WEST HAVEN– Two drivers can sleep easy on Saturday night, after racing their way into Sunday’s Fabian Earth Moving Vermont 200 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. Dom Roselli and Scott Towslee earned qualifying berths into the biggest race of the year, and Roselli, Bob Kilburn, Rob Steele earned feature wins at the Saturday event, which was presented by the Community College of Vermont.
Lockport, N.Y.’s Dom Roselli earned his qualifying spot in the 30-lap CCV “Win & You’re In” main event for the Sunoco Sportsman Modified division. Roselli, who is a regular competitor at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y., drew the outside pole starting spot and ran away from the field at the drop of the green flag. The race went non-stop without a caution flag, which meant Roselli was forced to navigate heavy lapped traffic.
Roselli was bounced around in three-wide action with a pair of backmarkers at the halfway mark, but he was able to quickly regroup and resume his dominance. Roselli’s first Devil’s Bowl win backed up his third-place finish in the “Prelude to the 200” event held in August, and he automatically becomes a pre-race favorite for Sunday’s $10,000-to-win event.
Devil’s Bowl championship contenders Justin Comes and Tim LaDuc were strong all race and finished second and third, respectively. Former Vermont 200 winner Demetrios Drellos finished fourth with Tanner Warner fifth. Alex Bell, Brian Whittemore, Walter J. Hammond, Josh Masterson, and Neil Stratton completed the top 10 in order. Qualifying heat wins went to Tanner Siemons, Bell, Ron Proctor, and Roselli, and Brian Calabrese won the last-chance consolation race. Thirty-nine cars attempted to qualify for 30 starting positions.
Fair Haven, Vt.’s Bob Kilburn dominated the 40-lap “Win & You’re In” feature race for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division, leading every step of the way. Kilburn faced the field on eight restarts, but he was never challenged at any of them. The popular 67-year-old, known by fans as “Santa Bob” received a massive ovation as he climbed out of his car in victory lane, but he declined the guaranteed starting spot in Sunday’s Vermont 200.
That put Manchester, Vt., youngster Scott Towslee in the catbird seat, as he scored the runner-up finish and accepted the Vermont 200 starting position. Towslee started eighth on the field and survived several close calls on his way through traffic.
Hunter Nutter finished third ahead of a hard-charging William Lussier Jr., who started last on the 20-car field. The recently married Katrina (Bean) LeClaire rounded out the top five, followed by Alex Layn, Justin Lilly, Jason Quenneville, Randy Ryan, and William Duprey. Qualifying heat wins went to Anthony Ryan and Quenneville.
Ronnie Alger was a popular first-time winner in the Mini Stock division. The longtime Orwell, Vt., racer took the lead late in the 20-lap feature and survived a green-white-checker restart in the final two laps to hold on for his landmark victory. Early leader Damian Olden held on for the runner-up finish in a wild scramble at the end, outlasting Brian Blake, Chase Allen, and Craig Kirby. Levi Cram, Olden, and Adam Mahoney won the qualifiers, and Fair Haven, Vt.’s Tom Severance won the 8-lap “B” Feature.
Orwell, Vt.’s Ray Hanson won the first of three 10-lap segments for the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint division. The second and third segments of the cumulatively scored race will be held on Sunday. Hanson and John Carleton won the qualifying heats.
The Hoosier Daddy Racing Novice Sportsman division ran a pair of qualifying heats and the Tom’s Auto Reconditioning “Dash for Cash” to set the field for Sunday’s feature. Monkton, Vt.’s Pat Miner will try for the weekend Triple Crown, sweeping his heat and $100-to-win Dash; Derrick Counter won the other heat.
The 9th State Cannabis Crown Vic class also ran a 15-lap main event, with Bomoseen, Vt.’s Rob Steele capturing his fourth win of the year in a close finish with Shawn Moquin. Former Mini Stock champion Moquin was in his first Crown Vic start and put together a good run. Norman Morrill finished third ahead of Mike Whalen and Jackson Ducharme. Moquin won the lone qualifier.
Racing starts at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 3. All Sportsman Modified qualifying and the 200-lap, $10,000-to-win Fabian Earth Moving Vermont 200 will take place on Sunday, along with action for the Sprint Cars of New England, Novice Sportsman, and 500cc Mini Sprints.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of U.S. Route 4, Exit 2, and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway, and on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.