The competitive points season at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway rolled on this past Saturday, with the track hosting all Thunder and NASCAR Nite divisions.
With the Wiscasset Speedway Super Streets division on an off-week, both Devin and Dominic Curit joined the Sport Series division once again in preparation for the upcoming Beech Ridge/Wiscasset duel on Saturday, July 10th.
The Sport Series competition kicked off with two 10-lap qualifying heats. Dylan Thyng took off with the early lead in the first qualifying heat while Clyde Hennessey and Mike St. Pierre battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him.
While battling for position, Curt Gleason and Frank Wear both took spins on lap 2, collecting Nick Calvert. The incident resulted in an early-race caution.
Dylan Thyng and Clyde Hennessey went head to head for the lead on the restart. The two drivers battled it out until Thyng pulled away with the advantage once again on lap 4. Devin Curit had a left front tire go down on lap 5, eventually coming to a slow on the backstretch. The incident resulted in yet another caution.
Clyde Hennessey powered to the lead on the restart, leaving Dylan Thyng and Mike St. Pierre battling it out for the runner-up spot in the closing laps. Hennessey captured the heat victory as Dylan Thyng beat Mike St. Pierre to the line by a nose, securing the runner-up spot.
Zach Bowie powered into the early lead in the second and final Sport Series qualifying heat. Danny Wear and Ryan Phillips ignited a battle for fourth on lap 7. Wear took over the spot and quickly pulled up to Bobby Nadeau’s back bumper, challenging for third in the closing laps.
Bowie held off his competitors, scoring the heat victory as Chris Smith and Bobby Nadeau, holding off Danny Wear to the finish, rounded out the top 3.
The initial start of the 35-lap feature race was called off by race control, but Zach Bowie powered into the early lead over Clyde Hennessey once the field got rolling. Chris Smith was all over Clyde Hennessey in the early laps of the feature, hungry for the runner-up spot.
Drivers were 3-wide for fifth on lap 5, with both Danny Wear and Craig Smith pulling away, igniting their own battle for the position.
After duking it out with Clyde Hennessey for a handful of laps, Chris Smith took over the runner-up spot on lap 8. He made his way to Zach Bowie’s door just two laps later, challenging for the top spot. The two drivers battled it out for a brief moment before Chris Smith pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 11.
Clyde Hennessey was on the move on lap 15, going door to door with Zach Bowie for the runner-up spot as Bobby Nadeau lingered closely behind. Curt Gleason and Dylan Thyng tangled on lap 16, making hard contact on the backstretch. The incident led to a mid-race caution.
Chris Smith powered away with the lead once again on the restart. While battling for position, Clyde Hennessey made contact with Bobby Nadeau on lap 21. The incident resulted in Nadeau taking a spin in turn 4 as the field scattered behind him. Nadeau, clearly displeased by the interaction, stopped to have a word with race control on the backstretch under yellow before rejoining the pack at the tail-end of the field.
Chris Smith pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart. Danny Wear made his way to Clyde Hennessey’s door in the closing laps, challenging Hennessey for third as Bubba Pelton waited in the wings behind them.
Chris Smith maintained his edge through the finish, picking up yet another feature victory as Zach Bowie, Clyde Hennessey, Danny Wear and Bubba Pelton rounded out the top five.
Following the finish, life came full circle as Charlie Sanborn, former (well, sometimes part-time?!) driver of the #1 in the Sport Series interviewed Chris Smith in Victory Lane with his Black Flagged Podcast counterpart, Brad Saucier. Last season, Charlie agreed to let Chris Smith run the #1 in the division for Smith’s comeback season while Sanborn piloted the throwback #23 car.
Chris Smith continues to show strength in the Sport Series, picking up podium finishes nearly every week of the 2021 season so far as well as collecting 2 wins in the past 3 weeks in the division. Who will be the next driver to knock “Schmitty” off his throne? We’ll have to wait and see!
You can catch the next week of the 2021 “Super Saturday” race season this coming Saturday, July 3rd. The racing action kicks off at 4:00 pm!
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. Thank you, Jamie!