WEST HAVEN, VT – Jimmy Davis had won at Devil’s Bowl Speedway before, but please forgive him if he had to ask for directions to victory lane – it had been a while. The Amsterdam, N.Y., racer scored the main event win on a decidedly bizarre Friend Construction Night on Saturday, September 18, for his first win at the track in 24 years. After two rain delays and a two-hour electrical outage – which was happily filled by the annual Kids Racecar Rides event – Davis and five other drivers earned wins as two were crowned track champions.
Davis got a taste of victory a week earlier when he led the first half of the Sportsman Modified division’s 30-lap feature, only to settle for the runner-up spot. He was not to be denied this time, though, reversing his role in the Friend Construction race to take command in the second half of the race and fending off hungry underdog Mike Fisher for the win.
The last time Davis stood in the winner’s circle at Devil’s Bowl was on June 15, 1997, before fellow Sportsman drivers Tanner Siemons, Marty Kelly III, and Shawn McPhee were born. He dedicated his win to his late crew chief Dave “Moon” Gregorek and thanked car owner Larry Gallipo, who put Davis in his car for the first time just five weeks earlier; Gallipo also won a pair of races in 2021 with veteran Elmo Reckner driving a second car.
Fisher’s performance was the best of his career, as he led the first 15 laps and finished a best-ever second. Jimmy Ryan continued a late-season hot streak in third, followed by a career-best fourth-place effort from sophomore driver Adam Piper. Rookie Anthony Warren was fifth, followed in order by Brian Whittemore, Vince Quenneville, Justin Comes, Frank Hoard III, and Siemons.
Qualifying heats were won by Davis, Ryan, and Josh Masterson. Comes opened up his championship lead to 18 points over Tim LaDuc, who struggled and finished 12th in the race. Despite being winless in 2021, the ultra-consistent Comes leads 893-875 with two races remaining as he seeks his first track championship.
Austin Comes, younger brother of the Sportsman point leader, tightened up his own championship battle in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division by capturing his fourth victory of the season in a 25-lap race. The Middlebury, Vt., racer clamored from 16th starting position to grab the lead from Gary English on the 18th circuit and speed away. A late caution flag set up a green-white-checkered, two-lap shootout to the finish, but Comes held off all challengers.
Randy Ryan crossed the finish line in second place but was disqualified for failure to register his repaired General Motors “602” crate engine and refusal to remove the engine for inspection. That bumped Evan Roberts up to the runner-up finish ahead of Bill Duprey, Alex Layn, and Anthony Ryan. Troy Audet could never work his way out of traffic and finished sixth ahead of John Gosselin, Beau Reeves, Bubba McPhee, and Cody O’Brien.
Duprey, Gosselin, and Josh Nelson won the heats, and Roberts took the consolation race. Audet’s point lead shrunk to 23 over Comes, 881-858, with two races left.
The Super Stock division celebrated two veteran drivers as Jim McKiernan won the 15-lap feature and Chris Murray completed a dominating title run. Moriah Center, N.Y.’s McKiernan led every step of the caution-free race for his first victory of the season, holding off Paul Braymer.
Fair Haven, Vt.’s Murray ran a conservative race to finish third for his 16th podium result in 20 races. Murray won 11 times during the year to take his third Super Stock championship, beating Braymer by 46 points, 1,030-984. Josh Bussino and Andrew FitzGerald completed the top-five in the race, and Rookie of the Year Chuck Bradford of Addison, Vt., was sixth. Tony Salerno, Mike Bussino, Tyler Irwin, and Don Williams rounded out the top 10. Josh Bussino and Chris Murray won the heats.
The Mini Stock division turned in another entertaining – if somewhat rambunctious – 15-lap “A” Feature. After seven caution periods including one that extended the race to 16 laps with a green-white-checker finish, Brandon, Vt., rookie Mark “Cousinbrother” Mahoney notched his second win, beating Brian Blake in a photo finish by just 0.074-seconds at the finish line.
