WEST HAVEN - Todd Stone may have lost his crown at Devil's Bowl Speedway, but he did it in style.
Stone crushed the field Sunday night to win the double-points, 50-lap 358-modified feature on Championship Weekend, but ended up losing his title by a single point.
Ken Tremont Jr., who went into the night with the points lead, came across the finish line fifth, just enough to beat Stone for the championship by one point, 715-714, for his fifth modified title at the Bowl
Tremont used a mid-summer hot streak to get in position to win the championship. During July, he was the only driver to win the 358-modified division, chalking up three consecutive victories. He finished the year with six wins, while Stone visited victory lane three times.
Stone was so strong Sunday night that only the top five cars finished on the lead lap, and if he had run a couple of more circuits, Stone might have put Tremont down a lap, as well.
Ron Proctor set the pace for the first three laps from the pole position, but Kris Vernold moved out in front on lap four.
Ray Hoard, who had started eighth, got out on the box quickly and when the first caution flew on lap 10, he was in position to take the lead on the restart.
Stone, who had started 10th, moved into the No. 2 position on lap 18 and he and Hoard kept the crowd on their feet with some incredible racing until Stone finally moved in front on lap 36.
From there, it was just a matter of how many cars Stone was going to lap, as the final 29 laps were run caution-free. Hoard was the only car that could keep pace with Stone, but he was still almost three seconds behind when Stone hit the finish line for his fourth win of the season.
Following Stone and Hoard across the finish line were Marc Johnson, making a rare appearance at the Bowl, Vernold and Tremont. The third, fourth and fifth positions never changed after the 22nd lap, when Tremont got around Vince Quenneville Jr. for fifth. But Johnson, Vernold and Tremont ran together like they were magnetized, and the three cars were separated by just 0.300 seconds at the finish line.
Frank Hoard III came away with his fifth win of the year in the 30-lap budget sportsman feature, easily outrunning Derrick McGrew for the win. D.J. Brundige finished third, with Chuck Dickinson fourth and Jack Swinton fifth.
Cale Kneer regained the track championship in the pro-street stock division by picking up his seventh win of the campaign. Fred Little finished second while defending track champion Carl Vladyka was a distant third. Kneer last won the track championship at the Bowl in 2006.
Bill Duprey won the 20-lap limited feature, but Mike Clark came away with the championship by finishing second. The win was Duprey's sixth of the season.
The CRSA sprints helped bring down the curtain on the 2009 season at the Bowl, with Chad King turning in an impressive performance to come away with the win. He finished over three seconds ahead of Chuck Alessi, while Jeff VanSteenburg, Dan Hennessy and Josh Pieniazek rounded out the top five.
Erika Lilly took the last checkered flag of the season in the mini-stock feature.
MODIFIEDS: TODD STONE, Ray Hoard, Marc Johnson, Kris Vernold, Ken Tremont Jr., Vince Quenneville Jr., Cullen Howe, Gardner Stone, Tim Laduc, Adam Pierson, John Proctor, Don Ackner, Jimmy Ryan, Ron Proctor, Scott Duell, Brian Whittemore, Cass Bennett.
BUDGET SPORTSMAN: FRANK HOARD III, Derrick McGrew, D.J. Brundige, Chuck Dickinson, Jack Swinton, Nick Lussier, Frank Hoard Jr., Dave Lacasse, Marc Hughes, Chris Thorpe, Willy Knight, Shannon Donnelly, Anthony Marro, Paul Dunham Jr., Gary Siemons, Justin Comes, Jared McMahon, Tim Hartman Jr., Hunter Bates, Ron Casey, Gene Pierson, C.V. Elms, Jeremy Bishop, Mike Barber, Bill Martindale, Matt Atwood, Tom Lilly, Dennis Pennock.
PRO-STREET STOCKS: CALE KNEER, Fred Little, Carl Vladyka, David Cook, Joe Matzac, Mike Bussino, Justin Perry, Jeff Washburn.
LIMITEDS: BILL DUPREY, Mike Clark, Don Williams, Paul Braymer, Chris Murray, Joe Ladd, Bill Vradenburg, Bill Barrett, Randy Alger, Garret Given, Matt Mosher, Jon Miller.
CRSA SPRINTS: CHAD KING, Chuck Alessi, Jeff VanSteenburg, Dan Hennessy, Josh Pieniazek, Matt Tanner, Billy Jaycox, Tyler Rice, Jeremy Quick, John Cunningham, Mike Bosco, Josh Flach, John Matrafailo, Warren Alexson, Dylan Swiernik, Jim McCaffrey.