Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Thunder Road’s four stock car racing divisions packed the quarter-mile track’s pit area Wednesday for the first practice session of the season. In addition, several ACT Tour competitors were in attendance to get a head start on their preparation for the track’s 48th season opener, the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 6.
Joey Polewarczyk displayed his 2007 Late Model at the recent Speedway     Expo in W Springfield, MA.                    
Hudson, New Hampshire’s 17 year-old rising star, Joey Polewarcyzk debuted a new car and was fast right out of the box. The high school senior established a new the Thunder Road track record last October and garnered the $1,000 Booth Brothers/HP Hood Pole Award for the prestigious Vermont Milk Bowl. He ended up finishing third in the unique Monza-style race behind winner Brent Dragon and Cris Michaud. According to those timing the competitors, young “Pole” was circling the speedplant just a tick slower than his track record.
            Thunder Road’s “Bad Boy”, Dwayne Lanphear from Morrisville, VT got back in a Late Model for the first time in several years. The veteran and 2001 Milk Bowl champion was one of the surprises during the Late Model rounds. The 42 year-old, who will pilot a Dodge #28 instead of his previous #40, was reported to be strong, especially through the track’s high-banked corners.

Mother Nature has finally decided to give up on winter in the Northeast and has, of late, blessed the New England states with gorgeous weather.  Clear, sunny skies and gentle breezes have helped dry out much of Thunder Road so the high banked quarter-mile oval will be in shape for its first round of practice on Wednesday (April 25) as teams prepare for the 48th season opener, the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 6.

Each of the track's four divisions is invited to shake down their cars and do some testing and tuning this Wednesday.  Pit gates will open at 3:00 pm ($10 per person) with the track available, on an alternating basis from 4:00 until 7:00 pm.  Tires will be available for the Late Models, NAPA Tiger Sportsmen and Allen Lumber Street Stocks.  Sunoco Race Fuel will also be available.

One note - while the track itself is rather dried out, the main spectator parking lot is still rather wet and will be off limits to all vehicles.  The back lot near the pit gate will be available for spectator and team parking.  There will be no charge for spectators looking to get a first look at this year's cars.


Discount, advance sale tickets for Thunder Road's 48th annual season opener, the Sunday, May 6 Merchants Bank 150, are now on sale at all three locations of Lenny's Shoe & Apparel.  Adult general admission tickets purchased in advance at the Lenny's stores in Barre, Williston or St. Albans will cost $15, a savings of $3 off the $18 "day of race" price.

"It's been several years since we've had a discount advanced sale for the Merchants Bank 150 season opener although we have offered discounted tickets for the past few years to the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic," commented Darla Hartt, ACT vice president.  "Fans have us, that for the ACT Tour races in particular, they like the convenience of being able to get the tickets in advance, so they don't have to stand in line.  We're happy to be able to accommodate the request for Thunder Road's season opening event," she finished.

Tickets will be available during normal hours of operation at each store until Friday, May 4.  Store hours for the all new Lenny's location on Main Street in Barre are Mon-Fri, 9:00 am - 8:00 pm; Sat, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm and Sun, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.  The Williston store, on Route 2A near Taft Corners is open Mon-Fri, 9:30 am - 7:00 pm; Sat, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm and Sun, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm while the St. Albans store in the Highgate Commons Mon-Fri, 9:30 am - 8:00 pm; Sat, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm and Sun, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Some 50 drivers from across the Northeastern U.S., Quebec and Ontario are expected to attempt to qualify for the 30 starting spots in the second event on the ACT Tour schedule.  Additionally, Thunder Road's own NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and PowerShift Warriors will kick off their 2007 race season at the Merchants Bank event.

Discount advance sale tickets are also available at the ACT office in Waterbury, VT (802-244-6963).