Thunder Road SpeedBowl
Former Thunder Road Late Model Champion, Phil Scott of Middlesex, winner of last Thursday’s ACE Hardware feature, is in line for a $500 bonus from the Lenny’s Hottest Shoe Award program. Scott’s victory, his second of the season, broke a 13 week stretch of non-repeat winners in the division. If any of the previous race winners is shut out of Victory Lane, Scott will claim the extra cash. Should one of the eligible drivers back up a previous win, the pair will share in the award.

Besides Scott, other drivers visiting the Winner’s Circle in a weekly point counting event include Marc Curtis Jr., Trampas Demers, John Donahue, Brent Dragon, Pete Fecteau, Jamie Fisher, Joey Laquerre, Cris Michaud, Dave Pembroke, Cal Poulin, and Eric Williams.

Thursday racing at Barre’s Thunder Road is coming to a close for the season this week with the Kinney Drugs Trophy Dash on August 24th. The Late Models will crown their champion following the event while the NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Power Shift Warriors will continue their title chase through the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl on October 1st. The Late Model division’s point battle has predominately been between Chad Wheeler of Waterbury Center and Shelburne’s Dennis Demers. After a disappointing outing last week, Demers dropped to third which moved defending Late Model champion, Cris Michaud from Williamstown, into contention for his third consecutive title and fourth overall.

Wheeler and Michaud, both veterans, battled last season for the title, and as fate would have it, the two are set to battle in the final weekly race of the season. Wheeler suffered a disappointing outing last week due to cars in front of him slowing down for a competitors spinning across the track. With no where to go Wheeler struck the car ahead of him and was tagged from behind. Wheeler and several others suffered damage extensive enough to keep them out of contention for the victory. Wheeler’s 19th place finish allowed Michaud to make up ground, as he finished third in the Vermont ACE Hardware Dealers event last week. The 43 year-old driver currently trails Wheeler by only 37 points (952-915). Demers sits ten points behind Michaud and 47 points within striking distance (905).

Washington County Senator Phil Scott of Middlesex became the first Late Model repeat winner of the summer at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday. Scott was joined in the Winner’s Circle by runner-up Rich Lowery of Charlotte and Williamstown’s Cris Michaud. Rounding out the top five finishers in the Vermont ACE Hardware Dealers Trophy Dash were Joe Becker of Jeffersonville and Eric Williams from Hyde Park.

(PHOTO AT RIGHT: Phil Scott's #14 and the #8 of Rich Lowrey pass under the checkered flag of Chief Starter, Mike Wilder after 50 grueling laps in the VT ACE Hardware Dealers Trophy Dash)

Veteran racer, Gary Caron from Shelburne lined alongside freshman driver Mike Bailey of Barre for the start of the 50-lap Late Model feature. After battling back and forth for the initial circuits, youth bested experience as Bailey was able to complete the pass in the outside groove on lap five. He held the position the first of three caution flags flew on lap 14 for a minor incident.

Lining up alongside Bailey for the restart was Lowrey, another of the experienced weekly racers. Experience prevailed on this start and before the 15th circuit was half complete, Lowery had passed the rookie driver. A long stretch of green flag racing allowed Lowery to distance himself from the field as he carefully maneuvering his Chevrolet through heavy traffic.

The second yellow came out on lap 24 which brought Lowrey back to the field. Despite the disruption, the leader again pulled away from the field when action resumed. Lowery and crew anxiously awaited the laps to tick down as they aimed for his first victory of the season. A yellow for David Chagnon’s spin in the first turn brought out the caution for the third and final time with just three laps remaining. This time Lowery had a new dance partner in Scott. The two veterans battled door-to-door over the final laps which brought the packed house to their feet.