Sunday, May 24, 2009

Harrington, Eastman Double Up at Bear Ridge

Donnelly, Stearns Take Modified Wins

BRADFORD -- Bear Ridge Speedway officially opened its 2009 season on Saturday night with Chris Donnelly and Wayne Stearns splitting main event victories in the headline Sportsman Modified class, but it was Josh Harrington and Dan Eastman serving notice that they'll be the men to beat at the Bradford dirt track this year. Harrington and Eastman each swept a pair of feature events to open the season in the Sportsman Coupe and Limited Late Model divisions, respectively.

Harrington's first win came in the postponed KDD NAPA Auto Parts event, which was rained out after the first of two 20-lap segments was completed last week. After winning the first segment of the Monza-style race a week ago, Harrington finished second behind Doug Titus in the second round on Saturday night for a total low score of three points. Titus, who finished third in the first segment, was awarded second place overall with four points. Billy Simmons, making his first start in a Sportsman Coupe, finished third overall after segment finishes of fifth and fourth.

The second win for Harrington came in the regularly scheduled Wicked Racing Products/Snap-On Tools feature, where the Topsham driver came from eighth starting position to take the lead on lap four, then cruised to an easy victory over Simmons. Jason Horniak, Harrington's teammate, finished third over Bryan King and Titus.

Thetford Center driver Eastman also had an easy time of it in the Limited Late Models, winning both segments of the opening night feature as well as dominating the regular event. Tom Forward was the runner-up in both features. Frank Thurston finished third overall in the make-up race, while Jeremy Hodge completed the podium finishers in the regular event.

Things were a bit more intense in Sportsman Modified action, as a field of twelve cars took to the track. With both segments of last week's opener lost to rain, the division ran 70 green-flag laps in feature event action on Saturday night. Mike Capra of Alstead, N.H. outraced Thetford Center's Stearns and Piermont, N.H. driver Donnelly to take the first 20-lap segment, but could muster only fifth in the second round. Donnelly, however, marched through the field in the second leg to battle three-wide for the lead with Jason Gray and Gary Siemons before taking over. He held on to win the segment over Dan Douville and Siemons. When the scores were tallied, Donnelly's low score of four points was enough to beat Douville and Capra (six points each) for the overall victory. Unofficially, Siemons finished fourth overall ahead of Stearns.

Stearns was in better form in the regular 30-lap feature, setting a blistering pace early in the going from his outside pole starting position. After a lap 2 caution for Jeremy Huntoon's stalled car, Stearns opened up to a lead of more than a full straightaway, leaving the focus on a furious battle for second place. Jack Cook, Siemons, Gray, and Donnelly raced two- and three-wide at several points for the position before Siemons, of Orford, N.H., finally took the spot from Cook on lap 22. After passing Gray a few laps earlier, Donnelly came into contact with Cook before taking third place away moments after Siemons passed Cook. Cook spun his car in Turn 2 with two laps remaining to bring out the second and final caution flag, but none of the top six positions changed during the green-white-checker sprint to the finish. Following Stearns, Siemons, and Donnelly across the line were Capra, Gray, and Bob Shepard. Completing the unofficial top ten were Huntoon, King, Cook, and Douville.

Andy Johnson of Wilder won both segments of the Fast Four make-up feature to post the overall win over Kevin Harran and Ryan Dutton, while St. Johnsbury's Josh Sunn won a wild nightcap for the division of Johnson and Mitch Durkee. Dutton and Steve Bell took each other out of podium contention in the final corner, allowing Johnson and Durkee to move in for the finish. Tom Placey of Bradford won the first Hornet division feature while the second feature results were unavailable. Misty Bell won the Hornet Queen event.

Bear Ridge Speedway, Bradford, Vt.
Saturday, May 23, 2009


Sportsman Modified Feature #1
1. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
2. Dan Douville, Bridgewater, N.H.
3. Mike Capra, Alstead, N.H.

Sportsman Modified Feature #2
1. Wayne Stearns, Thetford Center
2. Gary Siemons, Orford, N.H.
3. Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.

Sportsman Coupe Feature #1
1. Josh Harrington, Thetford Center
2. Doug Titus, Fairlee
3. Billy Simmons, Bradford

Sportsman Coupe Feature #2
1. Josh Harrington, Thetford Center
2. Billy Simmons, Bradford
3. Jason Horniak, Bradford

Limited Late Model Feature #1
1. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
2. Tom Forward, Lyme, N.H.
3. Frank Thurston, Vershire

Limited Late Model Feature #2
1. Dan Eastman, Thetford Center
2. Tom Forward, Lyme, N.H.
3. Jeremy Hodge, Bradford

Fast Four Feature #1
1. Andy Johnson, Wilder
2. Kevin Harran, St. Johnsbury
3. Ryan Dutton, Bradford

Fast Four Feature #2
1. Josh Sunn, St. Johnsbury
2. Andy Johnson, Wilder
3. Mitch Durkee, Sharon

Hornet Feature #1
1. Tom Placey, Bradford
2. Carl Sweet, East Corinth
3. Amanda Gray, East Thetford

Hornet Feature #2
Results not available

Hornet Queen Feature
1. Misty Bell, St. Johnsbury

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