PHOTO: Justin Comes (#51) makes the winning pass on Richie Simmons (#34) in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature. (Alan Ward photo)

Ellsworth wins Coupes; Fornwalt makes it five straight in Late Models

(From track press release)

BRADFORD — Up-and-coming Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified stock car driver Justin Comes earned his second career victory in a dominant romp during 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series action on Dennis Preston Builders Night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. The 20 year-old Middlebury, VT racer had been excruciatingly close to the checkered flag on numerous occasions in 2012, leading several races and posting a string of three-straight third-place finishes earlier in the year.

From the sixth starting position, Comes rode the far outside lane in his No. 51 Flyin’ Ryan Auto Body-sponsored Modified to cut through the field and grab the lead from polesitter Richie Simmons with relative ease early in the 40-lap race. Top drivers Adam Pierson of Fairlee, VT and Jason Gray of East Thetford, VT made late charges through traffic to finish second and third, respectively. Kevin Chaffee and Robert Tucker completed the top five, followed by Chris Donnelly, Gary Siemons, Mike Dunn, Bob Shepard, and Simmons.

Veteran driver Steve Ellsworth of Corinth, VT ran to his first victory of the season in the 30-lap Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe feature, but only after a bid by Terry Williams was spoiled with seven laps remaining. Ellsworth led every lap from the pole, but hard-charging Williams of Wells River, VT took to the outside lane and was just ahead of Ellsworth when he spun to bring out the caution flag. Ellsworth held on to take the win; Josh Harrington of Topsham, VT got up for second place, and Jeremy Beckley of Woodsville, NH finished third. Tim Hodge and Gene Pierson, Jr., were next in line. Williams recovered for ninth.

Fifteen year-old sensation Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford, VT extended his win streak to five in the A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model division, winning the three-segment “Madness” event. The win was the youngster’s eighth of the season and 12th of his two-year career at Bear Ridge Speedway. Fornwalt posted finishes of third, first, and first in the race’s three 15-lap segments for a low total score of five points and the overall victory. Brian Chaffee of West Topsham, VT was the runner-up with eight points, and first-segment winner Mike Greene of North Haverhill, NH rebounded from a broken ball joint in the middle leg to take third place overall with 10 points. Rookie Same Comeau was fourth and Matt Ellsworth was fifth.

Kevin Harran of St. Johnsbury, VT was the winner of the 20-lap Weglarz Property Service Fast Four feature. Harran, the division’s defending champion, held off White River Junction, VT’s Tim Martin and Danny Doyle of Roxbury, VT for the win, followed by Steve Bell and Chuck Simmons.

Groton, VT’s Eric Lang grabbed his sixth KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet victory of the year after an entertaining battle with Allen Birch of St. Johnsbury, VT. Birch was second for his best career finish, and rookie Brandon Gray of East Thetford, VT was third. Charlie Lakin and Andy Mooney completed the top five.

Rich Crooker of Nashua, NH won his third Granite State Mini Sprint 600cc feature of the year. Jake Williams of Center Tuftonboro, NH led laps and finished second despite suffering severe damage to his aerodynamic wing after a crash that sent Spencer Allen flipping. Scott Preston of Monkton, VT was third. Allen was uninjured in the crash. Twelve year-old Dylan Rock of Enfield, NH posted his second career Bear Ridge win in the 500cc Mini Sprint feature. Doug Boisvert of East Andover, NH was second and Kyle Belliveau of Hopkinton, NH was third.

Justin St. Louis of West Addison, VT won the 50-lap Enduro for four- and six-cylinder cars. Steve Stone of St. Johnsbury, VT was the runner-up, and Phil Tanner, also of St. Johnsbury, VT, was third.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 45th season of stock car racing continues on Saturday, July 28 as Perry Oil Service presents a huge program for the WYKR Sprint Cars of New England, the USAC Dirt Midget Association, the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series Modified, Coupe, Late Model, Fast Four, and Hornet divisions, the Hornet Stinger youth division, and Kids Bicycle Races. 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 – Dennis Preston Builders Night
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, July 21, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

Bond Auto DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Feature (40 laps)
1. Justin Comes, Middlebury
2. Adam Pierson, Fairlee
3. Jason Gray, East Thetford
4. Kevin Chaffee, Fairlee
5. Robert Tucker, East Topsham
6. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
7. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
8. Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H.
9. Bob Shepard, West Topsham
10. Richie Simmons, Bradford

Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe Feature (30 laps)
1. Steve Ellsworth, Corinth
2. Josh Harrington, Topsham
3. Jeremy Beckley, Woodsville, N.H.
4. Tim Hodge, Vershire
5. Gene Pierson, Jr., East Corinth
6. # Jesse Smith, Topsham
7. # Tom Placey, Bradford
8. Jeff Robbins, Jr., Woodsville, N.H.
9. Terry Williams, Wells River
10. Jason Horniak, Bradford

A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model “Madness” Feature – Overall Finish (15 laps x 3)
1. Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford
2. Brian Chaffee, West Topsham
3. Mike Greene, Jr., Pike, N.H.
4. # Sam Comeau, Hebron, N.H.
5. Matt Ellsworth, Corinth

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

KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet Feature (20 laps)
1. Eric Lang, Groton
2. # Allen Birch, St. Johnsbury
3. # Brandon Gray, East Thetford
4. Charlie Lakin, Groton
5. Andy Mooney, Danville

Granite State Mini Sprint 600cc Feature (20 laps)
1. Rich Crooker, Nashua, N.H.
2. Jake Williams, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
3. Scott Preston, Monkton

Granite State Mini Sprint 500cc Feature (20 laps)
1. # Dylan Rock, Enfield, N.H.
2. Doug Boisvert, East Andover, N.H.
3. Kyle Belliveau, Hopkinton, N.H.

Enduro (50 laps)
1. Justin St. Louis, West Addison
2. Steve Stone, St. Johnsbury
3. Phil Tanner, St. Johnsbury