Monday, May 21 2007 @ 04:27 PM EDT
Contributed by: ACT Staff
The Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 is more than a stock car race at Barre’s Thunder Road. It is the event with the longest history at the famed ¼-mile oval, and is among the oldest continuously running short track events in United States. The list of past winners reads like a “who’s who” of northeastern stock car racing, and winners are often referred to, throughout their entire careers, as champions of the event. This season marks the 45th running of the race since its inception in 1961.
Roy "Pappy" Forsythe won the first Memorial Day event in 1961 driving this car owned by George Barber
Roy “Pappy” Forsythe of Keene, NH won the inaugural Memorial Day Classic driving a flathead-powered Ford coupe. Forsythe won nine more feature races that season, setting a record that still stands in 2007. Legendary Canadian racer Jean-Paul Cabana won four times from 1965 to 1988, topped only by Hudson, NH’s Dave Dion, a nine-time champion of the event. Dion won the event four years running on two separate occasions – the first from 1975 through 1978, the second from 1989 through 1992. Dion also won in 1982. Other past winners include champion drivers Robbie Crouch, Joey Kourafas, Russ Ingerson, Jean-Paul Cyr, Kevin Lepage, and Joey Laquerre.