PHOTO: Barre’s Nick Sweet (#88) and Graniteville’s Chip Grenier (#9) will slug it out for the Vermont State Late Model Championship at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday. (MemorEvents photo)
New champion to be crowned at Vermont 200 Weekend
WEST HAVEN, VT – Vermont will see a new stock car racing champion crowned at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, September 15, as the title fight between racers Nick Sweet and Chip Grenier is decided during the Vermont 200 Championship Weekend.
Despite limited experience at the fast half-mile oval, each driver has been impressive at Devil’s Bowl. Sweet, a two-time champion at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in his hometown of Barre, VT, posted his first Devil’s Bowl victory in the People’s United Bank 100 in June, the second event of the four-round Vermont State Late Model Championship Series. Derrick O’Donnell and Cody Blake earned wins in the two races held at Thunder Road earlier in the season.
Grenier, of Graniteville, VT, has finished second in his last two starts at Devil’s Bowl – including a photo finish at the 2012 edition of the Vermont 200 Weekend. Should Grenier complete the come-from-behind drive, the championship would be the first of the notoriously underfunded driver’s career; he scored a runner-up finish behind Sweet in June with the words “Wanted: Sponsor” appearing on his car.
The pair enters the 100-lap Vermont State finale just 17 points apart at the top of the standings, and each will have to keep an eye on veteran Trampas Demers, who is only 14 points behind Grenier. No matter the outcome, the title of Vermont State Champion will be a first-time honor for the winner. Other drivers expected include 16-year-old Emily Packard, veterans Jamie Fisher and Bucko Branham, and recent American-Canadian Tour winner Travis Stearns.
A strong group of home-track stars will be gunning for the invaders, each trying to become the first Devil’s Bowl Speedway driver to win a Vermont State event in the series’ two-year history. Josh Masterson of Bristol, VT and Chris Bergeron of Claremont, NH will vie for the track championship as each goes after the 100-lap victory, joined by top drivers Brandon Atkins, Hunter Bates, and Robert Bryant, Jr.
The Vermont 200 Championship Weekend is Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s final event of the year and spans two jam-packed days. Special non-winner’s “Shootout” races and first-round qualifying begin at 1:30pm on Saturday, Sept. 14, followed by a barbeque, music, and a bonfire. Championship main events – including twin 50-lap Modified features – are on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 1:30pm. Adult general admission is $10 on Saturday, $20 on Sunday, or $25 for a two-day pass; admission is free for kids 12 and under both days. Free camping is open Friday, Sept. 13 at 12:00 noon through Monday, Sept. 16.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT, four miles north of Exit 2 on U.S. Route 4. For more information, visit www.devilsbowlspeedwayvt.com or call (802) 265-3112. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and Twitter at @DevilsBowlSpeed.
OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS – entering Vermont 200 Championship Weekend, Sept. 14-15
Vermont State Late Model Championship Series
Devil’s Bowl Speedway – West Haven, VT
1. (88VT) Nick Sweet, Barre, VT – 211 pts. (1 win)
2. (9VT) Chip Grenier, Graniteville, VT – 194 pts.
3. (85VT) Trampas Demers, South Burlington, VT – 180 pts.
4. (9X) Emily Packard, East Montpelier, VT – 146 pts.
5. (60VT) Derrick O’Donnell, North Haverhill, NH – 141 pts. (1 win)
6. (18VT) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT – 134 pts.
7. (99VT) Cody Blake, Barre, VT – 133 pts. (1 win)
8. (9NY) Hunter Bates, Middlebury, VT – 122 pts.
9. (44VT) Dave Pembroke, Middlesex, VT – 118 pts.
10. (40VT) Eric Chase, Milton, VT – 116 pts.