Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic Kick off LM Chase
Thunder Road's weekly Late Model point battle begins tomorrow with one of the biggest races of the season, the 42nd annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Some 30 cars are expected to attempt to qualify for the event, one of two 100 lappers on tap for 2006, including several ACT Tour competitors. The Tour drivers have the weekend off following a partial rain-out last Sunday at New Hampshire's Lee USA Speedway.

Cris Michaud of Williamstown, Vermont is the last of the 2005 Thunder Road title holders to begin defense of a championship. The NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Power Shift Junk Yard Warriors began their title hunts at April's Merchants Bank 150 opening event at the ¼ mile oval.

The Memorial Day Classic is a historical race for the Barre speedplant. The prestige of the event is drawn from the extensive list of past winners including the inaugural victor, Roy "Pappy" Forsythe, who captured the checkered flag in 1961. The list of previous champions reads like a who's who of late model racing across the region. Among those who've claimed victory in the Memorial Day Classic are legendary Canadian racer, Jean-Paul Cabana (4 wins), Bobby Dragon, Dave Dion (9 wins), Robbie Crouch (3 wins), and others.

Late Model competitor, Trampas Demers is more than just a race car driver; he’s a Vice President, pilot and son. The South Burlington resident maintains a low profile while at the race track; even if he is a silent contender his hobbies make plenty of noise. Most know Trampas for his #85 Late Model Monte Carlo that he races weekly at Thunder Road however many may not realize that he is also a pilot. He enjoys flying his plane and helicopter; he even performs stunts in his stunt plane. He may seem like a “dare devil” but this Champlain College business graduate knows what it takes to manage a successful corporation. Trampas is the Vice President of the family business, Shelburne Limestone Corporation; he stays busy overseeing the daily operations of the company and assisting in decisions which impact the future of the business.

Barre, Vermont native, Nick Sweet is not your average sophomore competitor in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division. The 21-year-old driver races side-by-side with veterans such as Chuck Beede and Doug Murphy and doesn’t let it faze him. “When I’m racing door-to-door with someone I don’t think about who it is, I just know that it’s another car I need to pass in order to get to the front. I try to race everyone as clean as possible, I don’t let names and titles decide who I race hard.” Sweet has had a successful racing career in his short time behind the wheel. In 2003 he earned the Allen Lumber Street Stock, rookie of the year title. In 2005 he clinched the same title in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division. Since Nick started racing in 2003 he has finished second place in points each season.