Archive for the 'Thunder Road' Category

Thunder Road Championship Chases Begin at Memorial Day Classic

Barre, Vt. – Barre’s Thunder Road kicks off the 2017 season this Sunday, May 28 with the 55th Memorial Day Classic presented by Mekkelsen RV Sales & Rental. The event will begin the title chases for all three weekly divisions at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement,” with the Thunder Road Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, and Allen Lumber Street Stocks joining the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Models on the card.

Defending “King of the Road” Scott Dragon will be back to look for a second straight Late Model title after taking the crown by a single point in 2016. The Milton veteran enters his fourth season with Richard Green Racing knowing he’ll face tough challenges from both the competition and the newly-repaved track surface.

“I think the car is going to go well on that new asphalt,” Dragon said. “It was really fast on the ‘goop’, so I’m thinking it should be good on the fresh pavement. It’s really a matter of trying to stay out of trouble. I’ve always said staying out of trouble is the key to winning championships. You can run great, but if you get tangled up in someone else’s mess, it’s over. There are so many drivers who can contend, so we’re just trying to keep the pressure off and do our thing.”
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Junior Champ Kart Racing Revs Up for Second Season at Thunder Road

Barre, Vt. – Thunder Road officials announced today that the Junior Champ Kart summer youth racing series will return for a second season at the speedway. The series for racers ages 6 to 14 debuted in 2016, marking the return of go-karts to Thunder Road after a long hiatus.

This season, teams will be competing on a new go-kart track constructed as part of the recently announced repaving project. The independent oval track sits just inside the backstretch of the larger stock car speedway.

“Having a series like this is needed for the long-term success of a race track,” Thunder Road co-owner and karting director Cris Michaud said. “It’s important for young racers and their families to learn and get experience in an environment that’s fun, inclusive, and affordable. We were really happy with our first season in terms of both turnout and atmosphere, and with the new track slated to debut, we think this year will be even better.”
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Derek Ramstrom Prevails in PASS North Super Late Models at Star Speedway

Epping, NH  Leading early and often, Derek Ramstrom of West Boylston, Massachusetts earned his first Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model win this season in the Support 50 Legs 150 Saturday night at Star Speedway.

Ramstrom won his heat race to earn a front restarting position, then outdueled fellow heat race victor Joe Squeglia of Derry, New Hampshire over the first half of the event.  Berwick, Maine’s Joey Doiron moved into contention, mounting a serious challenge to Ramstrom’s lead with just over 50 laps remaining.

Doiron, racing hard in the outside groove, led a couple of laps while side-by-side with Ramstrom before the two got together a bit in turn four, opening the door for Travis Benjamin to make a three-wide move to the lead.  Benjamin, of Belfast, Maine managed to hang on to the top spot for over twenty laps, but with a car best set up for long runs, he was unable to fend off Ramstrom on late-race restarts. 

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Lenny’s Signs On as Title Sponsor of Flying Tiger Division

Barre, Vt. — Thunder Road Speedbowl officials announced today that Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel has signed a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the track’s famed Flying Tiger division. The family owned and operated business has five locations throughout Vermont and New York.

The Flying Tigers have been a mainstay of Thunder Road for most of the track’s 58-year history and have competed weekly at the Barre high banks since 1982. The Limited Late Model–type car has served as the track’s intermediate class for the past 25 years. In addition to the new entitlement agreement, the division has also resumed the “Flying Tiger” name after competing as the Tiger Sportsmen since 2003.

“Lenny’s is very pleased to be able to continue its support of Thunder Road,” Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel co-owner Mark McCarthy said. “As the largest outdoor sports venue in the area Lenny’s serves, this sponsorship will continue to give our company added exposure to the outdoorsmen or women of Thunder Road.”
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Big Month Continues for PASS North with Star and Montmagny On Tap

NAPLES, ME (May 11) – The next two weekends of action loom large for the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Models with races in New England and Canada.  And perhaps more importantly, the chance for an international cast of drivers to get locked into August’s 44th Annual Oxford 250 and the chance to win over $25,000.

