PHOTO: Ron Proctor (#27) battles with Vince Quenneville, Jr., (#78) in the closing stages of the Bond Auto Parts NASCAR Modified feature at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday. (Leif Tillotson photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson
VMM Editor

Okay, Mike Bruno, now tell us all how many races you have really run as a track owner. That was in no way, shape, form the first race you have ever run as a track owner.

In all honesty, from what I saw for myself and what I have heard from fans, the response to the new owners and promoters of Devil’s Bowl Speedway has been overwhelmingly positive. Race number one? It looked more like race number 100 for the group. Everything, from the food to the staff to the organization of the show, was excellent. A lot of people left Devil’s Bowl with a smile. That only should bode well into the future.

I know a lot of people doubted Devil’s Bowl. And I’m sure there are a few naysayers still out there who will say it was due to the ACT contingent. But the fans were into the ending of the Modified race and the battle between Vince Quenneville, Jr., and Ron Proctor.

And after seeing the first race for the Modifieds, I truly believe it’s something that can start a rivalry within the divisions. Who would you rather see win? The big, beefy 358’s or the budget conscious 602’s? It should be a good showing throughout 2012, and one I am looking forward to attending as much as I can throughout the summer.

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I’m not sure there are many people who don’t love a first time winner. And in the short track touring scene here in the northeast, we got two of them this weekend.

Many people believed it was just a matter of time before the orange No. 27 of Wayne Helliwell, Jr., would pull into the ACT winner’s circle. And he did just that at Devil’s Bowl.

But not too many people thought Joey Doiron would win the way he did at Beech Ridge in PASS competition. Joey did, and backed up what he said earlier in the day in a very, very dominate way. And if you’re a sucker for emotion, Joey displayed it all in victory lane. It was great sight to see.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see perhaps another first time ACT winner at Oxford, perhaps Austin Theriault who has finished in the top three in his last two Late Model appearances there (third at TD Bank 250, second in August ACT race).

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Keith Rocco coming to Devil’s Bowl is just so freakin’ cool. As our own Ricky St. Clair coined, that guy is allergic to losing.

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We hear Bear Ridge Speedway had a very successful opening race with a packed house and an expanded pit area that was filled with cars. Kevin Chaffee went out in race one and proved why he was selected Vermont Motorsports Magazine Driver of the Year. Jumping between two different cars and winning both feature races is nothing short of impressive.

It should be interesting to see if Chaffee can bring the fight to Adam Pierson this season and challenge him for the Bear Ridge DIRTcar Modified championship.

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Speaking of Keith Rocco, I’d take him and Jon McKennedy, put them in race cars and go win races. Because winning races is all that matters. #snubbed

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It was nice to see Randy Potter, Jimmy Hebert, and Ben Ashline all at Devil’s Bowl on Sunday after having rough days at Thunder Road a week earlier. As ACT President Tom Curley said in the driver’s meeting, they worked their rear ends off and they should be proud of themselves.

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It took until September last year for Brian Hoar to finish outside the top ten. This season, it only took until the third race.

What’s wrong with Hoar? I don’t think there is anything. Yes, they had an uncharacteristically off day. But, that off day, even last year, would probably still net them a top ten.

What am I saying? The competition around them is better. The top three finishers in the Spring Green, as I said earlier, are championship contenders. Ray Parent, in his second year, showed what he was capable of and finished fourth. Randy Potter is a consistent contender.

The rest of the top ten are threats to win when they are “on”. When Hoar is on, he’s still at the top; just look at the first two races this season. But, as the competition gets better around Hoar, an off day is going to be more glaring than it has been in years past.

I personally thought it may take ten top-10 finishes this year to win the 10-race championship. Time will tell if that will hold true.