Sheppard Wins Big at First Annual “Battle of the Bull”

By MARTY KELLY III / FOURWIDE

Waterloo, NY’s Matt Sheppard held off Stewart Friesen through lapped traffic to capture the first big block/small block challenge race on August 11th at Mike Bruno’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT along with $10,000.

The first ever “Battle at the Bowl” featured split time trials, heat races and qualifying features and a “Pole Shuffle” one on one showdown between the top 12 qualified drivers to determine the starting lineup for the 50 lap combined big block/small block main event.  Marc Johnson’s big block was best in time trials while Tim Fuller topped small block time trials. Big Block heats were won by Marc Johnson, Matt Sheppard and Brett Hearn while small block winners were captured by Hearn, Fuller and Rocky Warner.  The small block qualifying feature was won by Hearn over Fuller, Warner, Friesen and Brett Haas. In the big block feature it was Sheppard over Hearn, Bobby Varin, Demetrios Drellos and Brian Berger.

The “pole shuffle” was eventually won by Matt Sheppard, who led the 24 car field to green in the 50 lap main event alongside Stewart Friesen. Sheppard jumped out front early, looking to run and hide from Friesen and third place driver Berger. but the caution flew on lap three, Matt Pupello had blown a right-rear tire and gone off turn two. Sheppard already had a half straightaway lead.  On the restart Sheppard was out front again as Brett Hearn began making moves through the field from his fifth starting spot.  The yellow came out again on lap 12 for a multi car incident in turn three. Sheppard, still out front on the restart, began encountering lapped traffic as Friesen gave chase from a straightaway back as Hearn moved into third, getting by Brian Berger and Rocky Warner.  Dealing through traffic, the race took a dramatic turn on lap 38 when Sheppard collided with Ronnie Johnson in turn one and began having a harder time with the lapped cars as Friesen drew in.  Five circuits later Sheppard came up on Don Ronca and Travis Billington who were running side-by-side and blocking the track for Sheppard. Four laps later, driver #9s cleared the traffic and went on to win the first ever “Battle at the Bowl.” Stewart Friesen was second, Hearn was third, Warner fourth and Tim Fuller was fifth.

“We made a little adjustment after time trials and didn’t touch the thing the rest of the night,” Sheppard said in victory lane. “We’ve got a lot of great friends and family and fans and everyone up here.”
The event’s Co-promoter, Hunter Stratton was quite pleased with how the event took shape.
“Mike and Justin and Alayne do a great job with the track and the entire facility at Devil’s Bowl.  I was pretty confident that when I started putting this concept together a couple years ago that the drivers would love it. I Just really want to thank Mike Bruno for the opportunity and I can’t wait for year two of the Big block/Small block challenge.”
Ken Tremont, Jr captured the 40-lap King of Dirt sportsman modified feature over Joey Scarborough and Kale Groff.  Tremont was 10th in the modified feature.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – “Battle at the Bowl” Big Block/Small Block Modified Challenge
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, August 11, 2019




“Battle at the Bowl” Big Block/Small Block Modified Challenge (50 laps)
Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown
1. (1) Matt Sheppard, Waterloo, N.Y.
2. (2) Stewart Friesen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
3. (5) Brett Hearn, Sussex, N.J.
4. (3) Rocky Warner, Gloversville, N.Y.
5. (8) Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y.
6. (7) Bobby Varin, Fonda, N.Y.
7. (6) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
8. (4) Brian Berger, Castleton, N.Y.
9. (18) Marc Johnson, Guilderland, N.Y.
10. (21) Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
11. (8) Brett Haas, Pittsfield, Mass.
12. (14) Mike Mahaney, Kings Ferry, N.Y.
13. (10) Jack Lehner, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
14. (11) Travis Billington, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
15. (22) Don Ronca, Clifton Park, N.Y.
16. (16) Jessey Mueller, Chestertown, N.Y.
17. (15) Roger Henion Jr., Montgomery, N.Y.
18. (12) Allison Ricci, New Paltz, N.Y.
19. (23) Matt Pupello, East Schodack, N.Y.
20. (19) Ronnie Johnson, Duanesburg, N.Y.
21. (13) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
22. (24) C.G. Morey, Rutland, Vt.
23. (17) Matt Depew, Argyle, N.Y.
24. (20) Cody Bleau, North Greenbush, N.Y.
Pole Shuffle Winner: Matt Sheppard
Consi Winner: Kenny Tremont Jr.
AMSOIL Award: Matt Sheppard
Fonda Speedway “Red Chair” Bonus: Stewart Friesen
M&K Racing Enterprises Bonus: Brett Hearn