Following a rainy weekend off, attention focuses back on the rescheduled Support 50 Legs 150 at New Hampshire’s Star Speedway.  Saturday afternoon’s Support 50 Legs 150 will help raise awareness in providing amputees with the necessary care and prosthetics, that they could not otherwise afford, and to help them live a happier and healthier life.

Former Oxford 250 winner, Glen Luce, leads a pair of former series champions that are tied for second in points, Ben Rowe and DJ Shaw, by 25 points heading to this weekend’s 150 lapper at Star.  But, Dave Farrington, Jr., Garrett Hall, and Johnny Clark are all within striking distance of the leaders.  Saturday’s schedule of activities has been shifted slightly, with heat races now going green at 3:30 PM.

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Longtime Thunder Road Co-Owner Tom Curley Passes at 73

Barre, VT – Longtime Thunder Road Speedbowl co-owner and promoter Thomas M. Curley passed away on Friday, May 5 due to complications from a lengthy illness. Curley was 73 years old.

Born May 10, 1943, Curley was involved in local and regional auto racing for most of his adult life. After spending considerable time at Thunder Road as a spectator and driver in the 1960s, he became the NASCAR Northeast regional director in 1978, and a year later created the NASCAR North Tour. He and Thunder Road founder Ken Squier then acquired the track in 1982 from former owner Tommy Kalomiris.

After leaving NASCAR, Curley created the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) sanctioning body in 1986. Under Curley’s leadership, both Thunder Road and ACT became household names for racers and fans throughout the Northeast, making the Barre high banks one of the most popular auto racing destinations in the region. Among his many accomplishments, he helped relaunch the famed Flying Tiger division that has competed since 1982, and created the ACT Late Model rules package used at Thunder Road and numerous other tracks.
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Thunder Road Announces Revised Early-Season Schedule

Barre, VT — Thunder Road officials have announced a series of schedule revisions for the 2017 season. The revisions include a make-up date for the weather-delayed Merchants Bank 150 along with a new season opener for the “Nation’s Site of Excitement”.

The Memorial Day Classic presented by Mekkelsen RV Sales & Rental will now open the 58th year of competition at Thunder Road on Sunday, May 28 at 1:00 pm. It will be the first racing event at the Barre high banks following completion of the recently announced track repaving project, as well as the first time since 1995 that the speedway has opened its season on Memorial Day weekend. The Harvest Equipment event originally scheduled for Sunday, May 21 has been moved to Sunday, June 4 with a special 3:00 pm post time.

Meanwhile, the Merchants Bank 150 has been rescheduled for Sunday, June 11. The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models will headline the 1:00 pm event with the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks also on the card.

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Thunder Road to Receive New Coat of Asphalt

Barre, VT – Thunder Road co-owners Cris Michaud and Pat Malone announced today that they have reached an agreement with New Hampshire– paving contractor Pike Industries to resurface the famed speedway. The project will commence on the Barre high banks during the week of May 8.

It will be the first time since 1994 that Thunder Road has received a new coat of asphalt. The track’s existing pavement will be partially ground and milled with new asphalt laid on top. Many members of the crew slated to work on the upcoming project were also part of the previous resurfacing.

“After lengthy discussions between Pat and myself, we have determined that this is the best course of action for our race teams and for our fans,” Michaud said. “Pike Industries has an outstanding record of success in the area, and we believe the new surface they lay down is going to make the racing action even better this year and for many years to come.”
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Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road Postponed Due to Rain

Barre, Vt. – Unexpected rain storms arrived early in the afternoon of Sunday, April 30, forcing the postponement of the Merchants Bank 150 at Barre’s Thunder Road for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT). The event will be made up on a date to be determined.

Thirty-five ACT Late Models were in the pits for Sunday’s event, which was scheduled to be the season opener for Thunder Road. Jimmy Hebert and Bobby Therrien had topped ACT practice sessions before the rains rolled in.

