Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Class Day To Honor Champions & Teams
Barre, VT – Race fans, teams and officials will honor the four defending Thunder Road Track Champions during the annual “Class Day” ceremonies as the Barre, Vermont speedplant opens for its 47th season of exciting stock car racing on Sunday, April 30. The ACT Late Model Tour’s Merchants Bank 150, which has a post time of 1:30 pm, will again serve as the annual lid lifter for the high-banked, quarter-mile paved oval

For the second consecutive year and third time overall, Cris Michaud of Williamstown is the defending “King of the Road” in the ACT Late Model division. As the reigning track champ, Michaud is among the favorites to win the season opener. The veteran campaigner hopes to place a Merchants Bank-sponsored car in the Winner’s Circle for the first time in the event’s eight year history. Jeff Laquerre and crew will again maintain Michaud’s Ford Fusion in 2006.

Montpelier, Vermont’s Shawn Fleury will begin his quest for a second straight NAPA Tiger Sportsman title. En route to his title, the 32 year-old racer posted an impressive 10 top 10 finishes in 17 starts. If he makes a successful defense, Fleury would be the first to break a streak of non repeating and repeating champions which dates back to 1996 when Ricky Dennis won his title. After Dennis, Jimmy Young claimed back-to-back titles, then Dave Pembroke won a single championship followed by John Donahue with two in a row, etc. The pattern is set, we’ll see if it’s broken in 2006.

Even though the battles for this season’s Allen Lumber Street Stocks and PowerShift Warrior titles are wide open - the reigning champions have moved into other divisions - both will be honored on Sunday, April 30. Joe Small, the two-time Allen Lumber Street Stock champion will be a member of the Rookie class in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division. Warrior King, Mike Martin, will ply his trade as a freshman racer in the Street Stocks.

Class Day is an event unique to Thunder Road. All drivers in attendance on opening day, in each division, will position their cars – nearly 125 in total – on the infield grass for the annual “Class Day” photos and presentations. Battle flags bearing the car numbers and team colors of each champion driver will be raised on the track’s Forsythe Hill in Turn 3 and will fly at each race meet during the year. The finishers in each division from Saturday’s Merchants Bank Car Show will also be revealed and given awards for their efforts in preparing their brand new machinery. Additionally, the Lenny’s Fan Choice Award will be presented by the local retailer to the one driver, from across all divisions, who receives the most votes in a special contest during the car show in downtown Barre. Lenny’s will present a $75 gift card and a trophy to the winning driver as well as a $50 gift card to one of the lucky fans who participated in the contest.

“Class Day” ceremonies kick off Thunder Road’s Sun, April 30 program at 1:00pm. Green flag qualifying action for the Merchants Bank 150 begins at 1:30pm. The Merchants Bank Car Show will be held on Main Street in Barre City from 9:00 am- 12 noon on Sat., April 29, with a Pit Stop Contest at 10:30am. For more information, call (802) 244-6963.