Blake started 18th, and his runner-up finish was a career-best ahead of Craig Kirby, Daryl Gebo, and Jake Barrows. Point leader Chris Sumner finished sixth followed by Shawn Moquin, Chase Allen, Carol Moss, and Austin McKirryher. Tom Severance, Griff Mahoney, and Sumner won the heats. Sumner leads Gebo by 37 points, 921-884.
Joe “One Lap” Malzac needs a new nickname after posting a popular win in the Mini Stock “B” Feature. The East Middlebury, Vt., racer led all 10 laps of the race for his first win in 34 years of trying, and he earned big congratulations from his fellow racers. Cody Dion, Donald Olden, Damian Olden, and Adam Mahoney – all rookies – completed the top five.
Orwell, Vt.’s Ray Hanson capped off his incredible championship season in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprints by matching Murray’s feat of 11 wins. Hanson took the lead from Scott Bachand on lap 4 and ran away, winning the division’s final point-counting race by 4.544 seconds over Kamden Duffy.
Kaidin White, John Smith, and Roger LaDuc were next in line, followed by Bachand, Rookie of the Year Gage Provencher – age 11 – and Tommy Kasuba, Kris Severance, and Charlie Weatherwax. White and Hanson won the heats, and Hanson scored a 68-point margin of victory in the championship over 12-year-old White, 1,074-1,006.
Big Block and Small Block Modifieds return to Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 26 at 4:00 p.m., with the second annual “Slate Valley 100” paying $10,000 to win. The Sportsman Modified division will have a 40-lap, $2,000-to-win “draw” race, and the Limited Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions are also in action.
Special event grandstand general admission is $25 for adults and $5 for children aged 12 and under. Tickets are available online at https://buytickets.at/devilsbowlspeedway and at the speedway on race day. Infield drive-in parking is $35 for adults and free for children. Infield passes are sold only 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 – Friend Construction Night
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) Jimmy Davis, Amsterdam, N.Y.
2. (1) Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt.
3. (5) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
4. (3) Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
5. (8) # Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
6. (7) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
7. (14) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
8. (13) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
9. (12) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
10. (6) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
11. (11) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
12. (15) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
13. (18) Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
14. (17) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
15. (9) Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
16. (19) Jason Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
17. (10) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
18. (16) Chris Johnson, Schenectady, N.Y.
19. (2) # Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Mike Fisher, 1-15; Jimmy Davis, 16-30. (1 lead change among 2 drivers)
Cautions (2): Laps 15, 26.
Heat Winners: Jimmy Davis, Jimmy Ryan, Josh Masterson
Elmo’s Pit Stop 9th Place Bonus ($100): Frank Hoard III
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (25 laps)
1. (16) Austin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
2. (19) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
3. (1) Bill Duprey, Hydeville, Vt.
4. (10) Alex Layn, New Haven, Vt.
5. (12) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
6. (18) Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
7. (6) John Gosselin, Shoreham, Vt.
8. (17) Beau Reeves, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
9. (21) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt.
10. (11) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt.
11. (24) William Lussier Jr., Fair Haven, Vt.
12. (15) Dylan Madsen, Spencertown, N.Y.
13. (3) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
14. (27) Jimmy VanZandt, Lee, Mass.
15. (9) Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.
16. (25) Brent Bouplon, Eagle Bridge, N.Y.
17. (8) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
18. (14) Craig Wholey, Bolton Landing, N.Y.
19. (5) Justin Lilly, Castleton, Vt.
20. (23) A.J. Munger, Benson Landing, Vt.
21. (2) Russ Farr, Granville, N.Y.
22. (28) Adam LaFountain, Starksboro, Vt.
23. (20) Kyle Kerr, Shoreham, Vt.
24. (29) Matt Jordan, Cambridge, N.Y.
25. (7) Josh Paige, Orwell, Vt.
26. (4) Josh Nelson, Bristol, Vt.
27. (22) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
28. (26) Aaron Clark, Bristol, Vt.