The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will also be on the card. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under. All rain checks from the originally scheduled date will be honored.

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58th Season Begins New Era at Thunder Road

Barre, VT — Thunder Road Speedbowl opens the doors for its 58th season of competition this Sunday, April 30 with the 19thMerchants Bank 150. The stars of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) will take on the weekly Thunder Road Late Model standouts, while the Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks begin their 2017 championship battles. 

The event will be the first at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” since former track champion Cris Michaud and local businessman Pat Malone officially purchased the speedway. Thunder Road had been run since 1982 by founder Ken Squier and partner Tom Curley, who are both members of the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

“I think Cris was a great choice,” defending “King of the Road” Scott Dragon said. “He’s been around for so long, and he grew up in the same system that most all of us have, so he understands how things operate. It’ll be fun. Most of your players are still in place, so I don’t think it will feel a lot different. It’s pretty cool that we won the last championship there with Tom and Ken as the owners, and maybe we’ll win the first one under Cris and Pat’s ownership.”

Continue reading ’58th Season Begins New Era at Thunder Road’

Michaud, Malone Purchase Thunder Road Speedbowl

Barre, VT — Thunder Road officials have announced that the sale of Thunder Road Speedbowl to former racer Cris Michaud and local businessman Pat Malone has been completed. The duo has assumed day-to-day operations of the famed quarter-mile oval, which had been owned and operated since 1982 by Ken Squier and Tom Curley.

Michaud is a three-time “King of the Road” and has spent 22 years at and around the high banks as a driver and race director. Malone is the owner of Malone Properties, a Montpelier-based commercial real estate company that has sponsored a number of Thunder Road race teams in previous seasons.

Both had previously explored purchasing the race track separately before joining forces. The two will be equal partners in the track, with Michaud in charge of racing operations and Malone overseeing facility management.
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Griffith has Busy PASS Slate

Derek Griffith of Hudson, NH will pursue a pair of Super Late Model championships in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) this season.  Griffith will return for his sophomore PASS North season and the complete PASS National schedule.

“I’d love to win some races, redeem myself in the Oxford 250,” Griffith said.

Griffith will be making his first visit to Canadian and southern tracks Autodrome Montmagny, Dillon, Hickory, Orange County, and Speedway 660.

“We seem to excel at tracks we have not been too. I love running at new tracks! Super excited to run over the border and down south!”

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2017 ACT Late Model Tour Schedule Announced

Event Day Date Track Location Laps
1 Sa/Sn April 8/9 Lee USA Lee, NH 150
2 Sa/Sn April 29/30 Thunder Road Barre, VT 150
3 Sunday, May 7 Devil’s Bowl West Haven, VT 100
4 Saturday, June 17 White Mountain N. Woodstock, NH 150
5 Saturday, July 15 Seekonk Seekonk, MA 100
6 Saturday, August 5 Beech Ridge Scarborough, ME 100
7 Saturday, August 19 White Mountain N. Woodstock, NH 100
8 Sunday, September 3 Thunder Road Barre, VT 200
9 Sunday, September 10 Devil’s Bowl – VT 200 weekend West Haven, VT TBA
10 Saturday, October 14 Thompson Thompson, CT 75

Continue reading ‘2017 ACT Late Model Tour Schedule Announced’

Sweet Repeat in Northfield Savings Bank 54th Vermont Milk Bowl

Barre, VT – Nick Sweet of Barre successfully defended his title in the Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road, using a pair of wins in the three 50-lap segments to claim a two-point victory in the combined standings over Jason Corliss of Barre. It was the third Thunder Road Late Model Sportsmen Milk Bowl victory of Sweet’s career.

Corliss needed to finish within three positions of Sweet in the final race to earn the victory. He had a chance to move into fourth place, and claim the Milk Bowl crown, in the final laps of the third race, but couldn’t find his way through traffic and ended up in seventh place in the segment, and second place overall.

