Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Whitcomb Wins Race, Williams Edges Scott for King of the Road

Veteran stock car driver Dave Whitcomb of Essex Junction earned his 20th career Late Model victory at Barre’s Thunder Road in the NAPA Auto Parts/Make-A-Wish 50-lap event on Thursday night.  Whitcomb charged around David Chagnon of Colchester to take the lead on lap 40, then sped to the win.  Jamie Fisher of Shelburne followed Whitcomb around Chagnon two laps later to finish in second place.  Chagnon, who set a career-high mark in third place one week ago, equaled his best finish by completing the podium.

The NAPA/Make-A-Wish feature was the final 2008 “King of the Road” championship event for the Late Model division.  Three drivers, leader Eric Williams of Hyde Park, and tied-for-second drivers Cris Michaud of Northfield and Phil Scott of Montpelier entered the night just 16 points apart for the title.

Scott did his part by finishing second in his qualifying heat race to transfer into the bonus-points Semi-Feature, then finished second again.  His total gain was seven points on Williams.  Entering the NAPA/Make-A-Wish 50, Williams led Scott by nine points and Michaud by 17.  All three drivers, after battling in heavy traffic, made their way into the top ten.  Williams spun just after the yellow flag was displayed on lap 32, but was given his running position back by race control as he was not part of the original incident that caused the caution period.

Star-Studded Field Ready for Thunder Road Bond Auto Labor Day Classic

A huge cast of Late Model stock car racing stars will flock to Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, August 31 for the 30th running of the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200.  The $5,000-to-win event is the tenth of 12 races for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT), and will feature the region’s top short track talent, as many

Scott Payea

as 50 or more championship-caliber drivers.

ACT Late Model Tour point leader Scott Payea of Milton, VT and second-place Patrick Laperle of Montréal will continue a heated battle for the ACT championship.  Each is a multi-time winner at Thunder Road, and the pair fought for a recent victory at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park before late contact sent both drivers to the rear of the field.  Payea, who won the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road in May, and Laperle, the 2007 Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl winner, enter the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 separated by 51 points (671-620).

Seven-time and defending ACT champion Jean-Paul Cyr, also from Milton, VT, sits just seven points behind Laperle in third place.  Brent Dragon, Payea and Cyr’s Milton, VT neighbor, is in a tight fourth-place battle with defending Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 winner John Donahue of Graniteville, VT, and New Hampshire drivers Randy Potter of Groveton and young Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk of Hudson.  The four drivers are only 11 points apart.  Turner, ME’s Glen Luce, Barre, VT rookie Nick Sweet, and Scott Dragon of Milton, VT complete the top ten in order.

Three-Man “King of the Road” Battle Concludes Thursday at Thunder Road

Three Vermont Late Model stock car drivers will slug it out for the 2008 “King of the Road” Track Championship at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday night, as NAPA Auto Parts and Make-A-Wish present the final regular weekly event of the season at 6:30pm.  Eric Williams of Hyde Park holds a narrow 16-point lead over two three-time champions, Cris Michaud of Northfield and Montpelier’s Phil Scott, who are deadlocked in a second-place tie entering the final 50-lap race.

“I don’t lay awake at night thinking about the championship, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win it,” says Williams.

“We’re racing for the win on Thursday; I think that’s the only way any of us will win the title,” said Michaud.

“I’m in a good position,” says Scott.  “There’s no pressure on me.”