Bear Ridge Speedway
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Second-Half Push Begins at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday
BRADFORD, Vt.-- Dirt track stock car drivers at Bradford, VT’s Bear Ridge Speedway are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, now that the 21-week season has passed the halfway point. Several drivers from the 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series are beginning to make serious rallies toward the front of their divisions in hopes to play the roles of championship spoilers.
Entering Saturday’s Dennis Preston Builders-sponsored event, the best average finish in the headline Bond Auto Parts DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division belongs to former three-time champion Gary Siemons of Orford, NH. With a 5.0 average, Siemons is the only full-time driver to have posted a top-ten finish in all of his starts in 2012. He dug a hole for himself on opening night in May by not making the call for the event’s feature race, and trails leaders Adam Pierson, Kevin Chaffee, and Derek Graham as a result, but Siemons won on Jiffy Mart of Bradford Night in June, has three additional podium finishes, and remains the most consistent driver in the Modified division.
Defending champion Pierson, of Fairlee, VT, leads after a seventh-place finish in last week’s double-points Shirley & Mickey Bruleigh Memorial Mid-Season Championship race. Pierson won the Valley Floors Night event on May 19 but has yet to return to victory lane in a division that has seen incredible parity this summer. He paces crosstown Fairlee neighbor Chaffee by 38 points, 677-639. Graham, of Woodsville, NH, captured his first career win last week and has 613 points for third. Siemons is fourth with 600 points, and Jason Gray of East Thetford, VT is fifth at 588.
Hometown driver Jason Horniak is in the middle of his most impressive season to date in the Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe division. Horniak has finished fifth or better in eight of the last nine races, and his win on Bond Auto Parts Night on June 30 snapped a two-year dry spell. The top three Coupe racers – Harrington, Horniak, and Terry Williams – are just 19 points apart, with 570, 557, and 551 points, respectively. Sophomore driver Tim Hodge is fourth at 536 points, and 2010 champion Gene Pierson, Jr., is fifth at 507.
Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford, VT is trying to become the youngest champion in Bear Ridge Speedway history – the 15 year-old has seven victories in ten races in the A Notch Above Automotive Limited Late Model division and leads veteran Mike Greene of North Haverhill, NH by 10 points, 621-611. Brian Chaffee is third, only 15 points behind Greene.
Danny Doyle of Roxbury, VT has a track-best nine podium finishes in ten starts in the Weglarz Property Service Fast Four division and enjoys the largest lead of any driver, 52 points. Kevin Harran and Tim Martin, who are tied for second place at 579 points, trail Doyle’s total of 631. Chuck Simmons is just three points behind the Harran-Martin deadlock.
Five-time winner Eric Lang of Groton, VT is poised for a second title in the KDD NAPA Auto Parts Hornet division, but will have to fend off top rookie Brandon Gray of East Thetford, VT along the way. Lang’s 670 points lead the class, but two-time winner Gray is only 26 markers back.
The five 99ROCK Weekly Racing Series divisions will be joined on Saturday by the Granite State Mini Sprint 600cc and 500cc divisions. Veteran Rich Crooker of Nashua, NH has a pair of 600cc wins, while young Jake Williams of Center Tuftonboro, NH won the last event on June 23. Josh Boissoneau of Bedford, NH has a pair of 500cc wins in 2012, and four-time champion Lacey Hanson of Orwell, VT picked up her first win of the year on June 23. Saturday’s Dennis Preston Builders Night will also host the annual Limited Late Model “Madness” segment race.
Dennis Preston Builders Night at Bear Ridge Speedway starts at the famous “6:00-ish” post time on Saturday, July 14. Regular general admission is $10 for adults (age 18-61), $8 for teens (12-17) and seniors (62+), and $2 for children. Season passes are also available; Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
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 www.bearridgespeedway.com.