Todd Stone & Ed “Elmo” Allen Highlight Devil’s Bowl Speedway Banquet Of Champions

Story By: DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY – SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – Todd Stone and Ed “Elmo” Allen were among the many stars honored at the 2022 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Banquet of Champions, and more than $28,000 in point fund money and awards were distributed to the year’s top drivers.

The racing community from the Vermont track gathered at the Holiday Inn-Saratoga Springs in the historic New York town on Saturday, November 5 for the annual dinner and celebration.

Middlebury, Vt.’s Stone was officially crowned the champion of the Sunoco Sportsman Modified division, taking the fourth title of his career at his home track and a $5,000 paycheck for the championship. His four-win effort was enough to outdistance Justin Comes, Tanner Siemons, Tim LaDuc, and his son, Justin Stone, for the championship. Bridport, Vt.’s Troy Audet – Stone’s nephew – was named Rookie of the Year.

Stone, who began racing at Devil’s Bowl in 1988 at the age of 19, made a heartfelt and often hilarious tribute to his family and team members, his competitors, and the track’s staff, and informed the crowd that he will likely not defend his crown in 2023 as he seeks to spend more time with his family and businesses. His previous Devil’s Bowl championships came on dirt in 2008 (358 Modified) and on asphalt in 2013 and 2014 (Sportsman), and his 46 career wins rank fourth all-time over the track’s 56-year history.

Sixteen-year-old Evan Roberts collected awards for his first championship in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division. The fourth-generation racer from Fletcher, Vt., scored three victories and a track-leading 21 Top 10 finishes in 23 starts, to grab the title over Randy Ryan, Josh LeClaire, John Gosselin, and John “Bubba” McPhee Jr.

Ripton, Vt.’s Chris Sumner collected his second straight Mini Stock crown after a seven-win run. He led Rookie of the Year Matt Wade, Brian Blake, Craig Kirby, and Austin McKirryher for the title.

Fourteen-year-old Logan Denis captured both the championship and the Rookie of the Year title in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division. The Whiting, Vt., youngster had six wins in his impressive debut season. Lane Saville was ranked second ahead of Raelin Dunham, Kevin Smith, and Chayton Young.

Fair Haven, Vt.’s Chris Murray was recognized as the final champion of the Super Stock division after that class had an abbreviated season in 2022. Murray has 39 career wins to rank sixth all-time at Devil’s Bowl.

Though no champion was crowned, nine drivers from the first-year Hoosier Daddy Racing Rookie Sportsman division were also on hand to be applauded by the crowd for their efforts.

Several special annual awards were given out throughout the evening, led by the prestigious John Bruno Award, which is Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s top honor. Fair Haven, Vt.’s Ed “Elmo” Allen was named the 10th recipient of the award, given in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the sport of stock car racing while maintaining high standards of conduct and respect.

Allen began his racing involvement in in the 1960s and was a winning Modified driver while competing against legendary drivers like Vince Quenneville Sr., Will Cagle, Butch Jelley, Mert Hulbert, and Ed Foley. He later worked for Richard Childress Racing as the hauler driver for Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer in the NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series during their championship years, and in recent seasons he has sponsored several dirt racers through his “Elmo’s Pit Stop” program. In 2022, he posted weekly cash bonuses for Sportsman Modified drivers at Devil’s Bowl, each one named in memory or in honor of a member of the Devil’s Bowl community. Allen, who was a close friend of the late John Bruno for many decades, was surprised and moved by the award, for which he received an extended standing ovation.

The annual Devil’s Bowl Speedway Award of Excellence was presented to Ralph Bruno in recognition of his commitment to the immediate success and future growth of the facility. Known around the speedway as “Uncle Ralph,” he is the brother of John Bruno and the uncle of current Devil’s Bowl promoter Mike Bruno. Like Allen, Ralph Bruno, of Whitehall, N.Y., has been involved in racing since the 1960s, first as a fan, then as a winning driver. He worked closely with Devil’s Bowl founder C.J. Richards in the three-track Champlain Valley Racing Association for many years, and he has held many roles at Devil’s Bowl under his nephew’s leadership since 2012.

Mineville, N.Y.’s Jeremy Carpenter was presented with the annual Dedication Award for his years of service to the speedway. Carpenter was previously a driver, crew member, and videographer; he joined the Devil’s Bowl Speedway staff in 2015 and has held several positions including his current role as a technical inspector, working side-by-side with longtime official John Cummings.

The peer-voted Sportsmanship and Most Improved Driver award winners were also announced throughout the evening. Sportsmanship Awards went to Sportsman Modified driver Marty Kelly III and Limited Sportsman driver “Santa Bob” Kilburn – each for the second year in a row – as well as Mini Stock racer Griff Mahoney and 500cc Mini Sprint veteran “Crazy Cousin Kevin” Smith.

Most Improved Driver honors went to Sportsman Modified Rookie of the Year Troy Audet, Limited Sportsman racer Josh LeClaire, Mini Stock Rookie of the Year Matt Wade, and 500cc Mini Sprint rookie Raelin Dunham.

 

DEVIL’ S BOWL SPEEDWAY BANQUET OF CHAMPIONS

Holiday Inn Saratoga Springs – Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Saturday, November 5, 2022

DEVIL’ S BOWL SPEEDWAY AWARD WINNERS

John Bruno Award:

  • Ed “Elmo” Allen, Fair Haven, Vt.

Award of Excellence:

  • Ralph Bruno, Whitehall, N.Y.

Dedication Award:

  • Jeremy Carpenter, Mineville, N.Y.

Track Champions:

  • Sunoco Sportsman Modified – Todd Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman – Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
  • Mini Stock – Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt.
  • Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint – Logan Denis, Whiting, Vt.
  • Super Stock – Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.

Rookies of the Year:

  • Sunoco Sportsman Modified – Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
  • Mini Stock – Matt Wade, Fair Haven, Vt.
  • Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint – Logan Denis, Whiting, Vt.

Sportsmanship Awards:

  • Sunoco Sportsman Modified – Marty Kelly III, Shaftsbury, Vt.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman – Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, Vt.
  • Mini Stock – Griff Mahoney, Bristol, Vt.
  • Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint – Kevin Smith, Brandon, Vt.

Most Improved Driver Awards:

  • Sunoco Sportsman Modified – Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman – Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
  • Mini Stock – Matt Wade, Fair Haven, Vt.
  • Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint – Raelin Dunham, Queensbury, N.Y.
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