Bear Ridge Speedway Honors 52nd Season Champions
Fornwalt is crowned the Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds 2019 Champion.
Bob Shepard, Marsha Lackie, C.V. “Butch” Elms inducted into the Bear Ridge Speedway Hall of Fame along with Pete Dunn & Bob Rushford
W Lebanon NH – Bear Ridge Speedway honored the champions from its 52nd season of dirt track stock car racing on Saturday November 16th. More than 300 drivers, crew members, sponsors, fans, and officials filled a sold-out banquet hall at the Fire Side Inn W Lebanon NH for the gala, where more than $25,000 in prizes and point fund purses was awarded.
Jordan Fornwalt of Bradford VT headlined the guest list as the Sabil & Sons DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Champion. Fornwalt beat out runner up Kevin Chaffee of Bradford VT. claiming his first Bear Ridge Championship. Robert Tucker of E Corinth 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.
Melvin Pierson of E Corinth VT was honored with back to back DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupe championships. Pierson one of twelve different drivers to record a victory beat out Brian Chaffee of Bradford VT. Jason Horniak of Bradford VT came home in third with Tad Kingsbury of Corinth VT and Bob Kilburn of Fairhaven VT completing the top five.
Will Hull of Plainfield VT wins duel championships the first being claimed in the USAC Dirt Midget Association. Hull beat out Joe Krawiec Bristol CT. Seth Carlson of Brimfield MA comes home in third, with Justin Phillips of W Suffield CT in fourth, and Adam Whitney Waitsfield VT in fifth.
Tyler Tremblay of Canaan NH made it to the top and is crowned the 2019 champion in the CA Miller Limited Late Models. Nicholas Longley of Orange NH came home in the bridesmaid position, Ryan Christian of Canaan NH is third, with John Neddo of Barre VT and Kelly Miller Morrisville VT completing the top five.
Jason Porter of Freeport ME claims back to back championships in Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders. He beat out Robert “Buddy” Welch of Topsham VT who finished in the bridesmaid position. Kevin LaForest of Northfield VT is recorded in third with Zach Audet from Morrisville VT and dad Robert Audet of Morrisville VT completing the top five.
The WYKR Sprint Cars of New England were recognized with Will Hull of Plainfield VT being crowned for his second championship of the night. The “Professor” Chris Donnelly of Orford NH came home in second with Floyd Billington in third. Rick Stone and Kurt Conklon completed the top five.
The Mike Estrada State Farm Four/Six Cylinder Enduro top five were recognized for their achievements. Erik Lundblad of Waitsfield VT was crowned the Champion with Jon LaForest of Barre VT being awarded the bridesmaid position. Chris Mooney, Phillip Basaldu and Cary Hunter rounded out the top five.
Special awards were given in several categories, headlined by the prestigious John Poor Memorial Award, given annually to one driver from each of the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified and DIRTcar Sportsman Coupe 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 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. Steven Flint won the John Poor Memorial trophy in the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified division, with Bob Kilburn 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 someone who has been a supporter and part of the Ridge since he was a young’un. He has tried his hand at racing, helping other drivers, working at the track and a genuine supporter of the Ridge. The dedication. This year he experienced some health issues which gave us a bit of a scare, and took him away from doing some of the things he loved. Despite that he was there every week. The desire. It took most of the summer but by the last quarter of the season he was back at his post, with a smile as big as his tools. The determination. And to add to all this, 20 years ago he got married at the ridge and they are still together!
This year’s winner our current chief starter Craig Wyman.
The Rookie of the year based on points was awarded to Nathan Locke in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Cody Copeland in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Justin Sheridan in the USAC DMA Midgets, Tyler Tremblay in the CA Miller Limited Late Models, and Kyle Ashford 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.
Richie Simmons wins in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Jason Horniak earning the honors in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Mike Chaffee wins the award in the USAC DMA Midgets. Ryan Christian in the C.A. Miller Limited Late Models and Buddy Welch 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 Todd Buckwold in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modified division, with Jason Horniak earning the award in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes. Tim West wins the award with his unprecedented 3 rollovers in the USAC DMA Midgets. Ryan Christian in the C.A. Miller Limited Late Models and Kevin LaForest in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Four Cylinders took home plaques.
The Raymond /Cliff Bullis Memorial Award for performance on the track and conduct in the pit area was awarded to Richie Simmons in the DIRTcar Sabil & Sons Sportsman Modifieds, Bob Kilburn in the DIRTcar Wells River Chevrolet Sportsman Coupes, Jeff Horn in the USAC DMA Midgets, Nicholas Longley in the CA Miller Limited Late Models, and Kyle Ashford in the Peanuts Auto Sales LLC Fours Cylinders.
The Bear Ridge Speedway Hall Fame inducted the third group of five members. Bob Rushford one of the four founding fathers along with longtime supporter Pete Dunn were inducted. Marsha Lackie former scorer and handicapper, Bob Shepard long time racer and supporter, and former seven time track champion and current owner promoter C.V. “Butch Elms were also inducted.
More than 60 prizes were given to racers by random draw. The night was capped with the deal or no deal event for six lucky drivers the top award of a $1000.00 Bear Ridge Speedway gift certificate was taken home by Kyle Ashford.