This past Saturday, the “Super Saturday” competition rolled on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway rolled on with a full program of events, including all Thunder and NASCAR Nite divisions. In addition to all regular events, the track also hosted the first of two BRMS/Wiscasset Speedway Sport Series duels.
The night’s competition kicked off with the Thunder divisions, beginning with a 25-lap Beetle Bugs feature.
Dustin Salley powered away with the early lead in the feature. Behind the leader, there was 3-wide mayhem on the initial lap of the race, where Ed Johnson catapulted himself to fourth. Just three laps later, Johnson was knocking on Corey Roussel’s door, hungry for third. Brandon Lizotte was also on the move early, breaking the top 5 on lap 7 after starting at the tail-end of the field.
While battling for position, Ed Johnson nearly went around on lap 8 in turn 3. Brandon Lizotte took advantage of the situation, pulling to his outside to challenge for position before taking over the spot on lap 13.
Lizotte was red hot in the closing laps, clearing Darryl Quinlan for the runner-up spot on lap 15. The move left Quinlan and Johnson battling it out for third behind him. After going toe to toe for a handful of laps, Ed Johnson pulled ahead with the advantage with just 5 laps to go.
Dustin Salley was gone & away at this point, picking up his third feature victory of the 2021 season. Brandon Lizotte, Ed Johnson, Darryl Quinlan and Corey Roussel rounded out the top five.
The Mad Bomber Junior Varsity division was next on the agenda with another 25-lap feature. Alex Wilson pulled away from his competitors early, taking off with the early lead. Joey Israelson was also on the move in the opening laps of the race, advancing to third over Fred Bird on lap 3 before overtaking the runner-up spot the following lap.
After starting at the front of the pack, Jonathan Burnham began to descend through the field on lap 7, leaving Tyler Lerman and Fred Bird battling it out for third. Tyler Lerman pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 9, but Brandon Williams was right on his heels. Williams made his way to Lerman’s door two laps later and the two duked it out briefly before Williams took over the spot.
Brandon Williams continued his pursuit to the front on lap 18, challenging Joey Israelson for the runner-up spot. Williams took over the spot the following lap, then setting his sights on Alex Wilson at the top of the leaderboard.
Josh Hodgdon was also on the move in the closing laps of the feature, breaking the top 5 on lap 20 after starting at the tail-end of the field. After a strong performance all day, Fred Bird took a spin on the front stretch on lap 21. The incident resulted in a late-race caution.
Alex Wilson took off with the advantage on his restart, but Brandon Williams was hot on his heels. Wilson edged him out to the finish, securing his first career victory in the division. Joey Israelson, Tyler Lerman and Josh Hodgdon rounded out the top five.
The Mighty Truck division took to the track next for their 25-lap feature. Drivers were 3-wide for the early lead, with Matt Merrill powering into the early lead as Keith Petrin filed in behind him. Derrick Drown was also on the move early, advancing to third over Jeff Gillette, Jr. on lap 2.
Merrill continued to pull away in the coming laps, extending his lead to half a straightaway with ten laps to go. Just five laps later, his lead had widened to a full straightaway.
Merrill continued his dominance through the closing laps of the feature, scoring his third victory of the 2021 season. Keith Petrin, Derrick Drown, Dave Lamson and Jeff Gillette, Jr. rounded out the top five.
Dean Hanscom took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Mad Bomber Varsity feature. Brandon Johnson was hungry for the lead, at his door challenging for the top spot by lap 2. As the two drivers battled it out, Drew Morse was able to gain some ground, riding the leaders’ coattails on lap 6.
After duking it out for a handful of laps, Brandon Johnson finally pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 9, leaving Drew Morse and Dean Hanscom going toe to toe for the runner-up spot. The two drivers spearheaded a door to door battle that lasted for nearly ten laps until Morse pulled ahead on lap 16.
Once Morse took over, Mike Roe pulled up to Dean Hanscom’s door, challenging for third with just 5 laps to go. Brandon Johnson held off the competition through the closing laps, capturing his fifth feature victory of the 2021 season. The win also makes Johnson the (current) winningest driver of the season so far.
Drew Morse, Dean Hanscom, Mike Roe and Mike Dearden rounded out the top 5. *Following post-race technical inspection, Morse was stripped of his runner-up finish.*
The Legends division capped off the Thunder program with a final 25-lap feature. Jack Walker took off with the early lead, but drivers stoved up at the rear of the field on the initial start, resulting in an early caution. Colby Meserve took off with the lead on the restart, but there was another pile-up at the middle of the pack that led to another yellow flag.
Colby Meserve and Jack Walker battled it out for the lead on the restart with Devin Deshaies on their toes, ready to strike. After going back and forth for a couple of laps, Meserve pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 6 as Deshaies followed in succession. Trevor Krouse made his way to Deshaies’ inside door on lap 10, quickly taking over the runner-up spot.
Krouse continued his pursuit to the front on lap 11, taking over the top spot as Meserve fumbled and nearly went around on the backstretch, descending back to fourth. Aliyah Neale took a spin on lap 14 in turn 2, resulting in a mid-race caution.
Trevor Krouse pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart, but Devin Deshaies quickly made his way to Krouse’s inside, taking over the top spot. Trouble was brewing behind the leaders once again as Eric Williams took a spin on lap 21, drawing out a late-race caution.
Devin Deshaies took off with the lead once again on the restart but Colby Meserve was in hot pursuit after his prior shortcomings earlier in the race, pulling up tp Deshaies’ door to challenge for the lead with just one lap to go.
The two drivers fought tooth & nail to the finish line, where Meserve edged out Deshaies to pick up his first feature victory of the 2021 season at Beech Ridge. Trevor Krouse, Jack Walker and Wade Oemcke rounded out the top five.
As the Thunder competition rolls on, we are seeing a lot of repeat winners in Victory Lane. Brandon Johnson is clearly leading the charge, but drivers like Josh Hodgdon, Dustin Salley, Brandon Lizotte and Matt Merrill aren’t far behind him. Alex Wilson finally broke the mold this week, but who will be next? Stay tuned to find out!
The Super Saturday competition will return to Beech Ridge on Saturday, July 24th. 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
My heart is with John Peters and his family at this time. Greg Peters has made a wonderful and lasting impact on SO many people in the pit area, including myself. We all love you, Greg. We were all proud to be #racingforGNG on Saturday night.