Pierson ties USAC win streak record, adds Modified Growler win; Harrington tops Coupe Growler

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

BRADFORD – Matt Ellsworth likely wishes the season was not over at Bear Ridge Speedway after Saturday night.

The Corinth driver capped off an impressive September with his second win and fourth top-five finish in the 60-lap Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe season finale.

He did so all while recovering from broken ribs.

The win for Ellsworth was his third of the season. He finished second in the championship standings this season after a fourth place finish one week ago propelled him into that spot.

Hometown driver Brian Chaffee finished second while former division champion Jason Colbeth of Newbury raced home third. Championship contender Michael Danforth and Todd Hayward completed the top-five finishers.

Jason Horniak secured the track’s Sportsman Coupe championship and raced home to a sixth place finish in the feature event. It is the first championship for the veteran driver and came in a season when he initially planned to run only a part-time schedule.

Multi-time champion Josh Harrington finished seventh while Mike Chaffee, Mitchell Frost, and Melvin Pierson completed the top-ten finishers.

Harrington won a special $500-to-win winner’s “Bear Ridge Growler” race after the 60-lap feature was concluded.

Adam Pierson tied Billy Boat's USAC record with his 11th straight USAC Dirt Midget Association win on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)Adam Pierson tied Billy Boat’s 1995 USAC record with 11 straight series wins in the USAC Dirt Midget Association 30-lap feature.

The East Corinth driver started last and quickly made his way to the front of the field.

Pierson’s 11 wins came across three race tracks – which include Albany-Saratoga Speedway and Legion Speedway in addition to Bear Ridge – and helped him seal his third straight crown.

Adam Whitney of Warren finished second while legendary driver John Heydenreich of Bloomsburg, Pa. finished third. Jeff Horn and Dean Christensen finished fourth and fifth while sixth through tenth went to Jim Santa Maria, Robert Tucker, Jeff Champagne, Ray Miller, and Kelly Arrison.

The win for Pierson was his eighth Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget win of the season at Bear Ridge.

Pierson’s win streak dates back to the first event of June at Bear Ridge Speedway.

Pierson was not done winning as he clinched his sixth championship in Bear Ridge’s top division and a record leading 12th and 13th championship across any division. In addition to his five Sportsman Modified championships and three Midget titles, Pierson has won three Sportsman Coupe crowns, one 358 Modified championship, and one IMCA Modified championship at Bear Ridge.

Pierson also won the special “Bear Ridge Growler” event for feature winners during the Sportsman Modified portion of the season.

James Shufelt of Sutton won the 100-lap four- and six-cylinder endure to close out the season.
Former Fast Four driver Karl Sheldon finished second with Tadd Kingsbury third.

Bear Ridge will celebrate their 49th season champions on Saturday, December 17 during the awards banquet which will be held at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Swenson Insurance Agency Crate Motor Nationals
Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, September 24, 2016


Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes (60 laps)
1. Matt Ellsworth, Corinth
2. Brian Chaffee, Bradford
3. Jason Colbeth, Newbury
4. Michael Danforth, Corinth
5. Todd Hayward, Bradford
6. Jason Horniak, Bradford
7. Josh Harrington, Topsham
8. Mike Chaffee, East Corinth
9. Mitchell Frost, East Corinth
10. Melvin Pierson, Corinth

Laquerre’s Sport USAC Dirt Midget Association (30 laps)
1. Adam Pierson, East Corinth
2. Adam Whitney, Warren
3. John Heydenreich, Bloomsburg, Pa.
4. Jeff Horn, Ashland, Mass.
5. Dean Christensen, East Granby, Conn.
6. Jim Santa Maria, Burlington, Conn.
7. Robert Tucker, Bradford
8. Jeff Champagne, Westfield, Mass.
9. Ray Miller, East Granby, Conn.
10. Kelly Arrison, Chester

1 – Matt Ellsworth celebrates his second Sportsman Coupe win of September on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway with a Swenson Insurance Agency representative. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Adam Pierson tied Billy Boat’s USAC record with his 11th straight USAC Dirt Midget Association win on Saturday night at Bear Ridge Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)