PHOTO: Kevin Chaffee (#3) recovered from this qualifying flip to finish second in the USAC Dirt Midget Association feature at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. Chaffee also won the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified race. (Alan Ward photo)

Krawiec wins USAC Midgets; Harrington takes Coupe “Madness”

(From track press release)

BRADFORD — Kevin Chaffee had a big night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Jiffy Mart of Bradford/P&H Truck Stop Night Saturday. Not only did the Fairlee racer notch his first win of the season in the Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified event, he also recovered from a flip in qualifying to finish second in the USAC Dirt Midget Association feature.

Chaffee’s eventful night began the wrong way, as he flipped his Skip Matczak-owned USAC Midget in his qualifying heat. The was not badly damaged, though, and after getting back on his wheels Chaffee drove from seventh to finish second. In the 25-lap feature race, Joe Krawiec of Bristol, Conn., continued his winning ways with a drive from tenth starting position to take his second victory in as many starts this season. Chaffee moved from ninth and passed Scott Holcomb on the final lap to take the runner-up position. Tim Gallant and Jim Close completed the top five finishers.

In the DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds, Chaffee patiently waited in the top five for most of the 30-lap feature before reeling in leaders Josh Sunn and Jim Morgan in the final eight laps. Sunn, a rookie, bobbled just a bit in Turn 1 on lap 24, allowing Chaffee to rocket into the lead on the outside lane. Sunn fought back and led lap 25, but Chaffee took over for good on the next lap. Morgan passed Sunn on the final lap for second place.

Chaffee said that jumping back and forth between the small, lightweight, four-cylinder Midget and the heavy, lumbering, V8-powered Modified wasn’t as hard as it might seem.

“I’ve never driven anything where you sit on the left-hand side, so as long as I’ve got the driveshaft between my legs it all kind of feels the same,” Chaffee said. “It’s all the same thing: Go as fast you can down the straightaway, turn left, go as fast as you can down the backstretch, turn left, repeat.”

Chaffee was appreciative of the work from his No. 8 Pittsfield Towing & Salvage/Fornwalt Excavation Teo chassis Modified team: “I’ve got to thank all the guys that showed up with me tonight. They worked their butts off on this thing while I was out playing with the Midgets. I thank all those guys for putting all the hard work in that they put in.”

Bryan King finished fourth behind Sunn, with point leader Adam Pierson fifth. Chaffee is the fifth different winner in five Sportsman Modified races this season.

Josh Harrington of Topsham posted his third Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe first victory of the year in the division’s annual “Madness” event. The Coupes ran three 50-lap segments for the first time in Bear Ridge Speedway’s 44-year history, and Harrington nearly had a perfect three-point score. Harrington beat Gene Pierson to win the first segment and earn one point, then — after a full-field inversion — finished second to Pierson in the second segment.

Harrington and Pierson — the last two champions of the famed Sportsman Coupe class — entered the final 50-lap segment tied for the overall lead, but Harrington pulled off the segment win to take the overall victory. Pierson finished fourth in the segment for a total score of seven points and earned the overall runner-up position. Jason Horniak (third in all three segments) took third place overall with nine points. Bob Shepard (18 points) and Steve Ellsworth (19 points) finished fourth and fifth overall, respectively.

Robert Tucker of East Corinth became the fifth different winner in the A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Models. Richie Simmons turned a tough season around with a runner-up finish, with Jeremy Hodge, Tyler Stygles, and Troy Comeau in tow.

Travis Hull of Graniteville won a wild Welgarz Property Service Fast Four event. Kevin Harran crashed across the finish line in second place, and rookie Bobby Bell sneaked in for third place. Danny Doyle, who crashed with Harran, was scored fourth, and rookie Karl Sheldon was fifth.

Jessie Smith of Topsham took his first KDD NAPA of Bradford Hornet victory of the year, with Don Reynolds coming home a career-best second. Tom Placey was third, followed by Charlie Lakin and Richie Veilleux.

Rich Crooker of Nashua, N.H., continued his domination of 600cc Mini Sprint action, winning the main event for the Northeast Mini Sprint series; Crooker previously won both Bear Ridge events for the Granite State Mini Sprint club. David “Lowbed” Johnson finished second ahead of Derek Eldridge, Terry Reil, and Spencer Allen.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series is back in action on Saturday, June 25 at 6:00pm, as Wells River Savings Bank presents all five weekly divisions, plus the Granite State Mini Sprints and 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. Bear Ridge Speedway is Vermont’s only dirt track and is New England’s only track sanctioned by the World Racing Group’s Charlotte, NC-based DIRTcar organization. For more information, call (802) 222-4052 or visit

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Jiffy Mart of Bradford/P&H Truck Stop Night
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

(# – denotes rookie)

USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
2. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
3. Scott Holcomb, Granby, Conn.
4. Tim Gallant, Wales, Mass.
5. Jim Close, Ellington, Conn.
6. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
7. David Rose, Jr., Keene, N.H.
8. Dean Christensen, East Granby, Conn.
9. Thom Ring, Pascoag, R.I.
10. Jim Mossman, Hollis, N.H.

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified (30 laps)
1. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
2. Jim Morgan, Woodstock
3. # Josh Sunn, White River Junction
4. Bryan King, Corinth
5. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
6. Nick Berry, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
7. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
8. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
9. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
10. Jason Gray, East Thetford

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe (3 x 50 laps)
1. Josh Harrington, Topsham (4 pts.)
2. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth (7 pts.)
3. Jason Horniak, Bradford (9 pts.)
4. Bob Shepard, West Topsham (18 pts.)
5. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth (19 pts.)
6. Jeremy Stygles, Bradford (19 pts.)
7. Terry Williams, Waits River (20 pts.)
8. Buster Kathan, Ludlow (25 pts.)
9. Steve Bell, St. Johnsbury (31 pts.)
10. # Robert Tilden, Bradford (33 pts.)

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model (20 laps)
1. Robert Tucker, East Corinth
2. Richie Simmons, Bradford
3. Jeremy Hodge, Newbury
4. Tyler Stygles, Bradford
5. Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
6. Jason Blake, Moretown
7. Will Hull, East Montpelier
8. # Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
9. J.P. Vaillancourt, Campton, N.H.
10. Anthony Perkins, Groton

Weglarz Property Service Fast Four (20 laps)
1. Travis Hull, Graniteville
2. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
3. # Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury
4. Danny Doyle, Barre
5. # Karl Sheldon, St. Johnsbury
6. Vern Woodard, Burlington
7. Andy Johnson, Wilder
8. Tim Hodge, Vershire
9. Dave Durkee, Sr., Tunbridge
10. Derrick Durkee, Tunbridge

KDD NAPA of Bradford Hornet (20 laps)
1. Jessie Smith, Topsham
2. Don Reynolds, Springfield
3. Tom Placey, Bradford
4. Charlie Lakin, Groton
5. Richie Veilleux, Lisbon, N.H.
6. Eric Lang, Groton
7. Dakota Stender, Tunbridge
8. Scott Keithan, St. Johnsbury
9. Mike Stender, South Strafford
10. Dallas Hammond, Lebanon, N.H.

Northeast Mini Sprint 600cc
1. Rich Crooker, Nashua, N.H.
2. David Johnson, Arlington, Mass.
3. Derek Eldridge, Tyngsboro, Mass.
4. Terry Reil, East Barre
5. Spencer Allen, Plainfield, N.H.