The NASCAR Nite points season continues to roll on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and this past Saturday certainly brought the heat with a full “Super Saturday” program.
Rusty Poland and Brandon Barker were two drivers playing “double duty” on Saturday, with Rusty competing in both the MRS and Pro Series and Barker competing in the Pro and Sport Series, where he is still filling in for the injured Robbie Harrison.
The Pro Series was the first division to take the NASCAR Nite stage on Saturday, kicking off the competition with two 10-lap qualifying heats.
Drivers were 3-wide for the early lead in the first qualifying heat. Brandon Barker pulled away with the top spot as Wyatt Alexander and Corey Bubar battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him. The two drivers battled it out side by side until the finish, where Wyatt Alexander pulled away with the spot on the final lap as Brandon Barker captured the heat victory.
Rusty Poland and Gary Smith went door to door for the early lead in the second qualifying heat and remained glue to each other through the entire heat, with Poland edging Smith out at the line by a nose, capturing his first career heat victory. Dave Oliver rounded out the top 3.
Once the field was set, Brandon Barker got the early jump over Rusty Poland in the 40-lap feature. Gary Smith was also on the move early, overtaking Poland for the runner-up spot on lap 3. Corey Bubar and Wyatt Alexander carried their battle from the heat to the feature, going door to door for fourth on lap 6.
Corey Bubar won the battle for position, immediately pulling up to Rusty Poland’s back bumper, challenging for third. Dave Oliver, powering through the field, picked off Bubar for fourth on lap 11. Oliver was at Poland’s door just two laps later, challenging for third before taking over the spot on lap 15.
Rusty Poland and Corey Bubar reignited their battle on lap 16, going nose to nose for fourth with Wyatt Alexander right on their heels. The two drivers battled it out for the better half of the race until Bubar pulled away with the position on lap 30 as Alexander followed in succession.
Corey Bubar and Wyatt Alexander continued to battle it out for position to the finish, where Bubar took a spin in turn 4 of the final lap, completely mixing up the top five in the final turn.
Brandon Barker held off the competition, scoring his first Pro Series victory of the 2021 season as Gary Smith, Dave Oliver, Wyatt Alexander and Rusty Poland rounded out the top five.
The Sport Series was the last NASCAR Nite division to take to the stage for their 10-lap qualifying heats.
Bubba Pelton and Nick Calvert went head to head for the early lead in the heat while Frank Wear and Brandon Barker battled it out for position behind them. Nick Calvert pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 5, leaving Frank Wear and Bubba Pelton duking it out for the runner-up spot behind him.
After a strong performance all day, Nick Calvert went up in smoke on lap 8, leaving both Frank Wear and Bubba Pelton spinning in his wake as the caution flag came out. Both drivers were able to restart on the front row, as neither driver caused the caution. Pelton and Wear battled it out to the finish, where Bubba Pelton edged out Frank Wear at the finish line for the heat victory as Brandon Barker rounded out the top 3.
Danny Wear and Clyde Hennessey battled it out for the early lead in the second and final Sport Series heat. Hennessey made a bold crossover move on lap 2, diving to Wear’s inside as the two continued to swap the lead back and forth before Danny Wear pulled away with the spot on lap 5.
Chris Smith was also on the move early, advancing to third over Curt Gleason on lap 7. He continued his pursuit to the front in the closing laps, making his way to Clyde Hennessey’s inside door on the final lap, challenging for the runner-up spot and succeeding as Danny Wear took home another heat victory.
Once the field was set, Bubba Pelton took off with the early lead in the 35-lap feature as father-son duo, Frank and Danny Wear, battled it out for position behind him. Danny Wear pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 4, leaving his father and Chris Smith duking it out for third behind him.
Chris Smith overtook Frank Wear for third and continued his pursuit to the front, stealing the runner-up spot away from Danny Wear just two laps later. Smith was still hungry for the top spot as he made his way to Bubba Pelton’s outside door on lap 7, challenging for the lead before taking over the position the following lap.
Brandon Barker was coming through the field quickly, overtaking Bubba Pelton for the runner-up spot on lap 10. He reeled in Chris Smith in the coming laps, successfully taking over as the leader on lap 17.
Ryan Phillips made his way to Danny Wear’s door on lap 22, challenging for fourth. Phillips took over just two laps later and immediately got to work on Bubba Pelton for third, successfully completing the pass on lap 27. Danny Wear still had some fight left in him in the closing laps, overtaking Bubba Pelton for fourth on lap 31 as Jason Curtis followed in succession.
Brandon Barker held off his competitors to the finish, scoring yet another feature victory. Barker is the first driver in DECADES to achieve two feature victories in one night at Beech Ridge. The last time this feat occurred was in the 1970’s, so it was a very special night for the #88/#13 teams.
Chris Smith, Ryan Phillips, Danny Wear and Jason Curtis rounded out the top five.
Brandon Barker successfully added his name to the Beech Ridge record books on Saturday. Who will be the next driver to achieve the same feat, Joe Pastore or even Adam Lovejoy? Only time will tell.
Catch the next week of Super Saturday racing action this coming Saturday, June 26th. The racing action kicks off at 4:00 pm. Kids of ALL ages are now allowed in the pits and grandstand admission is just $12 for adults and FREE for kids 12 and under!
Continue chasing the checkered and support your local short tracks. I hope to see you soon!
Cover photo credit goes to Jamie Williams at Finish Line Photography!