Bear Ridge Speedway Honors 55th Season Champions

W Lebanon NH – Bear Ridge Speedway honored the champions from its 55th season of dirt track stock car racing recently. The two-night format featuring ‘Fendered Wheels’ on Friday night and ‘Open Wheels’ on Saturday night recognized over seventy-five drivers, with over 400 crew members, sponsors, fans, and officials in attendance for a sold-out banquet hall each night at the Fire Side Inn W Lebanon NH for the gala. More than $30,000 in prizes, awards and point fund purses was awarded.

Jason Gray was one of three drivers who headlined the Saturday night festivities with his third consecutive championship in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified Champion (14th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series).  Gray beat out runner up Matt Lashua of Canaan NH (10th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), Robert Tucker of E Corinth VT came home in third (5th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), Todd Buckwold of Canaan NH coming home in fourth (12th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series) and Brian Chaffee of East Corinth completing the top five. Ryan Christian (15th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), Mike Ryan (20th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), Richie Simmons (11th place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), Jeremy Huntoon (2nd place finisher in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Eastern Region Series), and James Fadden were your 6th through 10th place finishers.

Tad Kingsbury of Corinth VT the second of the three drivers who headlined the Saturday night festivities with his third consecutive championship in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Kingsbury scoring nine victories, once again Tim Hodge of Vershire VT, Ricky Sanville of Canaan NH came home in third, with Cody Gregoropoulos of East Corinth VT coming home in fourth, and Jason Horniak from Bradford VT completing the top five. Matt “Hoss” Ellsworth, Ali Pushee, Josh Harrington, Jeremy Hodge, and Cooper Hodge were your 6th through 10th place finishers.

Seth Carlson of Stafford CT was the third of the three drivers who headlined the Saturday night festivities with his third consecutive championship in the USAC DMA Midgets.  Carlson beat out Justin Sheridan of Suffield CT, Brandon Piastka from Suffield CT, comes home in third, with Daniel Piastka of Suffield CT in fourth, and Josh Sunn of White River Junction VT in fifth. Ralle Rookey, Todd Mable, Will Hull, Manny Dias, and Mike Chaffee were your 6th through 10th place finishers.

Matt Lashua of Canaan NH made it to the top and is crowned the 2022 champion in the R&L Auto Towing & Recovery Late Models. Former Champion Ryan Christian of Canaan NH gets the bridesmaid position with Rookie Parker Piper of Fairley VT came home in third. Tyler Tremblay and Todd Dunham completed the top five.

One of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks is finally crowned your champion as Lucas Wheeler of Bradford VT with eight feature wins and an untouchable point lead beat out Mike McClay of New Hampton NH.  Rookie Garrett Brown of Concord VT comes home third, with Mike Mann of Bradford VT scoring in fourth. John Fields of Orford NH completes the top five. Tim Blake, Dustin Towle, Dawn Rumrill, Chris Cole, and Jesse Dunham were your 6th through 10th place finishers

Logan Martin of So Royalton, VT beats out Spencer Braley of North Hartland VT for the championship in Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Ridge Runners, Kevin LaForest of Northfield VT, last year’s track champion is scored in third with Devon Spinks of Chelsea VT scored in third, and Haydon Bishop of Hyde Park VT completing the top five. Travis King, Katie Burroughs, Dilyn Switser, Shane Stygles, and Westley Blake were your 6th through 10th place finishers.

The Joe Mama’s Sporting Goods Four/Six Cylinder Enduro top five were recognized for their achievements. Ryan Sayers from Barre VT was crowned the Champion beating out Jeremiah Little from Lyndonville VT who comes home in second. Trevor Mears from Pittsfield VT is recorded in third with Victoria Chaffee and Erik Lundblad of Waitsfield VT David Wilder rounded out the five.

The WYKR 360 Sprints Cars Bear Ridge Speedway points only top five were the final division to be recognized for their accomplishments. Chris Donnelly ‘The Professor’ from Piermont NH was crowned the champion beating out Matt Hoyt of Andover NH who comes home in second. Clay Dow of Barnstead is recorded in third. Son and Father Travis and Floyd Billington completed the top five.

