Vermont’s most prestigious short track race — the Vermont Milk Bowl — will take place this weekend at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in the town of Barre. We get you prepared for the big race with a look at the 55th Vermont Milk Bowl “by the numbers.”


1: It will be one more ride in the sun for local hero Kevin Lepage who will run the Milk Bowl for the final time.  He’s won the race three times and recorded two more podium finishes.  He’s not competed in the race since 1994, but we figure he knows his way around the track.


3: Three is a magic number and Nick Sweet is looking to become the first driver to win three Milk Bowls in a row. In fact, he’s only the second driver to attempt it.  Dave Whitlock was a no-show in 1996, Brian Hoar took his shot in 2000 and came up third. Patrick Laperle was the only other and he was also a no-show in 2009.


3: Nick Sweet has won three of the last four segments at the Milk Bowl.


3: We’re seeing a lot of threes in this edition of by the numbers. This time around it represents the perfect score a driver can obtain, which means a win in all three segments. And to go along with the theme of threes, only three drivers have ever accomplished this feat: Larry Demar, Dave Dion and Robbie Crouch.


4: Robbie Crouch is the only four-time winner of the Milk Bowl.  He won the race in 1983, 1986, 1988 and 1990.


12: Dave Dion holds the record with the most segment wins at the Milk Bowl with 12.  Dion won the pole and all three segments in 1975 in one of the most dominating races in Milk Bowl history.


12: Bobby Dragon holds the record for most top-five finishes in the Milk Bowl. He had 12 in his 20 starts.  In all of his years, he only took the win once in the race back in 1972.  He also finished second in the race five times in the past.


23: The highest combined score to ever win the Milk Bowl. Dave Pembroke earned this record in 2002 with an average finish of 7.66.


37: Scott Payea will be one to watch as he’s been the man to beat this season at Thunder Road.  Payea won both ACT-sanctioned races at Thunder Road this season. On the flip side, he’s got three top-five runs in the Milk Bowl and has completed every lap he’s run in the Milk Bowl.


50: The race is three 50-lap segments for the Late Models and the driver with the lowest total finish will be the one who kisses the cow at the end of the day.


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55: This is the 55th running of the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl.


2004: The last time the track champion won the Milk Bowl. Current track owner Cris Michaud was the winner that day, a day in which he never won a segment or led a lap after coming from 16th. Bobby Therrien will look to break a 12-year drought this time around.


On the Pole: Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. sat on the pole for the fifth time in his career last fall.  Joey Pole, as he’s known by, won the second segment and was the overall winner in 2010.


I Award You No Points: Once again the annual stop at Thunder Road will be a non-points deal for the ACT Late Models.  Scott Payea leads the standings heading into the season finale at Thompson on October 14.


King of the Road: Bobby Therrien comes to the Milk Bowl as the track champion for the first time and he hopes to transfer some luck to his big-race efforts.  Therrien sat outside pole last year and was a career-best seventh in 2013.


Tribute: We can only imagine that there will be a tribute to the late Tom Curley this weekend.  It’s been a sad year for New England motorsports fans with the death of Curley, veteran New England photographer Howie Hodge and Modified ace Ted Christopher just a few weeks back.  Hopefully, the Milk Bowl can offer a healing heart to many.


Milk Bowl Winners

2016 Nick Sweet

2015 Nick Sweet

2014 Eddie MacDonald

2013 Nick Sweet

2012 Dave Pembroke

2011 Brian Hoar

2010 Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.

2009 John Donahue

2008 Patrick Laperle

2007 Patrick Laperle

2006 Bret Dragon

2005 Patrick Laperle

2004 Cris Michaud

2003 Eric Williams

2002 Dave Pembroke

2001 Dwayne Lanphear

2000Phil Scott

1999 Brian Hoar

1998 Brian Hoar

1997 Phil Scott

1996 Jean-Paul Cyr

1995 Dave Whitlock

1994 Dave Whitlock

1993 Kevin Lepage

1992 Randy McDonald

1991 Dan Beede

1990 Robbie Crouch

1989 Kevin Lepage

1988 Robbie Crouch

1987 Jean-Paul Cabana

1986 Robbie Crouch

1985 Kevin Lepage

1984 Randy LaJoie

1983 Robbie Crouch

1982 Dick McCabe

1981 none

1980 Hector Leclair

1979 Stub Fadden

1978 Beaver Dragon

1977 Butch Lindley

1976 Ron Barcomb

1975 Dave Dion

1974 Bill Dennis

1973 Jean-Paul Cabana

1972 Bobby Dragon

1971 Dan Bridges

1970 Stub Fadden

1969 John Gammell

1968 Russ Ingerson

1967 Lary Demar

1966 none

1965 Russ Ingerson

1964 Harold Hanaford

1963 Lee Ingerson

1962 Harold Hanaford


-Text by Elgin Traylor, Southeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: Alan Ward

By the Numbers: 55th Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road