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Locals among place-winners at Devil’s Bowl

WEST HAVEN — Defending American-Canadian Tour champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. on Saturday at Devil’s Bowl Speedway won a caution-free People’s United Bank 100. His victory was part of a four-division card that also saw Bucko Branham, Dylan Rabtoy and Chris LaVair carry the checkered flag.
Hudson, N.H., racer Polewarczyk started seventh on the 26-car field and conserved his tires in the first half of the race as Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, N.H., and Barre’s Nick Sweet, each a three-time Devil’s Bowl winner, waged a see-saw battle for the lead.
Polewarczyk sliced through traffic after the halfway mark and used lapped traffic and superior handling to make his way past Sweet on the inside lane during the non-stop race. He stalked Helliwell and then made the winning move on the outside at lap 75, driving away to a convincing victory.
Behind Polewarczyk, Helliwell and Sweet continued their race-long fight. Sweet finally wrestled the runner-up position away with five laps remaining. Home track driver Josh Masterson of Bristol had his best-ever ACT showing by taking fourth.
Three divisions from the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series presented by Yandow Sales & Service and John Deere competed, with each winner taking home a $600 w7150 impact wrench from Ingersoll Rand Tools.
Bucko Branham of Plattsburgh, N.Y., won the 35-lap feature race in the Bond Auto Parts Modified division. Early wrecks took out several cars before Branham and Leon Gonyo made their way to the back bumper of leader Jason Bruno. Branham and Gonyo slipped by with 10 laps to go, and Branham’s car sailed to the win. Gonyo, however, ran out of fuel on the final lap, allowing Bruno to take a career-best runner-up finish.
Rookie Jim Morgan of Plattsburgh finished third in just his fifth career start, followed by Greg Atkins of Clintonville, N.Y., and Brandon’s Vince Quenneville Jr.
Atkins and Quenneville are locked in a battle for the first-ever Yandow/John Deere “Spring Championship Series” title, and will decide the winner at Plattsburgh Airborne Park Speedway on Saturday, June 13. Atkins holds a one-point lead on Quenneville (242-241) entering the finale of the six-race series.
Sixteen-year-old Rabtoy of Swanton was also a first-time winner on Saturday. He took the 25-lap feature in the Brileya’s Chrysler-Jeep Renegade division by starting on the pole position and leading throughout. Plattsburgh’s Jason McClatchie finished second, and Scott FitzGerald of West Rutland was third.
LaVair of Saranac Lake, N.Y., won the 15-lap Portland Glass Mini Stock feature in a dominant run. The win was LaVair’s first of the year and the ninth of his career at Devil’s Bowl. Kris Clark of Keeseville, N.Y., finished second Dale O’Neil was third.
Saturday’s winners and local finishers were:
• American-Canadian Tour Late Model Feature (100 laps): 1. Polewarczyk; 4. Masterson, Bristol; 23. Steve Miller, Vergennes.
• Bond Auto Parts Modified Feature (35 laps): 1. Branham; 5. Quenneville, Brandon; 8. Dave Snow, Brandon; 17. Jimmy Ryan, Whiting.
• Brileya’s Chrysler-Jeep Renegade Feature (25 laps): 1. Rabtoy.
• Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps) 1. LaVair; 7. Bradley Bertrand, Ferrisburgh; 10. Chuck Bradford, Addison.

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