Joey Doiron Uses Late-Race Restart To Top Trevor Sanborn In Beech Ridge 125

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Joey Doiron celebrates victory Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Me.

Joey Doiron celebrates victory Saturday at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Me.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Trevor Sanborn willingly left the door open for Joey Doiron, and Doiron took advantage Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.

On the race’s final restart with five laps remaining, Sanborn — as the race leader — elected to restart on the inside groove for the first time all night, and Doiron, of Berwick, Maine, used the outside lane to drive off to victory in the Pro Series 125. It culminated a race-long, back-and-forth battle between the two drivers that saw them swap the lead a total of 10 times in the event, the longest race of the season for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Super Late Models at the .333-mile oval.

“I made it happen when it counted, and that’s all that matters,” said Doiron, of Berwick, Maine. “I knew when I got off down into Turn 1 and I had position on him, I knew I had a good shot to get the lead back. On the short runs he was better than me, but after five or 10 laps, I felt like I had the best car on the race track. It’s just extremely hard to pass here.”

Sanborn didn’t want to second-guess his decision to choose the inside lane but he was willing to wonder ‘what if’ the late caution flag had never flown.

“It didn’t seem as good on the outside, but I wasn’t 100 percent (on the decision),” said Sanborn, of Parsonsfield, Maine. “I went with it and stuck with it, it just is what it is. He ran me clean, and I did the same to him. I didn’t want to use him up.”

On each of the race’s five previous restarts, the leader — whether it had been Doiron or Sanborn, who started the night side-by-side on the front row after winning their respective qualifying races — chose the outside lane. On all of those restarts, the car restarting on the inside would take the lead for a lap or two before eventually giving way to the car on the outside.

The lone exception on the night, of course, was the fateful lap 120 restart. Sanborn chose the bottom in an effort to thwart Doiron on a short sprint to the finish on old tires.

“If I was in his situation, I would have taken the bottom, too,” said Doiron, who finished fourth in the PASS North Series race at Lee USA Speedway on Friday night and sits third in the overall PASS standings with one win at Thunder Road International Speedbowl this season.

“I lost the lead earlier in the race by taking the outside,” Doiron said. “On the bottom, you could get such a run on the restart out of (turn) four that you could get position on the guy going down into one. It took a lap or so on the outside to get your tires cleaned off and rolling, so if you could get to the backstretch on the bottom you usually had the lead.

“I thought for sure he was going to do the same thing.”

The victory came in Doiron’s first weekly start at Beech Ridge this season, though he has two career wins at the track in PASS competition.

“I probably would have won the race if we hadn’t had that restart,” said Sanborn, who won a 50-lap feature in weekly competition two weeks ago at the track. “Yeah, Joey was probably just a little bit better, but he couldn’t pass me on the bottom. We ran 20 laps and he still couldn’t do it. It just seems like we always get a restart late, late, late in these races.”

As Doiron pulled away to victory, things got heated behind the two leaders. Dan McKeage raced as high as third before contact inside the Top 5 runners slowed his momentum and opened the door for Shawn Knight to finish third.

It was Knight’s first career Super Late Model start at the track, and it came just one week after he won his first weekly start of the season at Oxford Plains Speedway.

“I tried to be patient, but I thought I was going to have a little bit more at the end,” Knight said. “But we had that late restart, and the car was pretty good for a few laps there. Those guys all got into each other and we filled the hole.

“You’ve definitely got to be there at the end.”

Corey Bubar, who won this race in 2014, finished fourth. Nick Cusack rounded out the Top 5.

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