Thunder Road SpeedBowl
The Green Mountain State of Vermont is among the minority in the Union to hold political elections every two years. The bi-annual balloting occurs in even years and will again take place this year, in 2006.

Thunder Road Intíl Speedbowl, the high banked, quarter-mile paved stock car racing oval in Barre, VT annually hosts the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl stock car race. This year will be no different as the 43rd edition is slated for Sat, Sept 30 and Sun, Oct 1. Many of the regions top Late Model drivers will vie for the $10,000 winnerís purse. But thatís not the only title thatís on the line.

As it does in every political year, the Milk Bowl will have a special added attraction Ė a Cow Chip Throwing Contest, or as itís also known locally, the Political Poop Pitch.

(PHOTO: Some of the 2004 Political Pitch participants included Gov. James Douglas, Rep Bernie Sanders and former winner, Jeb Spaulding, among others)

For the past several weeks, a few select dairy farmers from across the state have been sent out on top secret missions by track management to clandestinely scour their fields for the perfect cow flops. While the location and plant of manufacture are not critical, according to the rules of the event, stringent specifications must be met for the pasture paddies to be accepted into the Sunday, October 1 competition. The cow chips canít be too large or too small, too wet or too dry. According to one of the farmers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the recent spell of sunny, 80ļ weather should help with the final curing of his offerings for the competition.

In the recent past, most of the top candidates for various political offices across the state have made it a point to campaign, er, participate in the Political Poop Pitch. This yearís event should be no different with several high profile races on the ballots.

The 34th New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl kicks off on Saturday, Sept 30, with Booth Brothers/H.P. Hood Qualifying Day, which includes a $1,000 bonus for the driver who sets fast time of the day and earns Sundayís Milk Bowl pole starting position. The balance of the competitors will attempt to qualify through one of Saturdayís three 50-lap qualifiers. For those still looking for a starting spot, Sundayís ďBĒ Feature will be their last chance at making the 30-car starting field. Action begins at 1:00 pm both days.

Joining the ACT Late Models will be Thunder Roadís own NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Power Shift Warrior classes. The local divisions will also crown their 2006 champions at the event.

(PHOTO: Even though VT State Senator, Phil Scott has won the Milk Bowl twice in his lengthy stock car racing career (1997, 2000), he has never been very successful in the Chip Toss. He's seen here showing his form in the 2002 contest.)