Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Pepsi Fireworks to Ring in Independence Holiday at Thunder Road

There will be fireworks on the track and in the air at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday (July 3) as Pepsi presents the annual Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.”  Thrilling stock car racing action from four divisions will begin at 6:30pm, followed by a massive fireworks display, considered by many to be the best in Central Vermont each year.

In the American-Canadian Tour Late Model division, Hyde Park driver Eric Williams clings to a narrow four-point leader of Northfield’s Cris Michaud, 267-263.  Michaud has won the last two Thunder Road events with Williams finishing second each time, including last week’s CARQUEST VT Governor’s Cup 100.  John Donahue of Graniteville makes the battle a fierce three-way contest, as he sits just nine points behind Williams at 258.  Former “King of the Road” Track Champions Dave Pembroke (239 pts.) and Phil Scott (237) complete the top five runners.

Cambridge racer Craig Bushey paces the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division by 22 points over Hinesburg’s Tom Therrien, 348-326.  Pete Ainsworth of Middlesex is third (311), with veteran Joey Laquerre just two points back (309) and Scott Coburn only three points behind (308).

Entries Filing in for Thunder Road Enduro 200

Entries for “The People’s Race” – the 24th Annual M&M Beverage Enduro 200 at Barre’s Thunder Road on Sunday, July 27 at 6:00pm – are filing into the Waterbury race office.  The Enduro is a no-holds-barred race where over 100 novice drivers race virtually street-legal automobiles for 200 laps.  The top prize is $2,000.

Drivers from four Vermont counties have already entered the M&M Beverage Enduro 200.  Chittenden County is already well-represented by four Colchester racers, as well as Westford’s Mike Forsey and Josh Russin, Williston’s Jamie Benneig, and Pat Miner of Charlotte.  Amanda Habel, the first female entrant of 2008, hails from Roxbury in Washington County.  Franklin County lays claim to Ed White, Jr. and Roland Beaulieu, both of St. Albans, while Orange County has Mike Chapin of Chelsea.

New Hampshire will also have at least one driver in Charlestown’s Scott “The Mecca” Carr.  Carr has entered a 1983 Saab 900.  Other entered models run the gamut of sizes, shapes, and horsepower, from the compact Kia Sephia and Dodge Shadow, to the mid-size Mercury Sable and Buick Century, to the full-size Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix.

Michaud Unseats Williams at Thunder Road Governorís Cup

Late Model stock car driver Cris Michaud of Northfield, VT made good on a prediction earlier in the week that he would finally beat Eric Williams for the CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl in Barre, VT.  The pair traded the lead back and forth during an exciting battle in the middle stages of the race before Michaud was able to take over for good on lap 67.

“I thought I was dead in the water when (Williams) got by me,” said Michaud, “but I moved up to the outside where I had been running earlier and the car came back to life.  Eric is a good racer and he’s looking for his first championship, and I’d like to get another one.  It was fun racing with him tonight, and I hope we can race each other for the title the rest of the year.”

Williams, of Hyde Park, VT, was aiming at a record third-straight CARQUEST Vermont Governor’s Cup 100 victory.  Michaud had finished second to Williams both times.

“It would have been nice to make some history, but you can’t win ‘em all,” said Williams.  “Cris ran a great race, and he gave me a groove to run in, so I gave him a groove.  That’s what it’s all about.”