Ivan Kaffel Takes First Legends Victory Thursday At Beech Ridge
Story By: AMY HARROP / RPW – SCARBOROUGH, ME – With just two weeks left in the 2017 Thursday Night Thunder season, drivers from all 8 divisions arrived to Beech Ridge ready for battle. With the points battles tightening up in all divisions, it was sure to be a night full of exciting and competitive racing.
The Legends division was the first to take to the track, with Kevin Girard Jr. and Ed Getty starting on the front row for the feature. Parker Varney, Chris Burgess and Ivan Kaffel followed, rounding out the top five. Trevor Sanborn, a driver who has won multiple races this season, started the feature in sixth. Girard powered into the early lead, with the #10 of Ed Getty slowly falling back through the field. Trevor Sanborn was on the move early, breaking into the top 3 on lap 2 after clearing Ivan Kaffel for P3 in turn 2. By lap 6, he made his way into the runner-up spot, setting his sights on the #19 of Girard. The #71 went around on lap 15 in turn 1, drawing out the first caution of the night. This time around, Sanborn got a good jump on the restart, pulling ahead of the #19 of Girard. Kevin Girard wasn’t letting him slide, stealing the lead back from Sanborn later that lap in turn 3. Sanborn fell back to P3 as Chris Burgess made his way to Girard’s back bumper, eventually clearing him for the lead on turn 18. Girard lost some ground this time around, falling back to P3. Sanborn was on the move once again at the front of the pack, making his way around Chris Burgess on lap 20 in turn 4 for the top spot. Burgess wasn’t letting him go, shoving Sanborn to the outside on lap 22 in turn 4 as he reclaimed the lead. Ivan Kaffel was right there and ready to strike, eventually making his way inside the two drivers on lap 23 in turn 1 for the lead. Kaffel managed to hold off the competition for the final two laps, taking home his first Legends car victory as a rookie. He was followed by Trevor Sanborn, Kevin Girard, Chris Burgess and Parker Varney.
Steve Holbrook and Jimmy Dean started on the front row for the Mad Bombers JV feature, followed by Richard Bourgeois-Lang, Tim Gosch, Jr. and Devon McConologue. The #99 of Jimmy Dean broke out into the early lead, pulling away from the rest of the field. The #22 of David Bouchard went around in turn 4 on lap 1, but he was able to stay rolling. On lap 7, Bouchard faced more troubles, going into the wall in turn 3, collecting the #18 of Devon McConologue in the process. Jimmy Dean pulled away from the field once again on the restart, maintaining a safe lead over the rest of the pack. But, Danny Wear was on the move, breaking the top 5 on lap 14. On lap 23, Danny Wear made his way into the runner-up spot in turn 3, setting his sights on the #99 of Jimmy Dean. The #88 of Chad Moreside took a spin on the final lap in turn 3 in front of the leaders, causing the race to end under caution. It was a close battle for the checkered flag and Danny Wear spun around in turn 1 after crossing the start/finish line. Jimmy Dean took home the win, followed by Danny Wear, Garrett Lamb, Scott Eck and Brandon Johnson.
