–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
WEST HAVEN — The asphalt era at Devil’s Bowl Speedway will come to an end.
Officials from the West Haven, Vermont track announced on Saturday that the two-track facility will become a one-track facility in 2018 as the existing paved half-mile will be covered in clay.
Devil’s Bowl ran as a dirt track prior to the 2010 season.
“This decision is something that we have worked hard on for the last three years,” track owner Mike Bruno said in a press release issued by the track. “This is very bittersweet for me and my family.
“We have always loved asphalt racing and we are very proud of what we have accomplished during our six years at Devil’s Bowl. We will always be grateful for the support of our drivers and teams across all of our divisions through the good times and the bad.”
Dwindling car counts for both of Devil’s Bowl’s top-two divisions, the Sportsman Modifieds and ACT-type Late Models, led to the decision despite an increased car count for the support division this season. The Sportsman Modifieds saw their schedule decreased midway through the 2017 season after seeing single digit car counts for all events while the Late Models ran under a limited schedule as a result of diminished car counts from previous seasons.
As a result of the surface change and car counts, the two-day “Vermont Championship Weekend” has been canceled and the ACT Late Model Tour has removed the event from their schedule.
The final event on the asphalt will take place on Saturday, September 2 with the annual Sportsman Modified Leon Gonyo Memorial and 100-lap Late Model event. Champions will be crowned in the Sportsman Modified, Super Stock, and Mini Stock divisions.
At the conclusion of the asphalt season, construction will begin to place clay over the asphalt track, which will use half of the existing three-tenths mile oval that currently sits inside the asphalt track.
Additional plans call for an infield pit road to be constructed for extra distance races. Devil’s Bowl will also begin planning to race the grandstand bleachers for better viewing.
The track will continue to be sanctioned by NASCAR under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
“Unfortunately, we feel that asphalt racing is heading in the wrong direction in this region and we have to make a change,” Bruno said. “We are excited to turn the page and start fresh with a brand new dirt track at Devil’s Bowl and build toward the future.”
VtMotorMag.com will have more from today’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway announcement soon.
PHOTO: Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., will return to full-time Dirt Track racing on its half-mile oval in 2018. (Barry Snelling/Devil’s Bowl Speedway photo)