By Lou Modestino

Todd Stone put an exclamation point on a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series stock car racing doubleheader at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Friday, August 23, sweeping a pair of 25-lap features in the track’s headline Bond Auto Parts Modified division. Stone was joined on the winner’s list during the Sugar & Spice Restaurant Night card by Late Model drivers Chris Bergeron and Josh Masterson, Renegade racers Stephen Donahue and Richie Turner, and Mini Stock competitors Jake Noble and Chuck Bradford.

Stone put on a passing clinic in the two main events, driving from 12th and 13th starting positions in the respective feature races. The Middlebury, VT driver was unstoppable in the opening race, driving from the back to pass Dave Snow for the lead at lap 15 and then cruising to an easy victory. Joe Williams of Scotia, NY came from seventh to take the runner-up spot, with Joey Roberts of Fletcher, VT third. Snow, of Brandon, VT, held on for a career-best fourth, with Vince Quenneville, Jr., of Brandon, VT fifth.

The nightcap event appeared to belong to two-time track champion Ron Proctor of Charlton, NY. Proctor built a sizeable lead before a caution period for a spin by top-five driver Jessey Mueller with just three laps remaining set up a restart. Stone, who was fourth at the time, sliced his way past Quenneville and Leon Gonyo, then chased Proctor down on the last lap, stealing the victory out of the final corner. Proctor settled for second with Chazy, NY veteran Gonyo third. Quenneville and Middlebury, VT driver Hunter Bates completed the top five finishers. The victories were the eighth and ninth of the season for the G. Stone Motors-sponsored No. 1X Teo Pro Car.

Veteran driver Chris Bergeron of Claremont, NH squared off with 16 year-old rookie Brandon Atkins in the opening feature for the Late Model division. Bergeron and Atkins, of AuSable Forks, NY, traded barbs early in the race, but settled into a clean, hard-fought battle for the win. Bergeron persevered with Atkins second, Robert Bryant, Jr., of Brooklyn, CT third, Bristol, VT rookie Josh Masterson fourth, and Hunter Bates fifth. After several early caution flags, the race was cut from 25 laps to 20 due to time constraints.

Atkins was again at center stage in the second race, this time battling fellow freshman racer Masterson. The pair raced door-to-door for several laps before Masterson pulled ahead, but Atkins battled back to draw even as the laps clicked away. A two-lap, green-white-checker finish saw the youngsters race side-by-side to the end, with Masterson edging Atkins for the win. Bryant was third for the second time of the night, with Ricky Bly of Sunapee, NH fourth and Bates fifth. The race was red-flagged after veteran driver Norm Andrews of Northfield, VT flipped his car outside the third turn; Andrews was uninjured.

The Renegade division returned for twin 15-lap features, and 15 year-old rookie Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, VT produced the first victory of his young career in the opening race. Defending champion Robert Gordon of Milton, VT finished second, with rookie Ray Germain, Jr. of Bristol, VT a career-best third. In the second event, Richie Turner of Fairfax, VT posted his second win of the year ahead of Donahue and rookie Brad Bushey of Cambridge, VT.

Jake Noble of Benson, VT ran to his second win of the year in the opening 15-lap feature for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock division. Noble beat Mike Whalen, Jr. of Plattsburgh, NY and rookie Lacey Hanson of Orwell, VT for the win. Rookie Chuck Bradford of Addison, VT earned his second win in the second race, with Noble the runner-up and Chris LaVair of Gabriels, NY third.

The Daredevil community racing division saw six race fans drawn at random compete in track-owned racecars in a four-lap race. Keegan Burnham of Proctor, VT was the winner, followed by Dan DeForge, Anthony White, Ryan Benoit, Ray Barrows, Sr., and A.J. LaRose.

DeForge, of Brandon, VT, double-dipped on the evening, and won the Spectator Races event for street-legal vehicles in one-on-one elimination races. DeForge drove a 2008 Pontiac G5 to win the final round against Tim Whitney, Sr., of Cornwall, VT.

Race fans also took part in the second annual Great North American Pancake Eating Contest presented by Sugar & Spice Restaurant of Mendon, VT. Malcolm Woodward of Mooers Forks, NY was the hungriest of the hungry, chowing down twelve-and-a-half pancakes slathered in real Vermont maple syrup in five minutes. Inaugural winner Allen Jones of Rutland, VT finished second with Henry Stone of Castleton, VT third.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 2013 racing season comes to a close at Vermont 200 Championship Weekend on Sat.-Sun., September 14-15. All four NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will crown their champions, and major events will be held for the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series and the Northern Modified Challenge Series.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT, four miles north of Exit 2 on U.S. Route 4.