SCARBOROUGH — Two-time Oxford 250 winner Travis Benjamin and former Thunder Road track champion Nick Sweet earned big wins in their respective divisions, as Beech Ridge Motor Speedway played host to three touring series and one local class on Saturday afternoon.

Benjamin, of Morrill, drove to victory in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) 150 for Super Late Models, while Sweet, of Barre, Vermont, dominated the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Fall Foliage 150.

Anthony Nocella and Jon McKennedy split a pair of 50-lap features for the Valenti Modified Series, thrilling the crowd with shear speed from the 600-horsepower, open-wheel ground-pounders.

After starting 14th on the 34-car grid, Benjamin powered his way around Cassius Clark on lap 83, survived three late restarts and held off a hard-charging DJ Shaw for top honors.

Newly-crowned Beech Ridge Pro Series champion Curtis Gerry was fast all day and finished third, while nine-time Oxford champion Jeff Taylor and former PASS champion Ben Rowe finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“This car is on a rail right now,” an elated Benjamin said in Victory Lane. “Everybody on this race team is working well together, I couldn’t ask for a better ride. I have to thank DJ; he raced me clean the whole time.


“He could have moved me if he wanted to; yet he didn’t. It’s just a lot of fun racing like that. I could run the bottom pretty well for a few laps, just not on a long run. This win feels great.”

Shaw started 15th on the grid and wasted little time getting up into contention. The current point leader in PASS North was pleased with his efforts as the title chase draws to a close.

“We had a good day,” Shaw said. “I had a really strong car today, just not fast enough to get by Travis on the bottom. We contended for the win from a deep starting spot, so all in all it was a successful run for us. I can’t complain with this outcome.”

Gerry, of Waterboro, was thrilled with his performance against the touring series regulars.

“It has been an amazing year for this team so far,” Gerry said. “To pull off a top-three finish in the PASS tour is very satisfying. We almost had a car capable of winning; it was real close. I have to thank everybody on this team for the hard work. It sure paid off nicely today.”

Finishing sixth through tenth in the PASS 150 were Cassius Clark, Johnny Clark, Scott Robbins, Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and Reid Lanpher. Nineteen of the 34 starters finished on the lead lap, while six cautions slowed the pace. Benjamin’s margin of victory over Shaw was .165 seconds.


Sweet started fourth on the 16-car ACT grid and wasn’t a true contender during the early laps. Eddie MacDonald started on the pole and led the first 18 laps before Vermont veteran Scott Payea took command.

After MacDonald and Payea battled side-by-side at the front for several laps, Sweet drove around the outside of MacDonald to take the lead at lap 64. At that point, he started building a lead that would grow to as much as a half-lap on the competition.

“This was the best car I’ve ever driven here at Beech Ridge,” Sweet explained in Victory Lane. “Once we got out front and clear of traffic, I was off and running. I have to thank car owner Eric Chase and our great sponsor, Gary Clay Builders; if it wasn’t for them, I couldn’t do this.”

Only six of the 16 starters finished on the lead lap, an indication of the blistering pace set up front. North Haverhill, New Hampshire’s Ryan Olsen, who drives for Polewarczyk Jr. in a driver development program, finished a solid sixth in his NAPA Auto Parts Ford Fusion.

Payea faded to seventh at the finish after leading 21 laps. The ACT 150 featured five lead changes among three drivers. Sweet’s margin of victory was a mammoth 11.214 seconds over MacDonald. Other notable finishers include Quebec ironman Claude Leclerc (11th), Windham native Brad Babb (13th), and Waterford-based driver Spencer Morse (15th).

Andy Shaw (PASS Mods) and Clyde Hennessey Jr. (Sport Series) also earned feature wins on an extremely busy day of racing at Beech Ridge. The program was run off in five hours and fifteen minutes, considerably quicker than most estimated it would be with over 400 laps of feature racing.

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