Thunder Road SpeedBowl

Representatives from M&M Beverage make the trophy presentation to Enduro 200 winner Dean Switzer.
Dean Switzer of West Burke withstood 200 laps and challenged from more than 100 other competitors to claim the $2,000 top prize in Sunday's 23rd annual M&M Beverage Enduro 200.  With the checkered flag almost in sight, Switzer blew a tire in his virtually street-legal racing machine.  Instead of pitting for fresh rubber he elected to remain on the track and take his changes.  His gamble barely paid off as eventual runner-up Tommy Smith from Williamstown make up his laps over the final circuits to challenge the leader for one of the closest and most exciting finishes in the event’s history.

Dubbed "The Peoples' Race," Sunday's event featured 116 amateur racers at the wheel of almost street-legal cars with safety modifications. 

The starting grid of sunday's 23rd annual M&M Beverage Enrudo 200
  The goal of the race is to survive and be the first to complete the 200 laps around Thunder Road’s high-banked, ¼ mile oval.  Yellow caution flags are not thrown for disabled race as they are in typical stock car races.  Wounded cars are left in place as obstacles to be avoided. 

 At the completion of the race, only about a fifth of the 116 registered drivers were still in competition when Switzer took the checkered flag.


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.