got the upper-hand on lap 21, pulling away with the lead over Ed Connolly. Mike Roe made hard contact with the turn 3 wall on lap 21 and took a slide through the dirt in turns 3 and 4, resulting in another caution.
Kaleb Bean faced troubles on the restart as he made contact with the turn 3 wall, resulting in another yellow flag.
Wade Kennedy took off with the lead on the restart, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders once again as Joe Morse and Nate Leavitt tangled in turn 2, leading to another caution.
Ed Connolly and Wade Kennedy were head-to-head for the lead again on the restart, with Connolly finally clearing Kennedy on lap 23. Dan Bean was also on the move in the closing laps, advancing into the runner-up spot on the final lap.
Ed Connolly took home the victory, scoring his first feature victory at Beech Ridge in 6 years. Dan Bean, Travis Lovejoy, Dave Cameron and Wade Kennedy rounded out the top five.
Simply by finishing the feature race, Dave Cameron wrapped up the 2019 championship in the Wildcats division, but there are still a handful of drivers battling it out for a top ten finish in the points, which will reserve their spot at the 2019 awards banquet.
The current top 10 in points is as follows:
28 Dave Cameron 883
36 Nathan Leavitt 813
45 Cole Watson 812
23 Joe Morse 801
1 Ed Connolly 798
00 Wade Kennedy 791
70 Dan Bean 773
24 Ray Letellier 722
8 Michael Roe 667
07 Mark Grantham 628
Unfortunately, the rain started pouring down after the Wildcats feature was complete, so finale week will feature double features for both the Pro Series and the Sport Series divisions.
See how the rest of the points race shakes up this coming Saturday, September 14th, at Beech Ridge! Adult admission is only $12, children 12 and under get in for free and the racing action kicks off at 7:00 pm.
See you there!