By RUSSELL JONES
After rain has cancelled or shortened the first several events of the season, racing finally got underway as Devil’s Bowl Speedway dropped the green flag for the “Topless for Dad” Father’s Day special on Sunday, June 16. Several local racers finished up near the top, and one West Rutland racer took the checkered flag and his first win of the year in the Super Stock feature.
Scott FitzGerald, of West Rutland, was involved in a multi-car crash early in the race, but recovered to catch up to leader Chris Murray. Murray, from Fair Haven, blew a clutch with six laps left and FitzGerald was able to capitalize and drive to the victory.
His son, Andrew FitzGerald, was also involved in the early crash and was able to finish in third place in the 20-lap feature race.
In the Pepsi Sportsman Modified “Topless” division, the cars raced roofless under the stars for the special event. Brandon resident Vince Quenneville brought his number 78 car home in seventh place. Brian Whittemore, of Pittsford, finished 26th in the 29-car field. Kenny Tremont Jr., of West Sand Lake, N.Y., took home top prize over the 30 laps.
Another division that ran topless for the night, the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division, saw Brandon resident, Matt Bilodeau, finish in third place, after a fearless run from a 12th-place starting position, behind Adam Piper, of Leicester, who finished second. Seventeen-year old David Boisclair, of Watervliet, N.Y., took first in the race and Brandon resident Dave Snow came in tenth.
Jake Barrows of Middlebury took home his first-ever checkered flag as he won the Mini Stock division. His number 4 car held off a strong run by Shawn Moquin, of Milton, to bring home the victory.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Sunday, June 30, at 7 p.m., with the “Vintage Racing Celebration” event featuring the 54-lap Charlie LaDuc Memorial Sportsman Modified race and the Champlain Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series. All five weekly divisions will be in action at the event. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (62+), and free for kids 12 and under. The speedway is also gearing up for what they call “the biggest and loudest Independence Day celebration in southern Vermont” on Wednesday, July 3, at 6 p.m. A fireworks show will highlight the event, which includes a 100-lap Sportsman Modified race, the Sprint Cars of New England tour, the Enduro Series, and weekly divisions.