The #99 of Jay Leach started on the pole for the Mighty Trucks JV feature, followed by John Curtis, Will Potter, Robert Ferguson and Jared Kimball. The #20 of Danny Wear, who started at the rear of the pack, won Wednesday night’s truck race at Oxford Plains Speedway. The #4 of Jared Kimball shot into the early lead in turn 3 on the first lap. But, both Danny Wear and Nick Calvert were quickly making their way through the field. Danny Wear had come from the back of the back to third by lap 2, with Nick Calvert also sliding into the runner-up spot by the second lap. The #4 of Jared Kimball nearly went around on lap 6 in turn 2, giving Calvert the edge as he captured the lead in turn 3. Kimball wasn’t giving up that easy, finding his way to Calvert’s back bumper by lap 7. Kimball fought his way back into the lead on lap 8, clearing the #33 of Calvert in turn 1 for the top spot. By lap 9, Calvert had fallen back to third place behind Jared Kimball and Danny Wear, but it was a tight battle between the three leaders. Nick Calvert and Danny Wear tangled on lap 11 in turn 2, sending Wear for a spin. The caution came out, with Danny Wear being sent to the back of the pack for the restart. Jared Kimball got a good jump on the restart, pulling away from the field once again. The #20 of Danny Wear and the #99 of Jay Leach tangled on lap 12 in turn 1, with the #99 of Leach taking a wild ride as he flipped numerous times in turn 1, eventually landing back on all four wheels in the dirt. The race was immediately red flagged after the incident. Thankfully, Leach was able to climb out of his car under his own power. The #4 of Kimball powered to the front once again on the restart, running away with the victory. Nick Calvert, Tanner McDougal, Will Potter and Danny Wear followed, rounding out the top five.
Robert Taylor and Darryl Quinlan led the field to green in the JV Beetle Bug feature, followed by Alex Parechanian, last week’s winner Chris Case and Mark Brulotte. Robert Taylor pulled away with the early lead, but Chris Case was charging through the field early, powering into P3 on lap 1. By the second lap, he was at Darryl Quinlan’s bumper, fighting for the runner-up spot. He cleared the #12 in turn 2, setting his sights on the #20 of Taylor. He made his way around Taylor for the lead on lap 2 in turn 3, pulling away from the field. The #21 of Alex Parechanian took a spin on lap 3 in turn 4, causing him to fall to the back of the pack as the race remained green. By lap 8, Chris Case was leading by nearly ½ a straightaway over the rest of the field, displaying dominance for the third week in a row. The #46 of Mark Brulotte got into the #21 of Parechanian on lap 13 in turn 1, drawing out the caution. Chris Case pulled away on the restart once again, with Brandon Lizotte fighting his way up to P3 on lap 14 in turn 2. Chris Case took home the victory, making this his 5th victory of the 2017 Thursday Night Thunder season and tightening up the points battle in the JV Beetle Bug division.Darryl Quinlan, Brandon Lizotte, Alex Parechanian and Robert Taylor followed, rounding out the top 5.
Kiyah Gammon started on the pole for the Ladies League feature, followed by Holly Gain, Mary Price, Shelby Brannon and Kaitlynn Leavitt. Gammon maintained the lead on the first lap as last week’s winner Betty Nelson faced troubles on the start, falling to the back of the pack. By lap 2, Mary Price had found her way into the lead. Kaitlynn Leavitt was all over her back bumper by lap 3, fighting for the top spot. She cleared Price in turn 4, capturing the temporary spot at the top of the leaderboard. The #5 of Gammon got into the #61 of Holly Gain on lap 6 in turn 4, sending both cars into the dirt and bringing out the first caution of the feature. Kaitlynn Leavitt maintained the lead after the restart, but she was fighting off the #27 of Shelby Brannon, who was hungry for the top spot. The #8 of Betty Nelson found momentum on lap 9, muscling her way into the top 3 behind Leavitt and Brannon, who were still battling for position. Nelson eventually cleared Brannon for the runner-up spot on lap 13 in turn 2, setting her sights on Leavitt. She made her way to Leavitt’s outside on lap 14, eventually clearing her for the lead on lap 16 in turn 4. Betty Nelson took home her second consecutive victory, followed by Kaitlynn Leavitt, Shelby Brannon, Sara Libby and Mary Price.
