The largest purse of the four-race Vermont State Championship is up for grabs at the 36th annual Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont on Sunday, August 31. The 2014 Thunder Road Championship will also be decided after one of the closest and most competitive seasons of racing at Thunder Road in recent memory.
Nick Sweet, Barre’s hometown hero, won the Classic in 2011. He and defending Champion of Thunder Road, Derrick O’Donnell from North Haverhill, NH have swapped the lead all summer long, and now it comes down to a final 200 laps for the 2014 “King of the Road” to be crowned.
“I want the title and I want my name on the granite stone under Labor Day Classic. This race goes back to the beginning of Thunder Road, almost thirty years before I was even born! The honor of the win is to be put on a lasting monument with guys from past decades like “Pappy” Forsythe, Ronnie Marvin, the Ingersons, Dragons, Cabana and Crouch. I have to beat one of the best for the Thunder Road title Sunday in Nick Sweet, but I also want to win the Labor Day Classic. Nick has already won the Classic, so if I finish first and he is second, he really shouldn’t mind”, said O’Donnell.
When asked about racing two hundred laps, Nick Sweet said, “It is a grueling race on the high banks. T-Road is not very forgiving of anybody’s mistakes. I know my car will be prepared, I also know it won’t be easy with 30 cars for 200 laps. I won’t have to worry about points if I win the race because then I know me and my team will have done all we can do to win the title. It’s going to be intense!”
Thunder Road regulars will see some of the ACT US touring teams enter the race and that makes the event even more demanding as the weekly season comes to an end. “I always like having different competition at Thunder Road”, said three-time Thunder Road Champion, and now Race Director at Thunder Road, Chris Michaud. “I think it gives the weekly teams a good barometer of how good their own programs are. Tour teams can also teach the younger teams a little about how to be successful running 200 laps versus the usual 50 lap sprint races.”
The 2014 Coca Cola Labor Day Classic 200 will be held on Sunday, August 31. Camping will open for fans on Thursday at noon and campers must be off the grounds by noon on Tuesday, September 2. Admission to the Labor Day race is just $20.00 and children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. Gates will open at 10am and post time is 1:30 for qualifying.
-Thunder Road Speedbowl Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com