WEST HAVEN—Governor Scott granted permission for the state’s stock car tracks to open with limited practice sessions as part of the May 6 announcement allowing outdoor recreational activities to resume, albeit under strict guidelines.
However, at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, the 54th season of racing is still uncertain. 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,”
Owners Mike and Alayne Bruno wrote in a letter to racers and fans May 8.
Practice sessions will begin this week but held under restrictions in accordance with the “arrive, play, and leave” guidance in Addendum 13, which include:
No persons shall be permitted on the grounds if they are sick or symptomatic.
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.
Race team will be required to maintain proper physical distancing protocols.
Personal vehicles will be parked no closer than 10 feet apart in the parking lot.
Restrooms will be open, with hot water and soap readily available.
Food concessions will not open.
Test sessions will be available only to residents of Vermont, per the governor’s orders.
There will be no tires or fuel sold on site.
Rental electronic scoring transponders will not be available.
Practice sessions are available for registration Wednesday, May 15 – Sunday, May 17, 5-8 p.m. with the pits open 4:30-8:45 p.m. Reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Each test session allows for one racecar and five people and costs $130 (credit, debit, or PayPal only).
“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,” the Brunos said. “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,” they added. “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,” the Brunos said.