Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Curley and Dragon Headed to New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame

Short track stock car racing promoter Tom Curley and driver Bobby Dragon have been nominated to the New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Fame Class of 2009.  Curley is President of the American-Canadian Tour sanctioning body and Co-Owner/Promoter of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT; Dragon is a multi-time champion driver, and is still active in a storied career that began over 40 years ago.

Originally of Maine and now living in Barre, VT, Curley got his start in racing as a competitor, racing in the original Flying Tiger division at Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT in 1965 before a brief stint in the open-wheel Modified ranks.  He became involved in the promotional and operational side of stock car racing at Catamount in 1978, working alongside television and radio broadcaster and Catamount Stadium and Thunder Road Founder Ken Squier, a 2002 NEAR Hall of Fame inductee.

Curley eventually partnered with Squier at Catamount Stadium, and created the NASCAR North Tour in 1979, where he earned a reputation as a fiery, controversial promoter.  The duo also resurrected the shuttered Thunder Road track in nearby Barre in 1982.  In January 1986, Curley broke away from NASCAR to form his own American-Canadian Tour, which has been an innovative and industry-leading Late Model touring organization since, and in 1987 joined with Rex Robbins of the American Speed Association (ASA) and Bob Harmon of All-Pro to form the Stock Car Connection.

White, Therrien, MacAskill Take Thunder Road Rookie Titles

A trio of freshman stock car drivers have been named the 2008 Rookies of the Year at Barre’s Thunder Road, each having bested  talent-rich fields of first-year racers in their respective divisions.  Matt White, Bobby Therrien, and Mike MacAskill will officially accept their awards at the annual Thunder Road Banquet of Champions during the winter off-season.

Matt White

 White, 34, of Northfield, drove his White’s Heating, Inc./Bethel Central Market #42VT Chevrolet Monte Carlo to two 50-lap main event victories at Thunder Road during his first year in the premier American-Canadian Tour Late Model division, and narrowly defeated Middlebury driver Tony Andrews for the freshman crown.   White’s wins came on Charter Communications Night in July and Casella Waste Management Night in August.

White and Andrews swapped the rookie point lead on numerous occasions before White was able to take over for good following his second win and take a six-point margin of victory, 144-138.  Nick Sweet of Barre, Tyler Cahoon of St. Johnsbury, and Spencer MacPherson of Carleton Place, ON rounded out the top five rookie drivers.  White joins his father, Wayne, as a Thunder Road Rookie of the Year; Wayne White was winner of the 1984 prize in the Flying Tiger division.

Bushey and Corliss Take Thunder Road Titles

Laperle Wins Dramatic Milk Bowl Finale

Stock car drivers Craig Bushey and Jason Corliss celebrated their first track championships at Barre’s Thunder Road on Sunday, as part of the 45th Annual Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl event.  Bushey, of Cambridge, earned the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division title by just 13 points over Joey Laquerre, while Plainfield racer Corliss clinched the Allen Lumber Street Stock championship by an even-narrower 1 point over Lloyd Blakely.

Bushey’s 14th-place finish in the 30-lap Chittenden Bank finale was enough to secure the Sportsman crown, despite Laquerre’s strong fifth-place run.  Unofficially, the margin of victory was 978-965 points.

Brendan Moodie of North Wolcott took his second victory of the season, with Bradford’s Derrick O’Donnell second and Thetford Center rookie Dan Eastman third.  Ricky Roberts of Websterville finished fourth ahead of Laquerre.  Rookie Cody Blake finished sixth, unofficially, with Joel Hodgdon, Alex Perkins, Eric Badore, and rookie Chris Lacey completing the top ten finishers in order.