Masterson, McKiernan, Wood visit victory lane; only one caution in four feature races
WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Devil’s Bowl Speedway fans were witness to the latest shakeup in a series of back-and-forth swings for the Asphalt Track championship on Saturday night, September 3. Jason Durgan, Josh Masterson, Austin McKiernan, and Zach Wood each picked up NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories at the fast-paced event, which was sponsored by The Rutland Herald’s “Go Rutland” mobile app. Three of the night’s four feature races went flag-to-flag without incident, and only one caution flag slowed the other.
Durgan was untouchable in the Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified division’s caution-free 30-lap race. Aided by a low handicap and an up-front starting position after two poor performances in the last three events, the Morrisonville, N.Y., driver got out front early and was on virtual cruise control to sail to his fifth win of the year. Ron Proctor and Jimmy Ryan battled in the first half before Proctor was able to get by and eventually take the runner-up spot. Ryan held off a late-closing Vince Quenneville Jr. through lapped traffic to take third place; Quenneville and Joey Roberts completed the top five finishers.
The championship fight is likely to come down to the final lap of the Vermont 200 Weekend season finale on September 10-11. Through qualifying heats and the main event on Saturday night, Durgan erased defending champ Quenneville’s seven-point advantage and the two drivers find themselves in an unofficial deadlock at 733 each with twin 50-lap features next weekend. Proctor is 42 points back in third and remains an outside threat.
Josh Masterson of Bristol, Vt., was a convincing winner in the non-stop 30-lapper for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model division. Masterson scored his fifth win of the year and clinched the Crazy Horse Racing “Winner’s Circle Challenge” season bonus in the process. Robert Bryant Jr. finished second, while Chris Bergeron held on to third place. Steve Miller and Seth Bridge ran 4-5.
Masterson maintained the unofficial point lead entering the 100-lap finale at the Vermont 200 Weekend; Bryant rides in second place, but at just 20 points behind (650-630) is still very much in the hunt.
Rookie Austin McKiernan of Moriah Center, N.Y., surprised himself with his second win of the year and of his career in the 20-lap Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade feature. He held a good lead when the race’s only caution flag waved with two laps left, bunching the field for a restart; he successfully held off his father, Jim McKiernan, for the win. R.J. Germain was a strong third behind the McKiernan duo and ahead of Scott FitzGerald and 14 year-old rookie Alexis Aiken.
Unofficially, Jim McKiernan climbed back on top of the Renegade standings by just two points over FitzGerald (702-700). The Renegade title will be decided with a 50-lap race next Sunday afternoon.
Another rookie, Georgia, Vt.’s Zach Wood, rebounded from a big wreck last week to win the crash-free 15-lap race for the Portland Glass Mini Stocks. Wood overtook Garrett Given with five laps left to take the lead and earn his fourth win. Given tied his season-best effort as the runner-up, with Eric Messier third. Brad Bertrand and Andrew FitzGerald were next in line.
Messier, a rookie, leads the championship standings with an unofficial margin of 31 points (712-681) on Bertrand, with a 25-lap finale to decide the title next Sunday.
Labor Day Weekend stays busy at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 4, as the 3/10-mile Dirt Track hosts the Sprint Cars of New England, double features for the Sportsman Modifieds, along with Renegades and Mini Stocks; all feature races will be 25 laps. A fireworks show will also highlight the event. Special general admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (62+), $5 for teens (13-17), and free for kids 12 and under. Gates open at 4:00 p.m., with racing at 6:00 p.m.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of Exit 2 off of U.S. Route 4 and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. 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 hashtag.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – The Rutland Herald/Go Rutland Mobile App Night
Devil’s Bowl Speedway Asphalt Track – West Haven, VT
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (2) Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
2. (5) Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
3. (1) Jimmy Ryan, Whiting, Vt.
4. (9) Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon, Vt.
5. (3) Joey Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
6. (7) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
7. (6) Travis Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
8. (4) Jackie Brown Jr., Hurley, N.Y.
9. (10) Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
10. (11) Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, Vt.
11. (12) # Matt Bilodeau, Pittsford, Vt.
12. (8) # Chuck Bradford, Addison, Vt.
Heat Winners: Jason Durgan, Jackie Brown Jr.
Shiley Fabrication Hard Charger Award: Vince Quenneville Jr.
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award: Chuck Bradford
Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model Feature (30 laps)
1. (4) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
2. (6) Robert Bryant Jr., Brooklyn, Conn.
3. (8) Chris Bergeron, Claremont, N.H.
4. (5) Steve Miller, Vergennes, Vt.
5. (3) Seth Bridge, Mendon, Vt.
6. (2) Dallas Trombley, Rutland, Vt.
7. (7) Jamie Aube, North Ferrisburgh, Vt.
8. (1) Jesse Carris, Rutland, Vt.
9. (9) Walter J. Hammond, Canaan, N.H.
Heat Winners: Seth Bridge, Robert Bryant Jr.
Crazy Horse Racing Winners Circle Challenge: Josh Masterson
Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade Feature (20 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) # Austin McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
2. (7) Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
3. (3) R.J. Germain, Bristol, Vt.
4. (6) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
5. (1) # Alexis Aiken, Claremont, N.H.
6. (5) Matt Monaghan, Colchester, Vt.
7. (2) Tony Salerno, Mineville, N.Y.
8. (9) Adam Maynard, Milton, Vt.
9. (8) # Bill Burlingame, Gansevoort, N.Y.
10. (10) Eric Friend, Bristol, Vt.
Heat Winners: Tony Salerno, Jim McKiernan
Bond Auto Parts Hard Charger Award: Jim McKiernan
Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) # Zach Wood, Georgia, Vt.
2. (2) Garrett Given Sr., Cornwall, Vt.
3. (7) # Eric Messier, Hinesburg, Vt.
4. (6) Brad Bertrand, Ferrisburgh, Vt.
5. (5) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
6. (1) # Roo Forrest, West Rutland, Vt.
7. (3) # Kaleb Shepard, New Haven, Vt.
8. (9) Johnny Bruno, Castleton, Vt.
9. (8) # Josh Swahn, Pittsford, Vt.
Did Not Start: # Brett Wood, Georgia, Vt.
Heat Winners: Garrett Given Sr., Zach Wood
Bond Auto Parts Hard Charger Award: Eric Messier