Seventeen year-old NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bond Auto Parts Modified stock car driver Hunter Bates authored a Hollywood-style script at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Friday night, earning the biggest victory of his young career in the C.J. Richards Memorial 67 presented by Carrara Masonry & Concrete. The Middlebury, VT racer piloted a car purchased for him by Devil's Bowl Speedway founder Richards shortly before Richards' passing in February, winning in dominant fashion.
Bates started seventh on the 16-car field and quickly rocketed to the front, taking the lead from Jamie Proctor after a restart on lap 8. Bates led the balance of the race, stretching out to as much as a half-lap advantage at times. Another 17 year-old, Jessey Mueller of Olmstedville, NY, finished second after an exciting late-race duel with former track champion Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT.
"I owe it all to C.J.," Bates said. "He did so much for me and my family, and it's been an honor to drive this car. It's an honor to win this race, and it'll be an honor to be in this car next week, too." Bates was presented the Carrara Masonry & Concrete trophy in victory lane by Joanne Richards, C.J. Richards' widow. Bates' Windy Hollow Homes/Donnelly Construction-sponsored Modified bears the number 69 – the number Richards used during his own driving career – and a decal honoring Richards.
--Devil's Bowl Press Release--
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