Thunder Road SpeedBowl
BARRE, VT - On April 30, the Saturday before the originally scheduled Merchants Bank 150 season opening event at Thunder Road, over 100 cars turned out for the annual stock car show. This year's extravaganza, held on Main Street in Barre City drew some 3,000 people according to police estimates. At the end of the car show the participating cars paraded from downtown to the racetrack.

A distinguished panel of judges checked over each vehicle, from nose to tail and from tires to roof and graded each on five different criteria - overall appearance, workmanship, interior design, creative design and color scheme. The top three from each class of car - ACT Late Model, NAPA Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock and Powershift Warrior - were awarded trophies and prize money during the annual Class Day celebration prior to the start of qualifying for the Merchants Bank 150.
In the Powershift Warrior division, the #53 Chevy Cavalier of Kevin Utton of Worcester, VT was awarded third place. Eric LaFleche's #55 Pontiac Sunbird convertible was deemed second best appearing for the Graniteville, VT driver and Washington, Vermont's James Gonyaw, driver of the #11, a Cavalier, was awarded the top prize.
In the Allen Lumber Street Stock division, the #92 of Barre's Shawn Sicard, the Black Bear Tavern/Bagel Depot Mustang was awarded third place. David Allen's Starr's Transportation/Hayes Ford Mustang was deemed second best appearing for the N. Troy, VT resident. Eric Badore's A.H. Fence Dodge Daytona took the top prize for the Georgia, VT resident.
In the NAPA Sportsman division, the White's Heating Chevrolet Celebrity #42 of rookie contender Matt White from Northfield was awarded third place. Ray Stearn's Wing's Market & Deli/Webster Tree & Lawn Celebrity was deemed second best appearing for the E. Corinth competitor. And Barre native, Nick Sweet, also a first year campaigner, was awarded the top prize for his Chevrolet Lumina.
B.J. Piekarski's Collision Centers of NH/Toyota of Nashua Late Model received the third place honors for the Nashua, NH driver. The 21 year-old, driver of the #19 Dodge Intrepid, was last year's ACT Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year. Veteran competitor, Brent Dragon from Milton, VT had his Furniture World of Vermont/Beverage Mart/Kinney Drugs #55 Dodge Intrepid deemed as second best appearing. Receiving the top prize the #68 of Williamstown, VT driver Cooper MacRitchie. MacRitchie will pilot the Lowrey's Auto/Subway Dodge Intrepid in ACT Tour events and his own #3 car in Thunder Road's weekly races.