SCARBOROUGH — As the saying goes, fool me twice, shame on me.

Bill Rodgers wasn’t about to be snookered a second time, outsmarting Nick Cusack on the race’s final restart before holding off a furious charge from Dave Farrington Jr. over the final five laps to win the Miller Lite Firecracker 50 on Tuesday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. The victory was the third of the season for Rodgers in the track’s top division, the Pro Series, and the third in this event for the 2011 track champion.

“He could have gotten me better than that,” Rodgers, of Old Orchard Beach, said of last-lap contact from Farrington. “I believe that shot was intended not to take me out. That was a deal there where he was telling me, ‘I was here and I could have won this, but I’m being nice to you.’”

Farrington, of Jay, erased a half-straightaway deficit to Rodgers inside the final 10 laps and got to the rear bumper of the No. 53. But a light shot from Farrington’s front bumper off the final corner of the race wasn’t enough to unnerve Rodgers — who anticipated the contact was coming.

“I used to be really good at it in go-karts — moving people without them even knowing it,” said Farrington, the 2014 track champion. “Maybe one day I’ll learn how to do it in these cars. It’s kind of hard when you play those kinds of games. When you make a mistake, you’ve got to fix the car. There aren’t a lot of people around to fix these cars like there used to be.”

“I knew the shot was coming, because I crowding him going down the middle (of the backstretch),” Rodgers said. “Not to block him, but to take his line away. Not to block him totally, but so it doesn’t look as bad. With two to go, you’ve got to do that.”

In 10 races this season, Farrington has one win and four second-place finishes.

“In five out of 10 races, we’ve been 1-2. I’ll take that,” Farrington said. “I’d rather take more firsts than seconds, they pay the bills a little bit better. But it is what it is.”

Cusack started on the outside pole and led all but one of the first 34 laps in his bid for a second extra-distance win at Beech Ridge this summer. He restarted in the outside lane on a lap 34 restart and was able to hold Rodgers at bay, but he wasn’t so lucky on the second and final restart of the night a lap later.

“It surprised me how good he shot out on the first one, and on the second one I thought I’d be ready,” said Cusack, of Scarborough, who won a 125-lap Pro Series race 10 days earlier. “But he got out on me, and that’s all it took to win.”

Rodgers watched the way Cusack took off the first time around and pledged to himself that it wouldn’t happen again.

“I noticed Nick took off right when he hit (the restart line),” Rodgers said. “(On the second one) I was like, ‘All right, he’s going to take off when he hits it, so I’m taking off when I hit it.’ That’s what I did, and that gave me the momentum to clear him. That was it.

“I was tight on the bottom, I needed to move up into the middle to get it to turn off. Once I was clear of him, I could pedal it and get going.”

Rodgers started third on the grid but was shuffled back outside the top five when the inside line didn’t go forward on the race’s initial green flag. He moved quickly to second, passing a pair of cars to the inside on lap 6.

That set up a first half of the race where he continued to try to work to Cusack’s inside until he got the opportunity for the eventual race-winning pass with 16 laps remaining.

Corey Bubar of Windham and Don Colpritt Jr. of Scarborough completed the top five. Trevor Sanborn, Travis Buzzell, Ivan Kaffel and Gary Smith finished sixth through ninth, respectively.

It was a rough night for point leader Dave Oliver of Standish, who finished 10th and was never in contention after starting 11th in the 17-car field.

In other feature racing, Nate Leavitt of Buxton won the 30-lap Wildcat main event and Charlie Sanborn III of Scarborough won the 35-lap Sport Series race. Both races were caution-free.


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