Barre, VT — With 117 cars on hand for the 63rd Season Opener at Thunder Road International Speedbowl, 17 qualifying races were needed before the four feature races took the green creating some of the best stock car racing in the United States at the ‘Nation’s Site of Excitement.’ When all the dust settled Sunday afternoon, a first time winner stood amongst hardened veterans and the ‘King of Barre’ remained on his throne.
The rk Miles Street Stocks pulled an impressive 32 cars for opening day as part of the ACT Community Bank 150. Three qualifying heats set the scene for an exciting 25 lap feature that took a turn for the worst on lap 2. With outside polesitter Thomas Peck getting loose in turn two a pile-up ensnared former champions Jamie Davis and ‘The Farmer’ Gary Mullen along with rookie Zach Audet in the #9.
Even with a final caution on lap 14, Waterford, Vermont’s Dean Switser Jr. led the way from the start, flying under the checkered with Jeffery Martin hot on his tail for second. Following the post-race inspection of apparent 3rd place driver James Dopp, it was determined his left-side weight was over rule requirements and Haidyn Pearce was awarded the bronze on opening day.
The Burnetts Scrap Metals Road Warriors included a strong field of 18 cars for the first of May for the large crowd on hand. A relatively clean feature event for the crash-bang division with the first caution on lap 9 as Robert Catchapaw rode the wall in his Dukes of Hazzard inspired #03. The ensuing restart took Road Warrior stalwarts Jason Kirby and Rodney Campbell out of competition with three weeks to prepare for Memorial Day weekend. ‘Barbie Boy’ Frank Putney took the win in his hot pink ride followed by Nate ‘Tater’ Brien and Flyin’ Fred Fleury to fill out the podium.
The Number One Support Division in North America rolled out 28 strong after their B-Feature for a 40 lap dash with all eyes set on the Community Bank bonus in victory lane. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers also had trouble on lap 2 between the #66VT of JT Blanchard and #28VT of Ryan Boutin. After the cleanup, they blistered the high banks until a small scuffle on the 21st circuit with Kevin Streeter’s #67VT brought out caution number two.
After taking the green, a huge pileup started in turn three with multiple cars scrambling and spinning to avoid the mayhem. Six cars were involved but all managed to return for the closing laps. In the final 17 laps, Williston, Vermont’s Justin Prescott managed to pace the field ahead of Derrick Calkins and Mike Billado. They would remain in line under the checkered flag.
Following a post-race burnout, Prescott received huge applause from the jovial crowd with a very excited pit crew behind him. Barre’s Jason Pelkey took a strong 4th place finish while rookie driver Kaiden Fisher grabbed his first top-5 in the Flying Tiger division.
Lastly came the big dance. Thirty-four American-Canadian Tour Late Models from across New England and Quebec converged onto Thunder Road to qualify for one of twenty-six starting positions for the 24th Community Bank 150. After Cody Leblanc earned the ACT provisional and Scott Dragon earned the Thunder Road provisional, twenty-eight cars lined the front stretch, ready to take on the second ACT Late Model Tour event for 2022.
Marcel Gravel took a +6 in heat one to start on the pole, leading the first third of the annual 150-lapper. Although stalked close behind by former King of the Road Derrick O’Donnell and 2021 Thunder Road midseason champion Christopher Pelkey. St-Denis, Quebec’s Patrick Laperle brought out the first two cautions on laps 28 and 43 for separate spins with an ill-handling car. After throwing everything they could at it, Laperle would end his frustrating day on lap 49.
After patiently making his way from 12th on the start, Barre’s Nick Sweet methodically made his way to the front and around Gravel for the lead on lap 53. Following a lap 64 caution involving Thunder Road locals Darrell Morin and Tyler Cahoon in turn four, Sweet would continue to patiently make his way through lap traffic even when completely boxed in on the bottom with O’Donnell and Pelkey gaining behind him. On lap 88, after suffering with electrical issues all day, Rookie of the Year candidate Cody Leblanc turned into the infield after his ignition quit.
The last caution on lap 116 came out for the spinning Marcel Gravel in turn two. A great day turned sour for the Wolcott driver, pulling it into the pits on lap 132 to end his day. By then, it was the Sweet show through and through, leaving only the battle for second. Sweet took his 4th Community Bank 150 win followed by O’Donnell and Pelkey for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Thunder Road regular Kyle Pembroke and defending King of the Road Jason Corliss took 4th and 5th followed by Stephen Donahue, Jimmy Hebert, Rich Dubeau, D.J. Shaw and Evan Hallstrom to round out the top-10.
Thunder Road will roar again on Sunday, May 29th for the 59th running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Along with 125 laps for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnetts Scrap Metals Road Warriors, the mighty tour-type modifieds return to ‘The Road.’ The $10,000-to-win Granite Capital 100 for the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series will feature some of the biggest names in Modified racing when they hit the track, it’s a can’t miss show!
The ACT Late Model Tour continues the 2022 season with a 150 lap event alongside the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model and Modified divisions at Winchester, New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway on Sunday, May 22nd.
