WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Tim LaDuc added an important page to his family’s decades-long stock car racing scrapbook at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday, June 5. The veteran racer completed his drive for his 54th career win in dramatic and emotional fashion, headlining a night that included wins for Cody O’Brien, Chris Murray, Zach Wood, Ray Hanson, and Dustin Tierney.
Orwell, Vt., racer LaDuc, who began his career at Devil’s Bowl some 30 years ago in the footsteps of his late father, Charlie, ended a two-year victory drought in the 30-lap feature for the Sportsman Modified division. Several key points made the win a memorable one, including that the win came just a month after the passing of his mother, Barbara, who was a staple of the racing community.
The mark of 54 wins matches the LaDuc family’s car number, which originated in the early 1960s and even pre-dates Devil’s Bowl Speedway itself. As irony and fate would have it, though, LaDuc won in the race in a car with the number 36 on its doors, running a backup entry owned by fellow driver Brian Whittemore following a crash two weeks ago that destroyed LaDuc’s own car.
A heavy track surface following torrential late-week rains provided lots of excitement. Four drivers took turns in the lead, including LaDuc and old rival Vince Quenneville. Fresh off a win on Memorial Day, Quenneville drove from 18th starting position to challenge LaDuc just after the halfway mark of the race, and the dicey, sometimes-physical duel resembled the pair’s on-track battles from the early 2000s.
LaDuc held Quenneville off after the final two restarts and sailed away for the emotional win, which he dedicated to both his mother and to car owners Whittemore and Denise Ellis. Quenneville extended his lead in the championship point standings with the runner-up finish. Veteran Jimmy Ryan and rookie Anthony Warren had a fantastic fight for third place, which went Ryan’s way in the final circuits; Ryan owned the car that Warren raced to several wins in the Limited Sportsman division in 2019-20.
Justin Comes gained 12 positions to finish fifth, followed by Demetrios Drellos, Tanner Siemons, Elmo Reckner, Whittemore, and early Gene Pierson. Qualifying heats were won by Comes, LaDuc, and Pierson, and Mike Palmer won the consolation race.
Sixteen-year-old Cody O’Brien continued the youth movement in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division with career-first win. The race was dominated by fellow first-year Modified racer Justin Lilly until Lilly’s car stumbled and briefly slowed with six laps remaining. Springfield, Vt., racer O’Brien pounced and took the lead, then ran off for the win.
Timmy Aldrighetti crossed the finish line in second place but was disqualified after his car did not make minimum weight in post-race inspection. Point leader Austin Comes, after starting 17th, was officially credited with the runner-up finish. Lilly was able to recover for third place ahead of Beau Reeves and Melvin Pierson. The top 10 was completed in order by Evan Roberts, Joe Venditti, Troy Audet, Bob Kilburn, and Steve Pope. Reeves, O’Brien, and Pope won the heats, first-time Modified racer Josh LeClaire won the consi, and Scott FitzGerald took the B-Main win.
Fair Haven, Vt.’s Chris Murray came back from wild trip off the backstretch on the opening lap of the Super Stock race to score his third consecutive win. Despite a short field of just nine cars, six of them spent time in the lead during the well-driven, 20-lap feature.
Rookie Chuck Bradford finished second after a long battle with Murray and Paul Braymer. Third place went to Braymer, with Josh Bussino and Kevin Elliott next in line.
The Summit Up Construction Mini Stock division had a special two-segment race and a surprise winner in Zach Wood. With two 12-lap, cumulatively scored race segments and a full-field invert at halfway on the docket, Wood shelved his Super Stock and repurchased his former Ford Mustang Mini Stock just two days before the race and decided to enter.
The Georgia, Vt., driver started 24th on the 25-car grid in the first leg and finished fourth, and then he came from 17th in the second round to take third place. Wood’s total low-score of 7 points was good enough for the overall victory. Chris Sumner finished first and seventh in the segments for 8 points and the overall runner-up finish.
Rookie Scott Chandler (8th, 2nd) was third overall with 10 points, followed by Tim Simonds (5th, 6th) with 11 points and rookie Daryl Gebo (2nd, 11th) with 13 points. T.J. Knight was sixth ahead of Chris Conroy, Lynn Denton, second-segment winner Joe Malzac, and Jonathon Baker.
Orwell, Vt.’s Ray Hanson made it five wins in six races for the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division. Hanson quite literally bounced back from an early spin while he was leading to pass Kamden Duffy and drive away. Rookie Gage Provencher, who is just 11 years old, took second place ahead of John Smith, John McPhee Jr., and Tommy Kasuba. Hanson won the lone qualifying heat.
