Devil’s Bowl: Drellos takes main event; Audet, Bilodeau also win races
WEST HAVEN — On Sunday New York driver Demetrios Drellos won the biggest stock car race in the 54-season history of Devil’s Bowl Speedway, the 200-lap Interstate All Battery Center Vermont 200, earning a total purse of $10,876, including bonuses for leading laps.
Drellos’ victory capped two nights of dirt-track racing at Devil’s Bowl that also saw Bridport rookie Troy Audet earn his first career victory in a two-leg competition that spanned both Saturday and Sunday, and Brandon’s Matt Bilodeau post a win on Saturday that qualified him to compete in Sunday’s 200-lapper.
Drellos posted his big win in what started as a record field of 89 Crate Sportsman Modified entries aiming for the $7,500 top prize, and he also collected $3,376 in lap leader bonus prizes.
Qualifying was intense for the 34-car starting field. Heat race wins went to Matt Janczuk, Payton Talbot, Mike Fisher, John St. Germain Jr., Robert Bublak Jr. and Zach Sobotka.
Bublak led the first 84 laps to collect $2,211, but Drellos came charging on the extreme outside lane to make what proved to be the winning pass at lap 85. Bristol’s Josh Masterson, a former Devil’s Bowl asphalt Late Model champ, posted a fifth-place finish, and Orwell’s Tim LaDuc came in 10th. Bilodeau finished 32nd, and fellow Brandon driver Vince Quenneville Jr. was 33rd.
In other action, veteran driver Scott Holcomb notched a big win with the 25-lap Sprint Cars of New England tour. Orwell’s Lacey Hanson was 13th.
Audet became a first-time winner in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division by finishing fifth in Sunday’s 12-lap segment after winning Saturday’s 12-lapper. His six-point total edged three other racers by a point. Monkton 11-year-old Kaidin White finished fifth with eight points after taking second on Saturday.
Bilodeau’s win on Saturday was his first of the season at Devil’s Bowl and came in a messy 40-lap “Win & You’re In!” contest to get into Sunday’s Vermont 200.
Bilodeau’s victory came in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division, which started off with a caution period before the first lap was completed. In all, 13 yellow flags slowed the race, drawing out the runtime to 74 minutes for 40 laps.
Middlebury’s Austin Comes led for 15 laps, but Bilodeau was hot on his trail and made a move on the outside lane for the lead with six laps left. Bilodeau ran uncontested for the final circuits, and then celebrated in victory lane on the roof of his car.
Castleton’s Johnny Bruno slipped past Comes into second, and Comes settled for third.
Salisbury’s Gary English finished sixth.
Bublak won a 25-lap Ron Casey Memorial Non-Winners Shootout in the Pepsi Sportsman Modified Division. Three local drivers cracked the top 10: Orwell’s LaDuc was fourth, Whiting’s Jimmy Ryan was sixth, and Brandon’s Quenneville finished ninth.
New York driver Josh Coonradt sealed up his first championship at Devil’s Bowl by winning the 25-lap Pro Stock/Super Stock feature, his third win in the four-race Pro Stock series.
West Rutland’s Andrew FitzGerald won the Super Stock portion of the race and was fourth overall. Orwell’s Ronnie Alger was sixth in the Super Stock race and 11th overall.
Benson’s Katrina Bean was a first-time winner in the Mini Stock division, taking a 20-lap race in a field of 31 cars. Middlebury’s Jake Barrows ran in second, Brandon’s Griff Mahoney finished third, Cornwall’s Brian Blake took fourth, and Ripton’s Chris Sumner was ninth.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Saturday with the Slate Valley 100, featuring Big Block and Small Block Modifieds, along with the Northeast Crate Nationals for the King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series and the weekly O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division. Tickets are available online at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway website.
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