Thunder Road SpeedBowl
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.

Eric Williams won the 20th annual New England Dodge Dealers VT Governor’s Cup stock car race Thursday night at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl before a huge crowd at the high banked, quarter-mile paved oval. Defending Late Model Champion, Williamstown’s Cris Michaud, nearly caught Williams as the leaders threaded their way through lapped traffic over the final circuits but the Hyde Park driver was able to pin Michaud behind a lapped car which guaranteed him the win. Michaud settled for the runner-up spot while point leader Dennis Demers from Shelburne, who led the race three different times, was third. Completing the top five finishers were Jamie Fisher also from Shelburne and Chad Wheeler from Waterbury Ctr.

(PHOTO AT LEFT: Eric Williams hosts the VT Governor's Cup trophy after winning the 20th annual event)

Williams commented, “Dennis (Demers) was really hooked up tonight. I really had to earn this (win). These guys (Demers and Michaud) are great to race with.” He continued, “I don’t know what happened to Jay (Laquerre), he had a rocket ship tonight.”

Williams accepted the VT Governor’s Cup from the state’s Commander-in-Chief, the Honorable James Douglas. It was the second meeting between the two – Douglas previously presented Williams with the New England Dodge Milk Bowl several years ago also at Thunder Road.

(PHOTO AT RIGHT: Phil Scott (left) loaned Kenny Schrader one of his Ford Fusion race cars for the New England Dodge Dealers VT Governor's Cup.)