This past Saturday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted week five of their 2020 open competition race season, welcoming drivers and teams from both Thursday Night Thunder and NASCAR Nite divisions. Neighboring track, Oxford Plains Speedway, took the week off from racing after last week’s Oxford 250 festivities. This brought new drivers and faces to the track, nearly doubling the car counts in some TNT divisions.
The day started out with a stacked 25-lap Beetle Bugs feature. Jeff Libby took off with the early lead in the feature as Josh Knoll quickly powered into the runner-up spot. Ed Johnson was also on the move early, advancing into third on lap 2. Johnson made his way to the inside of Libby on lap 7, advancing position as Brandon Lizotte followed in his footsteps.
Jamie Heath was all over Adam Warnock for fourth on lap 12, advancing position the following lap. Dave Stone, Jr. came to a slow on lap 15, retiring to the pits.
Jamie Heath continued his pursuit on lap 20 as he chased down Brandon Lizotte, challenging him for third. Lizotte broke away, later challenging Ed Johnson for the runner-up spot on lap 23. The leaders began to approach lap traffic on the final lap of the feature, but Josh Knoll held strong, capturing his first feature victory of the 2020 race season. Ed Johnson, Jamie Heath, Brandon Lizotte and Adam Warnock rounded out the top five.
Mike DeKoning powered away with the early lead over Drew Morse in the Mad Bomber Varsity feature. Brandon Johnson faced troubles early, pulling to the pits in the opening laps of the race.
Scott Eck was on the move early, at Jason Gammon’s door challenging for third on lap 5. Mike Dearden went off-track on lap 6 in turn 1, resulting in the first caution of the feature.
Mike DeKoning held onto a steady lead on the restart and never looked back, securing the feature victory. Drew Morse, Scott Eck, Kris Knox and Dean Hansom rounded out the top five.
Stella Wyman claimed the early lead in the Street Devils feature. Paul Goodrich was on the move behind her, advancing into the runner-up spot over Darryl Quinlan and later the lead, on lap 4. Rob Flaherty followed suit, overtaking third place from Wyman on lap 5.
Goodrich held onto his lead throughout the race, capturing the feature victory. Darryl Quinlan, Rob Flaherty and Stella Wyman rounded out the top 4.
Connor Leeman troubles began early into the Mad Bomber Junior Varsity feature, taking a spin in turn 1 on the initial lap of the feature. The incident led to an early-race caution.
Joey Israelson overtook the lead on the restart, but Josh Hodgdon was right there, at his door on lap 4. Logan Caron went off-track on lap 6 in turn 2, resulting in another caution.
Tyler Lerman lost ground on the restart, with Taylor Graffam taking over fourth place. Josh Hodgdon was all over Joey Israelson for the lead once again on lap 10, taking over the top spot the following lap. Brandon Williams got bent out of shape on the backstretch on lap 12, allowing Taylor Graffam to pull up to his back bumper. She continued her pursuit in the closing laps, pulling to Williams’ door on lap 16, but Williams was able to hold her off.
Josh Hodgdon was able to hold off the competition, securing another feature victory. Joey Israelson, Brandon Williams and Taylor Graffam rounded out the top 4.
John Curtis took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Mighty Trucks feature. Kolby Morrell faced trouble on the initial lap of the race, falling to the back of the pack. Jared Kimball was quick to the runner-up spot, but Keith Petrin was on his toes. Petrin was at his door on lap 3, advancing into position the following lap before quickly making his way into the lead.
Petrin’s reign didn’t last for long, as Jeff Gillette, Sr. made his way to his door on lap 5. Gillette took over the lead the following lap, pulling away from his competitors. Jared Kimball and Derrick Drown tangled on lap 7, with both drivers taking a spin in turn 2. The incident led to the first caution of the feature.
Keith Petrin gave Jeff Gillette, Sr. a run for his money on the restart, but Gillette was able to maintain his lead as Petrin began battling Dave Lamson for the runner-up spot. Kolby Morrell was also on the move mid-race, advancing into fourth on lap 11 after his early-race troubles.
Jeff Gillette, Sr. took home the feature victory, which is his third of the 2020 season. Keith Petrin, Dave Lamson, Kolby Morrell and Jared Kimball rounded out the top five.
Week 5 of open competition included a special 25-lap Rebels feature, which was added onto the program due to the number of Oxford Plains Speedway drivers competing in the day’s festivities.
OPS regular, Corey Roussel, powered into the early lead as Dave Stone, Jr. quickly made his way into the runner-up spot. Jamie Heath and Ed Johnson made contact on lap 2 in turn 3, resulting in Ed Johnson taking a spin directly into the infield sandpit. The incident led to the first caution of the feature.
Jamie Heath powered into third on the restart before tangling with Ed Johnson on lap 5, resulting in another caution. The incident led to chaos on the backstretch as Corey Roussel and Josh Knoll both went around in the smoke as other drivers made contact, resulting in Dave Stone, Jr. losing his front bumper.
Corey Roussel took off with the lead once again on the restart, but Dave Stone, Jr. was all over his back bumper by lap 8. Stone was at Roussel’s door on lap 11, challenging for the lead. Stone took over the lead the following lap, pulling away from his competitors.
Adam Warnock was also on the move in the closing laps of the feature, riding Corey Roussel’s coattails for the runner-up spot on lap 17. He continued his pursuit on lap 23 with just two laps to go, pulling to Roussel’s door and advancing position on the final lap of the feature.
Dave Stone, Jr. held onto the lead, scoring his first feature victory of the 2020 season after a short hiatus from racing. Adam Warnock, Corey Roussel, Brandon Lizotte and Josh Knoll rounded out the top five.
On Saturday, race fans were able to see a handful of new faces in TNT Victory Lane at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
With just one week remaining in the 2020 open competition season, the opportunity is still there for new drivers to break through and capture the coveted checkered flag before the season comes to a close.
Support Beech Ridge next Saturday, September 12th, for the track’s 2020 season finale. Pit admission is $30 for fans 14 years of age and older. It all kicks off at 2:00 pm, with a full Thursday Night Thunder and NASCAR Nite program.
Get out there and support your local short tracks because they need your support more than ever right now.
Continue chasing the checkered and I’ll see you soon!