Whittemore Scores Popular Upset at Devil’s Bowl Speedway
Veteran earns first win at home track since 1995
WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Everyone in attendance at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, July 26 became a Brian Whittemore fan – at least for one night. The veteran underdog driver scored an immensely popular victory in the headline Pepsi Sportsman Modified division, highlighting a roster of winners that included Evan Roberts, Kim Duell, Andrew FitzGerald, Michael Daniels, and Cody O’Brien.
Whittemore started on the pole in the 30-lap main event and broke out to an early lead, but Jack Speshock came calling on the outside lane at the one-third mark. Speshock took the point to lead laps 10 and 11, but he slipped out of the groove and crashed off the track in Turn 1 on lap 12, ending his race. Whittemore reassumed the lead and ran away from that point on with full support from both spectators and competing teams in the pit area.
The Pittsford, Vt., driver had been to victory lane at other dirt tracks in Vermont and New Hampshire during his career, but Sunday’s win was his first in a Modified at his home track at Devil’s Bowl; it was his first win in any division at the West Haven, Vt., track since a Late Model victory on May 28, 1995.
John St. Germain continued his strong 2020 season with a runner-up finish, and he was poised to challenge Whittemore in the final laps. Demetrios Drellos came from 13th at the start, and then rebounded from an off-track slide to finish third. Tanner Siemons nipped Dylan Rabtoy at the finish line for fourth.
The top 10 was completed, in order, by Bobby Hackel, Adam Pierson, Marty Kelly III, rookie James Hanson, and Billy Lussier. Qualifying heats were won by St. Germain, Rabtoy, Kelly, and Lussier, and Chris Murray won the last-chance consolation qualifier; thirty-two cars attempted to qualify for 24 starting positions.
Rookie Adam Piper of Leicester, Vt., won the 12-lap B-Feature for the Sportsman Modifieds, taking his first checkered flag in the division. Piper led every lap and pulled away on the lone restart with three laps left. Tanner Forbes was second in his first race of the season. Alex Bell, Brent Warren, and Todd Randlett completed the top five.
Fourteen-year-old Evan Roberts ran off with the second win of his freshman year in the 20-lap O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division. The Fletcher, Vt., youngster started on the pole and led every circuit, despite several restarts that tested him. Anthony Warren charged through traffic – sometimes three-wide – to get to the runner-up spot. Johnny Bruno, running in lockstep with Warren for much of the race, finished third.
Lacey Hanson – driving a car owned by Sportsman winner Whittemore – finished fourth, with Josh Bussino in tow. Matt Bilodeau led the second half of the top 10, followed by Anthony Ryan, Scott FitzGerald, Mike Ryan, and Kevin Groff. Roberts, Bussino, and Warren won the qualifying heats.
The full-fender Pro Stock division returned to Devil’s Bowl for the first time in two years, and that gave veteran driver Kim Duell the opportunity to visit the track’s winner’s circle for the first time in a decade. The Pro Stocks combined with the track’s weekly Super Stock class, creating an interesting mix of cars and competition. Porter Corners, N.Y., driver Duell grabbed the lead from Josh Coonradt on a restart with 10 circuits left in the 25-lapper, and drove away for the special $1,000 win. Scott Towslee finished second ahead of Chad Jeseo, Coonradt, and Burton Ward.
West Rutland, Vt.’s Andrew FitzGerald ran competitively and crossed the finish line ninth overall, taking the win in the Super Stock class. Cam Gadue was a career-best second in the Super Stocks, followed by Curtis Condon, Russ Farr, and Ronnie Alger. Pro Stock heat wins went to Duell and Ward, and FitzGerald won the Super Stock heat.
Michael Daniels broke the Mini Stock division’s streak of new winners with his second triumph of the year. The Plattsburgh, N.Y., racer – who also finished second at the track on Saturday night – drove from eighth place to the lead in just five laps and led from then on. Point leader Chris Conroy continued his torrid run of podium finishes with a runner-up showing. T.J. Knight, Kyle Davis Jr., and Dick Stone were next in line. Freddy Burch was uninjured in a rollover – the third one of the weekend for the division.
Springfield, Vt.’s Cody O’Brien took his fourth win of the season in a two-segment, cumulatively scored race for the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division. O’Brien finished fourth in the first 10-lap segment and won the final leg for a total low score of five points (4 +1 = 5). Austin Chaves had the same score after winning the first round and finishing fourth in the nightcap, but O’Brien earned the tiebreaker with the better finish in the final segment. Rookie Troy Audet finished third overall with 6 points, followed by teammates Samantha Mulready and Dakota Green at 9 points each.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Sunday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m., with all five weekly divisions, plus Pro Stocks and the season’s second 50-lap Enduro. Limited grandstand seating and infield drive-in spectator parking will be available both nights. Grandstand tickets are $15 and infield tickets are $20, with kids age 12 and under free in the infield. Tickets will be for sale online at https://buytickets.at/devilsbowlspeedway (online processing fees apply), or at the speedway on race night.
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.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway, and on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Pepsi Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (1) Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
2. (7) John St. Germain Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
3. (13) Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
4. (9) Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
5. (2) Dylan Rabtoy, Swanton, Vt.
6. (15) Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
7. (14) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
8. (8) Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
9. (3) # James Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
10. (4) Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
11. (11) Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
12. (12) Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
13. (16) Kyle Inman, Darien Center, N.Y.
14. (20) Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
15. (10) Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
16. (18) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
17. (21) # Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
18. (22) Derrick McGrew Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y.
19. (24) Jake Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
20. (17) Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
21. (23) # Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
22. (19) Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
23. (5) Jimmy Ryan, Whiting, Vt.
