Thunder Road SpeedBowl
A Fan's Perspective on the Milk Bowl

A Fan’s Perspective:


50th Milk Bowl: More Than a Race


The 50th Milk Bowl at Thunder Road in Barre, VT on Saturday and Sunday, September 29-30 will be the biggest stock car race and certainly one of the biggest sporting events ever in the state of Vermont. But it will be more than a stock car race; it will be a celebration.


The 50th Milk Bowl will be a celebration of the traditions and history that have not only built the Milk Bowl into one of the biggest and toughest stock car racing events in the nation, but also Thunder Road into the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.” 


The previous 49 Milk Bowl Champions will be the main focus as the weekend builds with Champion’s dinners, bonfires, fireworks, tent dances, bands and more. Thunder Road legends Harold “Hardluck” Hanaford, Johnny Gammell, Bobby and Beaver Dragon, Dave Dion, Jean-Paul Cabana, Robbie Crouch and more will be honored for their Milk Bowl wins.

The weekend will build from qualifying, with probably 60 cars fighting for one of 30 starting spots in the Milk Bowl first segment, and continue through each segment of the Milk Bowl (50 laps in the first, 75 each in the second and third). Heading into the final 75 circuits of the weekend, only a handful of competitors will be left with a chance at the $10,000 payday. Watching them, whether 2, 3, or more contenders in the final segment, is truly edge-of-your-seat racing.


As the laps wind down and the winner comes into view, the previous 49 champions will fade into the background. Only one driver will survive the paint swapping, three-wide, gloves-off-brawl that is the third segment of the Milk Bowl. Once the dust settles, the focus will turn to the 50th Milk Bowl Champion locking lips with a Vermont beauty queen, raising the milk can over his head, chugging a half gallon of milk and taking his place among the greats of Thunder Road. 


The thousands of competitors that have tackled the Barre highbanks, including the 49 that have conquered them, will have paved the way for one driver to be crowned the 50th People’s United Bank Champion and carve his name into the granite monument and the history books. 


Editor’s Note: Booth Bros./HP Hood qualifying begins Saturday, September 29, while Sunday, September 30 will feature over 400 laps of ACT Late Model action in the 50th People’s United Bank Milk Bowl. Post time both days begins at 1:00pm. Advanced sale adult tickets are on sale at the Thunder Road office 802-244-6963, and at select Northern Vermont Bond Auto Part stores. Camping opens at 4:00pm on Thursday, September 27.