W Lebanon NH – Bear Ridge Speedway honored the champions from its 54th season of dirt track stock car racing on Friday night and Saturday night October 29th & 30th. The two-night format due to covid restrictions boasted more than 300 drivers, crew members, sponsors, fans, and officials with a sold-out banquet hall each night at the Fire Side Inn W Lebanon NH for the gala, where more than $25,000 in prizes and point fund purses was awarded.
Jason Gray of E Thetford VT headlined the guest list as the Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Champion. Gray beat out runner up Robert Tucker of E Corinth VT claiming back-to-back Bear Ridge Championship. Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford VT came home in third, with Matt Lashua of Canaan NH coming home in fourth and Richie Simmons of Bradford VT completing the top five.
Tad Kingsbury of Corinth VT was honored with back-to-back DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe championships. Kingsbury one of twelve different drivers to record a victory beat out Tim Hodge of Vertere VT. Thomas Placey of Bradford VT came home in third, with Brian Chaffee of W Danville VT coming home in fourth and Matt “Ellsworth” of E Corinth VT completing the top five.
Seth Carlson of Stafford CT the third champion to win back-to-back champions gets it done in the USAC DMA Midgets. Carlson beat out Joe Krawiec Bristol CT. Justin Sheridan of Suffield CT comes home in third, with Justin Phillips of W Suffield CT in fourth, and Manny Dias of Danielson CT in fifth.
Matt Piper of Fairlee VT made it to the top and is crowned the 2021 champion in the CA Miller Limited Late Models. Former Champion Tyler Tremblay Canaan NH gets the bridesmaid position with Rookie Jason Porter of Freeport Me came home in third. Todd Dunham and Rob Rugg completed the top five.
The newly formed LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks completed their second year of racing at the Ridge with Jesse Dunham son of Todd in the Late Models being crowned the 2021 Bear Ridge Speedway Champion. Lucas Wheeler of Bradford VT, last years bridesmaid is once again scored in second. Mike Stender of Sharon VT comes home third, with Mike Mann of Bradford VT and the 2021 Rookie scored in fourth. Mike McClay of New Hampton NH completes the top five.
Kevin LaForest of Northfield VT beats out Jason Porter from Freeport ME for the championship in Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders Logan Martin of So Royalton, VT is scored in third with Garrett Brown of Concord VT and Davon Spinks of Chelsea VT completing the top five.
The Sting Vintage Race Cars Four/Six Cylinder Enduro top five were recognized for their achievements. Erik Lundblad of Waitsfield VT was crowned the Champion for the third year in a row beating out Dilyn Switser who comes home in second. Danny Doyle is recorded in third with Devin Bell and David Wilder rounded out the five.
Special awards were given in several categories, headlined by the prestigious John Poor Memorial Award, given annually to one driver from DIRTcar Sportsman Coupe division. John Poor was an important official at Bear Ridge Speedway for many years and the award bearing his name is given to drivers. John loved racing but wanted to see a good race with guys racing hard with each other in a pack for position, not someone driving away with the show. He rooted for the guy with the shoe string budget, the one who didn’t always get the brakes he needed, and who had fun racing no matter what the outcome and who elevate the sport of stock car racing through exceptional conduct on and off the track. Matt Ellsworth taking the honors in the DIRTcar Sportsman Coupe division.
The Bob Shepard “Drive, Desire, Determination and Dedication” award, given by an anonymous sponsor was awarded this year to a duo for their Drive, Desire, Determination & Dedication.
These gentlemen have a very long history in racing. Both being very successful over the years. When they hit the Ridge, it was later in their lives, and it was for probably what they would consider a totally different aspect than anything they had truly done in racing in the past.
They showed the “Drive” to want to be a part of a group as the leaders, setting its expectations, spear heading the cars for drivers, putting the group on the map with a national sanctioning
The “Desire” to not let this unique division leave the area
The Determination to make sure there was a place for them to call home. And the Dedication to racing, to want to keep this group alive regardless of the sacrifices needed.
This year we honor the two men behind the men who compete in our Bear Ridge Speedway USAC DMA Midget class Skip Matczak & Ray Miller
The Rookie of the year based on points was awarded to Max Dolliver in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Cooper Hodge in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Adrian Tetreault in the USAC DMA Midgets, Jason Porter in the CA Miller Limited Late Models, and John LaForest in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders.
The Most Popular Driver award is given to the driver with the most fan votes collected over the summer.
Jeremy Huntoon wins in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Ricky Sanville earning the honors in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Brandon Piastka wins the award in the USAC DMA Midgets. Jason Porter in the C.A. Miller Limited Late Models. Dawn Rumrill in the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks, and Devon Spinks in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders took home plaques.
The Big Al’s Photos “What A Picture” Hard Luck Awards were given to Mike Ryan in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Brian Chaffee earning the award in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Daniel Piastka wins the award in the USAC DMA Midgets. Rob Rugg in the C.A. Miller Limited Late Models, Mike McClay in the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks, and Tabor Andrews in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders took home plaques.
For 2021 the drivers were afforded the opportunity to vote for who they felt was Most Improved and Sportsman of the Year in their respective positions. Most Improved in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division is Max Dolliver, Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes Cooper Hodge, USAC DMA Midgets Justin Sheridan, LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks Timothy Blake, and the Peanuts Auto Four Cylinders Devon Spinks.
Sportsman of the Year the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division is Max Dolliver, Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes Matt Ellsworth, USAC DMA Midgets Joe Krawiec, LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks Michael Mann, and the Peanuts Auto Four Cylinders Jason Porter.
The Bear Ridge Speedway Hall Fame inducted the third group of five members. Julius “Tuck” Tueckhardt” and Bob Riley both longtime supporters, were inducted. Ralph Emerson long time mechanic for several cars, Al Perry, Racer, Flagman, Sponsor and Herb Gray, the original property owner who worked with George Barber to build the track were also inducted.
One final special award was given to Hannah Giguere, our youngest employee who came on board in 2020 and was instrumental in our success during the covid season, and has carried her work ethics, dedication, and compassion in to the 2021 season. She was awarded the sportsman/employee of the year for 2020/2021.
More than 60 prizes were given to racers by random draw. The nights were capped with two sessions of the deal or no deal event for six lucky drivers the top award of a $500.00 Bear Ridge Speedway gift certificate was taken home by Chris Cole on Friday night and Jeremy Huntoon on Saturday night.
Bear Ridge Speedway’s 54th season of stock car racing is now officially complete. The 2022 season begins on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Season Passes for 2020 are now available; information and order forms are online at http://www.bearridgespeedway.com or by calling (802) 222-4052.
Source: April May Preston