Story By: JUSTIN ST. LOUIS / DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY – WEST HAVEN, VT – Brett “The Jet” Hearn is coming back to Devil’s Bowl Speedway. The dirt track racing legend has confirmed that he will attempt to defend his victory in the Interstate All Battery Center “Vermont 200” on Sunday, September 1. The Kinnelon, N.J., superstar just notched the 918th win of his career and will try to raise that total as he returns to Devil’s Bowl for the biggest race in the country for Crate Sportsman Modified cars.
Hearn pocketed $10,000 plus bonuses in last year’s 200-lap race and will try for the same this weekend. Hearn has momentum on his side at Devil’s Bowl this year, too: He scored a trifecta at the “Battle at the Bowl” Big Block/Small Block Modified Challenge event on August 11, finishing first, second, and third in his three feature races. Hearn told the crowd, “I love this place!” in Victory Lane, and reports that he’ll be ready for Sunday’s big event with the car that he used to win the Battle at the Bowl Small Block feature.
Should a regular weekly Sportsman competitor from Devil’s Bowl or any other track win the race, promoter Mike Bruno has promised an extra $2,000 bonus to bring the winner’s minimum purse to $12,000. Adding in more than $5,000 in lap leader bonuses, the race is the richest and longest Sportsman event anywhere in North America.
The competition at Devil’s Bowl will be very tough when Hearn arrives on Sunday, and he’ll have his work cut out for him. Longtime rival Kenny Tremont Jr. of West Sand Lake, N.Y., leads the weekly Pepsi Sportsman Modified title chase at Devil’s Bowl and has six victories in 2019 including a pair of 100-lap scores. Young gun Jack Speshock of Malta, N.Y., has been hot as well with feature wins in each of the last two weeks.
Among the Vermonters expected put up a fight are Joey Scarborough, Frank Hoard III, Adam Pierson, Jimmy Ryan, and Justin Comes, and dozens of other Devil’s Bowl regulars from New Hampshire and New York are also expected to defend their home turf. All indications point to a field approaching last year’s 56 race day entries, with interest also shown from drivers in Connecticut, central and western New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
The Vermont 200 Weekend kicks off on Saturday, August 31 at 3:00 p.m., as Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s weekly Limited Sportsman, Super Stock, Mini Stock, and 500cc Mini Sprint divisions will be in action for a full card of racing. Sportsman Modified drivers may also try the optional “Ron Casey Memorial” Non-Winners Shootout event with qualifying heats and a 20-lap feature; only drivers who have not won in the Big Block, Small Block, Sportsman, or Limited Sportsman Modified in 2019 may enter. The Saturday event is followed by Devil’s Bowl’s famous pig roast BBQ and bonfire party at 6:30 p.m.
All qualifying for the Sportsman Modified division will be held on Sunday beginning at 4:00 p.m., with heats, consolation races, and a last-chance “B” Main; time trials have been eliminated for the 2019 edition. The 200-lap main event will start 32-34 cars. The Sprint Cars of New England tour will also be on Sunday with a special 360/305 Sprint Car Challenge paying $750 to win with a $100 bonus for the top-finishing 305 engine.
General admission is just $35 for the two-day event and includes free admission to the Saturday night BBQ party. Single-day tickets are also available for $15 on Saturday (includes BBQ) and $25 on Sunday. Pit passes are $45 and are good for both days. Camping passes are available for $25, with camping open at 12:00 noon on Friday.