Barre, Vt. – Craftsbury Common’s Mike Martin & Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard were the big winners on Thursday, August 10 in the Myers Container Service Triple Crown finale for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers. Woodard took his fourth Tiger victory of the season while Martin captured the first championship of the 2017 Thunder Road season as part of Cody Chevrolet Cadillac Night.
Martin entered the 75-lap event with a 20-point lead over Woodard following qualifying. But Woodard slashed his way through the field from his 13th starting position, roaring around the outside of Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen on lap 32 and holding off Hinesburg Bobby Therrien on a pair of subsequent restarts. Meanwhile, Martin found himself mired in traffic with an ill-handling car, sinking as low as 12th on the track.
But after Martin made a pit stop during a lap-45 caution, he was able to find some speed for the final run. While Woodard cruised to the win following the sixth and final caution for Dwayne Lanphear’s blown radiator on lap 48, Martin was able to work his way back to seventh in the final rundown, which unofficially gave him the title by three points.
Lyman finished second while Craftsbury Common’s Joel Hodgon came from 18th on the starting grid to finish third. Rookies Tyler Austin and Jaden Perry finished fourth and fifth. Jamon Perry, Martin, Brian Delphia, Jason Pelkey, and Joe Steffen rounded out the top-10. Woodard unofficially took over the season-long Flying Tiger point lead after Brendan Moodie battled his own handling problems all night and finished 11th.
Hometown driver Cody Blake earned a triple of his own in the Thunder Road Late Models, taking the win in the 50-lap feature and the Maplewood Triple Crown in the process. Blake steadily worked his way through the field from his sixth starting position and swung around the outside of polesitter Tyler Cahoon to grab the lead on the 29th circuit of the caution-free event.
Danville’s Cahoon did not go quietly and even stuck the nose inside of Blake in the final ten laps. But Blake was able to hold on for his third career Late Model victory.
Cahoon settled for second with Northfield’s Matt White completing the podium. Number two point driver Trampas Demers and point leader Bobby Therrien came from deep in the field to finish fourth and fifth. Ricky Roberts, Jason Corliss, Eric Chase, Christopher Pelkey, and Kyle Pembroke completed the top-10.
Rookie Logan Powers of Middlesex scored his second feature win of the season in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Powers darted inside Scott Weston on the second lap of the 25-lap feature and withstood an onslaught of pressure from fellow rookie Stephen Martin for much of the event. A caution with five laps remaining for Michael Gay’s spin brought Martin alongside, but Powers fended off all challengers for the victory.
Tunbridge’s Gary Mullen and Lyndonville’s Dean Switser Jr. snuck underneath Martin for second and third in the final sprint while Martin faded to fourth. Brandon Lanphear, Adam Maynard, Kelsea Woodard, Matthew Smith, Cooper Bouchard, and Kevin Streeter also earned top-10 finishes.
Wolcott’s Issac Spaulding was the victor for the second straight week in the 20-lap Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors feature. Spaulding started 19th and was on the rear bumper of leader Edward Bowen Jr. with five laps to go when Bowen got together with the lapped car of Ethan Howes, allowing Spaulding to get around him for the win.
Morrisville’s Bowen managed a second-place finish while Williamstown’s Alex Lessard came from dead last on the grid to finish third. Frank Putney, Eric Young, James Dopp, Tyler Whittemore, Doug Duffy Jr., Trevor Rossi, and Brad Kelley finished fourth through 10th.
Thunder Road will be back on track next Thursday, August 17 at 7:00pm for U.S. Army Recruiting Night. The penultimate Thursday night even of the season will feature a full card of championship racing action for the Thunder Road Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, and Allen Lumber Street Stocks along with a Junior Champ Kart exhibition event. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).
-Thunder Road Press Release. Photo credit: Alan Ward