Duprey, Conroy, Wood are holiday winners

(From track press release)

WEST HAVEN – Young Bobby Hackel is beginning to make a name for himself on the Dirt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and on Sunday, July 3, he stole the show at the WhistlePig Whiskey “Firecracker” Independence Day Special by winning in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman Modified action and by very nearly winning in the Sprint Cars of New England.

Twenty-one-year-old Hackel – a fourth-generation racer from Rensselaer, N.Y. – started 10th on the 22-car Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified field and wasted little time in getting to the front.  He was inside the top-five after just one lap, and passed Chris Murray for the lead on lap nine.

Moments after Hackel took control, the race took a sad and tragic turn.  Veteran driver Ron Casey of Manchester Center, Vt., was stricken by an apparent medical emergency and veered off the track before impacting the retaining wall in Turn 2.  He was transported via ambulance to Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vt., where he passed away about three hours after the incident.  (A full statement regarding the situation can be found here.)

With one of the largest grandstand crowds in recent years on hand, the decision was made to continue the event.  A two-hour delay while waiting for Fair Haven Rescue to send a back-up ambulance was filled with a massive holiday fireworks show, and an on-track driver meet-and-greet session, and race fans remained upbeat and enthusiastic for the action to resume.

The fast, tacky track surface created wild action in the final 26 laps, with several crashes including flips by Vince Quenneville Jr. and Derrick McGrew; no injuries were reported in any of the crashes.  Hackel never wavered from the top spot despite repeated attempts from Middlebury, Vt., driver Justin Comes, who finished second.  Jackie Brown Jr. rebounded from a crash to finish third, followed by Tim LaDuc and Kenny Tremont Jr.  Tim Hodge, rookie Justin Severance, Jason Bruno, Justin Smith, and Billy Lussier completed the top 10.

Bill Duprey of Hydeville, Vt., was in a class of his own in the Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade division, dominating both the qualifying heat and the 15-lap feature race.  Duprey was unchallenged during the night and led every lap that he ran on the track.  Curtis Condon was the runner-up in the feature, followed by rookie Brian Bishop Jr., Lou Gancarz, and Paul Braymer.

Chris Conroy of Newport, N.H., was a first-time Devil’s Bowl winner in the Portland Glass Mini Stocks, taking the checkered flag in a 15-lap race.  Jason Porter of Freeport, Maine, led laps early and settled for second place.  Mike Ryan was third ahead of Wayland Childs and Robert Garney.  Mike Whalen Jr. was uninjured in a two-time flip during qualifying.

Defending Enduro Series champion Brett Wood of Georgia, Vt., took the lead at lap 14 of his division’s 40-lap event and sailed to the victory.  Following a thorough scoring recheck, Wood’s son, Zach – who won a rain-soaked race on the Asphalt Track at Devil’s Bowl the previous night – finished second with Cory Gray third.  Brandon Gray was fourth with Ethan White fifth.  Karl Raacke walked away from a high-flying roll with his police-themed car, which included flashing blue lights.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action with the double-points Mid-Season Championship weekend on July 9-10.  The half-mile Asphalt Track races on Saturday, July 9, with the 3/10-mile Dirt Track running on Sunday, July 10.  Racing each night begins at 6:00 p.m. and includes a driver autograph session at intermission. Regular general admission each night is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and free for kids age 12 and under.

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.  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 – WhistlePig Whiskey “Firecracker” Independence Day Special
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Dirt Track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, July 3, 2016


Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modifieds (35 laps)
1. Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
2. Justin Comes, Middlebury
3. Jackie Brown Jr., Hurley, N.Y.
4. Tim LaDuc, Orwell
5. Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
6. Tim Hodge, Vershire
7. # Justin Severance, Pittsford
8. Jason Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
9. Justin Smith, Gansevoort, N.Y.
10. Billy Lussier, Fair Haven

Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegades (15 laps)
1. Bill Duprey, Hydeville
2. Curtis Condon, Queensbury, N.Y.
3. # Brian Bishop Jr., Bridport
4. Lou Gancarz, North Adams, Mass.
5. Paul Braymer, Granville, N.Y.

Portland Glass Mini Stocks (15 laps)
1. Chris Conroy, Newport, N.H.
2. Jason Porter, Freeport, Maine
3. Mike Ryan, Vershire
4. Wayland Childs, Chelsea
5. Robert Garney, Fort Edwards, N.Y.

Enduro Series (40 laps)
1. Brett Wood, Georgia
2. Zach Wood, Georgia
3. Cory Gray, Clarendon
4. Brandon Gray, East Thetford
5. Ethan White, Hinesburg

PHOTO: Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified winner Bobby Hackel (#97) of Rensselaer, N.Y., (shown with WhistlePig Whiskey representative Larry Swanson in victory lane) at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. (Devil’s Bowl Speedway photo)