Story By: DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY – WEST HAVEN, VT – Todd Stone and Anthony Warren were the stars of the show at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 25, even though Mother Nature tried to take the lead role.
The Sunoco Race Fuels Championship Finale was interrupted three times by rain, but the champions were crowned in four racing divisions and fans celebrated the completion of the Vermont track’s 56th season, which, ironically, never suffered a full rainout.
Feature winners were Warren, Alex Layn, Kamden Duffy, Logan Denis, and Kevin Pearsall, while Stone celebrated as a champion along with Denis, Evan Roberts, and Chris Sumner.
The headline Sunoco Sportsman Modified division ran its final 30-lap feature of the season with a few bumps and bruises, one of which eliminated Stone just three laps in. Warren, though, was on his game and used his pole position starting spot to jump out front and dominate. The Shoreham, Vt., sophomore survived five restarts and stayed in control despite a near-constant light mist, leading all but the first lap to score the first win of his career in the track’s top division.
Walt Hammond Jr., who led the opening circuit, held off the challenges of several drivers and finished second for a season-best effort. Brian Whittemore finished a strong third, Tanner Siemons came from deep in the field for fourth, and Shawn McPhee completed the top five. Josh Masterson took sixth place ahead of Jimmy Ryan, Mike Palmer, Vince Quenneville, and Brent Warren, who won the Elmo’s Pit Stop Hard Charger Bonus after starting 24th. Qualifying heats were won by Adam Piper, Tim LaDuc, and Masterson.
Middlebury, Vt.’s Stone, despite his crash and a 21st-place finish, collected his fourth career track championship at Devil’s Bowl, and his first since 2014 on the former asphalt surface. Stone won four feature events to boost his career total to 46 across all divisions, ranking fourth on the track’s all-time win list.
Justin Comes finished second in points for the second-straight season, unofficially 92 markers behind Stone (957-865). Siemons slipped past LaDuc for third place overall, and Justin Stone, the champion’s son, finished fifth. Bridport, Vt.’s Troy Audet made it a true family affair in winning the Rookie of the Year title; he is Todd Stone’s nephew and Justin Stone’s cousin.
New Haven, Vt.’s Alex Layn waited until the last race to post his first-ever win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division, but he did so in dominant fashion. Layn had flirted with the checkered flag several times previously, and he was way ahead of Steve Miller when rain cut the race short from 25 laps to 21. Layn’s win makes him the 16th different winner in the Limited Sportsman class in 2022.
Behind Miller, John Gosselin came from 12th starting spot to finish third ahead of Freddie Little and Bubba McPhee. Hunter Nutter was sixth, followed by Jason Quenneville, Evan Roberts, Anthony Ryan, and Bob Kilburn. McPhee and Gary English won the heat races.
Fourth-generation racer Roberts, age 16, took the championship home to Fletcher, Vt., after a three-win season and a run of consistency that saw him gather 21 Top 10s in 23 starts. He outdistanced Randy Ryan by an unofficial margin of 123 points (1,012-889), with Josh LeClaire third, Gosselin fourth, and McPhee fifth.
The Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division saw the emergence of 14-year-old rookie Logan Denis on full display. The Whiting, Vt., racer drove from eighth starting position to earn his sixth feature win of the season and wrap up both the track championship and Rookie of the Year honors.
Denis outran Vern Woodard, Ray Hanson, Chayton Young, and Raelin Dunham for the win in the 15-lap race, and he captured the championship over fellow rookie Lane Saville by 54 points (990-936) unofficially. Kevin Smith, Dunham, and Young completed the top five in the point standings.
Although they did not race for championship points in 2022, the Hoosier Daddy Racing Rookie Sportsman division put a competitive bow on its inaugural season with 14-year-old Kamden Duffy in victory lane for the fourth time. The Richmond, N.H., youngster escaped from a nasty late-race pileup with some left-side body damage, and he then passed Russ Farr on the restart with four laps left to get the lead and eventually the win.
Farr’s runner-up finish was his best result in an open-wheel Modified, as was the third-place showing for Mini Stock graduate Derrick Counter. Ed Bell and Michael Clark Jr. rounded out the top five, followed by Adam LaFountain, Robert Gauthier, Randy Edson, Jason Kerr, and Bobbi Jo Hults.
The Mini Stock division was the only casualty suffered by the rain. Qualifying heats were won by Damian Olden and Chris Conroy, but a persistent shower moved in before the start of the feature race and the track surface became too wet and slick to compete on safely. Race director Mike Bruno held a meeting with the 31 drivers in attendance and all agreed to cancel the feature. All drivers were given the championship points that they earned in the heat races and an additional 50 appearance points, plus $50 in tow money.
Ripton, Vt.’s Chris Sumner had mathematically clinched the championship the previous week for his second-straight title; Sumner won seven features – the most of any driver in any division at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in 2022. Fair Haven, Vt.’s Matt Wade finished second in the point standings and took the Rookie of the Year title. Sumner’s unofficial margin was 58 points (984-926).
While the rain wiped out the Mini Stock feature, the Enduro Series was another story, and that race pressed on – with a twist. Though the main half-mile surface was in fact too wet and slippery, it was decided by the majority of the Enduro drivers and Bruno that the seldom-used 3/10-mile inner dirt track would be a suitable host for a 50-lap race, rain or shine. Since that track’s surface had not been prepared for a typical racing event, the rainwater had not slimed the track up and there was plenty of traction (and mud) to be had.
