WEST HAVEN, VT – Demetrios Drellos won the biggest stock car race in the 54-season history of Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 6, taking the third annual Interstate All Battery Center Vermont 200. The Queensbury, N.Y., driver stood head and shoulders above a record field of 89 Crate Sportsman Modified entries to win the $7,500 top prize, and he also collected $3,376 in lap leader bonus prizes to bring his total rake to $10,876.
Scott Holcomb and rookie Troy Audet also visited Victory Lane on Sunday, winning races for a pair of winged sprint car classes, taking the Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) and Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint races, respectively.
With 89 Sportsman cars on the grounds, qualifying was an intense – but clean and well-driven – affair. Three rounds of preliminary action set the stage through heat races, consolations, and a pair of B-Features for the 34-car starting field. Heat race wins went to Matt Janczuk, Payton Talbot, Mike Fisher, John St. Germain Jr., Robert Bublak Jr., and Zach Sobotka. Consi races were won by Mike Maresca, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, and Drellos, and the last-chance B-mains went to Jason Gray and Adam Pierson.
Bublak found himself on the pole position after the Interstate Batteries redraw among the top 12 qualifiers, and with $25 – or more – in bonus cash going to the leader of each lap, he set a strong, steady pace out front. Bublak led the first 84 laps to collect $2,211, and he held off all challengers through seven restarts, but Drellos came charging on the extreme outside lane to make what proved to be the winning pass at lap 85.
A 15-minute competition caution period just after the halfway mark allowed drivers and teams to make adjustments for the second half. Drellos got even stronger, but so, too, did the likes of Janczuk, Maresca, Kevin Root, Tim Hartman Jr., Adam Pierson, rookie Josh Masterson, and several others, which changed the complexion of the race. Bublak, Root, and Janczuk each made serious runs at Drellos’ lead, but the 23-year-old was good enough to pull away each time. A multi-car crash on lap 150 involved Bublak, and when Bublak retired from the race at the final caution period on lap 162.
A 32-lap green-flag run closed out the race, which saw Drellos encounter heavy lapped traffic in the final frames. That, in turn, allowed Janczuk, Maresca, and Root to close in on the leader, all while putting on a thrilling race for the runner-up spot. Drellos, who holds the lead in the weekly Devil’s Bowl championship point standings, ran to the landmark win for his third victory of the season at the Vermont track.
Root, who won the King of Dirt Racing Series event at Devil’s Bowl last month, crossed the finish line in second place but was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for an infraction with his engine’s rev limiter box.
Fonda Speedway champion Maresca, who was originally third, inherited the runner-up finish ahead of Utica-Rome Speedway champion Janczuk, Albany-Saratoga Speedway champion Hartman, and former Devil’s Bowl asphalt Late Model champion Masterson. Jason Gray finished sixth after starting 25th, followed by Brian Calabrese, 15-year-old Payton Talbot, Frank Hoard III, and Tim LaDuc. Hartman collected a $50 Hard Charger bonus donated by race fans “Mac & The Bean Brothers” after driving from 30th starting position to gain 26 spots.
Veteran Sprint Car driver Scott Holcomb notched a big win with the 25-lap Sprint Cars of New England tour. The Granby, Conn., driver started on the outside of the front row and led every lap, but he was never assured of the victory until the checkered flag waved. Cory Sparks and Will Hull were catching Holcomb as the final laps arrived, just as Holcomb reached two-wide lapped traffic.
Hull swung wide to make a move for the lead and briefly drove off the backstretch with two laps to go, and Sparks made a three-wide bid up the middle in the final corner, but Holcomb held on for the win – his first at Devil’s Bowl since an Empire Super Sprint victory on August 4, 1996.
Sparks finished second and Hull regrouped for third place. SCoNE point leader Chris Donnelly was fourth with Joe Kata fifth. Clay Dow was next in line, followed by Travis Billington, Matt Tanner, Adam Pierson, and Jake Williams. A strong field of 22 cars competed, and heats were won by Hull, Donnelly, and Brett Wright.
Rookie Troy Audet of Bridport, Vt., was a first-time winner in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division, coming out on top of a two-segment, point-scored event held over the two-day Vermont 200 Weekend. Audet won the first 12-lap segment on Saturday, then finished fifth on Sunday for a combined low total score of six points (1st + 5th = 6 points).
Cody O’Brien, Samantha Mulready, and Austin Chaves were next in the official combined finish, each scoring seven total points; the tiebreaker that determined the overall finishing order was the order of the second-segment finish; O’Brien won the Sunday segment over John Smith, Mulready, Chaves, and Audet. Eleven-year-old Kaidin White finished fifth overall with eight points.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Saturday, September 12 with another major event: The Slate Valley 100. Big Block and Small Block Modifieds will return for a 100-lap main event, along with the Northeast Crate Nationals for the King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series and the weekly O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division. Tickets are now available online at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway website.
