Thunder Road SpeedBowl
16th Merchants Bank 150

Wayne Helliwell, Jr. Wheels His Way to Merchants Bank Win

Wayne Helliwell, Jr. of Dover, NH used a cross over move on Jimmy Hebert with about 15 laps to go to claim his first career Thunder Road win in the 16th annual Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, April 27. Hebert held on for second while 17 year old Emily Packard came home third.

Hebert led for the majority of the event after taking the lead on lap 26 from his third place starting position. He held off two former Thunder Road Late Model Champions in Nick Sweet and Derrick O’Donnell in a fierce battle, while protecting the low lane. With just under 20 laps to go, Sweet and O’Donnell made hard contact on the backstretch, bringing out the ninth caution of the event. Sweet would be done to the day with front end damage, while O’Donnell returned after changing a flat.


Thunder Road Car Show and Practice Day Cancelled

Thunder Road’s annual downtown Barre car show scheduled for Saturday, April 26 has been cancelled due to forecasted rains. The practice session schedule at the track in the afternoon has also been cancelled. Sunday’s (April 27) Merchants Bank 150 is still on as planned with minor adjustments to the schedule.

Teams may pre-register for Sunday’s event and park their haulers in the pit area tomorrow (Saturday, April 26) from noon to 4:00pm. The pits will then open Sunday morning at 7:00am and practice will begin an hour earlier than originally scheduled at 10:00am. The remainder of the schedule will remain as is.

Sunday’s (April 27) event will begin with class day festivities at 1:00pm. Qualifying for the 16th Annual Merchant’s Bank 150 is set to roll out at 1:30pm.

Thunder Road Spring Practice

Thunder Road Pit Notes

Nearly 40 stock car racing teams attended Thunder Road’s annual spring practice session on Thursday (April 24) evening. Teams from the track’s top three divisions took their first practice laps of the year in anticipation of this weekend’s Merchants Bank 150 season opener.

·         Just over 20 ACT Late Models were on hand to shake down their rides.

·         The majority of the Late Model teams in attendance were hitting the track for the first time in 2014.

·         Only Bobby Therrien, Brandon Atkins, Lance Allen, Nick Sweet, Mike Ziter, Emily Packard and Jimmy Hebert have already started their seasons at the ACT race at Lee USA Speedway a couple weeks ago.

·         2013 “King of the Road” Derrick O’Donnell looks ready to defend his title. Former champion Nick Sweet as well as a stout group of contenders are poised to spoil his hopes.

·         The Bond Auto Tigers on hand were virtually all veterans of the division. Most competed at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” last season with the exception of rookie Stephen Donahue and Joel Hodgdon, who is returning after a couple years off.

·         Brendan Moodie took to the track in his new ride, while Jason Woodard looked fast as the highest finishing Tiger from 2013 to return this season.

·         The Allen Lumber Street Stocks were led by defending champion Bunker Hodgdon, all-time wins leader Tommy “Thunder” Smith and veteran David Whitcomb. Also on hand were the Perry brothers (Jaden and Jamon) and rookie Thomas Merchant.

The 16th annual Merchants Bank 150 is this Sunday, April 27. Class day ceremonies begin at 1:00pm. Saturday, April 26 is the annual car show in downtown Barre from 9am to noon. The pit stop contest will be held at 10:30am with the parade up to the track at noon.