Hackel flips Sprint Car, wins sixth Sportsman feature

(From track press release)

WEST HAVEN – Two new drivers visited victory lane at the Dirt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 4, during a wild Labor Day Weekend special event.  Justin Comes and Will Hull each added their names to the winners’ list for the first time in their respective classes, while Bobby Hackel, Billy Duprey, and Mike Ryan continued their winning ways in the 2016 season.

Comes was one of several drivers in the two 25-lap feature races for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified division to turn around a stretch of frustrating results with a solid night.  The popular Middlebury, Vt., racer dominated the first main event for his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win and his first checkered flag at his home track since his 2008 Mini Stock championship season.

Jackie Brown Jr. reversed his recent struggles with a runner-up showing, followed by division point leader Bobby Hackel.  Billy Lussier got his first Dirt Track top-five finish of the season in fourth place with Tim LaDuc fifth.

Bobby Hackel (97) races to the inside of Brian Whittemore (36) en route to his sixth win of the season at Devil's Bowl Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)In the nightcap for the Sportsman Modifieds, veteran Brian Whittemore looked like a surprise winner for most of the race by leading all but the final three laps, but it was Rensselaer, N.Y., racer Hackel who continued his trend of back-to-front runs, driving from 15th starting position to post his sixth win of the year.  Brown followed in Hackel’s tire tracks for another second-place finish, while Whittemore was a season-best third.  Codie Aubin and Jason Bruno were fourth and fifth, respectively, with each scoring a career-best finish on dirt.

Will Hull of Plainfield, Vt., was both lucky and good in the 25-lap feature for the Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) tour.  Hull tracked down rookie Matt Hoyt in the final laps and was pressuring him for the lead in lapped traffic when Hoyt spun his car in Turn 1 with two laps remaining.  Hull had no trouble at the restart and zipped away for his first Devil’s Bowl win in a winged Sprint Car and his first at the track since a Pro Stock victory in 2007.

Chris Donnelly came from 10th at the start to finished in second place, and Luke Greenwood finished third for his best showing at Devil’s Bowl.  Rookie Chad Turck ran an impressive fourth, and Tyler Austin – who pulled several high-speed wheel-stands on the tacky track surface – finished fifth.  Donnelly’s run padded his point lead on the traveling SCoNE series, and also handed him the lead in the Devil’s Bowl track championship standings after previous point leader Bobby Hackel destroyed his car in a flip during qualifying; he was uninjured.

Billy Duprey of Hydeville, Vt., remains undefeated in the Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade division after his sixth win in as many starts in 2016.  Duprey made a touching tribute to former Devil’s Bowl Speedway favorite Carl Vladyka – who passed away earlier in the day after fighting cancer – with a victory lap carrying a checkered flag bearing Vladyka’s longtime car number 29 on it.  Rookie Josh Bussino finished second after Joey Trudeau spun out of contention with two laps left.  Curtis Condon, Matt Mosher, and Larry Bristol were next in line.

Mike Ryan of Chelsea, Vt., won the Portland Glass Mini Stock feature for his fifth victory in the last six races.  Robert Willey was the runner-up with Sean Lantas third, each posting his best-ever Devil’s Bowl finish.  Buddy Welch finished fourth in his first start at the track, and Derrick Counter was credited with fifth place.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s biggest event of the year is the Vermont 200 Weekend on September 10-11, with three full racing events in two days.  The half-mile Asphalt Track will have a 50-lap Sportsman Modified feature on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., along with qualifying, non-winner shootouts, mechanic races, and a ladies-only “powder puff” race, followed on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a 100-lap Late Model race, the Leon Gonyo Memorial 50 for Sportsman Modifieds, a Renegade 50, and a 25-lap Mini Stock race.  The Dirt Track will then host the Vince Quenneville Sr. Memorial on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.

Single-event and multi-event ticket packages will be available at the gate on September 10-11, with the full three-race package for just $30 for adults; kids 12 and under are always admitted free of charge.  Parking and weekend camping are free.

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 – Labor Day Special 5-25s
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Dirt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, September 4, 2016

Pos.-Driver-Hometown
(# — denotes rookie)

Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modifieds Feature #1 (25 laps)
1. Justin Comes, Middlebury
2. Jackie Brown Jr., Hurley, N.Y.
3. Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
4. Billy Lussier, Fair Haven
5. Tim LaDuc, Orwell
6. Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
7. Wayne Stearns, Bradford
8. Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon
9. Chad Miller, White River Junction
10. # Justin Severance, Pittsford

Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modifieds Feature #2 (25 laps)
1. Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
2. Jackie Brown Jr., Hurley, N.Y.
3. Brian Whittemore, Pittsford
4. Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. Jason Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
6. Justin Comes, Middlebury
7. Chad Miller, White River Junction
8. # Justin Severance, Pittsford
9. Lenny Pillsbury, Cornish, N.H.
10. Billy Lussier, Fair Haven

Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegades (25 laps)
1. Bill Duprey, Hydeville
2. # Josh Bussino, Mount Holly
3. Curtis Condon, Queensbury, N.Y.
4. Matt Mosher, Queensbury, N.Y.
5. Larry Bristol, Rutland

Portland Glass Mini Stocks (25 laps)
1. Mike Ryan, Vershire
2. Robert Willey, Newport, N.H.
3. Sean Lantas, Newport, N.H.
4. Buddy Welch, East Corinth
5. Derrick Counter, Leicester
6. Chris Cardarelli, Milton
7. Eric Castiglioni, Newbury, N.H.
8. # Kyle Watrous, Bomoseen
9. # Cameron Kennedy, Rochester
10. David LaBarge, Glen Falls, N.Y.

PHOTOS:
1 – Justin Comes celebrates his Sportsman Modified feature win on Sunday night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Bobby Hackel (97) races to the inside of Brian Whittemore (36) en route to his sixth win of the season at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. (Alan Ward photo)