WEST HAVEN, VT – Neil Stratton scored a major upset on Sunday night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway to become the winner of the inaugural “King of the Clay” race for Big Block and Small Block Modified stock cars. The Bennington, VT driver persevered through rough track conditions, then seized a golden opportunity to steal the win and the $5,000 top prize at the “Battle at the Bowl” dirt track series.
Six-time Devil’s Bowl champion Kenny Tremont, Jr. looked the part of a winner early, posting the fastest time trial speed and handily winning his qualifying heat. He took the lead from Tim Fuller on the fourth circuit of the 50-lap main event and fended off second-place runner Elmo Reckner through three early restarts and heavy lapped traffic. Reckner’s bid for the win ended during a caution period on lap 42 when he pitted for a deflating tire, giving Stratton a chance to challenge Tremont.
Stratton’s No. 87 Big Boys Toys/Kelly Fuels-sponsored Bicknell car was quick on the final two restarts, but Tremont was able to nose ahead. Disaster struck for Tremont with just two laps remaining, however, when a broken driveline component slowed his car. Stratton pounced and grabbed the lead as the large grandstand crowd erupted in cheers, crossing the line comfortably ahead of the field for the win.
Ballston Lake, NY veteran Reckner recovered from his pit stop to outduel Josh Sunn for the runner-up spot. Woodstock, VT racer Sunn was a surprise in third place, running a Sportsman car with nearly 400 less horsepower than the Big Block engines. Tremont was able to limp his car home in fourth place as the final driver on the lead lap, while Brian Whittemore took fifth, one lap down.
Vince Quenneville, Jr. of Brandon, VT scored an immensely popular victory in the Sportsman division’s 30-lap feature, becoming the first driver in Devil’s Bowl Speedway history to win on both the half-mile asphalt and the one-third-mile dirt tracks in the same season.
Quenneville’s No. 78 Black Diamond Builders/Green Mountain Feeds Troyer led every lap. Sunn capped his spectacular night with a runner-up finish, with Tim Hodge of Woodstock, VT third. Derek Graham and Adam Pierson completed the top five.
Quenneville’s dual-surface record only stood for about 15 minutes, as Jamy Begor of Mooers Forks, NY matched the feat in the 20-lap Renegade division race. Long known as an asphalt specialist, Begor copped the win in just his second start on a dirt track; he was in the right place when leader Bill Duprey of Hydeville, VT spun with four laps remaining and bounced through a rough bottom groove to take the win. Duprey quickly recovered for the runner-up spot, with Frank Monroe of Granville, NY in third.
Tim Martin of White River Junction, VT made his first Devil’s Bowl start a productive one, taking an easy win in the 15-lap Mini Stock feature. Newcomer Jason Porter of St. Albans, VT surprised even himself with a runner-up finish, while asphalt regular Mike Whalen, Jr. of Peru, NY swapped paint with Jacob Roy to take a tight third-place finish.
The Enduro Series ran its final event of the season – and its first ever on the dirt track – with a 50-lap crunchfest that left many cars wrecked or otherwise disabled. Richie Turner of Fairfax, VT took the lead at lap 14 and never looked back, joining Quenneville and Begor as a multi-surface winner in 2014. Tyler Rhoades of Milton, VT finished second as the only other driver on the lead lap. Andrew Lopes of Colchester, VT finished third, two laps down.
Eric “Mongo” Messier of Hinesburg, VT limped home in seventh place five laps down, but scored enough points to sneak ahead of Plattsburgh, NY’s Shawn Fountain and win his second-straight Enduro Series championship. Fountain, a two-time winner during the season, suffered a broken fuel tank and was officially scored 21st in the race. Messier clinched the title by just two points, 206-204.
The three-race “Battle at the Bowl” dirt track series wraps up with the AutoSaver Group “Vermont Freedom & Unity 100” on Saturday, October 18 at 2:00 p.m. The event features a 100-lap, $2,000-to-win race for the Sportsman Modifieds, along with the Sprint Cars of New England tour, Sportsman Coupes, Renegades, and Mini Stocks. General admission is $20 for adults and free for kids age 12 and under.
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, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl and #BattleAtTheBowl hashtags.
-Devil’s Bowl Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: MemoEvents
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – King of the Clay
“Battle at the Bowl” Dirt Track Series
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, VT
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Big Block/Small Block Modified Feature (50 laps)
1. (4) Neil Stratton, Bennington, VT
2. (3) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, NY
3. (11) Josh Sunn, Woodstock, VT
4. (1) Kenny Tremont, Jr., West Sand Lake, NY
5. (9) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, VT
6. (14) Leon Gonyo, Chazy, NY
7. (10) Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, VT
8. (18) Robbie LaCroix, Canaan, NH
9. (12) Tim Hodge, Woodstock, VT
10. (20) Trevor Rocke, Canaan, NH
11. (7) Frank Hoard, III, Manchester Center, VT
12. (13) Adam Pierson, Bradford, VT
13. (15) Richie Simmons, Bradford, VT
14. (8) Cass Bennett, Buskirk, NY
15. (5) Don Mattison, Wells, VT
16. (6) Brian Sandstedt, East Chatham, NY
17. (17) Jack Gentile, Cohoes, NY
18. (2) Tim Fuller, Watertown, NY
19. (19) Ron Casey, Manchester Center, VT
20. (16) Jack Swinton, Hudson Falls, NY
Lap Leaders: Tim Fuller, 1-3; Kenny Tremont, Jr., 4-48; Neil Stratton, 49-50.
