The 2021 “Super Saturday” season rolled on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past Saturday with a full Thunder and NASCAR Nite program.
The Sport Series was at the top of the NASCAR Nite program this week with a field of 11 cars, including Colby Meserve, who has recently moved up from the Legends division.
The division’s events would include two 10 lap heat races and a 30 lap feature race, cut down from 35 laps due to time restrictions with the Whelen Modified Tour in town.
Dylan Thyng took off with the early lead in the first qualifying heat. Colby Meserve faced a learning curve early as he took a spin on lap 2 in turn 1, resulting in an early-race caution.
Ryan Phillips took over the lead on the restart and never looked back, capturing the heat victory. Dylan Thyng and Nick Calvert rounded out the top 3.
Chris Smith powered into the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat as Frank Wear filed in behind him. Bubba Pelton was on the move early, challenging Danny Wear for third on lap 2 before taking over the spot the following lap.
Danny Wear got bent out of shape on lap 8 in turn 4, falling to the back of the pack before retiring to the pits.
Chris Smith maintained his advantage through the finish, capturing the heat victory. Frank Wear and Bubba Pelton rounded out the top 3.
Chris Smith took off with the early lead in the 30 lap feature as Ryan Phillips trailed closely behind. Bubba Pelton was in hot pursuit of the leaders early, challenging Dylan Thyng for third on lap 5. Thyng ultimately won the battle, pulling away from Pelton and quickly moving onto Ryan Phillips for the runner-up spot.
Danny Wear’s troubles continued as he took a hard spin on lap 10 in turn 4, resulting in an early-race caution.
Chris Smith pulled away with the lead once again on the restart as Ryan Phillips and Dylan Thyng battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him. The two drivers went head to head for a handful of laps before Thyng pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 19.
Frank Wear was on the move in the closing laps of the race, making his way to Ryan Phillips’ inside door on lap 22, challenging for third as Danny Wear and Bubba Pelton battled it out for position behind them. Danny Wear, on the comeback, pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 24. He immediately moved onto his father Frank, challenging for fourth.
The father-son duo battled it out for a couple of laps until Frank pulled ahead on lap 27. He continued his push to the podium in the closing laps, overtaking Ryan Phillips for third. Danny Wear followed in his father’s footsteps and made a last-lap move, stealing fourth away from Ryan Phillips.
Chris Smith was long gone at the front of the pack, picking up yet another Sport Series victory and extending his points lead in the division. Dylan Thyng (career-best finish), Frank Wear, Danny Wear and Ryan Phillips rounded out the top five.
Smith celebrated with his friend and former Beech Ridge competitor, Lauren Cooper, and her son, Brian, in Victory Lane. The sweet moment was surely special for the Cooper family and one that will be remembered for years to come.
Chris Smith continues to dominate the Sport Series victory in 2021. With just three races remaining in the season, will any of his competitors be able to knock him off of the throne? Only time will tell!
The Super Saturday season rolls on next Saturday, August 28th. 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