Thunder Road SpeedBowl
10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 Opens 49th Thunder Road Season

The 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the 49th season of stock car racing at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement,” Barre’s Thunder Road, this weekend, Sat./Sun., May 3/4.  The Merchants Bank 150 is the third round for the American-Canadian Tour Championship Late Models, and raises the curtain for Thunder Road’s weekly NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior divisions.

Festivities begin on Saturday morning in Barre City with the annual Merchants Bank Car Show at 9:00 am.  Racing machines from all four classes will line Main Street for judging in the car show.  A pit stop contest featuring the pit crews of Thunder Road’s four defending champion drivers is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am, followed by a parade to the race track at 12:00 noon.  Practice will be held at the track starting at 1:00 pm.

Sunday kicks off with the traditional Champions Practice at 11:00 am, featuring all past Thunder Road Late Model Track Champions.  The popular “Class Day” ceremonies begin at 1:00 pm, with as many as 120 race cars and drivers on display in the Thunder Road infield.  Following the presentation of trophies to Saturday’s car show winners, green flag racing action begins at 1:30 pm.

Unofficial Lap Times From Thurs. 4/24 Practice
According to our very unofficial stopwatch, here are the fastest lap times recorded for many of the drivers in attendance at Thursday’s open practice session. Keep in mind that these times were taken randomly and may not actually reflect each driver’s best actual lap times. Also, not everyone in attendance got on the stopwatch… We did our best, though!

American-Canadian Tour Late Models
Car No. Driver Best Lap (sec.)
26 John Donahue 13.31
14VT Phil Scott 13.32
48VT Robbie Crouch 13.32
42VT # Matt White 13.42
85 Trampas Demers 13.44
46 David Chagnon 13.47
1VT # Tony Andrews 13.52
44 Dave Pembroke 13.54
31VT Shawn Fleury 13.56
75 Pete Fecteau 13.60
18 Jamie Fisher 13.61
59 Rusty Berger 13.62
40 Eric Chase 13.63
68 Brooks Clark 13.64
00 Mike Bailey 13.64
NAPA Tiger Sportsmen
Car No. Driver Best Lap (sec.)
92 Shawn Sicard 14.84
48 Tom Therrien 14.89
55 Brian Delphia 15.10
05 Craig Bushey 15.10
4 # Bobby Therrien 15.17
68 Derrick O'Donnell 15.30
41 Rick Garand 15.31
20 Chris Chambers 15.33
58 James Hebert 15.35
5 # Dan Eastman 15.45
86 Sean McCarthy 15.51
18 Lance Allen 15.58
99 # Cody Blake 15.62
7 Dan Reed 15.84
Allen Lumber Street Stocks
Car No. Driver Best Lap (sec.)
22 Tommy Smith 16.34
9 Ron Gabaree 16.39
02 Justin Gordon 16.45
11 David Allen 16.47
No# Orange/Black car 16.80
20 David Greenslit 16.93
73 Vern Woodard 17.05
No# White/Blue car 17.14
13 Markus Farnham 17.21
90 Brett Pierce 17.25
Power Shift Online Junkyard Warriors
Car No. Driver Best Lap (sec.)
1 Chad Brown 16.87
19 Neal Foster 17.00
59 Dale Bickford 17.24
30 Mike Gay 17.24
05 Donny Yates 17.26
90 Tony Rossi 17.31
2 Brad LaFountain 18.03

ACT Champion Cyr to Race True Value Modifed at Lee USA, Thunder Road

Seven-time and defending American-Canadian Tour Late Model stock car champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT will trade in his fenders at Lee USA Speedway on Sunday, April 20.  Cyr will run both halves of the “New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 200,” racing the 100-lap features for both the ACT Late Model Tour and the open-wheel True Value Modified Racing Series.

Although he is more widely recognized for his success in full-fendered Late Model racing, Cyr is a veteran of the ground-pounding modifieds.  He raced with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 1998-99, capturing a pole position at Pennsylvania’s Jennerstown Speedway and a top-five finish at the Richmond Int’l Raceway in Virginia.  Cyr will race for True Value Modified veteran driver/owner Gary Casella of Saugus, MA.

“I tested Gary’s car at Waterford (CT) Speedbowl last week, and I had a blast,” Cyr said.  “It took a few laps to get used to driving the modified again, but when I came in the pits I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.”