July 3, 2005

Stone back in victory lane

WEST HAVEN, VT -  Fans at Devil’s Bowl Speedway must have thought they stepped into a time machine Sunday night and were transported back to the late 1990s.

Todd Stone and Vince Quenneville Jr., who both began their racing careers at Devil’s Bowl and were among the top guns at the track five or six years ago, resumed their rivalry Sunday night, with Stone coming away with the victory in the 30-lap 358 modified feature on American Pride Night at the speedway.

Stone, who spent a couple of years racing on asphalt before returning to Devil’s Bowl on a fulltime basis this season, ended a winless streak that had extended for nearly five years, as his last victory at Devil’s Bowl came on Aug. 22, 1999. Ironically, Stone and Quenneville went into Sunday night’s race with the same number of career victories (9).

Stone, who began his racing career at the Bowl in the late model division in the early 1990s, went flag-to-flag for the victory after struggling in the first four weeks of the season at Devil’s Bowl, failing to break into the top five. But taking advantage of the front-row starting position, Stone wasn’t going to be denied this time.

The first month of Quenneville’s season hadn’t been much better than Stone’s. After finishing fourth and second in the twin features on June 5, Quenneville had also struggled, which put him third in Sunday night’s starting grid. He followed Stone right to the front and had a good view of Stone’s rear bumper for the entire 30-lap feature. But at the checkered flag, Stone had a comfortable margin of victory, finishing 1.936 seconds ahead of Quenneville.

Bob Savoie was a distant third, followed by Gene Munger and Ken Tremont Jr.

Scott Duell drove to his third straight win, and fourth victory overall, in the 20-lap pro-street stock feature, Starting 10th, Duell came out of the gate like a rocket. Jeff Washburn started on the outside pole and led the first five laps, before the field regrouped for a caution. By that time, Duell was up to fourth, and the restart was just what he needed.

Walt Brownell Jr. jumped into the lead on the restart, with Duell moving into second. When Scott Fowler brought out another caution on lap 13, Duell used that restart to get the lead, leaving Brownell in his wake.

Brownell had to settle for second, which, because of the domination of the Lazzaro Motorsports team of Duell and Joe Santoro, has become almost as good as winning. Defending track champion Robert Langevin was third, with John Harrison fourth and Lori Cary fifth.

Jamie Buzzell came away with his second win of the season in the 15-lap Rentway Limited feature. Buzzell took the lead away from Adam Piper on lap 11 and then held off a late challenge from William Duprey, who has established himself as a definite contender for the division title. Piper crossed the finish line third.

Randy Manhey took the checkered flag in the Pro-Built mini-stock feature and George Sheldrick won the 50-lap enduro.

Devil’s Bowl will return to racing Sunday night with all divisions in action for the double-point Midseason Championships. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.

MODIFIEDS: TODD STONE, Vince Quenneville Jr., Bob Savoie, Gene Munger, Ken Tremont Jr., Ray Hoard, Mike Perrotte, Tim Laduc, Denny Young, Jim Ryan, Ron Proctor, Chris Donnelly, Brian Whittemore, Lance Harting, Frank Hoard Sr., Marc Johnson, Gardner Stone, Matt Depew, C.V. Elms, Chris Vernold.

PRO-STREET STOCKS: SCOTT DUELL, Walt Brownell Jr., Robert Langevin, John Harrison, Lori Cary, Jeff Martin, Scott Fowler, Dan Bernard, Don Williams, James Groncki, Ed Thompson, Jeff Washburn, Jon Bates, Cale Kneer, Billy Lussier, Mike Bussino.

RENTWAY LIMITEDS: JAMIE BUZZELL, William Duprey, Adam Piper, Jared McMahon, Richard Stone, Tim Brunell, Joey Trudeau, Dave Emigh, William Vradenburg, Tim Whitney, Bill Burlingame, No. 6, Pat Cram, Ben Ladd, Billy Lussier, Shannon Donnelly, Mike Labell, Kevin Elliott, Joe Ladd, Amanda Clemens.

PRO-BUILT MINI-STOCKS: RANDY MANHEY, Chris McCarthy, Jason Bishop, Jamie Gearwar, John Baldwin, Mike Clark.