September 3, 2006

Ray Hoard wins big at Devil’s Bowl

WEST HAVEN, VT - Ray Hoard has been somewhat like the invisible man at Devil’s Bowl Speedway this season, always lurking in the shadows, but never really making an impact. That all ended Sunday night, when he stormed to victory in the 100-lap Labor Day Classic at the Champlain Valley Racing Association’s Vermont track.

Hoard, who won the 358 modified point championship at the Bowl in 2004, outran Jimmy Ryan to pick up his first win of the year in the 100-lapper, sponsored by G. Bowen Excavating.

Until Sunday night, Hoard had finished in the top five on five different occasions this season, but had never really challenged for a victory, as his best finish was a third on June 11. But everything went his way Sunday night, as he made his way to victory lane for the eighth time in his career.

Hoard led a cavalry charge of Vermont drivers across the finish line. The first out-of-stater was Matt Depew, a regular in the sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, who finished eighth.

Even defending track champion Ken Tremont Jr. had a rough night, finishing 12th, two laps down to the leader.

Following Hoard across the finish line were Ryan, Todd Stone, Tim Laduc and Gene Munger. Ryan’s second place run was his best finish of the season.

Don Ackner walked out of the track with $500 in his pocket, even though he didn’t make the feature. Picking up a ride in Elmo Reckner’s car, Ackner won the 15-lap modified winners’ dash-for-cash, which was sponsored by Bowen Excavating and Mike’s Fuels.

Dustin Delaney, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite at the Bowl, won the dash-for-cash for non-winners, and also took home a $500 bonus.

Carl Vladyka shook off the late-summer blues and drove to his third win of the season in the 20-lap pro-street stock feature. Vladyka had posted both of his wins on back-to-back weekends in June, and then hit a bump in the road. But he was back in top form Sunday, holding off a challenge from Rob Langevin to get the victory. Carl Cram was right behind the leaders for third, with Jeff Washburn fourth and Dan Eastman fifth.

Cale Kneer won the pro-street stock dash-for-cash, picking up a $200 bonus from Vermont Slate and Roofing.

Nick Lussier pulled off the upset of the night, driving to his first career victory in the 15-lap limited feature. Adam Piper, who already has five wins under his belt this season, put the pressure on Lussier, but he held his line and hit the finish line 0.395 seconds ahead of Piper. Bill Duprey was part of the blanket finish in third, with Adam Forbes fourth and D.J. Brundige fifth.

Ken Hollenbeck also made his way to victory lane Sunday, driving to his second win of the season in the mini-stock feature.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway will put the wraps on its 40th anniversary season Sunday night, holding a special Hometown Heroes celebration. All Armed Forces personnel, law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel will be admitted free, along with a guest and up to three children.

Double points will be on the line in all divisions on the special Championship Weekend racing card. Racing will begin at 6 p.m.

MODIFIED LABOR DAY CLASSIC (100 LAPS): RAY HOARD, Jimmy Ryan, Todd Stone, Tim Laduc, Gene Munger, Don Scarborough, Vince Quenneville Jr., Matt Depew, Elmo Reckner, C.V. Elms, Leon Gonyo, Ken Tremont Jr., Neal Stratton, Shawn Cassidy, Chris Vernold, John Proctor, Ben Elder, Mike Perrotte, Ron Proctor, Brian Whittemore, Rick Davis, Frank Hoard Sr., Mike Bruno, Dustin Delaney, Rich Stromberg, Brian Sisson, Don Mattison.

PRO-STREET STOCKS: CARL VLADYKA, Rob Langevin, Carl Cram, Jeff Washburn, Dan Eastman, Fred Little, Cale Kneer, Jeff Martin, Bob Schmidt, Rich Glode, Charlie Towslee, Jon Bates, Jonah Rule, Jeremie Younger, Russ Miller, Mike Lussier, Justin Perry, Will Hull, Garrett Given, Bernie Companion, Jake Losaw, Walt Brownell Jr.

LIMITEDS: NICK LUSSIER, Adam Piper, Bill Duprey, Adam Forbes, D.J. Brundige, Shannon Donnelly, Tim Brunelle, Jeremy Jones, Joe Ladd, Kevin Elliot, Bill Decker, Dennis Sullinger, Randy Alger, Curtis Condon, Mike Merrill, Merv Blackwell, Tony Condon, Mike Labell, Jared McMahon, Joey Trudeau, Steve Holcomb, Mark Wallett.

MINI-STOCKS: KEN HOLLENBECK (4), Brett Osgood (4), Shane Marks (4), Mike Duclos (6), Tim Anagnos (6), Perry Schaad (4), Justin Ramsey (4), Bruce Taylor Jr. (4), Ron Zagata (6), Jeff Smith, Tim Reed, Justin Parker, Jeremy Hayes.