BARRE – An incredibly hot night high atop Quarry Hill in Barre, set up for one of the most hotly contested Midseason Championships on record. All four divisions battled it out to join the wins list along with the double purse in store to boot with the intensity as soaring as the temperatures inside their stock cars. Several stars made their mark on Thunder Road’s Midseason Championships for the first time, cementing themselves in the history books.
The Street Stocks started off the evening with longtime stalwarts Mike “The Biffer” Gay and Scott Weston leading the charge full song into turn four. Milton’s Trevor Jaques would take the lead quickly leaving William “The Weiner” Henniquin to duke it out with South Hero’s Taylor Hoar. Hoar would make quick work, setting her sights on Jaques as the two would get physical beside each other crossing the line on lap 20. “Weiner” went for the spin cycle in turn one to bring out the first caution on lap 21 leaving the two youngsters to face-off at the front of the pack.
Jaques would go backwards on the outside, leaving Josh Lovely to start battling with Hoar just before the second and final caution would come on lap 30 for the dislodged exhaust off the Paul Rocheleau ride on the start-finish line. Setting up for a final five lap shootout, Hoar and Lovely battled hard side-by-side each and every lap with Lovely squeezing one final lap by just 0.010-seconds over Hoar to take the win. With Lovely’s fourth career Midseason Championship, Taylor Hoar would take a birthday runner-up finish with former champion Jamie Davis taking third.
The Flying Tigers followed with a stellar flag-to-flag race. Top rookie Tyler Pepin and Williamstown’s Matt Ballard led the early goings, side-by-side for the first 15 laps. After firmly taking the lead, Milton’s Adam Maynard jumped in for some fun, peeking under the #33VT by lap 22. A last-ditch move in turn one saw Maynard squeeze between the lapped car of Luke Peters and Ballard to eke out the lead by the end of turn two. Adam Maynard would ride it out under the checkered flag for his first victory followed by Matt Ballard’s first podium finish in second and Kyle Streeter rounding out the podium.
The Late Models took to the track following the annual Autograph Night session with rookie Cody Schoolcraft and Cooper Bouchard heading the field. With the top 18 drivers in line behind them, Bouchard would begin to slip back on the outside allowing Justin Prescott, Nick Sweet, and Brandon Lanphear to move up on the inside. The first caution would slow the field on lap 11 with Scott Coburn slipping around in turn one. Now a rookie front row with Prescott outside Schoolcraft under the return to green, Prescott would get a run on the bottom as Sweet followed through.
Schoolcraft spun out of the top three on lap 18 and called out the second caution leaving Sweet, Prescott and Marcel Gravel to make the moves out front. Sweet would steal the lead away, closely stalked by Gravel as Stephen Donahue and Chris Pelkey put the outside groove to good use in the back of the pack. The Sweet and Gravel show out front continued to be hot and heavy before a big caution on lap 43 slowed the field as Kyle Pembroke’s busted rear end spilled grease across the racing surface. In the melee, point leader Tyler Cahoon broke a sway bar mount which ended his run.
Gravel and Sweet would take off with the restart once again, as Lanphear, Donahue and Pelkey trailed not far off their rear bumpers. The final caution flag would wave on lap 57 with a spinning Cody into the turn one grass as Brandon Lanphear spun ahead of him. Sweet and Gravel dueled it out one last time under the final return to green but it was Donahue and Dragon breathing down their necks from behind that put on the show. On lap 68, Donahue would jump to the outside of Sweet and took the lead with five laps remaining right down to the end. Stephen Donahue took down his first ever Midseason Championship followed by Nick Sweet and Scott Dragon to round out victory lane.
The Road Warriors wrapped up the program with their 25-lap blitzer. First-year duo Anderson Boyd and Karsen Murphy led the field to green while Brodie Frazier took the bonsai move under the pair to steal the lead on the backstretch on lap one. Frazier sped away from the crowd with fellow first-year driver David Wilder in tow. Just after the halfway point, early leader Boyd would plow into the backstretch wall with newcomer Corey Martin to call out the only caution. Frazier and Wilder duked it out at the front over the last nine laps but it was Ben Bushey who flew in at the last minute to come under Frazier for his first ever Road Warrior win. Brodie Frazier would make it two podiums in a row with David Wilder taking his first to round out the top-three.
Late Models – (75 Laps)
4. 86VT, Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott
9. 94VT, Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
10. 01VT, Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common
Street Stocks – (35 Laps)
13. 5, Kyle Gravel, Wolcott
14. 34, Patrick Tibbetts, Plainfield