Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Coburn, LaFleche, Foster Take Merchants Bank Wins at Thunder Road

Hometown stock car drivers swept the top three finishing positions in the 30-lap NAPA Tiger Sportsman feature on Merchants Bank Opening Day at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road.  Scott Coburn scored his fourth career win in a slugfest event.  Coburn’s VT Shifter Karts/M&M Beverage #1 Chevrolet ran from the pole starting position for the win.  Barre’s Shawn Sicard and David Finck completed the podium finishers.

Tom Therrien of Hinesburg and Pete Ainsworth of Middlesex finished fourth and fifth, respectively.  Brendan Moodie, Derrick O’Donnell, Tony Rossi, Doug Crowningshield, and Craig Bushey were rest of the unofficial top ten.

Dave LaFleche of Graniteville scored his first career Allen Lumber Street Stock victory with a final-corner pass of Hardwick’s “Super” Joe Fecteau.  Tim Campbell of West Topsham and Josh LaCourse of Barre completed the unofficial top five.


Rookie ACT Late Model Tour Team Wins Thunder Road Pit Stop Contest

Over 100 teams brave weather for Saturday car show, Merchants Bank 150 runs Sunday

A rookie American-Canadian Tour Late Model stock car pit crew defeated the reigning ACT championship team to win Saturday’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Pit Stop Contest in downtown Barre City, VT, part of the 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 and Car Show weekend.  The STJAuto.com/Fortier’s Community Care Home #88 team, led by Crew Chief Shayne Sweet, completed a two-tire change, washed the windshield, and simulated a fuel refill in 25.44 seconds to take the victory over the seven-time ACT Champion Ehler’s RV/RPM Racing Engines #32 team.

Pitting a race-ready Late Model show car owned by veteran Joey Laquerre, the seven-man “over the wall” crews were each tested by Mother Nature as a light mist fell during the competition.  The winning crew members were jackman Brandon Surprenant, tire changers Craig Deyo and Keith Fortier, tire carriers Anthony Sweet and Nathan Sweet, gasman Normand Fortier, and windshield cleaner Aaron Holden.

Their driver, ACT rookie and 2007 Thunder Road NAPA Tiger Sportsman Champion Nick Sweet of Barre, was proud of his team.  “I’ll take credit for that win,” he joked.  “As many mistakes as I’ve made learning how to drive these cars this year, those guys have learned how to fix things in a hurry.  They did a great job.”


Top ACT Contenders Flock to Thunder Road’s Merchants Bank 150

The top Late Model stock car racers in the northeastern U.S. and Canada will be at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl for this weekend’s 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 (Sat./Sun., May 3/4), the third round of the 2008 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Championship Series.  Seven-time and defending ACT Late Model Tour Champion Jean-Paul Cyr and his cross-town Milton, VT neighbors, Scott Payea and Scott Dragon, have combined to win five of the previous nine Merchants Bank 150s.

Cyr’s victories came in 2002, ’04, and ’06.  Payea earned his first ACT win at the event last year, while Dragon’s win came in 2003.  After two events this season, Payea and Cyr rank seventh and eighth in ACT point standings, respectively, while Dragon sits tied for 10th overall with New Gloucester, ME’s Ron Henry.

Dragon sees the Merchants Bank 150 as not only a big event to win, but also a chance to set his quest for a championship on the right path.