After a highly eventful race last weekend that brought a lot of carnage, the Wildcats division returned to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past weekend for another 30-lap main event.
The series began the NASCAR Nite portion of the program with two 10-lap heat races. Cole Watson took off with the early lead in the first heat. Rob Herrick, who has been red-hot for the past couple of weeks in the division, was all over Watson for the top spot by the halfway mark.
Herrick continued his pursuit on lap 7, making his way to Watson’s inside door as he challenged for the lead. The two drivers fought it out until the bitter end, where Watson beat Herrick to the line by a nose. Dan McKeage, Jr. rounded out the top 3.
Joe Morse, who worked hard all week to repair his battered #61 machine, powered to the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat. Wade Kennedy spearheaded an early battle with Ryan Lund for the runner-up spot, eventually taking over the position on lap 3.
Mark Grantham was coming through the field mid-race, advancing to third over Ryan Lund on lap 6. Wade Kennedy was hungry for the lead in the closing laps, making his way to Joe Morse’s outside door on lap 7 as Chaz Briggs and Mark Grantham battled it out for third behind them.
Wade Kennedy was able to pull it off, scoring the heat victory over Joe Morse. Chaz Briggs rounded out the top 3.
14 drivers took to the track for the 30-lap feature race. Rob Herrick took off with the early lead in the feature while Wade Kennedy and Cole Watson went head to head for the runner-up spot behind him. Dan Bean took a spin on lap 10 in turn 1, resulting in the first caution of the feature.
Wade Kennedy was all over Rob Herrick on the restart, eventually taking over the top spot on lap 12. Chaz Briggs was also on the move mid-race, advancing to third over Cole Watson on lap 14. Ryan Lund came to a stop on the track on lap 15 in turn 4, drawing out a caution.
Wade Kennedy and Rob Herrick squared up for the lead once again on the restart. While battling for position with Joe Morse, Cole Watson got bent out of shape on lap 20, falling to the back of the pack. Morse later took a spin on lap 22 in turn 2, resulting in a late-race caution.
Wade Kennedy pulled ahead with the lead on the restart, but Rob Herrick was still digging, pulling back to Kennedy’s inside door with just 3 laps to go. The two drivers fought it out to the finish, where Kennedy pulled off the win by just half a car length over Herrick.
Lyman McKeage, Chaz Briggs and Shawn McKeage rounded out the top five.
With just four weeks remaining in the 2021 season, the competition in the Wildcats division continues to heat up. Wade Kennedy scored a repeat win this week, but drivers like Shawn McKeage and Dan McKeage, Jr. continue to get closer to their first win with every passing week. Will either of them top the podium in 2021? Stay tuned to find out!
The Super Saturday competition continues on this coming Saturday, August 21st. Beech Ridge will also be hosting the Whelen Modified Tour, which is sure to be an exciting event! 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