Todd Stone and Brent Dragon left stock car racing fans cheering at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Sunday, picking up wins in the twin 100-lap events during the second day of the Vermont 200 Weekend. The event was the final race on the regular stock car racing schedule for 2012.
Stone, a Middlebury, VT native who won the 2008 Devil's Bowl Speedway championship when the track had a clay surface, made a triumphant return to his home track in winning the 100-lap Bond Auto Parts Modified race. Stone overcame a mechanical failure on lap 11 that left his car stopped on the track and caused a caution period, but after pitting for repairs, the No. 1x G. Stone Motors car tore its way through heavy traffic to catch leaders Jessey Mueller and Roger Labreche late in the race.
Seventeen year-old Mueller, of Olmstedville, NY, expertly navigated lapped traffic, but the right-front tire on his No. 19 Mueller & Sons Heavy Duty Towing car gave up with ten laps remaining. Stone snuck underneath Mueller exiting Turn 4 on lap 92 to take the lead and never looked back. Mueller took the runner-up spot, with St-Remis, QC racer Labreche third in his first-ever Devil's Bowl appearance. Vince Quenneville, Jr., of Brandon, VT was fourth with Leon Gonyo of Chazy, NY fifth. Alex Bell, Kenny Tremont, Jr., Hunter Bates, Joey Roberts, and Nick Heywood completed the unofficial top ten.
Brent Dragon's victory in the 100-lap J&S Steel Late Model event was not without controversy, as initial electronic transponder scoring showed Chip Grenier of Graniteville, VT as the winner in a photo finish. An official video review reversed the decision, however, and Milton, VT veteran Dragon was shown to have reached the finish line about eight inches ahead of Grenier. Grenier graciously accepted the decision to much applause. Brooks Clark of Fayston, VT finished a strong third.
The race was the final event in the Vermont State Late Model Championship, a four-race series between Devil's Bowl Speedway and Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl in Barre, VT. Dave Pembroke of Middlesex, VT held Dragon off by just a single point, unofficially, to clinch the championship with a fourth-place finish. Dragon entered the race trailing Pembroke and co-leader Nick Sweet of Barre, VT by 12 points.
Matt White of Northfield, VT finished fifth in the race, with Trampas Demers sixth. Sweet rebounded from an early crash to finish seventh. Eric Chase, Brian Hoar, and 15 year-old rookie Joey Laquerre completed the unofficial top ten. Another 15 year-old rookie, Emily Packard of East Montpelier, VT, was eliminated from contention for the win just three laps shy of the finish after a crash with Hoar and Devil's Bowl champion Craig Bushey took her out of third place. Packard was running in close formation with Dragon and Grenier at the time of the incident.
Kevin Boutin of Swanton, VT won an exciting back-and-forth battle with Devil's Bowl NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly division champion Robert Gordon in the 50-lap Renegade special. Boutin, the Airborne Speedway champion, won the race in his first-ever start at Devil's Bowl. David Emigh of Ballston Spa, NY finished third in his first start of the year, followed by Curt Seymour of Plattsburgh, NY and Paul Braymer of Granville, NY.
Bobby LaVair of Gabriels, NY was the overall winner of the three-segment Bomber "Triple 12s" event, held over the two-day weekend. LaVair finished third in the first 12-lap segment on Saturday, then finished first and second in the final two rounds on Sunday. His low total score of six points (3rd + 1st + 2nd = 6 pts.) gave him the win. Tyson Drown of Morrisonville, NY finished second overall (1st + 4th + 5th = 10 pts.), with Ray Germain, Jr., of Bristol, VT third (5th + 2nd + 4th = 11 pts.) Chris LaVair was fourth overall and third-segment winner Josh Masterson was fifth.
--Devil's Bowl Sppedway Press Release--
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