PHOTO: The Vermont State Late Model Championship Series returns to Devil’s Bowl Speedway for a pair of events in 2013 – on Friday, June 7 and Sunday, September 15. (Leif Tillotson photo)
Four-race series pits each track’s best head-to-head
WEST HAVEN, VT – Vermont’s stock car civil war isn’t over. The Vermont State Late Model Championship Series will return for a second-straight year in 2013, pitting the best Late Model drivers and teams in the region against each other in a four-race shootout at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT and Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT.
With two events each at the high-speed Devil’s Bowl half-mile and the high-banked Thunder Road quarter-mile bullring, race teams will be put to the test in extra-distance events to crown a champion. The series opens on Sunday, May 26 at Thunder Road with the 51st annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100, followed by a 100-lap tilt at Devil’s Bowl on Friday, June 7. The series moves back to Barre on Thursday, July 11 with the Vermont Lottery Commission Governor’s Cup 150 before concluding in Rutland County at Devil’s Bowl’s Vermont 200 Weekend on Sunday, September 15.
Following a 25-year hiatus, the Vermont State Championship was reborn last summer to rave reviews, with more than 50 drivers from five states and Canada competing. Dave Pembroke of Montpelier, VT added to his résumé by becoming the first Vermont State Champion crowned since 1987, and will attempt to score a second title this year. Thunder Road champion Nick Sweet of Barre, VT swept both State races at his home track, while the Devil’s Bowl events were won by track champion Craig Bushey of Fairfax, VT and American-Canadian Tour veteran Brent Dragon of Milton, VT. Pembroke was the only driver to finish all four events inside the top-10, beating Dragon by a single point for the title.
“We were so close last year. It was heartbreaking to come up one point shy the way we did,” Dragon said. “It was great to win that final race at Devil’s Bowl, though. I love both of these tracks, so we’ll go out and try to win these races and see if we can’t gain that extra point this time around.”
After testing the Vermont State Championship waters at their home track last season, many Devil’s Bowl teams are expected to tackle the full 2013 State schedule including Kevin Elliott of Rutland, VT, Hunter Bates of Middlebury, VT, Bryan Town of Charlestown, NH, Dan Petronis of Mechanicville, NY, and Devil’s Bowl Rookie of the Year Robert Bryant, Jr. of Rutland, VT.
The Vermont State Late Model Championship Series begins on Sunday, May 26 with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com, or call (802) 265-3112 or visit www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com.
PHOTO: Brent Dragon (#55) passed Emily Packard (#9x) and the rest of the field to win the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series finale during Vermont 200 Weekend at Devil’s Bowl Speedway last September. (Leif Tillotson photo)
Vermont State Late Model Championship Series 2013 Schedule
No. – Day/Date – Event – Track – Location
1. Sunday, May 26 – Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 – Thunder Road – Barre, VT
2. Friday, June 7 – Vermont State Championship 100 – Devil’s Bowl – West Haven, VT
3. Thursday, July 11 – Vermont Lottery Governor’s Cup 150 – Thunder Road – Barre, VT
4. Sunday, September 15 – Vermont 200 Weekend – Devil’s Bowl – West Haven, VT