Story By: DEVIL’S BOWL SPEEDWAY – WEST HAVEN, VT – We hope and trust that you all are staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These are certainly unprecedented times that have affected, and will continue to affect, every aspect of our daily lives.
While it is certainly frustrating to not always be allowed to enjoy things that we have sometimes taken for granted – like dirt track racing at Devil’s Bowl Speedway – the health and safety of everyone is far more important.
Some encouraging news: Governor Phil Scott on Wednesday, May 6, announced new guidance under Addendum 13 of Vermont’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order, which will allow outdoor recreational activities to resume, albeit under strict guidelines. With this new guidance, Governor Scott has granted permission for the state’s stock car tracks to open with limited practice sessions.
As of this writing, we have postponed the date of our 54th season opening race event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. The racing event on Sunday, May 17, has been cancelled. For now, the smart choice is to take things step-by-step and await further guidance from Governor Scott. We will evaluate any further changes daily, and we will be sure to communicate any adjustments promptly.
We have been working to ensure that Devil’s Bowl Speedway will follow mandated health and safety guidelines, and we are pleased to say that we are ready to begin holding private testing sessions next week.
Please note that these testing sessions will be held under many restrictions in accordance with the “arrive, play, and leave” guidance in Addendum 13 to Executive Order 01-20 (Play Smart and Play Safe: Restart Phase V), issued by Governor Phil Scott on May 6, 2020. It is crucial that all participants understand and adhere to the following rules:
- HEALTH & SAFETY GUIDELINES:
- No persons shall be permitted on the grounds of Devil’s Bowl Speedway if they are sick or symptomatic with fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath.
- Each person will have their temperature taken (with a non-contact thermometer, if available) before entering the premises.
- The use of face masks covering the nose and mouth will be mandatory for Devil’s Bowl Speedway employees. All others will be highly encouraged to use face masks, and Devil’s Bowl Speedway will make every effort to have a supply available.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available for everyone.
- When possible, walking paths will be indicated with direction and traffic flow.
- Race team trailers/pit stalls will be a minimum of twenty-five (25) feet apart. Participants will be required to stay in their respective pit stalls as much as possible, and to always maintain proper physical distancing of six (6) feet or more from other groups.
- Personal vehicles will be parked no less than ten (10) feet apart in the parking lot.
- Restrooms will be open, with hot water and soap readily available.
- Registration windows will not be open. Upon arrival, each team will be given a registration form/waiver of release, a pen, and five (5) pit pass wristbands, to limit physical contact. Teams will be directed to leave completed forms at a designated area to be determined.
- Food concessions will not be open.
- FACILITY OPERATING PROCEDURES:
- Racing and general admission ticket sales will be suspended at Devil’s Bowl Speedway until such time that it is safe to have spectators attend as in any previous non-pandemic period. Only closed, private testing sessions will be held until further notice.
- Officials and staff will work strictly on a volunteer basis, with a limited number of staff permitted to be on Devil’s Bowl Speedway grounds.
- Competitors are not required to attend – registration and attendance is strictly voluntary.
- Test sessions will be available only to residents of Vermont, per the Governor’s orders, to include drivers, team and family members, track staff and officials, or others.
- Grandstand seating will be closed.
- Test sessions will be by reservation only. Race teams will not be permitted to attend unless they have received prior approval from Devil’s Bowl Speedway officials.
- Testing sessions will be restricted to a maximum of ten (10) race teams.
- Teams will be restricted to not more than five (5) persons per racecar including the driver.
- A flat fee of $125 will be charged per team, plus a 4% credit card transaction fee ($5). Payment for registration ($130 total) must be made electronically via credit card at the time of reservation, prior to entering the facility.
- The pit area will be open at 4:30 p.m., with testing sessions held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The facility will close, and all persons must exit by 8:45 p.m.
- No personal vehicles will be permitted in the pit area.
- There will be no tires or fuel sold on site.
- Rental electronic scoring transponders will not be available.
- TESTING DATES FOR RESERVATION:
- Wednesday, May 13 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pits Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Thursday, May 14 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pits Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Friday, May 15 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pits Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Saturday, May 16 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pits Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- Sunday, May 17 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pits Open 4:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- PRICING & RESERVATION INFORMATION:
- First come, first served at all dates
- Teams must register and complete payment prior to attending
- Each test session – 1 racecar, 5 people – $130.00 (credit, debit, or PayPal)
- Individual track rental is available – contact for details and pricing
- Mike Bruno – (802) 236-9141
- Justin St. Louis – (802) 355-3282
- Email – email@example.com
We realize – and deeply regret – that this current order excludes our dedicated and passionate supporters from New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and elsewhere; nearly half of our regular fan and competitor base is from outside Vermont, along with several track officials and key personnel. We understand the Governor’s reasoning for this exclusion, though we hope that those restrictions can be relieved soon.
We have been clear since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that we cannot and will not race without our fans present. Racing in front of an empty grandstand would be a poor financial decision for our business, and it would simply be unfair to hold a race without the people who love and support it.
Whether the Governor’s orders change or not, Devil’s Bowl Speedway will not survive either in spirit or on the bank ledger without the support of ALL our fans and participants, whether they are from Vermont or not. Other facilities are planning to race without spectators while offering a live video stream, but that is not a viable option for Devil’s Bowl Speedway, and it will not be in our plans. We can get by on test sessions for now, but we will wait to hold racing events until it is safe to do so with everyone present.
With that said, we are excited and relieved that things are moving in a positive direction for Vermont, and we will do what it takes to ensure that the opening of Devil’s Bowl Speedway does not set that progress back. We encourage you to remember that the COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away. Several of our own loved ones and many more in our extended racing family have been affected by this disease, and we continue to take things very seriously. Racing is a way of life for many of us, but it should not force a choice between life and death. We will do our part to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while easing back into a normal routine. It may still take some time, but we will get there eventually.
We truly, deeply appreciate the support of everyone in the racing community. We will remain in contact with you as this process develops quickly. Get those cars ready, and as C.J. Richards used to say: “Keep the faith.”
We will see you soon!