Thunder Road SpeedBowl
LOCAL STARS TO BATTLE KENNY SCHRADER AT THUNDER ROAD
The gloves are off Thursday as Nextel Cup star Kenny Schrader of Fenton, MO returns to Thunder Road July 13th in an attempt to capture the VT Governors Cup. The 51-year-old driver will take on the ¼ mile asphalt oval and it’s weekly heroes for a second time. Schrader will join the Late Models in a car provided by Phil Scott of Montpelier for the New England Dodge Dealers VT Governors Cup, a special 100-lap feature. Local Late Model competitors were excited the first time Schrader rolled into town, however this time they will take him on as an outside coming in to take away their prized Governors Cup. First Schrader will need to qualify for the event, which last year proved to be a difficult task for the veteran driver. Forced to qualify through a consolation round, Schrader went on to finish the feature in the ninth position.


Two-time and defending Thunder Road “King of the Road” Cris Michaud of Williamstown is prepared to take on Schrader. “I race to win like everyone else so I don’t want him to come for one race and take the Cup home to Missouri, I’d like to take it home myself!” John Donahue of Graniteville agreed with Michaud, “I’m not going to let him win; he’ll have to earn it and if he does I’ll shake his hand.”
Montpelier resident, David Pembroke, who recently finished third in the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Mega Classique in St-Pie, Quebec commented on Schrader’s return. “I heard he didn’t like our lights; I think they are fine, he’s just used to the bright lights of Daytona and Bristol. There’s no way he’s taking our trophy back to Missouri!”
Five-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr will make a rare weekly performance Thursday in order to prepare his automobile for the upcoming ACTion Super Series race with 10,000 dollars to be awarded to the winner. The Bond Auto Labor Day event will take place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd. “Bring Schrader on. It’ll be a challenge for us and for him.”
Former Thunder Road titleholder, Jamie Fisher thinks he’s got what it takes to take on Schrader, “I’d like to beat him, and I think we can. The plan is to cross the start/finish line before he does so the Cup goes home with me to Shelburne.”
Lancaster, NH’s “Rocket Man” Roger Brown isn’t intimidated by the NASCAR star, “He’s raced everywhere but Thunder Road’s a different breed. It’s the ultimate equalizer and we’ll see how he does the second time around.”
Brent Dragon of Milton has vowed to keep the Cup in Vermont. “We don’t want no Southern guy coming up and taking our Cup. That’s ours to keep and we will!” Washington County Senator Phil Scott agrees. While providing Schrader with a racecar, he has no intentions on taking it easy on the intruder. “The local guys and I want to keep the Governors Cup right here where it belongs, in Vermont.”
Mooers Fork, NY driver Mark Lamberton doesn’t want Schrader to walk away with the Cup. “He has a lot of experience racing but Thunder Road is the only track in the country where he’ll have his hands full.” Lamberton finished, “There’s no way he’s going to stroll into town and take the Cup away from us, in fact it’s going home to New York with me!”
Even long time Thunder Road official Bubby Wilder, who assisted in the construction of the Barre high banked oval over 47 years ago thinks the local guys will be a challenge too tough for the NASCAR driver. “He asked for 100 laps, we gave them to him, so now we’ll see if he eats his words or lives up to them.”
With a whole field of cars vowing to keep him from the winner’s circle, Schrader makes the trip to Vermont with the intention of taking the Cup with him when he leaves. On the off weekends for the Nextel Cup and even during the week, Schrader races at tracks around the country. Often Schrader is looking for tracks to compete at, as he would love to race seven days a week. This year, he will attempt to race in over 80 races coast to coast. However, it’s not an off weekend as he is making the trip to Thunder Road just one day before qualifying for the Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, NH.
The battle has begun and Schrader hasn’t even arrived to the Green Mountains. The score will be settled when the feature winner is declared Thursday after the 100 laps. Pit gates open at 3pm and spectator gates open at 4pm. Post time for the New England Dodge Dealers VT Governors Cup is 6pm. Ticket prices for adults is ten dollars, children (ages 6-12) is just three dollars and a family of four (two adults and two children) is only twenty dollars.

PHOTOS:
1. Kenny Schrader

2. David Pembroke

3. Jamie "The Hurricane" Fisher

4. Mooers Forks, NY Driver Mark Lamberton

5. Race ready in 2005 Kenny Schrader