Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Donahue, Therrien Lead Racers at Thunder Road

Stock car drivers John Donahue and Tom Therrien are at the top of their respective divisions entering Sanel Parts Plus Night at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday (June 19).  Both drivers are looking for their first championships in 2008.

Donahue, 38, leads the American-Canadian Tour Late Model division after two weekly championship events.  The Graniteville driver piloted his National Guard #26 Ford Fusion to a victory at the Harvest Equipment Mother’s Day Special on May 11 and finished seventh at last week’s Ferguson Waterworks 50-lap event.  Joe Becker of Jeffersonville sits second overall, just seven points behind (139-132).  Hyde Park’s Eric Williams, Graniteville sophomore Chip Grenier, and Ferguson Waterworks winner Trampas Demers of South Burlington round out the top five Late Model drivers.

Twenty-one year-old Hinesburg driver Therrien has strung together a remarkable record of consistency through four events in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division.  Therrien finished on the heels of his younger brother, Bobby, for his second fourth-place result of the year last week, and also has finishes of sixth and seventh to his credit.  Ferguson Waterworks winner Craig Bushey of Cambridge ranks second, just six points behind Tom Therrien (250-244).  Pete Ainsworth of Middlesex is third over Craftsbury’s Joel Hodgdon and East Montpelier veteran Joey Laquerre.

Demers Scores Ferguson Waterworks Triple Crown at Thunder Road

Late Model stock car driver Trampas Demers scored a rare Triple Crown victory in the Ferguson Waterworks event at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday night.  The South Burlington driver swept his qualifying heat, the bonus “semi-feature,” and then held off strong challenges from his father, Dennis, and Dave Whitcomb to win the 50-lap feature race for the American-Canadian Tour Late Model class.  The victory was Trampas Demers’ first of the season, and made up for a bitter defeat at the Harvest Equipment Mother’s Day race on May 11 when his car shut down while leading with 10 laps remaining.

“I gave it all that I had tonight,” said an excited Demers in the winner’s circle.  “I had to hold off Dave Whitcomb and my father, and they’re both great competitors.  I tried to run my line, and it felt like I ran every one of the last 35 laps like I was turning a time trial for the Milk Bowl.”

Whitcomb, of Essex Junction, drove his Ferguson Waterworks-sponsored car to second place, just one car length behind Trampas Demers.  Dennis Demers, of Shelburne, finished third.  Sophomore Late Model driver Chip Grenier of Graniteville finished fourth.  Morrisville veteran Pete Fecteau made an incredible save in Turn 4 with 16 laps remaining, then held off a furious charge from Joe Becker to round out the top-five finishers.  Becker, John Donahue, Phil Scott, Robbie Crouch, and Eric Williams completed the unofficial top ten in order.

Whitcomb Wants One More Spot at Thunder Road’s Ferguson Waterworks Night

There may be no person in Vermont looking forward to Thursday evening more than Late Model stock car driver Dave Whitcomb of Essex Junction.  The multi-time champion will return to Barre’s Thunder Road – a 1/4-mile, high-banked, asphalt short track where Whitcomb was the 1995 “King of the Road” Track Champion – in pursuit of the victory on Ferguson Waterworks Night, June 12 at 6:30 pm.

The event is significant for several reasons; first, it’s the opening Thursday night event at Thunder Road, a central Vermont stock car racing and entertainment tradition 49 years running.  Second, Whitcomb’s sleek, black #25 Chevrolet Monte Carlo is sponsored by Ferguson Waterworks.  Third, and perhaps most importantly, Whitcomb led 42 laps at the event last year before finishing a close second.

“That was one great race, but I’d like to finish one spot higher this year,” said Whitcomb.  “I’m going to give it all I can, and we’ll see what happens.”