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Simmons with First DIRTcar Win in Bear Ridge Nailbiter; Horniak in John Poor Memorial

Posted By Tj Ingerson On August 14, 2012

Categories: Bear Ridge

Richie Simmons celebrates his first career DIRTcar win at Bear Ridge after he took advantage of a rare Adam Pierson mistake. (Alan Ward photo)PHOTO: Richie Simmons celebrates his first career DIRTcar win at Bear Ridge after he took advantage of a rare Adam Pierson mistake. (Alan Ward photo)

Holcomb with 2nd USAC win; Ellsworth, Bell turn bad seasons around with victories

(From track press release)

Hometown dirt track stock car driver Richie Simmons waited through a two-hour rain delay to etch his name in the record books as a 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified winner for the first time at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT on Saturday night, winning the 40-lap Walker Motor Sales feature event in a thrilling finish.

Simmons, in his first full year in a Modified, jumped into the lead at the second lap after passing rookie Troy Comeau of Rumney, NH. Simmons held through a spate of early caution periods and held an extensive advantage in the middle stages of the race, but Comeau reeled the leader in as Simmons negotiated lapped traffic late in the going. Comeau nosed ahead to lead with five laps remaining, but Simmons fought back to lead lap 36.

As they battled, defending champion Adam Pierson caught both drivers. Pierson trailed in third place as the trio took the white flag to enter the final lap, but made a daring swing to the top lane in Turn 1. He pulled ahead of both Comeau and Simmons to take the lead on the backstretch, but spun entering Turn 3, effectively ending his race. Simmons crossed the finish line first to take the win, with Comeau a career-best second. Jason Gray of East Thetford, VT was scored third, rookie Josh Currier of Newport, NH a career-best fourth, and Woodsville, NH’s Derek Graham fifth. Pierson was officially scored 17th.

Jason Horniak of Bradford, VT posted his second win of the season in the three-segment “Madness” event for the Sportsman Coupes, running in memory of late Bear Ridge Speedway official John Poor. Gene Pierson, Jr., won the first and third segments – each race 32 laps in distance – but slumped to 15th in the middle round. Horniak ran fourth, fourth, and second in the three legs to earn a low total score of 10 points and take the overall win.

Topsham, VT’s Josh Harrington, the second-segment winner, also had a pair of fifth-place finishes to tally 11 points and the overall runner-up position. Pierson’s third-segment win broke a three-way tie for third place overall between he and rookies Jesse Smith and Josh Constantine, each with 17 points. Smith was fourth overall and Constantine, who finished second in each of the first two rounds, ended up fifth. The John Poor Memorial was a caution-filled affair in all three segments, including a red flag for a flip in the middle round by Bert Gallison. Gallison was uninjured and in fact returned on the lead lap at the ensuing restart.

Scott Holcomb of North Granby, CT ran to his second win of the year in the 25-lap feature for the USAC Dirt Midget Association presented by Ignite Racing Fuels. Holcomb started tenth on the 15-car grid and was the fourth different leader, taking the point away from young Tim Gallant late in the race. Wales, MA racer Gallant finished a career-best second, followed by Kevin Chaffee of Fairlee, VT. Scott Viets returned for his first race since suffering a concussion in a nasty flip on May 5 to finish fourth, and 70 year-old New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Ray Miller was fifth.

Matt Ellsworth shed a summer’s worth of bad luck and broken parts to earn his first career win in the 20-lap A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model feature. The second-generation Corinth, VT racer won in convincing fashion, with Mike Greene of North Haverhill, NH second, Jeremy Stygles of Bradford, VT third, and Jordan Fornwalt fourth, snapping a six-race win streak.

St. Johnsbury, VT’s Bobby Bell mirrored Ellsworth in turning a tough season around by winning the 20-lap Weglarz Property Service Fast Four feature. Bell, a two-time winner in his rookie season last year, beat White River Junction, VT’s Tim Martin for the win. Chuck Simmons recovered from two separate spinouts and overcame a broken left-front suspension to finish third.

Charlie Lakin of Groton, VT posted his second KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet win of the year. Eric Lang, also of Groton, VT, was second, and rookie Brandon Gray of East Thetford, VT was third.

Michael Phelps of Woodsville, NH won his third Hornet Stinger youth division race of the year ahead of Springfield, VT’s Geoff Durphey and Leah McGinley of East Barre, VT.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 45th season of stock car racing continues on Saturday, August 18 as Swenson Insurance presents the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series Modified, Coupe, Late Model, Fast Four, and Hornet divisions, along with the WYKR Sprint Cars of New England, the Granite State Mini Sprints, the Hornet Queen ladies’ division, and kids’ racecar rides. Special general admission is $13 for adults (age 18-61), $10 for teens (12-17) and seniors (62+), and $2 for children; Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Racing begins at the famous “6:00-ish” start time. Bear Ridge Speedway is located on Kidder Road in Bradford, VT, just off Exit 16 on Interstate 91. For more information, call (802) 222-4052 or visit

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- John Poor Memorial Night presented by Walker Motor Sales
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, August 11, 2012

(# - denotes rookie)

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds (40 laps)
1. Richie Simmons, Bradford
2. # Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
3. Jason Gray, East Thetford
4. # Josh Currier, Newport, N.H.
5. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H.
6. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
7. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
8. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
9. Robert Tucker, East Topsham
10. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes (3 x 32 laps)
1. Jason Horniak, Bradford -- 10 pts.
2. Josh Harrington, Topsham -- 11 pts.
3. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Cornith -- 17 pts.
4. # Jesse Smith, Topsham -- 17 pts.
5. # Josh Constantine, East Corinth -- 17 pts.
6. Jason Colbeth, Newbury -- 19 pts.
7. Tim Hodge, Vershire -- 19 pts.
8. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth -- 20 pts.
9. Terry Williams, Wells River -- 20 pts.
10. Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H. -- 26 pts.

USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Scott Holcomb, North Granby, Conn.
2. Tim Gallant, Wales, Mass.
3. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
4. Scott Viets, Granby, Conn.
5. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
6. Adam Whitney, Warren
7. Dean Christensen, Granby Conn.
8. # Dave Hotchkiss, East Granby, Conn.
9. # Matt Covey, Fairlee
10. Joe Krawiec, Bristol

A Notch Above Limited Late Models (20 laps)
1. Matt Ellsworth, Corinth
2. Mike Greene, Jr., Pike, N.H.
3. Jeremy Stygles, Bradford
4. Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
5. # Sam Comeau, Hebron, N.H.

Weglarz Property Service Fast Fours (20 laps)
1. Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury
2. Tim Martin, White River Junction
3. Chuck Simmons, Bradford
4. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
5. Danny Doyle, Roxbury

KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornets (20 laps)
1. Charlie Lakin, Groton
2. Eric Lang, Groton
3. # Brandon Gray, East Thetford
4. Mike Lique, West Lebanon
5. # Ryan Farnham, Fairlee

Hornet Stingers (10 laps)
1. Michael Phelps, Woodsville, N.H.