Dow Defeats Donnelly in Wild SCoNE Finish at Bear Ridge Speedway

Dow Defeats Donnelly in Wild SCoNE Finish at Bear Ridge Speedway

Former champions trade lead in final laps

BRADFORD, Vt. (June 26, 2023) – Clay Dow needed a win, and he got one in a big way at Bear Ridge Speedway on Sunday, June 25. Dow dominated early before coming out on top of an intense battle with Chris Donnelly in the final laps for his first victory of the season with the McGee Automotive Family Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) tour.

The event, which was presented by Green Mountain Gear-Heads and had been postponed a day by rain, was the fourth of the year for the SCoNE, but it was the first smooth run of the season for Barnstead, N.H.’s Dow, a two-time SCoNE champion. Dow had only frustration in the first three races, but he was nearly flawless on Sunday night, winning his qualifying heat and taking the lead from the opening circuit of the 25-lap A-Main.

The race ran non-stop without a caution flag, and so Dow pulled away from the field and began lapping cars before the midway point. While the was happening, a highly entertaining fight for second place raged on between former champion Tunk Berry and his 15-year-old nephew, Kadyn Berry, while Donnelly streaked through traffic from the eighth starting position to join them.

Seven-time SCoNE champion Donnelly pulled the trigger at halfway and got past both Berrys, then fought his way through lapped cars to reach Dow with just four laps left. Dow was held up briefly, allowing Donnelly to get close coming to the two-to-go signal, and when Dow swung high in Turn 1 to set up a pass of the lapped car, he got out of the groove and opened the door. Donnelly jumped through the hole and took the lead in Turn 2, but the roles were reversed in Turn 3, as Donnelly left the bottom open and Dow used a crossover move to reclaim the lead before the lap was completed.

Donnelly tried to repeat the lead swap again on the final lap, but Dow was able to protect the bottom lane in Turn 1. Donnelly then tried the outside on the backstretch and drew even with Dow in the final corner, but Dow pulled away the finish line to win by a car length. The victory was the 21st of Dow’s SCoNE career, entering him into a tie for third place on the tour’s all-time win list with Will Hull.

Hull was also putting on a show behind the Dow-Donnelly fight, as he first ran with Troy Comeau and rookie Jason Goff before passing them and taking on Tunk and Kadyn Berry. After dicing with them for a handful of laps, Hull blasted into third place, where he finished. Kadyn Berry took fourth place with Tunk Berry fifth. Comeau finished sixth ahead of Floyd Billington, Doug McPhail, Goff, and Jake Williams.

• The SCoNE A-Main was on track and running pace laps when rain arrived. Racing resumed after about an hour’s delay and after a praiseworthy job by the Bear Ridge Speedway track preparation crew, lap times were a full two seconds faster in the feature than they were in the heat races.
• A field of 15 cars attended the event. The two qualifying heat races were won by Clay Dow and Troy Comeau, with each grabbing a $50 bonus from CMD Logging of Barnstead, N.H.
• Rockingham Boat of Hampstead, N.H., presented the Hard Charger Award, with a $50 bonus going to Chris Donnelly, who drove from the eighth starting position to finish second.
• Dylan Menditto and J.P. Vaillancourt made their first appearances of the season with SCoNE at the Bear Ridge event; for Vaillancourt, it was his first race ever in a Sprint Car.

The Sprint Cars of New England tour has a one-week break before returning to action on Saturday, July 8 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt.; event details will be released soon. For more information, visit or find the “SCoNE – Sprint Cars of New England” page on Facebook.

OFFICIAL RESULTS – McGee Automotive Family Sprint Cars of New England
Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vt.
Sunday, June 25, 2023

A-Main Feature – presented by Green Mountain Gear-Heads (25 laps)
(#) - denotes rookie

  1. (2) Clay Dow, Barnstead, N.H.
  2. (8) Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
  3. (7) Will Hull, Plainfield, Vt.
  4. (4) Kadyn Berry, Goffstown, N.H.
  5. (1) Tunk Berry, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
  6. (5) Troy Comeau, Rumney, N.H.
  7. (6) Floyd Billington, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
  8. (13) Doug McPhail, Tilton, N.H.
  9. (11) # Jason Goff, Preston Hollow, N.Y.
  10. (9) Jake Williams, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
  11. (3) Nick Comeau, Hebron, N.H.
  12. (10) # Ron Davis Jr., Moultonborough, N.H.
  13. (12) Mark Cole, Lebanon, N.H.
  14. (14) Dylan Menditto, Brooklyn, Conn.
  15. (15) # J.P. Vaillancourt, Campton, N.H.
    Lap Leaders (1 lead change among 2 drivers): Tunk Berry, grid; Clay Dow, 1-25.
    Cautions (0)

Contingency Award Winners:
• CMD Logging Heat Winners: Clay Dow, Troy Comeau
• Rockingham Boat “Hard Charger” Award: Chris Donnelly (+6 positions)
• Panther Frameworx “Hard Luck” Award: Nick Comeau
• Green Mountain Gear-Heads Award: Clay Dow (1st)
• 802 Print Award: Will Hull (3rd)
• Hull Motorsports Award: Tunk Berry (5th)
• Big Al’s Photos Award: Troy Comeau (6th)
• Waddell Communications & Repairs Award: Floyd Billington (7th)
• 87Speed Award: Doug McPhail (8th)
• Uncommon Deeds Podcast Award: Jason Goff (9th)

Upcoming Events:
• Saturday, July 8 – Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
• Friday, July 14 – The Flat Track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Loudon, N.H.
• Saturday, July 22 – Bear Ridge Speedway – Bradford, Vt.

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