The sun shined on eight-time American Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar, as his trademark patience brought him his second Merchants Bank 150 in as many years on a beautiful afternoon at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, April 28. Middlesex, VT’s Dave Pembroke came home a stout second, and 7-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr brought home a third place finish.
The race began with pole sitter Jay Laquerre running to a large lead in the early going, but it wasn’t long before Pembroke and Hoar muscled their way to the front in the outside lane, with Pembroke snatching the lead on lap 36. From there Pembroke surged, making short work of lap traffic and building his lead during a long 82-lap green flag run. ACT Rookie of the Year competitor Bobby Therrien impressed early, working his way towards the front of the pack as high as third in his third career ACT event before the caution.
When the race restarted, Pembroke was away again while young Therrien battled the veteran Hoar for second place. Meanwhile, Cyr, 2012 King of the Road Nick Sweet, and New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 Champion Jimmy Hebert crept through the field on their way to the leaders. When lap 100 struck, the veterans knew it was time to show their hand.