Joey “Fireball” Roberts held off a strong challenge in Bond Auto Parts Modified stock car action to win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season opener at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, May 18. The victory came on Whelen Engineering/Mobil 1 Opening Day, an event postponed two days by wet weather.
Roberts, of Fletcher, VT, easily won his qualifying heat race, but had his hands full with Jessey Mueller during the 35-lap main event. Olmstedville, NY driver Mueller made several attempts at taking the lead from Roberts, but was forced to settle for the runner-up spot. Roberts’ victory was the third of his career.
Defending track champion Todd Stone of Middlebury, VT finished third. Two-time champion Ron Proctor was fourth, with young Jamie LaFountain a career-best fifth. Leon Gonyo, Jason Durgan, Vince Quenneville, Jr., Codie Aubin, and Cody Sargen completed the unofficial top 10 finishers in order.
Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT kicked off the Late Model division’s season with an exciting victory in a 30-lap feature. A three-time winner in his rookie season a year ago, “Kid Rocket” Masterson fought the entire distance with former Thunder Road track champion Jamie Fisher of Shelburne, VT. Masterson finally took the lead on a late restart and drove to the win.
Devil’s Bowl champion Chris Bergeron finished third, and 17 year-old Emily Packard earned her best Devil’s Bowl finish in fourth place. Multi-time NASCAR Vermont State Champion Norm Andrews was fifth.
Addison, VT’s Chuck Bradford won the 20-lap opener for the Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock division after a hard-fought battle through traffic. The 2013 Rookie of the Year in the division, Bradford held off Bobby LaVair in the closing laps. Defending track champion Jake Noble finished third, just in front of teammate Lacey Hanson and John McCarron. Mike Whalen, Jr. led much of the race before bouncing off of the frontstretch wall.
Veteran driver Bruce Jaycox of Hartland, VT won the debut race for the new SK Light open-wheel Modified division, fending off Scott MacMichael and Norm Forest for the victory. The SK Light division will compete in a limited schedule during the season.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway returns to action on Friday, May 23 at 7:00 p.m. with a Memorial Day Special for the Modified, Late Model, and Mini Stock divisions, along with the season debut of the Renegade class and the opening round of the wild-and-wacky Enduro Series. General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (age 62+), and free for children age 12 and under. The new “Fans First” program also returns for the event with free general admission for residents of Vergennes, VT (zip code 05491) 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.