Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thursday racing at Barre’s Thunder Road is coming to a close for the season this week with the Kinney Drugs Trophy Dash on August 24th. The Late Models will crown their champion following the event while the NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Power Shift Warriors will continue their title chase through the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl on October 1st. The Late Model division’s point battle has predominately been between Chad Wheeler of Waterbury Center and Shelburne’s Dennis Demers. After a disappointing outing last week, Demers dropped to third which moved defending Late Model champion, Cris Michaud from Williamstown, into contention for his third consecutive title and fourth overall.

Wheeler and Michaud, both veterans, battled last season for the title, and as fate would have it, the two are set to battle in the final weekly race of the season. Wheeler suffered a disappointing outing last week due to cars in front of him slowing down for a competitors spinning across the track. With no where to go Wheeler struck the car ahead of him and was tagged from behind. Wheeler and several others suffered damage extensive enough to keep them out of contention for the victory. Wheeler’s 19th place finish allowed Michaud to make up ground, as he finished third in the Vermont ACE Hardware Dealers event last week. The 43 year-old driver currently trails Wheeler by only 37 points (952-915). Demers sits ten points behind Michaud and 47 points within striking distance (905).

“Even if I don’t win the title,” Michaud stated “I’m very proud of my crew. We started off a little rough and I was 15th in the overall standings at one point this season. To work our way up to second is respectable, but the points issued through qualifying, the semi-feature and the feature prove that I still have a shot at catching Chad (Wheeler) so I’m not giving up until the final checkered flag flies.”

The weekly competitors are expected to be joined by some American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model drivers as they make a rare mid-week appearance at the speedplant in order to tune-in their cars for the upcoming Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200. The annual ACTion Super Series race will take place on September 2nd and 3rd, with a prize of $10,000 to go to the winner.

Drivers rumored to be in attendance for the final Thursday of the season include: Brent Dragon of Milton a former winner of the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200, Lancaster, NH’s “Rocket” Roger Brown who has already picked up a victory this season at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, MA. Brown was leading last seasons Labor Day Classic by a half a track when an on-track altercation with a lap car caused extensive damage and left Brown unable to continue. The winner of last years Labor Day Classic and defending ACT Late Model Tour champion, Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton as well as Sophomore driver Lyman NH’s Dan Colby.

Ben Rowe of Turner, ME- winner of last weekend’s New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway and winner of the first $10,000 to win ACTion Super Series race of the season at Sanair Super Speedway in St-Pie Quebec is also rumored to be in attendance. Rowe will seek to redeem himself as he failed to qualify for the season opener at the ¼ mile oval in April.

Fans may purchase advance sale tickets to the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 this Thursday night at Thunder Road behind the announcer’s tower, the ACT/Thunder Road office in Waterbury or at any of the 35 Bond Auto Store locations.

During Thursday's intermission, children who qualify for one of the three age groups(six and under, 7-9, and 10-12) will be able to participate in the annual Kinney Drugs Poster Contest. How can you participate in the contest? Make a poster of your favorite driver to display for the sponsors and crowd. Create your homemade masterpiece with paint, crayons, markers, colored pencils, and more. Adult tickets are nine dollars, children (ages 6-12) are just three dollars and a family of four (two adults, two children) is just eighteen dollars. Post time for Thursday’s Kinney Drugs Trophy Dash is 7:00 pm. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 pm.