By Lou Modestino

People’s United Bank will usher in the summer stock car racing season at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT for the second year in a row. The 171 year-old, New England-based financial institution will present the People’s United Bank Memorial Day Special to begin the 2013 Friday night NASCAR Whelen All-American Series schedule on Friday, May 24 at 7:00pm. The headline Bond Auto Parts Modified division will run twin 25-lap features as part of a full card of racing that also includes a holiday fireworks show.

Veteran New York state drivers Leon Gonyo and Ron Proctor each scored in last year’s People’s United Bank Memorial Day Special twin Modified features. Proctor’s victory was the first of a three-win campaign that led to his second-straight Devil’s Bowl Speedway and NASCAR Vermont State Championships. Proctor will return in search of a three-peat, but is expected to be challenged by the likes of Brandon, VT’s Vince Quenneville, Jr., Hunter Bates of Middlebury, VT, Alex Bell of Cambridge, NY, and 2012 Rookie of the Year Joey Roberts of Georgia, VT.

The People’s United Bank date is the first championship point event for the Late Model division, which has a wide-open title chase ahead of it; with his family expanding, 2012 champion Craig Bushey will not return to full-time competition. Rutland, VT-area drivers Kevin Elliott, Jesse Carris, and Rookie of the Year Robert Bryant, Jr., are expected to contend for the championship against Charlestown, NH’s Bryan Town and Dan Petronis of Mechanicville, NY. Several new full-time competitors are also expected including Pete Yetman of Peru, MA and multi-time champion Chris Bergeron of Claremont, NH.

The intermediate Renegade division has seen growth during the off-season, as has the entry-level Mini Stock class; both divisions will be in action at the People’s United Bank Memorial Day Special on Friday, May 24, along with a massive Memorial Day weekend fireworks display.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway’s 2013 racing season kicks off on Sunday, May 5 with the 39th annual Spring Green event for the American-Canadian Tour Late Models and Devil’s Bowl’s weekly NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions.

Racing book publisher Coastal 181 announced today that it has acquired the inventory of Rose Racing Publications of Glendale, Arizona.

Buzz Rose built his publishing company into a highly regarded source for authoritative books on open-wheel racing in America. He brought vast experience and a huge network to his titles, as he was himself a renowned sprint car road warrior. His successes behind the wheel led to his induction into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa.

Rose Racing Publications’ titles include definitive histories on the East Coast’s URC, the California Racing Association (CRA), and IMCA, AAA, USAC, and CSRA. The most recent work is the robustly researched but sobering volume, “RACERS AT REST: The Checkered Flag,” profiling the considerable number of drivers who have perished in open-wheel competition.

Both companies having strong racing backgrounds. Rose Racing Publications and Coastal 181 have collaborated closely over the years and plan to continue that association. Coastal 181’s Cary Stratton said, “We are very pleased to be able to continue to make Buzz Rose’s excellent titles available to the racing community. We look forward to having him join us at various shows and entertaining all comers with his wonderful racing yarns.“

Here’s what’s happening up in the northcountry this weekend. The Racin Preview is at the Portland (ME) Expo on Friday night at 4 p.m. and all day Saturday.