Gonyo scores C.J. Richards Memorial Modified victory at Devil’s Bowl Speedway

Courtesy of MemorEvents

Third-place finisher Brett Wood (left), winner Cory Gray (center), and runner-up Zach Wood (right) in victory lane after the Enduro Series race.

WEST HAVEN – Veteran stock car driver Leon Gonyo visited victory lane in nostalgic and appropriate fashion at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday, Aug. 7, winning the fourth annual “C.J. Richards Memorial.” Other winners on the night included Chad White, Robert Gordon, Chuck Bradford, and Cory Gray in action for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Chazy, N.Y. racer Gonyo, 63, was a frequent winner in the mid-1980s under the former Champlain Valley Racing Association headed by the late Richards, who founded Devil’s Bowl Speedway in 1967. On Friday night, Gonyo strung together a three-segment low total score of eight points to take the overall victory in the race bearing Richards’ name.

Modified division

Gonyo won the opening 22-lap segment for the Modified division to score one point in the cumulative tally. Vince Quenneville Jr., of Brandon, Vt., finished second to score two points, followed by two-time Modified champion Todd Stone, who was making his first Modified start of the season.

Stone dominated the final leg, while Gonyo held off a surging Quenneville for the runner-up spot.  Gonyo’s total of eight points was enough to beat Quenneville by a single marker for the overall victory.

Late Model division

Chad White of Fort Ann, N.Y. was a first-time winner in the 30-lap Late Model feature and became the division’s eighth different winner in as many races in 2015. Seth Bridge did his best to rebound from a crash in the previous week by leading twice during the race, but White was strong enough on the outside lane to get back in front.

White led the final 19 laps and pulled away from double-duty racer Stone and point leader Josh Masterson. Stone, of Middlebury, Vt. was the runner-up ahead of Masterson. Robert Bryant Jr. finished fourth with Matt White, the winner’s brother, fifth in his first start of the season.

Renegade division

Milton, Vt.’s Robert Gordon won the two-segment Renegade feature for the second week in a row.  Gordon finished second in the opening 15-lap round behind Scott FitzGerald, then won the final leg for a low total score of three points. Jimmy Bushey of Mooers Forks, N.Y. finished fourth and second for six points and took the overall runner-up finish, with West Rutland, Vt.’s FitzGerald (first, fifth) third overall with six points.

Mini Stock division

Defending Mini Stock champion Chuck Bradford of Addison, Vt. made it back-to-back wins in an entertaining 15-lap race, defeating point leader Chris LaVair of Gabriels, NY. Bradford’s teammate, rookie Brad Bertrand of Ferrisburgh, Vt., led the first 12 laps until Bradford and LaVair scooted past, and held on for third place.

Enduro Series

Cory Gray of Rutland, Vt. took his second win of the season in the 50-lap Enduro Series feature.  Zach Wood of Georgia, Vt. closed in on Gray in the final laps but was not able to mount a serious challenge.  Brett Wood, Zach’s father, finished third.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Friday, Aug. 14 at an early 7 p.m. start with Modifieds, Late Models, Renegades, and Mini Stocks, as well as the annual “Spectator Races” for street-legal vehicles. Regular general admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and free for kids age 12 and under.

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