Thunder Road SpeedBowl
For the Late Model competitors Sunday at Thunder Road, the fireworks came early as former track champion, Dave Whitcomb of Essex Jct posted his first win in two years. Whitcomb's victory in the Coca-Cola Firecracker 50 came almost two years to the day from his last checkered flag at the high-banked quarter-mile which was 2003 edition of the race. No less than ten drivers battled for the top spots.

Whitcomb started on the outside of the front row and lept into the lead at the drop of the green flag. On the third circuit, Morrisville's Pete Fecteau moved into challenge the leader, which set up a furious give-and-take between the two former champions as they swapped the lead back and forth.
While Whitcomb and Fecteau battled up front a cast of characters took turns occupying the balance of the top ten. Among them were Dennis Demers, Eric Williams, Ryan Nolin, Trampas Demers, Cris Michaud, Joey Laquerre, Chad Wheeler, Jamie Fisher, Phil Scott and David Chagnon.
Three cautions periods, all late in the race, tightened up the field and further jumbled the top ten positions.
When the green flew for the last time, following a 45th lap restart brought out for Nolin's spin in the second turn, Whitcomb powered ahead leaving Williams and Dennis Demers to challenge for the runner-up spot. Williams, from Hyde Park won the battle for second and Shelburne's Dennis Demers edged out his son Trampas from So. Burlington for third. Completing the top five was defending Thunder Road Late Model Champion Michaud.
"It's so good to be here (in victory lane)" gushed winner Whitcomb following his 19th career victory. "I didn't think I'd ever be here again. It's so great to win this race with so many fans here," he added which brought a round of applause from the packed house.
1Williams was satisfied with second but would have liked fewer cautions at the end, "My car got stronger under green, I could have done without those yellows," he said.
Completing the top ten were early leader Fecteau, Wheeler, Laquerre, Dave Pembroke, last Thursday's winner and Fisher.
The NAPA Sportsman winner was a contrast to 25-plus year Late Model veteran Whitcomb. Hometown driver, Barre's Nick Sweet, a rookie runner posted his first career victory in the divison's 35-lap feature. Sweet passed Scott Coburn on the outside for the lead on the ninth lap and never looked back in spite of a restart on lap 13. Duxbury's Brian Boudeau tried to stay with Sweet but couldn't keep up with his torrid pace.
Boudreau found himself having to protect his runner-up position from eventual third place driver and early race leader Coburn. Sophomore runner, Tom Therrien from Hinesburg was fourth and point leader Shawn Fleury completed the top five.
The Allen Lumber Street Stock win went to Eric Johnson from Randolph Ctr who had started 18th in the 33 car field. The win was the third of the season for the second year racer. Alex Perkins crossed the line in second and freshman driver, Jason Corliss was third.
Maynard Barlett from Wolcott was the winner in the PowerShift Warrior division ahead of Buster Porter and Jason Perusse.
Thunder Road's four divisions are back in action on Thursday for Kinney Drugs Night at the Races which features the annual kid's Poster Contest. Gates open at 5:00 and racing starts at 7:00 pm.