Beech Ridge Motor Speedway took a one week hiatus following the 100-lap Sport Series duel, but the division was back in action this past Saturday with a 35-lap feature.
The Sport Series competition kicked off with two 10-lap qualifying heats. Ryan Phillips took off with the early lead in the first heat while Curt Gleason quickly made his way into the runner-up spot.
Jason Curtis was on the move mid-race, challenging Curt Gleason for the runner-up spot on lap 5 before taking over the spot the following lap. Ryan Phillips maintained his advantage through the finish, picking up the heat victory as Jason Curtis and Curt Gleason rounded out the top 3.
Bubba Pelton held the early advantage in the second and final qualifying heat. Frank Wear was also on the move early, advancing into the runner-up spot on lap 4.
Chris Smith was coming through the field mid-race, knocking on Jim Colpritt’s door for third on lap 5 before capturing the spot the following lap. Bubba Pelton continued to hold off the competition in the closing laps as he scooped up the heat victory. Frank Wear and Chris Smith rounded out the top 3.
15 drivers took to the track for the 35-lap feature race. Ryan Phillips and Bubba Pelton battled it out for the early lead, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders. Tim Maloney went off-track and into the turn 4 dirt on lap 6, resulting in an early-race caution.
Ryan Phillips powered into the lead on the restart, leaving his competitors battling it out 2×2 behind him. After going door to door for a handful of laps, Bubba Pelton finally cleared Jason Curtis for the runner-up spot on lap 12.
Danny Wear took a hard right into the turn 1 tires on lap 12, resulting in another caution.
Ryan Phillips took off with the lead on the restart as Jason Curtis stole the runner-up spot away from Bubba Pelton once again. Chris Smith made his way to the inside of Bubba Pelton on lap 16, challenging for third. The two drivers battled it out for a handful of laps before Pelton pulled away on lap 21, promptly moving onto Jason Curtis.
Bubba Pelton overtook Jason Curtis for the runner-up spot on lap 22. Chris Smith was still digging, making his way to Jason Curtis’ outside door on lap 23. The two drivers battled cleanly until Smith pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 25. He began challenging Bubba Pelton for the runner-up spot on lap 26 and the two drivers duked it out before Smith took over the spot the following lap.
Chris Smith began to reel in Ryan Phillips in the closing laps, but ran out of time as Phillips held him off to the finish. The win is Ryan Phillips second of the 2021 season, as his first victory was in a Wildcat earlier in the season.
Bubba Pelton, Jason Curtis and Frank Wear followed, rounding out the top five.
Ryan Phillips joins Brandon Barker and Joe Pastore on the list of drivers that have won feature races in two separate divisions this season. Who will be next? You’ll have to stay tuned to find out!
The “Super Saturday” competition carries 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, Greg Peters. We will forever be #racingforGNG.