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Close finish at Spring Green car race

WEST HAVEN - American-Canadian Tour stock car drivers Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Brian Hoar brought a full house to its feet for a photo finish in the Spring Green 113 at Devil's Bowl Speedway on Sunday afternoon, May 5.  Helliwell headlined a list of race winners to open the 2013 season at the West Haven, Vt. track that also included Todd Stone, Richie Turner, and Chris LaVair.

LATE MODEL
Dover, NH driver Helliwell, the defending winner of the race and the 2012 ACT Late Model Tour champion, dominated the first 92 laps of the race before giving way to three-time Spring Green winner Hoar after a restart.  Hoar, of Williston, Vt., led the next 16 circuits and appeared to be pulling away before two restarts with five laps remaining gave Helliwell a chance to regain the lead. The crowd rose to its feet as the pair ran inches apart in the final five laps, with Helliwell eventually nosing ahead for the victory by just .027 seconds - about two feet.

ACT Late Model Tour point leader Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vt. finished a strong third.

Several Devil's Bowl Speedway regulars tackled the ACT field for the first time. Masterson, the 2012 Devil's Bowl Speedway Mini Stock champion, was in contention for a top-ten finish in his first-ever Late Model start with five laps remaining before a blown tire caused him to crash.  Devil's Bowl 2012 Late Model champion Craig Bushey of Fairfax, Vt. was running in third place before a broken rear end component forced him to retire.

MODIFIED
Todd Stone of Middlebury, Vt. ran to a convincing victory in the 35-lap Modified feature to open the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season. Stone came from 10th on the starting field to grab the lead from defending champion Ron Proctor on lap 27, then won the main event going away. The win came in the first NASCAR-sanctioned race of Stone's long and successful career.

Proctor, of Charlton, NY, survived an early scrape with Vince Quenneville, Jr. to lead much of the event before succumbing to Stone, but held on for the runner-up finish. Brandon, VT driver Quenneville finished third.

RENEGADE
Richie Turner of Fairfax, Vt. led every turn of the 15-lap Renegade feature for his second career Devil's Bowl victory.  Defending champion Robert Gordon of Milton, Vt. made a late charge to take the runner-up spot, with rookies Brad Bushey of Bolton, Vt., taking third.

MINI STOCK
Chris LaVair of Gabriels, NY dominated the 15-lap Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock feature for his first-ever Devil's Bowl victory. LaVair drew the pole position and led every lap, beating his younger brother Bobby LaVair for the win. Jake Noble of Benson, VT made a final-lap pass to finish in third place.

Devil's Bowl Speedway is back in action on Friday, May 24 at 7 p.m. with the Memorial Day Special. The event will feature twin 25-lap features for the Modified division and holiday fireworks show, along with regular events for the Late Model, Renegade, and Mini Stock divisions.

For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or visit www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com.

Photo by Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com
With the crowd on its feet, Wayne Helliwell, Jr. (orange car, outside) beats Brian Hoar (#37) by two feet to win the Spring Green 113 at Devil's Bowl Speedway.