Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thunder Road will kick off its 48th stock car racing season with the traditional Merchants Bank Car Show in Barre City on Saturday, May 5.  From 9:00 am until 12:00 noon, cars representing all four racing divisions at "The Nation's Site of Excitement" will line Main Street in the heart of downtown allowing teams to show off new cars and paint schemes.
Race fans will have a chance to look at the shiny new American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model, NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and PowerShift Warrior racing machinery up close, meet their favorite local drivers and collect autographs. 
Additionally, several teams will participate in the annual pit stop competition.  Representatives from Barre City and Barre Town are also expected.  Participating teams will have to jack-up an ACT Late Model, change two tires, simulate the addition of fuel and wipe the windshield in a timed competition.  The fastest team will be declared the winner.  Among those already entered in the pit stop contest are six-time and defending ACT Tour Champion, Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, VT, multi-time Late Model "King of the Road" Cris Michaud of Williamstown, and 2006 Allen Lumber Street Stock champ, Eric Badore.  Others are expected to participate as well.
Merchants Bank Car Show officials will judge the workmanship and overall appearance of each race car, selecting a winner based highest total score in each division.  Cash prizes will be given to the winners and trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers in each class.  Several local Barre City merchants are expected to be among the judges for the competition.
The Merchants Bank Car Show will conclude with the annual one-of-a-kind race car parade up Main Street and Quarry Hill to Thunder Road, followed by practice in the afternoon.  Thunder Road's traditional infield "Class Day" ceremonies will begin at 1:30 pm on Sunday, May 1.  Class Day will see battle flags honoring the 2006 Track Champions raised on Turn 3's Forsythe Hill, and car show winners will be presented their awards.
Green flag qualifying action for the ACT Late Model Tour's Merchants Bank 150 begins at the completion of the class day ceremonies.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963

Thunder Road's stock car teams will have to wait a week to shake down their race cars since the season opening practice session, scheduled for Wednesday, April 18 at the Barre's speedplant, has been cancelled due to wet track conditions.  The track, as well as the entire state of Vermont, is reeling from the effects of a late season Nor'easter that dumped snow and rain across the region.
Track management has another practice session slated for Wednesday, April 25 at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval.  Pit gates will open at 3:00 pm with practice set for 4:00 until 7:00 pm.
Additionally, management is working on confirmation of practice schedules at other venues as well as investigating alternative plans.


Three of Thunder Road's weekly divisions will begin the hunt for this year's "King of the Road" titles on Sunday, May 6 when the ACT Late Model Tour hits town for the Merchants Bank 150. Each of the 2006 champions have moved to other divisions and will not return to defend their crowns which leaves the quest for the titles wide open.

2006 "King of the Road" Shawn
Montpelier, Vermont's Shawn Fleury, a two time NAPA Sportsman title holder (2005-2006) has been tagged to drive a Late Model owned by Scott Fearn of Springfield, MA.  The car will be maintained by veteran crew chief Jeff Laquerre of East Montpelier, VT.  Fleury could take advantage of the ACT Tour’s upcoming early event at the high banked, quarter-mile oval and make his Late Model debut in the Merchants Bank 150.  If Fleury and team opt out of the track opener they’ll use the Casella Mother’s Day event on Sunday, May 13 as the springboard for their season.

With the multi-time champion’s departure the list of contenders is lengthy.  As the runner-up to Fleury, Matt White of Northfield, VT has to be atop the list as an heir apparent.  The second generation racer reportedly contemplated moving to the Late Model division for 2007 but has recently confirmed that he’ll chase the NAPA Sportsman crown in 2007.