Bertrand scores Mini Stock special; Bergeron, FitzGerald win
(From track press release)
WEST HAVEN – Alex Bell left little doubt about the strength and speed of his racecar on Saturday, August 20 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, winning in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition for the first time in three years. Bell scored on the half-mile Asphalt Track at Devil’s Bowl on Brown’s Quarried Slate/Brown’s Orchard & Farm Stand Night, along with Brad Bertrand, Chris Bergeron, and Scott FitzGerald.
Bell was simply dominant in the 30-lap main event for the Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified division. The Cambridge, N.Y., racer started in third place and took the lead from Dave Snow at lap 7, then left the field in his wake to open up a half-lap lead. The caution flag waved for two big wrecks on laps 25 and 26 and brought Bell back to striking distance for a pair of restarts, but he was never seriously challenged and drove his No. 23 Hos-Cot Builders/Hermann Construction car to his first win at Devil’s Bowl since May 31, 2013.
Vince Quenneville Jr. of Brandon, Vt., escaped from a bump in the lap 25 incident to finish as the runner-up after lots of position-shuffling and bent sheet metal in the final five laps. Travis Bruno of Morrisonville, N.Y., finished third, followed by Billy Lussier and Joey Roberts. Late Model division regular Chad White avoided trouble and finished sixth in his first Modified race, followed by Bob Kilburn, Snow, Chuck Bradford, and Ron Proctor.
Championship point leader Jason Durgan was one of the drivers caught up in the late carnage and dropped out on lap 26 to finish 13th. With Quenneville finishing better in both the feature race and the qualifying heat, Durgan’s point lead was sliced substantially, from 28 points down to just three (590-587), unofficially, with just three weeks remaining in the season.
Brad Bertrand of Ferrisburgh, Vt., took his second victory of the season in the entry-level Portland Glass Mini Stock division’s annual three-segment special event based on total score. Bertrand drove through traffic to win each of the first two 10-lap segments of the race, then survived a bit of a rough third round in eighth place for a total low score of 10 points and the overall victory.
Rookie Eric Messier and veteran Harold LaVair each scored 11 points; Messier finished third, third, and fifth, with LaVair second, second, and seventh. Messier’s better finish in the last segment gave him the tiebreaker for second place overall. LaVair took third ahead of Garrett Given (14 points) and Andrew FitzGerald (15 points).
Former track champion Chris Bergeron of Claremont, N.H., won the 30-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model feature for his first win of the season. Josh Masterson reeled Bergeron in but ran out of time and settled for the runner-up position. Early leader Jamie Aube finished third. Todd Stone recovered from a fuel pump problem earlier in the day to finish fourth, and Seth Bridge completed the top five.
With Robert Bryant Jr. having a subpar eighth-place finish, Masterson opened up his point lead in the division from two points to 17 (506-489), unofficially.
Scott FitzGerald of West Rutland, Vt., rebounded from a fiery crash in the most recent event on August 6 to win the 15-lap feature for the Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade division. FitzGerald held off a hard-charging Matt Monaghan in the final corner for his fifth win of the season. Monaghan produced his fifth runner-up showing of the season, followed by Austin McKiernan, Jim McKiernan, and R.J. Germain.
The back-and-forth point battle between FitzGerald and Jim McKiernan leaned back into FitzGerald’s favor by just a single point (556-555) unofficially.
As has become tradition on Brown’s Quarried Slate/Brown’s Orchard & Farm Stand Night, each feature race winner was presented with a trophy carved from local slate into the shape of the state of Vermont and weighing in at approximately 20 pounds each. Fans were also treated to a behind-the-scenes look during the annual Thomas Dairy Pit Area Tour at intermission.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Sunday, August 21 on the 3/10-mile Dirt Track as Interstate All Battery Center of Rutland presents the revived “Vince Quenneville Sr. Memorial” race for the Sportsman Modifieds, along with Renegades and Mini Stocks. Regular general admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+), $5 for teens (13-17), and free for kids 12 and under. Gates open at 4:00 p.m., with racing at 6:00 p.m.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of Exit 2 off of U.S. Route 4 and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Brown’s Quarried Slate/Brown’s Orchard & Farm Stand Night
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
(# — denotes rookie)
Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modifieds (30 laps)
1. Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
2. Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon
3. Travis Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Billy Lussier, Fair Haven
5. Joey Roberts, Fletcher
6. Chad White, Fort Ann, N.Y.
7. Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven
8. Dave Snow, Brandon
9. # Chuck Bradford, Addison
10. Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Models (30 laps)
1. Chris Bergeron, Claremont, N.H.
2. Josh Masterson, Bristol
3. Jamie Aube, North Ferrisburgh
4. Todd Stone, Middlebury
5. Seth Bridge, Mendon
Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegades (15 laps)
1. Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland
2. Matt Monaghan, Colchester
3. # Austin McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
4. Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
5. R.J. Germain, Bristol
Portland Glass Mini Stocks (3 x 10 laps)
1. Brad Bertrand, Ferrisburgh – 10 pts
2. # Eric Messier, Hinesburg – 11 pts
3. Harold LaVair Jr., Gabriels, N.Y. – 11 pts
4. Garrett Given Sr., Cornwall – 14 pts
5. Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland – 15 pts
6. # Zach Wood, Georgia – 17 pts
7. # Brett Wood, Georgia – 19 pts
8. Mike Whalen Jr., Peru, N.Y. – 19 pts
9. # Kaleb Shepard, New Haven – 25 pts
10. # Roo Forest, West Rutland – 27 pts
PHOTO: Alex Bell of Cambridge, N.Y., celebrates his Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified victory at the Asphalt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. (Andrew Cassidy photo)