Thunder Road SpeedBowl
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.

10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 Opens 49th Thunder Road Season

The 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the 49th season of stock car racing at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement,” Barre’s Thunder Road, this weekend, Sat./Sun., May 3/4.  The Merchants Bank 150 is the third round for the American-Canadian Tour Championship Late Models, and raises the curtain for Thunder Road’s weekly NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior divisions.

Festivities begin on Saturday morning in Barre City with the annual Merchants Bank Car Show at 9:00 am.  Racing machines from all four classes will line Main Street for judging in the car show.  A pit stop contest featuring the pit crews of Thunder Road’s four defending champion drivers is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am, followed by a parade to the race track at 12:00 noon.  Practice will be held at the track starting at 1:00 pm.

Sunday kicks off with the traditional Champions Practice at 11:00 am, featuring all past Thunder Road Late Model Track Champions.  The popular “Class Day” ceremonies begin at 1:00 pm, with as many as 120 race cars and drivers on display in the Thunder Road infield.  Following the presentation of trophies to Saturday’s car show winners, green flag racing action begins at 1:30 pm.