Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Vermont Racing Legend Gammell to Enter NEAR Hall of Fame

Johnny Gammell, shown here with Thunder Road checkers in 1965, will be inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame on Sunday (ACT archives photo)

Vermont stock car racing legend Johnny Gammell of St. Johnsbury, VT will be inducted into the New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame at a ceremony in East Windsor, CT on Sunday, January 27.  A former winner of the Don MacTavish Award (1970) and the Chittenden Milk Bowl at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road (1969), Gammell won countless feature races in northern New England and Canada during a career that spanned more than 30 years.

Gammell was inducted by the NEAR Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee, joining champion drivers George Lombardo of Connecticut and Frank Luchesi of Rhode Island on that short but impressive list.

“It is quite an honor to be in the Hall of Fame with the men that are in there already, and with the class that I’m a part of this year,” said Gammell.  “It means a great deal to me to represent Thunder Road and Vermont this way; Beaver Dragon (Class of 2004) and Ken Squier (Class of 2002) are the only other people from our state in the Hall of Fame.  I’ve been very fortunate to have won many races and awards, and this is a very special honor for me.”

Think You're a Rookie?
Do you think you may be eligible to run for 2008 Rookie of the Year honors in Thunder Road's ACT Late Model, NAPA Tiger Sportsman, or Allen Lumber Street Stock divisions?  If so, send an email requesting information to Thunder Road Administrator Tina Gallison at

Pembroke, Sweet, Therrien, Hodgdon Collect Titles at Thunder Road Banquet of Champions

"King of the Road" Dave Pembroke with ACT Vice President Darla Hartt (Leif Tillotson photos)

Late Model stock car racer Dave Pembroke of Montpelier was honored as the 2007 “King of the Road” of Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl at the Banquet of Champions at the Sheraton-Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in South Burlington, VT on Saturday night.  Pembroke shared the awards stage with the champions, rookies of the year, and special award winners from Thunder Road’s four racing divisions, as well as drivers from the American-Canadian Tour.

Pembroke withstood an onslaught of challenges from several competitors during the season to claim his first Late Model championship.  Driving the #44 VT State Employees Credit Union/Cabot Chevrolet, he won the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 in May and earned a season-best 12 top-ten finishes in 14 starts.  He narrowly defeated Cris Michaud of Williamstown, Joey Becker of Jeffersonville, Jamie Fisher of Shelburne, and Phil Scott of Middlesex for the title.  Chip Grenier of Northfield finished sixth overall and was honored as the 2007 Rookie of the Year.  Grenier posted two main event victories.