Area drivers net seconds at Devil's Bowl
WEST HAVEN — Second-place finishes by Brandon’s Joey Scarborough and Matt Bilodeau and Orwell’s Garrett Given highlighted local drivers’ efforts at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, a night that saw four first-time winners at the dirt track.
One first-time winner was New York driver Jack Speshock in the main event, the 30-lap Sportsman Modified feature. Speshock races full-time at Albany-Saratoga and Plattsburgh Airborne speedways, while also racing part-time at Devil’s Bowl. On Sunday he led every lap that he ran.
Scarborough broke out of traffic late but was unable to track Speshock down and took his second runner-up finish in a row.
Michaël Forcier made history in the first-ever Devil’s Bowl Speedway appearance of the traveling Can-Am Mod Lite Series. The Quebec driver scored his first victory on American soil and became the first Québécois racer to score a win at Devil’s Bowl since Jean-Paul Cabana in 1973.
Seventeen Mod Lite teams from New York, Québec and Ontario came with cars that resemble 5/8-scale dirt Modifieds with 200-horsepower, 1,000cc motorcycle engines. Forcier led all 20 caution-free laps and held off point leader Jeff May of Hamilton, Ont., to win by less than a car length.
Marty Hutchins became the eighth first-time winner in 11 Limited Sportsman division races with an easy stroll to victory. The Poultney racer had scored three podium finishes prior to the win and had the strongest car all night to dominate the 20-lap race.
Bilodeau posted a solid runner-up showing. Austin Chaves equaled his best finish in third, and Shoreham’s Anthony Warren and Brandon’s Dave Snow were next in line. Orwell’s James Hanson holds the point lead with a 21-point advantage over Warren, 542-521; Hanson finished eighth in the race.
Mark Norris of Benson took his second Super Stock win in a 25-lapper. Given took the lead from Andrew FitzGerald at lap 17, but Norris pounced on a Given miscue four laps later and drove off to the win, with Given taking second. Vergennes racer Kaleb Shepard was fifth. Scott FitzGerald retains a 78-point lead over his son, Andrew, 565-487.
Craig Kirby of Winooski had the biggest night of his Mini Stock career by scoring his first victory and taking over the point lead. Kirby went ahead with five circuits to go in the 15-lap race. Kirby earned a 19-point series lead over Middlebury’s Jake Barrows, who was sixth.
Evan Roberts won his fifth straight 500cc Mini Sprint race and his seventh on the season. The Fletcher rookie, 13, hasn’t lost a race since July 7.
The winners and local racers’ results were:
• Pepsi Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps): 1. Speshock; 2. Scarborough; 6. Mike Palmer, Salisbury; 13. Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham; 20. Justin Comes, Middlebury; 22. Brent Warren, Salisbury.
• Can-Am Mod Lite Series Feature (20 laps): 1. Forcier.
• O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (20 laps): 1. Hutchins; 2. Bilodeau; 4. Warren; 5. Snowy; 8. Hanson; 14. Adam Piper, Leicester.
• Super Stock Feature (25 laps): 1. Norris; 2. Given; 5. Shepard; 6. Ronnie Alger, Orwell.
• Mini Stock Feature (15 laps): 1. Kirby; 4. Joe Malzac, Salisbury; 6. Barrows; 8. Riley Case, New Haven; 9. Scott Cowdrey, Leicester.
• Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (15 laps): 1. Roberts; 5. Kevin Smith, Brandon; 10. Kaidin White, Vergennes; 11. Alyza McKeighan, Brandon.