Pierson tightens Coupe battle with win; Comeau makes late pass to win Wingless Sprints
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BRADFORD — Matt Lashua turned a tough season around in a big way on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway — by earning his first career Sportsman Modified win.
The Canaan, N.H. driver grabbed the lead early and earned a dominating win in the 40-lap Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature.
“I’m wicked happy,” Lashua said in victory lane. “This is my first ever win in a Modified.”
Lashua took the lead on lap three from rookie driver Mike Ryan and held on through two late race restarts to claim the win.
Wayne Stearns of Bradford finished second while Adam Pierson made a last lap pass on point leader Derek Graham to claim the third spot. Graham extended his point lead with a fourth place finish while Richie Simmons kept Graham close in the standings with a fifth place finish.
Mike Dunn finished second with Todd Buckwold came under the checkered flag in the eighth position. Kevin Chaffee finished eighth with Legion Speedway regular Jeff Huntington ninth. Jordan Fornwalt bounced back from a lap 12 roll-over to complete the top-ten finishers.
Top point drivers Terry Williams and Robert Tucker were involved in an early race incident that forced them to the rear of the 26-car starting field. Unofficially, Williams finished 13th while Tucker came home in the 16th position.
Unofficially, Graham will sit 31 points ahead of Simmons with Williams 41 points back in third. Buckwold jumped to fourth, 55 points back of Graham, with Tucker fifth, 57 points shy.
Melvin Pierson earned his second Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe feature win of the season in their 30-lap event.
The Corinth driver took the lead on lap 13 from Jason Horniak and pulled away to the win after a mid-race restart.
Chris LaForest of Barre moved into second following a lap 16 restart and finished there while rookie driver Tanner Siemons finished third. Jason Colbeth and point leader Brian Chaffee completed the top-five finishers with Matt Ellsworth, Tyler Stygles, Earl Maxham, Bob Shepard, and Gene Pierson Jr. finished sixth through tenth, respectively.
Unofficially, the win for Pierson tightened the championship point standings for him, down to 10 points from 28 when he entered the night behind Chaffee.
Joe Krawiec held off Seth Carlson to claim his third feature win of the season.
The Bristol, Conn. driver started in the fifth position and took the lead on lap 12 from early race leader Manny Dias. A lap 13 restart saw Carlson run in second on the restart that allowed him to dog Krawiec for the remainder of the event.
Carlson looked multiple times for a way around race leader Krawiec, but the two would make contact in turn one on the last lap. Krawiec saved it as Carlson bobbled, too, which allowed Krawiec to take the win.
Carlson finished second while division point leader Dean Christensen extended his lead with a third place finish. Second place point driver Adam Whitney finished fourth with Derek O’Hearn fifth.
Troy Comeau used a late race restart to get past Allan Hammond and claim the win in the 20-lap Wingless Auto Club feature.
The Warren, N.H. driver jumped to the outside of Hammond, who had led the first 17 laps convincingly, on lap 18 and led lap 19. Comeau then steered clear of Hammond to claim the win.
Hammond settled for second with Wade Prentice third. Sprint Cars of New England regulars Rick Stone and Clay Dow completed the top-five finishers.
Barre’s Bryan Campbell earned a dominating win in the 20-lap C.A. Miller Limited Late Model feature. Ryan Christian finished second with Kevin Dickinson third. Point leader Wayland Childs and John Neddo completed the top-five finishers.
Bobby Bell of St. Johnsbury got past Jesse Durkee on a late race restart and held on through an ensuing green-white-checker restart to claim the win in the 20-lap Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinder feature.
Buddy Welch finished second with Jason Porter third. Sean Perron and Peter Burt Jr. completed the top-five finishers. Durkee cut a right-front tire late in the event and finished outside of the top-ten.
Bear Ridge Speedway will host the New England Dirt Track Championships on Saturday, September 16 with double points for their four weekly championship divisions. Post time is set for 6:00pm.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Vermont Lumberjacks Spencer Rocke Memorial
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, September 9, 2017
(# — denotes rookie)
Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds (40 laps)
1. Matt Lashua, Canaan, N.H.
2. Wayne Stearns, Bradford
3. Adam Pierson, East Corinth
4. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H.
5. Richie Simmons, Bradford
6. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
7. Todd Buckwold, Canaan, N.H.
8. Kevin Chaffee, Bradford
9. Jeff Huntington, Piermont, N.H.
10. Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes (30 laps)
1. Melvin Pierson, Corinth
2. Chris LaForest, Barre
3. # Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
4. Jason Colbeth, Newbury
5. Brian Chaffee, Bradford
6. Matt Ellsworth, Corinth
7. # Tyler Stygles, Bradford
8. Earl Maxham, Enfield, N.H.
9. Bob Shepard, Topsham
10. Gene Pierson Jr., Corinth
Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
2. Seth Carlson, Brimfield, Mass.
3. Dean Christensen, Granby, Conn.
4. Adam Whitney, Warren
5. Derek O’Hearn Bristol, N.H.
Wingless Auto Club (20 laps)
1. Troy Comeau, Warren, N.H.
2. Allan Hammond, Canaan, N.H.
3. Wade Prentice, Campton, N.H.
4. Rick Stone, Cornwall, Conn.
5. Clay Dow, Barnstead, N.H.
C.A. Miller Limited Late Models (20 laps)
1. Bryan Campbell, Barre
2. Ryan Christian, Canaan, N.H.
3. Kevin Dickinson, Canaan, N.H.
4. Wayland Childs, Chelsea
5. John Neddo, Barre
Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinders (20 laps)
1. Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury
2. Buddy Welch, East Corinth
3. Jason Porter, Freeport, Maine
4. Sean Perron, Sharon
5. Peter Burt, Johnson
PHOTO: Matt Lashua celebrates his first career DIRTcar Sportsman Modified win on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)