Gonyo, Quenneville split features

PLATTSBUGH – The Northern Modified Challenge Series made an entertaining first appearance at Airborne Park Speedway on Saturday, running a pair of 30-lap feature races. Veteran drivers Leon Gonyo and Vince Quenneville Jr., scored the victories, each posting his first victory on the Northern Modified Challenge Series.

Gonyo, a Chazy resident, started on the pole position by virtue of a random draw in the opening feature. He led every lap, but found himself under nearly constant pressure from Jessey Mueller during the race. Mueller, who won the opening NMCS event of the season at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont, made multiple attempts for the lead on the outside lane, settled for the runner-up position. Travis Bruno took third place, followed by Jason Durgan.

Mark Lamberton cut a tire on lap 7 and spun to the infield, then came from the back of the field after pitting during the resulting caution period to finish fifth. Nick Heywood was sixth, followed by Vince Quenneville, Jr., Jayson Criss, Andy Heywood and Mike Wells.

Quenneville, a Brandon, Vermont racer who won the inaugural NMCS championship last year without a race victory, finally broke into the winner’s circle in the second feature.

Underdog racers Speedy Bresette and Chris Frennier led the field for much of the race while Quenneville sliced through traffic. Quenneville used a three-wide move to take the lead from Bresette with four laps remaining, then cruised to the win. Bresette crossed the finish line in second place, but lost the finish in post-race inspection when his car measured lower the than minimum allowable ride height.

Rookie driver Frennier inherited the runner-up spot, followed by Andy Heywood, Lamberton and Nick Heywood. Gonyo finished sixth ahead of Bruno, Mueller, Tyson Drown and Jamie LaFountain.

The Northern Modified Challenge Series, sanctioned by Devil’s Bowl Speedway management, returns to its home track Friday with the third annual C.J. Richards Memorial 67 presented by Carrara Masonry & Concrete. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com, call 802-265-3112, or follow @NorthernModCS on Twitter.