Fast Time: Kenny Tremont, Jr. (18.959 sec.)
Heat Winners: Kenny Tremont, Jr.; Tim Fuller
Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
1. (2) Vince Quenneville, Jr., Brandon, VT
2. (5) Josh Sunn, Woodstock, VT
3. (1) Tim Hodge, Woodstock, VT
4. (9) Derek Graham, Woodsville, NH
5. (6) Adam Pierson, Bradford, VT
6. (4) Leon Gonyo, Chazy, NY
7. (3) Richie Simmons, Bradford, VT
8. (8) Jack Swinton, Hudson Falls, NY
9. (14) Jack Gentile, Cohoes, NY
10. (21) Robbie LaCroix, Canaan, NH
11. (20) Ron Casey, Manchester Center, VT
12. (15) Trevor Rocke, Canaan, NH
13. (12) Kenny Tremont, Jr., West Sand Lake, NY
14. (22) Tyson Drown, Morrisonville, NY
15. (11) Johnny Scarborough, Bomoseen, VT
16. (7) Jim Introne, Jr., Granville, NY
17. (17) Frank Hoard, Jr., Manchester Center, VT
18. (10) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, VT
19. (16) Colin Bokus, Middle Grove, NY
20. (19) Cody Hunt, Hoosick Falls, NY
21. (13) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, VT
22. (18) Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford, VT
23. (23) Trevor Hurlburt, Bomoseen, VT
24. (24) Allan Hammond, Canaan, NH
Lap Leaders: Vince Quenneville, Jr., 1-30.
Fast Time: Richie Simmons (18.849 sec.)
Heat Winners: Derek Graham; Adam Pierson; Chris Murray
Renegade Feature (20 laps)
1. (5) Jamy Begor, Mooers Forks, NY
2. (3) Bill Duprey, Hydeville, VT
3. (4) Frank Monroe, Granville, NY
4. (2) Lou Gancarz, North Adams, MA
5. (6) Curtis Condon, Glens Falls, NY
6. (7) Randy Miller, Ballston Spa, NY
7. (1) Matt Mosher, Fort Edward, NY
Did Not Start: Jason Barrett; Mark Burch
Lap Leaders: Bill Duprey, 1-16; Jamy Begor, 17-20.
Heat Winner: Bill Duprey
Mini Stock Feature (15 laps)
1. (8) Tim Martin, White River Junction, VT
2. (6) Jason Porter, St. Albans, VT
3. (7) Mike Whalen, Jr., Peru, NY
4. (4) Jacob Roy, Danville, VT
5. (3) Scott Richner, Rouses Point, NY
6. (5) Matt Monaghan, Colchester, VT
7. (14) Eric Messier, Hinesburg, VT
8. (11) Rich Tinkham, Hoosick Falls, NY
9. (9) Wayne Russell, Jr., Amsterdam, NY
10. (13) Dan Collins, Rensselaer, NY
11. (1) Jake Noble, Benson, VT
12. (12) Rob Gioia, East Thetford, VT
13. (10) Steven Bresette, Keeseville, NY
14. (2) Brad Bushey, Cambridge, VT
Did Not Start: Derrick Counter; Dale O’Neil; Brent Warren; Jesse Durkee; Don Reynolds
Lap Leaders: Jake Noble, 1; Tim Martin, 2-15.
Heat Winners: Tim Martin; Rob Gioia
Enduro Series (50 laps)
Pos.-(Car No.)-Driver-Hometown-Laps Completed
1. (17X) Richie Turner, Fairfax, VT – 50 laps
2. (8X) Tyler Rhoades, Milton, VT – 50 laps
3. (33) Andrew Lopes, Colchester, VT – 48 laps
4. (4J) Justin Severance, Rutland, VT – 48 laps
5. (19) Kevin Hoisington, Springfield, VT – 47 laps
6. (14) Chris Mattos, Milton, VT – 45 laps
7. (88X) Eric Messier, Hinesburg, VT – 45 laps
8. (511X) Brad Bushey, Cambridge, VT – 45 laps
9. (911) Scott Patch, Mendon, VT – 45 laps
10. (15) Josh Turner, Milton, VT – 43 laps
11. (44) Marshall Parker, Center Rutland, VT – 41 laps
12. (35) Jeff Murray, Georgia, VT – 41 laps
13. (30) Tom Kudlacik, Milton, VT – 40 laps
14. (71) Doug Duffy, Jr., Milton, VT – 39 laps
15. (68) Kevin Sorel, Plattsburgh, NY – 38 laps
16. (666) Andy Botala, Grand Isle, VT – 38 laps
17. (172) Kevin Prim, Burlington, VT – 37 laps
18. (4D) Chase Atkins, Lincoln, VT – 36 laps
19. (87) James Davis, Jr., Danbury, NH – 29 laps
20. (17) Joe Dresser, Schuyler Falls, NY – 25 laps
21. (7) Shawn Fountain, Plattsburgh, NY – 24 laps
22. (20) Zach Wood, Georgia, VT – 21 laps
23. (1) Shane Wood, Whiting, VT – 14 laps
24. (98) Aaron Connolly, Georgia, VT – 11 laps
25. (802) Brett Wood, Georgia, VT – 7 laps
26. (00) Kirk Brunelle, Ferrisburgh, VT – 5 laps
27. (77) Bill Fountain, Altona, NY – 4 laps
28. (177) Marc Denton, Milton, VT – 3 laps
29. (101) Jacob Biggs, Belmont, NH – 0 laps
No Score – (32) Arnie Naparty; (38) Casey O’Connell