After taking a week off from Super Saturday competition, the wildly competitive Wildcats division returned to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday for a 50-lap main event.

The competition kicked off with two 10-lap heat races. Young guns, Jacob Vaughn and Shawn McKeage, battled it out for the early lead in the first qualifying heat. Vaughn pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 2 as Cole Watson followed, quickly overtaking McKeage for the runner-up spot.

Kaleb Bean was also on the move mid-race, advancing to third over Shawn McKeage on lap 5 as Jason Gammon followed in succession. Jacob Vaughn held off his competitors to the finish, scoring the heat victory as Cole Watson and Kaleb Bean rounded out the top 3.

Adam Lovejoy took off with the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat as Lyman McKeage quickly made his way into the runner-up spot. Wade Kennedy was also making his way through the field early, knocking on Lyman McKeage’s door for third before taking over the spot the following lap.

Dave Cameron was climbing up the leaderboard, all over Lyman McKeage’s back bumper for third on lap 5.

While battling it out for position, Jared Kimball and Dan McKeage, Jr. made hard contact on the backstretch on lap 6, resulting in a caution.

Adam Lovejoy maintained his edge on the restart, pulling away from the competition as he picked up the heat victory. Wade Kennedy and Rob Herrick rounded out the top 3.

17 drivers took to the track for the 50-lap feature. Jacob Vaughn and Adam Lovejoy remained deadlocked for the early lead until Vaughn pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 2.

Trouble was brewing behind the leaders early as Kaleb Bean took a spin on lap 12 in turn 4, collecting Joe Morse. Lewis Anderson and Lyman McKeage also caught a piece of the action as the caution flag waved.

Adam Lovejoy powered to the lead on the restart. Melee was on the agenda once again as Dave Cameron and Rob Herrick collided on lap 14 in turn 2, collecting both Mark Grantham and Dan Bean. The incident resulted in yet another caution.

Adam Lovejoy pulled ahead with the advantage once again on the restart. Wade Kennedy was on the move once the field went green, challenging Cole Watson for third on lap 18. Jason Gammon wanted a piece of the action as he took the drivers 3-wide. Cole Watson came out on top, briefly pulling away from his competitors.

Wade Kennedy was back at it on lap 24, stealing third as Jason Gammon and Cole Watson then went toe to toe for fourth. The two drivers battled it out for a handful of laps before Gammon pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 28.

Dave Cameron took a hard spin on the backstretch on lap 36, sending the #28 machine into a sand pile. Cole Watson took the dreaded right-hand turn to the pits under the yellow, completely shaking up the top 5 with just 14 laps to go.

Jacob Vaughn took over the lead on the restart but heartbreak was on the horizon for the young driver as he made hard impact with the wall on lap 41, drawing out the yellow with just 9 laps to go. Vaughn miraculously returned to the track, sans hood, for the drop of the green flag.

The initial restart was called off, but Wade Kennedy pulled ahead with the slight advantage once the field got rolling. Adam Lovejoy continued to push the envelope, making his way to the inside of Kennedy on lap 43. The two leaders swapped lanes shortly thereafter, but remained door to door in the coming laps.

Adam Lovejoy finally pulled ahead with the advantage with just 3 laps to go and held off Wade Kennedy to the finish, scoring his second Wildcats victory of the 2021 season. Chaz Briggs, Shawn McKeage and Lyman McKeage rounded out the top five.

The Lovejoy brothers continue to prove that they can get it done in the Wildcats division. Who will be the next driver to knock a Lovejoy off the podium?

Will it be a young gun, like Jacob Vaughn or Shawn McKeage? Or, will it be a veteran like Cole Watson or Lyman McKeage? Stay tuned to find out!

The Super Saturday racing action carries on this coming Saturday, July 31st. 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: Jamie Williams – Finish Line Photography

Godspeed, Greg Peters. We will forever be #racingforGNG and we are thinking of the Peters family during this extremely difficult and emotional time.