PHOTO: Dan Douville celebrates in victory lane with Coastal 181’s Lew Boyd after winning the SCoNE Triple Crown Weekend Feature. (Alan Ward photo)

Morgan wins DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds

–by T.J. Ingerson

BRADFORD — Dan Douville swept his way to the Sprint Cars of New England Triple Crown Weekend last year after winning all three events. After a third place finish in the opening race at the Canaan Dirt Speedway, a sweep was no longer. But, Douville now leads the way in the Triple Crown Weekend points after winning the second round race at the Bear Ridge Speedway.

The Bridgewater, N.H. veteran racer started the SCoNE feature from the seventh position, but quickly worked his way into the third position by lap eight. Two laps later, Douville jumped to the outside of current SCoNE point leader Chris Donnelly for second, then battled last night’s winner Clay Dow for the lead. After a brief battle, Douville used a lap car as a successful pick to take the lead, and never relinquished it.

“The car was real good,” Douville said. “I was able to find the top early, even though I was worried the track was going to be wet. With Clay [Dow] back and Chris [Donnelly] fast, you can’t wait. You have to go. The car was real good.”

Douville explained how Dow was working the inside as the two approached lap traffic, which was helpful in Douville taking the lead.

“The lap car helped. When you can keep that much momentum on the outside, it helps you,” explained Douville. “Clay was good on the bottom, but the lap car was there and it worked out for us. It worked out great.”

Donnelly, of Piermont, N.H., rebounded after a disappointing sixth place finish last night taking second. Dow, of Barnstead, N.H., held on to finish third after moving to the outside as Douville passed. Tyler Rich, of Lyme, N.H., rebounded after an eventful race, featuring a 360 spin and tagging the outside wall in the middle of turns 3 and 4, to finish fourth. Tilton, N.H.’s Jim Lowery, Jr. finished fifth.

Will Hull, Jake Williams, Robby Bodwell, Matt Robie, and Dylan Campbell completed the unofficial top ten.

After Douville’s win and Dow’s third place finish, they are now tied with 4 points each headed into the third and final round of the SCoNE Triple Crown Weekend at Legion Speedway in Rumney, N.H. on Sunday.

“It’s going to be exciting,” Douville said about Sunday’s finale. “It’s nice to have Clay back, he’s got a good crew, a good car, and he’s a good driver. It’s going to be interesting.”

“It’s very important. I’d love to beat Dan,” said Dow. “It’s going to be a late night and early morning to make sure we’re on our ‘A’ game.”

Veteran Jim Morgan took his first win of the season in the 30-lap Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds. The Woodstock racer started fifth and quickly worked his way to second place by lap one, and then took the lead from then leader Jeff Elliott on lap three. Morgan held off numerous challenges on the remaining five restarts. Middlebury’s Justin Comes rode most of the race on Morgan’s bumper, attempting a few times to get around him, and settled for second. Jason Gray, of East Thetford, followed Morgan and Comes the entire race and took third. Fairlee’s Kevin Chaffee and Corinth’s Bryan King completed the top five.

Mike Dunn, Jeremy Huntoon, Tim Tucker, Jeff Ellliott, and Jack Cook rounded out the unofficial top ten.

Point leader Josh Harrington took his second Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe victory of the season. The Topsham veteran worked his way inside of then race leader rookie Tim Hodge on lap 17 to take the lead, and held on for the remainder of the 25-lap feature. Hodge, of Vershire, held on for second, while Jason Horniak, of Bradford, finished third. Defending champion Gene Pierson, of East Corinth, was fourth and last week’s winner Shane Race, of South Strafford, was fifth.

Robert Tucker won the A Notch Above Auto Limited Late Model Madness feature by a single point after rookie Jordan Fornwalt got loose coming out of turn four coming to the checkered flag, allowing Tucker to sneak by him at the line. Tucker, of East Corinth, had won segment two and was tied with Fornwalt, of Bradford, who had won segment one. Tucker ended with 6 points by virtue of his second place finish in segment three. Fornwalt had 7 with a third place finish in segment three. They both finished runner-up to each other in those respected segments. Segment three winner Tyler Stygles, of Bradford, finished third with 7 points. Ray Johnson, of Campton, N.H., finished fourth with 14 points, while Rumney, N.H.’s Troy Comeau was fifth with 16 points.

