ACT Field Looks to Topple Helliwell/Hoar Dynasty at Devil's Bowl
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<<ATTACHED PHOTO (db06151433.JPG): Defending ACT Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. (#97NH) is looking for his first Devil's Bowl Speedway win after finishing second to Brian Hoar (#37VT) in last year's event. (Alan Ward photo)>>
Waterbury, VT—The stars of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) will visit Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT for the People's United Bank 100 on Saturday, June 6. Many Tour drivers will be looking for their first win at a track that two ACT Champions have had a firm grip on.
Dover, NH's Wayne Helliwell Jr. and Williston, VT's Brian Hoar have combined to win all five ACT Tour events at Devil's Bowl since the series began visiting the ½-mile oval in 2011. Two-time ACT Tour Champion Helliwell won three straight races in 2012 and 2013, while eight-time Champion Hoar captured the 2011 and 2014 events. Both competitors will try to add to their win totals on Saturday.
Defending ACT Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. is the leading candidate to topple the Helliwell/Hoar dynasty. Hudson, NH's "Joey Pole" looked to have the 2014 event in hand after building a straightaway lead in the second half of the race. But Hoar got the jump on the final restart with eight laps to go, relegating Pole to a disappointing runner-up finish.
"We've been to Devil's Bowl quite a few times now, and I feel like we've had at least two or three opportunities to win a race – especially last year," Pole said. "I felt like that one got stolen away from us, and I've been anxious to get back there ever since."
A tight points battle between Pole and Helliwell will heighten the intensity. Each driver has already won two races this season, and the point lead has changed hands after three of the last four events. Helliwell currently holds a nine-point edge as the season nears its halfway point.
"The season goes by so quick, and every race counts and means a lot," Pole added. "But it's fun. The last few years it's been kind of a runaway points lead, and you kind of know who's going to win it after about three-quarters of the races. But I don't foresee it being that way this year. I think it's going to be tight between Wayne and myself, and I think that's exciting for everyone involved."
A number of Tour regulars are also in position to take down the established guard. East Montpelier, VT's Emily Packard won three weekly events at Devil's Bowl in 2014 and currently sits tied for fifth in Tour points with Brad Babb. Windham, ME's Babb will be looking for his second win of the season after an electrical failure cut short a strong run at Speedway 51 last Saturday.
Fellow Maine driver Travis Stearns has multiple runner-up finishes at Devil's Bowl in long-distance events and currently sits third in the Tour standings. Seventh-place points driver Brandon Atkins won the weekly opener on May 9 and has stated that Devil's Bowl is his favorite track. Nick Sweet has a trio of Vermont State Championship wins at the speedway and is looking to get back on track after a crash at Speedway 51.
The ACT People's United Bank 100 will be held on Saturday, June 6, with post time at 6:00pm. The pit gates open at 12:30pm and the front gate at 3:00pm. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors, and free for kids 12 and under.
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