Cars are illuminated by the bright track lights during one of the first races of the night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

 

Jeff Read and his son Jackson Read, 14, watch cars round the track before the start of racing at Beech Ridge. Read, who lives in Somerville, said he had to come back to Beech Ridge for the last week of racing because this is where his father won three championships in the late 1950s and early 1960s. “It’s our family history. It’s emotional. All the things I enjoyed growing up are ending – roller skating rinks, now auto racing tracks. Even some fairgrounds are going away. It’s one more thing we are losing,” he said.

 

Dan Lord talks to the driver of the car he is working on before they head out to race on Thursday night. Lord is a part of the Boss Dog Racing group and said he grew up just a few minutes from Beech Ridge and he used to hear the cars rounding the track at night as a child. He came to the track for the first time in 1966 and said he has been involved ever since. “If I won megabucks today, I would own this place,” Lord said. “This is an experience, this is a life.”

 

Mike Schmader, right, and his daughter Alexis, 13, talk with one of Schmader’s friends while Schmader works his security post on the last day of racing. He has worked security at the track for seven years and said he began coming to Beech Ridge when he was a baby. For the last day Schmader asked everyone to sign his shirt as something to remember Beech Ridge by.

 

Drivers watch as the line-up is written out on the white board.

 

Spectators line up for concessions on the pit side of the track.

 

Emmett Larsen, 4, and Elliott Larsen, 2, give their dad Justin Larsen a fist bump before he heads off to race in the last race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Sunday. Larsen, who lives in Peru, said he raced go karts at Beech Ridge in the late 1990s as a child and he wanted to come back to race one more time. “I figured we should end it out where we started,”

 

Liz Conant stands at the fence waiting for her boyfriend Josh’s race to start.

 

Betty Nelson, second from left, talks with her crew, including her son Josh Nelson, center, about how they are going to set up her car for the night’s race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Thursday, September 18, 2021. Nelson, who is from Limington, started her racing career in the late 90s at Beech Ridge and said she had to come back to race it again before it closed for good.

 

Jacob Schmader waits for the go ahead to let the cars enter the track for their race. He works at the track alongside his father, Mike Schmader.

 

Spectators fill the stands to watch the races. There were about 3,000 people who came to the track on Thursday night.

 

Brenna Thompson talks to her boyfriend Alex Moore before he drives off to compete in one of the feature races. Thursday was Moore’s first time racing at the speedway as he normally races in Oxford.

 

Friends cheer on driver Wyatt Alexander as he pulls ahead to first in the last race ever at Beech Ridge on Sunday.

 

Wyatt Alexander drives in first place in the last race at Beech Ridge. Alexander changed the number on his car to 51 for the last day to honor Dan Walker, who his girlfriend’s dad and the pit steward at the track who has been working there for 41 years.

 

Brandon Lizotte becomes emotional after watching his best friend Wyatt Alexander win the last race ever at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Lizotte is a driver himself and won the beetle bug championship at the track this year. He has been coming to Beach Ridge since he was a toddler. Lizotte said will start racing somewhere else next year, most likely Wiscasset, but said it won’t be quite the same. “This is home,” he said.

 

Brandon Lizotte hugs Wyatt Alexander after Alexander won the last race ever at Beech Ridge on on Sunday, September 26, 2021. “He won the last race here,” Lizotte said. “And that is a really big deal.”

 

David Wilds, left, sits next to his son Shane Wilds, 14, while he hangs out with his family after his race. Shane had hoped to begin racing himself at the track next year. “Doesn’t look like that will happen,” he said.

 

Mike Schmader becomes emotional as he looks up at the grandstand before leaving Beech Ridge on Sunday, September 26, 2021. “It’s really hard. We’re a family here,” Schmader said.

 

Braeden Dick, 8, an Willy Simpson, 4, play with a tire next to their grandfather David Wilds’ race car. Wilds said his whole family has spent many of their summer nights at Beech Ridge. “I’ve been on this slab of concrete for 25 years,” he said.

 

Sue Walker hugs Amy Harrop after the last race ever at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Walker said she has come to the track her whole life. As a kid her dad and brothers raced here and then she began working at Beech Ridge 19 years ago. “It is bittersweet,” Walker said about the closing. “I met my husband here.”

 

A race car burns out as it leaves the track as a final goodbye on Sunday night.


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