Trampas Demers of South Burlington finished in third place, and was followed in the top 10 by Cody Blake of Barre, Kyle Pembroke of Montpelier, 2016 King of the Road Scott Dragon of Milton, Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Scott Payea of Milton, Shawn Fleury of Middlesex, and Alex Labbe of St-Albert, Quebec.
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Polewarczyk on Pole for 54th Vermont Milk Bowl

Barre, VT – Former Milk Bowl winner Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH gave himself a head start on a second crown by earning the Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole Award at Barre’s Thunder Road on Saturday, October 1 for Sunday’s 54thVermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank.

The 2014 ACT Late Model Tour champion circled the ¼-mile high banks in 13.169 seconds during time trials, earning himself a $1,000 bonus from Booth Bros. and H.P. Hood in the process. Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien will start on his outside after turning a fast lap of 13.224 seconds.

Two-time and defending Vermont Milk Bowl winner Nick Sweet of Barre, VT will start third after winning the first of two 50-lap qualifying races. Sweet came out on top of a back-and-forth battle with former Milk Bowl pole sitter Trampas Demers, taking the lead for good on the race’s final restart with three laps remaining.

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Martin Takes Triple 25’s, Morris Wins Late Models On Cody Chevrolet Night

Barre, VT – Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common won two segments to claim the Tiger Triple 25’s on Cody Chevrolet Night, while Boomer Morris of Barre made a late move to earn the win in the Thunder Road Late Models.

Martin’s victory was his third of the season in the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen division. Mark Barnier of Essex Jct. finished tied with Martin on overall points with 13 each after the three segments, but Martin earned the tiebreaker, and the victory, based on his better finish in segment three.

Brendan Moodie of Wolcott, Jason Woodard of Waterbury Ctr., Cameron Ouellette of Barre,  Mike Billado of Essex, Eric Johnson of Randolph Ctr., Joe Steffen of Grand Isle, Stephen Donahue of Graniteville, and Matt Potter of Plainfield rounded out the top 10.

Continue reading ‘Martin Takes Triple 25’s, Morris Wins Late Models On Cody Chevrolet Night’

Dragon Claims Checkers On WDEV/Calkins Portable Toilet Night

Barre, VT – Patience was a virtue for Scott Dragon on WDEV/Calkins Portable Toilet Night. The Milton driver, who started 17th in the 22-car field, took over the lead with 12 laps to go and pulled away for the win in the 85-lap Thunder Road Late Model feature.

The early part of the event belonged to Eric Badore of Milton, who took over the lead from Darrell Morin of Westford on a 20th-lap restart. Badore opened up 10-car length lead as Morin and Cody Blake of Barre waged a side-by-side battle for second place for over 40 laps. Dragon finally moved into the top three on the 63rd lap, quickly overtook Phil Scott of Middlesex for second, then claimed the lead from Badore on lap 74.

Scott finished second, with Badore third. Nick Sweet of Barre, Jason Corliss of Barre, Kyle Pembroke of Montpelier, Blake, Trampas Demers of S. Burlington, Tyler Cahoon of Danville, and Mike Bailey of South Barre rounded out the top 10.

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Fleury Feeling Fit On CVMC ExpressCARE Night

Barre, VT – Shawn Fleury of Middlesex led from start to finish to pick up his first victory of the season in the Thunder Road Late Models on CVMC ExpressCARE Night.

Starting on the pole, Fleury jumped into an immediate lead over rookie Marcel Gravel of Wolcott, who started on the outside of the front row. Fleury widened his margin as Gravel and veteran Dave Whitcomb of Essex Jct. battled side-by-side for second place. Gravel, who led 38 laps of last week’s feature before falling victim to handling problems late in the race, held onto second, while Whitcomb finished third.

There were no yellow flags in the 50-lap event, and the top three ran away from the rest of the field, which was bottled up behind a battle for fourth place between Jason Allen of Barre and Matt White of Northfield. Allen crossed the finish line in fourth, but was disqualified after failing post-race inspection. Phil Scott of Middlesex, Nick Sweet of Barre, Scott Dragon of Milton, Tyler Cahoon of Danville, Jason Corliss of Barre, White, and Kyle Pembroke of Montpelier rounded out the top 10.

