June 25, 2006

Mike Bruno ends Tremont’s Win Streak

WEST HAVEN, VT -  When Mike Bruno pulled into victory lane after Sunday night’s 30-lap 358 modified feature at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, it instantly brought to mind a line from a popular song by The Grateful Dead – “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

In one of the closest modified races in a long time at the Bowl, Mike Perrotte held the lead from his first place start for 25 laps. Perrotte looked strong and held his line while Gene Munger and Mike Bruno battled it out behind him, but he broke and lost a tire over the turn one wall to bring out a caution with five laps to go. For 25 laps Munger and Bruno had raced each other tight but clean with the #75 of Munger in second and the #22 of Bruno in third. Bruno kept working the high side coming out of turn four and several times in the last 10 laps managed to beat Munger to the line. But Munger was just as determined to hang on to second place as Bruno was to take it away from him. Then came the caution for Perrotte on lap 25. On the restart Munger stayed out in front for four laps, until Bruno got a great run high off turn four on the last lap to beat Munger at the line by just 0.277 seconds. Both Bruno and Munger live within 10 miles of the track, and they put on one heck of a show for the locals in the stands. Bruno pulled into victory lane after breaking Ken Tremont Jr.’s three-race winning streak in the process. In chalking up just hissecond career modified victory at the Vermont track, Bruno returned to victory lane for the first time since July 17, 1994.

Bruno began his career in the Champlain Valley Racing Association support divisions, and later embarked on an asphalt career, winning NASCAR North Rookie of the Year honors when he was driving for Summit Racing, which was owned by CVRA founder C.J. Richards.

But this season, Bruno returned to his dirt roots full time, running a complete schedule at the Bowl, and he made it pay off on Sunday night. Tremont had a win streak on the line, and made a valiant effort to come from his 12th place start to finish third, with Ray Hoard fourth and Todd Stone fifth.

Completing the top 10 were Tim Laduc, Vince Quenneville Jr., Frank Hoard Sr., Dustin Delaney and Jim Ryan.

Veterans Carl Vladyka and Fred Little turned back the hands of time and put on a good show in the pro-street stock division, just as they did a couple of years ago, when they dominated the class. But Vladyka had more horsepower when it counted, coming away with his second consecutive victory. Little held off Dan Eastman for the No. 2 position, with Cale Kneer fourth and Jeff Martin fifth.

Adam Piper figured one week away from victory lane was enough, driving to his third win of the year in the special 30-lap limited feature. Piper, who won the first two races of the year, was clearly in control, finishing nearly five seconds ahead of runner-up Rich Holmes. Mike Clarke got up for third.

The mini-stocks were also in action, with Mike Duclos getting his second straight win. Brett Osgood hit the stripe second, with Ron Zagata third.

Devil’s Bowl has scheduled two big nights of racing and fireworks for the 4th of July weekend. On Sunday, July 1, it will be American Pride Night, sponsored by Fair Haven Chrysler Dodge. All divisions will be in action, and the night will include the biggest fireworks display in the history of the speedway. Grandstand gates open at 5, with racing at 7. Adult admission is just $10, and the no-early-blanket rule will be in effect.

Then on Monday, July 3, the 358 modifieds will be running 100 laps, with the winner taking home $2,500, an addition to the regular schedule. That will also be Kiddie Night, with a special race time of 8 p.m. Pro-street stocks, limiteds and mini/duke stocks will also be in action, and there will be a second fireworks display on July 3, as well as Super Game Boy giveaways. Grandstand gates will open at 5, and kiddie rides will be held first, at 7. Adult admission will be $15, but all kids under the stick will be admitted free of charge. Again, the no-early-blanket rule will be in effect.

MODIFIEDS: MIKE BRUNO, Gene Munger, Ken Tremont Jr., Ray Hoard, Todd Stone, Tim Laduc, Vince Quenneville Jr., Frank Hoard Sr., Dustin Delaney, Jim Ryan, Ron Proctor, Matt Depew, Chris Donnelly, C.V. Elms, Rick Davis, Denny Young, Chris Vernold, Brian Whittemore, Mike Perrotte, Ben Elder, Shawn Cassidy, Donnie Ackner.

PRO-STREEET STOCKS: CARL VLADYKA, Freddie Little, Dan Eastman, Cale Kneer, Jeff Martin, Donnie Williams, Jeff Washburn, Carl Cram, Mike Lussier, Will Hull, Walt Brownell Jr., Justin Perry, Mike Bushee, Rob Wood, Jeremie Younger, Jon Bates.

LIMITEDS: ADAM PIPER, Rich Holmes, Mike Clarke, Kevin Elliot, Jared McMahon, Adam Forbes, Joe Ladd, Charles Primeau, D.J. Brundige, Rob Thurston, Mark Wallett, Bill Duprey, John Donnelly, Jeremy Jones.

MINI-STOCKS: MIKE DUCLOS (6), Brett Osgood (4), Ron Zagata, Tim Anagnos, Carl Whittemore, Bruce Taylor Jr., Jamie Gearwar, Shawn Anagnos,

DUKE STOCKS: Jeff Smith, Garrett Given, Tim Brooks, Tim Reed, William Parker.