PHOTO: The American-Canadian Tour comes to Devil’s Bowl Speedway for the first time on Sunday for the Spring Green 111. (Leif Tillotson photo)

-by Justin St. Louis
VMM Editor

I couldn’t be more excited for the Spring Green at Devil’s Bowl Speedway this Sunday. Here’s why.

1. It’s the Spring Green. There may be older or more prestigious races on the American-Canadian Tour schedule, but there are certainly no more exciting races than the Spring Green. For whatever the reason — maybe the stars always align just right — that race has been a barnburner for years and years.

2. It’s back in Vermont. You know how sentimental I am about this place. The Spring Green began back in 1974 at Catamount Stadium in Milton, but left the Green Mountains when Catamount closed in 1987. Finally, at Devil’s Bowl on Sunday, it returns home.

3. Devil’s Bowl opens. That means that all three Vermont tracks will be up and running, and that means the rhythm is coming back. D-Bowl’s got some exciting stuff happening this year.

4. The lap count is back. The Spring Green’s distance always used to coincide with the year. Like, in 1974 it was 74 laps. In 1997 it was 97 laps. The 2000 edition was 100 laps, but so too, unfortunately was the 2001 edition, and every one since. Bringing the count up to 111 laps this year to go along with 2011 is just plain cool. Like a throwback jersey.

5. Late Models at Devil’s Bowl. I know The Bowl is a Modified track, and it always will be. I love Modifieds, too. But every Late Model-type show that was run there last year was outstanding, with side-by-side racing and lots of passing. The Spring Green should be a pretty neat deal.


I’ve come to realize that I’ll never win the battle over the nickname “Joey Pole”. It boggles my mind that people can spell names like Zakrzewski, Brunnhoelzl, or Kwasniewski, but that they refuse to spell out Polewarczyk.

“Pole” is a great nickname, I get it. It’s a family tradition, it sounds racy, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to say. But it’s not his real last name.

I’ve had this discussion with promoters, media members, PR reps, even the Polewarczyk family, and I’ll always stand where I stand. That’s it.


Hey, speaking of Devil’s Bowl, some of their silly rules are gone this year, and that makes things WAY better for you, the fans.

Blankets, small cameras, and small coolers are now allowed in the grandstands, which means your experience just got a whole lot better. Kudos to Devil’s Bowl promoter Jerry Richards and the staff for that.

Click here for DBS do’s and don’ts.


I really dig T.J. Ingerson’s new column here at VMM. “Under The Hood” is going to be a neat little look into the inner workings of what makes race cars go.

T.J.’s the prefect guy for the job, having worked on winning race cars (and even driving a few) since he was a kid. Besides that, everyone knows that the rest of us clowns here at VMM don’t know a jack stand from a jacking bolt.


Albany-Saratoga Speedway’s Joey Williams leads the New York State point standings in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and, with only three starts, is 87th in the country. Kinda neat, right CVRA haters?


In general, I like the guys and gals over at I get along well with Matt Kentfield and Elgin Traylor, and Mike Twist is a guy I’ve considered a friend — even outside of racing — for a lot of years. Being in this short track business we cross paths a lot, and it’s hard to not get to know people and become friendly. The folks at 51 are hard workers and should be applauded for their innovation and ability to reach a huge base of race fans.

I read every day for short track racing news from every reach of the country, and I appreciate very much when its writers return the favor with a link or a mention back to a Vermont Motorsports Magazine story. They help me out a lot.

That said, I take issue with the Speed 51 “Short Track Draft” that was posted recently.

I understand how the feature works; Speed 51 sends out a ballot to some big names in short track racing (promoters, media, accomplished drivers, etc.) and each voter selects “draft picks” from a list of 125 eligible short track drivers from across the U.S. and Canada under the age of 30 — and with no affiliation to a big-league NASCAR team — that they feel have the potential to make it big. According to Speed 51, “more than 50 voters” took part in the balloting this year.

When all the votes were counted, the number-one draft pick selection was 17 year-old Ross Kenseth, son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth. There’s little doubt that Ross Kenseth is deserving of the accolade; he’s won more in the last handful of seasons than many 20-year veterans will have won by the time they retire.

The northeast was well-represented on the list, including #18 pick Joey “Pole” (ha!) Polewarczyk, Jr., of the American-Canadian Tour and #44 pick Nick Sweet of Barre’s Thunder Road.

Here’s my issue: Of the fifty-one drivers picked in the draft, thirteen of them — that’s a tick over 25% — are clients of 51 Sports, a public relations company owned by the same company that owns

There are absolutely some 51 Sports clients on the list that are deserving of accolades — #3 Ryan Blaney, #4 Bubba Pollard among them — but the overall results scream of nepotism. If there was a published list of how the votes were counted, or even of simply who the voters were, things would sit a lot easier with me (or maybe not?). has a regular feature called “The Big 10” that discusses the top ten recent stories in short track racing. In this week’s “Big 10,” the number-one story is 51 defending criticism of the Short Track Draft. The company has often been accused of incestuously mixing its news reports, which are supposed to be unbiased, with its PR products, which are inherently the opposite. I know that as a former 51 Sports employee (I worked there in 2005-06), it’s a tricky path to walk. I don’t envy the folks at 51 for the position they’re in, but I also realize that they choose to be in that position.

It’s the reason why VMM doesn’t handle public relations for any driver or team. VMM is an unbiased news outlet and gives equal time to every subject that comes down the pike. We’ve paid the price for not making everyone happy — as has Speed 51, in a different way — and expect that we will continue to do so as long as we’re around, but we also don’t set ourselves up for ridicule by muddying the waters of integrity.

If Speed 51 wants to have a draft, that’s cool with me. It’s a great way to give a nod to accomplished young racers. But in the interest of fairness, 51’s employees need to take themselves out of their Short Track Draft — or if they already are, then they should publicly state that they aren’t participating — and publish a complete list of who the voters are. A little clarification from 51 would go a long way in terms of credibility, and would prevent the need for the damage control 51 has been forced to send out.