For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, email@example.com, or visit http://www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [http://about:blank]
Thunder Road International Speedbowl – Barre, VT
Community Bank 150
Sunday, May 1, 2022
ACT Late Model Tour (150 Laps)
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. (12), Nick Sweet (40VT), Barre VT, 150
2. (4), Derrick O’Donnell (60NH), N. Haverhill NH, 150
3. (2), Christopher Pelkey (64VT), Graniteville VT, 150
4. (7), Kyle Pembroke (27VT), Montpelier VT, 150
5. (23), Jason Corliss (66VT), Barre VT, 150
6. (11), Stephen Donahue (2VT), Graniteville VT, 150
7. (14), Jimmy Hebert (58VT), Williamstown VT, 150
8. (15), Rich Dubeau (30NH), Leba
9. (18), DJ Shaw (04VT), Ctr. Conway NH, 150
10. (26), Evan Hallstrom (48VT), Northfield VT, 150
11. (10), Derek Gluchaki (03MA), Dartmouth MA, 150
12. (8), Jimmy Renfrew Jr. (00NH), Candia NH, 150
13. (13), Tyler Cahoon (38VT), St. Johnsbury VT, 150
14. (25), Brandon Lanphear (16VT), Morrisville VT, 150
15. (5), #Stephen Martin (01VT), Craftsbury Common VT, 149
16. (20), #Jamie Swallow Jr. (4NH), Stark NH, 149
17. (6), Brooks Clark (68VT), Fayston VT, 149
18. (3), Erick Sands (36NH), Derry NH, 149
19. (28), Scott Dragon (0VT), Milton VT, 149
20. (19), Brendan Moodie (94VT), Wolcott VT, 149
21. (21), Darrell Morin (17VT), Westford VT, 149
22. (9), Chip Grenier (62VT), Oran
23. (17), Shawn Swallow (04NH), Groveton NH, 148
24. (24), Cooper Bouchard (7VT), Hinesburg VT, 148
25. (22), Alexandre Tardif (21QC), Quebec City, Canada, 148
26. (1), Marcel J. Gravel (86VT), Wolcott VT, 132
27. (27), #Cody Leblanc (7NH), Berlin NH, 88
28. (16), Patrick Laperle (91QC), St-Denis QC, 49
Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers (40 Laps)
Pos., Driver (Car #), Hometown
1. Justin Prescott (44VT), Williston, VT
2. Derrick Calkins (15VT), Hinesburg VT
3. Mike Billado (8VT) Grand Isle, VT
4. Jason Pelkey (64VT) Barre VT
5. #Kaiden Fisher (18VT) Shelburne VT
6. Mike Martin (01VT) Craftsbury Common VT
7. Jason Woodard (68VT) Waterbury Center VT
8. Tyler Austin (5VT) E. Calias VT
9. Joel Hodgdon (36VT) Craftsbury Common VT
10. Craig Bushey (05VT) Fletcher VT
11. Kevin Streeter (67VT) Waitsfield VT
12. Jaden Perry (92VT) Hardwick VT
13. Cameron Ouellette (90VT) Barre VT
14. Sam Caron (07VT) Colchester VT
15. Robert Gordon (20VT) Milton VT
16. Kevin Boutin (25VT) Fairfax VT
17. Chris LaForest (56VT) Barre VT
18. Logan Powers (31VT) Middlesex VT
19. Ryan Boutin (28VT) Fairfax VT
20. Kelsea Woodard (55VT) Waterbury Center VT
21. Tanner Woodard (86NH) Waterbury Center VT
22. Michael MacAskill (3VT) Williamstown VT
23. Colin Cornell (35DG) E. Burke VT
24. Bryan Wall Jr. (77NH) E. Kingston NH
25. Ryan Ware (32VT) E. Burke VT
26. Rich Lowrey (8NH) South Hero VT
27. Adam Maynard (45VT) Milton VT
28. J.T. Blanchard (66VT) Graniteville VT
rk Miles Street Stocks (25 Laps)
Pos., Driver (Car #), Hometown
1. Dean Switser Jr. (16), Waterford VT
2. Jeffrey Martin (8), Barre VT
3. Haidyn Pearce (2), Chelsea VT
4. Josh Lovely (54), Williamstown VT
5. Kyler Davis (68), Berlin VT
6. Justin Blakely (17), Graniteville VT
7. Tyler Whittemore (74), Barre VT
8. Kyle MacAskill (7), Williamstown VT
9. Trevor Jaques (57), Milton VT
10. Tommy Smith (22), Williamstown VT
11. Todd Raymo (24), Swanton VT
12. Kasey Collins (98), Berlin VT
13. Jamie Davis (43), Johnson VT
14. Luke Peters (26), Groton VT
15. Gary Mullen (29), Tunbridge VT
16. Mark Beaulieu (11), Essex Junction VT
17. Michael Gay (3), So. Burlington VT
18. William Hennequin (47), Morrisville VT
19. Eric MacLauglin (6), Milton VT
20. Kyle Gravel (5), Wolcott VT
21. Thomas Peck (96), Waterbury VT
22. Juan Marshall (79), Pittsfield VT
23. Zach Audet (9), Morrisville VT
24. Cam Powers (30), E. Montpelier VT
25. Curtis Frank (33), E. Thomsham VT
26. Mekayla Bowen (12), Morrisville VT
27. Patrick Tibbetts (34), Plainfield VT