Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Lenny’s “Hottest Shoe” Thunder Road Winners Announced

Six stock car drivers from Barre’s Thunder Road will enjoy post-season bonuses from Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel as part of the 2008 “Hot Shoe Challenge.”  American-Canadian Tour Late Model driver Cris Michaud posted a season-high four Thunder Road wins to become the Lenny’s “Hottest Shoe” for his division, while veteran Joey Laquerre and young gun Brendan Moodie will share the prize for the NAPA Tiger Sportsman class.  Veteran race Tommy “Thunder” Smith, sophomore competitor Vern Woodard, and rookie Bunker Hodgdon will split the Allen Lumber Street Stock award.

Michaud, of Northfield, took a $150 Lenny’s “Hot Shoe Challenge” bonus after his first Late Model victory of the season on Sanel Parts Plus Night on June 19, then grabbed the Lenny’s “Double Dip” $75 bonus a week later for his CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 win.  Win number three came at the Time Argus Mid-Season Championship in July, followed by a VT ACE Hardware Dealers win in August.  The Lenny’s “Hottest Shoe” award for Michaud’s four total victories will be $500.

Michaud was joined as a winner of the Lenny’s “Hot Shoe Challenge” throughout the season by Scott Payea, John Donahue, Trampas Demers, Chip Grenier, Robbie Crouch, Mike Bailey, Jamie Fisher, Dave Whitcomb, Brad Leighton, Patrick Laperle Thunder Road Rookie of the Year Matt White.

Curley and Dragon Headed to New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame

Short track stock car racing promoter Tom Curley and driver Bobby Dragon have been nominated to the New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Fame Class of 2009.  Curley is President of the American-Canadian Tour sanctioning body and Co-Owner/Promoter of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT; Dragon is a multi-time champion driver, and is still active in a storied career that began over 40 years ago.

Originally of Maine and now living in Barre, VT, Curley got his start in racing as a competitor, racing in the original Flying Tiger division at Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT in 1965 before a brief stint in the open-wheel Modified ranks.  He became involved in the promotional and operational side of stock car racing at Catamount in 1978, working alongside television and radio broadcaster and Catamount Stadium and Thunder Road Founder Ken Squier, a 2002 NEAR Hall of Fame inductee.

Curley eventually partnered with Squier at Catamount Stadium, and created the NASCAR North Tour in 1979, where he earned a reputation as a fiery, controversial promoter.  The duo also resurrected the shuttered Thunder Road track in nearby Barre in 1982.  In January 1986, Curley broke away from NASCAR to form his own American-Canadian Tour, which has been an innovative and industry-leading Late Model touring organization since, and in 1987 joined with Rex Robbins of the American Speed Association (ASA) and Bob Harmon of All-Pro to form the Stock Car Connection.

White, Therrien, MacAskill Take Thunder Road Rookie Titles

A trio of freshman stock car drivers have been named the 2008 Rookies of the Year at Barre’s Thunder Road, each having bested  talent-rich fields of first-year racers in their respective divisions.  Matt White, Bobby Therrien, and Mike MacAskill will officially accept their awards at the annual Thunder Road Banquet of Champions during the winter off-season.

Matt White

 White, 34, of Northfield, drove his White’s Heating, Inc./Bethel Central Market #42VT Chevrolet Monte Carlo to two 50-lap main event victories at Thunder Road during his first year in the premier American-Canadian Tour Late Model division, and narrowly defeated Middlebury driver Tony Andrews for the freshman crown.   White’s wins came on Charter Communications Night in July and Casella Waste Management Night in August.

White and Andrews swapped the rookie point lead on numerous occasions before White was able to take over for good following his second win and take a six-point margin of victory, 144-138.  Nick Sweet of Barre, Tyler Cahoon of St. Johnsbury, and Spencer MacPherson of Carleton Place, ON rounded out the top five rookie drivers.  White joins his father, Wayne, as a Thunder Road Rookie of the Year; Wayne White was winner of the 1984 prize in the Flying Tiger division.