Holiday Doubleheader Ready For Sprint Cars Of New England In Green Mountain State
Story By: JUSTIN ST. LOUIS / SPRINT CARS OF NEW ENGLAND – BRADFORD, VT – The Sprint Cars of New England (SCoNE) tour will have its toughest test of the 2023 season on Memorial Day weekend. The winged, wild, and wicked fast warriors will run a doubleheader on back-to-back nights, racing at Bear Ridge Speedway on Saturday, May 27, and at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, May 28.
The two dirt tracks are in Vermont, but that’s where the similarities end. Bear Ridge is a tight, low-banked, quarter-mile oval nestled among the tall pines on a mountainside near the border of New Hampshire in Bradford. Devil’s Bowl, on the other hand, is a wide-open, semi-banked, half-mile in the farm country fields near the New York border in West Haven.
Bear Ridge has hosted SCoNE 88 times since 2008 – more than any other track in that 15-year span – while Devil’s Bowl’s present surface is just six years old. Bear Ridge is usually dominated by local drivers, while Devil’s Bowl often has a handful of invaders mixed in with the SCoNE regulars.
It was the invaders who struck first at the SCoNE season opener at Devil’s Bowl on May 13, when Empire Super Sprints (ESS) regulars Matt Tanner, Jordan Poirier, and Chase Moran swept the podium. New Jersey’s Zack Burd, who competes with ESS, the United Racing Club (URC), and other tours, has indicated that he’ll be running both halves of the SCoNE weekend, and Tanner is expected to return for the Devil’s Bowl event on Sunday.
SCoNE regulars Chris Donnelly and Travis Billington gave the outsiders all they could handle up front at the season opener, and they should prove tough at both tracks during the weekend. Seven-time SCoNE champion Donnelly is also a 12-time Bear Ridge track champion across six divisions, and he has 19 SCoNE race wins there. Billington is still searching for his first SCoNE win aboard the Dave Bowser-owned No. 23B car, and Bear Ridge may seem a likely location for it; in 11 starts there his average finish is a stout 5.8.
Will Hull has 12 SCoNE wins at Bear Ridge and three at Devil’s Bowl, and Clay Dow has a half-dozen wins at Bear Ridge; each is a two-time SCoNE tour champion. Jake Williams can claim three SCoNE wins at Bear Ridge and previously won seven times there in Granite State Mini Sprint 600cc competition.
Green Mountain Gear-Heads of Williston, Vt., will be SCoNE’s presenting sponsor for the Bear Ridge event on Saturday night, and Sunday’s event at Devil’s Bowl will be part of the “Northeast Crate Nationals 100” for Sportsman Modifieds.
Bear Ridge Speedway is located on Kidder Road in Bradford, Vt., and racing starts at the famous “6:00-ish” post time on Saturday, May 27. Grandstand general admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (age 62+) and $2 for kids 11 and under. Pit passes are $35, and the minimum age in the pit area is 10 years old, per Vermont state law.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, Vt., and racing on Sunday, May 28, is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Grandstand general admission is $20 for adults and free for kids 12 and under. Infield drive-in parking is $25 for adults and free for kids. Pit passes are $45, and the minimum age in the pit area is 10 years old, per Vermont state law.