Thunder Road SpeedBowl
The winner of Thunder Road’s Power Shift Warrior division special Fisher/Federated Auto Parts team race event was announced Friday following a complete tabulation of each driver’s performance in the competition. The winning team consisted of Sean McCarthy from Washington, Barre’s Ken Stridsberg and Maynard Bartlett Jr of Wolcott. The trio amassed a cumulative score of 20 points in the 25-lap feature race.

Team #3, represented by Frank Sanborn (Waterbury Ctr), Richard Gravel (Wolcott) and David Whitcomb (Elmore) raced to a total of 28 points to nab the runner-up spot. Neal Foster (Moretown), Kevin Utton (Worcester) and Bunker Hodgdon (Hardwick), Team #2 scored 32 points for third.

Completing the top five was Team #8 (Leonard Sanborn, David LaFleche and Jayme Lee) with 34 points and Team #5 scoring 35 points (Buster Porter, Scott Weston and Jared Henry).

The eight teams were each comprised of competitors from each of three handicap levels (high, middle and low). Drivers competed in the feature race which was made up of several racing components on the high-banked, quarter-mile speedplant.

(PHOTO: The middle handicap drivers wait in the infield for a tag from a teammate to begin the second component of the PowerShift Warrior Team race.)

All 24 drivers were scored as individual racers and placed in order according to the distance each covered. Team members earned points based on their placement in the finishing order (the winner received one point, second got two, etc). The scores of the three team members were added together and the group with the lowest cumulative total was declared the winner.

The PowerShift Warrior division, along with Thunder Road's Late Models, NAPA Sportsmen and Allen Lumber Street Stocks return to the "Nation's Site of Excitement" next Thursday (July 27) for the double-point Times Argus Mid-Season Championships. Post time is 7:00 pm.

It seemed only fitting that Shelburne’s Jamie Fisher scored his 13th Late Model feature win Thursday night at Barre’s Thunder Road in the Fisher/Federated Auto Parts 50. Fisher, who started eighth in the 24 car field, first took the lead at the half-way mark after a side-by-side duel with rookie competitor Marcel Gravel of Wolcott that lasted some nine laps. Fisher nosed ahead but the first year driver refused to be intimidated by the former track champion.

(PHOTO: Jamie Fisher (yellow car in front row) and Dave Pembroke
(white car & black car in front row) lead their heat race to the green during Late Model qualifying action)

With seven laps remaining, the complexion of the race changed. As the field entered the first turn the front runners encountered a slower moving car. Gravel tried to switch lanes but his Pontiac lost traction and was hit by Montpelier’s Phil Scott who was running third at the time. Several others were received varying degrees of damage to their cars in the incident including John Donahue, Marc Curtis, Cris Michaud and Mark Norris. Fisher escaped unscathed.

(PHOTO: Eric Williams (7), Joey Laquerre (15) and Marc Curtis (27) were involved in a lap four incident with sevferal other cars. Of the three, Curtis was the only one who returned to competition)

In recent memory no one can remember a season when the point battles at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Barre have been as close as this season. In the track’s 47 years of operation, the hunt for the championship’s have been outstanding in at least one division but never has it been seen in all four. With only six points separating the Late Model point leader and runner-up, four points in the NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, seven in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks and 74 in the Power Shift Junkyard Warriors, the battle will continue until the checkers fly at the final event in late August and a champion is crowned.

Thursday, July 20th local heroes will compete in the Fisher/Federated Auto Parts event and will set themselves up for the remainder of the season. A tight points battle in all divisions makes the halfway mark which is only a week away, a dream maker or a deal breaker.