Mini Stock racer Bradford sets new consecutive win record for asphalt track
WEST HAVEN, VT – Stock car racing’s youth movement took a back seat at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday, September 4, as the elder statesmen showed the way. Leon Gonyo drove to his fourth win of the season to highlight the Heritage Family Credit Union “Member Night” program for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series presented by Yandow Sales & Service and John Deere. Other winners included Bobby Therrien, Robert Gordon, and Chuck Bradford, though all results in all divisions have been deemed unofficial pending technical inspection and review.
Driving a car with the familiar number 4 on its doors, Chazy, NY veteran Gonyo blasted away from the field to grab his fourth Bond Auto Parts Modified victory of the year in the 30-lap main event. Rookie Bob Kilburn had the best showing of his freshman year by leading the first 11 laps before the race’s lone caution period, after which Gonyo seized the lead and cruised to an easy win.
Ron Proctor of Charlton, NY survived a scare when his car dipped its right-side tires off the backstretch early in the race but rebounded to finish second, with Vince Quenneville Jr. of Brandon, VT third. Kilburn held on for a career-best fourth-place finish with Jimmy Ryan fifth. At 49 years old, Quenneville was the youngest driver among the top five finishers.
Proctor was able to inch his point lead out over Quenneville, stretching the gap from just two points to a still-razor-thin margin of five points (802-779) entering twin 50-lap features at the Mekkelsen RV Vermont 200 Championship Weekend season finale on September 12-13.
Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT scored a meaningful victory in the 30-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model feature, running to an uncontested romp for his second win of the year. Therrien’s early season success seemed to run out in mid-July, but a convincing second win provided relief. Therrien took the lead away from Chad White at lap 10, then stormed off up front. He was tested only once with four laps remaining at the race’s only restart, but quickly drove away.
Seventeen year-old Walter Hammond of Canaan, NH continued his strong late-season push with his second runner-up finish in three weeks after a long duel with Chris Bergeron, who slipped off the track on the final lap. Seth Bridge of Mendon, VT landed on the podium for the first time in his three-year Late Model career in third place. Todd Stone took fourth with Robert Bryant Jr. fifth.
Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT – who finished sixth – maintains a 49-point lead over Bryant (658-609) entering the 100-lap finale on September 13.
Robert Gordon of Milton, VT led every circuit of the 15-lap Brileya’s Chrysler-Jeep Renegade feature to earn his seventh win of the season, but had company over the final two laps from runner-up Jimmy Bushey. The Mooers Forks, NY racer chased Gordon down and reached his rear bumper but ran out of time before he could make a move. Scott FitzGerald of West Rutland, VT finished third.
Gordon holds a 37-point cushion on FitzGerald (712-675) as they approach the 50-lap championship finale at the Vermont 200 Weekend.
Chuck Bradford of Addison, VT set a new record for consecutive victories at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway asphalt half-mile, which opened in 2010. Bradford took down the 15-lap Portland Glass Mini Stock feature win for his sixth-straight score, breaking a tie with fellow Mini Stock racer Chris LaVair, who won five in a row earlier in the summer, and former Renegade racer Jon Miller, who first set the mark in the track’s first year.
Bradford reeled John McCarron in over the final laps, leading for the first time in the race with just two circuits remaining. McCarron settled for second place with LaVair third, Kyle Sorensen fourth, and Kris Clark fifth. LaVair has a comfortable 44-point advantage on Bradford (697-653) entering the finale.
Former Renegade champion Richie Turner of Fairfax, VT defeated former Mini Stock driver Garrett Given of Shoreham, VT in the “Street-Legal Spectator Races” to close out the evening. Turner’s 2003 Ford Focus beat Given’s 2007 Mazda 3 in a two-lap final round.
Heritage Family Credit Union members enjoyed the racing program free of charge, while nearly 50 young fans age nine and under collected $100 worth of pennies in the Thomas Dairy Kids Club “Penny Drop” on the frontstretch of the race track during intermission.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s asphalt racing season draws to a close on Saturday 12-13 with the Mekkelsen RV Vermont 200 Championship Weekend. First-round qualifying and special non-winners event highlight “Shootout Saturday” on September 12, followed by the annual bonfire and barbeque party. “Championship Sunday” on September 13 will see twin 50-lap Modified races, a 100-lap Late Model feature, a 50-lap Renegade tilt, a two-segment Mini Stock run, and a 50-lap go for the MFT Sauce & Rub Enduro Series.
Two-day general admission is $25, while the single Saturday-only ticket is $10, and the single Sunday-only ticket is $20. Kids age 12 and under will be admitted free all weekend. Weekend pit area admission is $40, and camping is free all weekend (no hookups). Pit gates open at 9:00 a.m. both days, grandstands open at 11:00 a.m., and racing is at 1:30 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, 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 – Heritage Family Credit Union “Member Night”
Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, VT
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series presented by Yandow Sales & Service and John Deere
Friday, September 4, 2015
Bond Auto Parts Modified Feature (30 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
1. (6) Leon Gonyo, Chazy, NY
2. (8) Ron Proctor, Charlton, NY
3. (9) Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon, VT
4. (1) # Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, VT
5. (2) Jimmy Ryan, Whiting, VT
6. (11) Codie Aubin, Plattsburgh, NY
7. (7) Greg Atkins, Clintonville, NY
8. (3) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, VT
9. (5) Ryan McLean, Au Sable Forks, NY
10. (10) Jason Furman, Ballston Spa, NY
11. (4) Dave Snow, Brandon, VT
Shiley Fabrication Hard Charger Award: Ron Proctor
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award: Dave Snow
Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model Feature (30 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
1. (5) Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, VT
2. (3) Walter J. Hammond, Canaan, NH
3. (2) Seth Bridge, Mendon, VT
4. (7) Todd Stone, Middlebury, VT
5. (6) Robert Bryant Jr., Brooklyn, CT
6. (11) Josh Masterson, Bristol, VT
7. (10) Eric Chase, Milton, VT
8. (4) Steve Miller, Vergennes, VT
9. (9) Mark Norris, Benson, VT
10. (8) Chris Bergeron, Claremont, NH
11. (1) Chad White, Fort Ann, NY
Crazy Horse Racing Winners Circle Challenge: Bobby Therrien
Brileya’s Chrysler-Jeep Renegade Feature (15 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
1. (4) Robert Gordon, Milton, VT
2. (3) Jimmy Bushey, Mooers Forks, NY
3. (6) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT
4. (5) Don Franklin, Milton, VT
5. (2) # Matt Monaghan, Colchester, VT
6. (1) # Tony Salerno, Mineville, NY
Bond Auto Parts Hard Charger Award: Robert Gordon
Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps)
(# – denotes rookie)
1. (10) Chuck Bradford, Addison, VT
2. (8) John McCarron, Rensselaer, NY
3. (7) Chris LaVair, Gabriels, NY
4. (4) Kyle Sorensen, Ballston Spa, NY
5. (9) Kris Clark, Keeseville, NY
6. (8) Tyler Irwin, Peru, NY
7. (2) Harold LaVair Jr., Gabriels, NY
8. (5) # Bradley Bertrand, Ferrisburgh, VT
9. (3) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, VT
10. (1) # Tanner Crary, Saranac Lake, NY
Bond Auto Parts Hard Charger Award: Chuck Bradford