PHOTO: If you weren’t at Devil’s Bowl Speedway last Sunday, you missed lots of two- and three-wide stuff like this. (Leif Tillotson photo)

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

If you weren’t at Devil’s Bowl Speedway — and I looked around the grandstands and saw that a lot of you weren’t there — you missed an outstanding race. There were a few too many yellow flags, sure, but it’s still fashionable to blame the more-than-enough rain Vermont has had this spring and the seeping water that played a role in how slippery the track surface was.

The racing was fantastic. Brian Hoar and Craig Bushey each plowed through each other a couple of times (and maybe through one or two others along the way), but it was all just hard racing. There weren’t any hurt feelings between the two, and Bushey backed up what most people learned during his Tiger Sportsman years: Give him a car and he can get more out of it than most people should. Give him a good car, and watch out.

For the record, our story on Bushey — the one in which Hoar compared him to Dale Earnhardt — was not a rah-rah piece for Bushey. The guy tore some stuff up. Big deal. Brian Hoar has in his career, too.

The Devil’s Bowl track itself (and our T.J. Ingerson will touch on this in his “Under The Hood” column), has become one of the more competitive places to race in the northeast.


For a guy that was hyped up to be a key player this year, Mike Bruno hasn’t seen much come out of his efforts other than a new pile of scrap sheet metal and a swollen thumb.

After a win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway a few weeks back, Bruno was electric in practice at Devil’s Bowl on Sunday morning and was expected to contend for the Spring Green win, but a first-lap crash in his heat race that slightly injured his left hand took him out, taking poor Hunter Bates and Wayne Helliwell for an impromptu mud bath in the process.

The Rutland racer also failed to qualify for the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road, but says he’s ready to get back on the right track. Bruno has reenlisted the services of driver/crew chief Tony Andrews to turn some wrenches (the pair worked together in the 1990s), and Bruno will compete weekly with his Late Model at Thunder Road with an eye on getting into victory lane again soon.

Bruno will also bring his Late Model to Devil’s Bowl for as many Sunday events as possible, and has taken delivery of a new crate motor from RPM Racing Engines and will race with the NASCAR Modifieds there as well.

Plus, he says, who knows when he’ll show up at Canaan or Albany-Saratoga or wherever? The dude is a racer.


For the record, that mud bath was one of those “deep” cleanses. And Helliwell’s team, led by Bruce Bernhardt, is one tough group to get that car back into a raceable condition. If you want to know what wins championships, look no further than the performance of the No. 27NH team from last Sunday.


Ken Squier deserves a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and it’s an embarrassment to the sport of stock car racing that he hasn’t even been considered yet.

Read my rant in “VT SPEED” in the section of today’s Burlington Free Press and see if you agree with me.


We’re all human and we all make mistakes. VMM made a big one this week with Martin Roy’s rev limiter story. We’ll learn from it and move on, and again we apologize to Roy, his team, and Airborne Speedway.

Airborne promoter Mike Perrotte confirmed with VMM at 10:30 on Friday morning that MSD Ignition officials have inspected Roy’s rev limiter and everything has been cleared; Saturday’s Modified victory belongs to Martin Roy.


Bear Ridge Speedway will host the new Dirt Midget Association on Saturday. A five-car exhibition was held at the season opener three weeks back, and — dude — those little cars can fly.

DMA officials said that 14 teams have entered the Bear Ridge race, and for a maiden voyage — especially at tiny Bear Ridge — that’s pretty good. Mods, Coupes, Late Models, Fast Fours, Hornets, and Queens will all be in action at 6:00pm. Scouts get in free, and it’s the first Kids’ Rides night of the year.

And with Modified car counts now solidly in the 20s, the racing and the depth of talent is getting even better.


I love Memorial Day weekend at Thunder Road. When I was a kid and I was still racing Street Stocks, it was always a big deal. We were fortunate enough to win one of the Memorial Day races, and it was great to be there with an enthusiastic sponsor like Mekkelsen RV (and they’re not even paying me to say that) in victory lane and around the track. Making it that much sweeter was the fact that Jerry Winch, who I crewed for occasionally, won the Tiger race that day.

Maybe the kids in the Tigers, Streets, and Warriors don’t get their names carved into the granite when they win on Memorial Day, but it’s still a pretty neat thing.


Thunder Road and promoter Tom Curley have taken a few hits lately on the message boards. Some fans are saying Curley isn’t putting as much effort in to the promotion of the track or doing enough special things for spectators.

We’re not entirely sold on that logic. In fact we’ll applaud today’s announcement of a Home Run Derby for kids and drivers during the Harvest Equipment event on Sunday, June 19.

If you want to cultivate some fans that will be around for years and years, get kids involved with their heroes. Let ‘em whack some easy lobs over the frontstretch and get a high-five from Dave Pembroke or Phil Scott or whomever. Absolutely brilliant. The track will kids’ race car rides on the same day.

Waterford Speedbowl in Connecticut has a similar Home Run Derby every year, and I’ve always thought it was a great idea. Thumbs up to the T-Road staff on this one.