Barre, VT — The 63rd season of stock car racing at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl was one for the record books with three deserving drivers each winning their first track championship at ‘The Nation’s Site of Excitement.’ Each of these three drivers had a very unique way of earning their first championship at The Road, valuable stories worth sharing to better understand their respective triumphs.
In our first installment we begin with a former Bolduc Metal Recycling Enduro 200 winner who later returned to Thunder Road in the rk Miles Street Stocks. Over the last decade, Dean Switser, Jr. has worked his way to the top of one of the most competitive four-cylinder weekly racing divisions in the country.
His racing career started off on the dirt at Bradford, Vermont’s Bear Ridge Speedway where he found success through the early 2000’s. Switser would later make the move to asphalt at Groveton, New Hampshire’s Riverside Speedway in the late part of the same decade. In 2007 the Waterford native found his first success at Thunder Road by claiming ‘The People’s Race,’ the annual 200 lap enduro against over one-hundred other folks just as crazy as him to take on the endeavor. Switser would continue to campaign at Riverside before coming to Thunder Road full time in 2012 where he took his first win on June 21st and dug deep to take the Rookie of the Year honors to boot.
Since then, Switser has been capitalizing on Street Stock racing both at Thunder Road and the Groveton oval, taking multiple wins and the 2019 Street Stock championship during the Speedway 51 period that saw Riverside under the ownership of the Laquerre family. A venerable competitor at Thunder Road, he has taken six rk Miles Street Stock feature wins over the past decade all while seeing the ups and downs of weekly racing but continuing to persevere through it all. After winning the first two events in 2022, Switser kept the momentum going enough to earn the rk Miles Street Stock championship last season by 45 points over young hot-shoe Kyler Davis and closed out his first decade at Thunder Road on the highest of notes.
Out of his Waterford stable, Switser is going to be a busy man in 2023. Set to defend his track championship at Thunder Road, Dean is also preparing Strictly Stock Mini rides for his sons Kristian and Patrick to campaign at White Mountain Motorsports Park. The Switser Motorsports group will be one to watch all season long on both sides of the Connecticut River.
Dean Switser, Jr. is set to defend his 2022 rk Miles Street Stock track championship, and 2022 opening day win, with the 25th annual Community Bank N.A. 150 on Sunday, May 7th. The epic opening weekend will feature the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models, Modifieds and R&R Street Stocks on Saturday, May 6t after the annual Thunder Road car show. Sunday, May 7th will feature the American-Canadian Tour, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warriors.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit http://www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.
(Alan Ward photo)