June 20, 2004

Munger in victory lane

WEST HAVEN, VT -  After making a steady progression through the field during the first three weeks of the season, Gene Munger finally hit paydirt Sunday night, winning the 30-lap 358 modified feature at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.

In becoming the fourth different winner in as many races at the Bowl this season, Munger ended a drought that lasted nearly two years. His last victory at the Bowl came on July 14, 2002.

Munger started the season on the wrong foot, wrecking the Richardsdale Farms 75 in his heat race during the first week of the season, and never even making the feature. But in the last two weeks, Munger has shown steady improvement, finishing fifth and second.

On Sunday night, he started third on the grid and only needed three laps to grab the No. 2 spot away from C.V. Elms. Frank Hoard Sr., who started on the outside pole, quickly went to the front and had some breathing room before the caution came out on lap 10 for an incident involving Adam Pierson and Lance Harting. The yellow closed the field, and Munger used the restart to take over the lead.

Munger’s biggest challenge came from another veteran, Mike Perrotte. Perrotte started sixth, but was sitting side-by-side with Munger when another yellow came out on lap 14, this time for Neal Erickson and Ken Anatriello.
Perrotte kept the pressure on Munger, looking for a way to get the lead, but when the checkered flag finally fell, Munger had opened up nearly a half-second lead, and had his eighth career victory at the CVRA’s Vermont track.
Perrotte held on for second, his best finish of the season and second consecutive top-five performance. Ray Hoard came across the finish line third, with Tim Laduc fourth and Hoard fifth.

Completing the top 10 were Don Scarborough, Vince Quenneville Jr., Ken Tremont Jr., Elms and Ron Proctor.

Joe Santoro made his first visit to the speedway pay off, as he picked up his first win of the season in the 20-lap pro-street stock. Santoro, knowing that only 10 cars had competed in the previous week’s feature, made the trip from Cohoes, N.Y., and had a perfect night, winning both his heat and the feature

Santoro started fifth in the field, which had swelled to 13 cars Sunday, and used a restart on the seventh lap to grab the lead away from Lori Cary. With the rest of the race being run under green flag conditions, Santoro opened up a comfortable lead and was over a second ahead of runnerup Henry Tanner at the checkered flag, giving Santoro his ninth career victory at the track, Cary held off Robert Langevin for third, while defending track champion Mike Haines, making his first start of the season, was fifth.

In keeping with the theme of new faces in victory lane, Don Williams recorded his first win of the year in the Rentway Limited feature. Williams took advantage of some early cautions to move from his seventh starting position into second after just four laps, and had the lead the next time around.

Billy Lussier, who had started 11th, moved into the No. 2 position on lap seven and set his sights on Williams, but Williams held his poise and never faltered, beating Lussier by 0.734 seconds. Scott Fowler was third, Jamie Buzzell finished fourth and Joey Trudeau was fifth.

Amanda Clemens dominated the 15-lap Pro-Built Mini-Stocks feature, getting her first victory of the season by a whopping 4.218 seconds over Elmer Montville, who is still trying to find his way back to victory lane after winning on opening day. Randy Mann came across the line third, with Chris Cary Jr. fourth and Mike Clark Jr. fifth. Cary had the first four-cylinder in the final order of finish.

As a special Father’s Day treat, the Coupes made their second appearance of the season, with Tyler Rich of Lyme Center, NH getting the victory. The Duke Stocks were also in action, with Mike Rivers picking up the win.

Devil’s Bowl will swing right back into action Sunday night, with the Central New York Mini-Sprints joining the field of 358 modifieds, pro-street stocks, Rentway Limiteds and Pro-Built Mini-Stocks. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.

MODIFIEDS: GENE MUNGER, Mike Perrotte, Ray Hoard, Tim Laduc, Frank Hoard Sr., Don Scarborough, Vince Quenneville Jr., Ken Tremont Jr., C.V. Elms, Ron Proctor, Chad Miller, Brian Whittemore, Lance Harting, Pete Kimball, Jim Ryan, Denny Young, Neal Erickson, Ken Anatriello, Adam Pierson, Frank Keene, Richard Stromberg, Chris Garrity, Jon Trudeau.

PRO-STREET STOCKS: JOE SANTORO, Henry Tanner, Lori Cary, Robert Langevin, Mike Haines, Ed Thompson, Carl Vladyka, Randy Alger, Don Piper, Cale Kneer, Dave Wood, Chris Lussier, Denny Martin.

RENTWAY LIMITEDS: DON WILLIAMS, Billy Lussier, Scott Fowler, Jamie Buzzell, Joey Trudeau, Arnie Trudeau, Mark Burch, Tracy Ash, Bill Burlingame, Russ Farr, Steve Holcomb, William Vradenburg, William Duprey, Tim Brunelle, Richard Stone, Dave Emigh, Pat Cram, Adam Forbes, Jared McMahon, John Sullivan, Mike Labelle, Shannon Donnelly.

PRO-BUILT MINI-STOCKS: AMANDA CLEMENS (6), Elmer Montville, Randy Mann, CHRIS CARY JR. (4), Mike Clark Jr., John Baldwin, Brittany Ladd, Jason Bishop, Bobbi Jo Bean, Heather Combs, Dwight Cram, Chuck Burns, Jamie McCarthy, Mike Pope. DQ: Jeremy Brownell.