The “Super Saturday” program rolled on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past Saturday, featuring all Thunder and NASCAR Nite divisions. The track also welcomed the Whelen Modified tour back to Scarborough after a 10+ year hiatus.

Given the fact that the main event was nationally televised, the Whelen Modified Tour had a strict time schedule in which their cars had to be on to the track. All feature races were shortened by 5 laps on Saturday and all Thunder divisions had a strict 15 minute time limit for their events as well.

The Beetle Bugs kicked off the Thunder action with a 20 lap feature race. Dustin Salley took off with the early lead in the feature while teammates, Adam Warnock and Brandon Lizotte, duked it out for the runner-up spot behind him. Lizotte held strong, pulling away with the position on lap 3.

After battling it out for position with Adam Warnock for a handful of laps, Ed Johnson began to descend through the field on lap 10. Johnson eventually retired to the pits the following lap.

Dustin Salley picks up win #6 of the 2021 season!

Corey Roussel was on the move in the closing laps, challenging Adam Warnock for third on lap 15. Butch Keene joined the battle on lap 19, taking his competitors 3-wide for the spot. It was a bold move by Keene, but Roussel ultimately won the battle for position.

Dustin Salley was off & away in the closing laps, picking up his sixth feature victory of the 2021 season. Brandon Lizotte, Corey Roussel, Butch Keene (taking a wild spin after the finish!) and Adam Warnock rounded out the top five.

The Mad Bomber JV division was next on the agenda with another 20 lap feature race. Daniel Wescott took off with the early lead in the feature while Josh Hodgdon lingered closely behind. Trouble was brewing early as Taylor Graffam took a hard spin on lap 5, ultimately landing in the turn 1 sand pile. The incident resulted in an early-race caution.

Daniel Wescott and Josh Hodgdon squared up on the restart, with Hodgdon taking over the top spot. Tyler Lerman and Joey Israelson spearheaded a battle for third on lap 8. Brandon Williams took his competitors 3-wide the following lap, ultimately taking over the spot.

While battling for position, Joey Isaelson and Alex Smith tangled on lap 12 in turn 4, also collecting Tyler Fitz. The carnage continued onto the front stretch as the caution came out.

Hodgdon and the #73 team scores win #5 of 2021!

Josh Hodgdon pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart as Brandon Williams quickly made his way into the runner-up spot over Daniel Wescott. Desiree Lachance took a spin on the backstretch on lap 14 as the tail of the field scattered. The incident resulted in a late-race caution.

Josh Hodgdon maintained a slight lead over Brandon Williams on the restart. Chaos erupted on lap 16 in turn 4 as Joey Israelson and Taylor Graffam tangled, resulting in a pile-up.

At this point, the race was deemed official by race control due to the given time constraints. Hodgdon picked up the victory, which is his fifth of the 2021 season. Brandon Williams, Daniel Wescott, Alex Wilson and Tyler Lerman rounded out the top five.

After the completion of the NASCAR Nite heat races, the Mighty Trucks took to the track for their 20 lap feature. Trace Ayers and Jeff Gillette, Sr. battled it out for the early lead in the feature. Michael Tosi came to a slow on the track on lap 4, resulting in an early-race yellow. The driver was ultimately black flagged and retired to the pits.

Trace Ayers and Jeff Gillette, Sr. made hard contact on lap 6 in turn 4, resulting in yet another caution. This left last week’s winner, Derrick Drown, on the front row for the restart.

Derrick Drown is all smiles after win #3!

Derrick Drown pulled away with the lead as Keith Petrin filed in behind him. Jeff Gillette, Jr. was on the move mid-race, advancing to fifth over Dave Lamson on lap 10. Matt Merrill was also coming through the field in the second half of the race after falling back early, powering into the fourth spot on lap 14.

Derrick Drown held off Keith Petrin in the closing laps, picking up his third feature victory in the last five weeks of competition. Jeff Gillette, Sr., Matt Merrill and Jeff Gillette, Jr. rounded out the top five.

The Mad Bomber Varsity division rounded out the Thunder program with a final 20 lap feature. After the initial start was called off by race control, Rob Caron took off with the early lead in the feature. Steve Benincasa, returning to competition in Mike Ramsey’s #87 machine, powered into the runner-up spot.

Dean Hanscom was on the move early, advancing to third over Richard Bourgeois-Lang on lap 3. Justin Gailloux and Bourgeois-Lang went head to head for fourth on lap 6. Gailloux got bent out of shape on lap 8, resulting in Bourgeois-Lang taking over the spot. He continued his pursuit to the front, then overtaking Hanscom for third.

Drivers went 3-wide for third on lap 11, but Dean Hanscom was able to hold onto the spot. Last week’s winner, Paul Lund, came to a slow on lap 14. He retired the #22 machine to the pits shortly thereafter.

Benincasa & Ramsey celebrating their big win!

After a strong showing all day, Richard Bourgeois-Lang took a spin on lap 17 in turn 2, falling to the back of the pack as the field kept rolling. Steve Benincasa made his way to Rob Caron’s outside on lap 19, challenging for the top spot with just one lap to go.

Caron was able to hold him off, capturing the feature victory. Justin Gailloux, Dean Hanscom and Brandon Johnson rounded out the top five.

Following post-race technical inspection, Rob Caron was stripped of the win and Steve Benincasa was deemed the official race winner.

While we saw a lot of repeat winners in Thunder Victory Lane on Saturday, Steve Benincasa was able to crack the code and return to the Winner’s Circle for the first time in 2021.

With just 3 weeks remaining in the season, will we see any more new faces in Victory Lane? Who will win the tight points battles and be crowned champion in each division? Stay tuned to find out!

The Super Saturday racing action continues this coming 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