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

BRADFORD, Vt. – ‘The Professor’ Chris Donnelly lived up to that moniker on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway.’

The Piermont, N.H. driver dove to the inside of Kevin Chaffee on lap 14 to take the lead and held the throttle down to claim the win in the 25-lap Sprint Cars of New England feature.

Donnelly started the event in the eighth spot and multiple early race caution flags helped the four-time series champion to move into the third spot by lap five. Donnelly and race leader Chaffee weaved their way through lapped traffic, but Donnelly would catch Chaffee in open track to make the move for the win.

From there, Donnelly would see lapped traffic as his only challenge and threaded-the-needle with daring moves on multiple occasions. Chaffee would close the gap as Donnelly worked lapped traffic, but Donnelly stayed tough out front and claimed the win.

“I wasn’t sure I could chase (Chaffee) down,” Donnelly said. “I knew it was getting rough on the top and he kept working the bottom. We got to lapped traffic and it’s tough. That was a very physical race track.

“I’m not sure I’ve been around here that many laps wide open and never lift. It was pretty cool.”

Chaffee, of Bradford, Vt., settled for second after he led from lap two to lap 14. Lacey Hanson of Orwell, Vt., started on the pole position and led the first lap, then made a move past Jake Williams of Center Tuftonborough, N.H. on the final turn in lapped traffic to claim the final spot on the podium. Matt Hoyt of Campton, N.H. completed the top-five finishers.

Two-time series champion Dan Douville bounced back from multiple pit stops to finish sixth while Luke Greenwood finished seventh. Richie Simmons, Chad Turck, and Will Hull completed the unofficial top-ten finishers.

Two early race flips briefly stopped the event. Lauren Boisvert rolled her No. 22 car over in turn four on the first lap, but walked away uninjured. Chris Clark then took a tumble of his own in turn one on a lap two restart. He walked away from the incident uninjured.

The Sprint Cars of New England travel to Legion Speedway on Friday, June 17.

Sprint Cars of New England – Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, June 11, 2016

(# — denotes rookie)

1. (8) Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
2. (6) Kevin Chaffee, Bradford, Vt.
3. (2) Lacey Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
4. (7) Jake Williams, Center Tuftonborough, N.H.
5. (10) # Matt Hoyt, Campton, N.H.
6. (4) Dan Douville, Bridgewater, N.H.
7. (17) Luke Greenwood, Hudson, N.H.
8. (12) # Richie Simmons, Bradford, Vt.
9. (19) # Chad Turck, Pittsfield, N.H.
10. (9) Will Hull, Plainfield, Vt.
11. (13) # Ryan Avery, Campton, N.H.
12. (14) # Marty Hutchins, Poultney, Vt.
13. (5) Dennis McLeod, Concord, N.H.
14. (20) Patrick Smith, East Andover, N.H.
15. (1) Christine Boesch, Concord, N.H.
16. (11) # Mike Chaffee, Corinth, Vt.
17. (3) Chris Clark, Vershire, Vt.
18. (16) Steve Hutchinson, Goffstown, N.H.
19. (18) Adam Lyman, Martinsburg, W. Va.
20. (15) Lauren Boisvert, Danbury, N.H.

PHOTO: Chris Donnelly celebrates his Sprint Cars of New England win on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway with representatives from Mekkelsen RV. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)