Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Pit Notes from the Merchants Bank 150

Pit Notes from the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road 5/2/09

  • The 50th Anniversary season at Thunder Road “The Nation’s Site of Excitement” kicks off this weekend with the 11th running of the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 3rd.
  • The weekend started with the Annual opening day car show in downtown Barre. Main Street was packed with 117 cars from Thunder Road’s four divisions. It was a beautiful day for the thousands of fans that came out to see the cars up close and personal.
  • The fans also got to witness the always-entertaining Pit Stop Contest. Cris Michaud’s crew took home the victory over the crews of Eric Williams, Craig Bushey, Jason Corliss and Travis Hull as well as a crew from Barre City.
  • A total of 39 ACT Tour Late Models showed up to take advantage of Saturday’s practice session, which totaled over two hours. More cars are expected to show up tomorrow and should push the total cars attempting to qualify for the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150 over 40.
  • Jean-Paul Cyr looked very comfortable in his new ride for 2009. Cyr is planning on a full season at Thunder Road in an attempt to capture the “King of the Road” title in the 50th Anniversary season.
  • Scott Payea also looked fast and should be strong as he tries for a third straight Merchants Bank 150 victory. He is running the full ACT Tour again this second and will be looking to take the title after a tough second place finish last year.
  • “King of the Road” Eric Williams also looked to be a contender, as he will try for his first ever Merchants Bank 150 win.
  • Randy Potter of Groveton, NH missed some valuable practice time this afternoon as he had trouble with warped brake rotors. Competing car owner Pete Duto gets the sportsmanship award for the day as he drove to his shop to pick up new rotors for Potter. Potter completed repairs and was able to practice again.
  • Series ACT Castrol regular Daniel Descoste from Quebec went for a wild ride of the top of turns three and four. It appeared he got too high entering turn three before losing control. His crew says there was no serious damage and he should be ready to go tomorrow.
  • The NAPA Tiger Sportsman looked real sharp during their practice time. They also had a healthy field of cars as over 30 attended the car show and practice. Scott Coburn took home the opening day victory last season and will look to make it back to back this year.
  • The Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Junkyard Warriors practiced together once again. They look like they are ready to really mix it up together this season as they took it three wide a number of times in practice.
  • Other than that, only a few accidents with minor damage occurred throughout the whole day and the cars are ready for competition tomorrow.
  • The weather forecast looks great for the Merchants Bank 150. Practice will begin at 10:50 p.m., Class Day activities will be at 1 p.m. and post time is set for 1:30 p.m.

Merchants Bank 150 Schedule of Events


Subject to


Saturday, May 2, 2009 
8:00 - 11:00        Advance pit registration at CAR SHOW
8:00 - Noon        1st round tire(4) for car show entrants only
                      (car must be at car show and hauler in pits)
Noon             Pit Registration
                              Balance 1st round tires (4)
           (car must be in pits-tires will be based on 1st in pits)
                      2nd round tire by draw ALL (2) tires
Noon                       Safety inspection SS/PSW
12:30 - 12:50    NAPA Tiger Sportsman CAR SHOW
12:50 - 1:10      LATE MODEL CAR SHOW
1:10 - 1:30        Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior CAR SHOW
1:30 - 2:00        NAPA Tiger Sportsmen
2:00 - 2:30        LATE MODEL
2:30 - 2:50        Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior 
2:50 - 3:20        NAPA Tiger Sportsman
3:20 - 3:40        LATE MODEL
3:40 - 4:00        Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior 
4:00 - 4:20        NAPA Tiger Sportsman
4:20 - 4:50        LATE MODEL
4:50 - 5:05        Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior FINAL
5:05 - 5:25        NAPA Tiger Sportsmen FINAL
5:30 - 6:00        LATE MODEL FINAL
                           CLOSE TRACK
 SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2009
8:00         Pit Gates Open
                 Tire Compound Open
8:30         Merchants Bank 150 Inspection
10:00      Drivers Meeting
10:50                    Past Champions Practice (25,37,11,75,14,91,6,18,44,7)
11:00 - 11:15      Allen Lumber SS/Power Shift Warrior
11:15 - 11:45      LATE MODEL
11:45 - 12:05      NAPA Tiger Sportsman FINAL
12:05 - 12:35      LATE MODEL FINAL
12:35 - 12:50      Allen Lumber SS/Power Shift Warrior FINAL
                                        CLOSE TRACK
 1:00                    CLASS DAY ACTIVITIES
 1:30                    ACT HEATS (15 laps)
                             Sportsman Heats (12 laps)
                             SS/PSW Heats (10 laps)
                             ACT Consi (s) TBA
                             Sportsmen Consi (12 laps)
                             SS/PSW Main Event (25 laps)
                                         5 Minute Mini Intermission
                             ACT Last Chance TBA
                            Sportsman “B” Feature TBA
                            SS/PSW ‘Reserve’ Feature (25 laps)
                            Grid 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150
                                           Merchants Bank 150
                                                   Victory Lane
                            Sportsman Feature (35 laps)

50th Anniversary Season
Unidilla, Georgia’s Sprint Cup Series aspiring stock car driver, David Ragan, will race at Thunder Road Thursday August 27th in the final evening program of its 50th season.
“We wanted superstars from our past, present, and future to highlight our 50th anniversary activities,” said track co-owner Tom Curley. With 82-time Cup winner and Daytona 500 Champion Bobby Allison appearing on Thursday, June 18th and one of the very best NASCAR stars of today, Tony Stewart, coming to race the CARQUEST Vt Governor’s Cup on June 25th, we wanted a racer who we believe is ready for future stardom on NASCAR’s top level of racing. David Ragan is the real deal,” concluded Curley.