Justin Comes wins feature at Devil's Bowl

MIDDLEBURY’S JUSTIN COMES scored his first Pepsi Sportsman Modified win of the season on Friend Construction Night at Devil’s Bowl Speedway this past Sunday. Jeremy McGaffin/Showstopper photo

WEST HAVEN — Middlebury driver Justin Comes on Sunday reversed a recent run of bad luck at Devil’s Bowl Speedway by winning the evening’s main event, the 30-lap Sportsman Modified feature. A number of other local drivers also posted top-five efforts.

Comes was a championship contender before things fell apart in mid-July. In a string of three races to end the month, he crashed twice and blew an engine as he fell to ninth place in the series standings.

With a new (used) power plant on Sunday, Comes lived up to his “High Side Hustler” nickname and ran the top groove all night long. Benson’s Jeff Washburn gave Comes a scare on a late restart but Comes slipped away with the lead and claimed his first win of the season.

Washburn took the runner-up position for a career-best finish. Adam Pierson finished third, followed by Salisbury’s Mike Palmer and point leader Kenny Tremont Jr. Tremont now has an unofficial cushion of 92 points (506-414) over Pierson.

Another Benson driver, Anthony Ryan, earned his first win in the Limited Sportsman division. In the longest event of the year for the second-tier division, Ryan strolled home by leading all 30 laps in only his 10th start in a race car. Ryan is the seventh driver this summer to score his first-ever win in the Limited Sportsman division.

Leicester’s Adam Piper took second with Austin Comes — the younger brother of the Sportsman winner — a career-best third. Johnny Bruno was fourth ahead of Shoreham’s Anthony Warren, and Travis Witbeck took sixth in his first Devil’s Bowl start. David Boisclair, point leader James Hanson of Orwell, Austin Chaves and Brandon’s Dave Snow completed the top 10.

Fair Haven’s Chris Murray scored again in the Super Stock division, taking his third win of the season in a 25-lapper. Josh Bussino finished second with Bill Duprey third — each repeating his finish from the previous week. Kaleb Shepard of Vergennes finished fourth and point leader Scott FitzGerald ran fifth.

Rookie David Sartwell-Cornell of Highland Springs inherited his first Mini Stock win following post-race inspection, when apparent winner P.J. Bleau’s car was disqualified for an unapproved computer module. Craig Kirby was second with Leicester rookie Scott Cowdrey third in the official rundown. 

Fletcher rookie Evan Roberts, 13, continued his dominance of the 500cc Mini Sprint division, taking his fourth consecutive victory and sixth overall.  

Sunday’s winners and local drivers’ results were:

• Pepsi Sportsman Modified Feature (30 laps): 1. Justin Comes, Middlebury; 4. Palmer, Salisbury; 7. Jimmy Ryan, Shoreham; 9. Vince Quenneville, Brandon; 18. Brent Warren, Salisbury; 24. Tim LaDuc, Orwell.

• O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Feature (30 laps): 1. Ryan, Benson; 2. Piper, Leicester; 3. Austin Comes, Middlebury; 5. Warren, Shoreham; 8. Hanson, Orwell; 10. Snow, Brandon; 17. Matt Bilodeau, Brandon.

• Super Stock Feature (25 laps): 1. Murray, Fair Haven; 4. Shepard, Vergennes; 13. Garrett Given, Orwell; 14. Ronnie Alger, Orwell.

• Mini Stock Feature (20 laps)l 1. Sartwell-Cornell, Highgate Springs; 3. Cowdrey, Leicester; 6. Joe Malzac, Salisbury; 15. Jake Barrows, Middlebury.

• Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Feature (20 laps): 1. Roberts, Fletcher; 6. Kevin Smith, Brandon; 12. Alyza McKeighan, Brandon; 13. Kaidin White, Vergennes.

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