Barre, VT — For twenty-four years the American-Canadian Tour has come home to Thunder Road International Speedbowl to open the season for the only asphalt track in the State of Vermont, this Sunday, May 7th will be the silver anniversary of that opening. The Community Bank N.A. 150 not only marks the beginning of the Thunder Road season but also kick-starts a busy three-week stretch for the ACT Tour faithful as the 2023 championship season gets hot and heavy.
Perhaps building off that impending pressure, the Community Bank 150 has annually been one of the best events of the year and its twenty-fifth edition will be no different.
Set as the 132nd American-Canadian Tour event at the home track of the 45-year-old series, the Community Bank N.A. 150 will once again pit the touring stars against the local Thunder Road heroes. An unexpected weather reschedule for the Stafford Speedway event has left the ACT Tour teams chomping at the bit. North Dartmouth, Massachusetts hot-shoe Derek Gluchacki leads the point standings after taking his second consecutive Northeast Classic win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on April 15th while also leading the tied second-in-points duo of longtime ACT campaigner Tom Carey III and defending ACT champion D.J. Shaw.
While Carey has professed that Thunder Road is not his favorite track, Shaw took down the NEFCU Labor Day Classic last September to join father Dale Shaw on the wins list of the 44-year-old event. Former ACT champion and multi-time Thunder Road winner Joey Polewarczyk also returns to the highbanks as does fellow former champion Jimmy Hebert. Quebec’s Alexendre Tardif is looking to better his Thunder Road program in 2023 as is Quinny Welch, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Erick Sands and Gabe Brown.
Once again, the Thunder Road local crowd is ready to take on the touring stars, this time headed by defending King of the Road Chris Pelkey. After securing his first track championship last season, Pelkey still has something to prove against the ACT crowd. The Barre, Vermont-native had taken on the full ACT schedule before focusing on Thunder Road but is no stranger to ACT success. Pelkey took a career-best 3rd-place-finish in last year’s Community Bank 150 and after taking down the ACT-sanctioned Vermont Milk Bowl in October, Pelkey is looking to get his first point-counting ACT win.
Along with Pelkey is 2022 championship runner up and perennial contender Kyle Pembroke looking to better his career best ACT finish of 4th. Fayston, Vermont’s Thunder Road Brooks Clark is ready to return, looking for his second Community Bank 150 win with former track champions Jason Corliss and Bobby Therrien, former Rookie of the Year Brandon Lanphear, Memorial Day Classic winner Tyler Cahoon and multi-time winner Cody Blake. Young-gun standouts include Tanner Woodard, Bryan Wall Jr., Kaiden Fisher and Cody Schoolcraft.
After announcing 8-time champion Brian Hoar is ready to return to the American-Canadian Tour for several appearances in 2023, he isn’t the only highly decorated driver returning to North America’s most competitive short track series. 7-time ACT Tour champion and 2009 Thunder Road King of the Road Jean-Paul Cyr is also returning, partnered with 6-time ACT champion Robbie Crouch, starting with the Community Bank 150.
“It’s hard to believe we’re celebrating the 25th Community Bank 150,” said ACT managing partner Cris Michaud. “The American-Canadian Tour and Thunder Road have produced some of the best races together over that time especially and we’re certain that this Sunday will be no different.”
The 25th Annual Community Bank N.A. 150 comes to Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Sunday, May 7th. The stars and cars of the American-Canadian Tour go toe-to-toe with the weekly Thunder Road faithful of the Maplewood/Irving Late Models. Also on the docket will be the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and the Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warriors. Annual Class Day activities tp celebrate the 2022 track champions and the 2023 class of racers begins at 12:55pm with post time for the Community Bank 150 set for 1:30pm. Grandstands open at 10:00am on Sunday with general admission pricing set at $30 for adults, kids 12 to 6 are $10 with children 5 and under free!
Want to make it double? The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) invades Thunder Road on Saturday, May 6 to make it a doubleheader weekend to kick start the Thunder Road season. The PASS Super Late Models go for 150 laps along with the Kennebec Equipment PASS Modifieds in race #1 of the four-race Weston’s Automotive Challenge plus the R&R Race Parts Open Street Stock Series. Post time is set for 5:00pm following the annual Thunder Road Car Show during the morning beginning at 9:00am with practice sessions to follow. While the car show is free the Saturday Night Showdown general admission pricing is set at $20 for adults, $5 for children aged 12 to 6 with those 5 and under free!
For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit http://www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ACTTour.