WEST HAVEN, VT – Jimmy Ryan had gone two years without winning a Sportsman Modified race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway until he scored on July 31. The next win took just four weeks, but that’s only part of the story. The Shoreham, Vt., veteran’s win was the highlight of The Stove Depot Night on Saturday, August 28, and Troy Audet, Chris Murray, Austin McKirryher, Willie Rice, Kamden Duffy, and Cody Greene also visited the winner’s circle.
Adam Piper and Brian Whittemore were out front at the start of the 30-lap Sportsman Modified feature when disaster struck twice before two laps were completed. Don Mattison turned his car around in Turn 3 on the opening lap and was clobbered by Jason Bruno, bringing out the red flag; both drivers were shaken but otherwise uninjured. When the race resumed, Elmo Reckner got crossed up and a massive melee resulted, ending with another red flag and Reckner’s car upside down; though no one was injured, the field was pared down to just 15 cars running for the balance of the race.
Ryan bolted into the lead shortly after the restart and stretched out to a big lead as the race went caution-free for the rest of the distance. His win came with a gift, but also a costly toll: The good news was that the race was billed as a “Win & You’re In” prospect, giving Ryan a guaranteed starting position in the upcoming Vermont 200, but the bad news was that his engine began to sour near the end of the race, and it seized up for good in victory lane.
With around five circuits remaining, Ryan’s pace visibly slowed. At the same time, Tim LaDuc broke free from traffic and into second place, and he tracked Ryan down from nearly a quarter-lap back. As Ryan’s car lost more horsepower each lap, LaDuc made big gains and he pulled alongside Ryan in the final corner. Ryan was barely able to win the drag race off Turn 4 as the checkered flag waved, beating LaDuc in a photo finish by just 92-thousandths (0.092) of a second at the line. Should Ryan not be able to secure a new engine for the coming weekend and he forfeits the Vermont 200 provisional spot, it would be deferred to runner-up LaDuc.
Vince Quenneville finished third in the race, followed by Kevin Chaffee and Justin Comes. Billy Lussier was sixth ahead of Demetrios Drellos, Justin Stone, Whittemore, and Marty Kelly III. Qualifying heats were won by Chaffee, Tanner Siemons, and Quenneville. Drellos holds a 33-point lead on Comes, 797-764, in the championship standings.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division has quickly become a fascinating two-man show starring Troy Audet and Austin Comes. This week, first-year Modified racer Audet, from Bridport, Vt., had the upper hand, winning the 25-lap feature for the third time in 2021.
With the weekly handicapping system relegating Comes and Audet to deep starting positions, young drivers Dakota Green and Cody O’Brien showed the way up front for most of the race. O’Brien took the lead from polesitter Green after a restart on lap 4 and pulled away, but Green reeled him back in to take control again at lap 16.
All the while, Comes and Audet sliced through from their 14th and 18th starting spots, respectively. Audet grabbed the lead for the final five laps and stretched out to comfortable 1.901-second win over Comes. The pair sit just four points apart in the title chase, with Audet leading 735-731.
Green landed on the podium in third, followed by Beau Reeves and Randy Ryan. Dylan Madsen took sixth in front of Steve Pope, Melvin Pierson, Craig Wholey, and Evan Roberts. Thirty-eight cars attempted to qualify for 26 starting spots, with O’Brien, Reeves, and Green winning the heats. Joe Venditti won the consolation race and Josh LeClaire took the last-chance B-Main qualifier.
It was old hat for Fair Haven, Vt.’s Chris Murray in the 20-lap Super Stock feature, as the former two-time champion ran away virtually unchallenged to his ninth win of the season. Defending champion Andrew FitzGerald was the runner-up, outrunning Josh Bussino, Paul Braymer, and Mark Norris. The top 10 was rounded out by Michael Clark Jr., Jason Samrov, Josh Samrov, Tony Salerno, and Jim McKiernan.
Heat wins went to Norris and Murray, who built on his point lead over Braymer and extended it to 32 markers, 869-837.
The Mini Stock division debuted a new “A/B” feature format to rave reviews. Thirty-one drivers attempted to qualify for the A-Main, which transferred 21 cars through qualifying heats that were won by Scott Chandler, Chris Sumner, and Adam Mahoney.
The huge 2021 rookie class continued to show its strength, and Proctor, Vt., freshman Austin McKirryher topped them all in the in 15-lap A-Main. He passed fellow rookie Mahoney with five laps remaining to streak ahead for the first win of his career. Mahoney held on for second ahead of Brian Blake, Chandler, and defending champion Chris Conroy. Chase Allen, Jarrod Colburn, Craig Kirby, Jake Barrows, and Kaydan Rice completed the top 10 in order.
The 10-lap B-Main was an entertaining race between teammates as Willie Rice and T.J. Knight duked it out up front in a close, clean battle. Poultney, Vt., veteran Rice grabbed the win with Knight, Cody Dion, David LaBarge, and Hunter Clark in tow.
