PHOTO: Adam Pierson rallied late to win the KDD NAPA season opener at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. (Alan Ward photo)

(From track press release)

BRADFORD — Adam Pierson opened defense of his Bond Auto Sportsman Modified track championship at Bear Ridge Speedway in the best way possible on Saturday night: With a victory.

Pierson, of Fairlee, became the first driver to win a feature event under DIRTcar sanction at the 44 year-old track by earning a total low score of six points in a pair of 25-lap segments at the KDD NAPA Auto Parts of Bradford event, the opening race of the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series.

The 2010 champion had luck on his side throughout the night. Corinth veteran Bryan King broke a wheel while leading with just three laps remaining in the first segment, handing Pierson the lead and one ‘segment point’ for his win over Jason Gray, Jim Morgan, Dan Eastman, and Gary Siemons.

With the first-segment finish inverted to start the second and final segment, Pierson lined up at the rear of the 20-car field. He recovered from a mid-race pileup that eliminated Gray from contention, then went to work on the outside lane in the final five laps of the race. Pierson crossed the finish line in fifth place behind Louie Cadwell, Wayne Stearns, Todd Petschke, and Eastman to earn five points.

Pierson’s total score of six points was good enough to take the overall victory. Vershire driver Cadwell made his return to full-time competition a solid one, earning runner-up honors after segment finishes of seventh and first gave him a total of eight points. Eastman, of Thetford Center, also scored eight points with a pair of fourth-place finishes, but Cadwell’s better second-segment finish awarded him the tiebreaker for overall position.

Woodstock veteran Morgan (9 points) and Bradford’s Stearns (13 points) completed the overall top five finishers, unofficially. Siemons, Gray, rookie Josh Sunn, Justin Comes, and Brian Whittemore rounded out the overall top ten.

Josh Harrington of Topsham swept both 20-lap segments in the Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe division to record his first victory of the season. Jason Horniak of Bradford recovered from mechanical problems during afternoon practice to take the overall runner-up finish, and West Topsham veteran Bob Shepard returned to action with a third-place finish. Terry Williams of Wells River and Jeremy Stygles of Bradford completed the overall top five.

Like Pierson in the DIRTcar Modifieds, defending A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model champion Will Hull of East Montpelier won a hotly contested event to open his title defense. Jeremy Hodge of Newbury finished second overall with rookie Matt Covey of Corinth third, T.C. Forward of Lyme, N.H. fourth, and Troy Comeau of Rumney, N.H. fifth. Hull and Hodge won the two 20-lap segments.

Kevin Harran of St. Johnsbury was in the right place at the right time in the Weglarz Property Maintenance Fast Four feature when Tim Hodge’s engine went up in smoke in the second segment. Harran won the 15-lap segment to beat first-segment winner Danny Doyle of Barre in a tiebreaker for the overall victory. Andy Johnson of Wilder was third with Hodge and Dave Durkee rounding out the top five.

Groton driver Eric Lang took the first win of his sophomore season in the KDD NAPA of Bradford Hornet division with a clean sweep of both 15-lap segments. Defending class champion Tom Placey of Bradford limped across the finish line in the second segment with two flat tires to claim the overall runner-up position. Charlie Lakin of Groton finished third ahead of Thomaston, Conn., driver Brad Martin and Brent Warren of Salisbury.

The new Dirt Midget Association put on an exhibition race in anticipation of its first event at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday, May 28. Whip City Speedway champion Joe Krawiec of Bristol, Conn., crossed the finish line first ahead of Jeff Horn, New England Modified legend Ray Miller, Speedway Illustrated Magazine Editor Karl Fredrickson, and Dean Christensen.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series is back in action on Saturday, May 14 at 6:00pm, when Bond Auto Parts presents a full card of Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes, A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Models, Weglarz Property Maintenance Fast Fours, and KDD NAPA of Bradford Hornets, plus the Hornet Queens. Admission is $10.00 for adults (age 17-61), $8.00 for teens (12-16) and seniors (62+), and $2.00 for kids (11 and under).

Bear Ridge Speedway is a quarter-mile, semi-banked clay oval located on Kidder Road in Bradford, Vermont. Bear Ridge Speedway is Vermont’s only dirt track and is New England’s only track sanctioned by the World Racing Group’s Charlotte, N.C.-based DIRTcar organization. For more information, call (802) 222-4052 or visit

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — KDD NAPA Auto Parts of Bradford Night
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford, VT
Saturday, May 7, 2011

(# – denotes rookie)

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified
1. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
2. Louie Cadwell, Vershire
3. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
4. Jim Morgan, Woodstock
5. Wayne Stearns, Bradford
6. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
7. Jason Gray, East Thetford
8. # Josh Sunn, White River Junction
9. Justin Comes, Middlebury
10. Brian Whittemore, Jamaica

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe
1. Josh Harrington, Topsham
2. Jason Horniak, Bradford
3. Bob Shepard, West Topsham
4. Terry Williams, Wells River
5. Jeremy Stygles, Bradford
6. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth
7. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth
8. Buster Kathan, Ludlow
9. Shane Race, South Strafford
10. Dwight Burgoyne, Jaffrey, N.H.

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model
1. Will Hull, East Montpelier
2. Jeremy Hodge, Newbury
3. # Matt Covey, Corinth
4. T.C. Forward, Lyme, N.H.
5. Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
6. Robert Tucker, East Corinth
7. Tyler Stygles, Bradford
8. # Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
9. Richie Simmons, Bradford
10. # J.P. Vaillancourt, Campton, N.H.

Weglarz Property Maintenance Fast Four
1. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
2. Danny Doyle, Barre
3. Andy Johnson, Wilder
4. Tim Hodge, Vershire
5. Dave Durkee, Tunbridge

KDD NAPA of Bradford Hornet
1. Eric Lang, Groton
2. Tom Placey, Bradford
3. Charlie Lakin, Groton
4. Brad Martin, Thomaston, Conn.
5. Brent Warren, Salisbury