WEST HAVEN, Vt. — Devil’s Bowl Speedway has taken the next big step forward in its progression by announcing today that it will carry its own sanctioning and licensing for the 2019 season. The move will better position the half-mile Vermont dirt track for both the present and future and is the latest in a recent series of major improvements to both the physical property and infrastructure of the business.
Promoter Mike Bruno said that the move is the culmination of several years’ worth of dialogue with drivers and teams, careful data analysis, and an overall review of auto racing industry trends and projections, both locally and nationally.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway has recently been part of the weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program. Bruno has worked to guarantee that in NASCAR’s absence the facility will be able to remain among the industry leaders in insurance coverage for participants while also providing a healthy championship point fund.
More drivers will receive post-season point fund money in 2019 under the new structure. The crate-engine “602” Sportsman Modified division will continue to be the headliner with a point fund paying $5,000 to the champion and bonuses to eligible drivers inside the top 15 in final point standings. The Limited Sportsman, Super Stock, and Mini Stock classes will reward the eligible drivers among the top 10 finishers, and the 500cc Mini Sprint class will offer a point fund payout for the first time with the top five drivers eligible.
Membership license fees will be similar to – or less than, in some cases – the previous fees. Competition licenses for the Sportsman Modified division will be $175 through March 31, or $200 beginning April 1. Driver licenses for the four support classes, as well as car owner licenses for all divisions, will be $100 until March 31 and $125 after. Crew member licenses will be $85 until March 31 and $100 after.
New for 2019 will be a single-day membership license for drivers. The single-day option is just $25 for Sportsman drivers or only $15 in the support divisions, with no cap on the number of single-day purchases. All drivers, car owners, and crew who are officially licensed members will be covered by the speedway’s insurance protection in the case of accident during an event, with incident coverage matching the previous level.
“We are very excited to be an independent track in 2019,” Bruno said. “I thank NASCAR and specifically Kevin Nevalainen for the help in building our program for the past seven years, but our business model has seen major changes in the last two years and our plans have evolved. We’ve been approached to join other organizations as well, but the time is right for Devil’s Bowl to stand on its own and to try something different.”
Bruno is positive that the changes will benefit the speedway in both the short and long term.
“We’ve asked our drivers what they want, and we’ve also listened to suggestions from the ones who race with us just once or twice a year, and we think that we’ve found a good balance with our new program,” Bruno said. “We’re also going to continue to work with other tracks and sanctioning bodies in the area to help improve racing overall. We are extremely positive about the future of Devil’s Bowl.”
The full 2019 schedule of events is expected to be released in early-to-mid-January. The 2018 season will come to its official close at the Banquet of Champions at the Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington in Rutland, Vt., on Saturday, January 26.
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 www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
-Devil’s Bowl Speedway Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward