The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will make its first ever appearance at the fast ½ mile Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT this Sunday afternoon. The 38th running of the Spring Green 111 is expecting to have over 30 teams converge on the scenic, newly paved speed plant, built and operated by the Richards family since 1967. The inaugural event one year ago opened the renovated semi-banked progressive track with the Thunder Road ACT Late Models. The battle between local favorite Mike Bruno from nearby Rutland and former Thunder Road Champion David Pembroke was a classic 100-lap battle seen by a full house and a very enthusiastic crowd.
“It was a return to the asphalt Late Models for me and really turned out to be one of the most fun races I have ever been a part of,” said Mike Bruno.
“The track raced great and trading the lead for most of the 100 laps with Pembroke was a great way to begin the process of changing from 30 plus years of dirt racing to the asphalt at Devil’s Bowl. I am really looking forward to going back there this weekend,” concluded Bruno.
The change from a Thunder Road point race to a full ACT event will see lots of new faces taking on the ½ mile. Only 6 of the 27 teams that opened the 2010 season are expected to return with the ACT US Tour this coming Sunday. One of the returning teams includes 7-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, Vermont. Cyr is a former dirt racer from Devil’s Bowl, and after an experiment as a driver only for various teams over the past couple years, he has returned to running his own team on the ACT in 2011.
“I would really like to get things headed in the right direction at Devil’s Bowl this weekend. It takes some time to get a new team going and we are all excited about going back to Devil’s Bowl. The competition is so tough on this tour (ACT), but hopefully we will have a little edge with the experience we gained last year when we opened the new asphalt track. It was a great race and I expect it will be even better this year” said Cyr.
Other veteran teams heading to Devil’s Bowl with some experience from last season include John Donahue from Graniteville, VT who currently sits second in points on the ACT and has to be considered one of the favorites to pick off his first win of 2011. He will be joined by veteran Joey Laquerre, Barre, VT, Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, and Brent Dragon from Milton.
“This is one of my favorite races. My dad (Harmon ‘Beaver’ Dragon) is the all-time winningest driver of this race. He won three Spring Green events back in the 70’s at Catamount Stadium in Milton (VT). I won the race at Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, NY in 2004 when it was an ACT Late Model race. I think it was moved to Sanair Super Speedway one year (1988) when Robbie Crouch won, and now it is back in Vermont. You bet I would like to win at Devil’s Bowl. It would really get us going this year after a couple of mechanical problems in the first two races at Lee and Thunder Road,” said Dragon.
The list of ACT competitors seeing Devil’s Bowl for the first time should make the season opener at Devil’s Bowl an outstanding event. Defending ACT Champion Brian Hoar and his RPM team with sensational 17 year old teammate, sophomore driver Austin Theriault from Fort Kent, ME, will join veteran New Hampshire racers Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole), Randy Potter, Wayne Helliwell and Quinney Welch. New York sends the Richard Green Racing entry with Mark Lamberton from Mooers Forks. The field will be full of newcomers to ACT led by leading Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Ashline from Pittston, ME, Ray Parent, Tiverton, RI, Peter Yetman,Peru, MA, and Tom Carey, Jr. from New Salem, MA. Over thirty teams are expected to attempt to qualify.
“We had a great event at Devil’s Bowl a year ago and the entire ACT staff of officials is looking forward to returning. The management has made lots of changes in various track policies, which I am sure will please many of the ACT fans who return for the Tour event this coming Sunday. Bringing the Spring Green to this fabulous ½ mile in Vermont is really special and with the great history of the race, it seems appropriate to have it back in Vermont,” said Tom Curley, President of the American Canadian Tour.
The 38th annual Spring Green 111 will take green at 2:00pm on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Rte. 22A is West Haven, VT. Admission is just $20 with kids 5-12 only $6.