Thunder Road SpeedBowl
BARRE, VT - Montpelier, Vermont's Shawn Fleury used his experience on Thunder Road's high banks, and a good starting spot Thursday night to win the Sportsman Series' WDEV 100. Fleury, already a winner at the Barre, VT oval in 2005, started on the outside pole by virtue of ACT's revolutionary "plus/minus" handicap system - he had qualified with a plus four. Pole sitter Doug Murphy posted a plus seven in his heat racer to score the coveted pole.

Murphy set a fast pace at the drop of the green flag with Fleury and the balance of the 28-car field in tow. The event's single caution period, for a minor incident on the 30th circuit put Murphy within Fleury's reach. On the restart Fleury was again in the outside groove. When racing resumed he surged into the lead. Murphy tried to fight back but was unable to mount a serious challenge.
As the laps ticked off, many of the Sportsman Series' top point drivers found themselves struggling to keep up with Fleury's blistering pace and in fact, with 42 drivers going after just 28 spots, qualifying for the feature was a feat in itself. Plattsburgh, New York's Robin Wood, who trailed Series point leader Jason Bonnett by just four entering the WDEV 100, lost a lap to the leader on the 79th circuit and wound up 23rd. Bonnett, from St Albans, VT also lost a lap late in the race and finished 19th. Chris Curtis of Rutland, MA, who was fourth in the standings going into the third of eight races, made the starting field by virtue of a provisional spot and finished 28th.
Mike Bailey, winner last Sunday in a weekly Thunder Road event, didn't let Fleury's pace intimidate him. Bailey, who started ninth, began his march toward the front in earnest after the caution. He passed Murphy who was running second on the 66th lap and set his sights on the pacesetter. But Fleury was able to keep putting lapped cars between himself and his challenger. "I saw Mike (Bailey) coming and I knew I couldn't let off the pace," the winner said in Victory Lane, "He's been running strong lately and his car didn't seem to go away as the laps wound down. I couldn't let up at all," he finished.
Finishing behind Fleury and Bailey was Danville, Vermont's Travis Calkins. Early race leader Murphy was fourth and Chip Grenier from Northfield completed the top five. Rounding out the top ten were Justin Hart, Kerry Henry, Travis Paquet, Marcel Gravel and Joey Laquerre.
ACT's Sportsman Series continues its 2005 schedule Sunday at Canaan Fair Speedway, a 1/3-mile oval with the Ferguson Waterworks 50. The ACT Tour who will have a 100-lap event will join the Sportsmen. Thunder Road's own Allen Lumber Street Stocks round out the card. Racing starts at 1:30 pm.
The WDEV Late Model 50 was won by Phil Scott of Montpelier, VT. Pete Fecteau from Morrisville, VT and E Montplier's Joey Laquerre followed him across the line. Rich Lowery and Cooper MacRitchie rounded out the top five. Results from the Late Model race are unofficial pending the completion of a racing commission hearing to be concluded by post time Thursday.
Joe Small won the Allen Lumber Street Stock main event at the helm of a Ford powered by Ethanol, the first win for the alternative fuel. Tim Potter and David Allen completed the top three.
David Whitcomb won the PowerShift Warrior division with Alan Maynard and Maynard Bartlett Sr second and third. Bartlett's suspension was out of spec in post-race inspection and his son, Maynard Jr inherited the spot.
Thunder Road has a doubleheader on tap for next week starting on Thursday, June 30 with the Parts Plus Trophy Dash. Post time is 7:00 pm. Regular pricing will be in effect - $18.00 for "Family Fare" (any two adults and two kids, ages 6-12), adults are $9.00 and kids (6-12) are $3.00
Then on Sunday, Coca-Cola presents the annual Fourth of July Holiday Racing Spectacular complete with the track's annual aerial fireworks display. Racing starts on July 3 at 7:00 as well. Prices are $10.00 for adults, $3.00 for kids and $20 for the "Family Fare."