This past Sunday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted what could be their final “NASCAR Nite” program in track history. With the future of the track uncertain, nearly 75 drivers from varying New England tracks showed up to compete on Sunday.
21 competitors joined the Sport Series field on Sunday, making for an impressive turnout for the mid-level division.
The Sport Series racing action kicked off with two 12 lap qualifying heats. Frank Wear, Colby Meserve and Todd Libby tangled on the backstretch on the initial lap of the heat, resulting in an early caution. Libby took the brunt of the damage and was thankfully able to walk away from the carnage, but his #80 machine was heavily damaged from the impact.
Dominic Curit pulled ahead with a slight advantage on the restart. But, trouble was brewing behind the leaders once again as Ryan Robinson took a spin in turn 3. The incident led to another caution.
Dominic Curit powered away with the lead on the restart. Joe Pastore was also quickly navigating through the field, going from last to fifth in just 4 laps.
Kenny Harrison came to life mid-race, challenging Dylan Thyng for the runner-up spot. Joe Pastore was still clawing his way to the front, advancing to fourth over Matt Beers on lap 10.
Dominic Curit continued to hold off his competitors in the closing laps of the race, scoring the heat victory as Dylan Thyng beat Kenny Harrison to the line for the runner-up spot.
Nick Calvert powered to the early lead over Justin Cusack, running a #61 tribute car, in the second and final Sport Series heat. Unfortunately for Calvert, his reign didn’t take long as Bubba Pelton overtook the lead on lap 2.
Robbie Harrison fell out of the racing groove on lap 3, eventually coming to a slow in turn 1. This resulted in an early race caution.
Bubba Pelton pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart. Further on back in the field, Ben Tinker was on the move, advancing to third over PJ Merrill on lap 5. Tinker continued his pursuit in the coming laps, challenging Nick Calvert for the runner-up spot. Tinker succeeded on lap 7, capturing sole possession of the spot.
Bubba Pelton was long gone at the front of the pack, ultimately picking up the heat victory. Ben Tinker and Nick Calvert rounded out the top 3.
Paying homage to the old racing days at Beech Ridge, all Sport Series drivers stopped on the front stretch for out of car driver introduction’s before the start of their 50 lap feature race.
Dominic Curit and Bubba Pelton battled it out for the early lead in the feature. This lasted just briefly, as Pelton quickly got the leg up on Curit and began to pull away from his competitors.
Ben Tinker made his way to Dylan Thyng’s inside door on lap 6, challenging for third. Tinker took over the following lap as Kenny Harrison followed in succession.
Joe Pastore was also on the move early, overtaking Kenny Harrison for fourth on lap 14. In the coming laps, Pastore quickly began to mow down the competition, picking off Ben Tinker and Dominic Curit to land himself in the runner-up spot.
Colby Meserve’s struggles continued on lap 24 as he came to a slow in turn 2 before making the dreaded righthand turn into the pits. Carnage followed as Curt Gleason and Steve Benincasa made heavy contact on lap 26. The field remained green, but Benincasa was forced to the pits following the impact.
Gleason took a spin on lap 32 and backed his #4 machine into the turn 2 wall, resulting in a late race caution.
Joe Pastore and Bubba Pelton ignited a deadlocked battle for the lead once the field went green, but trouble was on the horizon as Jim Colpritt and Curt Gleason tangled on lap 33. This led to another caution.
Bubba Pelton got a jump on Joe Pastore on the restart and attempted to pull away from his competitor. But, Pastore wasn’t giving up without a fight.
Justin Cusack cut a right front tire down on lap 47, resulting in the driver coming to a stop in turn 4 the following lap. This set the stage for a final two lap shootout.
It was a drag race to the finish between Bubba Pelton and Joe Pastore, with both drivers crossing the finish line completely sideways. This made for the second wild finish of the night with another slim margin of victory.
What was the margin this time around, you may ask? .065 seconds.
After some disputing and sleuthing was done by race control, Bubba Pelton was deemed the official race winner. Ben Tinker, Bobby Nadeau and Chris Smith rounded out the top five.
All competitors truly laid it all out on the track on Sunday, putting on the best sendoff show for the fans. You truly couldn’t have asked for a better finish in the Sport Series.
Please continue to support our Sport Series drivers by visiting Wiscasset Speedway on Saturday, October 9th for the Ward & Sons Construction Super 100. This is the second installment in the Sport Series/Super Street challenge series. The racing action kicks off at 2:00 pm and admission is just $5 for kids of ALL ages.
Continue chasing the checkered & support our local short tracks. This is more important now than ever before.
If you’d like to share your thoughts on how we can potentially save our short track, please join the Save Beech Ridge Speedway group on Facebook.
#weareBRMS and will get through this together.
Cover photo credit goes to my amazing friend Jamie Williams at Finish Line Photography.