Sunday, May 13 2007 @ 07:18 PM EDT
Contributed by: ACT Staff
Joey Laquerre won the Casella Mother's Day 100
Youth was unable to overcome experience in the Casella Waste Management Mother’s Day 100 at Barre’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl on Sunday afternoon.
Hometown driver Nick Sweet, 21, led the first 58 laps from his outside pole starting position and looked to take his second NAPA Tiger Sportsman win of the season, but veteran Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier
had other plans.
Laquerre, 64, and a winner at Thunder Road
in five different decades, moved underneath Sweet to take the lead on the 59th
circuit and drove to the victory.
But it wasn’t that easy.
Laquerre and Sweet put on a close-quarters, crowd-rousing battle for the win for the remainder of the race, and nearly crashed on the final lap. Sweet made contact with Laquerre’s rear bumper entering Turn 3 on the last lap, sending Laquerre into a slide. As Sweet slowed to allow Laquerre to regroup, third-place man Craig Bushey of Cambridge squeezed into the fray. Laquerre, Bushey, and Sweet finished the race side-by-side in tight formation, bringing the Thunder Road faithful to their feet in a chorus of cheers.
“That was a dramatic ending,” said Laquerre in victory lane, “but I’m glad I won.” Laquerre won the Casella Waste Management 100 in 2006 as well.
“I wasn’t going to wreck (Joey), I just wanted him to know I was there,” said a disappointed Sweet.
“That was wild,” said a surprised Bushey, who had been running solidly in third place, but many car-lengths behind the leaders. “I still don’t really know what happened.”