By RUSSELL JONES
ORWELL — The green flag dropped on the Vince Quenneville Sr. Memorial race, sponsored by the Community College of Vermont, at Devil’s Bowl on Sunday. Bobby Hackel, from Rensselaer, N.Y., took home the top spot in the Sportsman Modified feature.
The Quenneville Memorial race also marked the mid-season championships that awarded double points to the winners. Others making a trip to the victory lane included Anthony Warren, Chris Murray, P.J. Bleau and Evan Roberts.
The Sportsman Modified division 38-lap Quenneville tribute saw a great race to the finish by Hackel and Canaan, N.H., racer Walter J. Hammond. Hammond took an early lead and kept it for much of the race until two late crashes cut his lead and allowed Hackel to eventually slide past him for the win.
Hackel, representing the fourth generation of his family to compete, skipped a party celebrating his parents’ 50th birthdays and his grandmother’s 75th birthday to race.
“I’m sorry I missed the party, but we’re a racing family and I think this trophy might help make up for it,” Hackel said in Victory Lane while accepting his award from Community College of Vermont President Joyce Judy.
Local drivers Mike Palmer of Salisbury, and Brian Whittemore of Pittsford, finished in 13th and 14th places. Brandon driver Vince Quenneville, another driver from a racing family and whose late father Sunday’s race honored, finished in 22nd position. Joey Scarborough, Brandon, crossed the finish line in 26th place.
In Limited Sportsman division action, Adam Piper of Leicester, finished in second position behind Anthony Warren of Shoreham. Warren became the sixth first-time winner in the division this year when he sped around Piper with just two laps left in the 20-lap feature. Austin Comes of Middlebury finished fourth while Brandon’s Dave Snow and Matt Bilodeau crossed the line in sixth and ninth, respectively.
Fair Haven’s Chris Murray took the win in the Super Stock feature and point-leader Scott FitzGerald came in fourth on Sunday. Finishing in 11th and 12th position were West Rutland’s Roo Forrest and Andrew FitzGerald. Scott now has a 77-point lead over his son Andrew in the standings.
P.J. Bleau, Latham, N.Y., was the winner of the mini-stock feature for the third time in only four races at Devil’s Bowl. Leicester’s Scott Cowdrey took home a seventh-place finish.
Brandon’s Kevin Smith and Alyza McKeighan finished in ninth and 12th positions as the kids raced through the 500cc mini-sprint feature. Evan Roberts of Fletcher, took top honors as he narrowly held off Richmond, N.H., racer Kamden Duffy in the 15-lap race, after starting from 11th position. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Sunday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m., as Carrara Masonry & Concrete presents the C.J. Richards Memorial 100 for the Sportsman Modifieds.