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.