This past Thursday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted what could be their final Mid-Week Series Showdown. The Showdown is an annual event that brings competitors from other New England tracks like Oxford Plains Speedway and Wiscasset Speedway to Beech Ridge for a night full of intense racing action.
The Showdown is different than most mid-week programs because it features heat races for all divisions. With Thursday potentially being the last Showdown ever, drivers and teams flooded the Beech Ridge pit area, making for an amazing turnout in both the pits and grandstands. Even Maine racing great, Ricky Craven, was in attendance on Thursday.
The night’s competition kicked off with two 8 lap heat races for the Beetle Bugs. Brad Bellows took off with the early lead over Justin Faford in the first qualifying heat.
Trouble was brewing early as Adam Warnock, Darryl Quinlan and Jeff Libby tangled on the initial lap, resulting in a caution.
Brad Bellows took off once again on the restart and maintained his lead throughout the closing laps of the race, picking up the heat victory. Justin Faford and Jeremy Farrar rounded out the top 3.
Corey Roussel powered to the early lead in the second and final qualifying heat. Derek McKeen was on the move early, advancing into the runner-up spot over Rob Taylor on lap 3. McKeen held the position briefly until Dustin Salley swooped in and stole it away.
Returning competitor, Alex Parechanian, took a spin on lap 5 in turn 1, resulting in a late race caution.
Dustin Salley gave Corey Roussel a run for his money on the restart while Salley’s teammate, Butch Keene, advanced to third over Derek McKeen.
Salley took over the lead on lap 6 after a wild maneuver. He continued to fend off Corey Roussel in the closing laps, securing the heat victory. Butch Keene rounded out the top 3.
22 drivers took to the track for the 25 lap feature race. Brad Bellows initially pulled away with the early lead, but Dustin Salley made a bold crossover move on lap 2, taking over the top spot.
Corey Roussel was on the move early, advancing into the runner-up spot over Brad Bellows on lap 5 as Butch Keene followed in succession. Keene was all over Roussel two laps later, hungry for the runner-up spot. He pulled to Roussel’s outside door on lap 10, challenging for the position.
The two drivers approached lap traffic on lap 16 and went 3-wide with a slower car, resulting in Keene taking control of the spot.
Alex Parechanian came to a stop in turn 2 on lap 23, resulting in a late race caution.
Dustin Salley pulled ahead with the advantage on the restart as Corey Roussel got the upper hand on Butch Keene for the runner-up spot. It was a drag race to the finish for Butch Keene and Jeff Libby, who were left battling it out for third.
Dustin Salley held strong through the finish, capturing his final feature victory of the season. Corey Roussel followed as Jeff Libby beat Butch Keene to the line by a nose. Keene gave it all he had, resulting in him taking a spin following the finish. Derek McKeen rounded out the top five.
Mandy drivers pulled double duty between the Beetle Bugs and the Rebels, which is a weekly mid-week division at Oxford Plains Speedway. Their races mirrored the Beetle Bugs as the competition kicked off with two 8 lap heat races.
Gregg Norton held the early advantage over Darryl Quinlan in the first qualifying heat. Jeff Atherton was also on the move early, advancing to third over Dave Stone, Jr. on lap 3.
Darryl Quinlan made his way to Gregg Norton’s outside door on lap 6, challenging for the top spot with just two laps tp go. Norton managed to fend Quinlan off to the finish, picking up the heat victory. Jeff Atherton rounded out the top 3.
Chris Giguere took off with the early lead over Jeff Davis in the second and final qualifying heat. Oxford regular, Adam O’Neil, was all over Nate Pearson for third on lap 5. He pulled to his door the following lap, taking over the spot.
Chris Giguere held strong through the finish, capturing the heat victory as Jeff Davis and Adam O’Neil rounded out the top 3.
26 drivers took to the track for the 25 lap feature. Gregg Norton took off with the early lead, but trouble was on the horizon for Dave Stone, Jr. and Derek McKeen, who collided in turn 1 on the initial lap of the feature. Both drivers managed to drive away, but both fell to the back of the pack.
Dustan Moreau took a spin in turn 1 in the opening laps of the race, resulting in an early caution.
Gregg Norton held a slight advantage on the restart as David Cook rode his coattails, ready to strike. Further on back, Addie McDaniel was quickly navigating through the field, advancing to fourth over Adam O’Neil on lap 10.
David Cook made way to Gregg Norton’s outside door on lap 15, challenging for the top spot. Cook lost momentum on lap 18, ultimately falling back to third. He found his groove in the closing laps of the race, stealing the runner-up spot away from Darryl Quinlan on lap 21 as Addie McDaniel followed in his footsteps.
Gregg Norton maintained his advantage through the finish, picking up his first career win at Beech Ridge in his first career start at the track. David Cook, Addie McDaniel, Darryl Quinlan and AJ Smith rounded out the top five.
It was an impressive night for the Beetle Bugs and Rebels, who fielded nearly 50 cars for both divisions. It was certainly bittersweet knowing that it could be the last mid-week Showdown at the track, but these 2 divisions certainly did not disappoint.
Please support what could be the last NASCAR Nite program at Beech Ridge, taking place this Sunday, September 26th. The racing kicks off at 2:00 pm and it surely is shaping up to be an amazing event.
If you’d like to support potential change in the outcome of the closure of the track that we all love, please join the Save Beech Ridge Speedway group on Facebook and share your ideas.
In the meantime, continue chasing the checkered and support your local short tracks. It’s more important than ever before.
#weareBRMS and we will get through this together.
Cover photo credit: Jamie Williams – Finish Line Photography