WEST HAVEN, VT – Adam Pierson continued his strong start to the 2020 racing season and bookended the Independence Day holiday weekend with his second win in four days at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, July 5. Pierson topped a list of winners that included Evan Roberts, Chris Murray, Chris Sumner, and Cody O’Brien.
Pierson romped to his second win of the weekend in the wildly entertaining 30-lap Pepsi Sportsman Modified feature, backing up his Thursday night special event win with the Sprint Cars of New England tour; in each case, Pierson was dominant. On Sunday night, the East Corinth, Vt., driver rocketed from his 11th starting position into the lead two laps past the halfway mark, and then ran away from the field for his second Sportsman win of the year and third overall at the track.
The race began with a big bang, as polesitter James Hanson got turned around in the first corner, taking eight other cars with him and dramatically changing the complexion of the race. While most of the cars involved came away with relatively little damage, the wreck allowed many drivers – including point leader Bobby Hackel, who started 22nd – to advance their positions greatly by simply avoiding the pileup.
After the mess was cleared, the race went green-to-checkers without incident, and the racy surface threw off an incredible show of multi-groove action. Veteran driver Mike Palmer led from the restart until lap 16, when Pierson ran through traffic to pass Palmer on the outside. Pierson was long gone at that point, but the battles from second place through the balance of the top 10 were non-stop. Palmer diced with Marty Hutchins, Jake Scarborough, Marty Kelly III, Josh Masterson, Demetrios Drellos, Hackel, and others at different points during the final 14 laps, and only after the checkered flag waved was anything certain.
Drellos rocketed to the outside lane and finished as the runner-up for the third consecutive race. Jake Scarborough ran to his best finish of the year in third ahead of Hackel and rookie Masterson. Palmer took sixth, followed closely by Kelly, Frank Hoard III, Joey Scarborough, and Justin Comes. Though grandstand attendance remained limited due to the pandemic, the fans who witnessed the race gave the field a standing ovation.
Hanson, Pierson, and Brian Whittemore won the qualifying heats, and Jack Speshock took the last-chance consolation qualifier, which also provided plenty of drama. Twenty-nine drivers attempted to qualify for 24 spots.
Fourteen-year-old Evan Roberts put all the pieces together for his first-ever win in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division. The fourth-generation racer from Fletcher, Vt., had already contended for podium finishes, only to have disaster strike in one form or another, but he led all 20 laps on the caution-free race to score a popular victory.
Shawn McPhee and Garrett Given had a good give-and-take battle all race long to end up second and third, respectively, while Josh Bussino had a solid run in fourth place. Roberts and McPhee graduated from the 500cc Mini Sprint division last year, while Given and Bussino moved up from the Super Stock class. Larry Gallipo completed the top five finishers, followed by Lacey Hanson, Matt Bilodeau, Anthony Warren, Johnny Bruno, and Travis Witbeck.
Chris Murray and Bill Duprey had a full-contact fight to the finish in the 20-lap Super Stock feature. Duprey led from the outset, but Murray stalked him and then made his move right at the end; the two multi-time champions banged doors and fenders in a drag race to the finish line, and Fair Haven, Vt., racer Murray came away with his first win of the season by just 0.052 seconds – a difference of about three feet. Jim McKiernan and Andrew FitzGerald had a clean battle for third place, which went McKiernan’s way, and Ronnie Alger ran a good race to take fifth.
Rookie Chris Sumner was a first-time winner in the Mini Stock division, which saw its feature race cut short from 15 laps to just 8, as rain began to fall at the end of the night. The Ripton, Vt., driver drove from fifth to the lead in just three laps, and he was holding off some fast cars when the race was called. Chris Conroy took the runner-up finish in front of Dakota Desabrais, Shawn Moquin, and Craig Kirby.
Earlier in the night, the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprints saw Springfield, Vt.’s Cody O’Brien dominate the 15-lap feature, driving from seventh to lead in one lap and streaking to his second win of the season. Ausitn Chaves finished second, followed by Samantha Mulready, Dakota Green, and Kamden Duffy.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns on Sunday, July 12, with limited grandstand seating and drive-in spectator parking. Tickets are $16.50 per person for grandstand seating or $21.60 per person for drive-in parking; tickets must be purchased online by 5:15 p.m. on Sunday at https://buytickets.at/devilsbowlspeedway. The Sportsman Modified, Limited Sportsman, Mini Stock, and 500cc Mini Sprint classes will all be in action, along with the season’s first 50-lap Enduro race; spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m., with racing at 7:00 p.m.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of U.S. Route 4, Exit 2, and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway, and on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, July 5, 2020
Pepsi Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (11) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
2. (16) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
3. (4) Jake Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
4. (22) Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
5. (7) # Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
6. (2) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
7. (9) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
8. (13) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
9. (15) Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
10. (10) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
11. (23) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
12. (5) Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
13. (19) Jack Speshock, Malta, N.Y.
