This past Saturday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted the first of two Sport Series/Super Street Duel races. The track has teamed up with Wiscasset Speedway to put on two 100-lap races, one at each track, in 2021.

31 competitors showed up at Beech Ridge on Saturday for the $1,500 to win event. In addition to $1,500 going to the winner, members of the racing family pitched in to donate bonus money for contingency prizes, amounting to $939. Chasing the Checkered personally donated $51 to the leader of lap 9, in support of #racingforGNG and the Peters family.

Fans and businesses also came together to “sell out” every lap of the event by making a $20 contribution per lap purchased, which was an idea brought to life by Dan and Sue Walker. The total payout for both duels currently amounts to more than $25,000.

After every driver participated in a draw for starting positions, the competition kicked off with three 10-lap qualifying heats. Mike St. Pierre took off with the early lead in the first heat. Drivers stoved up at the back of the pack on the initial lap, resulting in both Brian Picard and Michael Harrison taking spins. The incident resulted in an early-race caution.

Bubba Pelton took it 3-wide for the lead on the restart and it worked out for him as he took over the top spot. Curt Gleason and Nick Calvert spearheaded their own battle for third on lap 6, duking it out for the position as Clyde Hennessey rode their coattails.

Gleason and Calvert raced cleanly for a handful of laps before Calvert pulled away with the spot on the final lap. Bubba Pelton secured the heat victory as Mike St. Pierre captured the runner-up spot.

Matt Beers powered into the early lead in the second qualifying heat, leaving PJ Merrill and Danny Wear battling it out for the runner-up spot behind him. The two young guns went door to door for a couple of laps until Wear pulled away with the advantage on lap 4.

Wiscasset Super Street point leader (and Chasing the Checkered driver) James Osmond pulled off-track on lap 8, retiring from the heat in order to conserve tires. The race was a 4-tire only race and tire conservation played a key role throughout the evening.

Matt Beers took home the heat victory, followed by Danny Wear and PJ Merrill.

Jason Curtis, who has a lot of experience racing at both Wiscasset and Beech Ridge, took off with the early lead in the third and final qualifying heat. Trouble was brewing behind the leader as Chris Smith and Josh Bailey tangled on the initial lap, collecting Frank Wear. The incident resulted in an early-race caution.

Jason Curtis and Dan Trask went head to head for the lead on the restart. Curtis pulled ahead with the advantage as Zach Bowie pulled up to Dan Trask’s door, challenging for the runner-up spot. While battling for position, both drivers nearly lost it on lap 4 in turn 4. Chris Smith used this to his advantage, advancing into the runner-up spot after his early-race struggles.

Frank Wear made way to Zach Bowie’s inside door on lap 6, challenging for third. Chris Smith was hungry for more at the front of the pack, knocking on Jason Curtis’ door for the top spot. The two drivers battled it out until Smith pulled ahead with just one lap to go.

Chris Smith continued to hold off Jason Curtis, ultimately scoring the heat victory. Zach Bowie rounded out the top 3.

A random invert happened between the heat and the feature and it was decided that the top 12 drivers would be inverted for the 100-lap main event. This left Frank Wear and Dominic Curit on the front row come the drop of the green flag.

The two drivers went toe to toe for the lead until Zach Bowie decided he wanted a piece of the pie on lap 5. Bowie quickly took over the runner-up spot and moved onto the top spot, overtaking Frank Wear for the lead on lap 9. Jason Curtis was also on the move early, challenging Curt Gleason for fourth on lap 12.

Lap 13 brought mid-pack madness as drivers stoved up mid-pack. Bubba Pelton, Brandon Barker, Ryan Phillips and Clyde Hennessey were among those caught up in the incident and Brandon Barker was the only driver unable to carry on following the carnage.

David Greenleaf took a spin on the restart, but remained unscathed as the field remained green. PJ Merrill, who captured a breakout win at Beech Ridge earlier this season, broke the top 5 on lap 15. While battling for fourth, Merrill and Curt Gleason made contact on the backstretch on lap 22. Both drivers were able to keep it rolling, yet lost a handful of spots.

Frank Wear had tracked down Zach Bowie by lap 30, all over his inside door for the lead. Michael Wallace came to a slow on the track on lap 34 before limping his #35 machine to the pits. Clyde Hennessey’s struggles also continued on lap 40 as he slid through the infield grass and eventually parked it in the infield.

After gradually climbing through the field, Mike St. Pierre took a spin on lap 48 in turn 3 after battling for position with Jason Curtis. Chris Smith had nowhere to go as he careened into St. Pierre’s back bumper. Smith and St. Pierre were able to continue on, but Curtis parked it for the night following the incident. The initial restart was called off, followed by David Greenleaf taking another spin on lap 50. This resulted in another caution.

As Zach Bowie and Frank Wear continued to battle it out for the lead, Dominic Curit lost a handful of spots on the restart. Nate Leavitt came to the life in the second half of the feature, challenging Bubba Pelton for third on lap 75.

After duking it out for the better half of the race, Zach Bowie pulled ahead with sole possession of the lead on lap 85.

Mike St. Pierre was on a mission in the closing laps of the feature. Although his #15 machine was visibly beaten and overheating, he continued to trudge on, breaking the top 5 on lap 85.

Jim Colpritt came to a slow on the backstretch on lap 89, resulting in a late-race caution.

Zach Bowie pulled ahead with the slight advantage on the restart, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders once again. David Greenleaf took a spin on lap 92 in turn 1, causing the field to scatter. PJ Merrill and Josh Bailey were among those caught up in the carnage, with Merrill’s machine taking the brunt of the damage.

After persevering throughout the race, Mike St. Pierre parked the #15 machine for the night under the yellow in attempt to salvage his overheating engine.

Bubba Pelton gave Zach Bowie a run for his money on the restart, challenging for the lead. Jim Colpritt took another spin on the restart, but the field remained green.

Bubba Pelton pulled ahead with a slight advantage over Zach Bowie with just 5 laps to go. Nate Leavitt trailed closely behind, quickly overtaking Bowie for the runner-up spot.

Leavitt continued to power to the front, making his way to Bubba Pelton’s door with just two laps to go. The two drivers went door-to-door to the finish, where Nate Leavitt ultimately picked up the victory.

Bubba Pelton, Frank Wear, Joe Pastore and Matt Beers rounded out the top five.

Top 10 results:

  1. Nate Leavitt
  2. Richard Pelton
  3. Frank Wear
  4. Joe Pastore (Great comeback at the end!)
  5. Matt Beers
  6. Danny Wear
  7. Zach Bowie
  8. Curtis Gleason (GREAT run by Curt!)
  9. James Osmond (Started 25th and passed half the field!)
  10. Dominic Curit

Nate Leavitt took home the $1,500 paycheck, but Zach Bowie was the recipient of almost $700 in contingency prize money after leading the majority of laps in the race.

The first Sport Series/Super Street Duel was exciting, thrilling and action-packed with many twists and turns along the way. All 31 drivers raced each other respectfully and cleanly and still managed to put on one Hell of a show!

Thank you to Dick Fowler and Dave Brannon for coming together to make these events possible, as well as Wiscasset Speedway, Beech Ridge and their track staff(s) that are helping to facilitate these awesome events. I can’t wait for round two!

You can catch Group #1 this coming Saturday, July 17th, at Wiscasset Speedway. The racing action kicks off at 5:00 pm. Grandstand admission is only $5!

Beech Ridge will be taking a break from the Super Saturday racing action this coming week, but the competition will continue 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 at Finish Line Photography.

Continue to keep the Peters family in your thoughts and prayers. Keep up the good fight, Greg. We love you. #racingforGNG