Proctor Takes Top Devil’s Bowl Honors
WEST HAVEN, Vt. — Veteran stock car racer Ron Proctor celebrated his second-straight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bond Auto Parts Modified track championship at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday night following a 50-lap finale presented by Brown’s Quarried Slate and Brown’s Orchard & Farm Stand.
Joe Williams drove to a convincing victory – his first of the season – while Proctor ran a smooth, steady race to finish seventh and secure the title.
Williams, driving the No. 55L ME Engineering/BNC Motorsports entry for Sargen Racing, jumped out to a big lead early and held the point through a 45-lap stretch of green-flag racing. Two quick caution periods – one of which claimed championship contender Vince Quenneville, Jr., with a hard crash into the Turn 1 wall – did little to slow Williams down, and he sped to the win.
Leon Gonyo finished second with Alex Bell third. Hunter Bates started a solid double-duty effort with a fourth-place finish, followed by Rookie of the Year Joey Roberts.
The final championship margin for Ron Proctor’s No. 27 Timco Transportation & Towing/Charlton Oil-sponsored Teo Pro Car was 33 points, 898-865, over Quenneville, unofficially. Quenneville shot hard into the outside retaining wall after contact following the lap 45 restart; he was uninjured, but his car could not continue.
Craig Bushey capped a dominant season in the J&S Steel Late Model division with his eighth victory of the championship season and ninth overall. Bushey held off an almost constant challenge from Bryan Town for the win during the caution-filled race, while 15 year-old fourth-generation racer Joey Laquerre owas third. Championship runner-up Matt White was fourth in the race, followed by Pete Yetman.
Bates finished sixth in his second feature start of the night, followed by Chad White, Kevin Elliott, Dan Petronis, and Johnny Chesnut. Rookie of the Year Robert Bryant, Jr., was 11th, unofficially. Bushey, who clinched the championship last week, had a final margin of 67 points on Matt White, 751-684, unofficially.
Robert Gordon won a wild 20-lap Renegade finale to clinch the first championship of his decade-long career. Gordon was running third when rookie Kevin Brisson spun race leader and championship threat Ryan Keith with a handful of laps remaining. As most of the field piled in, Gordon avoided damage and held on to beat Richie Turner for the win. Fourteen year-old rookie Stephen Donahue finished third in his second-ever Devil’s Bowl start, followed by Larry Underwood and Keith. Gordon’s final unofficial advantage on Keith was 19 points, 868-849, for the championship.
Bobby LaVair rebounded from a crash last week to pick up his fourth Bomber victory of the season in an action-packed 20-lap race. LaVair made a late pass Josh Masterson for the win; Masterson clinched both the championship and Rookie of the Year titles one week early, ending with a 65-point cushion on LaVair for the crown.
The race’s third-place finisher was decided in bizarre fashion; Jake Noble crossed the finish line in third, but was penalized two positions for rough riding Ray Germain, Jr., on the final lap. Matt Monaghan was awarded third place by race directors, but was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for an unapproved tire, thereby handing Germain third place. Noble was scored fourth with John McCarron fifth.
Two very exciting Daredevil races were held – one for fans who were selected by random draw, one for former Devil’s Bowl Speedway racers. Pete Bischoff was the winner of the fan race, beating Heath Goyette and Doug Jones. Former Modified racer Lee Nutting beat Modified and Late Model standout (and Devil’s Bowl owner/promoter) Mike Bruno, despite two spins by Bruno in the eight-lap race. Charlie Brown – a former racer and the event sponsor – was third.