PHOTO: Bryan King (second from left) picked up his second win of the season at Bear Ridge on Saturday. (Alan Ward photo)

(From track press release)

Seven of eight features won by repeaters; Steve Bell notches first Fast Four win

BRADFORD — Repeat winners ruled the stock car racing program on Swenson Insurance Night at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford on Saturday. Despite 96 different drivers competing at the track and parity being a common theme at the quarter-mile clay oval in 2011, seven of eight races were topped by previous winners.

“The Fairlee Flier” Kevin Chaffee took his second-straight win in the 25-lap USAC Dirt Midget Association feature. The Fairlee, Vt., driver piloted a new No. 23 Seals-It/Skip Matczak car that had never been on the race track before. Bristol, Conn., driver Joe Krawiec, Chaffee’s teammate, recovered from an early incident that sent his car sailing through the air to finish second, with New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Ray Miller of East Granby, Conn., third. Tony Montessi and Tim Gallant, teammates in the Rusty Tefft stable, completed the top five.

Chaffee nearly made it a double in the 35-lap Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature, but was denied by Corinth veteran Bryan King. King took the lead early in the race and peeled away to a big lead in the first half, but Chaffee and Gary Siemons of Orford, NH tracked King down on the dry-slick surface for a close finish. King’s No. X Covey Logging/JT Snowplowing Bicknell car held on to take its second win of the season, while Chaffee, Siemons, Mike Dunn, and Dan Eastman completed the unofficial top five in order. Eastman recovered from a six-car pileup that necessitated a red flag for cleanup on lap 8.

Popular veteran Bob Shepard returned to the winner’s circle in the 25-lap Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe race after a dominant performace. The West Topsham racer, a five-time Bear Ridge track champion, turned 60 years old the day before the Swenson Insurance Night program. Sophomore racer Jeremy Beckley of Woodsville, N.H., posted his best career finish in second place, followed by Terry Williams, Gene Pierson, Jr., and Steve Ellsworth. Shepard’s victory gives him a guaranteed starting spot for the second annual New England Dirt Track Championships on Saturday, September 24.

Fourteen year-old rookie Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford grabbed the second win of his young career in the 20-lap A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model race. Fornwalt outlasted Rumney, N.H., driver Troy Comeau after a race-long side-by-side duel for the lead. Comeau finished second with Robert Tucker third, Ray Johnson fourth, and Jeremy Hodge fifth, unofficially.

Steve Bell of St. Johnsbury was the lone first-time winner on the night after a convincing performance in the 20-lap Weglarz Property Service Fast Four event. After a season-and-a-half in the Coupe class, Bell returned to the Fast Fours at the midway point of 2011. Danny Doyle and Travis Hull completed the podium finishers.

Groton driver Eric Lang carried his season-leading seventh checkered flag in the 20-lap KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet race. Tom Placey and Don Reynolds were second and third, respectively. Julie Stender of South Strafford picked up her second win of the year in the 10-lap Hornet Queen feature, followed by Donna Racine and Melissa King.

Rich Crooker of Nashua, N.H., continued his dominance of the region’s 600cc Mini Sprint division, posting his fifth Bear Ridge win of the year with the Northeast Mini Sprint club. Rookie Spencer Allen was a career-best second with David “Lowbed” Johnson third.

Bear Ridge Speedway is back in action on Saturday, August 27 as Sabil & Sons presents the annual “Old Timers Night”, featuring the New England Antique Racers, a full card for the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series, the Hornet Stinger youth division, and the Granite State Mini Sprints. Racing action begins at 6:00pm.

Lebanon Valley Speedway in Lebanon, N.Y., will host a New England Dirt Track Championships qualifying race on Thursday, August 25 as part of the “Mr. DIRT Track USA” event. The winner of the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature will be awarded a guaranteed starting spot in the New England Dirt Track Championships at Bear Ridge Speedway on Sept. 24. Racing at Lebanon Valley Speedway is scheduled to begin at 6:00pm on Thursday.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Swenson Insurance Night
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pos.-Driver-Hometown
(# – denotes rookie)

USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
2. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
3. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
4. Tony Montessi, Roxbury, Conn.
5. Tim Gallant, Wales, Mass.
6. Scott Holcomb, Granby, Conn.
7. Scott Viets, East Granby, Conn.
8. Dana Shaw, Plainfield, Conn.
9. Denny Zimmerman, Glastonbury, Conn.
10. Jim Close, Ellington, Conn.

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified (35 laps)
1. Bryan King, Corinth
2. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
3. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
4. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
5. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
6. Jack Cook, Moultonboro, N.H.
7. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
8. Jim Morgan, Woodstock
9. Louie Cadwell, Vershire
10. # Josh Sunn, White River Junction

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe (25 laps)
1. Bob Shepard, West Topsham
2. Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H.
3. Terry Williams, Wells River
4. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth
5. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth
6. Josh Harrington, Topsham
7. Shane Race, South Strafford
8. Louie Cadwell, Vershire
9. Jason Horniak, Bradford
10. # Jason Colbeth, Newbury

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model (20 laps)
1. # Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
2. Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
3. Robert Tucker, East Corinth
4. Ray Johnson, Campton, N.H.
5. Jeremy Hodge, Newbury

Weglarz Property Service Fast Four (20 laps)
1. Steve Bell, St. Johnsbury
2. Danny Doyle, Barre
3. Travis Hull, Graniteville
4. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
5. # Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury

KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet (20 laps)
1. Eric Lang, Groton
2. Tom Placey, Bradford
3. Don Reynolds, Springfield
4. Mike Stender, South Strafford
5. Charlie Lakin, Groton

Hornet Queen (10 laps)
1. Julie Stender, South Strafford
2. Donna Racine, St. Johnsbury
3. Melissa King, Corinth
4. Misty Bell, St. Johnsbury
5. Alicia Taylor, Moultonboro, N.H.

Northeast Mini Sprint 600cc (20 laps)
1. Rich Crooker, Nashua, N.H.
2. # Spencer Allen, Plainfield, N.H.
3. David Johnson, Arlington, Mass.
4. Terry Reil, East Barre
5. Drew Eldridge, North Chelmsford, Mass.