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Lightning Fast PASS Super Late Models Return To Thunder Road This Weekend

NAPLES, ME (May 25) – After a thrilling debut last year, the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Models are set to return to Vermont’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl this Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM.  In addition to 150 laps for New England’s fastest racers, the 54th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic will feature 100 laps for Thunder Road’s ACT Late Models, plus the PASS Modifieds, Street Stocks, and Tigers.

Center Conway, NH’s DJ Shaw has had a solid start to the 2016 PASS North season, currently sitting second in points on the strength of a win in the Southern Maine Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.  While Shaw is happy with his results so far, the 2014 PASS North champion believes he and his team can be even better.

I think we’ve gotten off to a decent start this season, we’ve had a little bit of inconsistency that we need to work on, but we got a win early and that’s always good,” says Shaw, driver of the HK Powersports/Mulkern Excavating #60.

In PASS North’s first ever trip to Thunder Road International Speedbowl last season, Shaw was a picture of consistency as he challenged eventual winner, Joey Doiron for the checkered flag.  Shaw hopes to turn the tables on Sunday afternoon as he looks to recapture the championship points lead from Mike Hopkins.

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Thunder Road Announces Thirty-seven Thousand Dollar Point Fund

Waterbury, VT – Thunder Road International Speedbowl announces the continuation of a thirty-seven thousand ($37,000.00) point fund program for their weekly competitors’ 2016 season. Started in 2014, the three divisions – ACT Late Models, Bond Auto Tigers, and Allen Lumber Street Stocks – have enjoyed one of the largest weekly point funds in the country.

The Thunder Road Late Model Champion is awarded $7,500.00 at the end of the season. The top 15 positions in both the Late Model and Tiger divisions battle throughout the race season for positions in the point standings. The Late Models receive a total payout of $25,000.00; the Tiger division has a total of over $7,500; the 4-cylinder Street Stock division has a point fund through 20 positions that will pay over $4,400.00 in post season awards.

“Thunder Road has been known for paying some of the best weekly purses around the country, and certainly some of the best point funds. When I was racing the purse for Late Models was around $6,000 on the quarter mile. When you added in the year-end point fund, together it really helped with the expenses to race at the level we raced at. I think the same thing applies to the two other divisions,” said former three time-track champion and current ACT race director, Cris Michaud.

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Weather Forces Postponement of Merchants Bank 150

Rescheduled for Sunday, May 8

Waterbury, VT –The dismal forecast for Sunday, May 1 has forced Thunder Road Speedbowl to postpone the Merchants Bank 150. The race has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 8, post time set for 2:00pm.

More than 40 ACT Late Model teams were expected to try and qualify including defending 2015 ACT Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. of Dover, NH, along with 2015 Merchants Bank champion Brad Babb and multi-feature winner Nick Sweet.

Almost 70 Late Models, Tiger Sportsman, and Street Stocks lined Main Street in Barre, VT for the annual car show on Saturday, April 30. Race Fans were able to check-out the new race cars and meet the drivers, before the parade up Quarry Hill to the “Nations Site of Excitement”. Drivers were able to get in practice on Saturday and will be ready to go on Sunday, May 8, for the running of the 18th Merchants Bank 150. Continue reading ‘Weather Forces Postponement of Merchants Bank 150’

Excitement Building for Junior Champ Karts at Thunder Road

Barre, VT – Excitement is quickly growing for the return of youth Go-Kart racing at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road in 2016. An informational meeting held on Tuesday, January 19 for the Junior Champ Kart division drew attendance and interest from more than 20 youth competitors and their families throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.

“Everyone at the meeting seemed pretty excited about it,” Thunder Road Race Director Cris Michaud said. “People are really interested in the way that we’re doing it. There won’t be any points awarded, so people can just come out and enjoy racing without the pressure of worrying about points. We think that’s the best way to keep things fun for young competitors.”

