In addition to the traditional “NASCAR Nite” divisions, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway has hosted open competition, non-points “Thursday Night Thunder” divisions for the past two weeks. Last week, we saw a lot of returning competitors and new faces in Victory Lane. Week 2 was no different as all divisions brought the excitement to Scarborough.
The day started out with a 20-lap Beetle Bugs feature. Ed Johnson powered away with the early lead over Derek McKeen. Lizotte was on McKeen’s heels in the early laps, overtaking the runner-up spot on lap 2 before setting his sights on the leader.
While the battle was brewing for the lead, Darryl Quinlan and Adam Warnock were all over Derek McKeen’s back bumper, challenging for position. Warnock made his way to McKeen’s inside on lap 14, taking over the third place spot.
Brandon Lizotte had finally caught up to Ed Johnson on lap 16, battling him for the lead before taking over the top spot the following lap. Darryl Quinlan’s troubles from week 1 brewed over into week 2 as he retired to the pits on lap 18. Brandon Lizotte was able to hold off his competitors, scoring his second win in two weeks in the division. Ed Johnson, Adam Warnock, Derek McKeen and Josh Knoll rounded out the top five.
Matt Hodgdon took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Mad Bombers Varsity feature. Scott Eck was on the move early, challenging Brian Darling for third on lap 7 and taking over the spot the following lap. Michael DeKoning and Matt Hodgdon were head-to-head for the lead on lap 10 as Drew Morse made strides behind them, climbing up to fourth over Brian Darling. With just under 10 laps remaining in the feature, the top 4 drivers were bumper-to-bumper at the front of the field.
Michael DeKoning dropped back to fourth as Scott Eck and Matt Hodgdon duked it out for the top spot with just 6 laps remaining. Eck took over the lead on lap 20, pulling away from his competitors. Drivers were 3-wide for the runner-up spot with just 3 laps remaining. DeKoning nearly lost it, but managed to drive away with the spot. Scott Eck took the checkered flag, capturing his first victory of the 2020 season. Michael DeKoning, Drew Morse, Matt Hodgdon and Brian Darling rounded out the top five.
Rob Flaherty pulled away with the early lead in the Street Devils feature. But, Darryl Quinlan was on the move, slowly reeling him in throughout the early laps of the race. Quinlan was at Flaherty’s heels on lap 10 and the two drivers went head-to-head on lap 13, with Quinlan pulling to the lead 3 laps later. Quinlan scored the feature victory, making it another 2-peat in the division. Rob Flaherty and Paul Goodrich rounded out the top 3.
Josh Hodgdon was the early leader in the 25-lap Mad Bombers Junior Varsity feature, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders as Brandon Williams took a hard dive into the turn 2 wall before retiring to the pits on the first lap. Fluid was later dropped on the track on lap 3, leading to the first caution of the feature.
Joey Israelson and Josh Hodgdon were head to head on the restart. Hodgdon briefly pulled away, but Israelson was back on his heels with 8 laps to go. Hodgdon was able to hold Israelson off, scoring his first victory of the season. Joe Poole rounded out the top 3.
The Truck division capped off the non-points competition with their 25-lap feature. Jared Kimball took off with the early lead, but Jeff Gillette, Sr. was mowing him down and at his door by lap 5, taking over the lead the following lap. Dave Lamson followed suit, going head-to-head with Kimball for the runner-up spot on lap 14 as Kolby Morrell followed their every move.
Kimball pulled away with the runner-up spot on lap 20, leaving Kolby Morrell and Dave Lamson battling it out for third. Kolby Morrell took over the spot and then set his sights on Jared Kimball on lap 22, advancing into the runner-up spot just one lap later. Jeff Gillette, Sr. managed to hold Morrell off, capturing the feature victory. Keith Petrin, Jared Kimball and Dave Lamson rounded out the top five.
After the non-points “Thursday Night Thunder” competition was complete, it was time for the NELCAR Legends division to take to the track. Drivers from the division are not competing for TNT points this season as they normally would, but they are competing for points in the NELCAR Legends Tour.
This week, we saw new faces in the field as Chasing the Checkered driver, Charlie Sanborn, made his Legends car debut and Bobby Timmons, a seasoned veteran who now races a Super Modified, came out of “Legends retirement” to compete.
Week 1 winner, Luke LeBrun, powered into the early lead in the first heat. Chris Burgess made his way around LeBrun for the lead on lap 4 with Bob Weymouth in tow as LeBrun fell to mid-pack. Chris Burgess took home the heat victory, followed by Bob Weymouth and Peter Craig.
Kevin Girard took off with the early lead in the second heat as Bobby Timmons settled into the runner-up spot behind him. Girard took home the heat victory, followed by Timmons and Colby Meserve. Charlie Sanborn went from 9th to 6th in the heat, showing promise in his Legends debut.
Once the field was set, it was time for the 25-lap feature. Kevin Girard settled into the early lead over Chris Burgess. Bobby Timmons was on the move early, all over Bob Weymouth for third in the early laps before taking over the position on lap 4. Drivers were 3-wide for fifth on lap 7, with Luke LeBrun taking over the spot. Bob Weymouth darted off-track on lap 9, landing in the dirt between turns 3 & 4. The incident led to the first caution of the feature.
Peter Craig and Ryan Rice both went around on the restart, leading to another caution. The incident was followed by Cody Rice’s #53 igniting on the restart, resulting in another red flag. Luckily, Rice was unharmed from the flames.
Luke LeBrun powered into the lead over Kevin Girard on the restart as Colby Meserve, Chris Burgess and Bobby Timmons followed suit. With just 3 laps to go, Charlie Sanborn took a spin in turn 3, dropping him to the back of the pack. Bobby Timmons powered to third over Chris Burgess on the final lap, but nobody was any match for Luke LeBrun as he captured his second victory of the 2020 BRMS season. Colby Meserve, Bobby Timmons, Chris Burgess and Kevin Girard rounded out the top five.
We saw three repeat winners on Saturday for the typical “TNT” divisions, but there are still 5 more weeks of competition remaining where drivers can showcase their power and snap those winning streaks. With open competition, any driver can show up and surprise everyone. You never know what can happen, which makes open competition that much more exciting.
5 more weeks DO remain in the 2020 season, but Beech Ridge is taking next week off from competition and will return on Saturday, July 8th at 4:00 pm.
Short tracks need our support more than ever before right now. On the off-week from Beech Ridge, you can visit another track, such as Wiscasset Speedway. Wiscasset will be opening this coming Saturday, August 1st, with limited (grandstand) fan attendance. Let’s make an effort to maximize the capacity of tracks that can open and show our support. The fans is what keeps (and will keep) this sport alive.
I know I’m going to get out there and enjoy some racing. I hope you will do the same!