By STEVEN PETTY
EAST SMETHPORT, PA – “The Lockport Lazer” Andrew Smith was victorious in the inaugural visit by the Bellinger Electric Inc (BEI) Lightning Series at the McKean County Family Raceway for the Fall Nationals. For the second consecutive season, Chad Chevalier from Port Colborne, Ontario was crowned the 2018 BEI Lightning Series Champion.
Jim Harbison and Chad Chevalier led the 21-car field to the green flag of starter John Powell for the 40-lap Fall Nationals feature with Chevalier taking the lead. Chevalier would dominate much of the feature as he opened-up his lead and entered lap traffic by lap 10. Chevalier would continue to lead as Andrew Smith worked his way into the top five early on from his eighth place starting position.
Smith would then move into the top two prior to the halfway mark and would begin to pressure Chevalier. After a mid-race caution bunched the field up, Chevalier and Smith would pull away from Harbison, Brett Senek, and Dave DiPietro. A late-race restart with a lap to go saw Smith make his move to go underneath Chevalier to take the lead on the last lap, and would go on to score the win, his first of the season on the series. Harbison would finish in second followed by Chevalier, Senek, and DiPietro.
BEI Lightning Series officials are waiting to hear back from Chad Chevalier about the guaranteed starting spot for the Florida Dream 602 Winter Nationals. With his win, Andrew Smith now has two nights with a guaranteed starting spot. Chris Burek, Andrew Smith, and Kyle Inman are guaranteed starters for the Florida Dream 602 Winter Nationals, taking place at the North Florida Speedway in February of 2019. The Florida Dream 602 Winter Nationals is a combination endorsed event by BEI Lightning Series and by the GRIT Series.
The MHL Performance Low Cash Dash was won by Jim Zimmerman over Austyn Fugle, John Sekoll, Josh Wilcox, Mike Eastman, and Brian McKelvey.
Contingency award winners included Trevor Wright and Zach George, who was awarded pails of VP Racing Fuels. The Lucas Oil/Leslie Motorsports package went to Mike Eastman. The certificate from Bicknell Race Products went to Ray Smith. Henry’s Exhaust certificate went to Anthony Muscato, while the Fab Shop 54 certificate went to John Sekoll. The Wild Card draw sponsored by Rouse Motorsports and Dialed Designs went to Jim Harbison. The Hard Charger of the Night was Austyn Fugle. Innovative Auto Repair put money for the Longest Tow Award and went to Dan Ferguson. Andrew Smith was the recipient of the Rick’s Delivery Fast Time Award.
BEI Lightning Series officials would like to thank contingency sponsors Bicknell Racing Products, Rick’s Delivery, Leslie Motorsports, Henry’s Exhaust, Fab Shop 54, Smith’s Speed and Pro Shop, MHL Performance, Innovative Auto Repair, and Dialed Designs. For more information about the BEI Lightning Series, find them on Facebook and Instagram @beilightningseries.
RACE RESULTS – FALL NATIONALS AT MCKEAN COUNTY FAMILY RACEWAY
FEATURE: (40 LAPS) ANDREW SMITH, Jim Harbison, Chad Chevalier, Brett Senek, Dave DiPietro, Zach George, James Henry, Austyn Fugle, Ray Smith, Brian Bellinger, Tim Schram, Dave Conant, Tony Muscato, Jim Zimmerman, Dan Ferguson, Ray Bliss Jr, Josh Wilcox, Brian McKelvey, John Sekoll, Trevor Wright, Mike Eastman
MHL Performance Low Cash Dash: Jim Zimmerman, Austyn Fugle, John Sekoll, Josh Wilcox, Mike Eastman, Brian McKelvey
QUALIFYING HEAT RACE RESULTS
Bellinger Electric Inc Heat #1 (8 Laps – ALL Qualify – Top 3 Redraw): Dave DiPietro, Jim Harbison, Dave Conant, Ray Bliss Jr, Ray Smith, Jim Zimmerman, Josh Wilcox
Dialed Designs Heat #2 (8 Laps – ALL Qualify – Top 3 Redraw): Brett Senek, Chad Chevalier, Dan Ferguson, James Henry, Zach George, Austyn Fugle, Mike Eastman
Bicknell Racing Products Heat #3 (8 laps – ALL Qualify – Top 3 Redraw): Andrew Smith, Trevor Wright, Anthony Muscato, Brian Bellinger, Tim Schram, John Sekoll, Brian McKelvey