WEST HAVEN, VT – Nick Sweet continued his dominance of Vermont State Late Model Championship Series racing at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday night, winning the People’s United Bank 100. The defending Vermont State Champion has now won in his last three visits to the Rutland County track. His victory headlined a list of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series winners on the night that also included Jessey Mueller, Robert Gordon, and Chris LaVair.
Sweet, of Barre, VT, made up for a bitter defeat just five days earlier in the Vermont State Championship opener at his hometown track, Thunder Road, by leading every lap of the People’s United Bank 100. Starting from the pole position by virtue of a field-high “+6” position gain in qualifying, Sweet stretched out to comfortable lead for much of the race. A pair of 17 year-olds in Brandon Atkins and Emily Packard didn’t let Sweet take the win easily, however.
A caution period on lap 66 gave Atkins new life, and he stuck to Sweet for the remainder of the race. Atkins made a bid for Sweet’s lead just before the race’s fourth caution on lap 82, then gave Sweet all he could handle during three quick restarts in the final four laps. Atkins, of AuSable Forks, NY, finished second.
Packard, of East Montpelier, VT, survived a tangle with top-five driver Jamie Fisher on lap 96, then held close to the top two for a Devil’s Bowl career-best third-place finish. Trampas Demers and defending track champion Chris Bergeron finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Lance Allen was a solid sixth, followed by Josh Masterson, Ricky Bly, Thunder Road winner Jason Corliss, and a recovering Fisher. Rookie Eric Badore finished 12th after spinning out of the top-five in the final laps.
Jessey Mueller, 19, extended his own winning streak in the 30-lap main event for the Bond Auto Parts Modified division. The well-traveled Olmstedville, NY driver has won in four of his last five total starts, taking victories at Airborne Park Speedway, Thunder Road, and Devil’s Bowl since May 10. Mueller passed Vince Quenneville, Jr., for the lead just after the halfway mark and cruised to the win.
Defending track champion Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT was the runner-up, with Joey Roberts of Fletcher, VT third. Quenneville slipped to fourth place, followed by Ron Proctor. Leon Gonyo, Jamie LaFountain, rookie Billy Lussier, Dave Snow, and Cody Sargen completed the top 10 in order.
Robert Gordon of Milton, VT won the two-segment season opener for the Renegade division. Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, VT was second, with Randy Howard of Georgia, VT a career-best third.
Chris LaVair of Gabriels, NY earned his first Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock division win of the season in a 15-lap feature. Jake Noble of Benson, VT finished second, and opening day winner Chuck Bradford of Addison, VT came from last place to finish third.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Friday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m. with the special “Facebook Friday” event. Race fans who “like” the track’s official Facebook page at Facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedwaymay print a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free general admission for the event. All four weekly NASCAR divisions will be in action, along with the rescheduled opening round of the wild-and-wacky Enduro Series. Regular general admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 62+), and free for children age 12 and under. The “Fans First” program also returns for the event with free general admission for residents of Whitehall, NY (zip code 12887) who present valid identification.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT four miles north of Exit 2 on U.S. Route 4. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com
. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.