Phillips Stars In Maine Modifieds
SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Ryan Phillips scored a career-first PASS Modified victory, while Craig Smith prevailed in a 75-lap open event for Wildcat/Strictly Stock division racers, topping the feature racing card to kick off Southern Maine Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge 400 weekend at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
Austin Theriault will start from the pole in Sunday’s Pro All Stars series Super Late Model 300 after winning his qualifying heat race on Saturday. DJ Shaw and Corey Bubar also won heat races to set the 30-car starting field for Sunday’s main event.
Other feature races were held for the mid-week series racers after their originally-scheduled Thursday night event was washed out. Matt Dufault of Turner, Alex Lacognata of Scarborough, Chad Emery of Buxton, Jeff walker of Waterboro and Freeport’s Matt Curtis were triumphant in those events.
PASS Modified winner Phillips, a former champion of the Roadrunner division at Beech Ridge, earned his first trip to victory lane since moving into the touring series class in impressive fashion. Phillips started eighth and worked his way toward the front of the pack, outbattling veteran racer Ron Henry of New Gloucester to take a lead he would not relinquish.
PASS Mod championship contender Scott Alexander climbed all the way from 15th on the starting grid to chase Phillips under the checkered flag, with Mark Lundblad of Conway, New Hampshire posting a third-place finish. Henry finished fourth after leading most of the race, with former champion Mark Lucas of Harpswell rounding out the top five.
For Craig Smith the first time was the charm, as the PASS Sportsman series regular unveiled a new mount and drove it into victory lane following its’ maiden voyage. It was no easy feat as Lewis Anderson – the championship runner-up in the class at Beech Ridge this season – started dead last in the 31-car field and almost found a way by Smith on a late restart before settling for runner-up honors.
Ryan Hewins of Leeds hopped a ride in Dave Whittier’s 58 and bounced back from a heat race crash to challenge for the win before crossing the line in third position. Lewiston’s Corey Morgan led several laps before fading to a fourth-place finish in front of Buxton’s Brian Caswell.
Matt Dufault of Turner dominated the 50-lap main event for the 350 V-8 stock mid-week racers, winning by a healthy margin. Chris Burgess of Buckfield prevailed in a tight balle for runner-up honors with Josh Childs of Oxford. Early race leader Corey Morgan of Lewiston and Billy Childs, Jr., of Leeds rounded out the top-five.
Alex Lacognata of Scarborough likewise romped to an impressive victory in the 35-lapper for 305 V-8 stock mid-week racers. Bill Gibson of Standish and Gorham’s Johnny Wolfe shared the podium with Lacognata. Chad Reynolds of Limington and Alfred’s Chris Letourneau posted fourth and fifth-place finishes, respectively.
Chad Emery cruised to victory in a 35-lap race for four-cylinder pick-up trucks. Matt Curtis of Freeport made a late charge into second position, with Portland’s Jeff Gilette claiming third-place hardware.
Jeff Walker powered his way to victory lane following the 35-lap four-cylinder mid-week special. David Stone, Jr. of Sanford used a late-race restart to make it look close, while Nate Dubuc filling out the podium.
Wildcat feature winner Smith goes for a weekend double in the Sportsman 100 on Sunday after winning a heat race to earn a front row starting spot. Other Sportsman heat winners were Matt Dow and Joey Pastore.