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Spring Green Traditions Return To Vermont In 2011

- Justin St. Louis on 24 Nov 2010

The Spring Green returns to Vermont in 2011 with the American-Canadian Tour at Devil's Bowl Speedway. (Leif Tillotson photo)PHOTO: The Spring Green returns to Vermont in 2011 with the American-Canadian Tour at Devil's Bowl Speedway. (Leif Tillotson photo)

One of the northeast’s most historic short track events returns home to Vermont in 2011, as the Spring Green comes to Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven.

Beginning in 1974 at the former Catamount Stadium, the Spring Green was held at the Milton track each year until its closing following the 1987 season. The race moved to Sanair Super Speedway in Quebec in 1988 and was not held in 1989 before finally settling into Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y., in 1990. After 21 years as an American-Canadian Tour-sanctioned event at Airborne, the race now moves to the recently-paved Devil’s Bowl half-mile.

“I think it’s great to have the Spring Green back in Vermont,” said ACT president Tom Curley. “I started my promoting career with the Spring Green ‘78 at Catamount, and would like to think that Devil’s Bowl can become a very successful asphalt track [and] carry on the tradition of that race.”

After operating for most of its 43 years as a dirt track, the Champlain Valley Racing Association paved Devil’s Bowl Speedway in the spring of 2010. Curley co-promoted the track’s grand re-opening with a 100-lap race for the Late Model division from his Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre. After a successful debut, Curley has elevated his event to an ACT Late Model Tour championship race and has tagged the prestigious Spring Green title on the race.

The Spring Green was first part of the weekly NASCAR Late Model Sportsman circuit and the NASCAR North Tour before moving to the American-Canadian Tour in 1986. Three ACT touring series have competed in the race, including the present-day ACT Late Model Tour from 1996-2004 and each year since 2007.

Originally run as a 74-lap race to correspond with the inaugural year in 1974, the Spring Green’s distance was expanded each year (i.e.: 85 laps in 1985, 91 laps in 1991, etc.) until becoming a 100-lap race in 2000. The race has held steady at 100 laps since, but will return to the old tradition with a 111-lap distance in 2011.

“I screwed it up somewhere when the Late Models took over the event,” Curley joked of the lap count. “If you recall, we were nervous about running more than 50 laps with these cars in the mid-1990s, and now we’re running at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Go figure. The reason we left the yearly lap formula was because of the lack of confidence in going lots of laps for those kinds of cars. Now with many ‘senior moments’ cropping into my life, this seemed like a good time to be able to remember what year it is by looking at the Tour schedule and seeing the Spring Green 111.”

The list of former Spring Green winners reads like a who’s-who of Vermont and northeastern short track racing; among the 17 Vermont-based winners are multi-time champions Beaver, Bobby, and Brent Dragon, Jean-Paul Cyr, Brian Hoar, Phil Scott, and Kevin Lepage. Other winners include Canadians Jean-Paul Cabana, Claude Leclerc, and Junior Hanley, and star drivers Dave Dion, Robbie Crouch, Ralph Nason, and Brad Leighton.

“The 2010 event we had at Devil’s Bowl was really a great surprise and obviously very successful for [ACT] and hopefully the CVRA,” said Curley. “This is a good way to continue moving forward in helping them with that development into asphalt racing and the creation of an historic opening day event for them.”

Spring Green Winners
1974 - Beaver Dragon, Milton, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1975 - Bobby Dragon, Milton, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1976 - Dave Dion, Hudson, N.H. (Catamount Stadium)
1977 - Beaver Dragon, Milton, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1978 - Jean-Paul Cabana, Sherrington, Que. (Catamount Stadium)
1979 - Beaver Dragon, Milton, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1980 - Mike Barry, Bolton, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1981 - Jean-Paul Cabana, Sherrington, Que. (Catamount Stadium)
1982 - Hector Leclair, Fairfax, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1983 - Claude Leclerc, Lanoraie, Que. (Catamount Stadium)
1984 - Tom Glaser, Shelburne, Vt. (Catamount Stadium)
1985 - Joey Kourafas, Sharon, Mass. (Catamount Stadium)
1986 - Stub Fadden, North Haverhill, N.H. (Catamount Stadium)
1987 - Paul Richardson, Georgetown, Mass. (Catamount Stadium)
1988 - Robbie Crouch, Tampa, Fla. (Sanair Super Speedway)
1989 - no event
1990 - Claude Leclerc, Lanoraie, Que. (Airborne Speedway)
1991 - Kevin Lepage, Shelburne, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
1992 - Junior Hanley, Oakville, Ont. (Airborne Speedway)
1993 - Junior Hanley, Oakville, Ont. (Airborne Speedway)
1994 - Ralph Nason, Unity, Me. (Airborne Speedway)
1995 - Brad Leighton, Center Harbor, N.H. (Airborne Speedway)
1996 - Pete Fecteau, Morrisville, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
1997 - Steve Renaudette, Colchester, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
1998 - Chris Fisher, Shelburne, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
1999 - Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2000 - Phil Scott, Middlesex, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2001 - Todd Stone, Middlebury, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2002 - Jacob McGrath, Mendon, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2003 - Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2004 - Brent Dragon, Milton, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2005 - Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y. (Airborne Speedway)
2006 - Robin Wood, Plattsburgh, N.Y. (Airborne Speedway)
2007 - Ryan Nolin, Georgia, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2008 - Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2009 - Scott Payea, Milton, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)
2010 - Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt. (Airborne Speedway)


Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

2011 Schedule TBA

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