24 Events On Tap At Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl

Vermont's Devil's Bowl Speedway has an ambitious 24-event schedule lined up for the 2021 season. (Alan Ward photo)
Vermont's Devil's Bowl Speedway has an ambitious 24-event schedule lined up for the 2021 season. (Alan Ward photo)

WEST HAVEN, Vt. – Devil’s Bowl Speedway has thrown out all the stops for its schedule this year.

The historic Vermont dirt track will open its 55th season on Saturday, May 1 and will race 24 straight weeks through Oct. 2. Several special events will help to further cement Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s status as the Northeast’s leading facility for crate-engine Sportsman Modifieds, and five key dates promise to be major events in the region.

A previously announced switch to weekly Saturday-night events (with a Sunday rain date) has been received with overwhelmingly positive reaction, and Devil’s Bowl promoter Mike Bruno feels that the track can continue to safely build off the momentum of a successful 2020 season – even during the height of the pandemic.

“This is the most ambitious schedule that we’ve ever created through our first 10 years owning and operating Devil’s Bowl Speedway,” Bruno said. “What we’ve put together is really exciting, and we believe that we can have a lot of fun and some huge events while maintaining health and safety guidelines. We’ve heard from drivers and fans all over the Northeast who are looking forward to the Devil’s Bowl season. It feels good to have that support.”

The Saturday run begins on May 1 – the earliest opener in 31 years – and to celebrate, Bruno has posted a big purse of $2,500 to win for the regular-distance, 30-lap feature. The weekly Limited Sportsman, Super Stock, Mini Stock, and 500cc Mini Sprint divisions will also be there to kick their seasons off in style.

Saturday night racing continues through the season, with many special events including a handful of exciting Sunday and weekend shows. The first of five major events arrives on Memorial Day weekend on May 29-30, as the 12th annual Northeast Crate Nationals gets a new date and an all-new format. The race returns to a 100-lap distance and will pay a record $5,000 to the winner, doubling the previous highwater mark. Qualifying begins on Saturday for Sportsman Modifieds and Devil’s Bowl’s weekly classes. The Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) tour will race on Sunday along with second-round and last-chance qualifying, weekly features, and the Northeast Crate Nationals 100.

A brand-new event is ready for Saturday, July 3, with the Independence Day Sprint Car Spectacular. For the first time ever, SCoNE and the New York-based CRSA Sprints officially come together for a Challenge race, featuring the 360-cubic-inch engines of SCoNE and the 305 powerplants of CRSA. Several 305 teams have competed at Devil’s Bowl against SCoNE in recent years, and the little engines have scored two wins; CRSA driver Cory Sparks very nearly made it three in 2020. The race pays $1,200 to win with a total posted purse of $8,000. Also on the program are all five weekly divisions, a 50-lap Enduro, and Vermont’s best fireworks show.

The Big Block and Small Block Modifieds will make their first of two stops on Sunday, Aug. 8. Fans and drivers alike have flocked to Devil’s Bowl for a handful of independent Big Block/Small Block events in recent years, and a retooled 75-lap, $7,500-to-win event promises to provide plenty of excitement. Recent Devil’s Bowl winners Mat Williamson, Matt Sheppard, Tim Fuller, Jessey Mueller, and Anthony Perrego are expected to return.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s signature event, the Vermont 200 weekend is ready for the Labor Day holiday on Sept. 4-5. The biggest crate Sportsman Modified race in North America will pay $10,000 to win plus lap leader bonuses, as everyone will try to dethrone 2020 winner and track champion Demetrios Drellos. An all-time track record 89 cars attempted to qualify last year. Weekly divisions will compete on Saturday night along with the Sportsman Non-Winner’s Shootout, while all Sportsman qualifying and the 200-lap main event will be on Sunday, along with the SCoNE Sprint Cars.

The final event of the five majors will be the second annual Slate Valley 100 for Big Block/Small Block Modifieds, on Sunday, Sept. 26. Canadian star Mat Williamson outdueled Mike Mahaney for the $10,000 score last season in a thrilling late-race battle, defeating a stacked field of 40 entries. Championships will also be decided for the Sportsman Modified, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock divisions at the event.

Featured attractions highlight the entire schedule, including Legends Night on Saturday, July 24, with a 67-lap Sportsman Modified race paying $2,500 to win. The Mid-Season Championships are on July 10, the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series visits on July 17, there will be six Enduro races, and the season wraps up with the second annual Foliage Fun Run Open Competition day on Saturday, Oct. 2.