Jessey Mueller made a big statement at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday, June 20. The Olmstedville, NY teenager rebounded from a disqualification just five days earlier, then drove from last place on the starting grid to win the 30-lap Bond Auto Parts Modified event presented by 105.3 Cat Country. Joining Mueller as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature winners on the night were Jamie Fisher, Stephen Donahue, and John McCarron. The annual “Hometown Heroes” event honored all military, veterans, law enforcement, and first responders with free general admission.
Mueller, 19 years old, was forced to start last on the 13-car Modified field as a result of his penalty the week before. The task proved to be an easy challenge, as he quickly worked his way through the field. As Cody Sargen led the race, Mueller entered the top five one lap before the halfway point. A quick pair of caution periods at laps 20 and 21 – one of which dropped Sargen out of contention for his first win – were all Mueller needed, as he rocketed into the lead at the final restart and left the field in his wake.
The victory was the second of the year at Devil’s Bowl for Mueller. Joey Roberts of Fletcher, VT continued the best season of his career with his fifth-straight finish of fourth or better, taking the runner-up spot. Defending track champion Todd Stone was third, followed by Leon Gonyo and Vince Quenneville, Jr.
Former Thunder Road track champion Jamie Fisher of Shelburne, VT stated his intentions to win the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Late Model crown with a victory in his 30-lap feature race. Fisher’s familiar yellow-and-red No. 18 S.D. Ireland Concrete Chevrolet jumped out to an early lead and was never seriously challenged. The race marked his second Devil’s Bowl victory; he also won the Rutland Herald Mid-Season Championship event in 2012.
Young stars Josh Masterson and Emily Packard battled for second place in the second half of the race, with Masterson eventually getting the position. Robert Bryant, Jr. finished fourth, with veteran Bucko Branham fifth. Unofficially, Masterson now holds a slim two-point lead in the early championship standings, with Fisher and Packard tied just two points behind.
John McCarron finally broke into the Devil’s Bowl Speedway winner’s circle in a special three-segment, cumulatively scored event for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock division. The Rensselaer, NY driver was on top of his game throughout the three 10-lap segments, posting a win and two third-place finishes for a total low score of seven points to take the overall win, his first in four seasons at the track.
Point leader Chuck Bradford earned 11 segment points (sixth, fourth, first) to take overall runner-up position, with Bobby LaVair (fourth, sixth, second) third overall at 12 points. Segment #2 winner Mike Whalen, Jr. was fourth overall at 13 points, and Lacey Hanson rounded out the top five with 14 points.
Chris LaVair of Gabriels, NY was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center after a frightening head-on collision with the Turn 1 retaining wall in the first Mini Stock segment; he was later released with soreness but no other injuries, and was planning to compete on Saturday night at Airborne Park Speedway.
A short field in the Renegade division meant two 10-lap segments for the main event. Sixteen year-old Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, VT prevailed for the second straight week. Former champion Robert Gordon finished second, with rookie Scott FitzGerald third. Gordon announced in victory lane that he would donate his winnings from the event to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraiser hosted by 105.3 Cat Country.
Gerald Grant brought the “Hometown Heroes” theme to new heights during the street-legal Spectator Races portion of the program. Grant, an Addison County Deputy Sherriff, entered his 2013 Toyota Tundra pickup truck in the one-on-one elimination races, and topped the field in an entertaining show. Grant defeated Cliff Jagodzinski of Center Rutland, VT, who drove a 2004 Nissan Altima, in the final round.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Friday, June 27 at 7:00 p.m. with Kids Bicycle Races and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing. Both the Modified and Mini Stock divisions will run double features, with the Renegades in action as well. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 62+), and free for children age 12 and under. The “Fans First” program will give free general admission to all New Hampshire residents.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT four miles north of Exit 2 on U.S. Route 4. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or visit www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com. 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 – 105.3 Cat Country “Hometown Heroes” Night
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, VT
Friday, June 20, 2014
Bond Auto Parts Modified Feature (30 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
- (13) Jessey Mueller, Olmstedville, NY
- (10) Joey Roberts, Fletcher, VT
- (12) Todd Stone, Middlebury, VT
- (9) Leon Gonyo, Chazy, NY
- (6) Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, VT
- (5) Johnny Scarborough, Bomoseen, VT
- (7) Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, NY
- (4) Ron Proctor, Charlton, NY
- (11) Jamie LaFountain, Plattsburgh, NY
- (1) Dave Snow, Brandon, VT
- (2) Cody Sargen, Greenfield Center, NY
- (8) # Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, VT
- (3) # Jason Reome, Ballston Spa, NY
Heat Winners: Todd Stone, Ron Proctor
Late Model (30 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
- (4) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT
- (7) Josh Masterson, Bristol, VT
- (5) Emily Packard, E. Montpelier, VT
- (10) Robert Bryant, Jr., Brooklyn, CT
- (1) Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, NY
- (6) Norm Andrews, Northfield, VT
- (2) Seth Bridge, Mendon, VT
- (8) # Dan St. Hilare, Shelburne, VT
- (9) Carol Parker, Fair Haven, VT
- (3) Chris Bergeron, Claremont, NH
Heat Winners: Jamie Fisher, Bucko Branham
Renegade Feature (10 laps x 2)
(# – denotes rookie)
- (3) Stephen Donahue, Graniteville, VT – 3 pts
- (1) Robert Gordon, Milton, VT – 3 pts
- (2) # Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT – 6 pts
Segment Winners: Robert Gordon, Stephen Donahue
Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock Feature (10 laps x 3)
(# – denotes rookie)
- (6) John McCarron, Rensselaer, NY – 7 pts
- (10) Chuck Bradford, Addison, VT – 11 pts
- (3) Bobby LaVair, Saranac Lake, NY – 12 pts
- (14) Mike Whalen, Jr., Plattsburgh, NY – 13 pts
- (8) Lacey Hanson, Orwell, VT – 14 pts
- (11) Jake Noble, Benson, VT – 14 pts
- (1) Kyle Sorensen, Ballston Spa, NY – 16 pts
- (7) Kyle Watrous, Bomoseen, VT – 27 pts
- (2) Harold LaVair, Jr., Gabriels, NY – 28 pts
- (5) Matt Monaghan, Colchester, VT – 28 pts
- (9) Lance Masterson, Lincoln, VT – 30 pts
- (13) # Shaylynn Senecal, West Rutland, VT – 34 pts
- (4) # Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT – 43 pts
- (12) Chris LaVair, Gabriels, NY – 44 pts
Segment Winners: John McCarron, Mike Whalen, Jr., Chuck Bradford
Spectator Races: Gerald Grant def. Cliff Jagodzinski
– Devil’s Bowl Speedway press release. Photo credit: MemorEvents