Twenty-nine of 39 registered cars and drivers took to the little track and put on a wildly entertaining race in the rain, and at the end of it, Bristol, Vt.’s Kevin Pearsall was a first-time winner. Keith Benoit was scored as the runner-up ahead of George Wanner, Bruce Poirier, and Andy Botala. Pearsall collected a $1,000 payday for his mudwrestling prowess.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 2022 stock car racing season is now complete. Details for the upcoming Banquet of Champions will be announced in the coming weeks.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Sunoco Race Fuels Championship Night
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Sunoco Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
(1) Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
(2) Walt Hammond Jr., Canaan, N.H.
(4) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
(15) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
(5) Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
(6) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
(9) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
(7) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
(13) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
(24) Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
(22) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
(21) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
(16) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
(18) Derrick McGrew Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y.
(19) Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
(11) David Boisclair, Watervliet, N.Y.
(8) Walter J. Hammond, Canaan, N.H.
(10) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
(14) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
(12) # Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
(17) Todd Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
(3) Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
(20) Jimmy Davis, Amsterdam, N.Y.
(23) Marty Kelly III, Shaftsbury, Vt.
Elmo’s Pit Stop Hard Charger $100 Bonus: Brent Warren (+14 positions)
Heat Winners: Adam Piper, Tim LaDuc, Josh Masterson
TRACK CHAMPION: TODD STONE
Rookie of the Year: Troy Audet
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (25 laps – shortened to 21 laps by rain)
(2) Alex Layn, New Haven, Vt.
(4) Steve Miller, New Haven, Vt.
(12) John Gosselin, Shoreham, Vt.
(3) Fred Little, Salisbury, Vt.
(13) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt.
(5) Hunter Nutter, Orford, N.H.
(9) Jason Quenneville, Quechee, Vt.
(11) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
(15) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
(8) Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, Vt.
(21) Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
(14) Steve Pope, Shoreham, Vt.
(16) Randy Ryan, Orwell, Vt.
(10) Timmy Aldrighetti, Bethel, Vt.
(18) Kyle Kerr, Shoreham, Vt.
(6) A.J. Munger, Benson Landing, Vt.
(1) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
(17) Ron DeLease Jr.
(19) William Duprey, Hydeville, Vt.
(20) Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.
(7) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
Heat Winners: John McPhee Jr., Gary English
TRACK CHAMPION: EVAN ROBERTS
Hoosier Daddy Racing Rookie Sportsman Feature (20 laps)
(8) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H.
(2) Russ Farr, Granville, N.Y.
(4) Derrick Counter, Salisbury, Vt.
(7) Ed Bell, Orwell, Vt.
(3) Michael Clark Jr., Salisbury, Vt.
(11) Adam LaFountain, Bristol, Vt.
(14) Robert Gauthier, Williston, Vt.
(9) Randy Edson, Orwell, Vt.
(13) Jason Kerr, Shoreham, Vt.
(6) Bobbi Jo Hults, Benson, Vt.
(15) Holden Bass, Benson, Vt.
(10) Tyler Travis, Hartland, Vt.
(1) Boomer Patterson, Milton, Vt.
(5) Nick Austin-Neil, Salisbury, Vt.
(12) William Lussier Jr., Fair Haven, Vt.
Did Not Start: Daryl Gebo, Orwell, Vt.
Mini Stock Feature (15 laps – cancelled by rain)
Heat Winners: Damian Olden, Chris Conroy
TRACK CHAMPION: CHRIS SUMNER
Rookie of the Year: Matt Wade
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
(8) # Logan Denis, Whiting, Vt.
(2) Vern Woodard, Fair Haven, Vt.
(5) Ray Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
(6) # Chayton Young, Wynantskill, N.Y.
(7) # Raelin Dunham, Queensbury, N.Y.
(9) # Lane Saville, Warrensburg, N.Y.
(1) Tommie Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.
(4) Kevin Smith, Brandon, Vt.
(3) John Smith, Poultney, Vt.
Did Not Start: # Damen Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.; # Aiden Benoure, Salisbury, Vt.
TRACK CHAMPION: LOGAN DENIS
Rookie of the Year: Logan Denis
Enduro Series Feature (50 laps – Inner 3/10-mile track)
(10X) Kevin Pearsall
(78) Keith Benoit
(331) George Wanner
(827) Bruce Poirier
(1) Andy Botala
(57) Carl Whittemore
(21) Scott Richner
(71) Dylan Bowen
(8) Rich Rose
(20) Joe McKirryher
(11) Aaron Johnson
(905) Dakota Shattuck
(22A) Jonathan Armell
(802X) Shane Wood
(22K) Vinnie Kendall
(25) Kyle Botala
(19) Bradley Disorda
(21R) Curtis Nielsen
(22) Eddie Bruno
(17) Hugh Bell
(512) Keenan Pratt
(70) Anthony Johnson
(33) George Sheldrick
(23LC) Lucas Condon
(114) Abby Botala
(007) Tyler King
(11A) Josh Adams
(556) Lindell Condon
No Score: (24) Alyssa Battles
Did Not Start: (2) Brent Warren; (23) Brian Whittemore; (27) Jared Allen; (51X) Lucas Longtin; (54 ¼) Tim LaDuc; (623B) Brent Wilbur; (623C) Colton Leno; (623E) Eric Leno; (666) Dan Desforges; (919) Butch Pease