A wild-and-wooly field of 51 cars took to Devil’s Bowl for the second Enduro Series race of the season, and when the smoke cleared it was Vergennes, Vt.’s Dustin Tierney standing in the winner’s circle. Tierney led the opening laps before engaging in a fierce fight through heavy lapped traffic with Chris Murray, Aren Keene, Chris Brown, and others, but regained command 17 circuits into the 50-lapper and ran off with his first win.
Ryan Benoit finished second with Chris Duffney Jr. third as the only other cars on the lead lap. Matt Wade and Trevor Mears completed the top five, one lap off the pace. The balance of the top 10 was rounded out by Rich Rose, Artie Forrest, Keaton Thomas-Lazore, Spencer Wood, and James Berlinghoff.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns on Saturday, June 12 at 7:00 p.m. as the Sportsman Modifieds run twin 20-lap features; all other weekly classes will also be in action. Grandstand admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). Tickets will be available online at https://buytickets.at/
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.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (6) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
2. (18) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
3. (7) Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham, Vt.
4. (12) # Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
5. (17) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
6. (11) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
7. (16) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
8. (15) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
9. (5) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
10. (2) Gene Pierson Jr., East Corinth, Vt.
11. (10) # Johnny Bruno, Castleton, Vt.
12. (22) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
13. (19) Jason Bruno, Morrisonville, N.Y.
14. (9) Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
15. (1) Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt.
16. (20) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
17. (14) Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
18. (29) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
19. (23) Don Mattison, Wells, Vt.
20. (24) Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
21. (3) Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
22. (8) Connor Cleveland, Corinth, N.Y.
23. (21) Pat Jones, Altamont, N.Y.
24. (13) Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
25. (26) Todd Randlett, Holderness, N.H.
26. (27) Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
27. (4) Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Gansevoort, N.Y.
28. (25) # Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
29. (28) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
Did Not Start (1 driver): Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
Did Not Qualify (1 driver): James Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Mike Fisher, 1; Gene Pierson Jr., 2-4; Tim LaDuc, 5-18; Vince Quenneville, 19; LaDuc, 20-30. (4 lead changes among 4 drivers)
Cautions (6): Laps 1, 14, 16, 18, 19, 25.
Heat Winners: Justin Comes, Tim LaDuc, Gene Pierson Jr.
Consi Winner: Mike Palmer
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (25 laps)
1. (6) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt.
2. (17) Austin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
3. (4) Justin Lilly, Castleton, Vt.
4. (10) Beau Reeves, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
5. (14) Melvin Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
6. (16) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
7. (8) Joe Venditti, Scotia, N.Y.
8. (13) Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt.
9. (15) Bob Kilburn, Fair Haven, Vt.
10. (7) Steve Pope, Shoreham, Vt.
11. (9) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
12. (21) Jeremy Beckley, Bath, N.H.
13. (22) Bill Duprey, Hydeville, Vt.
14. (12) John Gosselin, Shoreham, Vt.
15. (5) Jeff White, Rutland, Vt.
16. (18) Brian Bishop, Bristol, Vt.
17. (11) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
18. (2) Joe Kemp, Clarendon, Vt.
19. (1) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
20. (19) Josh LeClaire, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
21. (23) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
22. (20) A.J. Munger, Benson, Vt.
Disqualified: (3) Timmy Aldrighetti, Bethel, Vt. (minimum weight)
Did Not Start (1 driver): Randy Ryan, Orwell, Vt.
Did Not Qualify (12 drivers): Dakota Green, Cambridge, N.Y.; Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.; Bryon Linendoll, West Pawlet, Vt.; Craig Wholey, Bolton Landing, N.Y.; Josh Paige, Orwell, Vt.; Jason Quenneville, Quechee, Vt.; Wesley Sutliff, South Glens Falls, N.Y.; Russ Farr, Granville, N.Y.; Shawn Phelps, Richmond, Vt.; Samantha Mulready, Cambridge, N.Y.; Ray Hanson, Orwell, Vt. (substitute for Larry Gallipo); Matt Jordan, Cambridge, N.Y.
Lap Leaders: Mike McGinn, pole; Justin Lilly, 1-19; Cody O’Brien, 20-25. (2 lead change among 3 drivers)
Cautions (3): Laps 17, 17, 18.
Heat Winners: Beau Reeves, Cody O’Brien, Steve Pope
Consi Winner: Josh LeClaire
B-Main Winner: Scott FitzGerald
Super Stock Feature (20 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (9) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
2. (6) # Chuck Bradford, Addison, Vt.