Triple crown awards were presented to Devon Spinks Peanuts Auto Ridge Runners, Keven LaForest Peanuts Auto Ridge Runners, and Brian Chaffee DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modifeds, for their achievement of ‘flying’ to the front three times in one night to win their heat race, Sting Vintage Race Cars Buster Kathan 13 lap Semi Feature, and the main event.

Special awards were given in several categories, headlined by the prestigious John Poor Memorial Award, given annually to one driver and or crew from DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes and DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified divisions.  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, wanting to see a good race with guys racing hard with each other in a pack for position. He rooted for the guy and or crew who worked hard every week did their homework and despite adversity was able to shake it off and show up at the track ready to put on a good show for the fans, be respectful of his fellow competitors and who had fun racing no matter what the outcome. In the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes division Tad Kingsbury took home the honors and team Josh Sunn, Tim Hodge, and Gary Corsi in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modifieds.

The Bob Shepard “Drive, Desire, Determination and Dedication” award, was awarded to Josh Sunn. Looking at the DRIVE, DESIRE, DETERMINATION and DEDICATION, it is truly the after effect that we need to look at, and the fact that this was not the first time it happened. Racing can be almost like a disease for some of us, as we are just too stubborn to walk away or give up. That is what makes for a profound DETERMINATION to get back in the saddle no matter what. There is a deep seeded DESIRE to want to race and to be at the track with our racing family and friends. There is a DRIVE and DEDICATION to be the best we can be, to win, and be competitive no matter what wheel we get behind. This year literally 6 years to the day, Josh walked away from another horrific crash in the same type of machine he was in 6 years ago. He would spend a week in the hospital, but a week later would be at the Ridge in a wheelchair and neck brace, to damn determined, dedicated and stubborn to stay home. Our sponsor, seeing this simply said he needs to be the one to get this award in 2022, and we all agreed.

The Rookie of the year based on points was awarded to Brian Chaffee in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Sawyer Harrington in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes.  Daniel Piastka in the USAC DMA Midgets, Parker Piper in the R&L Auto Towing & Recovery Late Models, Garrett Brown in the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks, and Kevin Keene in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Ridge Runners.

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 Jason Horniak earning the honors in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes.  Brandon Piastka won the award in the USAC DMA Midgets. Tyler Tremblay in the R&L Auto Towing & Recovery Late Models. Mike Mann in the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks, and Spencer Braley in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Ridge Runners took home plaques.

The Big Al’s Photos “What A Picture” Awards were given to Todd Buckwold in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Matt Ellsworth earning the award in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes.  Josh Sunn wins the award in the USAC DMA Midgets. Tyler Tremblay in the R&L Auto Towing & Recovery Late Models, Garrett Brown in the LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks, and Westley Blake in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Ridge Runners took home plaques.

Most Improved and Sportsman of the Year was once again determined by competitor votes in their respective positions. Most Improved in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division is Brian Chaffee, Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes Ali Pushee, USAC DMA Midgets Daniel Piastka, R&L Auto Towing & Recovery Late Models Parker Piper, LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks Timothy Blake, and the Peanuts Auto LLC Ridge Runners Katie Burroughs.

Sportsman of the Year the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division is Robert Tucker, Wells River Chevrolet DIRTcar Sportsman Coupes Tim Hodge, USAC DMA Midgets Justin Sheridan, R&L Towing & Recovery Late Models Ryan Christian, LaValley Building Supply Dirt Stocks Michael McClay, and the Peanuts Auto Ridge Runners Kevin LaForest.

The Bear Ridge Speedway Hall Fame inducted the fifth group of five members. Gone but not forgotten members were John Poor and Penny Davis. Mike Furno, Paul Beaulieu, and Billy Phelps two long time supporters and a racer were also inducted.

More than 70 prizes were given to racers by random draw. The nights were capped with two sessions of the deal or no deal event for seven lucky drivers, with seven prizes each night from a hat to a $500.00 gift certificate handed out. The top award of a $500.00 Bear Ridge Speedway gift certificate was taken home by Lucas Wheeler on Friday night and Jeremy Huntoon on Saturday night.

Bear Ridge Speedway’s 56th season of stock car racing is now officially complete.  The 2023 season will take place in early May 2023.

Total Page Visits: 1362 - Today Page Visits: 4

Leave a Comment