Championship leaders Sumner and Daryl Gebo crashed out of the A-Main, tightening the point battle and bringing former champion Kirby back into the pitcture. Sumner now leads Kirby by 14 points, 773-759, with Gebo, a rookie, 30 points out at 743.
Richmond, N.H.’s Kamden Duffy continued his hot streak in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division, winning for the third weekend in a row. The 13-year-old passed Vern Woodard for the lead on lap 4 and ran away for a convincing win. Rookie Gage Provencher equaled his best mark as the runner-up, and Kevin Smith was a season-best third. Kaidin White and Woodard completed the top five.
Point leader Ray Hanson invoked the one-race substitute driver option as he stayed home to celebrate the birth of his new baby; John Smith won his heat and finished seventh in the feature, keeping Hanson’s lead intact, which sits at 57 points over White, 921-864; Duffy won the other qualifying heat.
The Enduro Series held its fifth race of the summer in a 50-lap slugfest with 62 cars, and the outcome was not decided until a lengthy scoring audit was performed and Vergennes, Vt.’s Cody Greene was determined to be the winner.
Zach Wood held a dominant, two-lap lead over almost the entire field when he suddenly retired from the race on lap 39. Trevor Jaques, who was the only driver just one lap down at the time, then took over, but his car threw a wheel shortly after taking the white flag to begin the final lap.
In the confusion – and with an unusually high number of cars still running at the finish – it was thought that Artie Forrest was the next driver in line, and he was originally flagged as the winner. A thorough review of each car’s individual score cards, however – which was validated by the track’s official scoring sheets and video replay – determined that Greene and regular Sportsman Modified driver Tim LaDuc were on the same lap as Jaques at the time Jaques’ car met its end.
Greene and LaDuc were officially credited with 50 laps completed in first and second place, respectively. Jaques was scored third as the first car one lap down. Forrest was fourth with Dan Desforges fifth. Drake Nelson, Eric Friend, and Dillon Botala were the final cars one lap down, in order. Brent Wilbur and Brett Wood completed the top 10, each two laps behind.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway hosts its biggest event of the year on Labor Day Weekend, September 4-5, with the $10,000-to-win Fabian Earth Moving Vermont 200. Saturday at 3:00 p.m., the Limited Sportsman division has a 40-lap “Win & You’re In!” race, along with the optional Sportsman Modified Non-Winners Shootout and open Sportsman practice. Super Stocks and Mini Stocks have heats and features, and the 500cc Mini Sprint class will run Segment 1 of a two-day, two-part, cumulatively scored race. The annual Vermont 200 BBQ and bonfire party follows.
Sportsman Modified qualifying begins on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. with time trials, heats, consolations, and a last-chance race to set the field for the 200-lap main event. The Sprint Cars of New England tour will be on hand for its Devil’s Bowl track championship finale, and the 500cc Mini Sprints will crown their overall weekend winner in Segment 2.
Adult grandstand general admission for Saturday-only is $10, Sunday-only is $25, or the two-day weekend ticket is $30. Children 12 and under are just $5 for the weekend, good for both days. Tickets are available online at https://buytickets.at/devilsbowlspeedway and at the speedway on race day.
Infield drive-in parking is $40 for adults, good for both days; children are free in the infield. Infield passes are sold at the track on race day.
Pit passes are $45 per person, available at the speedway or on the “Pit Pay” Mobile App; the minimum age in the pit area is 10 years old, with proof of age required for minors, per Vermont State Law.
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 Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – The Stove Depot Night
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (6) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
- (15) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
- (10) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
- (8) Kevin Chaffee, Bradford, Vt.
- (16) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
- (9) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (20) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
- (12) Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
- (2) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
- (7) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
- (3) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
- (17) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
- (1) Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
- (18) Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
- (19) # Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
- (5) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
- (14) # Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
- (11) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
- (4) Jimmy Davis, Amsterdam, N.Y.
- (13) Don Mattison, Wells, Vt.
- (21) Jason Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
Did Not Start (1 driver): Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Adam Piper, pole; Brian Whittemore, 1-3; Jimmy Ryan, 4-30. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (2): Laps 0 [red], 1 [red].
Heat Winners: Kevin Chaffee, Tanner Siemons, Vince Quenneville
Elmo’s Pit Stop 9th Place Bonus ($100): Brian Whittemore
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (25 laps)
- (18) Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
- (14) Austin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
- (1) Dakota Green, Cambridge, N.Y.
- (5) Beau Reeves, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
- (16) Randy Ryan, Orwell, Vt.
- (12) Dylan Madsen, Stephentown, N.Y.
- (10) Steve Pope, Shoreham, Vt.
- (15) Melvin Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
- (9) Craig Wholey, Bolton Landing, N.Y.
- (13) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
- (23) Justin Lilly, Castleton, Vt.
- (25) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
- (11) Matt Jordan, Cambridge, N.Y.
- (26) Josh Nelson, Bristol, Vt.
- (2) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt.
- (19) Joe Venditti, Scotia, N.Y.
- (7) Bryon Linendoll, West Pawlet, Vt.
- (17) Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (24) Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
- (3) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt.
