Thursday, July 12 2007 @ 10:49 PM EDT
Contributed by: ACT Staff
Stock car racer Eric Williams of Hyde Park became the first driver in two decades to successfully defend a victory in the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup Late Model 100 at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday night. Williams started on the pole position of the 26-car field after earning a “+3” in plus/minus handicap heat race qualifying, but by no means eased into the win.
CARQUEST VT Governor's Cup winner Eric Williams (L) with Hon. James Douglas, R-VT
After receiving the command to fire engines from Vermont’s Governor, the Honorable James Douglas (Rep.), Williams traded the lead in the main event with Dwayne Lanphear, Cris Michaud, and unofficial point leader Dave Pembroke a total of ten times. Williams took the lead from Pembroke on the inside lane on lap 59 and kept it for just four laps before Pembroke nosed ahead of lap 64. Williams held on to the low groove, and took over for good one lap later.
Michaud passed Pembroke for the runner-up position on the race’s sixth and final restart on lap 67, and made a late bid for the lead with two laps remaining, but settled for second behind Williams. Pembroke finished third, just ahead of rookie Chip Grenier of Northfield and Middlesex driver Shawn Fleury.
Jamie Fisher, Rich Lowrey, Phil Scott, Trampas Demers, and Pete Fecteau completed the unofficial Top 10 in order. With his back-to-back wins in the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 Williams becomes the first driver since Tampa, FL ace Robbie Crouch in 1986-87 to accomplish the feat.