Drivers settle for second at Bowl

WEST HAVEN — Second-place finishes for Brandon’s Vince Quenneville Jr. and Steve Miller of Vergennes provided Saturday’s Addison County highlights in stock car racing at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Quenneville finished behind Morrisonville, N.Y., driver Jason Durgan in the 30-lap, double-points Mid-Season Championship race, with Durgan prevailing in a late duel for his second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win of the year on the Devil’s Bowl half-mile Asphalt Track on Saturday.
Crowd favorite Bob Kilburn of Fair Haven looked to be headed for an upset career-first win by leading the first 24 laps before Durgan came from 11th starting position and break free from traffic to take the lead away, with Quenneville right behind.
The race’s lone caution period came two laps later to set up a scramble to the finish. Durgan and Quenneville scooted away from the pack and finished 1-2. Durgan holds a 29-point lead in the division (419-390) over Quenneville, who jumped into second place with the result. 
In the 30-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model race, Robert Bryant Jr. of Connecticut stopped what looked like a runaway for Miller. After a long side-by-side battle with Bristol’s Josh Masterson for second place, Bryant tracked Miller down in the final 10 circuits. Bryant moved to the inside on Miller and after both cars broke loose in Turn 4 on the next-to-last lap, Bryant grabbed the lead and drove away in the last half-mile for his first win of the season.
Miller took the runner-up spot for the second race in a row, with Masterson third. With his victory, Bryant moved ahead of Masterson by a single point in the championship standings, 349-348, unofficially. Miller is just 10 points behind in third.
In the 20-lap Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade race, Richie Turner of Fairfax made his first Devil’s Bowl start of the season count with a victory. Turner battled with Jim McKiernan of Moriah, N.Y., in the opening circuits before taking control on lap 7, then held McKiernan off over the balance of the race for the victory. McKiernan vaulted into the point lead to take a 10-point advantage on Scott FitzGerald (418-408), who finished sixth after a mid-race spin. 
Rookie Eric “Mongo” Messier of Hinesburg ran to his third consecutive win in the 15-lap Portland Glass Mini Stock race. Harold LaVair of Gabriels, N.Y., finished second with West Rutland driver Andrew FitzGerald third and Ferrisburgh’s Brad Bertrand fourth. Messier’s win broke a tie for the point lead with Bertrand and moves him into sole possession of first place with a 14-point advantage (411-397).
Saturday’s winners and local finishers were:
•  Bond Auto Parts Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps): 1. Durgan; 2. Quenneville; 10. Chuck Bradford, Addison; 11. Jimmy Ryan, Whiting; 12. Dave Snow, Brandon.
•  Central Vermont Motorcycles Late Model Feature (30 laps): 1. Bryant; 2. Miller; 3. Masterson; 5. Jamie Aube, Ferrisburgh.
•  Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade Feature (20 laps): 1. Turner; 5. R.J. Germain, Bristol.
•  Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps): 1. Messier; 4.  Bertrand; 6. Garrett Given, Cornwall. 9. Kaleb Shepard, New Haven; 12. Brian Bishop Jr., Bridport.

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