PHOTO: Modified “Madness” winner Chris Donnelly (center) with representatives from Bond Auto Parts. (Alan Ward photo)

Horniak ends Coupe skid; Holcomb hangs on for USAC Midget win

(From track press release)

BRADFORD — Stock car racing champion Chris Donnelly became the first repeat winner of the season in the Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division in the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series on Bond Auto Parts Night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. Donnelly slipped into the annual Modified “Madness” event win with a strong car and a little luck in the race’s three 40-lap segments.

The Piermont, NH driver posted finishes of sixth and second in the first two rounds of the cumulatively-scored race, entering the final 40-lap leg with eight points and trailing Kevin Chaffee and Jason Gray. Fairlee, VT racer Chaffee won the first segment in a wildly competitive and caution-free run that saw five lead changes in heavy lapped traffic, then finished fourth in the second leg for five total points. Gray, of East Thetford, VT, was fifth in the first round, then dominated the second segment from the 14th starting position to win by nearly half a lap, totaling six points.

As Gray struggled, Chaffee was poised for a top-five finish in the third round before getting hung up in traffic. Donnelly was able to choose the right lanes and post another runner-up finish for 10 total points, low score on the night. White River Junction’s Josh Sunn won the final segment, and combined with finishes of second and ninth in the first two rounds, earned 12 points. Chaffee also had 12 points after his seventh-place run in the final segment, but the tie-breaker went to Sunn with his third-segment win. Adam Pierson (3rd, 7th, 4th = 14 points) finished fourth overall, and Gray was fifth with 17 points after finishing 11th in the third segment.

The entire 120-lap Modified event was slowed by just three caution flags through the three segments and paid the largest purse in the history of the division, more than $7,000 through the field including bonuses.

Jason Horniak of Bradford, VT ended a long winless streak dating back to the opening event of the 2010 season with a popular victory in the 30-lap Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe feature. Horniak ousted rookie Tom Placey, also of Bradford, VT, with a pass for the lead on the high side of the track with two laps remaining. Placey held on for a career-best runner-up finish, with fellow freshman driver Josh Constantine of East Corinth, VT third. Josh Harrington and Gene Pierson, Jr., were next in line.

Scott Holcomb of North Granby, CT drove to his first USAC Dirt Midget Association win of the season in a hard-fought 25-lap affair. Holcomb held off the advances of defending champion Joe Krawiec that included a mid-race bump as they raced for the top spot. Doubel-duty racer Chaffee finished third with Dana Shaw and Ray Miller completing the top five.

Fifteen year-old sensation Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford, VT posted his fifth A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model win of the year in that division’s 20-lap feature. He outdistanced West Topsham, VT’s Brian Chaffee and Jason Giguere of Enfield, NH for the win. Steve Bell of St. Johnsbury, VT won his first Weglarz Property Service Fast Four event of the season in a 20-lap romp. Crosstown neighbor Kevin Harran was second with Roxbury, VT’s Danny Doyle third.

Rookie Brandon Gray of East Thetford, VT grabbed his first career KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet victory after four runner-up finishes, and did so carrying a tribute to fallen friend Connor Cook, who died after a lightning strike earlier in the week. Eric Lang of Groton, VT was second with Don Reynolds of Springfield, VT third. Reynolds’ fiancee, Dawn King, won her first career Hornet Queen race ahead of Alicia Taylor of Moultonboro, NH and Becky Florio of Passumpsic, VT.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 45th season of stock car racing continues with Boudreault Septic/J&A Lawn Care Night on Saturday, July 7. The WYKR Sprint Cars of New England return along with the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, Coupes, Late Models, Fast Fours, Hornets, and Hornet Stinger youth division. Special general admission is $13 for adults (age 18-61), $10 for teens (12-17) and seniors (62+), and $2 for children; Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Racing begins at the famous “6:00-ish” start time.

Bear Ridge Speedway is located on Kidder Road in Bradford, VT, just off Exit 16 on Interstate 91. For more information, call (802) 222-4052 or visit

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Bond Auto Parts Night
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, June 30, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds (3 x 40 laps)
1. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.– (10 pts)
2. Josh Sunn, White River Junction — (12 pts)
3. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee — (12 pts)
4. Adam Pierson, Fairlee — (14 pts)
5. Jason Gray, East Thetford — (17 pts)
6. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H. — (25 pts.)
7. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H. — (25 pts.)
8. Justin Comes, Middlebury — (27 pts.)
9. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center — (30 pts.)
10. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H. — (33 pts.)

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe Feature (30 laps)
1. Jason Horniak, Bradford
2. # Tom Placey, Bradford
3. # Josh Constantine, East Corinth
4. Josh Harrington, Topsham
5. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth
6. Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H.
7. # Jesse Smith, Topsham
8. Tim Hodge, Vershire
9. Teddy Salomaa, Bradford
10. Mike McGinley, East Barre

USAC Dirt Midget Association (25 laps)
1. Scott Holcomb, Granby, Conn.
2. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
3. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
4. Dana Shaw, Plainfield, Conn.
5. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
6. Tim Gallant, Wales, Mass.
7. # Jeff Champagne, Westfield, Mass.
8. Adam Whitney, Warren
9. Denny Zimmerman, Glastonbury, Conn.
10. Dean Christensen, Granby, Conn.

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model Feature (20 laps)
1. Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
2. Brian Chaffee, West Topsham
3. Jason Giguere, Enfield, N.H.
4. Mike Greene, Jr., Pike, N.H.
5. # Travis King, Corinth

Weglarz Property Service Fast Four Feature (20 laps)
1. Steve Bell, St. Johnsbury
2. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
3. Danny Doyle, Roxbury
4. Tim Martin, White River Junction
5. Chuck Simmons, Bradford

KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet Feature (20 laps)
1. # Brandon Gray, East Thetford
2. Eric Lang, Groton
3. Don Reynolds, Springfield
4. Mike Stender, South Strafford
5. # James Fadden, North Haverhill, N.H.

Hornet Queen Feature (7 laps)
1. Dawn King, Springfield
2. Alicia Taylor, Moultonboro, N.H.
3. Becky Florio, Passumpsic