Pierson earns dominating Sportman Coupe feature win

–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
VMM Editor

BRADFORD – Josh Sunn knows how to start a USAC Dirt Midget Association season.

The White River Junction driver drove to his second straight opening day win on Saturday night in the F.M.S. NAPA Auto Parts season opener at Bear Ridge Speedway.

Sunn took the lead following a lap nine restart from Anthony Nocella and held off the challenge of teammate Adam Pierson to claim the win in the 20-lap USAC Dirt Midget Association feature event.

After Sunn started in the seventh spot, he would first take the lead on lap seven from polesitter Adam Whitney, but surrendered the lead one lap leader to Nocella.

Nocella would surrender the lead following a red flag for a wild flip on the backstretch by Robert Tucker. Tucker walked away from the incident unharmed. On the restart, Nocella gave way to Sunn, but was caught in a three-way battle between himself, Sunn, and Pierson until his own flip in turn 1 ended his night on lap 14. Nocella was uninjured.

Sunn would then be forced to hold off Pierson over the final six laps, which he did successfully.

Defending champion Pierson, of East Corinth, finished second while Adam Whitney of Warren finished third. Dean Christensen and Jeff Champagne completed the top-five finishers.

Seventy-three-year-old Ray Miller, Manny Diaz, Jeff Horn, Tyler Rivard, and Alex Rose finished sixth through tenth, respectively.

Melvin Pierson opened the Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupe season with a dominating win in their 25-lap feature.

The Corinth driver worked past leader Jason Colbeth midway through the feature event and continued to open the gap to over a straightaway lead.

Colbeth, of Newbury, finished second after he led the first part of the race after he took the lead on the first restart of the race. Tim Hodge of Vershire finished third after he started on the front row. Michael Danforth and Brian Chaffee finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Mike Greene, Thomas Placey, Matt Ellsworth, Buster Kathan, and Mitchell Frost completed the top-ten finishers, unofficially.

Tim Martin of White River Junction earned an impressive opening night win in the 15-lap Mike River’s Automotive Limited Late Model feature event.

Martin was followed under the checkered flag by Friday night’s Legion Speedway winner J.P. Vaillancourt with rookie T.J. Morse third. Wayland Childs and Don Reynolds completed the top-five finishers.

Jesse Durkee of South Royalton took advantage of Sean Perron’s misfortune when his experienced mechanical troubles midway through the 20-lap Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinder feature to earn the win in the season opener.

Durkee was followed across the line by Charlie Lakin and Jason Porter in second and third, respectively. Kevin LaForest and Bobby Bell completed the top-five finishers.
Bear Ridge Speedway will continue its 2016 season on Saturday, May 14 with Alarmco, Inc. Night. The Granite State Mini Sprints Racing Club will be in attendance. Post time is set for 6:00pm.

Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, May 7, 2016


Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget Association (20 laps)
1. Josh Sunn, White River Junction
2. Adam Pierson, East Corinth
3. Adam Whitney, Warren
4. Dean Christensen, East Granby, Conn.
5. Jeff Champagne, Westfield, Mass.
6. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
7. Manny Dias, Attleboro, Mass.
8. Jeff Horn, Ashland, Mass.
9. Tyler Rivard, Woonsocket, R.I.
10. Alex Rose, Keene, N.H.

Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes (25 laps)
1. Melvin Pierson, Corinth
2. Jason Colbeth, Newbury
3. Tim Hodge, Vershire
4. Michael Danforth, Corinth
5. Brian Chaffee, Bradford
6. Mike Greene, Haverhill, N.H.
7. Thomas Placey, Bradford
8. Matt Ellsworth, Corinth
9. Buster Kathan, Ludlow
10. Mitchell Frost, East Corinth

Mike’s River’s Automotive Limited Late Models (15 laps)
1. Tim Martin, White River Junction
2. J.P. Vaillancourt, Plymouth, N.H.
3. T.J. Morse, Danville
4. Wayland Childs, Chelsea
5. Don Reynolds, Springfield

Weglarz Property Service Four Cylinders (20 laps)
1. Jesse Durkee, South Royalton
2. Charlie Lakin, Groton
3. Jason Porter, Freeport, Maine
4. Kevin LaForest, Barre
5. Bobby Bell, St. Johnsbury

PHOTO: Josh Sunn celebrates his USAC Dirt Midget Association win at Bear Ridge with members of the FMR Racing team. (Alan Ward photo)