The Super Saturday competition rolled on at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past Saturday with a full lineup that included all NASCAR Nite and Thunder divisions in addition to the Whelen Modified Tour.
With the Whelen Modified Tour in town, all feature races were decreased by 5 laps in attempt to make a strict TV time schedule for the Modified division. This didn’t stop the competitive Wildcats division from putting on a great show.
15 Wildcats drivers showed up to compete on Saturday. Noticeably absent from the field were brothers Shawn and Dan McKeage, Jr. Both drivers missed Saturday’s events due to prior football commitments. The brothers are both talented on the track and on the field for Gorham High School.
The competition kicked off with two 10 lap qualifying heats. Cole Watson took off with the early lead in the first heat as Travis Lovejoy filed in behind him. Cody Webster was also coming through the field early, advancing to third on lap 3.
Chaz Briggs was all over Cody Webster on lap 5, hungry for a spot on the podium. Briggs made his way to the inside of Webster the following lap, challenging for the spot. The two drivers battled it out for nearly the entire second half of the race until Briggs pulled ahead with the advantage on the final lap.
Cole Watson was long gone in the closing laps, picking up the heat victory as Travis Lovejoy and Chaz Briggs rounded out the top 3.
Rob Herrick and Joe Morse battled it out for the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat. Mark Grantham took the two drivers 3-wide early, but Herrick was able to come out on top.
Adam Lovejoy successfully navigated his way through the field early, advancing into the runner-up spot on lap 3 as Jacob Vaughn followed in succession.
Jacob Vaughn made his way to Adam Lovejoy’s outside door on lap 6, challenging for the runner-up spot. Vaughn took over the position just two laps later and immediately moved onto Rob Herrick. The two drivers went head to head for a lap before Vaughn took over the spot on lap 9.
Vaughn held off Herrick to the finish, capturing the heat victory. Adam Lovejoy rounded out the top 3.
Jacob Vaughn took off with the early lead in the 25 lap feature as Rob Herrick quickly powered into the runner-up spot.
Travis Lovejoy and Chaz Briggs went head to head for fourth on lap 3. Briggs took over the spot and then moved onto Cole Watson, challenging for third. The two drivers battled it out for a handful of laps before Briggs pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 9. Travis Lovejoy followed in his footsteps, stealing fourth away from Watson the following lap.
Joe Morse took a hard spin on lap 13 in turns 3 and 4, collecting both Ryan Lund and Kaleb Bean. Morse miraculously kept rolling following the incident, but ultimately headed to the pits under caution.
Jacob Vaughn elected to restart on the outside and held strong, pulling away as Rob Herrick and Adam Lovejoy battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him. Lovejoy pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 15, then setting his sights on Vaughn at the top of the leaderboard.
Chaz Briggs powered to Rob Herrick’s outside on lap 17, challenging for third. Briggs quickly took over the spot and immediately set his eyes on Adam Lovejoy for the runner-up spot.
Kaleb Bean took a spin on lap 21 in turn 2, resulting in a late-race caution with just 4 laps to go.
Jacob Vaughn elected the outside line once again on the restart, going head to head with Chaz Briggs for the top spot. Briggs got bent out of shape on lap 22, allowing Vaughn to pull away and for Adam Lovejoy to take over the runner-up spot with 3 laps to go.
Vaughn was able to fend off Adam Lovejoy to the finish, collecting his second career feature victory in the division and his second win in 4 weeks. Chaz Briggs, Rob Herrick and Wade Kennedy rounded out the top five.
The event concluded the NASCAR Nite program and it couldn’t have been timed more perfectly. The TV schedule called for the Whelen Modified Tour to hit the track at 6:30 pm and the track accomplished that with just 3 minutes to spare.
Props go to Andy Cusack, race control and the entire Beech Ridge track staff for keeping the program rolling while maintaining professionalism and efficiency.
With just 3 weeks remaining in the 2021 season, the racing action will only continue to heat up in the Wildcats division. Which driver will be crowned champion at the end of the season? Stay tuned to find out!
The Super Saturday season rolls on 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.