Beech Ridge hosted week 5 of their 2020 open competition season this past Saturday, welcoming drivers and teams from both Thursday Night Thunder and Nascar Nite divisions. The day began with 6 feature races for the “TNT” program and was followed up with a full “NASCAR Nite” program, featuring 50-lap feature races for the Wildcats and Sport Series and a 75-lap feature for the Pro Series.
The Wildcats kicked off the second session of the day, with Jason Gammon taking the early lead over Dan Bernier in the first heat. Brian Caswell and Dan Bernier tangled on lap 2 in turn 2, leading to a caution.
Jason Gammon powered into the lead once again on the restart as Chaz Briggs navigated into the runner-up spot. Briggs was at Gammon’s door, challenging for the top spot on lap 7 and taking over the lead the following lap. Dan Bernier took a hard spin on the backstretch on lap 9 while battling for position, leading to another caution.
Chaz Briggs and Jason Gammon went head-to-head on the restart and Briggs maintained his lead, capturing the heat victory. Jason Gammon and Brian Caswell rounded out the top 3.
Joe Morse captured the early lead over Lewis Anderson in the second Wildcats heat. Dan McKeage, Jr. was also on the move in the opening laps of the heat, joining the battle for the lead on lap 5. Garrett Lamb came to a slow on lap 7, bringing the #38 machine to the pits.
A quick caution on lap 7 led to a head-to-head battle between Joe Morse and Dan McKeage, Jr. on the restart. Dan McKeage, Jr. held the advantage over Morse in the closing laps, capturing his first career heat victory at Beech Ridge. Joe Morse and Lewis Anderson rounded out the top 3.
Mike St. Pierre took off with the early lead in the first Sport Series heat. Chad Munro was also on the move early, all over Nick Calvert for third on lap 6. Scott Dorr was at Mike St. Pierre’s door the final lap, challenging for the lead. St. Pierre was able to hold him off, capturing the heat victory. Scott Dorr and Nick Calvert rounded out the top 3.
Bubba Pelton took a quick lead over Chris Smith in the second Sport Series heat. Joe Pastore was on the move early, advancing into the runner-up spot in the opening laps of the heat. He began his pursuit on Bubba Pelton, taking over the lead on lap 5. Devin Curit and Chris Smith took Bubba Pelton 3-wide for the runner-up spot on lap 9, resulting in Pelton taking a spin. The field remained green and Joe Pastore captured yet another heat victory. Devin Curit and Chasing the Checkered driver, Charlie Sanborn, rounded out the top 3.
Wyatt Alexander powered into the early lead over Travis Buzzell in the first Pro Series heat. Buzzell was right back at his door on lap 5, challenging for the top spot. The two drivers went back & forth throughout the race, making it a dogfight to the finish. Wyatt Alexander held off Travis Buzzell by a nose at the finish line, capturing the heat victory. Evan Beaulieu rounded out the top 3.
Corey Bubar captured the early lead over Bill Rodgers in the final Pro Series heat. Dave Oliver was also on the move, all over Bill Rodgers for the runner-up spot on lap 7 and taking over the position the following lap. Donnie Colpritt was at Bill Rodgers’ door on lap 9, challenging for third. He succeeded the following lap, setting his sights on Bubar and Oliver at the top of the leaderboard. Corey Bubar captured the heat victory, followed by Dave Oliver and Donnie Colpritt.
After the fields were set, the Wildcats took to the track for their 50-lap feature event. Chaz Briggs powered into the early lead over Jason Gammon in the feature. Lewis Anderson was also on the move early, overtaking Gammon for the runner-up spot on lap 7.
Lewis Anderson pulled to Chaz Briggs’ door on lap 10, challenging for the lead as Dan McKeage, Jr. and Jason Gammon battled it out for third behind them. McKeage won the battle as Gammon’s #5 machine began heavily smoking from the rear end. Gammon eventually fell to the back of the pack and headed down to the pits.
