WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Devil’s Bowl Speedway officials have made changes to the final two events of the 2021 dirt track racing season. With adjustments to the events on September 26 and October 2, the championships for three weekly divisions have been extended by one week.
The Friend Construction Night event scheduled for Saturday, September 18 at 6 p.m., will not be affected by the changes. The event contains the championship finale for the Super Stock and 500cc Mini Sprint divisions, along with the annual Kids Racecar Rides program at intermission. The Sportsman Modified, O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock divisions are also on the card.
While exciting battles for points positions exist throughout the field in every division, Saturday’s two champions are virtually assured. Fair Haven, Vt.’s Chris Murray has all but locked up his third Super Stock title after a dominant 11-win run, and Orwell, Vt.’s Ray Hanson has mathematically clinched his first 500cc Mini Sprint crown after 10 victories.
The first changes come on Sunday, September 26. The highly anticipated “Slate Valley 100” will be held for Big Block and Small Block Modifieds, paying $10,000 to the winner, and that portion of the event remains as scheduled. Devil’s Bowl’s three remaining championship battles, however, will be decided a week later than planned. The September 26 date was originally scheduled to be the championship finale for the Sportsman, Limited, and Mini Stock divisions, but those classes have had their point-counting seasons extended to Saturday, October 2.
The new plan on September 26 includes a 40-lap “draw race” for the Sportsman Modified class that will pay $2,000 to the winner. All Sportsman drivers with a valid 2021 Devil’s Bowl Speedway membership will receive 50 appearance points. The Limited Sportsman division will race under the usual weekly format in a full points-counting event including a 30-lap feature starting up to 30 cars. The Mini Stock division will race in the “split” feature format that was used on July 4 and August 15, with the car count being divided into equal fields of 20-lap features each, paying full purses and full points.
The season-ending event on Saturday, October 2 has been changed entirely. The planned “open competition” format will not be used, replaced by the championship point-counting finales for the Sportsman Modified, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock classes under the traditional weekly format. Special non-points events are being planned for the Super Stock and 500cc Mini Sprint divisions, and a 100-lap Enduro Series race remains as scheduled.
The changes were made as pre-planned weather contingency, done with other area racetracks in mind. “There is a major Big Block Modified event at Albany-Saratoga Speedway the night before our Slate Valley 100, and the rain date for their event is on Sunday,” Devil’s Bowl promoter Mike Bruno said. “If they have bad weather, we would cancel our event rather than try to fight for the same group of cars and run head-to-head. That was a decision that we made back in the winter when we laid our schedule out.”
That potential scenario, however, would force Devil’s Bowl to reschedule its championship finales anyway, so Bruno took the guesswork out of it. “Rather than having a surprise less than a week before the race, we made the change now to give everyone more notice,” Bruno said. “Our drivers can plan on being at Devil’s Bowl to celebrate their championships and wrap up the season on Saturday, October 2, no matter what happens on September 26.”
Middlebury, Vt.’s Justin Comes currently holds a narrow, nine-point lead in the Sportsman Modified division with Demetrios Drellos second and Tim LaDuc in third place, just 11 points back. Bridport, Vt.’s Troy Audet leads Austin Comes – Justin’s brother – by 35 points in the Limited Sportsman division, and Ripton, Vt.’s Chris Sumner has a 37-point edge on rookie Daryl Gebo in the Mini Stocks.
Grandstand general admission for Friend Construction Night on Saturday, September 18, is $12 for adults and $5 for children aged 12 and under. Tickets are available online at https://buytickets.at/devilsbowlspeedway and at the speedway on race day. Infield drive-in parking is $20 for adults and free for children. Infield passes are sold only at the track on race day. Pit passes are $25 for members and $35 for non-members, available at the speedway or on the “Pit Pay” Mobile App; the minimum age in the pit area is 10 years old, with proof of age required for minors, per Vermont State Law.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., four miles north of U.S. Route 4, Exit 2, and just 20 minutes from Rutland, Vt. For more information, visit http://www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway, and on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
Justin St. Louis, Media Director