–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
I’ve come to know Route 4 well over the past six years.
And I’ve come to discover how much I hate it.
But the travel through the tourist attraction of Woodstock and where-there-is-always-a-cop Bridgewater brought me to one of the best asphalt racing tracks in all of racing.
Whether you like asphalt racing or not, the asphalt track at Devil’s Bowl Speedway put on some of the best there was in the region.
Modifieds. Late Models. Renegades/Super Stocks. Mini Stocks. It didn’t matter. Whatever was out there always had a really good shot at putting on the best show of the night.
Devil’s Bowl was the first glimpse we got of Brian Hoar versus Wayne Helliwell Jr. and the memorable 2012 ACT Late Model Tour title run.
Devil’s Bowl was the Late Model coming out for Craig Bushey, including his win during a Vermont State Late Model Championship event.
Anyone remember the photo finish between Brent Dragon and Chip Grenier?
Devil’s Bowl asphalt is where Josh Masterson became a known name in Vermont. Devil’s Bowl asphalt is where Todd Stone, Ron Proctor, and Vince Quenneville Jr. found the magic again. It’s where Jessey Mueller rose to prominence, where Jamie Fisher and Chris Bergeron reclaimed their Late Model statures, where Robert Gordon began a dominating run in the Renegades.
Anyone remember the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Rookie-of-the-year for 2013? It came from Devil’s Bowl Speedway and Todd Stone.
As much as people missed the dirt, the asphalt gave us plenty of memories that will last a lifetime.
Back when I had fewer commitments and responsibilities in 2012, I traveled the two-plus hours nearly every week to go to Devil’s Bowl to watch Mike and Alayne Bruno, as well as VMM founder Justin St. Louis, try to build something that wasn’t left in the best of shape.
I got to know Route 4 well from those trips. Leaving work at 5pm and arriving minutes before post time on a Friday night. But every time, I was treated to some really good racing.
And really good racing is what I want as a fan. Sure, I write about racing and have helped build VMM, but in reality, I’m still just a fan.
The last six years, the asphalt at Devil’s Bowl became known for putting on excellent racing. And despite my trips becoming fewer and fewer as my responsibilities grew, both at work and at home, I knew when I went to Devil’s Bowl, the racing would be top notch.
The asphalt track in Rutland County, Vermont was a little gem that had a shelf life in the middle of dirt country.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mike, Alayne, and Justin will make the half-mile dirt track thrive. They’ve done well in just a few seasons with the small dirt track that sits just inches off the asphalt track.
And we expect big things from the newly reformed dirt track. Fans have wished for this moment since the ending of the 2009 season and the announcement of the pavement. And we know big things will happen.
Saturday will end an era at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, but a new one will begin shortly.
The trips over Route 4 will continue as we continue to cover racing in Rutland County.
But as I travel on the winding road over Route 4, I’ll think back to my first trips and the destination that was – the asphalt track.
And how great it was.
(Leif Tillotson photo)