Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Double Features Pivotal for Williams in Thunder Road Late Model Championship

Eric Williams has a lot on the line at Thursday’s Kinney Drugs stock car event at Thunder Road in Barre.  Williams has a narrow lead in the Late Model division’s “King of the Road” championship chase, and is chasing an elusive first title after more than a decade in the headline division; he finished second in points in 1999 and 2002, and third in 1996 and 2003.

Only two more championship race dates remain on the regular season schedule, but with a twist – the Kinney Drugs event will see the Late Model division race two 50-lap features, as the Calkins Portables/WDEV Radio feature, rained out on July 31, is made up in addition to the regular card.

“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,” said Williams.  “I just like to run good, and the fans pay good money to watch me and (second-place driver) Cris Michaud and everyone else race hard.  If we’re putting on a show, that’s all that matters.”

Sicard Inherits Casella 100 Win at Thunder Road

Shawn Sicard of Barre won the Casella Waste Management Tiger Sportsman 100 stock car race at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday night, after the car of apparent first-place finisher Pete Ainsworth of Middlesex failed post-race technical inspection.  Sicard started 21st on the 30-car grid, and made a quick last-lap maneuver underneath fellow Barre driver Lance Allen while running with lapped traffic to take second place on the race track.  Sicard and Dave Finck, another Barre native, had traded the third position several times in the closing laps before the move under Allen.

Sicard’s victory was the second of his NAPA Tiger Sportsman career.  Allen, who like Sicard is in his second season in the division, held on for second place.  Finck matched a season-best effort in third.  Eighteen year-old Derrick O’Donnell of Bradford finished fourth over unofficial point leader Craig Bushey of Cambridge.  Barre rookie Cody Blake finished sixth ahead of North Middlesex driver Chris Gendreau, who was making his first start of the year.  Craftsbury’s Joel Hodgdon, veteran Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier, and Mark Barnier of Essex Junction completed the revised top ten in order, unofficially.

Rookie Matt White of Northfield earned his second victory of the year in the Late Model division.  White drove from ninth starting position, avoided a lap 7 wreck that eliminated the top three runners, and then won a see-saw battle with Brooks Clark for the lead in the middle stages of the 50-lap race.  After Clark spun on lap 27 and front-runner John Donahue had a flat tire on lap 30, a razor-close four-car battle developed behind White.

Michaud Takes Fourth Thunder Road Win

Late Model stock car driver Cris Michaud of Northfield claimed his fourth victory of the season at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday night, winning the 50-lap Vermont ACE Hardware Dealers Trophy Dash.  Michaud started 15th on the 26-car grid, and sliced his way through the field during the early laps.  Once he reached the outside lane, he was able to pass leader Brooks Clark on lap 34 and cruise to the win.

Clark, of Fayston, had a career night as he ran second for much of the remainder of the event.  Defending track champion Dave Pembroke and current point leader Eric Williams tried for several laps to get past Clark, and were only able to with four laps left.  Pembroke, of Middlesex, and Hyde Park’s Williams finished second and third, respectively, with Clark coming home fourth, his career best result.

Former champion Jamie Fisher of Shelburne was fifth.  Fisher was the race’s only other leader, nosing in front of Clark on laps 21 and 22.  Chip Grenier, Joey Becker, American-Canadian Tour point leader Scott Payea, Robbie Crouch, and Gary Caron completed the unofficial top ten in order.  Williams now leads Michaud by 18 points (665-647) unofficially with three championship events remaining.  Pembroke and Phil Scott are tied in third at 618 points.