BARRE – With skies far clearer than they were just twenty-four-hours before, Thunder Road International Speedbowl roared to life on Friday. Two first-time winners graced victory lane high atop Quarry Hill for the first time on a stellar Friday night of racing.
The Flying Tigers started off the evening’s feature racing action with twenty-two cars led to the green flag by sophomore racer Cam Gadue and longtime pilot Mike Billado. Charging ahead from his third-place starting position, Logan Powers quickly overtook the spotlight to lead the field. With Rich Lowrey and Jason Pelkey in tow, Powers continued to pace the field and click the laps off one-by-one. In the green to checkered, caution-free feature event, Cam Powers would take down his third-career Flying Tiger victory flanked by Rich Lowrey and Jason Pelkey on the podium.
Kyle Gravel and Kasey Collins led round two for the Street Stock Triple Crown to green. Evenly matched at the onset, the two swapped the lead again and again in the opening laps before Gravel powered back to the front. A wild melee on the 13th lap saw Juan Paco Marshall fly across the middle of the pack in turn one with Collins, Eric Johnson and Kyle MacAskill piling down pit road and into the tire barrier. One other caution lay ahead on lap 22 as another wild cross-up saw Tyler Whittemore and top rookie Ryan Foster hook on the front stretch to collect MacAskill, once again, Parker Gagne and Haidyn Pearce.
The final restart found a face-off between Gravel and Trevor Jaques with three laps remaining saw the two young-guns lead the field side-by-side. Under the white flag Jaques put the hammer down on the outside groove and never lifted on his way to victory lane. After taking the Marvin Johnson Memorial Non-Winners Race back in June, Milton’s Trevor Jaques took down his first career points-counting win over Tommy “Thunder” Smith and Kyle Gravel.
The Late Models put another date in the running for the best event of the 2023 season on Friday after being led to green by Scott Coburn and Tyler Cahoon. The battle between Cahoon and Coburn got physical quickly with third-place runner Chris Roberts getting quite the show across his windshield. While remaining two-by-two, Brandon Lanphear and Chip Grenier made masterful use of the outside lane to claim second and third before the lone caution flew on lap 37 for the turned around Justin Prescott on the front stretch.
With just thirteen laps remaining, Lanphear went to work outside of longtime race leader Cahoon with Chris Roberts following the Richard Green Trucking machine to the front. Looking strong on the outside, Roberts let it all hang out up top and lead over Lanphear on lap 45. Not backing down, and under heavy pressure from behind, Chris Roberts used the outside groove all the way to the checkered flags to take down his first career Late Model win over Brandon Lanphear and top rookie Kaiden Fisher.
Taking the field for their fifth annual 50-lap Challenge, the Road Warriors went all out in front of the hometown crowd. Quickly jumping up from his fourth-place starting spot, Brodie Frazier took the “Freakin’ Chicken” to the top spot early and the chase was on. Nate “Tater” Brien caught up to the Chicken to lead lap 11 before a leaking fuel issue saw Tater fade into the back while last-week’s winner Corey Martin charged forward.
Complete mayhem ensued throughout the field as the leaders bobbed and weaved around lap traffic before the first and only caution flew on lap 39. Staring down the barrel, Martin again punched the skinny pedal to lead the restart over Frank Putney in the “Unofficial Thunder Road Pace Car.” After taking his first win in post-race tech inspection last time around, Corey Martin proved it was no fluke by winning the Road Warrior Challenge over Tyler Wheatley and Frank Putney.
Oil Late Models – (50 Laps)
4. 86VT, Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott
12. 01VT, Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common
Flying Tigers – (40 Laps)
19. 22VT, Travis Patnoe, Wolcott
Street Stocks – (25 Laps)
3. 5, Kyle Gravel, Wolcott
4. 34, Patrick Tibbetts, Plainfield