Comes is point leader after two races
WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Demetrios Drellos rode a recent hot streak to victory lane in the 11th Annual “Northeast Crate Nationals” for the King of Dirt Racing (KOD) Crate Modified Series on Saturday, September 12. Held for the first time at Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway, the Nationals drew 33 cars for a $2,000 top prize, and the Queensbury, N.Y., driver bested everyone with a dominant drive to the win.
The event was run in support of the inaugural “Slate Valley 100” for Big Block and Small Block Modifieds; Drellos was one of four drivers to run in both feature events, and he finished sixth in the 100-lapper just before the 50-lap KOD race.
An interesting track surface was mostly slick, but better traction on the extreme inside and the extreme outside lanes created multiple racing grooves and a surplus of slide-jobs as drivers searched for bite. The Nationals feature was, by all accounts, a rough race with 14 caution periods, but Adam Pierson and Justin Comes put on a show up front before Drellos arrived.
Pierson – who had finished 11th in the Slate Valley 100 moments before – led the first 20 laps. Comes got bounced around in traffic but came to the front using the top lane for the lead at lap 21. Pierson came charging back, though, and regained control at lap 36 after a lengthy side-by-side battle with Comes.
Drellos, meanwhile, had to come from deep in the field, having started 25th after a tough outing in qualifying. He reached the battle up front as Comes and Pierson were slugging it out, and he scooted ahead at lap 41 following a restart. Drellos held on through the final three restarts to score the win – his first in KOD Crate competition; he previously won a KOD Small Block race at Devil’s Bowl in 2018.
East Corinth, Vt., driver Pierson took the runner-up spot, and Orford, N.H., teenager Tanner Siemons crept into the battle in the final laps to take third place away.
Comes settled for fourth with double-duty racer David Schilling fifth. Tim LaDuc, Elmo Reckner, Josh Masterson, Kenny Tremont Jr., and John St. Germain Jr. completed the top 10 in order. Heat race wins went to Pierson, Schilling, Marty Kelly III, and St. Germain; Drellos won the consi.
Charlie Brown of Brown’s Quarried Slate in Castleton, Vt., presented each of the top-three finishers with commemorative Slate Valley 100 trophies, cut into the shape of the State of Vermont from natural stone found just a few miles from Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Drellos, the weekly Sportsman Modified point leader at Devil’s Bowl, made it three consecutive wins there, and came all in big races. Drellos won the Charlie LaDuc Memorial 54 on August 30 and the Interstate All Battery Center Vermont 200 on September 6 before taking the 50-lap Northeast Crate Nationals.
Since Drellos and Pierson are not eligible for King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series championship points, as regular competitors in Big Block and Small Block competition, Siemons’ third-place finish earned him first-place points, and Comes’ effort was worth second-place points. Furthermore, the Northeast Crate Nationals is a double-points event for KOD. With the race being the second completed event of the COVID-19-affected schedule, Comes finds himself as the point leader with a 27-point cushion on Masterson (158-131). Brian Calabrese sits third overall, followed by LaDuc and Siemons. Masterson leads the Newcomer of the Year standings with a 32-point edge on Justin Stone.
KOD officials are awaiting confirmation of the next event on the schedule, with an announcement to be made as soon as possible.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Northeast Crate Nationals
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, Vt.
Saturday, September 12, 2020
King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series (50 laps)
# – eligible for KOD Newcomer of the Year award
* – ineligible for KOD championship points
- (25) * 111 Demetrios Drellos, Queensbury, N.Y.
- (2) * 15 Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
- (1) 5 Tanner Siemons, Orford, N.H.
- (7) 51 Justin Comes, Middlebury, Vt.
- (4) * 20 David Schilling, East Greenbush, N.Y.
- (12) 54 Tim LaDuc, Orwell, Vt.
- (5) * 24R Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
- (27) # 11X Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
- (14) * 115 Kenny Tremont Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
- (11) 24J John St. Germain Jr., West Sand Lake, N.Y.
- (6) * 97 Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
- (23) 13 Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
- (18) 21C Brian Calabrese, Johnstown, N.Y.
- (19) 36 Brian Whittemore, Pittsford, Vt.
- (28) # 514 James Hanson, Orwell, Vt.
- (8) 25 Billy Lussier, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (15) 60 Jimmy Ryan, Whiting, Vt.
- (17) 78 Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
- (29) 2 Brent Warren, Salisbury, Vt.
- (30) # 1X Justin Stone, Middlebury, Vt.
- (31) # 17 Bruce Loomis, Queensbury, N.Y.
- (22) # 7 Chris Murray, Fair Haven, Vt.
- (13) 14T Payton Talbot, South New Berlin, N.Y.
- (16) 73C Kevin Chaffee, Bradford, Vt.
- (3) 38Z Zach Sobotka, Parish, N.Y.
- (10) 357 Marty Kelly III, North Bennington, Vt.
- (9) 23 Alex Bell, Cambridge, N.Y.
- (26) 88 Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Gansevoort, N.Y.
- (21) 38VT Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
- (20) 85P Mike Palmer, Salisbury, Vt.
- (24) 42D Dan Grignon, Albany, N.Y.
Did Not Start: 08 Jack Speshock, # 66 Adam Piper
Lap Leaders: Tanner Siemons (grid); Adam Pierson (1-20); Justin Comes (21-35); Pierson (36-40); Demetrios Drellos (41-50) – 4 lead changes among 4 drivers.
Cautions (14): Laps 4, 6, 8, 10, 10, 13, 19, 21, 25, 29, 40, 41, 41, 48.
Heat Winners: Adam Pierson, David Schilling, Marty Kelly III, John St. Germain Jr.
Consi Winner: Demetrios Drellos