PHOTO: Jessey Mueller picked up his first career win at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday. (VMM photo)

(From track press release)

WEST HAVEN — The generations clashed in the 30-lap NASCAR Modified feature at Devil’s Bowl Speedway Sunday night, and the fresh-faced kid beat the wily old veteran.

Jessey Mueller, who recently turned 16, held off a late challenge from Ron Proctor to record the first victory of his Modified career in a highly entertaining feature at the Bowl. Mueller became the third teenager to win a feature in the NASCAR Modified division at the Bowl this season, joining Hunter Bates and Bobby Hackel.

To put into perspective the age difference between the top two drivers in Sunday’s feature, Proctor won his first Modified feature at Devil’s Bowl in 1990, five years before Mueller was born.

Mueller, who also had a strong run at Albany-Saratoga (N.Y.) Speedway on Friday night before succumbing to mechanical problems, only needed three laps to get the lead Sunday night, but soon was feeling some real heat, as both Mike Bruno and Proctor were sitting on his rear bumper.

Proctor, who was working the high groove, made his way around Bruno for second on lap eight and seemed to get the car working better when the sun set behind the mountains. Proctor patiently waited for lapped traffic to come into play, and Mueller’s inexperience began to show, as his lap times dropped slightly as he gingerly made his way through traffic.

With six laps to go, Mueller finally had open air in front of him, but he still had Proctor right on his tail. Mueller then caught a big break with three to go, when Proctor made a slight bobble and had to get out of the throttle to keep the car in shape. That allowed Mueller to hang on for the win, setting off a jubilant family celebration on the frontstretch after the race.

Proctor and Bruno finished second and third, respectively, and slowed as they passed the flagstand to give the first-time winner a well-deserved thumbs-up.

Bruno came back and posted his fourth win of the season in the Pro Late Model feature. He brought out the first caution of the race, when he got too low in the turn and spewed gravel on the track, necessitating a quick clean-up by the track crew.

Hunter Bates and Kevin Elliott battled for the lead after the restart, but Bates spun out on lap nine, bringing out another caution. Bruno had made his way back to third by that point, and took the lead for good on the restart. Chris Wilk finished second, while Bates got back up for third.

Bill Duprey broke out a new crate motor and ended his streak of bad luck in the Renegade division, finally getting back to victory lane. The win was Dupree’s fourth of the season, as he won three in a row to start the 2011 campaign.

Another first-time winner emerged in the Bomber Warriors feature, as Dave Arena took the checkered flag for the first time in his career.

Devil’s Bowl will be holding Heritage Family Credit Union Night on July 31. HFCU members will be admitted free, and can sign up for a chance to enter the cash cube. All divisions will be in action.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, July 24, 2011


NASCAR Modified (30 laps)
1. Jessey Mueller, Olmstedville, N.Y.
2. Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
3. Mike Bruno, Castleton
4. Hunter Bates, Pittsford
5. Matt Atwood, Whitehall, N.Y.

Pro Late Model (20 laps)
1. Mike Bruno, Castleton
2. Chris Wilk, Mendon
3. Hunter Bates, Pittsford
4. Kevin Elliott, Rutland
5. Kayla Bryant, Mt. Holly

Renegade (20 laps)
1. Bill Duprey, Hydeville
2. Jeremy Jones, Leicester
3. Frank Monroe, Granville, N.Y.
4. Jonathan Hayes, Queensbury, N.Y.
5. Cassidy Wilson, West Rupert

Bomber Warrior (12 laps)
1. Dave Arena, Essex Junction
2. Eddie Bruno, Fair Haven
3. Jake Noble, Benson
4. Ray Germain, Jr., Bristol
5. Ray Germain, Sr., Bristol