–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BRADFORD — Adam Pierson didn’t forget where Bear Ridge Speedway victory lane was.
The East Corinth driver used a fourth-to-first run on the outside on a lap 28 restart to claim his first feature win of the season.
“It feels awesome to be back on the outside,” Pierson said. “Just go past and go to the front.”
Pierson started the 40-lap Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Dead River Company sponsored feature in the 18th position and broke into the top-ten by the midway point. From there, the multi-time champion stepped to the outside and began to rally toward the top-five.
Multiple cautions on lap 28 would see Pierson restart in the fourth spot when race control called for a single file restart. That allowed Pierson to have the entire outside lane to himself, which he took advantage of and took the lead from Stephen Lary on lap 30.
“It was pretty cool,” Pierson said of his lap 28 restart. “I was glad that we went single file (on the restart) so I could get that chance on the top. I knew everyone was going to funnel to the bottom.
“It felt pretty good. It could work really well on the highside. I had them locked down pretty good.”
The win for Pierson was his first of the year at Bear Ridge as he has run a limited schedule due to his commitments with the USAC ARDC Midget Series, where he has picked up two wins. However, Pierson stated returning home and winning is always special.
“It’s always special to come here and win,” Pierson said. “It’s my hometrack. We’ve done really well with the Midget and it’s been a lot of travel.
“But it’s good to win at your hometrack.”
Rookie driver Mike Ryan picked up a career best finish with a second place finish with Lary third after he led the most laps during the event. Robert Tucker made a late race rally following a lap 38 restart to finish fourth with hometown driver Wayne Stearns fifth.
Derek Graham took over the point lead with a sixth place finish with last week’s feature winner Richie Simmons seventh. Todd Buckwold, Steven FLint, and Walter J. Hammond completed the top-ten finishers.
Unofficially, Graham will take over the point lead by just seven points over Simmons. Terry Williams, who entered the night as the point leader by three points over Graham, finished 11th and will be 16 points back. Tucker kept his deficit close and sits in fourth, 34 points back with Buckwold fifth, 37 points back of Graham.
Chris LaForest earned his second Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe win of the season in their 30-lap event.
The Barre driver took the lead on lap nine and ran out to a dominating lead. A late race caution, however, put top point driver Melvin Pierson on his rear bumper with just six laps left.
LaForest, however, kept Pierson at bay to earn the win.
The win for LaForst was the third of his career.
Pierson, of Corinth, finished second with second place point driver Brian Chaffee third. Youngster Tanner Siemons and multi-time champion Josh Harrington completed the top-five finishers.
Gene Pierson Jr., Derrick Stearns, Tyler Stygles, Earl Maxham, and Bob Kilburn finished sixth through tenth, respectively.
Unofficially, Chaffee took over the point lead after point leader Jason Colbeth was involved in a late race incident and did not finish. Chaffee will hold a 20-point advantage, unofficially, over Colbeth with Todd Hayward third, 27 points back. Melvin Pierson closed his deficit with his runner-up finish and now sits 47-points back in fourth.
Dean Christensen took the lead on lap six in the 25-lap Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget Association feature and held on through a late race restart to claim the win.
The win for Christensen will unofficially allow him to take over the point lead from Adam Whitney.
Seth Carlson of Brimfield, Mass., finished second after he challenged for the lead during a lap 18 restart while Derek O’Hearn finished third. Joe Krawiec ran from an 11th place starting spot to finish fourth with early race leader Jeff Horn fifth.
Whitney, piloting a Skip Matczak-owned car in the feature after he experienced issues earlier in the night, finished sixth. Mark Cole, David Moniz, Jake Higginson, and Shilo Boyce completed the top-ten finishers.
Canaan, N.H. driver Ryan Christian took the lead early in the 20-lap C.A. Miller Limited Late Model feature to claim his eighth win of the season.
Division point leader Wayland Childs finished second with John Neddo third. Kelly Miller and Don Reynolds completed the top-five finishers.
Jason Porter of Freeport, Maine earned his fourth Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinder feature win of the season in their 20-lap event.
Steve Bell finished second with Buddy Welch third. Matt Boucher and Jesse Durkee completed the top-five finishers.
Owen Carbee of Corinth won the 20-lap 500cc Granite State Mini Sprint feature over Kyle Pittman, Tom Chaffee, Brian Lakin, and Eric Relation.
Kyle Belliveau of Hopkinton, N.H. made a last lap pass on Tyler Jones to claim the win in the 600cc Granite State Mini Sprint 20-lap feature event. Jones settled for second with Kevin Heath third.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Dead River Company Night
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
(# — denotes rookie)
Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds (40 laps)
1. Adam Pierson, East Corinth
2. # Mike Ryan, Chelsea
3. # Stephen Lary, Canaan, N.H.
4. Robert Tucker, Topsham
5. Wayne Stearns, Bradford
6. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H.
7. Richie Simmons, Bradford
8. Todd Buckwold, Canaan, N.H.
9. Steven Flint, Orange
10. Walter J. Hammond, Canaan, N.H.
Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes (30 laps)
Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Dean Christensen, East Granby, Conn.
2. Seth Carlson, Brimfield, Mass.
3. Derek O’Hearn, Bristol, N.H.
4. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
5. Jeff Horn, Ashland, Mass.
6. Adam Whitney, Warren
7. Mark Cole, Lebanon, N.H.
8. David Moniz, Fairhaven, Mass.
9. Jake Higginson, Waterbury, Conn.
10. Shilo Boyce, Hadley, N.Y.
C.A. Miller Limited Late Models (20 laps)
1. Ryan Christian, Canaan, N.H.
2. Wayland Childs, Chelsea
3. John Neddo, Barre
4. Kelly Miller, Johnson
5. Don Reynolds, Springfield
Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinders (20 laps)
1. Jason Porter, Freeport, Maine
2. Steve Bell, Danville
3. Buddy Welch, East Corinth
4. Matt Boucher, Grafton, N.H.
5. Jesse Durkee, South Royalton
500cc Granite State Mini Sprints (20 laps)
1. Owen Carbee, Groton
2. Kyle Pittman, Corinth
3. Tom Chaffee, Corinth
4. Brian Lakin, Ryegate
5. Eric Relation, Orange
600cc Granite State Mini Sprints (20 laps)
1. Kyle Belliveau, Hopkinton, N.H.
2. Tyler Jones, Lincoln, N.H.
3. Kevin Heath, Rumney N.H.
PHOTO: Adam Pierson celebrates his first Bear Ridge Sportsman Modified feature win of the season with his legion of little fans in victory lane. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)