Thunder Road SpeedBowl
PEMBROKE HOLDS HOAR OFF FOR MEKKELSEN RV MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC WIN

Dave Pembroke in victory lane

Stock car racer Dave Pembroke on Montpelier held off long-time nemesis Cris Michaud of Williamstown and American-Canadian Tour (ACT) invader Brian Hoar of Williston for a thrilling victory in the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic at Barre’s Thunder Road on Monday afternoon.  Pembroke, who started on the pole position for the 45th running of the 100-lap holiday race, led the first 67 laps before Michaud made a successful outside lane bid for the lead.

The race’s final restart on lap 69 left the pair lined up in a reverse situation, and Pembroke found the outside lane to his liking for the first time in the event.  Michaud led for 21 laps with Pembroke only inches behind at times, before Pembroke grabbed the lead back for good on lap 90.  Just after Pembroke took over, Hoar made an outside lane pass of Michaud to take over second place.  A five-time ACT Late Model Tour champion, Hoar drew even with Pembroke while the pair negotiated lapped traffic in the final circuits.  After momentarily losing the top spot on the backstretch, Pembroke used a lapped car to complete a “pick” move with two laps remaining, and held

Hoar off by a car length for the victory.

“I thought it was going to be easy starting on the pole,” said an excited Pembroke in victory lane, “but it was anything but that.  I have to thank Cris and Brian for running me so cleanly, it was a lot of fun out there.  I was worried about Brian during the last couple of laps, but I knew that if I kept my car under control I could use traffic the way I needed to in order to get the win.”


MEKKELSEN RV MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC PAST CHAMPIONS
Year Driver Hometown Division/Series
1961 Roy "Pappy" Forsythe Keene, NH Sportsman Coupe
1962 Paul Martel Plymouth, NH Sportsman Coupe
1963 Russ Ingerson North Haverhill, NH Sportsman Coupe
1964 Ronnie Marvin Bethlehem, NH Sportsman Coupe
1965 Jean-Paul Cabana Sherrington, QC Modified
1966 Larry Demar Hardwick, VT Flying Tiger
1967 Russ Ingerson North Haverhill, NH Flying Tiger
1968 Ron Barcomb Winooski, VT Flying Tiger
1969 Bobby Dragon Milton, VT Flying Tiger
1970 Jimmy Gates Hardwick, VT Limited Sportsman
1971 George Horne St. Johnsbury, VT Late Model Sportsman
1972 Jean-Paul Cabana Sherrington, QC Late Model Sportsman
1973 Jean-Paul Cabana Sherrington, QC Late Model Sportsman
1974 Joey Kourafas Sharon, MA Late Model Sportsman
1975 Dave Dion Hudson, NH Late Model Sportsman
1976 Dave Dion Hudson, NH Late Model Sportsman
1977 Dave Dion Hudson, NH Late Model Sportsman
1978 Dave Dion Hudson, NH Late Model Sportsman
1979 TRACK CLOSED NO EVENT HELD THIS YEAR
1980 Mike Barry Bolton, VT NASCAR North Tour
1981 TRACK CLOSED NO EVENT HELD THIS YEAR
1982 Dave Dion Hudson, NH NASCAR North Tour
1983 Robbie Crouch Tampa, FL NASCAR North Tour
1984 Robbie Crouch Tampa, FL NASCAR North Tour
1985 Joey Kourafas Sharon, MA NASCAR North Tour
1986 Robbie Crouch Tampa, FL ACT Pro Stock Tour
1987 Kevin Lepage Shelburne, VT ACT Pro Stock Tour
1988 Jean-Paul Cabana Sherrington, QC ACT Pro Stock Tour
1989 Dave Dion Hudson, NH ACT Pro Stock Tour
1990 Dave Dion Hudson, NH ACT Pro Stock Tour
1991 Dave Dion Hudson, NH ACT Pro Stock Tour
1992 Dave Dion Hudson, NH ACT Pro Stock Tour
1993 Mike Weeden Haverhill, MA ACT Pro Stock Tour
1994 Derek Lynch Norwood, ON ACT Pro Stock Tour
1995 Ralph Nason Unity, ME ACT Pro Stock Tour
1996 Kip Stockwell Braintree, VT ACT Late Model Tour
1997 Chuck Beede Williamstown, VT ACT Late Model Tour
1998 Greg "Burger" Blake East Barre, VT ACT Late Model Tour
1999 Phil Scott Middlesex, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2000 Pat Corbett Williamstown, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2001 Cris Michaud Williamstown, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2002 Joey Laquerre East Montpelier, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2003 Pete Fecteau Morrisville, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2004 Joey Becker Jeffersonville, VT ACT Late Model Tour
2005 Trampas Demers South Burlington, VT Thunder Road Late Model
2006 Brent Dragon Milton, VT Thunder Road Late Model
2007 ??? ??? Thunder Road Late Model

“NEW BREED” TO TAKE ON LATE MODELS AT MEKKELSEN RV MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC
Rookie Chip Grenier's Streeter Concrete #9
Late Model stock car drivers at Barre’s Thunder Road may be in for a surprise on Sunday.  Based on a trend of stellar performances by Thunder Road’s “new breed” young guns, a total changing of the guard may be next on the horizon.

Sophomore hometown racer Mike “Beetle” Bailey turned heads with a back-to-front run against an all-star American-Canadian Tour (ACT) field at the Merchants Bank 150 season opener earlier this month.  He backed it up by flirting with a “Triple Crown” sweep of the Casella Waste Management Mother’s Day event, winning his qualifying heat and the bonus-points semi-feature before finishing sixth in the 50-lap main event.

Rookie Chip Grenier of Northfield has produced solid results as well, winning his Merchants Bank 150 qualifier and finishing eighth in the Casella 50.  Defending Rookie of the Year Marcel Gravel of Wolcott ran in the lead pack for a majority of the Merchants Bank 150 before finishing a strong 11th, and former NAPA Tiger Sportsman Champion Shawn Fleury of Middlesex has shown signs of promise in the Late Model division this year.