Thunder Road SpeedBowl
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’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.

Thunder Road, Bond Auto to Present Click It Or Ticket “Fan Car”

Race fans to drive Power Shift Warrior at Barre, VT track

Stock car racing fans will get a chance to drive a race car at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl this season as the result of an innovative new partnership with the Vermont Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “Click It Or Ticket” campaign and Bond Auto Parts.  Fans who sign up at their local Bond Auto store will be randomly selected to compete in a Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior division car, beginning with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic doubleheader on Sunday, May 25.

The race car, a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier, will debut at Thunder Road’s 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 season opener on Sunday, May 4 with a surprise celebrity guest driver.  It will carry signage from Click It Or Ticket and Bond Auto throughout the year, in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers of not wearing safety belts on public roads.

The new program will include Click It Or Ticket presentations at three Vermont high schools in hopes of educating highway drivers young and old.  The first presentation will be Tuesday, May 6 at North Country Union High School in Newport, VT.  Two-time Thunder Road Champion Reno Gervais of Island Pond, VT will be on hand, along with a video presentation featuring crash footage from past Thunder Road events, and will be speaking about the similarities between race track and highway safety.