New schedule to see Vermont track host full-time asphalt and dirt racing in 50th season
(From track press release)
WEST HAVEN – Transformation has been almost constant at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in its first 49 seasons, and the Vermont track’s 50th summer in 2016 will continue the trend. Since its opening, the speedway has seen action shift from natural Slate Valley clay to asphalt – and back again – twice. As both a nod to the past and a look toward the future, the facility will host races on both surfaces on a full-time basis this year for the first time.
A brief history: Founder C.J. Richards built Devil’s Bowl Speedway in 1967 as a half-mile dirt track before paving it in 1971. The clay returned in 1975 and remained for the next 35 seasons, and then Richards repaved the track in 2010. Mike and Alayne Bruno began promoting the track in 2012 and have grown the asphalt program as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, but also realized that many local fans missed the dirt.
In response, a new 3/10-mile dirt track was constructed inside the asphalt oval, and eight races were run during a trial period in 2014-15. After learning the quirks of the new layout, both the asphalt and dirt tracks got the green light to each hold full seasons of NASCAR-sanctioned racing in 2016 – a “best of both worlds” scenario.
For the 50th season, the biggest change is the schedule itself. Racing has moved to an earlier 6:00 p.m. start so that most events will end around 9:00 p.m. and allow fans and racers to return home earlier. Weekly asphalt events, 14 in all, have been moved to Saturday nights – instead of Friday nights in recent years – to better accommodate fans and racers during the work week. And in keeping with a tradition that was held for most of the “dirt years” at Devil’s Bowl, the 13-race schedule for the dirt track will see Sunday night racing at 6:00 p.m.
“I’ve always felt that if you keep doing the same things over and over every year, the product becomes boring and stale,” Devil’s Bowl promoter Mike Bruno said. “We have exciting racing, but we saw the need to shake things up a little bit. We’re really excited to kick off the 50th season at Devil’s Bowl in a couple weeks.”
The rulebooks for both surfaces are virtually identical in the Sportsman Modified, Renegade, and Mini Stock divisions, and a dual NASCAR sanction means double the post-season money. Several drivers in each class have indicated that they will race full-time on one surface and at least part-time on the other, and Modified veterans Vince Quenneville Jr., Billy Lussier, and Jackie Brown Jr. have each committed to running all 27 events.
The asphalt oval opens on Saturday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m., and the dirt track opens on Sunday, May 22 at 6:00 p.m. Each track will have kids bicycle races, 50-lap Modified features, and lots of other action.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of Exit 2 off of U.S. Route 4 and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.