Sports

County drivers take five at Devil’s Bowl

WEST HAVEN — New York drivers won the three main events as Devil’s Bowl Speedway hosted racing on both Saturday and Sunday nights this past weekend, but Addison County drivers picked up five victories in other races, two by Orwell’s Daryl Gebo.

Shoreham’s John Gosselin, Bridport’s Troy Audet and Leicester’s Derrick Counter also drove their way into the winner’s circle, and a number of other local racers posted solid results on the West Haven dirt oval.

SATURDAY ACTION

Gosselin and Gebo both earned victories on Saturday.

Gosselin took a hard-fought first-ever Devil’s Bowl win in a 25-lap Limited Sportsman feature that saw Addison County drivers run 1-2-3. Gosselin went to the front with a nifty pass on lap 5 and then built a big lead before seeing his advantage wiped away by a caution flag with just three laps left.

On the restart, Salisbury’s Gary English hung tight to Gosselin and nosed ahead on the inside lane to take the lead on the last lap, but Gosselin buried his foot on the throttle coming off the final corner for a winning margin of just 0.176-seconds – about six feet – at the finish line. The runner-up result was a career-best for English.

Bridport’s Audet recovered after crashing in his qualifying heat to finish third. Orwell’s Randy Ryan was fifth, and series point leader Austin Comes of Middlebury took 10th. Audet cut into Comes’ overall lead, which now stands at just 14 points, 603-589.

Gebo prevailed in a crowded, chaotic, 20-lap Summit Up Construction Mini Stock race that saw 32 cars in the running. It was his third win of the summer in the series.

Ripton’s Chris Sumner took over the lead halfway through the race, and Sumner and Gebo raced each other hard in a lead-swapping fight to the end. Gebo finally took the lead in the homestretch and led the last 100 feet, with Sumner settling for second.

Leicester’s Counter finished fifth, while Bristol’s Griff Mahoney and Salisbury’s Brian Blake ran 7-8.

New York driver Elmo Reckner won big in the headline Sportsman Modified division, starting on the pole and leading every one of the 30 laps for his second victory of the season. Fellow New Yorker Jason Bruno finished a career-best second.

Bristol’s Josh Masterson posted the best county result by taking fifth, with Middlebury’s Justin Comes on his heels in sixth. Comes’ finish tightened the series championship race by pulling him with 24 points of leader Demetrios Drellos (618-594), who sat out the night with a one-race suspension.

Also placing in the top 10 were Orwell’s Tim LaDuc (seventh) and Middlebury’s Justin Stone (ninth).  

Fair Haven’s Chris Murray took his eight win of the summer in Super Stock division, taking his eighth win of the year in a 25-lap outing. Addison’s Chuck Bradford was fourth.

Kamden Duffy of Richmond, N.H., won 15-lap Mini Sprint race after taking the lead on the first lap. Orwell’s Ray Hanson maintained a comfortable edge in the series standings with a runner-up finish. Monkton’s Kaidin White and Brandon’s Kevin Smith ran 4-5.

SUNDAY DRIVERS

Audet rolled to his victory in the first of two 20-lap Limited Sportsman features, with Fair Haven’s Bob Kilburn in second. No other local drivers cracked the top five.

Benson’s Katrina Bean earned her first career Devil’s Bowl win in the second 20-lap Limited Sportsman race, with Fletcher’s Evan Roberts settling for second. Orwell’s Randy Ryan ran in fourth.

Counter and Gebo swept Sunday’s two 15-lap Mini-Stock features, with county racers taking the top two places in both races. In the first, Counter took the checkered flag, with Ripton’s Sumner running in second.

Gebo earned his second victory of the weekend in the second Mini-Stock event, holding off second-place finisher Jake Barrows of Middlebury.

Sunday’s big winner was Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y, who earned $10,000 with his coast-to-coast success in the 50-lap Big Block Modified “Battle of the Bowl” main event. With no caution flags waved, Sheppard won in just 15:56.

No county drivers cracked the top five, but familiar faces Demetrios Drellos of Queensbury, N.Y., and Adam Pierson of East Corinth were third and fifth, respectively.

The top finishers in two 25-lap Modified Preliminary races determined the field for the main event. Middletown, N.Y., driver Anthony Perrego and Canadian Stewart Friesen prevailed in those races, winning $1,500 apiece.

In the regular Sportsman Modified series, Drellos, Pierson and Justin Comes ran 1-2-3 in a 40-lap race. The result allowed Drellos to stretch his lead over Comes for the series lead. Shoreham’s Anthony Warren and Orwell’s James Hanson battled for the lead early on, but faded out of the top five.

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