August 21, 2005

Laduc holds off Hoard for second win in a row

WEST HAVEN, VT -  The 2005 racing season is coming to a close too quickly for Tim Laduc.

Laduc continued his late-season hot streak Sunday night, holding off Frank Hoard Sr. to win the 30-lap Fair Haven Dodge 358 modified feature on Armed Services Night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.

The win was the third of the season, and the second straight in the month of August – sandwiched around a rainout – for the driver of the Orwell Express. Laduc and defending track champion Ray Hoard are the only three-time winners in the premier division at the Bowl this season.

Laduc, who went into the race sitting fourth in the points chase, started eighth, but after a restart on the fourth lap, charged past early leader Brian Whittemore to get the lead, and that’s where he stayed.

Frank Hoard Sr., who had started fourth, needed a couple of laps to get past Whittemore, and then set his sights on Laduc. Hoard kept hounding the leader, who started lapping the backmarkers before the feature reached the halfway point, and Hoard was able to pull right up on Laduc’s rear bumper on three occasions late in the race because of cautions.

But when the checkered flag fell, Laduc had a 0.571-second margin of victory over Hoard, who had one of the best weekends of his career, finishing third at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night and second at the Bowl.

One of those late cautions came for Ken Tremont Jr., who began the night just 11 points behind Ray Hoard in the battle for the track championship. Tremont, who started 12th, had worked his way up to third by lap 20, but then was involved in an incident on lap 21 and had to go to the rear. He battled back to finish 12th, but lost more ground to Ray Hoard, who had another top-five finish.

Following Laduc and Frank Hoard Sr. across the finish line were Vince Quenneville Jr., Ray Hoard and Ron Proctor.

Completing the top 10 were C.V. Elms, sportsman driver Joe Budka, who was coming off a Friday night win at Albany-Saratoga, Chris Donnelly, Don Scarborough and Matt Depew.

Jeff Washburn recorded his first win of the year in the 20-lap pro-street stock feature. Washburn is the second new face in victory lane in as many weeks, following in the footsteps of Cale Kneer, who won on Aug. 7.

Walt Brownell Jr. started on the pole and set the early pace, with Billy Lussier and Washburn locked in a battle for second. Lori Cary, who started fifth, joined the battle for second midway through the race, and following a restart on lap 13, moved past Washburn into the No. 2 position.

Washburn watched as Cary tried to get the lead away from Brownell, but the break that Washburn needed finally came when the caution flew with two laps left.

On the restart, Washburn hit the throttle and charged past both Cary and Brownell to get the lead. Point leader Scott Duell, who had been sitting fourth before the caution came out, following Washburn’s lead and hit the finish line second, ahead of Cary, Brownell and defending track champion Rob Langevin.

Kevin Elliot came out of the second row and drove to his first career victory in the Rentway Limited feature. Tim Shaw put on a late charge to move into the No. 2 spot, but he had no chance to catch Elliot, who was almost a second and a half ahead when the checkered flag flew. A mishap on the first lap sent point leader Bill Duprey to the pits with a last-place finish.

Randy Manhey picked up his fourth win of the year in the Pro-Built mini-stock feature and Mike Kiser led flag-to-flag to win the Central New York Mini-Sprints feature.

All divisions will be in action on Sunday, Aug. 28, and the season will continue on Sept. 4 on Labor Day Weekend, when double points will be offered in all divisions, and the 358 modifieds will be running a 100-lap feature.

MODIFIEDS: TIM LADUC, Frank Hoard Sr., Vince Quenneville Jr., Ray Hoard, Ron Proctor, C.V. Elms, Joe Budka, Chris Donnelly, Don Scarborough, Matt Depew, Gene Munger, Ken Tremont Jr., Denny Young, Mike Perrotte, Gardner Stone, John Scarborough, Carl Cram, Dan Carlton, Merv Blackwell, Brian Whittemore, Todd Stone, Shawn Cassidy, Stan Lemiesz, Lance Harting, Chris Vernold, Jim Ryan.

PRO-STREET STOCKS: JEFF WASHBURN, Scott Duell, Lori Cary, Walt Brownell, Rob Langevin, Billy Lussier, Ed Thompson, Cale Kneer, John Harrison, Denny Eastman, Jeff Martin, Don Williams, Scott Fowler, Jon Bates, Dan Bernard, Don Piper, Dave Wood.

RENTWAY LIMITEDS: KEVIN ELLIOT, Tim Shaw, Matt Grenier, John Sullivan, Joey Trudeau, Jared McMahon, Tim Brunelle, Shannon Donnelly, Joe Ladd, Mike Wilber, Chuck Knowlton, Curtis Condon, Bill Vrandenburg, T.J. Pierce, Tony Condon, Adam Piper, Bill Duprey.