Thunder Road SpeedBowl
“Run What You Brung” Spectator Races Return to Thunder Road Thursday

Corvettes square off in last year's "Run What You Brung" spectator races

Stock car racing fans at Barre’s Thunder Road will be put to the test on Thursday, as NAPA Auto Parts and Make-A-Wish present the return of “Run What You Brung” spectator races at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement.”  Race fans will have the opportunity to steer the family “grocery-getter” on Thunder Road’s famous high banks in an elimination-style race, with the winner of each match-up advancing to the next round.

Past entries have run the gamut of street vehicles, from everyday sedans to sporty Corvettes and BMWs, from pickup trucks to utility vans, and from limousines to bread trucks and community shuttle busses.

“Run What You Brung” competitors must be 18 years or older, and enter registered and inspected street-legal automobiles at the pit area registration booth before 6:00pm on the day of the race.  The entry fee will be $25 at the pit gate, and no entries will be accepted after 6:00pm.  No studded tires will be allowed, and all drivers must wear a helmet.

Championship point races continue in Thunder Road’s weekly stock car divisions on NAPA Auto Parts/Make-A-Wish Night.  American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model driver Jamie “Hurricane” Fisher of Shelburne leads an exciting see-saw battle over Williamstown’s Cris Michaud and Montpelier’s Dave Pembroke.  Just 17 points separate the three drivers at the top of the standings.  Fisher and Michaud are each looking to carry the checkered flag for the first time this season on Thursday.

Stockwell and White Repeat in Late Model/Sportsmen

Kip Stockwell takes win #2 in 2007  
Braintree, Vermont’s Kip Stockwell made good use of his Calkins/Pelletier Quick Lube 50 starting position Thursday night to run to a convincing win in the ACT Late Model main event.  The veteran racer, who returned to the high banked, quarter-mile oval in 2007 after several years of competition with the former Busch North Series started fourth in the 24 car field.  At the drop of the green flag Stockwell surged into second.  He took the lead from Brooks Clark, who started on the outside of the front row, on the eighth circuit.

Once at the head of the field Stockwell was not seriously challenged even following a pair of mid-race restarts.  Both times former Thunder Road champion, Dave Whitcomb tried the outside line around Stockwell.  Not finding the high groove to his liking, the Essex Jct, VT driver settled into the runner-up spot, a position he would not relinquish.

Pole sitter, Rusty Berger from Williston, VT turned in a career best finish with a third.  Winooski, VT driver Jerry Lesage was fourth and Barre’s Mike “Beetle” Bailey rounded out the top five.  The division’s top three point men, Jamie Fisher, Dave Pembroke and Cris Michaud were mired back in the field with none cracking the top 15.  In spite of their sub-par performances all three remain at the top of the standings.

The long awaited return of multi-time ACT Tour Champion, Robbie Crouch from Tampa, FL was realized in Thursday night’s Calkins/Pelletier Quick Lube 50.  Crouch, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer prior to the start of the race season made his racing debut a few weeks ago at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway in the TD Banknorth 250.  Thursday’s event was his first at Thunder Road in a decade.  He and Trampas Demers from Shelburne, VT were involved in a lap 29 incident which ended both of their night’s early.

Completing the top ten finishers were Shawn Fleury in sixth, John Donahue, Clark, Dwayne Lanphear and Pete Fecteau.

Calkins Portables/Pelletier Quick Lube Night Full of Fun and Action

In 2006 the Power Shift Junk Yard Warriors took home the bragging rights.
Thunder Road will see four divisions of exciting stock car racing action return to its high banks for the 12th time this year on Thursday evening, but will also play host to a pair of fun special events: the previously rained-out “Media Madness” race for news journalists, and the annual fan-favorite “Port-A-Potty Grand Prix.”  Calkins Portable Toilets and Pelletier & Son Quick Lube and Car Wash will present the human-powered outhouse race, along with the Media Madness race and events for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Thunder Road Late Models, NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Power Shift Junkyard Warriors.

Participants in the Port-A-Potty Grand Prix were chosen prior to the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship event last week.  Representing the Late Model division will be Dave Pembroke of Montpelier, who currently ranks one point out of first place in the race for the “King of the Road” title behind Shelburne’s Jamie Fisher.  Joining Pembroke will be Sportsman point leader Nick Sweet of Barre, Street Stock rookie Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, and Warrior point leader Bunker Hodgdon of Hardwick.  All four drivers and their respective teams will pull, push, tug, or tow a home-built Port-A-Potty (functionality optional) in a race down Thunder Road’s frontstretch, aiming for the top prize – the Golden Seat.  Thunder Road fans will also name the “best appearing” potty, awarding their selection the coveted Golden Plunger trophy.