Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Blast From The Past - 1974

Joey Laquerre, shown here at the former Catamount Stadium in Milton, VT in 1974, was almost unbeatable in the Mini Stock division of the 1970s and early '80s.  During the life of the division, Laquerre won over 50 feature races at Thunder Road, Catamount, and various other tracks in the region.  Between the two Vermont tracks, Laquerre won seven track championships and three Vermont State titles.

Joey “Pole” and Brendan Moodie each receive two nominations

Seventeen year-old Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk from Hudson, NH is the lone driver to appear on both of the ACT Tour’s season end special award ballots. In his second year of ACT action, the Granite State competitor finished the 2006 season with an impressive third place in Thunder Road’s historic Milk Bowl after he stunned the competition by establishing a new Late Model track record and winning the Booth Brothers Pole Award. The youngster’s name is on both the “Most Improved” and “Sportsmanship” ballots.

Final ballots for several season-ending awards are in the mail to licensed competitors and officials. The ballots were formulated following a preliminary nominating ballot distributed earlier this year. Drivers who received the most nominations in the various categories are on the final ballot. Licensed ACT Late Model Tour, and ACT Sportsman drivers, as well as those competing weekly at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road, can vote for their peers.

Twelve different names appeared on nominating ballots for the Late Model “Most Improved Driver” award, with those receiving the highest number of mentions transferring to the final ballot. Making the final cut are drivers representing three different states. Roger Brown from Lancaster, NH, the 2003 ACT Tour Rookie of the Year has captured the attention of his fellow competitors since he graduated to a Late Model, having appeared on the Most Improved ballot in each of the past four years. Brown posted his second career Tour win in 2006 with a victory at Seekonk (MA) Speedway en route to fourth in the standings was the award’s recipient last year. Vermont’s David Chagnon had a career best season during weekly competition at Thunder Road which included four top 10 finishes. Mark Lamberton from Mooers Forks, NY ran his first full season with the ACT Tour with impressive results. The veteran racer and former Airborne Raceway Late Model Champion finished fifth in the final tally. Polewarczyk is the final nominee.

Past recipients of the Late Model Most Improved Driver Award include Steve Fisher, Trampas Demers, Chad Wheeler (twice), Phil Scott and multi-time Thunder Road Late Model King of the Road, Cris Michaud (twice), among others.

Five names are listed on the Late Model “Sportsmanship” award ballot. Massachusetts racer, A.J. Begin scored his first nomination in the category. Last year he was nominated as a candidate for the most improved award. Ron Henry the 2004 and 2005 Late Model Sportsmanship Award winner is on the ballot for a third consecutive year as is current and a multi-time ACT Tour Champion, Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT. The Sportsmanship award is one of the few honors Cyr has never won. Brent Dragon, the award’s 2003 winner is back on the ballot. Polewarczyk rounds out the nominees. In addition to Henry and Dragon, other Sportsmanship Award winners include Dave Whitcomb, Dave Wilcox, Herb Drugg, and Eric Williams, to name a few.

Ticket reservation forms for the 2006 ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions on Saturday, January 13 at the Sheraton Burlington (VT) Hotel and Conference Center have been sent to all licensed competitors. Reservations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis and must be made through the mail. Payment, (tickets are $35 each) must accompany all reservation forms. Deadline for reservations is Tuesday, January 2, 2006.

Chad Wheeler of Waterbury Center, VT, who earned his first Thunder Road Late Model “King of the Road” title will be honored as will Montpelier’s Shawn Fleury who scored his second NAPA Tiger Sportsman crown. Eric Badore succeeded fellow Milton, VT resident Joe Small by earning his Allen Lumber Street Stock title while Maynard Bartlett Jr from Wolcott, VT raced to his first PowerShift Warrior championship.