WEST HAVEN, VT – Cody Sargen usually has a way with words.  On Friday, August 8 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, though, the congenial 20 year-old was left speechless in victory lane.  The Greenfield Center, NY driver from won perhaps the most competitive NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race of the season for his first-ever victory, but was just part of a memorable night at the track.  Seventeen year-old Emily Packard was perfect on the night in winning a Triple Crown in the Late Model division, while Robert Gordon, Jake Noble, Jeff Murray, and Kaitlyn Baker were also winners.

Cody Sargen celebrates the Modified victory at Devil's Bowl on August 8.  (MemorEvents photo)

Cody Sargen celebrates the Modified victory at Devil’s Bowl on August 8. (MemorEvents photo)

Sargen fought for the win from the opening circuit of the 30-lap Bond Auto Parts Modified feature race.  He led the first lap from the outside pole position, but surrendered it to Billy Lussier on a restart just one lap in.  Sargen fought back on the outside to lead lap 6, then waged a thrilling battle with fellow youngster Jamie LaFountain.  The pair officially traded the lead six times at the start/finish line between laps 7 and 21, and many more times through the corners.

Leon Gonyo crept into the mix from the beginning of that battle and eventually took second away from LaFountain on lap 22.  A final restart on lap 24 didn’t help Gonyo, though, and Sargen pulled away for the win.  Point leader Todd Stone recovered from a spin through the infield at lap 12 to charge up to third place.  Ron Proctor and Jessey Mueller came from the back of the field to round out the top five finishers.

Stone carries a 45-point lead on Gonyo (729-684) with five feature races remaining on the schedule.  Joey Roberts, who finished 13th in the event after crashing, is third overall, 65 points behind Stone.

“I’ve always known that Cody can drive a racecar, but I haven’t always given him the best car,” Matt Sargen, the winner’s father and crew chief, told the cheering crowd.  The team completely disassembled and rebuilt their No. 55 Engineered Solutions-sponsored Bicknell chassis during the week.  “We worked harder than we ever have to get the car right, and tonight he was perfect behind the wheel.”

Once he caught his breath, Cody Sargen was in awe of his accomplishment.  “I grew up watching Leon Gonyo and Todd Stone race, and to be in victory lane with them is good enough.  To actually beat them is incredible.  My team and my dad made this possible.”

Not to be outdone, U-32 High School student Emily Packard of East Montpelier, VT kept the crowd roaring with a dominant night in the Late Model division.  Packard swept her qualifying heat, the bonus semi-feature, and the 30-lap main event to become the first-ever Triple Crown winner in the division.  The feature win was her second of the season and tightens the championship battle between herself and rivals Jamie Fisher and Josh Masterson.

Packard moved from sixth starting position to take the lead from Jamie Aube at lap 9 and was never headed for the balance of the caution-free race.  Point leader Fisher caught Packard in lapped traffic late in the race, but was unable to make a move for the win and settled for his fourth consecutive runner-up finish.  Masterson took third, followed by Aube and Robert Bryant, Jr.  Fisher now leads Masterson by a scant six points for the championship (514-508), with Packard just six more behind in third place.

Robert Gordon of Milton, VT drove from the back of the Renegade field to post his fourth win of the year in that division’s 20-lap race.  Rookie Scott FitzGerald led the first seven laps before Jim McKiernan poked ahead for a single circuit.  Point leader Gordon slipped past both and sailed to the win.  Brad Bushey finished second in his first start of the season and was followed by McKiernan, FitzGerald, and Ray Benoit.

Defending Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock champion Jake Noble of Benson, VT shook the monkey off his back in a big way in the entry-level division’s 20-lap event with his second win of the year.  Noble started fifth and was in the lead by lap 5, cruising to the win.  Bobby LaVair finished second with Chuck Bradford hot on his heels in third place.  Mike Whalen, Jr. and John McCarron were next in line.

Jeff Murray of Georgia, VT dominated the 50-lap Enduro Series event for his first-ever win.  Murray benefitted from the mechanical failures of several of his nearest challengers, but led every step of the way and beat runner-up Eric “Mongo” Messier by half of a lap.  “Mr. Bojangles” Shawn Fountain finished third, followed by his father “Wild Bill” Fountain and Brett “Woody” Wood.

Kaitlyn Baker of Unionville, CT put on a show in the Daredevil class to take a popular win.  After being drawn at random to race in the “community” division in a set of track-owned racecars, the sister of Late Model driver Kyle Baker beat the field for the win.  Tanner Crary finished second, followed by former dirt racer Chris Lussier – who spun on the first lap and bounced off the wall in the final corner – and Robert Winchell.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Friday, August 15 with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing presented by Brown’s Quarried Slate and Brown’s Orchard & Farm Stand.  A special appearance by the New England Antique Racers is also on the card.  Regular 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 admission to residents of Castleton, VT who present valid identification.  Gates open at 5:00 p.m., with racing at 7:00 p.m.

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.



NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, VT

Friday, August 8, 2014


Bond Auto Parts Modified Feature (30 laps)


(# – denotes rookie)

  1. (2) Cody Sargen, Greenfield Center, NY
  2. (8) Leon Gonyo, Chazy, NY
  3. (9) Todd Stone, Middlebury, VT
  4. (13) Ron Proctor, Charlton, NY
  5. (14) Jessey Mueller, Olmstedville, NY
  6. (3) Jamie LaFountain, Plattsburgh, NY
  7. (7) Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, VT
  8. (1) # Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, VT
  9. (4) # Jason Reome, Ballston Spa, NY
  10. (6) Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, NY
  11. (5) Johnny Scarborough, Bomoseen, VT
  12. (12) Rick Doner, West Chazy, NY
  13. (10) Joey Roberts, Fletcher, VT
  14. (11) Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, NY

Heat Winners: Johnny Scarborough, Leon Gonyo


Late Model Feature (30 laps)


(# – denotes rookie)

  1. (6) Emily Packard, East Montpelier, VT
  2. (7) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT
  3. (11) Josh Masterson, Bristol, VT
  4. (2) Jamie Aube, North Ferrisburgh, VT
  5. (5) Robert Bryant, Jr., Brooklyn, CT
  6. (4) Bucko Branham, Plattsburgh, NY
  7. (3) Nick LaGoy, Morrisonville, NY
  8. (8) Tommy Eriksen, Jr., Ferrisburgh, VT
  9. (9) Carol Parker, Fair Haven, VT
  10. (1) # Dan St. Hilare, Shelburne, VT
  11. (10) Jesse Carris, Rutland, VT
  12. (12) # Kyle Baker, Unionville, CT

Heat Winners: Jamie Fisher, Emily Packard

Semi-Feature Winner: Emily Packard


Renegade Feature (20 laps)


(# – denotes rookie)

  1. (7) Robert Gordon, Milton, VT
  2. (5) Brad Bushey, Cambridge, VT
  3. (2) Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, NY
  4. (1) # Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT
  5. (3) Ray Benoit, Milton, VT
  6. (8) Josh Payea, East Georgia, VT
  7. (6) Tony Putzier, Jericho, VT
  8. (4) Randy Howard, Georgia, VT
  9. (9) # Jared Blake, North Hero, VT

Heat Winner: Scott FitzGerald


Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock Feature (20 laps)


(# – denotes rookie)

  1. (5) Jake Noble, Benson, VT
  2. (10) Bobby LaVair, Saranac Lake, NY
  3. (7) Chuck Bradford, Addison, VT
  4. (9) Mike Whalen, Jr., Plattsburgh, NY
  5. (8) John McCarron, Rensselaer, NY
  6. (1) Harold LaVair, Jr., Gabriels, NY
  7. (6) Kyle Watrous, Bomoseen, VT
  8. (4) # Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT
  9. (3) Mitchell Dundon, Orwell, VT
  10. (2) # Shaylynn Senecal, West Rutland, VT
  11. (11) Matt Monaghan, Colchester, VT
  12. (12) Chris LaVair, Gabriels, NY
  13. (13) Kyle Sorensen, Ballston Spa, NY

Heat Winners: Bobby LaVair, Jake Noble


Enduro Series (50 laps)

Pos.-(Car No.)-Driver-Hometown-Laps Completed

  1. (35) Jeff Murray, Georgia, VT – 50 laps
  2. (88X) Eric Messier, Hinesburg, VT – 50 laps
  3. (7) Shawn Fountain, Plattsburgh, NY – 50 laps
  4. (77) Bill Fountain, Altona, NY – 50 laps
  5. (802) Brett Wood, Georgia, VT – 50 laps
  6. (17) Joe Dresser, Schuyler Falls, NY – 49 laps
  7. (76) Shawn Moquin, Milton, VT – 49 laps
  8. (511X) Brad Bushey, Cambridge, VT – 49 laps
  9. (20) Zach Wood, Georgia, VT – 48 laps
  10. (68) Kevin Sorel, Plattsburgh, NY – 48 laps
  11. (30) Tom Kudlacik, Milton, VT – 47 laps
  12. (14) Chris Mattos, Milton, VT – 47 laps
  13. (33) Andrew Lopes, Colchester, VT – 47 laps
  14. (069) Jason Vezina, North Hero, VT – 47 laps
  15. (177) Marc Denton, Milton, VT – 47 laps
  16. (91) Hunter Murray, Cambridge, VT – 47 laps
  17. (26) Casey O’Connell, Burlington, VT – 46 laps
  18. (86) Michael Desjardins, Rutland, VT – 45 laps
  19. (17X) Richie Turner, Fairfax, VT – 43 laps
  20. (666) Andy Botala, Grand Isle, VT – 42 laps
  21. (69) Zack Seamans, Middletown Springs, VT – 40 laps
  22. (22) Ethan White, Hinesburg, VT – 31 laps
  23. (89) Seth Gero, Middlebury, VT – 29 laps
  24. (57) Darren Grenier, Poultney, VT – 3 laps
  25. (171) Tyler Rhoades, Milton, VT – 2 laps
  26. (87) John Gero, Wells, VT – 1 lap
  27. (144) Eric Raymond, Bristol, VT – 0 laps


Daredevil (4 laps)

Pos.-(Car No.)-Driver-Hometown

  1. (44) Kaitlyn Baker, Unionville, CT
  2. (3) Tanner Crary, Gabriels, NY
  3. (911) Chris Lussier, Fair Haven, VT
  4. (22) Robert Winchell, Granville, NY

– Devil’s Bowl Speedway press release.  Photo credit: MemorEvents

Packard, Sargen Thrill at Devil’s Bowl