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

BRADFORD – Adam Pierson was nearly perfect on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway.

The East Corinth driver posted the low total of four points to claim the overall win in the three-segment Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Madness event on O’Reilly Auto Parts night.

Pierson scored wins in the first and third segments while he finished second in the second segment.

“It was a little rough and I’ll be honest, I didn’t think I could do it,” Pierson said. “There are a lot of guys and a lot of side-by-side racing tonight. I just got good breaks and got by a few guys that I needed to get by.

“The car is hooked up. The car has been hooked up all year long.”

Pierson was quick to credit his crew for their hard work with short turnaround times in the pits during the three segment event.

“I’ve got to thank my crew, especially,” Pierson said. “They ground these tires three times tonight and got them all fresh and (like) brand new. We’re tickled pink for sure.”

Adam Pierson drove his No. 15 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified to a near perfect night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

Adam Pierson drove his No. 15 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified to a near perfect night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

The win for Pierson was his sixth win of the season at Bear Ridge in Sportsman Modified competition.

“It’s a real big deal for the whole team,” Pierson said. “I’ve won a couple (segments) before and maybe won one overall. But, first, second, and first, you just can’t go wrong with that.

“Someone is on our side. I don’t know who it is or what they’re doing, but I like what they’re doing.”

Pierson started sixth in the first 37-lap segment by virtue of his fundraising efforts for bonus monies and quickly moved his way into the fourth spot by lap two. The four-time Sportsman Modified champion had moved his way into the third spot by lap 10 and then made quick work past Jordan Fornwalt for second.

From there, Pierson set his sights on USAC Dirt Midget Association teammate Josh Sunn and began to cut into his lead. Pierson arrived at Sunn’s rear bumper just five laps later and worked to his inside and into the lead on lap 16.

Pierson would hold tough through a trio of late race restarts to claim the win in the opening segment. Sunn and Fornwalt had a back-and-forth battle on the restarts with Sunn earning the second place honors over Fornwalt. Tim Hodge finished fourth in the first segment while Kevin Chaffee piloted his way from an 18th place starting spot to finish fifth.

The second segment saw freshman campaigner Lenny Pillsbury hold the point for the first 14 laps as Trevor Rocke methodically worked his way toward the front from a ninth place starting spot. The 28-year-old Rocke used primarily the outside lane as drivers fought for space on the bottom and moved to Pillsbury’s outside on lap 13 and into the lead for lap 15.

As Rocke had grabbed the lead, Pierson and Chaffee began their march and had moved into sixth and seventh, respectively, by the midway point in the second 37-lap segment. Chaffee would make a daring move to pounce over Pierson and a number of other competitors and into the second spot by lap 20. Pierson fought his way into the third spot and began to chase down Rocke.

Rocke’s lead, however, proved to be too big as Pierson and Chaffee began to battle for the second spot with just five laps remaining. The top two drivers at Bear Ridge went side-by-side until lapped traffic helped Pierson use the outside lane past Chaffee and into the second finishing spot.

Terry Williams finished fourth in the second segment while D.J. Robinson finished fifth after he finished sixth in the opening segment. Pierson entered the final segment with a five-point advantage over Chaffee and a six-point advantage over Sunn. Hodge was fourth, seven points back, while Rocke and Robinson were tied for fifth, eight points back of Pierson.

Todd Buckwold took control of the final 37-lap segment from the pole position, but the story again was Pierson and Chaffee as they navigated their way through traffic. Pierson was able to get ahead of Chaffee early, but a lap 13 caution flag took out Hodge and collected Sunn and Robinson after Fornwalt spun in front of them. Another caution flag on lap 20 allowed Pierson to restart in the third spot and give him the open lane in the Delaware-type restart to grab the lead and cruise to the win.

Chaffee would get by Buckwold on a late race restart to claim the runner-up spot in the final segment while Buckwold held on for third. Ryan Christian, one week removed from a nasty wreck, finished fourth while Mike Dunn completed the top-five.

Chaffee, of Bradford, finished second overall with finishes of fifth, third, and second for an overall of 10 points. Robinson, of Sharon, finished third overall with 20 points after finishes of sixth, fifth, and ninth and earned the tiebreaker over White River Junction’s Sunn, who had finishes of second, seventh, and 11th. Josh Currier of Newport, N.H. finished fifth overall, unofficially, with a score of 23 points after finishes of seventh, eighth, and eighth.

Fornwalt, Christian, Williams, Rocke, and Robert Tucker completed the top-ten overall finishers.

VMM will have more from Bear Ridge soon.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – O’Reilly Auto Parts Modified Madness
DIRTcar Racing – Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, July 2, 2016

(# — denotes rookie)

1. (6) Adam Pierson, East Corinth – (1 + 2 + 1 = 4 pts)
2. (17) Kevin Chaffee, Bradford – (5 + 3 + 2 = 10 pts)
3. (2) D.J. Robinson, Sharon – (6 + 5 + 9 = 20 pts)
4. (1) Josh Sunn, White River Junction – (2 + 7 + 11 = 20 pts)
5. (7) Josh Currier, Newport, N.H. – (7 + 8 + 8 = 23 pts)
6. (4) Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford – (3 + 10 + 10 = 23 pts)
7. (5) Ryan Christian, Canaan, N.H. – (9 + 11 + 4 = 24 pts)
8. (3) Terry Williams, Wells River – (13 + 4 + 7 = 24 pts)
9. (16) # Trevor Rocke, Canaan, N.H. – (10 + 1 + 14 = 25 pts)
10. (10) Robert Tucker, West Topsham – (12 + 9 + 6 = 27 pts)
11. (14) Tim Hodge, Vershire – (4 + 6 + 20 = 30 pts)
12. (13) Mike Dunn, North Haverhill, N.H. – (11 + 15 + 5 = 31 pts)
13. (12) # Matt Lashua, Canaan, N.H. – (8 + 12 + 13 = 33 pts)
14. (15) # James Fadden, Plainfield, N.H. – (17 + 13 + 12 = 42 pts)
15. (9) # Todd Buckwold, Orange, N.H. – (21 + 20 + 3 = 44 pts)
16. (21) Chris Chambers, Brookfield, N.H. – (15 + 17 + 15 = 47 pts)
17. (18) Thomas Kimball, Lebanon, N.H. – (14 + 16 + 19 = 49 pts)
18. (8) # Lenny Pillsbury, Cornish, N.H. – (20 + 14 + 16 = 50 pts)
19. (20) Todd Fenoff, Danville – (16 + 18 + 17 = 51 pts)
20. (19) # Kevin Dickinson, Canaan, N.H. – (18 + 19 + 18 = 55 pts)
21. (11) Steven Flint, East Orange – (19 + 21 + 21 = 61 pts)

1 –  Adam Pierson celebrates his Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Madness overall win on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Adam Pierson drove his No. 15 DIRTcar Sportsman Modified to a near perfect night at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)