This past Thursday, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway hosted what could potentially be their last Mid-Week Series Showdown series ever.
The Mid-Week Series Showdown is a yearly season closer event at the track that features a handful of mid-week series divisions from different tracks, welcoming drivers from Wiscasset Speedway, Oxford Plains Speedway and other New England tracks to compete against Beech Ridge regulars.
The Mad Bomber turnout was so big on Thursday that track officials decided to split the division into two different 25 lap feature races.
The event was special for Matt Hodgdon and his sons, Josh Hodgdon and Tyler Lerman, as this was the first time in history (and potentially the last) that the father-son trio would be able to compete together at their home track. Luckily, all 3 drivers were able to race in the same event as one another.
Thanks to me, Matt Hodgdon drew the pole for the qualifying heat race for feature #1. He took off with the early lead in the heat, but trouble was brewing behind the leaders as Josh Hodgdon and Taylor Graffam tangled in turn 3, resulting in an early race caution.
Trevor Sanborn, a veteran Super Late Model driver trying his hand in the Mad Bomber division, pulled to Matt Hodgdon’s outside on lap 2, challenging for the top spot. Mike DeKoning was also on the move, advancing to third on lap 4.
Trevor Sanborn made a crossover move to Matt Hodgdon’s inside on lap 5, taking over the top spot. In the meantime, Josh Hodgdon had made an impressive comeback following his early race troubles, cutting the field in half by lap 8.
Trevor Sanborn pulled away in the closing laps of the race, picking up the heat victory as Matt Hodgdon and Todd Libby rounded out the top 3.
Sanborn continued his magic in the 25 lap feature event as he pulled to the early lead over Matt Hodgdon. Tyler Lerman was in hot pursuit of the leaders early, challenging Joey Israelson for third before taking over the position on lap 5. He continued his triumph just two laps later as he stole the runner-up spot away from his Dad, Matt Hodgdon.
Justin Gailloux and Ed McConologue made heavy contact on lap 7 as they collided in turn 2, resulting in an early race caution. Joe Poole and Derrick Burnham made contact on the restart, which led to another quick yellow.
Trevor Sanborn pulled away on the restart as Tyler Lerman and Matt Hodgdon reignited their battle for the runner-up spot. Lerman got the one up on his Dad on lap 11 and began tracking down the race leader.
Josh Hodgdon was on the move in the second half of the race, challenging Dean Hanscom for fourth on lap 13. All the while, Tyler Lerman made his way to Trevor Sanborn’s outside door on lap 15, igniting a battle for the top spot. Sanborn managed to pull away briefly, but Lerman was back to challenge on lap 18.
His brother, Josh Hodgdon, gained momentum on lap 21, passing two cars on one lap to land himself in third with just 4 laps to go. On the final lap, Dean Hanscom stole fourth away from Matt Hodgdon as Todd Libby followed in succession.
Trevor Sanborn continued his dominance in the closing laps of the race, securing the feature victory. Tyler Lerman, Josh Hodgdon, Dean Hanscom and Todd Libby rounded out the top 5.
2021 series rookie, Nate Barth, powered into the early lead in the qualifying heat for feature #2. Another rookie, Alex Wilson, overtook Fred Bird for the runner-up spot on lap 7 and quickly stole the lead away from Nate Barth.
Richard Bourgeois-Lang had a hard spin on the final lap in turn 4, but the field remained green as Alex Wilson picked up the heat victory. Nate Barth and Fred Bird rounded out the top 3.
Alex Wilson took off with the early lead in the 25 lap feature event. Alex Smith was also on the move early, advancing to fourth over Rob Caron on lap 3. He was all over Fred Bird on lap 5, challenging for third. Smith made his way to Bird’s inside door the following lap, finally completing the pass on lap 7.
Logan Caron went up in smoke on the backstretch on lap 11, resulting in a mid-race caution. Melee ensued on the restart as race leader Alex Wilson, Alex Smith and others collided, changing the game completely at the halfway mark.
Nate Barth powered into the lead on the restart. Drivers were 3-wide for the runner-up spot on lap 13, with Derrick Drown taking over the position. Alex Wilson was on the rebound in the closing raps of the race, overtaking Derrick Drown for the runner-up spot on lap 17.
After a solid run all day, Fred Bird blew up on the front stretch on lap 18, drawing out a late race caution.
Alex Wilson was in hot pursuit of Nate Barth on the restart, making his way to Barth’s outside door with just 5 laps to go. While battling for the top spot, Wilson was forced to the infield dirt on lap 22, resulting in another late race caution and Wilson losing a handful of spots.
Drivers were 3-wide for position on the restart, with Rob Caron, Alex Smith and Derrick Drown colliding to draw out another yellow.
Nate Barth held strong on the restart and never looked back, collecting his second consecutive victory in the division. Barth exuded excitement in Victory Lane as he hopped on the roof of the car and celebrated on the front stretch with his friends.
Johnny Wolfe, Shawn Brackett, Alex Wilson and Caleb Gooch rounded out the top five.
We witnessed pure excitement and joy in the Mad Bombers division on Thursday night as veteran drivers explored their talents in mid-level divisions, bringing it back to their roots one final time.
You could feel the support in Victory Lane as well as one young driver continued to make his mark in the division. Although we are all unsure of where the future lies, one thing is for sure: many of these drivers have all the support in the world, no matter where racing takes them!
Please support BRMS on Sunday, September 26th, which could be the final NASCAR Nite in track history. It’s shaping up to be a well-attended and action packed event. The racing action kicks off at 2:00 pm.
If you would like to share your ideas on how we can potentially keep Beech Ridge Motor Speedway alive, please join the Save Beech Ridge Speedway group on Facebook.
Continue chasing the checkered and support your local short tracks. It’s more important now than ever before.
#weareBRMS and will get through this together.
Cover photo credit: Jamie Williams – Finish Line Photography