WEST HAVEN, Vt. — Vince Quenneville Jr., surprised even himself in winning the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bond Auto Parts Modified stock car race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday night.
Quenneville posted his fifth win of the season on Green Mountain Water Environment Association/Sunoco Race Fuels Night with a back-up engine, trimming his championship points deficit in the process.
After blowing his primary engine last week – a 600-horsepower, 358 cubic-inch “open” motor – Quenneville used a 350-horsepower “crate” engine borrowed from former track champion Kenny Tremont Jr., to drive his way into the winner’s circle.
Quenneville darted past leader Joe Williams at lap 22 on the outside lane, then survived a pair of restarts on lap 32 to claim the win. Williams, of Scotia, NY, was second, and Middlebury’s Hunter Bates was third.
Championship leader Ron Proctor rallied late to finish fourth after narrowly avoiding a chain reaction mix-up that left top runner Jessey Mueller spun out of contention with three laps left. Proctor gained one point on Quenneville in qualifying to make his lead 29 points, but gave up six points in the feature; his lead is now 23 points on Quenneville entering the championship finale next Friday.
Joey finished fifth in the race, followed by Leon Gonyo, Jeff Haskins, Cody Sargen, Andy Smith, and Mueller.
Dan Petronis became the third-straight first-time winner in the J&S Steel Late Model division, beating Craig Bushey after a wildly entertaining, non-stop duel that included a few bumps. The pair made serious contact with just five laps remaining when Petronis got out of shape exiting the fourth turn, and Bushey’s car climbed the left-rear corner pitching it briefly into the air. Both drivers regrouped and kept racing each other hard for the win.
Petronis came across the finish line a half-car length ahead of Bushey for the win. After congratulating Petronis in victory lane, Bushey was announced as having unofficially clinched the Late Model championship at Devil’s Bowl Speedway with one week remaining. Bushey’s 60-point margin over Matt White gives him a mathematical lock on the title.
Sixty-seven year-old “Stormin’” Norm Andrews finished a season-best third in the race, followed by Kevin Elliott and Boomer Morris.
Richie Turner made his first start at Devil’s Bowl Speedway count in a big way, winning the 15-lap Renegade feature. The former Airborne Speedway champion came from the back for the win. Ryan Keith was the runner-up with Robert Gordon third.
After separate rollover crashes by Tyson Drown and Harold LaVair in the first two laps, Jake Noble survived the wild 20-lap Bomber feature for his first victory of the year.