Story By: JUSTIN ST. LOUIS / DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY – RUTLAND, VT – The on-track action has ended, but the 2019 stock car racing season still has one more event remaining: The Banquet of Champions.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway and the King of Dirt Racing Series (KOD) will come together to celebrate their respective champions, top drivers, and special award winners on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at the Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington in Rutland, Vermont.
Track champions will officially be crowned in each Devil’s Bowl Speedway division, led by Kenny Tremont Jr., who earned his record-extending 10th Devil’s Bowl title in the Pepsi Sportsman Modified class. Fourth-generation driver Bobby Hackel will collect the honors for his first KOD Crate Modified Series championship.
Four first-time Devil’s Bowl champions will also walk across the stage with Johnny Bruno in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman division, Scott FitzGerald in the Super Stocks, Craig Kirby in the Mini Stocks, and rookie Evan Roberts in the Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprints.
Top eligible point finishers in each Devil’s Bowl division and the Top 10 KOD drivers will also receive awards and point fund checks. Will Hull will also be recognized for his second Devil’s Bowl 360 Sprint Car championship, which he won during the four-race summer mini-series for the Sprint Cars of New England tour.
The KOD tour will name the winners of its annual special awards including Driver of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Most Popular Driver, and the prestigious Hall of Honors, while other annual Devil’s Bowl laurels to be presented include Rookies of the Year, the Dedication Award, the Award of Excellence, and the eighth annual John Bruno Award – the track’s highest honor.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway has named a total of 39 nominees for its annual Sportsmanship and Most Improved Driver awards. Up to six drivers in each of the five weekly divisions are nominated by track officials, with the winning drivers decided by a vote of their peers. The Sportsmanship Award goes to a driver who displays a consistent commitment to competitiveness, fairness, and respect. The Most Improved Driver Award is given to someone in who has made noticeable progress in their on-track competitiveness.
Seventeen of the 39 drivers are nominated in both categories for their respective divisions including Sportsman Modified drivers Tanner Siemons, Marty Kelly III, and 2019 Rookie of the Year Joey Roberts.
Also appearing on the ballot for both awards are Limited Sportsman racers Bruno, Matt Bilodeau and Anthony Ryan; Super Stock drivers Ronnie Alger, Cam Gadue, and Mark Norris; Mini Stock pilots Kirby, Jake Barrows, Katrina Bean, and David Sartwell-Cornell; and 500cc Mini Sprint runners Samantha Mulready, Alyza McKeighn, Mia Koponen, and Kevin Smith.
The Banquet of Champions will be held on Saturday, January 25 at the Holiday Inn Rutland-Killington in Rutland, Vt.; doors open at 5:00 p.m., and awards begin at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 each, or $30 for kids age 12 and under. Ticket orders and special award voting ballots are due by Friday, January 17.
Pepsi Sportsman Modified Division Special Award Nominees:
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Frank Hoard III, Marty Kelly III, Joey Roberts, Jim Ryan, Tanner Siemons, Wayne Stearns
- MOST IMPROVED: Justin Comes, Mike Fisher, Marty Kelly III, Joey Roberts, Tanner Siemons, Brent Warren
O’Reilly Auto Parts Limited Sportsman Division Special Award Nominees:
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Matt Bilodeau, Johnny Bruno, James Hanson, Shawn Phelps, Anthony Ryan
- MOST IMPROVED: Matt Bilodeau, Johnny Bruno, Marty Hutchins, Anthony Ryan, Dave Snow, Anthony Warren
Super Stock Division Special Award Nominees:
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Ronnie Alger, Andrew FitzGerald, Scott FitzGerald, Cam Gadue, Mark Norris
- MOST IMPROVED: Ronnie Alger, Cam Gadue, Mark Norris, Kaleb Shepard
Mini Stock Division Special Award Nominees:
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Jake Barrows, Katrina Bean, Scott Cowdrey, Craig Kirby, Willie Rice, David Sartwell-Cornell
- MOST IMPROVED: Jake Barrows, Katrina Bean, Craig Kirby, T.J. Knight, David Sartwell-Cornell, Tim Simonds
Friend Construction 500cc Mini Sprint Division Special Award Nominees:
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Jack Koponen, Mia Koponen, Alyza McKeighan, Samantha Mulready, Evan Roberts, Kevin Smith
- MOST IMPROVED: Kamden Duffy, Mia Koponen, Alyza McKeighan, Shawn McPhee, Samantha Mulready, Kevin Smith