PHOTO: Bond Auto DIRTcar Modified racer Derek Graham was one of three different first time winners Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)

Graham, Placey, Shaw carry first career checkered flags

(From track press release)

BRADFORD — First-time winners keep popping up in victory lane in the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series stock car program at Bear Ridge Speedway, as evidenced at Saturday’s Mid-Season Championship. Derek Graham, rookie Tom Placey, and Dana Shaw led the parade with their first career wins in the double-points events on Saturday.

Graham, of Woodsville, NH, put forth a dominating performance in the 45-lap Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature for the first win of his three-year career. Graham’s No. 10 DC Auto Body-sponsored car ran from ninth on the 18th-car starting grid to third place at the race’s lone caution period on lap 14. Graham took the lead from Robert Tucker seven laps later and pulled away to nearly a half-track lead when the checkered flag fell. Jason Gray of East Thetford, VT came from 11th at the start to take the runner-up spot, and Topsham, VT freshman Tucker held on for a career-best third. Bob Shepard and Mike Dunn were next in line, followed by Justin Comes, Adam Pierson, Josh Sunn, Gary Siemons, and Kevin Chaffee.

Hometown rookie driver Tom Placey took an emotional first win in the 35-lap Shirley & Mickey Bruleigh Memorial event for the Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe division. The former Hornet champion quickly moved his No. 22 PTO’s Repair machine from sixth starting spot into the lead, then fended off hard-charging Tim Hodge and Jason Horniak over the final ten laps for the win. Bradford, VT racer Horniak, who denied Placey a win in the final laps of an event last, got to second place and drew alongside Placey after a lap 30 restart, but settled for second. Hodge, of Vershire, VT, finished third for his fourth podium run in the last five weeks. Josh Harrington was fourth with rookie Jesse Smith fifth.

Dana Shaw of Plainfield, CT grabbed his first career victory in the 25-lap USAC Dirt Midget Association powered by Ignite Racing Fuel feature. Shaw passed rookie Jeff Champagne to take the lead near the halfway point, then outlasted a tough challenge from top driver Scott Holcomb of North Granby, CT in the final laps. Joe Krawiec of Bristol, CT completed the podium sweep for Connecticut drivers, followed by Chaffee and Champagne.

Fifteen year-old sophomore driver Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford, VT ran to his fourth-straight win and seventh of the year in the A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model division. Fornwalt passed West Topsham, VT’s Brian Chaffee on the outside late in the going for the win; Chaffee was second with Mike Greene third.

Danny Doyle of Roxbury, VT survived a rough Weglarz Property Service Fast Four feature for his fourth win of the year, followed by Steve Bell of St. Johnsbury, VT and Bradford, VT’s Chuck Simmons. Rookie Brandon Gray of East Thetford, VT took his second KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet win of the season over defending champion Eric Lang and rookie Ethan Byrd. Dawn King of Springfield, VT won the Hornet Queen race ahead of Alicia Taylor and Rita Birch.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 45th season of stock car racing continues on Saturday, July 21 as Dennis Preston Builders presents the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series Modified, Coupe, Late Model, Fast Four, and Hornet divisions, along with the Granite State Mini Sprints and the Hornet Stinger youth division. Regular general admission is $10 for adults (age 18-61), $8 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 – Shirley & Mickey Bruleigh Memorial Mid-Season Championships
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, July 14, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Feature (45 laps)
1. Derek Graham, Woodsville, N.H.
2. Jason Gray, East Thetford
3. Robert Tucker, East Topsham
4. Bob Shepard, West Topsham
5. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
6. Justin Comes, Middlebury
7. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
8. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
9. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
10. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe Feature (35 laps)
1. # Tom Placey, Bradford
2. Jason Horniak, Bradford
3. Tim Hodge, Vershire
4. Josh Harrington, Topsham
5. # Jesse Smith, Topsham
6. Terry Williams, Wells River
7. Buster Kathan, Ludlow
8. Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H.
9. Jason Colbeth, Newbury
10. # Josh Constantine, East Corinth

USAC Dirt Midget Association powered by Ignite Racing Fuel Feature (25 laps)
1. Dana Shaw, Plainfield, Conn.
2. Scott Holcomb, Granby, Conn.
3. Joe Krawiec, Bristol, Conn.
4. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
5. # Jeff Champagne, Westfield, Mass.
6. Dean Christensen, Granby, Conn.
7. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
8. Adam Whitney, Warren
9. # Chase Dowling, Roxbury, Conn.
10. Jamie Spalding, Chaplin, Conn.

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model Feature (25 laps)
1. Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
2. Brian Chaffee, West Topsham
3. Mike Greene, Jr., Pike, N.H.
4. # Sam Comeau, Hebron, N.H.
5. Wade Prentice, Campton, N.H.

Weglarz Property Service Fast Four Feature (25 laps)
1. Danny Doyle, Roxbury
2. Steve Bell, St. Johnsbury
3. Chuck Simmons, Bradford
4. Tim Martin, White River Junction
5. Rob Gioia, East Thetford

KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet Feature (25 laps)
1. # Brandon Gray, East Thetford
2. Eric Lang, Groton
3. # Ethan Byrd, Barre
4. Don Reynolds, Springfield
5. Charlie Lakin, Groton

Hornet Queen Feature (6 laps)
1. Dawn King, Springfield
2. Alicia Taylor, Moultonboro, N.H.
3. Rita Birch, St. Johnsbury