- (4) Alex Layn, New Haven, Vt.
- (21) Jason Quenneville, Quechee, Vt.
- (22) John Gosselin, Shoreham, Vt.
- (8) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
- (6) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
- (20) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
Did Not Qualify (12 drivers): Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.; Wade Acker, Bristol, Vt.; Gus Kamburelis, Whitehall, N.Y.; Timmy Aldrighetti, Bethel, Vt.; Brent Bouplon, Eagle Bridge, N.Y.; Russ Farr, Granville, N.Y.; Wesley Sutliff, South Glens Falls, N.Y.; Stephen Taran Jr., Poultney, Vt.; Bill Duprey, Hydeville, Vt.; Bryan Bigue, North Haverhill, N.H.; William Lussier Jr., Fair Haven, Vt.; A.J. Munger, Benson Landing, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Dakota Green, 1-4; Cody O’Brien, 5-15; Green, 16-20; Troy Audet, 21-25. (3 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (6): Laps 1, 4, 7, 7, 14, 14.
Heat Winners: Cody O’Brien, Beau Reeves, Dakota Green
Consi Winner: Joe Venditti
B-Main Winner: Josh LeClaire
Super Stock Feature (20 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (6) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (8) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
- (11) Josh Bussino, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (9) Paul Braymer, Granville, N.Y.
- (7) Mark Norris, Benson, Vt.
- (4) Michael Clark Jr., Salisbury, Vt.
- (12) Josh Samrov, Gloversville, N.Y.
- (13) Jason Samrov, Gloversville, N.Y.
- (2) Tony Salerno, Mineville, N.Y.
- (10) Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
- (5) # Chuck Bradford, Addison, Vt.
- (3) Wayne Gaige, Fultonville, N.Y.
- (1) Mike Bussino, Mount Holly, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Mike Bussino, 1; Chuck Bradford, 2-3; Chris Murray, 4-20. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (3): Laps 1, 9, 10.
Heat Winners: Mark Norris, Chris Murray
Mini Stock “A” Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (6) # Austin McKirryher, Proctor, Vt.
- (2) # Adam Mahoney, Rutland, Vt.
- (11) Brian Blake, Cornwall, Vt.
- (3) # Scott Chandler, Pittsford, Vt.
- (19) Chris Conroy, Newport, N.H.
- (10) # Chase Allen, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (12) Jarrod Colburn, Rutland, Vt.
- (16) Craig Kirby, St. Albans, Vt.
- (13) Jake Barrows, Middlebury, Vt.
- (4) # Kaydan Rice, Poultney, Vt.
- (7) Scott Layton, Poultney, Vt.
- (21) Clemmy Bell, Peru, N.Y.
- (1) # Jakobee Alger, Orwell, Vt.
- (9) Lynn Denton, Milton, Vt.
- (20) Troy Morin, Keeseville, N.Y.
- (17) Derrick Counter, Leicester, Vt.
- (8) # Jason Kerr, Shoreham, Vt.
- (15) # Damian Olden, Poultney, Vt.
- (5) Griff Mahoney, Bristol, Vt.
- (14) # Daryl Gebo, Orwell, Vt.
- (18) Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Jakobee Alger, pole; Adam Mahoney, 1-10; Austin McKirryher, 11-15. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (2): Laps 4, 7.
Heat Winners: Scott Chandler, Chris Sumner, Adam Mahoney
Mini Stock “B” Feature (10 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (1) Willie Rice, Poultney, Vt.
- (5) T.J. Knight, Wells, Vt.
- (2) # Cody Dion, Rutland, Vt.
- (4) David LaBarge, South Glens Falls, N.Y.
- (7) # Hunter Clark, Salisbury, Vt.
- (6) # Chris Hewitt, Pittsford, Vt.
- (3) Carol Moss, Fair Haven, Vt.
Did Not Start (4 drivers): # Donald Olden, Poultney, Vt.; Ron Alger, Orwell, Vt.; Freddy Burch, Middle Granville, N.Y.; Mark Mahoney, Brandon, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Willie Rice, 1-10. (0 lead changes among 1 driver)
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (7) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H.
- (3) # Gage Provencher, Bridport, Vt.
- (5) Kevin Smith, Brandon, Vt.
- (4) Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt.
- (1) # Vern Woodard, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (2) Roger LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
- (6) John Smith, Poultney, Vt. (substitute for Ray Hanson)
- (10) Scott Bachand, St. Albans, Vt.
- (9) # Tommy Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.
- (8) # Kris Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Vern Woodard, 1-3; Kamden Duffy, 4-15. (1 lead change among 2 drivers)
Heat Winners: Kamden Duffy, John Smith
Enduro Series Feature (50 laps)
# – denotes rookie
- (017) Cody Greene
- (919) Tim LaDuc
- (57X) Trevor Jaques
- (911) Artie Forrest
- (666) Dan Desforges
- (725) Drake Nelson
- (50X) Eric Friend
- (101) Dillon Botala
- (623W) Brent Wilbur
- (882X) Brett Wood
Full Enduro Series finish will be posted at www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com