WEST HAVEN, VT – A two-day delay at Devil’s Bowl Speedway was worth the wait for a handful of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers on Sunday, August 24. Eight different stock car racers carried the checkered flag after twin features at the annual “Double Stack Night” presented by Sugar & Spice Restaurant, which was postponed from Friday by rain.
Jason Durgan of Morrisonville, NY won a rough opening 25-lap main event for the Bond Auto Parts Modified division. After starting fourth, Durgan nosed past Jason Reome to take the lead at lap 14, then survived the third and final restart of the race four laps later to cruise to his second victory of the season. Vince Quenneville, Jr. finished second, and Joey Roberts made a nifty three-wide move in the final corner to take third place. Jessey Mueller was fourth with Jamie LaFountain fifth.
Durgan’s win came at the right time as the season begins to wind down; Durgan entered the race weekend ranked 21st in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings and a tight second in the battle for the National Rookie of the Year presented by Jostens title.
In the nightcap, Devil’s Bowl point leader Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT rolled out a backup car after wrecking in the first race to dominate the event. Mueller snuck into second spot on a lap-17 restart but was unable to catch Stone. Roberts, Quenneville, and LaFountain rounded out the top five finishers.
Stone now leads Roberts by 35 points (846-811) entering twin 50-lap features at the Mekkelsen RV Vermont 200 Weekend season finale on September 13-14. Leon Gonyo (806) is third, five more points back.
East Montpelier, VT teenager Emily Packard fell inches shy of a perfect sweep in the Late Model division. Packard won the opening 25-lapper in convincing fashion as Rich Lowrey, Jr. and Josh Masterson fought hard for second place. Contact on multiple laps saw the pair trading the second spot before Lowrey ultimately took the position. Masterson was third, followed by Jamie Fisher and Robert Bryant, Jr.
In the second race, it was Packard and point leader Fisher running hard in the final frames as they battled for the win. Packard led laps 21-24 in a door-slamming duel, but Shelburne, VT veteran Fisher held the bottom lane and won a drag race to the finish line by a margin of victory estimated at less than three inches. Bucko Branham finished third with Jamie Aube and Walt Hammond, Jr. in tow.
Fisher’s performance was enough to extend his championship lead, though his advantage remains a narrow 13 points over Masterson (660-647) and just 15 on Packard (645) entering the 100-lap season finale.
Fifteen year-old Champlain Valley Union High School football star Richard Lowrey, III, of Charlotte, VT – whose father Rich finished second in the opening Late Model feature – won the first of two 15-lap Renegade races. Lowrey won a squeaker over point leader Robert Gordon, with rookie Scott FitzGerald third. Milton, VT driver Gordon stole the show in the second event after Lowrey was eliminated in an early crash. Jim McKiernan finished second, while another 15 year-old, Dylan Rabtoy, took third place.
John McCarron of Rensselaer, NY took his second Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock win of the season after passing Harold LaVair with one lap remaining in the first 15-lap feature. Mike Whalen, Jr. and LaVair’s son, Bobby LaVair, followed McCarron through to complete the podium finishers. Bobby LaVair, a resident of Saranac Lake, NY, continued his good day with a victory in the second feature, followed by Jake Noble in second and Whalen in third.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway will close its NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season when action returns for the Mekkelsen RV Vermont 200 Weekend on September 13-14. The two-day show features special events for the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series, the Northern Modified Challenge Series, and the North East Mini Stock Tour, and much more, along with a Saturday-night barbecue and bonfire.