PHOTO: Clay Dow became the sixth different winner in six Sprint Cars of New England races this season Tuesday night at Canaan Dirt Speedway. (Alan Ward file photo)

Pierson earns $1,000 payday

–by T.J. Ingerson

CANAAN, N.H. — Clay Dow nearly won the first Sprint Cars of New England race of the season at Canaan Dirt Speedway when he tried to go to the topside of the race track to get around a lap car. Dow was unable to find traction and allowed Chris Donnelly to scoot by for the win.

On Tuesday night, however, Dow started the 25-lap Miller Auto Group feature in the ninth position and went to the topside after he was unable to make any gain on the familiar bottom groove. Dow found the grip he lacked in May and scored his first win of the season.

“I never, ever run the high side; everyone calls me a bottom feeder and I’ve had that nickname since I started racing Sprint Cars,” Dow, of Barnstead, N.H., said in the SCoNE press release. “For some reason tonight, something felt different. I stepped up to the high side and the car was on a rail. I ran two laps on the bottom and I wasn’t going forward, so I let it slide up two grooves and it just started going. I could pick cars off and it was the best I ever had my car going.”

Dow’s win almost didn’t happen, however. Series point leader Dan Douville was able to use a lap car to his advantage to take the lead with two laps remaining. A caution flew immediately after the pass, which gave Dow the lead back.

Douville, of Bridgewater, N.H., held on for second on the restart, while East Montpelier, Vt.’s Will Hull finished third after racing up front for the entirety of the race. Donnelly, of Piermont, N.H., also ran from the back of the 19 car field to finish fourth. Like Hull, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.’s Jake Williams was able to take advantage of a front row starting position and finished fifth. Veteran sprint car racer Mark Cole finished sixth, while Shawn Lawler and Tyler Rich finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Asphalt modified ace Andy Seuss started in the 18th position after being the last car to qualify through the B-Main and raced to a ninth place finish. Matt Robie completed the top ten.

Dow’s win made him the sixth different winner in six Sprint Cars of New England races this year.

Adam Pierson was able to score the $1,000-to-win Papa Z’s Modified two-segment 24-car feature. Pierson, of Fairlee, Vt., combined two third-place finishes to earn six points overall. Canaan Dirt regular Ryan Avery, Thornton, N.H., finished second in the first feature and sixth in the second feature to finish second overall. Kevin Chaffee, of Fairlee, Vt., scored the segment one victory, and finished seventh overall to score eight points, which set him third overall. Derek Graham, of Woodsville, N.H., and Robert Tucker, of East Topsham, Vt., completed the top five.

Segement two was won by young hotshoe Joey Scarborough of Brandon, Vt. He finished eighth overall.

Jason Giguere, of Enfield, N.H., scored the Miller Auto Group Super Street feature win over second place Jack Whynot and third place Doug McPhail.

The Sprint Cars of New England are back in action in just four days at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, Vt.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Miller Auto Group 25
Sprint Cars of New England — Canaan Dirt Speedway, Canaan, N.H.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

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

Papa Z’s Modifieds (2 x 20 laps)
1. Adam Pierson, Fairlee, Vt. — (3 + 3 = 6 pts)
2. Ryan Avery, Thornton, N.H. — (2 + 6 = 8 pts)
3. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee, Vt. — (1 + 7 = 8 pts)
4. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H. — (7 + 5 = 12 pts)
5. Robert Tucker, East Topsham, Vt. — (4 + 8 = 12 pts)
6. Randy Howe, Lebanon, N.H. — (11 + 2 = 13 pts)
7. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H. — (9 + 4 = 13 pts)
8. Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt. — (13 + 1 = 14 pts)
9. Trevor Rocke, Canaan, N.H. — (8 + 9 = 17 pts)
10. Blake Shepard, Newton, N.H. — (12 + 11 = 23 pts)

Miller Auto Group Super Streets (20 laps)
1. Jason Giguere, Enfield, N.H.
2. Jack Whynot, Meredith, N.H.
3. Doug McPhail, Tilton, N.H.
4. Derek O’Hearn, Campton, N.H.
5. Brian Chaffee, West Topsham, Vt.