Dave Durkee, Sr. led the Welgarz Property Service Fast Four feature for 19 and a half laps in their 20 lap feature, however, Kevin Harran, of St. Johnsbury, edge his way in to the inside of Durkee and took the victory as the top five crossed the line virtually under a blanket. Durkee, of Tunbridge, held on for second, while Travis Hull, of Graniteville, was third.

Hometown driver Tom Placey took the 20-lap KDD Napa Auto Parts Hornet feature, as Mike Stender, of South Strafford, was second and Don Reynolds, of Springfield, was third.

Amanda Habel, of Roxbury, won the 10-lap Hornet Queen feature.

Seven-time American-Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar won a special 10-lap “Asphalt Invitational,” which also featured defending New Hampshire State Champion Wayne Helliwell, 2010 Thunder Road Champion Nick Sweet, 2011 Thunder Road Champion Dave Pembroke, multi ACT race winner John Donahue, and series veteran and race winner Chip Grenier. Helliwell crossed the line in second ahead of Sweet, Grenier, Donahue, and Pembroke.

“That was awesome. That was a lot of fun,” a happy Brian Hoar said in victory lane. “I’m thankful for Jason Gray allowing me to drive his car. It was awesome. It was a lot of fun, something very different. I’m still trying to catch my breath. But I can see why these guys do this weekly. It’s a lot of fun.”

Wayne Helliwell, no stranger to different style cars, echoed Hoar’s thoughts. Helliwell regularly competes Friday nights at the Lee USA Speedway in Lee, N.H., driving a small-block, open-wheeled Super Modified.

“That’s the most different thing I’ve ever driven, but I tell you, I could get hooked to driving it,” gleamed Helliwell. “This car was pretty good. I think I could do it weekly. I would love to do it weekly.”

Bear Ridge returns next Saturday, September 10th, for Mekkelsen RV night at the races, including the USAC Dirt Midget Assocation and the Granite State Mini Sprints.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Dead River Oil Company Night
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, September 3, 2011

(# – denotes rookie)

WYKR Sprint Cars of New England/SCoNE Triple Crown Weekend Race Two (30 laps)
1. Dan Douville, Bridgwater, N.H.
2. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
3. Clay Down, Barnstead, N.H.
4. # Tyler Rich, Lyme, N.H.
5. # Jim Lowery, Jr., Tilton, N.H.
6. # Will Hull, East Montpelier
7. # Jake Williams, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
8. Robby Bodwell, Sanford, Me.
9. # Matt Robie, Hill, N.H.
10. # Dylan Campbell, Southboro, Mass.
11. Lacey Hanson, Orwell
12. Bruce Kimball, Lebanon, N.H.
13. # Brandon Valley, Center Ossipee, N.H.
14. Shawn Berry, Center Ossipee, N.H.
15. Mark Cole, Lebanon, N.H.
DNS – Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee, Vt.

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified (30 laps)
1. Jim Morgan, Woodstock
2. Justin Comes, Middlebury
3. Jason Gray, East Thetford
4. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
5. Bryan King, Corinth
6. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
7. Jeremy Huntoon, Bradford
8. # Tim Tucker, Northfield
9. Jeff Elliott, Benton, N.H.
10. Jack Cook, Moultonboro, N.H.

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes (25 laps)
1. Josh Harrington, Topsham
2. # Tim Hodge, Vershire
3. Jason Horniak, Bradford
4. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth
5. Shane Race ,South Strafford
6. Melvin Pierson, East Corinth
7. Bob Shepard, West Topsham
8. Josh Constantine, East Corinth
9. # Jeff Robbins, Woodsville, N.H.
10. # Jason Colbeth, Newbury

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Models (22 laps x 3)
1. Robert Tucker, East Corinth (5 pts.)
2. # Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford (6 pts.)
3. Tyler Stygles, Bradford (7 pts.)
4. Ray Johnson, Campton, N.H. (14 pts.)
5. Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H. (16 pts).

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

KDD Napa Auto Parts Hornet (20 laps)
1. Tom Placey, Bradford
2. Mike Stender, South Strafford
3. Don Reynolds, Springfield
4. Charlie Lakin, Groton
5. # Mike Lique, West Lebanon, N.H.

Hornet Queen (10 laps)
1. Amanda Habel, Roxbury
2. Julie Stender, South Strafford
3. Melissa King, Corinth

Modified “Asphalt Invitational” (10 laps)
1. Brian Hoar, Williston
2. Wayne Helliwell, Jr., Dover, N.H.
3. Nick Sweet, Barre
4. Chip Grenier, Graniteville
5. John Donahue, Graniteville
6. Dave Pembroke, Montpelier