Young racers Justin Stone and Marty Kelly III held serve at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 20, for the annual Double Feature Night. The busy, 10-race card was also highlighted by a 50-lap Enduro Series race, and by a backpack giveaway at intermission that benefitted more than 200 students in attendance.
Middlebury’s Justin Stone won the opening 25-lap feature for the headline Sportsman Modified division. The third-generation driver earned his second win of the season, and his cousin, rookie Troy Audet, finished as the runner-up. Kelly took third place, veteran Elmo Reckner was fourth, and sophomore Shawn McPhee continued a recent stretch of success in fifth. Brian Whittemore finished sixth ahead of Walt Hammond Jr., Jimmy Ryan, Vince Quenneville, and Jimmy Davis.
Kelly was hot all night, winning the second Sportsman Modified feature for his maiden victory of 2022. The second-generation Shaftsbury racer held off defending champion Tim LaDuc after a restart with four laps remaining for the score. LaDuc placed second ahead of Anthony Warren, Frank Hoard III, and Allan Hammond. Ryan was sixth, followed by Todd Stone, Whittemore, Tanner Siemons, and Justin Comes.
The Limited Sportsman division welcomed a pair of popular new winners in twin 20-lap features, shining some light on both ends of the age spectrum. Second-generation driver A.J. Munger, 21, of nearby Benson Landing, pulled off the first points-paying victory of his young career in the first race. Alex Layn scored a career-best runner-up finish, followed by Bubba McPhee, Anthony Ryan, and Fred Little.
Fair Haven’s “Santa” Bob Kilburn scored his first-ever Devil’s Bowl win in the Limited Sportsman nightcap. The 66-year-old was up front all race long and held off the field through a pair of restarts including one with just two laps left. Josh LeClaire threaded the needle in traffic to take second. Bubba McPhee was third for the second time of the night, followed by Bill Duprey and Steve Pope.
Mount Holly’s Josh Bussino picked up his first win in a Modified car in the first 15-lap race for the Rookie Sportsman division. Stock car veteran Don Williams scored his best open-wheel finish in second place, with Kamden Duffy, William Lussier Jr., and Tyler Travis completing the top five.
Travis has wasted no time in making his presence known at Devil’s Bowl, picking up his first victory in the second Rookie Sportsman feature. The Hartland racer made just his third and fourth starts in a Modified on Double Feature Night, and he had made only four starts in Mini Sprint competition earlier in the season. Adam LaFountain finished second ahead of Lussier, Randy Edson, and Duffy.
Rookie Logan Denis of Whiting kept his hot freshman campaign going in the 500cc Mini Sprint division, scoring his fourth win of the season in the first 12-lap feature. Vern Woodard was a career-best second ahead of defending champion Ray Hanson, Lane Saville, and Chayton Young.
Young, also a rookie, brought his second career victory home to Wynantskill, New York in the second Mini Sprint race. Saville was the runner-up, followed by Denis, John Smith, and Woodard.
The Mini Stock division saw its program rearranged after a disastrous start. With no laps completed in 18 minutes in the first of two planned 12-lap features, the entire division was sent to the pit area to regroup, and the decision was made to hold a single 20-lap race later in the evening.
Ripton’s Chris Sumner didn’t mind the change, as he had extra time to move from the 21st starting position to score his track-high sixth win of the year. Craig Kirby, Adam Mahoney, and leading rookie Matt Wade each came from deep in the starting field to run 2-3-4, and Chase Allen finished fifth. Whiting’s Eric Leno won the 50-lap Enduro Series race to close out the evening. The win was Leno’s third of the year and his fifth overall. Full Enduro results will be available on the Devil’s Bowl Speedway website and social media pages.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., with the annual “Win & You’re In!” automatic qualifier “draw race” for the upcoming Vermont 200. The program also includes Kids Racecar Rides at intermission. All five weekly racing divisions will be in action. Grandstand general admission is $12 for adults and free for children aged 12 and under, and Infield drive-in parking is $20 for adults and free for children. Tickets are available at the speedway on race day. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, just 20 minutes from Rutland. For more information, visit DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112.