Beech Ridge Motor Speedway‘s NASCAR Nite program rolled on this past Saturday with the final night of the 2021 “Open Competition” season before the true points season starts next week.

We saw a lot of new faces in the pits on Saturday with over 100 drivers showing up to compete in various divisions. Among those drivers was Kate Re, who was making her first career start at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Gabe Brown also returned for another round of Pro Series competition, along with former weekly competitor, Brandon Barker.

Joe Pastore took off with the early lead over Wyatt Alexander in the first Pro Series qualifying heat. Alexander was hungry for more on lap 6, making his way back to Pastore’s door as he challenged him for the top spot. While the two leaders were duking it out for first, Travis Buzzell and Bill Rodgers battled it out for third behind them.

Pastore held off Alexander for the heat victory while Travis Buzzell nudged out Bill Rodgers for third.

Gabe Brown powered into the early lead over Alan Tardiff in the second and final qualifying heat. Tardiff still lingered closely behind, trailing Gabe Brown until lap 8, where he pulled back up to Brown’s door for the lead. The two drivers remained door to door until Tardiff pulled ahead with just two laps to go.

Alan Tardiff maintained his edge, capturing the heat victory as Gabe Brown and Rusty Poland rounded out the top 3.

17 drivers took to the track for the 50-lap feature event. Joe Pastore took off with the early lead as Wyatt Alexander and Alan Tardiff battled it out for the runner-up spot behind him. Alexander pulled ahead with the edge over Tardiff on lap 5, then setting his sights on Pastore at the top of the leaderboard.

Gabe Brown was hungry for a podium spot, all over Alan Tardiff’s back bumper for third on lap 7. Wyatt Alexander continued his pursuit to the front, tracking down Joe Pastore for the top spot on lap 15 and igniting a red-hot battle for the lead.

Rusty Poland, hoping to gain his footing after a tough start to the season, found his way to Gabe Brown’s door on lap 18, challenging for fourth. Poland finally cleared Brown for the spot on lap 20 and immediately moved onto Alan Tardiff while Joe Pastore and Wyatt Alexander went door to door for the top spot.

Dave Oliver was also on the move in the second half of the feature, breaking the top five on lap 38.

Wyatt Alexander and Joe Pastore stayed close, with Alexander finding his way back to Pastore’s door once again with just five laps to go. The two drivers gave it everything they had and dug in during the closing laps, but Pastore held the edge as he crossed the finish line, capturing his first career Pro Series victory. Margin of victory? .224 seconds.

Pastore celebrated in Victory Lane, thanking his friends, family and the Caruso Fowler Racing team for supporting him throughout his racing journey.

Wyatt Alexander, Alan Tardiff, Rusty Poland and Dave Oliver rounded out the top five.

The Pro Series division remains SUPER competitive and drivers like Pastore, Alexander, Tardiff and Oliver all continue to showcase their strength week after week. Rusty Poland, who has shared his frustrations about the slow start to his 2021 season, showed up on Saturday and proved that everything gets better as long as you give it your all and never give up. It’ll be fun watching the #44 team grow even more over the course of the season.

Catch more Pro Series racing action next Saturday, June 5th. The racing action kicks off at 4:00 pm. Kids of ALL AGES are now allowed in the pits and grandstand admission is only $12 for adults and FREE for kids 12 and under.

Continue chasing the checkered and support your local short tracks. I hope to see you soon!