Contributed by: ACT Staff
The 50th Anniversary stock car racing season schedule has been released for 2009 for Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl. Nineteen events will be held during the summer-long celebration at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement,” beginning with the traditional Merchants Bank 150 for the American-Canadian Tour Championship Late Models on Sunday, May 3. The Merchants Bank 150 will raise the curtain on Thunder Road racing for the 11th straight year.
The ACT Late Model Tour will be back in the second-annual “Twin 100” bill with the open-wheel True Value Modified Racing Series on Sunday, May 24 with the 47th running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. John Donahue of Graniteville won the ACT portion of the event in 2008, while multi-time champion Kirk Alexander of West Swanzey, NH became the first Modified driver to win at Thunder Road since 1965.
Thunder Road’s 50th Thursday night season begins on June 11 at 6:30pm with Ferguson Waterworks Night. Thursday, June 25 will see the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 for the Late Model division, where the winner will earn a guaranteed starting position in September’s first-ever ACT Invitational at the 1-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH.
July begins with the Pepsi Independence Day Fireworks celebration on Thursday, July 2, followed on Sunday, July 5 with the Thunder Road 50th Anniversary Celebration presented by Casella Waste Management at 5:00pm. The 50th Annual Times Argus Mid-Season Championships will be Thursday, July 16 with double championship points on the line.
The “People’s Race,” the 25th Annual M&M Beverage Enduro – increased to 250 laps, with a $5,000 winner’s purse – for nearly 100 amateur racers driving virtually street-legal cars, will take place on Sunday, August 2, along with special events for the Street Stock and Warrior divisions. A special 50th Anniversary Finale Celebration – and the crowning of the 50th “King of the Road” Track Champion – is scheduled to close out the regular season on Thursday, August 27.
Bond Auto Parts will host the 31st Labor Day Classic 200 in the ACT Late Model Tour’s final appearance of the season on Sunday, September 6. The Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 is the longest Late Model event on the Thunder Road schedule, and has proven to be one of the most exciting races of the year. Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, NH survived two flights off the top of the Turn 2 embankment to win the race in 2008 over Cris Michaud of Northfield, VT and 2008 “King of the Road” Eric Williams of Hyde Park, VT.
Thunder Road’s 50th Anniversary season draws to a close with one of the most prestigious stock car events in the country, the 46th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl. Booth Brothers Dairy and H.P. Hood present Qualifying Day on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 1:30pm, while Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl Sunday (Sept. 27) begins with the last-chance qualifying race at 1:30pm, followed by opening ceremonies for the race. The Milk Bowl is a three-segment, cumulatively scored event with full field inversions between segments and a special three-segment point system to determine the race winner. And, in one of the most unique traditions in motorsports, the winner gets to kiss the beauty queen – a Vermont dairy cow!
Season passes are now available at the Thunder Road office in Waterbury, VT, just in time for the holidays. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com.