Disqualified: (13) Randy Ryan, Orwell, Vt. (engine)
Lap Leaders: Bill Duprey, 1-3; Gary English, 3-17; Austin Comes, 18-25. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (5): Laps 1, 4, 4, 14, 23.
Heat Winners: Bill Duprey, John Gosselin, Josh Nelson
Consi Winner: Evan Roberts
Super Stock Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (5) Jim McKiernan, Moriah Center, N.Y.
2. (7) Paul Braymer, Granville, N.Y.
3. (8) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
4. (3) Josh Bussino, Fair Haven, Vt.
5. (6) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
6. (4) # Chuck Bradford, Addison, Vt.
7. (1) Tony Salerno, Mineville, N.Y.
8. (2) Mike Bussino, Mount Holly, Vt.
9. (12) Tyler Irwin, Peru, N.Y.
10. (10) Donnie Williams, Ripton, Vt.
11. (11) Katarina Foster, Canaan, Conn.
12. (9) Scott Layton, Fair Haven, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Tony Salerno, pole; Jim McKiernan, 1-15. (1 lead change among 2 drivers)
Heat Winners: Josh Bussino, Chris Murray
TRACK CHAMPION: CHRIS MURRAY
Mini Stock “A” Feature (15 laps – extended to 16 laps by green-white-checkered finish)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) # Mark Mahoney, Brandon, Vt.
2. (18) Brian Blake, Cornwall, Vt.
3. (13) Craig Kirby, St. Albans, Vt.
4. (14) # Daryl Gebo, Orwell, Vt.
5. (11) Jake Barrows, Middlebury, Vt.
6. (17) Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt.
7. (19) Shawn Moquin, Milton, Vt.
8. (7) # Chase Allen, Fair Haven, Vt.
9. (2) Carol Moss, Fair Haven, Vt.
10. (9) # Austin McKirryher, Proctor, Vt.
11. (12) Derrick Counter, Leicester, Vt.
12. (6) # Jake Mallory, Granville, N.Y.
13. (3) Ron Alger, Orwell, Vt.
14. (21) # Jakobee Alger, Orwell, Vt.
15. (8) Lynn Denton, Milton, Vt.
16. (16) # Scott Chandler, Pittsford, Vt.
17. (15) Tom Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.
18. (20) Chris Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
19. (10) Clemmy Bell, Peru, N.Y.
20. (1) Willie Rice, Poultney, Vt.
21. (5) Griff Mahoney, Bristol, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Willie Rice, pole; Carol Moss, 1-2; Mark Mahoney, 3-16. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Cautions (7): Laps 2, 10, 11, 13, 13, 14, 14.
Heat Winners: Tom Severance, Griff Mahoney, Chris Sumner
Mini Stock “B” Feature (10 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) Joe Malzac, East Middlebury, Vt.
2. (3) # Cody Dion, Rutland, Vt.
3. (5) # Donald Olden, Poultney, Vt.
4. (1) # Damian Olden, Poultney, Vt.
5. (7) # Adam Mahoney, Rutland, Vt.
6. (6) # Chris Hewitt, Pittsford, Vt.
7. (2) Freddy Burch, Middle Granville, N.Y.
Did Not Start (2 drivers): Jarrod Colburn, Rutland, Vt.; Eric Wade, Rutland, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Damian Olden, pole; Joe Malzac, 1-10. (1 lead change among 2 drivers)
Cautions (1): Lap 2.
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (4) Ray Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
2. (7) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H.
3. (3) Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt.
4. (6) John Smith, Poultney, Vt.
5. (5) Roger LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
6. (1) Scott Bachand, St. Albans, Vt.
7. (2) # Gage Provencher, Bridport, Vt.
8. (9) # Tommy Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.
9. (8) # Kris Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.
10. (10) Charlie Weatherwax Jr., North Adams, Mass.
Did Not Start (1 driver): # Eric Paige, Orwell, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Scott Bachand, 1-3; Ray Hanson, 4-15. (1 lead change among 2 drivers)
Heat Winners: Kaidin White, Ray Hanson
TRACK CHAMPION: RAY HANSON