Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Rich Lowrey overcame early season adversity Thursday night at Barre's Thunder Road and won the Kinney Drugs Late Model feature over a hard charging John Donahue. The Charlotte, VT racer took the lead from Donahue just before the mid-point of the 50-lap race and survived a pair of late race restarts en route to his first win of the season and third of his career. Graniteville, Vermont's Donahue had led from the drop of the green from his pole starting spot. The victory, his first in two years, was redemption for Lowrey and his crew following a disqualification nearly three weeks earlier due to an illegal part.

"It all came down to that restart," Lowrey said in the Winner's Circle. "I lined up next to John (Donahue) and was able to make the outside work. That's what's fun about racing at Thunder Road, having a car that can pass on the outside. We've had a fast car all year, had some good finishes but we haven't had the right breaks," the sixth place starter continued, "Actually, our problem has been that we have had some breaks, like the pan hard bar broke and the rear end broke," Lowrey finished with a grin.
Rookie sensation, Ryan Nolin of Georgia, VT nipped former multi-time Thunder Road Late Model Champion, Montpelier, Vermont's Phil Scott at the line for third in a photo finish. Completing the top five was Chad Wheeler from Waterbury Center, VT, the point leader entering the Kinney Drugs event.
Defending Late Model Champion, Cris Michaud from Williamstown, VT was sixth, Milton, Vermont's Jean-Paul Cyr made a rare weekly appearance at the high banked quarter-mile oval to finish seventh and, Eric Williams of Hyde Park, VT was eighth. A pair of Shelburne, Vermont residents, Jamie Fisher, also a former Champion and Dennis Demers rounded out the top ten.
In the NAPA Sportsman division, a rookie driver was victorious for the second consecutive week. Northfield, Vermont's Matt White ran to a convincing win in the 35-lap Kinney Drugs main event in spite of four restarts due to caution periods. No one was injured in any of the incidents, which included a back stretch rollover, by St Albans, VT driver Jason Bonnett after Gary Eldred's car hit his.
Sportsman point leader Shawn Fleury of Montpelier, VT finished second after passing sophomore competitor Jeff French of Northfield in the final 100 yards of the race and retained his advantage. Barre, VT drivers, Mike Bailey and Josh Lovely completed the top five.
Milton, Vermont's Joe "Gasahol" Small, driver of Thunder Road's research and development ethanol car posted his second win of the season in the alternatively fueled Mustang. Small took the lead with five laps remaining in the 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock feature. After leading during the mid-stages of the event, second went to freshman runner, Jason Corliss from Plainfield, VT, his best career outing. Wanda Burnham from Plainfield, NH was third. Rounding out the top five were Vermont racers, Westford's Geoff Forsey and Gary Mullen of Tunbridge.
Point leader, Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common posted his first win of the 2005 season on Kinney Drugs night in the Power Shift Warrior class with a virtual romp over Hardwick's Chris Hodgdon and Kevin Streeter of Waitsfield.
Thunder Road four divisions are back in action Thursday night with the annual double point Mid-Season Championship event which also features a driver autograph session during intermission. Post time is 7:00 pm. Admission prices are still the best in the country! Adults are $9.00, kids (6-12) just $3.00 and the "Family Fare," a mere $18.00 covers any two adults and two kids.