SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The once-prominent Pro Stock class, which has been dropped from every racetrack in Maine except Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, is undergoing a resurgence, according to Beech Ridge owner Andy Cusack.
Cusack said the Pro Stock class at Beech Ridge is “really sailing right now.”
“We had 20 cars for the opener last weekend and we know we’re going to have more joining us,” said Cusack. “It’s getting stronger all the time. I’m thrilled.”
He said the Pro Stock class is a crowd-pleaser.
“You’ve got cars going 90-95 miles an hour over a third-mile oval. It’s neat to watch,” said Cusack.
He said when there are 24 or 26 cars, it can get “real tight out there.”
The Pro Stock cars run 40 laps in the feature but Cusack said if there are 21 or more cars in the field, they’ll bump it up to a 45-lap race.
“If you have 20 to 23 cars ahead of you and you only have 40 laps, the drivers can get a little anxious,” said Cusack. “We hope to keep the guys running clean. We don’t want them pushing and shoving to get up through the field.”
The winner of the previous week’s race has to start in the back and the driver is joined in the back by the other points leaders.
“We want to give the drivers enough time to go up through the field to get a top finish but we want it to be short enough so they can’t walk up to the front and win all the time,” said Cusack.
The heat races leading up to the feature are 12-lappers.
The Late Models, one class below the Pro Stocks, are the top class at Maine’s other four tracks.
Cusack said Beech Ridge has benefited from the fact very few tracks across New England have a weekly Pro Stock series. The Pro All-Stars Series has the Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) but it’s a touring series and some drivers find it too expensive to travel.
Two of the other three classes in the Saturday NASCAR Nites series also are healthy.
There were 25 cars in the Sport Series and 20 in the Wildcats last Saturday night.
There were only eight cars in the Road Runners.
The Sport Series cars, the next division behind the Pro Stock cars, have 8-inch treaded tires compared with the Pro Stocks’ 10-inch racing slicks.
Beech Ridge’s weekly Thursday Night Thunder series for entry level drivers will begin on June 14 and its Car Wars Series will be held every Friday night in August.
The Car Wars Series is a cross between standard racing and demolition derby as the drivers are encouraged to bump and lean on their rivals but not to wreck them.
Beech Ridge already had one of its three Day of Destruction demolition derby events with the other two scheduled on July 15 and Sept. 7.
Saturday night’s racing begins at 6:30 p.m.