SCARBOROUGH — Brandon Barker knows all about the role momentum plays in short track stock car racing.
The young hotshoe from Windham has been on a tear as of late, running strong in Pro All Stars Series (PASS) events and winning a 50-lap Super Late Model feature at Oxford on Aug. 11. Last weekend, he carried that momentum to his home track.
Barker put in a career-best effort to hold off former track champion Curtis Gerry to win the 70-lap Pro Series feature on Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Gerry tried to get under Barker in the closing laps yet fell just .041 seconds short.
“Curtis is a real class act who ran me clean the whole time,” Barker said in Victory Lane. “Those last laps were stressful, we all know how fast he is here. He’s a true champion, and it feels great that we were able to hold him off.
“I owe a big thanks to Robbie Harrison for helping me get this car dialed in last week. This is pretty cool.”
Corey Bubar set the early pace and crossed the stripe in third behind Gerry. Turner veteran Calvin Rose Jr. ventured south to try his hand at The Ridge and came away with a solid fourth-place finish, while longtime Beech Ridge veteran David Oliver completed the top five.
Joe Pastore had the upper hand in Sport Series action on Saturday, wheeling his machine to victory in a fast-paced 70-lap tussle. Charlie Sanborn finished in the runner-up spot nearly two seconds back, while Alex Lacognata filled out the podium in third.
Terry Merrill and Devin Curit (both from Saco) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Sport series teams often put on one of the cleanest, most competitive shows of the evening, and did so on Saturday.
David Vaughn had all he do to keep Josh Childs behind him during the 70-lap Wildcat feature, yet managed to seal the deal. Childs is seeking his first points title at the famed Scarborough oval after spending most of his early career at Oxford.
Vaughn’s margin of victory was a scant .316 seconds, fine with point leader Childs after winning last week’s 70-lap special feature. Dave Cameron crossed the stripe in third, while Zach Bowie (Turner) and Cody Webster (Standish) completed the top five.
This was the second of two consecutive Triple 70s programs (due to several rainouts) hosted by Beech Ridge this season to celebrate 70 years of competition at the track J.B. McConnell built back in 1949.
Beech Ridge will close out its 70th season of points racing on Saturday, Sept. 8, with Championship Night and a visit by the Modified Racing Series.
LeBLANCE PREVAILS IN OUTLAW MINIS
Cody Leblanc made the long haul from his home in northern New Hampshire down to the midcoast region of Maine pay off over the weekend.
Leblanc, of Berlin, started 13th on the grid and powered his way to victory in the Outlaw Mini Madness 75 on Saturday at Wiscasset Speedway. Leeds veteran Jimmy Childs led the first 61 laps yet fell by the wayside when the engine grenaded in his Childs Paint & Auto Body Ford Mustang.
Vassalboro’s Brent Roy crossed the stripe in second nearly a full second behind Leblanc. Scott Trask of Richmond filled out the podium in third with a solid performance. Ryan Keniston (Augusta) and Kalib Bernatchez (Vassalboro) completed the top five, both one lap down to the top three drivers.
In Late Model Sportsman action, point leader Andrew McLaughlin notched his third win of the season. The Lobsterman from Harrington started 13th on the 19-car field ad quickly worked his way into contention. Will Collins finished nearly two seconds back in the runner-up position.
Liberty’s Josh St. Clair, a driver with the most recognizable last name at Wiscasset Speedway, finished third with a strong run. Ryan St. Clair (Liberty) and annual strongman Chris Thorne (Sidney) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The LMS teams have provided some of best racing all year at Wiscasset.
Austin Teras is one driver who is starting to appear on the radar screens of fans all over the state on a regular basis. The 15-year-old hotshoe from Gray turned heads when he won a 50-lap weekly Super Late Model feature at Oxford (against the seasoned veterans) on June 2, and rightfully so.
Teras added another victory to his already-impressive driving resume on Saturday with a victory in the 25-lap NELCAR Legends feature at Wiscasset. Luke LeBrun, of Newton, Mass., crossed the line over a full second back in the runner-upn position, while Casey Call (Pemboke, N.H.) finished third.
Jake Matheson (Hillsboro, N.H.) and Trent Goodrow (Carver, Mass.) completed the top five finishers.