Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Vince Quenneville Jr. brought the crowd at Devil’s Bowl Speedway to its feet during the season-opening Spring Green program on Sunday afternoon.
Robert Gordon and Josh Masterson each started the 2012 campaign off in victory lane as well.
Helliwell, of Dover, N.H., earned his first career victory on the American-Canadian Tour in a razor-close finish with Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Helliwell started the 112-lap main event in third place but was held up in early traffic and fell back almost outside the top 10. He clawed his way back to the front on the outside lane, taking the lead from Polewarczyk just after the halfway point in the race. Polewarczyk was second and Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, drove from 20th starting position to finish third ahead of Ray Parent and Randy Potter.
Quenneville made his return to Devil’s Bowl a popular one with his home track fans, taking the first Bond Auto Parts Modified victory of the year in the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature. Quenneville, of Brandon, Vt., drove into the lead on the outside of defending champion Ron Proctor after a restart with seven laps remaining and never looked back. Proctor, of Charlton, N.Y., held off a furious midrace charge from Leon Gonyo for the runner-up spot. Jessey Mueller drove from 18th starting position to finish third, with Gonyo fourth and rookie Joey Roberts completing the unofficial top five.
Rob Gordon of Milton, Vt., opened the season with a 25-lap score in the Renegade feature. Gordon beat Lance Rabtoy of Fairfax, Vt., in a comfortable margin at the finish. Ryan Keith finished third ahead of Frank Monroe and Jeremy Jones.
Rookie Josh Masterson of Bristol, Vt. started his Bomber division career on the right foot by winning the 20-lap feature in his first career start. Harold LaVair of Gabriels held on for second place. Ray Germain Jr. was third, followed by John McCarron and Dan Collins.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is back in action on Sunday, May 13, for a Mother’s Day Special event at 1:30 p.m. General admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors (62+), and free for children 12 and under. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT, six miles north of Exit 2 on US Route 4. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or click www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com.