Sports

Local drivers earn three victories at Devil’s Bowl

WEST HAVEN — Shoreham’s Jimmy Ryan, Bridport’s Troy Audet, and Cody Greene of Vergennes picked up dirt-track wins at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Saturday night.

Ryan picked up his victory in the headline 30-lap Sportsman Modified race, his second in about a month after going two years without winning a race in the top series at Devil’s Bowl.

Two major accidents in the first two laps took out a number of drivers, leaving just 15 in the running after two red flags. No one was injured.

Ryan bolted into the lead shortly after the second restart and stretched out to a big advantage as the race went caution-free for the rest of the way.

He qualified for the upcoming Vermont 200, but his engine began to sour near the end of the race, and it seized up for good in victory lane. With his car slowing, Ryan had to hold off charging Orwell driver Tim LaDuc at the finish line, doing so in a photo finish by just 92-thousandths (0.092) of a second at the line.

Should Ryan not be able to secure a new engine for the coming weekend’s Vermont 200, LaDuc will take over Ryan’s guaranteed starting spot in the big race. 

Also finishing in the top 10 in the Sportsman Modified feature this past Saturday were Brandon’s Vince Quenneville, third; Middlebury’s Justin Comes, fifth; and Middlebury’s Justin Stone, eighth. Demetrios Drellos retained a 33-point lead on Comes, 797-764, in the championship standings.

The O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division has become a two-man duel starring Bridport’s Audet and Middlebury’s Austin Comes. This week, first-year series racer Audet had the upper hand, winning the 25-lap feature for the third time in 2021.

On Saturday Comes and Audet sliced through from their 14th and 18th starting spots, respectively. Audet grabbed the lead for the final five laps and stretched out to a 1.901-second win over Comes. The pair sit just four points apart in the title chase, with Audet leading 735-731.

Orwell’s Randy Ryan and Shoreham’s Steve Pope ran fifth and seventh, respectively.

Fair Haven’s Chris Murray won the 20-lap Super Stock feature, as the former two-time champion ran away virtually unchallenged to his ninth win of the season. Defending champion Andrew FitzGerald was the runner-up. Salisbury’s Michael Clark Jr. finished sixth. Murray holds a 32-point lead in the title race.

The crowded Mini Stock division debuted a new “A/B” feature format. Thirty-one drivers attempted to qualify for the A-Main, in which 21 cars participated after qualifying heats.

Proctor’s Austin McKirryher won the 15-lap A Mini Stock race, Cornwall’s Brian Blake finished third, and Middlebury’s Jake Barrows was 10th.

Points leaders Chris Sumner of Ripton and Daryl Gebo of Orwell both crashed out of the A-Main, tightening the point battle and bringing former champion Kirby back into the picture. Sumner now leads Kirby by 14 points, 773-759, with Gebo 30 points out at 743.

Poultney’s Willie Rice won the 10-lap B-Main, and Salisbury’s Hunter Clark was fifth.

New Hampshire’s Kamden Duffy won a 15-lap 500cc Mini Sprint race for the third weekend in a row. Bridport’s Gage Provencher took second, Brandon’s Kevin Smith was third, Monkton’s Kaidin White was fourth, and Orwell’s Roger LaDuc finished sixth. Series point leader Ray Hanson of Orwell sat out the weekend, but still leads White, 921-864.

The Enduro Series held its fifth race of the summer in a 50-lap slugfest with 62 cars. The outcome was not decided until after a lengthy scoring audit, in which Vergennes driver Greene was determined to be the winner.

Confusion had reigned because an unusual number of cars were still running, and officials were initially unsure how many laps drivers had completed. When the dust settled, Orwell’s Tim LaDuc was also awarded second place, with Greene and LaDuc each credited with a field-high 50 laps.

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