Thunder Road SpeedBowl
LOWREY CLAIMS MID-SEASON CHAMPIONSHIPS - MICHAUD TAKES POINT LEAD
Charlotte's Rich Lowrey came from the rear of the 23-car starting field in Thursday's Late Model Times Argus Mid-Season Championship race to win his second consecutive feature at Barre's Thunder Road. As the previous event's winner, the veteran Chevrolet competitor was relegated to the final starting position on the grid. Although Lowrey professed in Victory Lane that his car was tight (it didn't want to turn), he was able to pass cars by running the high groove around the high-banked quarter-mile oval.



Defending Late Model track Champion, Cris Michaud of Williamstown finished a comfortable second after starting 15th and took the point lead from Chad Wheeler. Ironically Michaud won last year's Mid-Season Championship race, which catapulted him into the point lead and eventually the title. Shelburne's Jamie Fisher, the track's 2003 champion, was third, Dave Pembroke from Montpelier and Williamstown's Cooper MacRitchie rounded out the top five.
Fisher led the first nine laps after starting on the outside of the front row. John Donahue took over for the 10th and 11th circuits only to spin out of contention on lap 12. Fisher inherited the lead on the restart but MacRitchie powered ahead one lap later. MacRitchie kept his Dodge out front until a caution on the 32nd circuit. Fisher got back on top when racing resumed only to lose the advantage to Lowrey on lap 35. Once in front the eventual winner lengthened his lead over the pack and was not seriously challenged.
Completing the top ten were Phil Scott in sixth, Dave Whitcomb, Trampas Demers, Ryan Nolin and Eric Williams.
Wheeler, who led the ACT Late Model standings for two weeks by virtue of his consistent finishes, was among the early contenders in the 50-lap Times Argus Mid-Season Championship race. He saw his hopes of retaining the lead evaporate on the 13th circuit when he was forced to pit out of fourth place with a flat tire. The Waterbury Center resident came back to finish 12th.
The NAPA Sportsman division's 35-lap Mid-Season Championship race went to first time winner, Barre's Travis Paquet. The win was the third consecutive in a feature race for a rookie driver. Wolcott's Brendan Moodie finished second after passing Scott Coburn on the 33rd lap. He had started ninth. Coburn, from Barre was third. Rounding out the top five were Duxbury's Brian Boudreau and Northfield's Chip Grenier.
In spite of a tenth place finish, Sportsman division point leader, Shawn Fleury from Montpelier maintained his position atop the standings. Fleury's closest challengers, Chris Gendreau, Mark Barnier, and Marcel Gravel were all unable to capitalize on the double points available and lost ground to the leader.
Kevin Campbell of Fairfax captured his fourth career Allen Lumber Street Stock win and first of the season in the division's 25-lap Mid-Season Championship race. A pair of rookie racers, Rick Fitzgerald, from Bakersfield as the runner-up and third place Steve Tracy of Williamstown, turned in career best performances. Lloyd Blakely and Steve Quenneville, also a freshman competitor, completed the top five. Quenneville, who was fifth in the standings entering Thursday's double-pint race, assumes the point lead after the top drivers failed to finish in the top ten.
The Power Shift Warrior's 20-lap feature went to a first time competitor, Carl Sheldon of Newark, VT. Colchester's Jim Holbrook and Alan Maynard from Fairfax completed the top three. Although Mike Martin from Craftsbury Common finished behind the other top point drivers he retains his point lead.
Thunder Road's competitors will be back in action with a rare Saturday night race at the track. The Casella Waste Management Trophy Dash, rained out on June 9 has a post time of 7:00 pm. Spectator gates open at 5:00. All four of Thunder Road's weekly divisions will be in action.