Thunder Road SpeedBowl
NAPA Sportsmen Take On The Road
The Merchant’s Bank 150 marks the beginning of the 2006 season for the NAPA Tiger Sportsman at Thunder Road Intl’ Speedbowl, a high-banked, quarter-mile asphalt, oval located on Quarry Hill in Barre, VT, on Saturday, April 30th. Defending Tiger Sportsman champion Shawn Fleury of Montpelier, Vermont hopes the momentum of his 2005 season will carry over to the 2006 season. “The competition at Thunder Road is always tough, it’s quite an accomplishment to be the 2005 Tiger Sportsman title holder, and I’d love to be a repeat champion.” Fleury continued “The plan for the 2006 season is to be consistent, and win some races; but in this division just qualifying is a feat.” If the 32 year-old racer successfully defends his title he’ll be the fourth driver since 1997 to win back-to-back championships at the Nation’s Site of Excitement.

Barre, Vermont’s Nick Sweet has found success at his home track Thunder Road in every division he’s competed in. Sweet captured the rookie of the year honors for the Street Stock division in 2003 and two years later was the top freshman driver in the Tiger Sportsman division. “It will be hard to repeat what we did last year; timing on the track was everything for our team. This year we hope to win some races but most importantly continue to have fun.” Sweet added, “There are so many great drivers in the Tiger (Sportsman) division, I think that Shawn Fleury will continue to be fast in 2006, and Reno Gervais (2003 and 2004 Tiger Sportsman champion) will be tough to beat” he continued “I would love to win the Merchants Bank event but even if I don’t, my goal is to finish in the top ten.

Thunder Road’s 47th racing season will begin on Saturday, April 29th with a car show on Main Street in Barre City. The annual event will feature a pit stop competition and a parade of the race cars; from Main Street to the track- a 2.5 mile route. Race day is Sunday, April 30th and will be kicked off with class day festivities which include a photograph of all the drivers and their automobiles on the racetrack. Divisions in action for the Merchants Bank 150 include the ACT Late Models, NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and PowerShift Junkyard Warriors.