Thunder Road SpeedBowl
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.


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.