Thunder Road SpeedBowl
2015 Merchants Bank 150

Helliwell, ACT Tour Take on Local Stars in Merchants Bank 150

The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) will help Barre, VT’s Thunder Road open its 56th season of competition on Sunday, May 3 with the 17th Annual Merchants Bank 150. Wayne Helliwell Jr. will be going for his second straight win in the event, but a host of ACT Tour and local Thunder Road Late Model drivers are looking to take the trophy home.

Dover, NH’s Helliwell picked up his first Thunder Road win in last year’s Merchants Bank 150, taking the lead using a crossover move on Jimmy Hebert with 16 laps remaining. The two-time ACT Tour Champion became the 11th different winner in 16 editions of the event. Helliwell and his Bruce Bernhardt–owned team come into this year’s event with the ACT Tour point lead after their victory in last Sunday’s New Hampshire Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH.

Thunder Road open practice

Pit Notes: Thunder Road Open Practice

The first Thunder Road open practice of 2015 was held on Tuesday, April 28. 42 cars took to the Barre high banks in preparation for the 56th season opener this coming Sunday, May 3.

A group of 17 local Late Model drivers were on hand to prepare for the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Merchants Bank 150. Multi-time Thunder Road Champions Derrick O'Donnell, David Pembroke, and Phil Scott were all in attendance. On the other side of the spectrum, former Tiger Sportsmen driver Darrell Morin turned his first laps in a Late Model on Tuesday.

2015 Merchants Bank 150

O'Donnell Goes For Thunder Road Three-Peat

Derrick O’Donnell has already made history with his first two championships in Thunder Road’s American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models. He is ready to add to the record books again in 2015, beginning at the season-opening Merchant’s Bank 150 on Sunday, May 3.

N. Haverhill, NH’s O’Donnell won his first Thunder Road Late Model Championship in 2013, becoming the first rookie to be crowned “King of the Road.” Last year he was the sixth driver in track lead division history to successfully defend his title. A third championship in 2015 would make him only the second driver to hold the crown for three years running. Chuck Beede previously won three straight Late Model championships in 1992-1994.