Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Michaud Wins Thunder Road Late Model Thriller

Late Model stock car driver Cris Michaud of Northfield won a thrilling two-lap shootout over Hyde Park’s Eric Williams in the Sanel Parts Plus 50 at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday night.  Michaud, a three-time Thunder Road Track Champion, had a full straightaway lead lap 48, as the race had run caution-free until rookie Matt White hit the wall to bring out the yellow flag and bunch the field for the restart.  From there, Williams raced inches away from Michaud for the win but fell three feet shy at the finish line.

Robbie Crouch of Tampa, FL posted his first Thunder Road podium finish in nearly two decades with a third-place effort.  Phil Scott of Montpelier held off Middlesex driver Dave Pembroke for fifth.  Jamie Fisher, Dennis Demers, Mike Bailey, Trampas Demers, and Shawn Fleury rounded out the unofficial top ten in order.

Sean McCarthy of Williamstown scored a major upset first-career win in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division.  McCarthy won in only his third career feature start, holding off rookie Dan Eastman of Thetford Center in the 30-lap event.  Barre drivers Scott Coburn and rookie Cody Blake turned in a fierce side-by-side performance with Coburn edging Blake for the third spot.  Groton’s Tony Rossi finished a career-best fifth.

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.