WEST HAVEN - Middlebury's Todd Stone isn't going to give up his crown at Devil's Bowl Speedway without a fight.
Sitting far enough up front to avoid a multi-car wreck on lap 10, Stone easily pulled away from the field and recorded his first win of the 2009 campaign Sunday night in the 30-lap 358-modified feature at the Bowl.
The win, numer 14 of his career at Devil's Bowl, allowed Stone to break Ken Tremont Jr.'s three-race winning streak.
Kris Vernold came off the front row and set the pace for the first nine laps, but Stone, who had started sixth, was already up to second when the caution came out for the multi-car wreck. Stone used the subsequent restart to move out on the point, and with the race being slowed by just one other caution, he hit the finish line over six seconds ahead of Vernold, who had his best run since finishing second to Tim Laduc in the final race of the 2008 season.
Vince Quenneville Jr., still looking for his first win of the season, crossed the finish line third, followed by Gardner Stone and Ray Hoard. Although Gardner Stone was happy to see his son back in victory lane, he also had to be pleased with his own top-five finish. According to unofficial records, the last time "The General" finished in the top five was May 16, 1998, when he finished second to Hector Stratton.
Frank Hoard III rocketed to his third win of the season in the 25-lap budget sportsman feature. Anthony Warren came off the pole and led the first six laps, which were slowed by a couple of early cautions. Those yellows helped Hoard move up from his eighth starting position, and he moved around Warren on a restart on lap seven.
The field quickly spread out, and Hoard drove to a convincing win over Seth Howe and Jack Swinton. Josh Joseph and C.V. Elms completed the top five.
Rady Alger passed Bill Duprey with two laps to go, and held on for a thrilling win in the 20-lap limited feature. Alger led the first three laps, but Duprey then moved out front and took control. But Alger was never far behind and made his move with two go, hitting the finish line a nose ahead of Duprey to come away with his first win of 2009, becoming the ninth different winner in the highly competitive class this season. Duprey, Chris Murray, Joe Ladd and Paul Braymer completed the top five.
Fred Little picked up his second win of the season in the pro-street stock feature, and Colin Clow won the mini/Duke stock feature.
The night also featured the annual Mountain Man enduro, which was won by Kyle Gray.
The annual Judith L. Richards Memorial will take place on Sunday, Aug. 16, with all divisions in action. It will also be Bikers' Night, with all fans (driver and passenger) arriving on a motorcycle being admitted free of charge. Racing will begin at 6:45 p.m.
MODIFIEDS: TODD STONE, Kris Vernold, Vince Quenneville Jr., Gardner Stone, Ray Hoard, Jimmy Ryan, Don Mattison, Cullen Howe, Ken Tremont Jr., Frank Hoard Sr., Don Ackner, Dave Manny, Brian Whittemore, Tim Laduc, Ron Proctor, Chad Miller, Cass Bennett.
BUDGET SPORTSMAN: FRANK HOARD III, Seth Howe, Jack Swinton, Josh Joseph, C.V. Elms, Ron Casey, D.J. Brundige, Ron Wanamaker, Anthony Warren, Anthony Marro, Jon Bates, Hunter Bates, Willy Knight, Joey Trudeau, Jared McMahon, Shannon Donnelly, Justin Comes, Derrick McGrew, Frank Hoard Jr., Marc Hughes, Chris Thorpe, Cody Sargent.
PRO-STREET STOCKS: FRED LITTLE, Cale Kneer, Carl Vladyka, Mike Bussino, Chuck Towslee, Justin Perry, Randy Miller, Jeff Washburn.
LIMITEDS: RANDY ALGER, Bill Duprey, Chris Murray, Joe Ladd, Paul Braymer, Frank Monroe, Bill Vradenburg, Lou Gancarz, Dave Emigh, Garret Given, Mike Clark, Russ Farr, Bill Barrett.
MINI/DUKE STOCKS: COLIN CLOW, Kayla Bryant, Erika Lilly, Mark Burke, Nathan Woodworth, Brent Warren, Jon Hayes, Justin Lilly, George Foster (Duke).