The Junior Champ Karts will be open to competitors ages 6 to 14. A 10-event season will run weekly on Tuesday nights at Thunder Road from late June through August, with a Saturday season finale in mid-September.

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Kart Racing Set to Return to Thunder Road in 2016

Barre, VT – Thunder Road has announced the formation of a new weekly Go-Kart racing series for the 2016 season. The Junior Champ Kart youth division for competitors ages 6 to 14 will run on Tuesday nights throughout the summer, marking the first time since 2010 that weekly Kart racing will be held on the Barre high banks.

The 10-race series begins on Tuesday, June 21 and will run weekly through Tuesday, August 23, with a one-week holiday break on July 5. The gates will open at 4:30 pm for all Tuesday events with racing beginning at 6:00 pm.

A special event on Saturday, September 10 will close the Karting season. Racing for this event will begin at 1:00 pm with the gates opening at 12:00 pm.
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ACT Releases 13-Event 2016 Schedule

Waterbury, VT – The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) has announced the release of the 2016 ACT Late Model Tour schedule. The 13-event series will see the Tour visit 12 different tracks in six U.S. states and the province of Quebec as they pursue the $10,000-to-win ACT Championship.

The season will once again kick off with the New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 10 and crown the 2016 champion at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway on Saturday, October 15. Other traditional early-season events which have returned include the 18th Merchants Bank 150 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on May 1, the Spring Green 116 at Plattsburgh, NY’s Airborne Park Speedway on May 14, and a 100-lap event at Fair Haven, VT’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway on June 4.

The 2016 schedule will again feature three ACT/Pro All Stars Series (PASS) doubleheaders. The two series open the Oxford Plains Speedway racing season on Sunday, April 17. ACT and PASS then travel to Quebec’s Autodrome Montmagny on Saturday, July 23. The 150-lap event is the ACT U.S. Tour’s first visit to the speedway since 1999 and is a combination event with Série ACT.
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2016 PASS North Schedule Announced

The Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North Super Late Model schedule has been announced.

2016 PASS North Super Late Model Schedule
Sat-Sun April 9-10 – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park – Thompson, CT
Sun. April 17 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME
Sat. April 30 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME
Sat. May 7 – Star Speedway – Epping, NH
Sun. May 15 – Speedway 95 – Bangor, ME
Sun. May 29 – Thunder Road International Speedbowl – Barre, VT
Sat. June 11 – TBA
Fri. June 24 – Lee USA Speedway – Lee, NH
Sat or Sun July 2 or 3 – TBA
Sat. July 9 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME
Sat. July 23 – Autodrome Montmagny Speedway – Montmagny, PQ
Sat. August 13 – TBA
Fri-Sun August. 26-28 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME The Oxford 250
Fri-Sun Sept. 16-18 – Beech Ridge Motor Speedway – Scarborough, ME
Sat. Oct. 1 – Star Speedway – Epping, NH
Sat. Oct. 15 – Oxford Plains Speedway – Oxford, ME
Dates Subject To Change

Continue reading ‘2016 PASS North Schedule Announced’

O’Donnell, Moodie, Davis Honored at Banquet of Champions

Barre, VT – Thunder Road International Speedbowl honored its 2015 Champions with the annual Banquet of Champions at the Barre Elks Club on Saturday, November 14. Derrick O’Donnell received the top honors for the third consecutive season in the Thunder Road Late Model division, while Brendan Moodie and Jamie Davis earned their first Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen and Allen Lumber Street Stock championships, respectively. 

North Haverhill, NH’s O’Donnell became the second driver in Thunder Road history to win three straight “King of the Road” crowns, joining Chuck Beede’s run from 1992-1994. O’Donnell’s championships came in his first three years in the division. He earned a career-high four wins in 2015, giving him a total of seven for his career. Among the victories was his second Memorial Day Classic triumph as well as a win in the Times Argus Mid-Season Championships. O’Donnell also finished second in the Milk Bowl and third in the Vermont Governor’s Cup. 

