Thunder Road SpeedBowl
A pair of Lamoille County drivers, Marcel Gravel from Wolcott and Hyde Park's Eric Williams, turned in feature performances at Barre, Vermont's Thunder Road International Speedbowl that were noteworthy enough to earn the Booth Brothers Dairy "Cream of the Crop" Award at a pair of recent events.
Gravel, winner in the NAPA Sportsman division's Sanel Parts Plus Trophy Dash on Thursday, June 30, came from deep in the 26-car starting field en route to victory. The veteran driver, who hadn't carried a feature race checkered flag in two years, took the lead on the 31st lap of the 35-lap event by using the high-banked quarter-mile oval's tricky outside groove.

Williams did not win Sunday's Late Model Coca-Cola Firecracker 50 but he sure gave it the old college try. Like Gravel, Williams had to work his way to the front from back in the starting field. The veteran racer employed both the high and low groove in his quest and was able to challenge for the lead. In fact Williams ran side-by-side with race leader, Dave Whitcomb for lap after lap with the two cars barely touching. Late caution periods hurt Williams' quest for the win, "I could have done without those yellows," he commented after finishing second, "My car was stronger under green (flag racing conditions)"
Gravel received his $100 Booth Brothers "Cream of the Crop" Award prior to the start of Sunday's Coca-Cola Firecracker event. Williams will receive his award during pre-race ceremonies at Thursday's Kinney Drugs Night at the Races (July 7).
The Booth Brothers "Cream of the Crop" Award is determined by track officials following each of 14 designated events at Thunder Road and is presented to a driver from across the track's four divisions who turns in a notable performance. While winning performances are sometimes selected as outstanding, other recipients have not been as fortunate. Among past winners of the $100 award is a competitor who displayed remarkable perseverance. The driver rolled his car during qualifying then returned to make the field for the feature race, only to roll a second time in the main event. He came back from that incident as well and was still in competition when the checkered flag flew.
Thunder Road's Kinney Drugs Night at the Races, Thursday, July 7 is next on tap and has a post time if 7:00 pm