How Sweet It Is At Devil’s Bowl
WEST HAVEN, Vt. — Nick Sweet continued his dominance of Vermont State Late Model Championship Series racing at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday night, winning the People’s United Bank 100.
The defending Vermont State Champion has now won in his last three visits to the Rutland County track. His victory headlined a list of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winners on the night that also included Jessey Mueller, Robert Gordon and Chris LaVair.
Sweet made up for a bitter defeat just five days earlier in the Vermont State Championship opener at his hometown track, Thunder Road, by leading every lap of the People’s United Bank 100. Starting from the pole position by virtue of a field-high “+6” position gain in qualifying, Sweet stretched out to comfortable lead for much of the race. A pair of 17 year-olds in Brandon Atkins and Emily Packard didn’t let Sweet take the win easily, however.
A caution period on lap 66 gave Atkins new life, and he stuck to Sweet for the remainder of the race. Atkins made a bid for Sweet’s lead just before the race’s fourth caution on lap 82, then gave Sweet all he could handle during three quick restarts in the final four laps. Atkins finished second.
Packard survived a tangle with top-five driver Jamie Fisher on lap 96, then held close to the top two for a Devil’s Bowl career-best third-place finish. Trampas Demers and defending track champion Chris Bergeron finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Mueller, 19, extended his own winning streak in the 30-lap main event for the Bond Auto Parts Modified division. The well-traveled Olmstedville, NY driver has won in four of his last five total starts, taking victories at Airborne Park Speedway, Thunder Road, and Devil’s Bowl since May 10.
Robert Gordon won the two-segment season opener for the Renegade division.
Chris LaVair earned his first Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock division win of the season in a 15-lap feature.