With just two weeks remaining in the 2021 season, the racing action was heating up in every division at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway this past Saturday.
The point standings in the Sport Series featured the most padded point lead of the NASCAR Nite divisions, with Chris Smith coming into the night with a 21 point lead over Ryan Phillips.
The racing action kicked off with two 10-lap heat races. Jim Colpritt and Dylan Thyng went to head for the early lead in the first heat. The two drivers remained neck & neck until Thyng pulled away with the lead on lap 4.
Jim Colpritt took a spin on lap 5, resulting in a chain reaction as Curt Gleason and Nick Calvert also went around in turn 1. The incident resulted in an early race caution.
Colpritt made contact with Gleason under yellow after the two drivers exited the carnage. Curt Gleason displayed his frustrations, backing his machine into Colpritt’s in turn 3. Colpritt was black flagged after the incident, but returned to the track for the drop of the green flag.
Dylan Thyng took off with the lead on the restart, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders as Colby Meserve and Matt Lude made contact on lap 6. This resulted in Lude taking a spin in turn 4 and led to another caution.
Dylan Thyng maintained his advantage on the restart. But, Jim Colpritt and Matt Lude made contact on lap 8, resulting in a late-race caution.
Dylan Thyng powered away with the lead one final time, scoring the heat victory. Nick Calvert and Dominic Curit rounded out the top three.
Frank Wear and Bubba Pelton squared up for the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat. After battling it out for a couple of laps, Wear pulled ahead with sole possession of the spot on lap 3.
Point leaders, Chris Smith and Ryan Phillips, ignited a side by side battle for third on lap 4. Chris Smith held strong, pulling ahead with the advantage the following lap.
Smith continued his pursuit to the front in the closing laps, riding Bubba Pelton’s back bumper for the runner-up spot. It was a close battle, but Pelton was able to fend Smith off to the finish as Frank Wear captured the heat victory.
The initial start of the 35 lap feature was called off by race control, but Dylan Thyng took off with the early lead once the field went green. Drivers were 3-wide for third on lap 3, with Bubba Pelton pulling ahead with the advantage.
Ryan Phillips, Danny Wear and Robbie Harrison tangled on lap 4 in turn 3, resulting in an early race caution.
Dylan Thyng powered away with the lead on the restart as Bubba Pelton made his way into the runner-up spot over Dominic Curit. Jim Colpritt’s machine began smoking heavily on lap 7 and he was black flagged before he ultimately surrendered to the pits.
Bubba Pelton made way to Dylan Thyng’s inside door on lap 9, challenging for the lead before taking over the top spot the following lap. Chris Smith was on the move mid-race, breaking the top five on lap 13.
Dominic Curit and Frank Wear spearheaded a battle for third on lap 15. Wear pulled ahead with the advantage on lap 18 as Chris Smith followed in succession. Danny Wear followed in his father’s footsteps, stealing fifth away from Dominic Curit on lap 21.
Frank Wear continued his pursuit on lap 18, advancing into the runner-up spot over Dylan Thyng as Chris Smith followed his lead.
Bubba Pelton maintained his edge through the closing laps of the race, picking up yet another feature victory in the division. Frank Wear, Chris Smith, Danny Wear and Dylan Thyng rounded out the top five.
Chris Smith was able to further pad his points lead in the division leading into next week’s season finale. In order to secure his championship, all Smith has to do is start the feature race next week. The #1 driver and his team can now breathe a sigh of relief and just enjoy the ride.
Join us for championship night this coming Saturday, September 11th. The night will feature all Super Saturday divisions and the final Autograph Night of the season, in addition to the championship award ceremonies. 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