Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Three first time winners visited Thunder Road’s victory lane Sunday in the 28th annual Bond Auto Labor Day Dashes. The events at the Barre, VT oval were part of the track’s $10,000 to win ACTion Super Series race for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models.

Ray Stearns from East Corinth scored a convincing win, the fourth of his career and first of the season, in the Sportsman division’s 40-lap main event. The veteran racer started sixth in the 26 car field and took the lead from sophomore competitor Dick Lowrey on the 15th circuit with a daring move in the fourth turn.

Lowrey, who started third, took the lead from rookie polesitter Alex Perkins on the sixth circuit. While the battle waged at the front of the pack Stearns sliced his way through traffic. He sized up the leader for a couple of laps before diving low in the fourth turn as the rear end of Lowrey’s car drifted high. Stearns stuck the nose of his car underneath and powered into the top spot. With no cautions to slow him down, the leader extended his advantage until the checkered flag flew.

Lowrey, from South Burlington, held on for second, his second top three finish of the year. Freshman runner Perkins, from , Chelsea, held on for third, his best career outing. Completing the top five were hometown favorite Scott Coburn and Kevin Campbell of Fairfax.

First year Allen Lumber Street Stock racer, Mike Martin from Craftsbury Common posted his first division win in the added distance main event Sunday. After starting seventh, Martin, the 2005 PowerShift Warrior Champion took the lead just past the mid-point of the 30-lap feature from Dave Fields. Polesitter, Fields, from Underhill, had led from the start of the race.

A caution on the 16th circuit for a multi-car melee on the front stretch tightened up the field and put Fields and Martin on the front row for the restart. The veteran was not able to hold off the determined rookie at the drop of the green. One lap later Fields was forced to pit his car with mechanical problems. Last year’s top freshman driver in the Street Stocks, Steve Quenneville of Barre, inherited the runner-up spot and chased Martin to the end. Hyde Park's, Kyle Tatro was third and although he finished ahead of point leader Eric Badore, who was sixth, he did not gain enough points t regain the advantage. Completing the top five were Dave Allen from N. Troy and rookie racer, David Greenslit from Watisfield.

Jayme Lee joined the ranks of the repeat winners in 2006 with his PowerShift Warrior win in Sunday’s Bond Auto 20-lap dash. The victory capped a successful weekend for the Montpelier, racer following a runner-up finish in a 25-lap main event for the division on Saturday.

Scott Weston from Barre finished second while Waterbury Center driver, Frank Sanborn was third. Rounding out the top five were Kevin Utton from Worcester, and Newport’s Ryan Heuser.

Thunder Road’s 2006 season wraps up with the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl, September 30/October 1.
The NAPA Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stock and PowerShift Warrior Champions will be crowned on Sunday, Oct 1.

PHOTO 1: First win for Ray Stearns in 2006!

PHOTO 2: Tiger Sportsman top 3.

PHOTO 3: Allen Lumber Street Stock driver Mike Martin celebrates in victory lane.

PHOTO 4: Jamie Lee winner of the Power Shift Warrior feature on Sunday.