24. (6) Jack Speshock, Malta, N.Y.
Heat Winners: John St. Germain Jr., Dylan Rabtoy, Marty Kelly III, Billy Lussier
Consi Winner: Chris Murray
Pepsi Sportsman Modified B-Feature (12 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (1) # Adam Piper, Leicester, Vt.
2. (2) Tanner Forbes, Jay, N.Y.
3. (4) Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
4. (6) Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
5. (5) Todd Randlett, Holderness, N.H.
6. (3) Griffen Mansmith, Gloversville, N.Y.
Did Not Start: Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.; Bruce Loomis, Queensbury, N.Y.
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (20 laps)
1. (1) Evan Roberts, Fletcher, Vt.
2. (8) Anthony Warren, Shoreham, Vt.
3. (10) Johnny Bruno, Castleton, Vt.
4. (5) Lacey Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
5. (2) Josh Bussino, Mount Holly, Vt.
6. (9) Matt Bilodeau, Brandon, Vt.
7. (6) Anthony Ryan, Benson, Vt.
8. (4) Scott FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
9. (12) Mike Ryan, Chelsea, Vt.
10. (7) Kevin Groff, Wynantskill, N.Y.
11. (3) Garrett Given, Orwell, Vt.
12. (13) Gary English, Salisbury, Vt.
13. (15) Mike McGinn, Elizabethtown, N.Y.
14. (18) Austin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
15. (11) Larry Gallipo, West Rutland, Vt.
16. (16) Montgomery Tremont, West Sand Lake, N.Y.
17. (14) Shawn McPhee, Rutland, Vt.
18. (19) Bryon Linendoll, West Pawlet, Vt.
19. (17) Josh Paige, Orwell, Vt.
Heat Winners: Evan Roberts, Josh Bussino, Anthony Warren
Pro Stock/Super Stock Feature (25 laps)
1. (1) Kim Duell, Porter Corners, N.Y.
2. (8) Scott Towslee, Manchester, Vt.
3. (5) Chad Jeseo, Averill Park, N.Y.
4. (3) Josh Coonradt, West Milton, N.Y.
5. (2) Burton Ward, Massena, N.Y.
6. (4) Ed Thompson, Castleton, Vt.
7. (9) Dan Madigan, Valley Falls, N.Y.
8. (6) Justin White, Winthrop, N.Y.
9. (14) Andrew FitzGerald, West Rutland, Vt.
10. (13) Cam Gadue, Highgate, Vt.
11. (15) Curtis Condon, Queensbury, N.Y.
12. (11) Russ Farr, Middle Granville, N.Y.
13. (12) Ronnie Alger, Orwell, Vt.
14. (10) Chuck Towslee, Manchester, Vt.
15. (7) Jay Fitzgerald, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
16. (16) Nathan Smart, Altona, N.Y.
Heat Winners: Kim Duell, Burton Ward, Andrew FitzGerald
Mini Stock Feature (20 laps)
# – denotes rookie
1. (8) Michael Daniels, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
2. (16) Chris Conroy, Newport, N.H.
3. (15) T.J. Knight, Wells, Vt.
4. (7) Kyle Davis Jr., Cornish, N.H.
5. (18) Dick Stone, Rutland, Vt.
6. (13) Brian Blake, Cornwall, Vt.
7. (9) Jarrod Colburn, Rutland, Vt.
8. (10) Willie Rice, Poultney, Vt.
9. (12) Craig Kirby, St. Albans, Vt.
10. (5) Katrina Bean, Benson, Vt.
11. (14) Jake Barrows, Middlebury, Vt.
12. (3) # Adam Stewart, Benson, Vt.
13. (2) # Tom Severance, Fair Haven, Vt.
14. (6) Mary Gardner, Middle Granville, N.Y.
15. (20) Bobby Fletcher, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
16. (17) # Griff Mahoney, Brandon, Vt.
17. (1) # Freddy Burch, Middle Granville, N.Y.
18. (11) # Cody Groesbeck, Fair Haven, Vt.
19. (4) # Chris Sumner, Ripton, Vt.
20. (19) Adam Mahoney, Rutland, Vt.
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (12 laps x 2 segments)
Pos.-(Start)-Driver-Hometown-Segment Point Total
# – denotes rookie
1. (9) Cody O’Brien, Springfield, Vt. – 5 pts.
2. (8) Austin Chaves, Chester, Vt. – 5 pts.
3. (6) # Troy Audet, Bridport, Vt. – 6 pts.
4. (7) Samantha Mulready, Cambridge, N.Y. – 9 pts.
5. (2) Dakota Green, Cambridge, N.Y. – 9 pts.
6. (5) Joe Kemp, West Rutland, Vt. – 11 pts.
7. (3) # Kaidin White, Monkton, Vt. – 13 pts.
8. (10) Kamden Duffy, Richmond, N.H. – 14 pts.
9. (15) John Smith, Poultney, Vt. – 19 pts.
10. (1) John McPhee Jr., Rutland, Vt. – 21 pts.
11. (12) # Arnie Kasuba, Castleton, Vt. – 22 pts.
12. (13) Scott Layton, Poultney, Vt. – 26 pts.
13. (14) Sean Beinhaur, Shoreham, Vt. – 27 pts.
14. (11) # Hunter Given, Orwell, Vt. – 29 pts.
15. (4) # Roger LaDuc, Orwell, Vt. – 30 pts.
Did Not Start: Nadine Coates, Newport, N.H.
Segment Winners: Austin Chaves, Cody O’Brien