Thunder Road SpeedBowl
John Donahue of Graniteville became the twelfth different Late Model winner in as many events at Barre's Thunder Road Thursday night. The veteran racer held off the race-long challenges of eventual runner-up Chad Wheeler of Waterbury Center and Montpelier's David Pembroke to post his second career victory. Joey Laquerre from East Montpelier was fourth and Middlesex driver, Phil Scott completed the top five finishers.

Rookie contender, Marcel Gravel from Wolcott started on the pole of the Calkins/Windshield World Trophy Dash and held the lead for the first six circuits of the 50-lap race. Donahue, a two-time NAPA Sportsman Champion at the high-banked quarter-mile oval, used the high groove to pass Gravel. Wheeler, the Late Model point leader entering the race, followed Donahue up the outside and set off to close the gap.

A caution on the 30th circuit closed the distance between the front runners and set up a duel that had the huge crowd on their feet. Donahue had the inside line with Wheeler on the outside. Pembroke lined up behind Donahue with Laquerre along side. The lead pair swapped the top spot back and forth as they circumnavigated the track. Pembroke and Laquerre poked the noses of their cars in to the battle with Pembroke crossing the line as the second place car several times.

The yellow flag flew for the second and final time with two laps remaining which set up a drag race to the finish. The top four crossed the line under a virtual blanket to the roar of the fans' approval.

"Even though Chad (Wheeler) and I bumped a couple of times on the backstretch, we gave each other plenty of room (to race). My father (spotter Paul, a former racer) told me to do what the car would give me," the winner stated in Victory Lane.

Wheeler, who still looks to carry the checkered flag in 2006, remarked, "My car was great tonight but I couldn't quite get John (Donahue). It sure was great racing!"
Defending Late Model Champion, Cris Michaud from Williamstown was sixth, Trampas Demers (S Burlington), Dennis Demers, Jamie Fisher (both from Shelburne) and Jeffersonville's Joe Becker completed the top ten.

Hey kids do you have a favorite driver? Flex your creative muscles by making a poster for the annual Kinney Drugs poster contest at Barre’s Thunder Road Speedbowl. Celebrate the final Thursday race of the season on August 24th by bringing your artwork to the race track and show it to the sponsors and crowd. Children who qualify for one of the three age groups may participate (6 and under, 7, 8, 9 and 10-12.)

The contest will take place during intermission and three from each age group will be selected and presented with a trophy. All participants will receive an award. Kids, sharpen your colored pencils, crayons and get your markers ready to draw. You can use any type of material for your poster, but it can not be computer generated and must be the original artwork of a child.

The Kinney Drugs event on August 24th has a post time of 7:00 pm. Pit gates open at 4:00 pm. Spectator gates open at 5:00pm. Adults are nine dollars, children (ages 6-12) are only three dollars and a family of four (two adults-two children) is just 18 dollars.

American-Canadian Tour (ACT) officials have announced the penalties assessed following the disqualification of Street Stock driver Geoff Forsey from Sunday’s M&M Beverage Street Stock Special at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, VT. Forsey, from Westford, VT, was disqualified and will lose all points and purse monies from the event as well as all weekly points accumulated thus far. He has also been suspended for the remainder of the 2006 race season.

Forsey’s was one of ten Street Stock engines pulled and inspected at the conclusion of the division’s annual special race. He refused to abide by the ACT technical inspection guidelines of forfeiting illegal parts and that played a role in the severity of the penalty that was imposed. He had finished the race in fourth place. Joel Hodgdon from Craftsbury, VT inherited the position.

The high-banked, quarter-mile track’s season continues on Thursday (August 3) with the Calkins/Windshield World Trophy Dash which will feature the annual Port-A-Potty Grand Prix for the point leaders of the track’s four divisions. Each team will power a self designed and constructed “Out House” in a race during intermission.
The Late Models, NAPA Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and PowerShift Warriors will also be in action. Post time is 7:00 pm. Spectator gates will open at 5:00 pm.