Big Block Modified Feature (25 laps)
Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown
1. (2) Matt Sheppard, Waterloo, N.Y.
2. (3) Brett Hearn, Sussex, N.J.
3. (7) Bobby Varin, Fonda, N.Y.
4. (8) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
5. (13) Brian Berger, Castleton, N.Y.
6. (15) Jack Lehner, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
7. (17) Travis Billington, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
8. (4) Mike Mahaney, Kings Ferry, N.Y.
9. (12) Jessey Mueller, Chestertown, N.Y.
10. (1) Marc Johnson, Guilderland, N.Y.
11. (18) Cody Bleau, North Greenbush, N.Y.
12. (19) Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
13. (16) Bodie Bellinger, Johnstown, N.Y.
14. (5) Stewart Friesen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
15. (9) Don Ronca, Clifton Park, N.Y.
16. (11) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
17. (14) C.G. Morey, Rutland, Vt.
18. (10) Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
19. (6) Matt DeLorenzo, Cropseyville, N.Y.
Time Trial Winner: Marc Johnson (17.660 sec.)
Heat Winners: Marc Johnson, Matt Sheppard, Brett Hearn
AMSOIL Award: Matt Sheppard

Small Block Modified Feature (25 laps)
Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown
1. (1) Brett Hearn, Sussex, N.J.
2. (2) Tim Fuller, Watertown, N.Y.
3. (3) Rocky Warner, Gloversville, N.Y.
4. (4) Stewart Friesen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.
5. (5) Brett Haas, Pittsfield, Mass.
6. (8) Jessey Mueller, Chestertown, N.Y.
7. (7) Marc Johnson, Guilderland, N.Y.
8. (6) Allison Ricci, New Paltz, N.Y.
9. (9) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
10. (14) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
11. (10) Roger Henion Jr., Montgomery, N.Y.
12. (20) Matt Depew, Argyle, N.Y.
13. (17) Ronnie Johnson, Duanesburg, N.Y.
14. (15) Matt Pupello, East Schodack, N.Y.
15. (18) C.G. Morey, Rutland, Vt.
16. (16) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
17. (19) Justin Barber, Gansevoort, N.Y.
18. (13) Don Mattison, Wells, Vt.
19. (11) David Schilling, East Greenbush, N.Y.
20. (21) Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
21. (12) Mike Mahaney, Kings Ferry, N.Y.
Time Trial Winner: Brett Hearn (17.489 sec.)
Heat Winners: Brett Hearn, Tim Fuller, Rocky Warner
AMSOIL Award: Brett Hearn

King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series “Leon Gonyo Memorial” Feature (40 laps)
Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown
# – denotes rookie
1. (3) Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
2. (10) Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
3. (8) Kale Groff, Troy, N.Y.
4. (12) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
5. (18) Robert Bublak Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y.
6. (2) Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
7. (4) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
8. (14) Tony Ballestero, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
9. (19) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
10. (1) # Joey Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
11. (11) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
12. (24) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
13. (25) Walter J. Hammond, Canaan, N.H.
14. (30) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
15. (13) Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt.
16. (9) Josh Sunn, White River Junction, Vt.
17. (20) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
18. (16) Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
19. (28) Allan Hammond, Orange, N.H.
20. (5) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
21. (15) Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
22. (7) Brian Calabrese, Johnstown, N.Y.
23. (6) Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
24. (17) # Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Gansevoort, N.Y.
25. (26) Cody Ochs, East Greenbush, N.Y.
26. (21) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
27. (23) Walt Hammond Jr., Canaan, N.H.
28. (27) # Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
29. (22) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
30. (29) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
Did Not Qualify: Wayne Stearns, Jeff Washburn, Brian Whittemore, Whitey Slavin, James Fadden, Jack Speshock, Connor Cleveland
Heat Winners: Mike Palmer, Joey Scarborough, Frank Hoard III, Dylan Rabtoy
Consi Winner: Walter J. Hammond
Shiley Fabrication Hard Charger Award: Adam Pierson (+16 positions)
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award: Brent Warren
AMSOIL Award: Kenny Tremont Jr.