Chaz Briggs briefly pulled away with the lead on lap 17, but Lewis Anderson was back at his inside door the following lap as Dan McKeage, Jr. lingered close behind the leaders. The two leaders were still side-by-side coming into lap 30.
Lap traffic held up Chaz Briggs on lap 41, allowing Lewis Anderson to power into the lead. He managed to hold off Chaz Briggs for the remainder of the race, capturing his first feature victory at Beech Ridge in four years. Dan McKeage, Jr. and Joe Morse rounded out the top 4.
Joe Pastore took off with the early lead over Mike St. Pierre in the 50-lap Sport Series feature. Devin Curit was all over Mike St. Pierre for the runner-up spot on lap 3, later advancing into the position on lap 6. Dylan Thyng and Nick Calvert made contact on lap 9 in turn 3, resulting in Calvert taking a spin. The incident led to an early-race caution.
Joe Pastore took off with the lead once again on the restart. Trouble was brewing behind the leaders as Danny Wear took a spin on lap 10 in turn 4, resulting in another caution.
Joe Pastore held the advantage over Devin Curit on the restart. Chris Smith, Charlie Sanborn and Mike St. Pierre spearheaded a tight battle for third on lap 14, with Chris Smith holding onto the spot. Charlie Sanborn was banging on Mike St. Pierre’s door for fourth on lap 19, taking over the spot just two laps later.
Chris Smith was riding Devin Curit’s coattails for the runner-up spot with ten laps to go. Curit pulled away with the spot in the closing laps, maintaining his advantage. Charlie Sanborn faced tire troubles in the closing laps of the race, allowing Danny Wear to power around him for fourth with just two laps to go.
Joe Pastore held off his competitors in the closing laps of the race, capturing his fifth consecutive feature victory in the Sport Series division. Devin Curit, Chris Smith, Danny Wear and Charlie Sanborn rounded out the top 5.
Corey Bubar pulled away with the early lead in the 75-lap Pro Series feature race as Wyatt Alexander and Travis Buzzell battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him. Travis Buzzell held the advantage over Wyatt Alexander on lap 6 and began his pursuit on Bubar just two laps later.
Dave Oliver was also on the move early, challenging Wyatt Alexander for third on lap 25. Alexander was able to maintain his advantage over Oliver. The leaders began to approach lap traffic around lap 40, allowing Travis Buzzell to pull right up to Corey Bubar’s back bumper on lap 44. Buzzell pulled to Bubar’s door on lap 55, continuing to challenge for the lead as Wyatt Alexander remained on their toes. Lap traffic split the top 3 on lap 58, allowing Bubar to slightly pull away from his competitors. Bill Antonellis took a spin on lap 60 in turn 3, leading to a late-race yellow.
Before the caution, Dave Oliver began experiencing clutch issues. The driver elected to retire to the pits before the restart, ending a solid day prematurely for the #21 team. Race control called off the first restart due to an uneven start, but the field got rolling once again on the second attempt. Bubar elected to restart on the outside opposed to the inside.
Corey Bubar and Travis Buzzell went head-to-head on the restart as Donnie Colpritt gained momentum behind them, powering to third. Colpritt got bent out of shape on lap 66, falling back to fifth place. Rusty Poland was also on the move in the closing laps of the race, all over Wyatt Alexander for third with just 3 laps to go.
Corey Bubar held off Travis Buzzell, capturing another feature victory. Wyatt Alexander, Rusty Poland and Donnie Colpritt rounded out the top 5.
Week 5 of open competition at Beech Ridge brought more excitement, action-packed racing and close finishes for all fans to enjoy. We were also able to welcome back a fan favorite to Victory Lane after a long, winless drought.
One week of open competition still remains in the 2020 race season at Beech Ridge. Support the track and the drivers/teams as they end the season out with a bang next Saturday, September 12th. The racing action begins at 2:00 pm and pit admission is $30 for those 14 years of age or older.
Get out there and support your local short tracks. They need your support more than ever right now.
Continue chasing the checkered and I hope to see you soon!