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Scott Dragon Takes Father’s Throwback to Podium Before Winning Late Model Feature on Casella Night

Barre, VT — The annual Thursday Night opener at Thunder Road presented by Casella Waste Management brought fans to the edge of their seats with hard-nosed racing already becoming the definition of the 2023 season. Side-by-side battles were commonplace across the board as the season-long points chase came to the forefront of every driver’s mind with fans getting to experience old and new all together in year 64 high atop Quarry Hill. One particular driver got to step in both worlds with success in each outing.

The New England Antique Racers (NEAR) kicked off the Casella Night activities with the first of twin-15 lap feature events. Starting with the Sportsman class it was all ‘Dynamite’ Dave Manning in the Dave Dion-inspired #29 machine. A former Jim Cilley ride, Manning made it look like child’s play, a trait Dion once also had on the Thunder Road highbanks. Not to be overshadowed, Scott Dragon joined the Sportsman field behind the wheel of a throwback Bobby Dragon masterpiece, bringing his father’s number back into the winner’s circle with a third-place finish.

In the NEAR Modifieds, Art Merchant also took off from the pole but the real race was coming from the back with Bruce ‘Gomer’ Taylor. Gomer cross cutted the field again and again on his way up from a ninth-place starting position in an old Len Bochler Modified but it wasn’t enough in the end. Art Merchant would take the win on Casella Night to round out the NEAR nostalgia program.

The 25-lap rk Miles Street Stock feature was led to green by Paige Whittemore and Scott Weston. After the first twelve rows drove side-by-side from the onset, Patrick Tibbets shot the gap between Weston and Todd Raymo but went swirly on the frontstretch, coming to a stop broadside to the field on lap 10. Whittemore and Cam Powers would fight on the restart with Powers coming out on top by just a bumper cover on lap 11 before Paige took back the lead by an equal amount on laps 12 and 13.

Another major frontstretch caution would come on lap 18 with Christopher Davis slamming his right rear into the widowmaker and collecting Josh Lovely to add to a disastrous day for the Williamstown driver. In the final moments, Powers held a lead ahead of a trifecta of track champions; Jamie Davis, Jeffrey Martin and Tommy Smith before becoming a first-time winner in the fan favorite division. Davis would come home second with Martin rounding out the podium.

The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers were next to take the field with Matt Ballard and Cam Gadue showing the way under the initial green flag. Gadue would quickly take the lead and make distance his tool of the trade. Unknown to him, Rich Lowrey was making moves to escape the pack and closing in on Gadue’s bumper by the halfway point. Lowrey would take the lead on lap 24 before the first caution for Cooper French stopped on the field go-kart track. Lowrey would lead on the restart while the battle for third went white-hot between Kevin Streeter, Sam Caron and Jason Pelkey. With just inches to spare Kevin Streeter would get the fender ahead for third following Colin Cornell and Rich Lowrey to victory lane.

The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models closed out the night with their first 50-lap main event of the Thursday night season. All-time wins leader Phil Scott led Tyler Cahoon and the rest of the field to green with Scott Dragon and Chris Roberts hot on his tail. Dragon would take the lead on lap 10 while defending champion Chris Pelkey powered along the outside groove as he moved through the top-10 leaving point leader Cody Blake mired in traffic. The only yellow flag would wave on lap 27 with the #27VT of Kyle Pembroke and Cooper Bouchard going in the spin-cycle off turn two.

Dragon would lead the restart over Roberts with Marcel Gravel attempting to bonsai his way into second to no avail. In the final circuits it came down to a bitter side-by-side battle between Gravel and Pelkey with a last-second dash at the line deciding their fate. Scott Dragon would take a dominant win on Casella Waste Management night to claim his first of the 2023 season followed by Chris Roberts and Marcel Gravel by just 0.040-seconds over Chris Pelkey to join the podium.

Action returns to the Thunder Road highbanks on Thursday, June 22nd for Community College of Vermont Night. Along with the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and rk Miles Street Stocks, the 9th annual Marvin Johnson Memorial Race for Street Stock first-time winners will also return to Thunder Road!

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visit http://www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.

Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT

Casella Waste Management Night

Thursday, June 15, 2023

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models – (50 Laps)

1          0VT      Scott Dragon               Milton, VT

2          8VT      Chris Roberts               Washington, VT

3          86VT    Marcel J. Gravel          Wolcott, VT

4          64VT    Chris Pelkey                 Graniteville, VT

5          31VT    Stephen Donahue       Graniteville, VT

6          16VT    Brandon Lanphear      Morrisville, VT

7          99VT    Cody Blake                  Barre, VT

8          17VT    Darrell Morin              Westford, VT

9          38VT    Tyler Cahoon               Danville, VT

10        68VT    Brooks Clark                Fayston, VT

11        9VT      Chip Grenier               Orange, VT

12        88VT    Nick Sweet                  Williamstown, VT

13        27VT    Kyle Pembroke            Montpelier, VT

14        04VT    #Justin Prescott           Milton, VT

15        31KS    #Cody Schoolcraft       Claremont, NH

16        5VT      Bobby Therrien           Hinesburg, VT

17        18VT    #Kaiden Fisher             Shelburne, VT

18        4VT      Scott Coburn               Barre, VT

19        01VT    Stephen Martin           Craftsbury Common, VT

20        7VT      Cooper Bouchard        Hinesburg, VT

21        14VT    Phil Scott                     Berlin, VT

22        69VT    Blair Bessett                Barnet, VT

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers – (40 Laps)

1          8NH     Rich Lowrey                 South Hero, VT

2          54VT    Colin Cornell               E. Burke, VT

3          67VT    Kevin Streeter             Waitsfield, VT

4          64VT    Jason Pelkey                Barre, VT

5          07VT    Sam Caron                   Milton, VT

6          56VT    Chris Laforest              Barre, VT

7          37VT    Kyle Streeter               Waterbury Ctr., VT

8          68VT    Jason Woodard           Waterbury Ctr., VT

9          00VT    Brandon Gray              E. Thetford, VT

10        33VT    Matt Ballard               Williamstown,VT

11        3VT      Michael MacAskill      Williamstown, VT

12        31VT    Logan Powers              Middlesex, VT

13        8VT      Mike Billado                Grand Isle, VT

14        23NY    Cam Gadue                 Highgate, VT

15        20VT    Robert Gordon            Milton, VT

16        08VT    Phil Potvin                   Underhill, VT

17        90VT    Cameron Ouellette     Barre, VT

18        23ME   Ethan Tyrell                 Worcester, VT

19        45VT    Adam Maynard           Milton, VT

20        5VT      Tyler Austin                 East Calais, VT

21        4ME     Cooper French             Northfield, VT

22        13VT    Ty Delphia                   Duxbury, VT

23        78VT    #Tyler Pepin                Barre, VT

24        26VT    #Luke Peters               Groton, VT

25        9VT      #Zach Audet                Morrisville, VT

26        22VT    Travis Patnoe              Wolcott, VT

DNS     93FL     Jeff Oeschger              Dover, FL

 

rk Miles Street Stocks – (25 Laps)

1.         30        Cameron Powers         E. Montpelier, VT

2.         43        Jamie Davis                 Johnson, VT

3.         8          Jeffery Martin             Barre, VT

4.         22        Thomas Smith             Williamstown, VT

5.         73        Paige Whittemore       Graniteville, VT

6.         08        #Ryan Foster               Waterbury, VT

7.         0          James Dopp                 Northfield, VT

8.         24        Todd Raymo                Swanton, VT

9.         79        Juan ‘Paco’ Marshall   Pittsfield, VT

10.       74        Tyler Whittemore       Barre, VT

11.       2          Haidyn Pearce             Chelsea, VT

12.       71        Jesse Laquerre             Berlin, VT

13.       54        Josh Lovely                  Williamstown, VT

14.       39        Derek Farnham           Bethel, VT

15.       34        Patrick Tibbetts           Plainfield, VT

16.       55        Parker Gagne              Fairfax, VT

17.       04        Scott Weston               Berlin, VT

18.       50        Eric MacLaughlin        Milton, VT

19.       48        Taylor Hoar                 South Hero, VT

20.       9          #Logan Farrell             Barre, VT

21.       7          Kyle MacAskill             Williamstown, VT

22.       88        #Paul Rocheleau         Georgia, VT

23.       13        #Travis Gay                 S. Burlington, VT

24.       3          Michael Gay                S. Burlington, VT

25.       5          Kyle Gravel                  Wolcott, VT

26.       69        Christopher Davis       Berlin, VT

27.       96        Thomas Peck               Waterbury, VT

28.       16        Dean Switser, Jr.         Waterford, VT

29.       57        Trevor Jaques              Milton, VT

30        33        Curtis Franks               Topsham, VT

31        98        Kasey Collins               Berlin, VT

32        47        William Hennequin     Morrisville, VT

DNS     1          #Shea Wheeler           Waterbury, VT

 

New England Antique Racers (NEAR) Sportsman – (15 Laps)

1.         29        Dave Manning             Berlin, VT

2.         77        Craig Hood                  Dummer, NH

3.         71        Scott Dragon               Milton, VT

 

New England Antique Racers (NEAR) Modifieds – (15 Laps)

1.         64        Art Merchant              Rutland, MA

2.         110      Curt Snow                    W. Warren, MA

3.         17        Henry Stampl              Plainville, MA

(Alan Ward Photo)

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