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.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Interstate All Battery Center Vermont 200
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Pepsi Sportsman Modified Feature (200 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (21) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y. – 200
2. (19) Mike Maresca, Potsdam, N.Y. – 200
3. (12) Matt Janczuk, Oneida, N.Y. – 200
4. (30) Tim Hartman Jr., Glenville, N.Y. – 200
5. (11) # Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt. – 200
6. (25) Jason Gray, East Thetford, Vt. – 200
7. (15) Brian Calabrese, Johnstown, N.Y. – 200
8. (10) Payton Talbot, South New Berlin, N.Y. – 200
9. (19) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt. – 200
10. (14) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt. – 200
11. (27) Walter J. Hammond, Orange, N.H. – 200
12. (4) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H. – 199
13. (7) John St. Germain Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y. – 199
14. (28) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt. – 199
15. (26) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt. – 199
16. (8) Tanner Von Doren, Slatington, Penn. – 198
17. (29) # James Hanson, Orwell, Vt. – 198
18. (13) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt. – 197
19. (24) Neil Stratton, Bennington, Vt. – 163
20. (1) Robert Bublak Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y. – 162
21. (17) Jack Speshock, Malta, N.Y. – 150
22. (5) Rob Maxon, Pownal, Vt. – 150
23. (22) Johnny Guarino, Nanuet, N.Y. – 148
24. (18) Zach Sylvester, Central Square, N.Y. – 148
25. (3) Zach Sobotka, Parish, N.Y. – 117
26. (23) David Marcuccilli, Cayuga, N.Y. – 117
27. (33) David Boisclair, Watervliet, N.Y. – 101
28. (6) Zach Payne, Honeoye, N.Y. – 61
29. (20) Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Gansevoort, N.Y. – 55
30. (2) Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt. – 55
31. (9) Connor Cleveland, Corinth, N.Y. – 39
32. (34) Matt Bilodeau, Brandon, Vt. – 28
33. (32) Vince Quenneville Jr., Brandon, Vt. – 8
Disqualified: (16) Kevin Root, Geneva, N.Y. – 200 (rev limiter)
Lap Leaders: Robert Bublak Jr. (1-84), Demetrios Drellos (85-200) – 1 lead change among 2 drivers.
Cautions: Laps 8-13; 31-34; 39-42; 46-49; 50-53; 55-60; 62-66; 93-98; 101-103; 113-117; 128-133; 142-147; 150-157; 162-168 – 14 cautions for 73 laps.
Heat Winners: Matt Janczuk, Payton Talbot, Mike Fisher, John St. Germain Jr., Robert Bublak Jr., Zach Sobotka
Consi Winners: Mike Maresca, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Demetrios Drellos
B-Feature Winners: Jason Gray, Adam Pierson
Sprint Cars of New England Feature (25 laps)
1. (2) Scott Holcomb, Granby, Conn.
2. (1) Cory Sparks, Edinburg, N.Y.
3. (8) Will Hull, Plainfield, Vt.
4. (7) Chris Donnelly, Piermont, N.H.
5. (3) Joe Kata, Goshen, N.Y.
6. (13) Clay Dow, Barnstead, N.H.
7. (9) Travis Billington, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
8. (6) Matt Tanner, Stephentown, N.Y.
9. (15) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
10. (10) Jake Williams, Center Tuftonboro, N.H.
11. (4) Floyd Billington, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
12. (11) Jordan Fornwalt, Bradford, Vt.
13. (19) Lacey Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
14. (18) Mike Horsch, Moultonborough, N.H.
15. (16) Wade Prentice, Campton Hollow, N.H.
16. (5) Brett Wright, East Chatham, N.Y.
17. (20) Rick Stone, Cornwall, Conn.
18. (12) Chad Miller, Amsterdam, N.Y.
19. (17) Caleb Lamson, Moretown, Vt.
20. (21) Kurt Conklin, Bethlehem, Conn.
21. (14) Jesse Pruchnik, New Milford, Conn.
Did Not Start: Thomas Radivoy, Circleville, N.Y.
Heat Winners: Will Hull, Chris Donnelly, Brett Wright
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature – (12 laps x 2 segments)
# – denotes rookie
1. (3) # Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt. (1, 5 – 6 pts.)
2. (6) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt. (6, 1 – 7 pts.)
3. (4) Samantha Mulready, Cambridge, N.Y. (4, 3 – 7 pts.)
4. (8) Austin Chaves, Chester, Vt. (3, 4 – 7 pts.)
5. (2) # Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt. (2, 6 – 8 pts.)
6. (1) John Smith, Poultney, Vt. (7, 2 – 9 pts.)
7. (5) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H. (5, 7 – 12 pts.)
8. (9) Eric Wade, Rutland, Vt. (9, 9 – 18 pts.)
9. (11) Scott Bachand, St. Albans, Vt. (8, 11 – 19 pts.)
10. (12) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt. (12, 8 – 20 pts.)
11. (10) Lynn Sumner, Fair Haven, Vt. (10, 10 – 20 pts.)
12. (7) # Arnie Kasuba, Castleton, Vt. (11, 12 – 23 pts.)
Heat Winner: Kaidin White
Segment Winners: Troy Audet, Cody O’Brien