Laduc Wins Bowl Opener
WEST HAVEN, VT - As of a week ago, Tim Laduc wasn’t even sure if he was going to be ready to compete in the 2004 season opener at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Boy, was he ever ready.
Powered by a new Morrison small block he put into the car on Wednesday, Laduc went out and dominated the opening-night 30-lap feature on Legends Night at the Champlain Valley Racing Association’s Vermont track.
The largest opening-day crowd in history was treated to an outstanding night of racing, and also got to see many of the track’s Legends honored. Included among those who returned for the ceremonies were Mert “Socks” Hulbert, Butch Jelley, Ed Foley and Wild Warren Pease.
Everyone who was at the Bowl Sunday saw a dominant performance by Laduc, who easily notched his fifth career 358 modified victory at the track. The new Morrison engine was humming right out of the box, as Laduc turned his fastest lap of the night on the first lap of the feature.
Despite four late restarts, Laduc was able to hold his ground and finish with a comfortable margin over Ron Proctor. Don Scarborough did a masterful job to get up for third, coming from his 12th starting position. Completing the top five were defending track champion Vince Quenneville Jr. and Ray Hoard.
One of the track’s favorite drivers, Gene Munger, didn’t even make the feature in the Richardsdale Farms No. 75. Munger suffered heavy front end damage in a heat-race crash with Brent LaCoste and was done for the night.
Curtis Condon broke a six-year winless drought in the Rentway Limiteds feature. Scott Fowler had the fastest car on the track, but got hung up in lapped traffic late in the race, allowing Condon to come away with the victory. Arnie Trudeau was a distant third, followed by Joey Trudeau and Charles Burns.
Jeff Washburn picked up his first career win in the 20-lap pro street stock feature. Washburn finished with a 1.293-second margin of victory over Lori Cary while Robert Langevin, who’s been one of the most consistent drivers in the division in the first month of racing in the CVRA, was third.
The Coupes were also on the opening-day card, and produced one of the closest races of the night. Doug Titus and Kevin Menard raced side-by-side for the entire 15-lap feature, with Titus hitting the finish line inches ahead of Menard. Toby Tatro had to settle for third.
Elmer Montville dominated the mini-stock feature, finishing over five seconds ahead of runner-up Jeremy Brownell. Amanda Clemens came across the finish line third.
Devil’s Bowl will be back in action Sunday night with the double-point Spring Championships. Then, on June 13, the track will hold the annual Judith L. Richards Memorial, a benefit for the Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association/Hospice.
MODIFIEDS: TIM LADUC, Ron Proctor, Don Scarborough, Vince Quenneville Jr., Ray Hoard, Jim Ryan, Chris Donnelly, Frank Hoard Sr., Adam Pierson, Lance Harting, Neal Erickson, John Harrison, Rich Ronca, Denny Young, Ken Anatriello, Chris Garrity, Ed Pieniazek Jr., Pete Kimball, Chad Miller, Mike Perrotte, C.V. Elms, Brian Whittemore, Stan Lemiesz, Richard Strombley, Chris Vernold.
PRO-STREET STOCKS: JEFF WASHBURN, Lori Cary, Robert Langevin, Carl Vladyka, Don Piper, Ed Thompson, Randy Alger, Dave Wood, Fred Shippee, Chris Lussier, Cale Kneer.
RENTWAY LIMITEDS: CURTIS CONDON, Scott Fowler, Arnie Trudeau, Joey Trudeau, Charles Burns, Billy Lussier, Don Williams, Jamie Buzzell, Adam Forbes, Jonathan Coon, Bill Burlingame, Shannon Donnelly, Ben Ladd, Jared McMahon, Jon Sullivan, Mike Labelle, Pat Cram, Pat Putnam, William Duprey, Jessie Ruhle, Dave Emigh, Tony Condon, William Vradenburgh.
MINI-STOCKS: ELMER MONTVILLE, Jeremy Brownell, Amanda Clemens, Brittany Ladd, Mike Clark Jr., Jason Bishop, Chuck Burns, Heather Combs, Randy Manhey, Chris Cary Jr., Gene Unser Jr., Dwight Cram, Bobbi Bean, Harold Clothier, Bobby Stearns.
COUPES: DOUG TITUS, Kevin Menard, Toby Tatro, James Hanson, Tyler Rich, Josh Harrington, Kevin Chaffee, Brian King, Melvin Pierson.