14. (8) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
15. (14) Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
16. (17) Derrick McGrew Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y.
17. (12) John St. Germain Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
18. (3) # Marty Hutchins, Poultney, Vt.
19. (20) # Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
20. (6) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
21. (1) # James Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
22. (24) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
23. (10) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
24. (18) David Boisclair, Watervliet, N.Y.
Did Not Qualify: Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.; # Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.; Jon Miller, Malta, N.Y.; Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.; Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
Heat Winners: James Hanson, Adam Pierson, Brian Whittemore
Consi Winner: Jack Speshock
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (20 laps)
1. (2) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
2. (1) Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
3. (4) Garrett Given, Orwell, Vt.
4. (3) Josh Bussino, Mount Holly, Vt.
5. (7) Larry Gallipo, West Rutland, Vt.
6. (8) Lacey Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
7. (9) Matt Bilodeau, Brandon, Vt.
8. (11) Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
9. (12) Johnny Bruno, Castleton, Vt.
10. (13) Travis Witbeck, Troy, N.Y.
11. (14) Austin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
12. (5) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
13. (10) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
14. (6) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
15. (15) Randy Ryan, Orwell, Vt.
16. (17) Jeff White, Rutland, Vt.
17. (16) Kevin Groff, Wynantskill, N.Y.
18. (18) Montgomery Tremont, West Sand Lake, N.Y.
19. (21) Bryant Moore, Greenwich, N.Y.
20. (20) Jonathan Coon, Buskirk, N.Y.
21. (19) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
22. (22) Bryon Linendoll, West Pawlet, Vt.
Heat Winners: Shawn McPhee, Lacey Hanson, Josh Bussino
Super Stock Feature (20 laps)
1. (5) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
2. (3) Bill Duprey, Hydeville, Vt.
3. (6) Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
4. (4) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
5. (2) Ronnie Alger, Orwell, Vt.
6. (6) Matt Mosher, Queensbury, N.Y.
7. (1) Russ Farr, Middle Granville, N.Y.
8. (9) Josh Hemming, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
9. (10) Jason Barrett, Queensbury, N.Y.
10. (7) Cam Gadue, Highgate, Vt.
Mini Stock Feature (15 laps– shortened to 8 laps by rain)
# – denotes rookie
1. (5) # Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt.
2. (13) Chris Conroy, Newport, N.H.
3. (10) Dakota Desabrais, Hampton, N.Y.
4. (9) Shawn Moquin, Milton, Vt.
5. (12) Craig Kirby, St. Albans, Vt.
6. (11) Jarrod Colburn, Rutland, Vt.
7. (15) Brian Blake, Cornwall, Vt.
8. (16) Zach Wood, Georgia, Vt.
9. (14) Michael Daniels, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
10. (20) Tim Simonds, Clarendon, Vt.
11. (17) Kevin Withington, West Rutland, Vt.
12. (2) # Tom Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.
13. (8) Jake Barrows, Middlebury, Vt.
14. (6) # Freddy Burch, Middle Granville, N.Y.
15. (18) Kyle Davis Jr., Goshen, N.H.
16. (7) Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.
17. (1) T.J. Knight, Fair Haven, Vt.
18. (4) # Griff Mahoney, Brandon, Vt.
19. (3) Willie Rice, Poultney, Vt.
20. (19) Devon Withington, West Rutland, Vt.
Did Not Start: # Adam Stewart, Benson, Vt.
Heat Winners: T.J. Knight, Griff Mahoney
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (7) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt.
2. (8) Austin Chaves, Chester, Vt.
3. (5) Samantha Mulready, Cambridge, N.Y.
4. (4) Dakota Green, Cambridge, N.Y.
5. (3) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H.
6. (2) # Roger LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
7. (1) # Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt.
8. (6) # Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
Did Not Start: # Arnie Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.; John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt.; Joe Kemp, West Rutland, Vt.; Hunter Given, Orwell, Vt.