PHOTO: Jessey Mueller made a bold prediction after the semi-feature at Devil’s Bowl on Sunday, and he made good on it by winning the Central Vermont Motorcycle Trophy Dash Modified feature. (Eric LaFleche/ photo)

Bushey, Gordon, LaVair grab Devil’s Bowl victories

–by Ricky St. Clair

WEST HAVEN — Jessey Mueller made a bold prediction following his semi-feature victory at Devil’s Bowl Speedway Sunday afternoon.

The Olmstedville, N.Y., teenager exclaimed to the public address announcer and the West Haven crowd that he was going to be in victory lane later in the evening.

It’s uncertain whether Mueller is a gambling man, but after Sunday, he should be.

The 17-year-old started eighth in the 18-car NASCAR Modified field and wrestled the race lead away from Hunter Bates after a hotly contested side-by-side battle for the top spot on lap 26.

“I had my work cut out for me there,” Muller said. “My car handled better on the outside, so I knew if I got a good run on Hunter, I could send it in to turn one and get by him. We’re the best of friends off the track, but enemies on the track. I guess that’s the way it has to be.”

Bates, who started fifth in the field, had a convincing lead from laps four through 25, but sacrificed the top spot after a restart with nine-laps remaining in the 35-lap event.

Sixteen-year-old Bates, of Middlebury, grabbed the runner-up spot with defending Vermont State Champion Ron Proctor in third. Brandon competitor Don Scarborough and Alex Bell of Cambridge, N.Y., also received top-five honors.

Positions six through were credited to Vince Quennville, Jeff Haskins, Joey Roberts, Andy Smith, and Jason Bruno.

Craig Bushey of Fairfax collected his first career checkered flag at Devil’s Bowl in Sunday’s 30-lap Late Model shootout. The driver of the Vermont Life Safety No. 05 solidified himself in the top spot following a lap 6 restart when race leader Bryan Town bobbled in turns three and four.

Bushey poked his nose below the Town automobile and had to survive four late-race cautions in the second half of the event before earning the win.

Northfield hotshoe Matt White picked up the second position after fending off Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg and Morrisonville, N.Y., driver Danny Sullivan at the start-finish line. The three came across the line three-wide and were all separated by less than a car-length.

Dan Petronis, II, who consistently ran in the top-five throughout the entire duration of the event rounded out the top-five.

Robert Gordon, who hauls from Milton, was named the overall winner following two 15-lap feature events for the ultra-competitive Renegade division. Gordon bowed to Frank Monroe by .008 seconds one week ago, but made sure to one up his result after winning the tiebreaker by having the better finish in the final segment finishing his day with four points.

Monroe finished second with Jeremy Jones of Leicester third with five points. Ryan Keith and Rob Cummings were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Harold LaVair of Gabriels, N.Y., was the victor in the 20-lap Bomber feature. After unofficially six lead changes, LaVair snagged the lead from his son Chris LaVair for the final time on lap 18 to hold on for his first win of the season. Josh Masterson, who was denied of going three-for-three in 2012, was second. CJ LaVair was the final podium finisher.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway begins its summer Friday night schedule with the People’s United Bank Memorial Day Special on Friday, May 25 at 7:30 p.m.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Central Vermont Motorcycles Trophy Dash
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven
Sunday, May 20, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

Modifieds (35-laps)
1. Jessey Mueller, Olmstedville, N.Y.
2. Hunter Bates, Middlebury
3. Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
4. Don Scarborough, Brandon
5. Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
6. Vince Quennville Jr., Brandon
7. # Jeff Haskins, Wells
8. # Joey Roberts Georgia
9. # Andy Smith, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
10. Jason Bruno, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Late Models (30-laps)
1. Craig Bushey, Fairfax
2. Matt White, Northfield
3. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
4. # Danny Sullivan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
5. Dan Petronis II, Mechanicville, N.Y.
6. Kevin Elliot, Rutland
7. Bryan Town, Charlestown, N.H.
8. Dave Wilcox, Swanton
9. # Johnny Chesnut, Rutland
10. # Jesse Carris, Rutland

Renegades (15-laps x 2)
1. Robert Gordon, Milton
2. Frank Monroe, Granville, N.Y.
3. Jeremy Jones, Leicester
4. Ryan Keith, Pittsford
5. # Rob Cummings, Milton

Bomber (20-laps)
1. Harold LaVair, Gabriels, N.Y.
2. # Josh Masterson, Bristol
3. Chris Lavair, Gabriels, N.Y.
4. Matt Monaghan, Colchester
5. Eddie Bruno, Fair Haven