The Mad Bombers Varsity division took to the track next for their 20-lap feature, led by the #71 of Isaiah Reynolds. Stephen Taylor, Kirk Bean, Jr., Michael Dearden and Kaitlynn Leavitt followed, rounding out the top five. The #71 of Reynolds maintained the lead through lap 1, getting a jump on the rest of the field. The #32 of Kaitlynn Leavitt was in hot pursuit, making her way into the runner-up spot on lap 2. Betty Nelson followed suit, breaking the top 5 on lap 4. The #5 of Jason Gammon made his way around Leavitt for the runner-up spot on lap 5 in turn 2, keeping his eyes on the #71 of Reynolds at the front of the pack. He cleared Reynolds for the lead on lap 7 in turn 1, pulling away from the field. The #56 of Ed McConologue went around in turn 4 on lap 10, drawing out the caution. The #8 of Betty Nelson briefly pulled away on the restart, but Gammon had found his way back into the lead by the time the field reached turn 3. The #27 of Chris Burgess cleared Nelson for P3 on lap 19 in turn 3, breaking into the top 3. The #38 of Stephen Taylor took a spin on lap 21 in turn 3, drawing out another caution. Jason Gammon and Johnny Wolfe were side-by-side coming off of the restart. Wolfe pulled to the inside of Gammon on lap 23, capturing the top spot. Gammon found his way back to Wolfe’s inside on the final lap, challenging him for the top spot once again. Wolfe barely edged out Gammon for the win, taking home his first victory of the season and moving into the top 5 in points. Jason Gammon, Archer Bernard, Todd Libby and Chris Burgess followed, rounding out the top five.
Brad Weismann and Mark Grantham led the field to green in the Mighty Trucks Varsity feature, followed by Matt Curtis, Brian Darling, Keith Petrin and Jeff Gillette. The #5 of Brian Darling was pushed to the outside on the restart, which powered the #07 of Grantham into the early lead. Keith Petrin was on the move, breaking into the top 2 on the second lap. But, Jeff Gillette was at his heels, hungry to get to the front of the field. Petrin and Gillette tangled on lap 4 in turn 1, causing both cars to fall to the back of the pack as the race remained green. Brian Darling got into Brad Weismann on lap 6 in turn 2, drawing out the first caution of the feature. Upon the restart, the #48 began to slow, eventually coming to a complete stop in turn 1. This brought out another caution, bringing the field together once again. Mark Grantham pulled ahead on the restart, but the #1 of Curtis found his way to Grantham’s outside on lap 10, challenging for the top spot. While the leaders were battling it out, Jeff Gillette was on the move, fighting his way back up to P3 on lap 15. He powered into the runner-up spot on lap 18. Gillette was able to fight off Mark Grantham for the victory, making this his fifth victory of the 2017 Thursday Night Thunder season. Mark Grantham, Keith Petrin, Matt Curtis and Brian Darling followed, completing the top five.
The Varsity Beetle Bug division were the last division of the night, with the #51 of Dave Moreau leading the field to green. Following Moreau were Gerard Cote, Todd Hubbard, Randy Pimpare, Dave Stone, Jr., and Jeff Walker. The #51 of Moreau powered himself into the early lead. But, the #14 of Randy Pimpare was on the move behind him, fighting his way into the runner-up spot on lap 4 in turn 2. Jeff Walker also put on a strong performance, finding his way into the fourth spot on lap 10. By lap 15, the 2 leaders (Moreau/Pimpare) had pulled away from the rest of the pack, leading by nearly ½ of a straightaway. Dave Moreau took home the win, followed by Randy Pimpare, Dave Stone, Jr., Jeff Walker and Todd Hubbard.
With Championship night coming up next Thursday, points battles are heating up in every division. Will Chris Case rally back and pull off an unexpected championship in the JV Beetle Bug division? Will Betty Nelson edge out Kaitlynn Leavitt for the Ladies League championship? We’ll have to wait until next Thursday to find out!
Join us next Thursday, August 17th, for the final night of the Thursday Night Thunder season, which is also the season’s final autograph night! Racing always begins at 7:00 pm.http://raceproweekly.com/rpw/2017/08/ivan-kaffel-takes-first-legends-victory-thursday-at-beech-ridge/Beech RidgeRPW Exclusive