Thunder Road SpeedBowl
With just the 42nd New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl remaining in 2005 at Barre, VT's historic Thunder Road, the plotlines in all divisions are still thick. Of course the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models are wrapping up their season and the three race ACTion Super Series with $10,000 going to the race winner, and a tour champion to be crowned. The under card is shaping up to be just as dramatic as the main event though with points battles raging in all three of the track's other weekly divisions.

In the NAPA Tiger Sportsman class Shawn Fleury of Montpelier, VT, has a solid 73 point lead, while two-time defending champion Reno Gervais of Island Pond, VT, and East Corinth, VT's Ray Stearns are tied for second. Barre, VT's rookie sensation Nick Sweet (three wins at three tracks this year) sits fourth, just eight marks out of second. Furthermore, the second through eighth place drivers are all within 23 points of one another.

"We need to race the three or four guys around us," said Stearns. "I hate to be the second place guy, second is the first loser. But Shawn (Fleury) deserves it, he's had a good year and he's a great guy. With the class of guys that we race with there's not a lot of bumping and banging.

"There have been 15 different winners (in the division this year)," he continued. "I haven't won so that's my goal-to be a winner."

Meanwhile, the American four-cylinder Allen Lumber Street Stock division has come down to a three man race between points leader and defending champion Joe Small of Milton, VT, Craftsbury, VT's Joel Hodgdon, and rookie Steve "Mudflap" Quenneville of Barre, VT. It will take some luck for a competitor to unseat one of these three, but each ran into trouble in Thunder Road's Labor Day race, thereby narrowing the gap.

Finally, three drivers have emerged to climb to the top of the wild, wacky, and wooly, Powershift Warriors class. Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common, VT, leads the way with an 80 point advantage, with the youngster Chris Hodgdon of Hardwick, VT, in second and Wolcott, VT's Maynard Bartlett Sr. just two points behind Hodgdon in third. Yet as those familiar with the division know, nothing is certain in the Warrior ranks. It also would not be unprecedented for one or all three of the points leaders to be handicapped and forced to start nearly half a lap behind in their feature race.

All of the excitement can be seen on the mile Barre high banks of Thunder Road this weekend, Saturday, October 1 and Sunday, October 2. Post time is 1:30 PM on Saturday and 1 PM on Sunday. Admission for one or both days is $25 at the gate-fans may also stop by participating New England Dodge Dealers to pick up a coupon for $5 off admission while supplies last.

As the aforementioned Tiger Sportsman competitor Ray Stearns said, "There's nothing like the Road."