WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Kenny Tremont Jr. is accustomed to being up front at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and the eight-time track champion has led the point standings at the Vermont track for most of the summer. This season has been different, though, and Tremont has not dominated like he has in past years, but he took a big step toward getting back on the right track with a victory in the Charlie LaDuc Memorial “Ol’ Reliable” 54 on Sunday, August 19.
Other drivers in victory lane on Fabian Earth Moving Night included Adam Piper, Kevin Elliott, and Shawn McPhee – each of whom scored his first win of the year – and repeat winners Kaleb Shepard and Evan Roberts.
West Sand Lake, N.Y., driver Tremont scored in the 54-lap, $1,500-to-win special event for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified division in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. Rookie drivers had an outstanding night, topped by Jeff Washburn’s effort that saw him lead the first 32 laps. He was overtaken by Tim LaDuc, who was gunning for the victory in his father’s memorial race, but LaDuc had company with Jimmy Ryan, Joey Scarborough, Tremont, James Fadden, rookie Tanner Siemons, and others.
Ryan took over at lap 39 and held the position despite constant pressure. The race changed dramatically with just three laps left, though, when a big pileup on the frontstretch eliminated LaDuc and Siemons from contention. Ryan and Tremont restarted on the front row together and Ryan led the first lap after the restart, but Tremont blasted by on the outside and sailed to the win – his first top-five finish since July 15.
Scarborough continued his hot streak by getting past Ryan for the runner-up finish, with Ryan and Fadden next in line. Josh Sunn crossed the finish line in fifth place but his car did not pass post-race inspection and he was disqualified, bumping Vince Quenneville Jr. up to fifth. Brian Whittemore, Justin Comes, Billy Lussier, Allan Hammond, and rookie Marty Kelly III completed the official top 10. Tremont’s victory gives him a 29-point lead in the championship standings over Scarborough, 535-506.
Adam Piper of Leicester, Vt., wound up celebrating the first O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman win of his career. Piper led 15 of the race’s 20 laps before Travis Billington slipped by with three circuits remaining, but Billington’s car did not pass post-race technical inspection. Joey Roberts inherited second, followed by Paolo Pascarella, Brent Warren, and R.J. Germain. The point standings were shaken up, and Warren now finds himself up front with a narrow two-point edge on Pascarella, 659-657.
Rutland, Vt., veteran Kevin Elliott won an exciting 20-lap race for the Super Stock division, which saw several intense battles for the lead. Eliott led early before Josh Bussino and Jim McKiernan entered the picture, and the trio swapped the top spot four times in the final seven laps. The win was the first for Elliott since Late Model score on asphalt in 2012, and it was his first win on dirt in 10 years. Point leader Chris Murray struggled for the second straight race and finished 14th, but maintains a healthy 67-point cushion (673-606) on both Bussino and Curtis Condon, who are tied for second place.
Kaleb Shepard of Vergennes, Vt., returned to the winner’s circle in the Portland Glass Mini Stock division, copping his fifth win of the season. Shepard and good friend Mike Preston battled side-by-side for the lead for much of the 15-lap race before Preston dropped out with mechanical trouble. Shawn Moquin gave Shepard a run for the win but settled for second place ahead of Johnny Bruno, rookie Craig Kirby, and Matt Monaghan. Shepard stretched his point lead over Chris Conroy – who finished seventh in the race – to 24 points, 618-594.
Shawn McPhee of Rutland, Vt., scored a popular career-first win in the 15-lap feature race for the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division. The 13 year-old rookie led every lap and left the field way behind. Rookies swept the podium positions, with Samantha Mulready and Kevin Smith finishing behind McPhee. Sophomore driver Colby Beinhaur was fourth, and another rookie, Dakota Green, took fifth. Point leader Cody O’Brien dropped out with engine trouble, which tightened the championship race; he now leads defending champion Austin Chaves by just 11 points, 447-436.
Evan Roberts of Fletcher, Vt., scored his third win in as many tries in the Bandit Youth Mini Stock division. Twelve year-old Roberts led all eight laps, outdistancing a pair of 10 year-olds for the win. Tommy Given finished second, with first-time racer Eric Paige third. Allan Hammond Jr. and Nathan Desabrais finished fourth and fifth.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back on Sunday, August 26, as Sugar & Spice Restaurant presents the annual “Double Stack Night” with double features for all five weekly divisions and the Great North American Pancake Eating Championship. Regular general admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for teens (age 13-17) with proper age identification, and free for kids age 12 and under. Racing starts early at 6:00 p.m.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of U.S. Route 4, Exit 2, and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visitwww.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
-Devil’s Bowl Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward