Courtesy of MemorEvents
Jimmy Bushey of Mooers Forks, N.Y., celebrates his first Devil’s Bowl Speedway win in the Renegade division; Bushey lost his home in a fire on June 13 and recently made his return to the track.
Bryant and Bushey take first wins; LaVair makes it five straight
WEST HAVEN – Vince Quenneville Jr. is loving his new racecar, and he parked it in victory lane at Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the second week in a row on Friday, July 10. The Brandon, Vt., veteran won the double-points mid-season championship event, making it a perfect two-for-two in his new Troyer chassis. Other winners on the night included Robert Bryant Jr., Jimmy Bushey, and Chris LaVair.
Quenneville started last on the field because of his victory in the previous event, but that didn’t slow him down. A steady climb through traffic brought him to the back bumper of leader Jimmy Ryan by lap 15 of the 35-lap race; he made several attempts at getting by Ryan before finally finding grip in the outside lane and nosing ahead at lap 22. After that, Quenneville was long gone and cruised to his second-straight victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Ryan was in a fierce fight with Greg Atkins, point leader Ron Proctor, and Joey Roberts during the rest of the race, and Proctor eventually made his way into the runner-up spot. Atkins finished third for his seventh consecutive top-five finish, followed by Roberts and Ryan. Proctor, of Charlton, N.Y., holds a 14-point lead in the championship standings over Quenneville (455-441) entering the second half of the season.
Robert Bryant Jr. of Brooklyn, Conn., worked hard for his first win of the season in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Side-by-side action was the theme of the race, and Bryant ran in close quarters with Steve Miller for several laps near the halfway point before taking over at lap 18. Bryant led a group of seven cars in the lead pack that took turns swapping positions throughout the final laps, and Bristol, Vt.’s Josh Masterson ended up in the runner-up position. Jamie Aube came from 14th starting spot to finish third, followed by Miller and Bobby Therrien.
Masterson’s good finish in the double-points race, combined with a hard crash on the opening lap for chief rival Todd Stone, gives him a sizable lead in the championship standings. Bryant moved up to second place with his win, but trails Masterson by 44 points (365-321). Stone entered the event just five points off Masterson’s lead but dropped to third place, 61 points behind.
Jimmy Bushey captured a popular and emotional victory in the 20-lap Renegade feature. Bushey lost his Mooers Forks, N.Y., home in a devastating fire on June 13 while he was competing at Airborne Park Speedway and had been out of action for three weeks, but rebounded with a dominant win in the mid-season championship race – his first win at Devil’s Bowl.
Rookie Matt Monaghan finished second for the best result of his young career in the class, followed by Robert Gordon, Jim McKiernan, and Scott FitzGerald. Gordon, of Milton, Vt., holds a 30-point advantage on FitzGerald (409-379) in the title chase.
Chris LaVair of Gabriels, N.Y., made it five consecutive wins in the Mini Stocks, sweeping both halves of a two-segment race. LaVair extended his lead in the division’s all-time win list to 14, and also equaled the Devil’s Bowl Speedway modern-era asphalt record of five consecutive wins, a mark set in 2010 by Renegade racer Jon Miller. Chuck Bradford finished second in the event, followed by Harold LaVair, the winner’s father. Kyle Watrous ran fourth in his first start of the season, with rookie Tanner Crary fifth. Chris LaVair has a comfortable 64-point lead in the standings over his father Harold LaVair (408-344).
The Rutland Area Vehicle Enthusiasts (RAVE) car club was also on hand for the event; Brad and Laurie Canty’s 1969 Chevrolet Nova was voted by fans as the “best in show” while Damon and Tina Pelkey’s 1947 Ford pickup truck won the burnout contest with an impressive smoke show.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway also hosted the family-fun “Monster Truck Mania” event on Tuesday, July 14, with four high-flying, car-crushing machines including Monster Jam World Freestyle Champion “Overkill Evolution” and the “Higher Education” monster school bus.
General admission to Devil’s Bowl Speedway is $15 for adults and only $5 for kids age 12 and under. The Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com.