This past Saturday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted the final week of their 2020 open competition race season. The second half of the program kicked off with the Sport Series, followed by the Wildcats division.
Notably missing from the field in the final week of competition was 2019 Wildcats champion, Dave Cameron. But, many heavy-hitters and impressive newcomers made up the field for the series’ 50-lap main event.
Jason Gammon, pulling double duty, took off with the early lead in the first Wildcats heat. Cole Watson was on his heels early, powering to the lead on lap 4 as Jacob Vaughn followed closely behind.
Lewis Anderson was also on the move mid-race, advancing into the runner-up spot over Jacob Vaughn on lap 6. Vaughn was back at Anderson’s door on lap 8, challenging for the spot once again. Jacob vaughn won the battle, advancing into the runner-up spot. He was at Cole Watson’s door with one to go, finally advancing to the lead in turn 3 on the final lap.
Vaughn held onto the lead, capturing the heat victory. Cole Watson and Lewis Anderson rounded out the top 3.
Mark Grantham and Joe Morse went head-to-head for the lead on the initial start of the second heat before Morse pulled away with the lead on lap 2. Both Dan McKeage, Jr. and Chaz Briggs were riding Mark Grantham’s coattails for the runner-up spot on lap 5. Dan McKeage Jr. captured the spot and moved onto Joe Morse for the lead, capturing the top spot on lap 9.
Chaz Briggs was at Joe Morse’s door on lap 10, battling for the runner-up spot. He captured the spot, but McKeage was too far gone at that point. McKeage took home his second consecutive heat victory, followed by Chaz Briggs and Joe Morse.
Dan McKeage, Jr. and Jacob Vaughn (both 15 years old!) led the field to green in the 50-lap Wildcats feature, with Vaughn holding sole possession of the lead on lap 2. Chaz Briggs was on the move early, battling Cole Watson for fourth on lap 5. The two drivers battled it out for a handful of laps before Briggs pulled away with the spot on lap 8.
Lewis Anderson was at McKeage’s door for the runner-up spot on lap 10, advancing position the same lap. He was all over Jacob Vaughn for the lead by lap 12, finally capturing the top spot on lap 17. Chaz Briggs Made his way around Dan McKeage, Jr. for the runner-up spot on lap 22, then setting his sights on Anderson at the top of the leaderboard.
Chaz Briggs began riding Lewis Anderson’s coattails for the lead on lap 24, but Dan McKeage, Jr. was still on his toes. Briggs was at Anderson’s door on lap 30, overtaking the lead on that lap as Dan McKeage, Jr. followed in succession. After a strong performance all day, Jacob Vaughn took a spin on lap 33 in turn 2, resulting in a late-race caution.
Chaz Briggs pulled away with the lead on the restart as both Joe Morse and Rob Herrick made their way around Lewis Anderson behind him. Dan McKeage, Jr. was all over Chaz Briggs’ back bumper on lap 42 and later peeking to Briggs’ inside for the lead with just 5 laps to go. Garrett Lamb took a spin on lap 47 in turn 1, resulting in another late-race yellow flag.
Chaz Briggs pulled away with the lead on the restart and never looked back, collecting his first feature victory In over 3 years. Dan McKeage, Jr., Rob Herrick, Joe Morse and Cole Watson rounded out the top five.
The Wildcats division remained competitive and fun throughout the course of the 2020 race season and it was exciting seeing so many different faces in Victory Lane!
Although the race season is over at Beech Ridge, many Wildcats drivers will continue to compete at various local short tracks.
You can catch some Beech Ridge drivers on Saturday, September 26th at Wiscasset Speedway for the Amsoil Dominator Strictly Shootout. The racing action kicks off at 4 pm and pit admission is only $20 for all!
Continue chasing the checkered and I hope to see you at a local short track soon!