Orwell drivers make strong finishes at Devil’s Bowl

WEST HAVEN — Orwell drivers Tim LaDuc and Lacey Hanson produced the best results among Addison County competitors at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in action on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and this past Sunday.
LaDuc finished third behind winner Kenny Tremont Jr. in the Aug. 10 main event, a 35-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified race.
On Sunday, Hanson led most of the way in one race on the dirt track, a 30-lap event, before settling for second place behind Bobby Hackel, a double winner that evening.
In Wednesday action, Tremont narrowly escaped from a big pileup to win the special “Whelen Wednesday” double-points Mid-Season Championship feature. In spite of major damage to his car, the seven-time Devil’s Bowl champion ran to his second win of the season. Bill Duprey and Chris Conroy also scored victories on Aug. 10.
Three caution flags slowed the feature race. Tremont, of West Sand Lake, N.Y., was involved in the most serious incident, which stacked his car up with those of top championship point drivers Justin Comes, Derrick McGrew and Justin Severance. All but Comes were able to continue, though the body on Tremont’s car was severely damaged.
Tremont was aided in part by more caution flags and a high-attrition rate. Race leader Brian Whittemore crashed on lap 18, setting up a second-half duel between Tremont and point leader Hackel of Rensselaer, N.Y.
The pair squared off in the final 17 circuits with Hackel challenging Tremont nearly every corner, and Tremont scored his second Devil’s Bowl win of the season and the 72nd of his career with a sprint to the finish to edge Hackel, with LaDuc in third. Severance recovered for a career-best fourth-place finish, and Brandon’s Vince Quenneville Jr. took fifth. Whittemore, Chad Miller, and McGrew were the only other drivers running at the finish.
Unofficially, Hackel retained his championship lead by just five points over Tremont, 400-395. LaDuc rides in third 33 points back, followed by Quenneville and Severance.
Duprey of Hydeville, Vt., extended his win streak to five in the 15-lap Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade division, edging second-place Curtis Condon by inches after they traded paint out of the final corner. 
Through six Renegade features in 2016, Duprey has won all five races that he started and holds a 33-point lead for the championship over Condon, 357-324.
In the Portland Glass Mini Stock division, Conroy, of Newport, N.H., earned his second win of the season and holds a nine-point series lead over Wayland Childs, who was fourth last week
On Sunday, Hackel became just the second stock car driver in the track’s 50-season history to win in two divisions on the same night. The 21-year-old swept both the 35-lap feature in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Sportsman Modifieds and the 30-lap race for the Sprint Cars of New England. Also winning on Sunday were Josh Coonradt and Mike Ryan.
In the 35-lap main event, this time Hackel outdueled Tremont in the final two laps to prevail, with Tremont taking second. Kevin Chaffee finished third. Allan Hammond was fourth and Wayne Stearns took fifth; Chaffee, Hammond, and Stearns each scored season-best finishes.
In the 30-lap Sprint Cars of New England race, Hanson was the star for much of the show, driving from fifth place into the lead at lap six. Hanson held a big lead for most of the caution-free race, but was held up by several lapped cars late in the going, and Hackel passed her on lap 27 and held on for the victory. Hanson tied her Sprint Cars career-best finish as the runner-up.
Hackel became just the second driver in Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s documented history to win in two divisions at the same event, and is the first to do so on a dirt surface. He joins current track promoter Mike Bruno as the only double winners; Bruno won Modified and Late Model races on asphalt on July 31, 2011.
The 20-lap feature race for the Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade division saw only three of the 11 starters running at the finish. Josh Coonradt of Ballston Lake, N.Y., was both fast and lucky, winning the race in his first Devil’s Bowl start of the season.
Chelsea, Vt., drivers Mike Ryan and Wayland Childs finished 1-2 in the 15-lap race for Portland Glass Mini Stock division after a race-long battle for the lead. Derrick Counter of Leicester finished was a career-best third.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on its half-mile asphalt track on Saturday and on its 3/10-mile dirt track on Sunday.
Aug. 10’s winners and local drivers’ results were:
• Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified Feature (35 laps): 1. Tremont; 3. LaDuc; 5. Quenneville; 17. Justin Comes, Middlebury.
• Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade Feature (15 laps): 1. Duprey.
• Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps): 1. Conroy; 12. Counter, Leicester.
Sunday’s winners and local finishers in dirt-track action were:
• Central Vermont Motorcycles Sportsman Modified Feature (35 laps): 1. Hackel; 6. Comes; 8. LaDuc; 11. Quenneville.  
• Sprint Cars of New England Feature (30 laps): 1. Hackel; 2. Hanson;
• Rosen & Berger Auto Recyclers Renegade Feature (20 laps): 1. Coonradt.
• Portland Glass Mini Stock Feature (15 laps): 1. Ryan; 3. Counter; 11. Kaleb Shepard, New Haven.

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