The fourth annual “Pancake Eating Championship” was held Aug. 28. Malcolm Woodward defends title eating11.
Quenneville, Aubin take Modified wins; Masterson sweeps Late Models
WEST HAVEN – Double stock car racing features produced double the drama at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday, Aug. 28, at the annual Sugar & Spice/Jones’ Donuts “Double Stack Night” event. Eight feature races were run for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series along with the fourth annual “Great North American Pancake Eating Championship.”
The fan-favorite fourth annual “Great North American Pancake Eating Championship” was held at intermission with a field of more than 25 contestants in two age groups. Malcolm Woodward defended his title in the “heavyweight” division by eating 11 pancakes with pure Vermont maple syrup in just five minutes; it was Woodward’s third-straight victory. Six year-old Alex Messer won the “junior” division title with four-and-a-half pancakes.
In racing action, championship hopefuls Vince Quenneville Jr. and Ron Proctor continued their red-hot fight for the title in the Modified division by running in lockstep in both features. Brandon, Vt., veteran Quenneville made the first move by winning the opening 20-lap sprint race for the Modifieds with Proctor taking the runner-up spot. Leon Gonyo finished third, followed by Greg Atkins and Billy Lussier.
In the nightcap, Codie Aubin of Plattsburgh, N.Y., continued his late-summer streak of success with his first-ever victory at Devil’s Bowl after holding off a constant challenge from Greg Atkins. Proctor finished third with Quenneville on his rear bumper. Jimmy Ryan – who flipped his car in the opening race and received help from teams across all four Devil’s Bowl divisions while making repairs – led laps early and finished fifth.
Quenneville’s win in the first race drew him even in the point battle with Proctor in a temporary tie for the lead, but Charlton, N.Y., racer Proctor edged back ahead by just two points following the second feature. With three feature races remaining in the season for the Modifieds, Proctor leads Quenneville 749-747. Atkins is still alive in the chase as well, with 710 points.
Josh Masterson of Bristol, Vt., brought the “new winners” streak to a definitive end in the Late Model division by sweeping both features. The Late Models had not seen a repeat winner through the first nine races of the season, but Masterson grabbed his second and third wins of the year.
Steve Miller of Vergennes, Vt., led early in the opening 25-lap race before Masterson scooted past him on the outside lane. Miller held tight to Masterson’s rear bumper over the balance of the race but settled for the runner-up spot. Todd Stone was third with Seth Bridge a career-best fourth and Bobby Therrien fifth.
The second race, a 30-lapper, saw former track champion Chris Bergeron of Claremont, N.H., lead every step of the way until the race’s only caution period with six laps remaining. Masterson had driven through traffic to stalk Bergeron, then rocketed past him on the restart to take the lead and complete the two-win sweep. Bergeron finished second ahead of Robert Bryant Jr., Stone, and Therrien.
Masterson’s victories turned a rough two-week slide around and helped him rebuild his lead in the championship race; he paces Bryant by 49 points, 607-558. Stone is third, another 16 markers back.
Title rivals Robert Gordon and Scott FitzGerald split the twin 15-lap features in the Renegade division. Gordon, of Milton, Vt., took the lead from Don Franklin early in the opening race and drove away for his sixth win. FitzGerald ran second, followed by Dylan Rabtoy, Jimmy Bushey, and Franklin.
West Rutland, Vt., racer FitzGerald topped the second race, but had all he could handle from Rabtoy and Gordon in the final laps. The trio finished in three-wide formation with Rabtoy second and Gordon third, followed by Franklin and Jared Blake. FitzGerald’s win backs up his first career asphalt victory one week ago.
Though FitzGerald made incremental improvement in the point standings, Gordon still holds a 31-point advantage (657-626) entering the final two weeks of the season.
Chuck Bradford of Addison, Vt., matched Masterson’s two-win sweep in the Mini Stock division to extend his victory streak to five consecutive races. Bradford started last in each race and worked his way through traffic each time, saving his best for the final laps in each 15-lap race. He took the lead from Chris LaVair with only four laps remaining in the opening race, and led only the final two laps of the second run after a late pass of John McCarron.
Bradford beat LaVair, rookie Brad Bertrand, McCarron, and Kyle Sorensen to win the first feature, then topped McCarron, LaVair, Bertrand, and Sorensen in order in the final race. LaVair – who also won five-straight earlier in the season – continues to hold the point lead by 46 markers (646-600) over Bradford.