A full grandstand watched veteran open-wheel stock car driver Ron Proctor take a big step toward his second-straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bond Auto Parts Modified championship on Sugar & Spice Night at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Friday, August 24. Proctor was in the thick of a fierce battle at the front of the 35-lap race when incidental contact between his car and leader Joe Williams broke a suspension part on Williams' car and forced him to retire at lap. Almost simultaneously, Proctor's championship rival, Vince Quenneville, Jr., suffered an engine failure while running in third place.
Proctor, of Charlton, NY, ran to the victory for his third win of the year, and opened up his point lead on Quenneville from a slim three points to a more comfortable 28-point cushion, unofficially, with just two races remaining in the championship season.
A pair of seventeen year-olds, Jessey Mueller of Olmstedville, NY and Hunter Bates of Middlebury, VT, finished second and third, respectively. Rookie Joey Roberts of Georgia, VT was fourth, and Leon Gonyo of Chazy, NY was fifth. Cody Sargen, Jeff Haskins, Mike Bush, Andy Smith, and Matt Atwood completed the unofficial top ten finishers.
Twin 20-lap features for the J&S Steel Late Model division produced a pair of surprise first-time winners in Kevin Elliott and Robert Bryant, Jr. Elliott, of Rutland, VT, drove to the first victory of his asphalt racing career in the first race; Elliott was the 2007 Limited division champion during Devil's Bowl Speedway's dirt-track era. Dan Petronis of Mechanicville, NY tied his best finish of the year as the runner-up, with Bryant third, point leader Craig Bushey fourth, and Matt White fifth.
Brooklyn, CT resident and Vermont native Bryant, a former national go-kart racing champion in his rookie stock car season, called his shot in winning the second race. Bryant proclaimed in his victory lane interview following the first event that he planned to win the second 20-lap feature, and walked his talk. Northfield, VT racer White led most of the event with constant pressure from Chris Curtis of Rutland, MA. Curtis poked White on the final lap and got both cars out of shape, allowing Bryant and others to close in. Bryant took the lead on the outside lane in the final corner of the race and held on for the win. White was second, followed by Curtis, Petronis, and Elliott. Unofficially, Bushey now holds a 41-point lead on White.
Ryan Keith of Pittsford, VT ran to his fifth Renegade win of the year in an exciting 15-lap sprint that saw him edge Robert Gordon by just .093 of a second at the finish line. Bill Duprey was third, followed by Dylan Payea and Kevin Brisson. Gordon, of Milton, VT, maintains a 16-point lead on Keith, unofficially.
Bobby LaVair of Gabriels, NY ran to his third win of the year in the 20-lap Bomber feature. Mitchell Dundon of Orwell, VT posted a career-best runner-up finish in his final race of the season before beginning classes at the University of Vermont. Tyson Drown, Ray Germain, Jr., and Garrett Given completed the top five. Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT finished sixth and has a 49-point lead on LaVair, unofficially.
The Daredevil community racing division ran two five-lap races with ten employees from the Vermont Agency of Transportation in the cars. John Rowe won the first race aboard the No. 44 Casella Waste Management Honda and Tim Reed won the second race in the No. 911 Ford Crown Victoria, a former police cruiser.
Pat Cram of Whitehall, NY drove his 1982 Pontiac Grand Prix to a highly-entertaining victory in the second Spectator Racing event of the year. Cram defeated the 2006 Audi A3 of former winner Tyler Davis from Mount Holly, VT in a one-lap showdown after they finished in a dead heat during the scheduled three-vehicle finale; Gerald Grant, a deputy sheriff from Addison, VT, finished third overall.
Eric "Mongo" Messier of Hinesburg, VT won his second-straight 75-lap Enduro of the season in a Ford Probe. Messier had a close mid-race sparring match with Andy Botala of Grand Isle, VT at the midway point before stepping out to a convincing win. Josh LaRock of Brandon, VT was third, unofficially. Two red flags for big crashes stopped the 42-car race, but no injuries were reported.
Allen Jones of Rutland, VT won the Pancake Eating Championship presented by Sugar & Spice of Mendon, VT. Jones defeated an 18-contestant field by mowing through ten-and-a-half pancakes and real Vermont maple syrup made by Sugar & Spice in just five minutes. Matt Mulcahy of Orwell, VT was the runner-up with Rutland's Shawn Rydeski third. Modified drivers Vince Quenneville, Jr., Joey Roberts, and Hunter Bates were non-factors in the event.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series returns to action at Devil's Bowl Speedway with Green Mountain Water Environment Association/Sunoco Race Fuels Night on Friday, August 31. The event includes Modifieds, Late Models, Renegades, Bombers, and Daredevils, and will set the stage for the final championship round on Friday, September 7. General admission on Friday, August 31 is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62+), and free for children 12 and under. Gates open at 5:00pm, racing begins at 7:30pm.
Devil's Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT, four miles north of Exit 2 on US Route 4. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or click www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com. Devil's Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/devilsbowlspeedway and Twitter at @DevilsBowlSpeed.
---Courtesy Devil's Bowl Speedway Media
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