After a frustrating week of rain outs and power failures, the Late Model racers of Thunder Road lined up for the third attempt to run the prestigious Vermont Governor’s Cup on Thursday evening. When all 150 laps were complete, it turned out the wait had been well worth it with the race featuring one of the closest finishes in Governor’s Cup history when Scott Dragon won it by a hundredth of a second over current Thunder Road points leader Nick Sweet.
Sweet dominated most of the race from the pole, but Dragon came on late, claiming the lead on a late restart from the outside. A final yellow with nine laps to go gave Sweet the outside, allowing him to reclaim the lead. Dragon drove his No. 16 as hard as possible, making the inside work, allowing him to edge ahead of Sweet at the line coming to the checkers.
“The car works pretty good on the bottom, the top’s the preferred line right now, at least for us it was. Having that last restart there, we had to go to switch to the bottom, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get it done or not. It worked out, just had to settle in there and try to figure it out on the bottom the last few laps,” Dragon told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“If that yellow hadn’t come out, we would’ve just run away with it. The car was working good up top and I could see I was pulling away a little bit from the 88 car at that point.”
With each passing lap, Dragon was not sure if he would be able to muster a move, but when the flag fell, there was no doubt who the winner was.
“I was having my doubts at the end, but when we came across the line, I was pretty sure I had him. I lost a few weeks ago just like that and I was pretty sure I had the nose this time.”
It is the third career win at Thunder Road for the Milton, VT driver. While one of them is an ACT Tour victory, this one takes its place as the biggest of them all.
“It’s a big win for me, it’s a big race at this track. It’s big time to get my name on that Governor’s Cup, that’ll be on there forever.”
A disappointed Nick Sweet felt that the finish had gotten away from him in the end, but conceded that it was a good show for all.
“I don’t know if I’m surprised, that’s just the way it goes, lost the race unfortunately. Let my guys down, I feel really bad about that,” Sweet said after the race. “I think towards the end of the race he had a better racecar. We just got a little too tight. I wish I could’ve just done a little better job that last lap. I did the best I could and it just wasn’t good enough. It was a good race, exciting for the fans, heck, you got to have those two things, and that’s the way it goes.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com