PHOTO: Chris Donnelly and his wife, Julie, celebrate becoming the first repeat Sprint Cars of New England winner of 2012 at Legion Speedway on Sunday. (Don MacIntosh photo)

(From series press release)

WENTWORTH, N.H. — Like many a returning vacationer, Chris Donnelly spent Sunday night in traffic, except that Donnelly’s traffic had wings on top and there was a slight odor of methanol in the air. Donnelly raced from an eighth starting spot to win his heat and then roared around the top of the track from 11th to win the Sprint Cars of New England feature at Legion Speedway on Sunday.

Donnelly’s victory made him the first repeat winner of the season, ending SCoNE’s seven race streak of no repeat winners.

“We’ve been struggling a lot with this car so I went back to some old notes and apparently they worked pretty well… I should have left it alone a year ago,” the winner quipped in victory lane.

Butch Valley, Jr. led the first five laps from the pole until former champion Shawn Lawler, who started sixth, rim rode the cushion into the lead. Lawler chose the inside to work through a blockade of lapped traffic on lap 16 while Donnelly went high and slipped by, leaving Lawler to settle for second.

Two red flags and two yellow flags disrupted the first six laps, after which the race ran without a pause. Both Mark Cole and Clay Dow flipped in separate incidents but neither driver was hurt.

“The Topside Tornedo” Dan Douville came from 14th to finish third. Jim Lowrey, who recently changed to a different grade tire, won his heat and finished a strong fourth. Tyler Rich was fifth in his fourth top five of the season.

The Sprint Cars of New England will be at the Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT this Saturday July 28 along with a full card of Stock car racing and the USAC DMA Midgets. Don’t miss seeing seven time and defending Bear Ridge champion and current DIRTcar Sportsman Modified points leader Adam Pierson of Fairlee, VT as he makes his Sprint Car debut in the SCoNE Guest Car.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Route 118 Automotive 25
Sprint Cars of New England — Legion Speedway, Wentworth, N.H.
Sunday, July 22, 2012

Pos.-Driver-Hometown

1. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
2. Shawn Lawler, Mason, N.H.
3. Dan Douville, Bridgewater, N.H.
4. Jim Lowery, Jr., Tilton, N.H.
5. Tyler Rich, Lyme, N.H.
6. Will Hull, East Montpelier, Vt.
7. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee, Vt.
8. Jake Williams, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
9. Robby Bodwell, Sanford, Maine
10. Bob Giuliani, Middleton, N.H.
11. Bruce Kimball, Lebanon, N.H.
12. Butch Valley, Jr., Hollis, N.H.
13. Lacey Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
14. Andy Seuss, Hampstead, N.H.
15. Brandon Valley, Hollis, N.H.
16. # Chris Downs, Moultonboro, N.H.
17. Clay Dow, Barnstead, N.H.
18. Mark Cole, Lebanon, N.H.
Did Not Qualify: Shawn Berry, Center Osspiee, N.H.; Matt Robie, Hill, N.H.; Randy Wimert, Falmouth, Maine