Westford’s Darrell Morin received Rookie of the Year honors for the Late Models. Morin won a season-long battle with Scott Coburn for the award.

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Thunder Road Legend Demar Dies after Battle with Cancer

Barre, VT – Thunder Road legend Larry Demar died Thursday, November 12 overnight at his home after a battle with cancer. The Hardwick native made his name at Barre’s Thunder Road as well as its sister track Catamount Stadium in the formative years of both speedways, which included becoming the first driver ever to win all three segments of the Vermont Milk Bowl.

Demar rose to stardom in the early years of the famed Flying Tiger division. He earned the “King of the Road” titles in 1966 and 1967, capping the two-year run by winning the Milk Bowl in 1967. He remains one of only three drivers to sweep the three-segment event in its 53-year history. In addition, he won the Labor Day Classic both years and was the 1966 Memorial Day Classic Champion.

Demar, known as “The Driver for the Common Man”, also found success at Milton’s Catamount Stadium. He was the 1968 track champion and won 19 races at the 1/3-mile oval, including 10 in 1967. Demar totaled 28 career wins between Thunder Road and Catamount, with all of them coming in the Flying Tigers. Alhough Demar retired from racing in the early 1970s, he remained a presence at Thunder Road, most recently making an appearance at the 53rd Milk Bowl in October.

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Sweet Makes Thrilling Final Charge for Second Milk Bowl Win

Barre, VT – Local hero Nick Sweet added to his growing legend on Sunday, October 11, slicing through the field in the final laps to win the final segment and capture his second career Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl win in the 2015 Thunder Road season finale.

The multi-time Thunder Road Late Model Champion entered the final segment trailing rival and three-time defending “King of the Road” Derrick O’Donnell by five points in the overall tally and was running seventh to O’Donnell’s eleventh when the first of three caution flags flew on lap 37 of the 50-lap segment. Seeing the Milk Bowl within his grasp, Sweet seized the moment, needing just seven more laps to charge to the lead.

Sweet’s thrilling dash and Segment 3 win gave him a final score of 13 points, one better than O’Donnell, who could do no better than seventh in the Segment 3 rundown. The comeback victory was greeted by a thunderous ovation from one of the biggest crowds of the 2015 season.

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O’Donnell, Sweet on Front Row for 53rd Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl

Barre, VT – Thunder Road rivals Derrick O’Donnell of N. Haverhill, NH and Barre’s Nick Sweet will lead the field to the green flag in Segment 1 of the 53rd Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl on Sunday, October 11.

Three-time defending “King of the Road” O’Donnell topped a field of 47 challengers in Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Time Trials with a fast lap of 13.229 seconds to take the pole. 2013 Milk Bowl Champion Sweet was right on his heels with a lap of 13.249 seconds and will start outside the front row.

Barre’s Cody Blake was third-fastest, completing a sweep of the top-three starting positions by the three top drivers in the final 2015 Thunder Road Late Model standings. The top 27 cars were separated by just 3/10 of a second.

Continue reading ‘O’Donnell, Sweet on Front Row for 53rd Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl’

Laperle, Hoar Each Chasing Fourth Milk Bowl Win

Barre, VT – Two of the most accomplished drivers in Milk Bowl and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model history look to add to their accolades on Sunday, October 11. Three-time Milk Bowl winners Patrick Laperle and Brian Hoar have both entered the 53rd Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl at Barre’s Thunder Road. Both will look to tie Robbie Crouch’s record of four victories in the event known as “the toughest short-track stock car race in North America.”

“Patrick and Brian are really capable of doing it if anyone can,” Crouch said. “I would love to see it.”

St-Denis, QC’s Laperle put his stamp on the Milk Bowl from 2005-2008 when he became the only driver to win three times in a four-year span. Laperle was one of the first to enter this year’s event. In seeking a fourth win, he also looks to erase the sting of failing to qualify in 2014.

Continue reading ‘Laperle, Hoar Each Chasing Fourth Milk Bowl Win’

May 2017
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