Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Rookies Shine in Mid-Season Championship Events at Thunder Road

Rookie Chip Grenier with win #2 of 2007

Northfield stock car racer Chip Grenier became just the second Late Model rookie competitor in 48 years to win the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship at Barre’s Thunder Road.  Grenier’s 50-lap double-points score was his second feature win of the season.

“This night always bit us when we raced in the Tiger Sportsman division,” said Grenier in victory lane.  “So many times we came into the double-points race in contention for the championship and left outside the Top 10.  This year we came in inside the Top 10 and capitalized with a win.”

Grenier was quick to credit his spotter, Keith Williams, in keeping his focus.

“I kept asking Keith, ‘Is Jamie (Fisher) back there?’”  Grenier explained.  “Keith just said ‘No names, no numbers, we’re here to do a job and win the race.’  It was what I needed to win.”

Eric Williams of Hyde Park crossed the finish line in second place after a spirited battle with Fisher, but was penalized one lap for running an unapproved tire.  The tire on Williams’ car was purchased at an event at Oxford Plains (ME) Speedway one week ago.  While the tire was unaltered, it was not approved for competition at the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship.  Williams was officially moved to 20th position, the first car off the lead lap.  Fisher inherited the runner-up position.  Phil Scott of Middlesex, Cris Michaud of Williamstown, Joey Becker of Jeffersonville rounded out the top five finishers.  Dennis Demers, Trampas Demers, Dave Pembroke, Rich Lowrey, and Jerry Lesage completed the top ten in order.

Point Leader Pembroke Not Feeling Pressure at Mid-Season

Dave Pembroke

Stock car racer and current Thunder Road point leader Dave Pembroke says he is not feeling any pressure heading into the 48th Annual Times Argus Mid-Season Championship at the historic Barre oval on Thursday.  The Montpelier racer says that while double points are on the line, they will not derail his focus on aiming for his first Late Model “King of the Road” crown.

“I was leading points at mid-season in 2004, and we had a bad night and fell to fourth,” said Pembroke.  “Since then I see it as a regular race; the goals are to take care of the car, to not crash, and to get the best finish possible.  You can’t nerve yourself up or you’ll make a mistake.”

Pembroke leads three-time Track Champion Cris Michaud of Williamstown by 37 points entering the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship (538-501).  Shelburne’s Jamie Fisher, another former “King of the Road,” sits third at 491.

Michaud, Lowrey, Fecteau Share Common Mid-Season Championship Goal

Three Vermont stock car drivers will be representing their race teams, their home counties, and their impressive resumes at the 48th Times Argus Mid-Season Championships at Barre’s Thunder Road this Thursday.  Williamstown’s Cris Michaud, a three-time “King of the Road,”

Cris Michaud is looking for Times Argus Mid-Season Championship win #3

will carry the Central Vermont banner for Orange County, Rich Lowrey of Charlotte will represent the Northwest for Chittenden County, and former Thunder Road Late Model Champion Pete Fecteau of Morrisville will carry Lamoille County and Northern Vermont.

While the three veteran racers hail from different regions of the state, each has some things in common with the others: A checkered past in the Mid-Season Championship, and a desire to build upon their victory totals in the double-points event.  Together, the trio has copped the last six editions of the event – two apiece – with Fecteau gathering a third win in 1997, the year of his “King of the Road” title bid.

“My crew and I are really looking forward to Thursday’s race,” said Michaud, the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship winner in 2002 and 2004.  “With double points on the line we’re in a good position to gain on (point leader) Dave Pembroke.  Plus, the annual autograph session is a great time.  The fans at Thunder Road are great, and I know the drivers in all four divisions love the autograph session.”  Michaud will pilot the Merchants Bank/Burrell Roofing Ford for his Kendell Legendre-led team on Thursday.