Masterson, Wood repeat; McKiernan, Murray score first wins of season

(From track press release)


Jimmy Ryan may have led every lap of the Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified feature race on the Asphalt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday, May 28, but the box score won’t show just how wild the action was behind him.  The veteran stock car racer from Shoreham, Vt., outlasted a rough-and-tumble field of competitors to end a six-year winless streak at the inaugural “Yorkmont Memorial Day 5000” and headed a winners list that included Josh Masterson, Jim McKiernan, Zach Wood, and Jeff Murray.

In addition to the on-track action, race fan Emily Catellier of Rutland, Vt., was the happy winner of a $5,000 cash prize given away by sponsor Yorkmont Auto Auctions of Fair Haven, Vt.  The event was capped off by a holiday fireworks show by Northstar Fireworks.

One week after a fuel line problem left him on the sidelines, Ryan was in the right place all race long, ahead of several multi-car wrecks that shook up the field.  Although Ryan said that his car wasn’t handling well, he was able to withstand a sequence of restarts and drive away from the pack every time.  No less than eight different drivers tried to rattle Ryan in the early stages of the race before wrecks, spins, or damage hampered their progress.

When the smoke cleared after 30 laps, Ryan was the convincing winner for the first time since August 29, 2010, and for the first time in his career under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.  Jackie Brown Jr., of Hurley, N.Y., withstood a long challenge from Jason Durgan and held on for the runner-up spot.  Morrisonville, N.Y., racer Durgan settled for third ahead of Ron Proctor and Joey Roberts.

Josh Masterson of Bristol, Vt., was the winner of an entertaining 40-lap race in the Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model division, for his second victory in as many races in 2016.  The Late Models threw off a barnburner, with side-by-side racing leaving tire marks on the doors of almost every car in the class.  Masterson drove a strong car to the front of the field after battling with several drivers, then beat hard-charging Robert Bryant Jr., in a restart with just two laps remaining.

Brooklyn, Conn., racer Bryant thrilled the fans with back-to-front run, and came out on top of a sensational fight with Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, Vt., for the runner-up position.  The ever-improving Seth Bridge finished fourth with early leader Steve Miller fifth.

Jim McKiernan of Moriah Center, N.Y., traded some full-fender barbs with Scott FitzGerald during the 20-lap Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade race, but came out on top for the second main-event win of his career at Devil’s Bowl.  The runner finished ahead of FitzGerald, of West Rutland, Vt., with Colchester, Vt.’s Matt Monaghan third.  Ray Germain Jr. finished fourth in his first start in two years, and Tony Salerno was fifth.

Rookie Zach Wood continued the perfect start to his Portland Glass Mini Stock career, going two-for-two in his first two starts.  After winning on opening night a week ago, the Georgia, Vt., youngster ran to the win.   Wood’s teammate and fellow rookie Eric Messier of Hinesburg, Vt., finished second for the second-straight week.  Brad Bertrand, Garrett Given, and Andrew FitzGerald completed the top five.

Jeff Murray of Georgia, Vt., won one of the most competitive Enduro Series races in recent memory, taking the lead from Rutland, Vt.’s Cory Gray with a dozen laps remaining and fending him off in the final laps.  Gray held on for second ahead of Andrew Lopes, Brandon Gray, and Brett Wood.

The Dirt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway is in action on Sunday, May 29 at 6:00 p.m. for its season-opening event.  The Sprint Cars of New England headline the program along with Sportsman Modifieds, Renegades, and Mini Stocks.  Regular general admission is $12 for adults and $10 for seniors (62+) and students (13-17).  Kids age 12 and under are always admitted for free.

The Asphalt Track resumes on Saturday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m. with the People’s United Bank 100 for the American-Canadian Tour Late Models, plus the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly divisions.

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, or call .  Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Yorkmont Auto Auctions “Memorial Day 5000”
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series – Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, May 28, 2016

(# — denotes rookie)

Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modifieds (30 laps)
1. Jimmy Ryan, Whiting
2. Jackie Brown, Hurley, N.Y.
3. Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
4. Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
5. Joey Roberts, Fletcher
6. # Chuck Bradford, Addison
7. Dave Snow, Brandon
8. Billy Lussier, Fair Haven
9. Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven
10. Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon

Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Models (40 laps)
1. Josh Masterson, Bristol
2. Robert Bryant Jr., Brooklyn, Conn.
3. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
4. Seth Bridge, Mendon
5. Steve Miller, Vergennes
6. Chad White, Fort Ann, N.Y.
7. Mark Norris, Benson
8. Jamie Aube, North Ferrisburgh
9. Jesse Carris, Rutland
10. Stephen Donahue, Graniteville

Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegades (20 laps)
1. Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
2. Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland
3. Matt Monaghan, Colchester
4. Ray Germain Jr., Bristol
5. Tony Salerno, Mineville, N.Y.

Portland Glass Mini Stocks (15 laps)
1. # Zach Wood, Georgia
2. # Eric Messier, Hinesburg
3. Brad Bertrand, Ferrisburgh
4. Garrett Given Sr., Cornwall
5. Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland

Enduro Series (50 laps)
1. Jeff Murray, Georgia
2. Cory Gray, Rutland
3. Andrew Lopes, Colchester
4. Brandon Gray, Thetford
5. Bret Wood, Georgia

PHOTO: Jimmy Ryan of Shoreham, Vt., ended a six-year winless skid with his Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified victory at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. (Devil’s Bowl Speedway photo)