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Bear Ridge Speedway News

Piersons Make Bear Ridge History, Donnelly Wins Finale

- Justin St. Louis on 27 Sep 2010

Adam Pierson wrapped up the Bear Ridge Speedway Sportsman Modified championship on Saturday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)PHOTO: Adam Pierson wrapped up the Bear Ridge Speedway Sportsman Modified championship on Saturday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

The Pierson family added a significant page to the Vermont stock car racing history book on Saturday at Bear Ridge Speedway, as Gene and Adam Pierson became the first father-son team to win championships in the same season at the 43 year-old track.

The titles came at the first annual New England Dirt Track Championships event, which saw five divisions each compete in twin 25-lap segment to decide an overall feature winner.

Twenty-seven year-old Adam Pierson of Fairlee wrapped up the first Sportsman Modified crown and sixth Bear Ridge title of his young career with a runner-up finish behind Chris Donnelly. Pierson had as much good fortune as bad in the two segments; he drew the pole position for the first segment and dominated that race, but was involved in two crashes in the second segment.

Adam Pierson rebounded to finish fifth in the second leg for a total score of Chris Donnelly (#91) batted .750 for the season at Bear Ridge Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)six segment points, but was no match for Donnelly’s low three-point score. Donnelly, of Piermont, N.H., was the runner-up in the first segment, then drove from 20th to pass Dan Eastman in the closing laps to win the final round and take the overall victory. The win was Donnelly’s third in just four starts in 2010.

Kevin Chaffee of Orange finished seventh and third in the segments to take third place overall with 10 points. Thetford Center rookie Eastman and Jim Morgan of Woodstock completed the overall top five, followed by Gary Siemons, Jack Cook, Ryan Dutton, Mike Dunn, and Bryan King.

Adam Pierson ended Siemons’ three-year reign as the Sportsman Modified champion.

East Corinth veteran Gene Pierson ended a 26-year championship drought with his first Sportsman Coupe championship since winning that title in 1984, and did so by taking the overall feature win with a one-point margin over rookie Shane Race. Gene Pierson finished second in both segments; Race, of South Strafford, won the first segment, while Topsham’s Josh Harrington drove a car borrowed from Kane Pike to win the final leg.

Race’s fourth-place finish in the second segment gave him five points to Gene Pierson’s four for the overall runner-up finish. Harrington was sixth in the first round for a total of seven points, taking third place overall. Rookie Dwight Burgoyne of Jaffrey, N.H., and Mike McGinley of East Barre completed the overall top five.

Gene Pierson held off his brother Melvin to win the championship by 50 points, unofficially.

Tyler Stygles of Bradford earned his fifth Limited Late Model win of the year the hard way. Stygles won the first segment, but spun in the second segment; he recovered to not only finish second, but was making a bid for Ray Johnson’s lead as the checkered flag flew. Stygles’ three-point total was one better than Campton, N.H., driver Johnson. Troy Comeau, Jason Giguere, and Jason Blake completed the overall top five.

Will Hull of East Montpelier had two bad segments to take 12th in the overall finish, but held on for his first Bear Ridge Speedway championship. In the closest points race across five weekly divisions, Stygles was just 22 points behind, unofficially.

Tim Hodge of Vershire battled rear-end problems to be the Fast Four overall winner; Hodge had segment finishes of first and second. Kevin Harran of St. Johnsbury was the overall runner-up with six points, and second-segment winner Travis Hull was third overall. Rookie Robert Tilden and Andy Johnson completed the top five.

Josh Sunn of White River Junction was the victim of a hard crash on the frontstretch in the first segment; he was not seriously injured, but withdrew from the balance of the race. Sunn dominated the division with 13 feature wins, easily taking the championship over Harran.

Tom Placey of Bradford put the stamp on his Hornet championship with a dominant two-segment victory, tying Sunn’s mark of 13 feature wins on the Scott Keithan flipped his car in the Hornet race at Bear Ridge Speedway. (Steve Poulin photo)season. Placey’s win was his seventh consecutive victory to end the year. Don Reynolds of Springfield broke a three-way tie for the runner-up spot over Jesse Smith and Bobby Bell by virtue of his second-place finish in the final segment. Smith was third, Bell fourth, and Mike Pittman fifth in the overall finish. Scott Keithan was uninjured after flipping his car in the first segment.

In just two full seasons in the Hornet class, Placey has won two championships and 25 feature races. Two-time winner Bell, of St. Johnsbury, was the 2010 title runner-up.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- New England Dirt Track Championships
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, September 25, 2010

# - denotes rookie

Bond Auto Sportsman Modified
1. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
2. Adam Pierson, Fairlee (2010 Champion)
3. Kevin Chaffee, Orange
4. # Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
5. Jim Morgan, Woodstock
6. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
7. Jack Cook, Moultonboro, N.H.
8. # Ryan Dutton, Bradford
9. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
10. Bryan King, Corinth

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe
1. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth (2010 Champion)
2. # Shane Race, South Strafford
3. Josh Harrington, Topsham
4. # Dwight Burgoyne, Jaffrey, N.H.
5. Mike McGinley, East Barre
6. Bryan King, Corinth
7. Terry Williams, South Ryegate
8. Melvin Pierson, East Corinth
9. # Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H.
10. Buster Kathan, Ludlow

A Notch Above Auto Limited Late Model
1. Tyler Stygles, Bradford
2. Ray Johnson, Campton, N.H.
3. # Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
4. Jason Giguere, Lebanon, N.H.
5. Jason Blake, Moretown
6. Robbie Williams, Plainfield, N.H.
7. Robert Tucker, Topsham
8. Jeremy Hodge, Newbury
9. Craig Roy, North Haverhill, N.H.
10. Mike Greene, III, Haverhill, N.H.

(Will Hull, East Montpelier -- 2010 Champion)

Journal Opinion Fast Four
1. Tim Hodge, Vershire
2. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury Center
3. Travis Hull, Graniteville
4. # Robert Tilden, East Thetford
5. Andy Johnson, Wilder
6. # Josh Connors, White River Junction
7. Dave Durkee, Sr., Tunbridge
8. Bubba Hickory, Marshfield
9. Rob Gioia, White River Junction
10. Josh Sunn, White River Junction (2010 Champion)

1. Tom Placey, Bradford (2010 Champion)
2. Don Reynolds, Springfield
3. # Jesse Smith, Topsham
4. Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury
5. Mike Pittman, Corinth
6. Brent Warren, Salisbury
7. # Eric Lang, Groton
8. Mark Nickles, Piermont, N.H.
9. Shane Moore, Bradford
10. # Brad Martin, Thomaston, Conn.

1. Adam Pierson wrapped up the Bear Ridge Speedway Sportsman Modified championship on Saturday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)
2. Chris Donnelly (#91) batted .750 for the season. (Alan Ward photo)
3. Scott Keithan flipped his car in the Hornet race. (Steve Poulin photo)

Bear Ridge
Season complete


Bond Auto Sportsman Modified
Fairlee, Vt.

Wells River Chevy Sportsman Coupe
East Corinth, Vt.

A Notch Above Auto Ltd Late Model
East Montpelier, Vt.

Journal Opinion Fast Four
White River Junction, Vt.

Bradford, Vt.

Hornet Queen
Corinth, Vt.

WYKR Sprint Cars of New England
Bridgewater, N.H.

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