After taking a week hiatus from competition last week, the Super Saturday program continued on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past Saturday for a full night of Thunder and NASCAR Nite competition. The day’s events also marked the halfway point of the 2021 season.
The day’s events kicked off with a 25-lap Beetle Bugs feature. Corey Roussel took off with the early lead in the feature. Butch Keene was also on the move early, advancing into the runner-up spot over Dustin Moreau on lap 3 as Ed Johnson followed in succession.
Dustin Salley and Brandon Lizotte both overtook Ed Johnson for position on lap 4. Salley held the slight advantage over Lizotte until Lizotte pulled up to his door on lap 8, challenging for third before taking over the position the following lap. The two drivers split a lap car on lap 10 and Salley came out on top as he stole the spot back.
Dustin Salley reeled in his teammate, Butch Keene, on lap 14. The two drivers raced side by side until Salley took over the position two laps later. He continued his pursuit to the front, riding Corey Roussel’s heels for the lead on lap 18. He made his way to Roussel’s door the following lap, quickly taking over the top spot.
Derek McKeen had a tire go down on lap 21, which sent him for a spin in turn 4. The incident resulted in a late-race caution.
Butch Keene bobbled on the restart, causing the second half of the field to scatter. Keene managed to save it, but lost 2 positions in the process.
Dustin Salley maintained his edge through the finish, adding yet another feature victory to his resume. The victory is Salley’s third in the past four weeks.
Tyler “Tyeball” Lerman took off with the early lead in the 25-lap Mad Bomber JV feature. His brother, Josh Hodgdon, was coming through the field early, overtaking Derrick Burnham for third on lap 4.
Logan Caron took a spin on lap 8 in turn 4. Ryan Stuart was unable to maneuver around the spin coming around the turn, making hard contact with the young driver. Desiree Lachance also took a spin in the midst of attempting to avoid the melee. The incident resulted in the first caution of the feature.
Alex Smith pulled ahead with the slight advantage over Tyler Lerman on the restart as Josh Hodgdon and Joey Israelson battled it out for third behind them. Desiree Lachance’s troubles continued as she took a spin on lap 14 in turn 4. Lachance lost a handful of positions as the field remained green.
Brandon Williams joined the battle for third on lap 18, taking Hodgdon and Israelson 3-wide for the position. Williams came out on top and began to pull away as his competitors continued to duke it out.
Hodgdon pulled away with sole possession of third on lap 20 and Israelson’s ride blew up just 2 laps later, leaving the #121 machine sitting on the front stretch. This led to a late-race caution with just 3 laps to go.
Brandon Williams powered to the lead on the restart and never looked back, collecting another feature victory. Alex Smith, Josh Hodgdon, Tyler Lerman and Alex Wilson rounded out the top five.
Following the NASCAR Nite heats, the Mighty Trucks took to the track for their 25-lap feature. Keith Petrin took off with the early lead as Derrick Drown powered into the runner-up spot over Trace Ayers.
Jeff Gillette, Sr. was also on the move early, knocking on Trace Ayer’s door for third before taking over the spot on lap 4.
Derrick Drown was all over Keith Petrin’s back bumper on lap 5, hungry for the top spot. Petrin briefly pulled ahead with the advantage, but Drown was back on his outside on lap 14, challenging once again. The two drivers fought tooth and nail until Drown took sole possession of the lead on lap 16.
Matt Merrill was coming through the field in the closing laps, advancing to fourth over Trace Ayers on lap 22. Jeff Gillette, Sr. was also hot on Keith Petrin’s heels in the closing laps, challenging for the runner-up spot.
Petrin was able to hold him off as Derrick Drown crossed the finish line in front of them, picking up his first career feature victory at Beech Ridge. Drown had also previously competed in the Beetle Bugs division at the speedway. Matt Merrill and Trace Ayers rounded out the top 5.
The Mad Bomber Varsity division followed the Mighty Trucks with another 25-lap feature race. Rob Caron pulled ahead with the early advantage in the feature, but Paul Lund was at his door challenging on lap 3 before taking over the spot the following lap.
Brandon Johnson was powering through the field mid-race, challenging Dean Hanscom for third on lap 10. The two drivers raced cleanly until Johnson pulled ahead with sole possession of the spot two laps later. Johnson moved onto Rob Caron on lap 17, battling it out with the #61 for a couple of laps before taking over the spot on lap 19.
Johnson was reeling in Paul Lund in the closing laps but Lund was able to hold him off, picking up another feature victory. Rob Caron, Dean Hanscom and Richard Bourgeois-Lang rounded out the top five.
Lund’s #22 machine ignited following his victory as smoke billowed from under the hood in Victory Lane. The driver was able to get out of his car safely as track safety crews tended to the vehicle. He still secured the win, but it will surely be one for the memory books!
The Legends division capped off the Thunder program with a final 25-lap feature race. Trevor Krouse took off with the early lead in the feature.
Trouble was brewing early as Colby Meserve and Nate Alexander tangled early, resulting in both drivers going around on lap 5. The incident resulted in an early-race caution.
Jack Walker powered to the lead on the restart as Luke LeBrun followed in succession. LeBrun was all over Walker for the top spot on lap 9, but trouble was on the horizon once again as Noah Alexander made hard impact with the backstretch wall. The incident drew out another caution.
Jack Walker and Luke LeBrun battled it out on the restart until LeBrun pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 10. The two leaders began to pull away, extending their lead to half a straightaway in the closing laps.
Ryan Rice took a spin on lap 23, but the field remained green as he was able to keep rolling. LeBrun sailed into the victory, continuing his dominance at the speedway. Jack Walker, Brian Darling, Colby Meserve and Matt Grant rounded out the top five.
As the season rolls on, we are beginning to see more new faces in Victory Lane at Beech Ridge. Derrick Drown cracked the code this week as drivers like Tyler Lerman continue to show promise. Who will be the next first-time winner at the track? Only time will tell.
The Super Saturday competition will carry on next 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 at Finish Line Photography.
Rest in peace to our dear friend, Greg Peters. My thoughts are with John, Gail and the entire Peters family at this time.