Teenager trying to unseat Helliwell at Rutland County track
WEST HAVEN, VT – Emily Packard is aiming for a piece of stock car racing history at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Father’s Day. The 17 year-old junior at Union 32 High School in Montpelier, VT is off to the best start of her career and now heads to her strongest track for the American-Canadian Tour’s 101.5 The Fox “Spring Green 114” event on Sunday, June 15 at 1:30 p.m. She’ll try to become the first woman to win a Late Model event at the fast Rutland County half-mile, and just the second woman in ACT history to win.
Packard has a pair of top-five ACT finishes this season and led 115 laps at Riverside (NH) Speedway last weekend. She ranks fourth in championship standings as the season reaches its halfway point at the Spring Green. Packard has also competed in weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events at Devil’s Bowl and has finished in the top five in all three events. A third-place showing in the People’s United Bank 100 two weeks ago leaves her just one point behind leader Josh Masterson in the track’s title chase.
Two-time ACT champion Wayne Helliwell, Jr., of Dover, NH will be trying for his own milestone at the Spring Green as he guns for his fourth consecutive Devil’s Bowl victory. In the 23-year history of the ACT series, no driver has ever won more than three-straight events at a single track; Helliwell won the Spring Green at Devil’s Bowl in 2012 and 2013, along with a 150-lap event last July.
Packard, Masterson, and Helliwell will be joined by top drivers from both ACT and Devil’s Bowl for the 101.5 The Fox Spring Green event. Recent feature winner Robert Bryant, Jr., and young Brandon Atkins will challenge the ACT stars on their home turf, while ACT point leaders Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Ray Parent, and Jimmy Hebert will each try for their first win at the track. Eight-time ACT champion Brian Hoar and recent People’s United Bank 100 winner Nick Sweet will be on hand, along with Bobby Therrien, Ben Ashline, Canadian Stephane Descoste, and Riverside winner Kyle Welch.
The 101.5 The Fox Spring Green will have an action packed card on Father’s Day, as the Bond Auto Parts Modified, Renegade, Central Vermont Motorcycles Mini Stock, and SK Light divisions will join the ACT Late Models. General admission is $18 for adults, $15 for seniors (age 62+), and free for children age 12 and under. Gates open at 11:00 a.m., with green flag racing at 1:30 p.m.
Devil’s Bowl Speedway is located on Route 22A in West Haven, VT four miles north of Exit 2 on U.S. Route 4, just 20 minutes from Rutland City. For more information, call (802) 265-3112 or visit www.DevilsBowlSpeedwayVT.com. Devil’s Bowl Speedway is on Facebook at facebook.com/DevilsBowlSpeedway and on Twitter and Instagram at @DevilsBowlSpeed; follow the action using the #DevilsBowl hashtag.
PHOTO: Emily Packard, 17, is trying for a piece of history at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in the 101.5 The Fox Spring Green 114 on Father’s Day. (MemorEvents photo)