3. (7) Paul Braymer, Granville, N.Y.
4. (8) Josh Bussino, Fair Haven, Vt.
5. (5) Kevin Elliott, Rutland, Vt.
6. (3) Mark Norris, Benson, Vt.
7. (4) # Andy Botala, Grand Isle, Vt.
8. (2) Ronnie Alger, Orwell, Vt.
9. (1) # Griff Mahoney, Bristol, Vt.
Lap Leaders: Griff Mahoney, pole; Ronnie Alger, 1; Andy Botala, 2; Chuck Bradford, 3-6; Paul Braymer, 7-14; Chris Murray, 15-20. (5 lead changes among 6 drivers)
Cautions (2): Laps 11, 14.
Heat Winners: n/a
Summit Up Construction Mini Stock Feature (12 laps x 2)
# – denotes rookie
1. (24) Zach Wood, Georgia, Vt. – 7 pts.
2. (16) Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt. – 8 pts.
3. (4) # Scott Chandler, Pittsford, Vt. – 10 pts.
4. (15) Tim Simonds, North Clarendon, Vt. – 11 pts.
5. (12) # Daryl Gebo, Orwell, Vt. – 13 pts.
6. (17) T.J. Knight, Wells, Vt. – 16 pts.
7. (14) Chris Conroy, Newport, N.H. – 16 pts.
8. (9) Lynn Denton, Milton, Vt. – 16 pts.
9. (23) Joe Malzac, East Middlebury, Vt. – 20 pts.
10. (22) Jonathon Baker, Newport, N.H. – 20 pts.
11. (7) Brian Blake, Cornwall, Vt. – 21 pts.
12. (5) # Austin McKirryher, Proctor, Vt. – 22 pts.
13. (13) Craig Kirby, St. Albans, Vt. – 22 pts.
14. (21) # Josh Ostertag, Deering, N.H. – 29 pts.
15. (8) Jake Barrows, Middlebury, Vt. – 29 pts.
16. (3) Tom Severance, Fair Haven, Vt. – 29 pts.
17. (6) # Chase Alen, Fair Haven, Vt. – 29 pts.
18. (19) # Jakobee Alger, Orwell, Vt. – 33 pts.
19. (10) Derrick Counter, Leicester, Vt. – 36 pts.
20. (11) Willie Rice, Poultney, Vt. – 40 pts.
21. (18) Kaydan Rice, Poultney, Vt. – 43 pts.
22. (20) # Jason Kerr, Shoreham, Vt. – 46 pts.
23. (2) Adam Stewart, Benson, Vt. – 48 pts.
24. (1) # Adam Mahoney, Rutland, Vt. – 50 pts.
25. (25) Mary Gardner, Middle Granville, N.Y. – 51 pts.
Lap Leaders: Seg. 1 – Adam Mahoney, pole; Adam Stewart, 1; Scott Chandler, 2-11; Chris Sumner, 12-13; Seg. 2 – Joe Malzac, 1-12. (4 lead changes among 5 drivers)
Cautions (1): Seg. 1 – Lap 11.
Segment Winners: Chris Sumner, Joe Malzac
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (6) Ray Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
2. (3) # Gage Provencher, Bridport, Vt.
3. (8) John Smith, Poultney, Vt.
4. (1) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt.
5. (2) # Tommy Kasuba, Castleton, Vt.
6. (5) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H.
7. (4) Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt.
8. (7) Austin Chaves, Chester, Vt.
Did Not Start (3 drivers): #Kyle Bruno, Pittsford, Vt.; # Kris Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.; # Lynn Sumner, Fair Haven, Vt.
Lap Leaders: John McPhee Jr., pole; Gage Provencher, 1-3; Ray Hanson, 4-5; Kamden Duffy, 6-9, Hanson, 10-15. (4 lead changes among 4 drivers)
Cautions (2): Laps 5, 7.
Heat Winner: Ray Hanson
Enduro Series Feature (50 laps)
Pos.-(Car No.)-Driver-Laps Completed
1. (67) Dustin Tierney – 50
2. (74) Ryan Benoit – 50
3. (711) Chris Duffney Jr. – 50
4. (510) Matt Wade – 49
5. (30) Trevor Mears – 49
6. (C8) Rich Rose – 48
7. (911) Artie Forrest – 48
8. (214) Keaton Thomas-Lazore – 48
9. (817) Spencer Wood – 47
10. (199) James Berlinghoff – 25
Full Enduro Series finish posted at http://www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.
Source: Justin St. Louis, Media