By the Numbers: 57th Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road

The Milk Bowl has been a mainstay of the Vermont racing scene since 1962, when Harold Hanaford celebrated the first win in the event.  It has grown into one of the most well-known races in short track racing, with $10,000 on the line for the winner,  a unique three-segment format, and a milk can trophy and a kiss with a cow awaiting the winner.


Before this weekend’s 57th running of the Milk Bowl, let’s take a look at the history of the event, “By the Numbers.”


0: The number of segments Jason Corliss won in 2017 on his way to winning his first Milk Bowl. His finishes of fourth, fifth and fourth led him into a tie with Trampas Demers.  The tie breaker was the best finish in the last segment, which went to Corliss as a result of his fourth-place finish.


3: Nick Sweet is a three-time winner at the Milk Bowl. He will be gunning for a record-tying title number four.


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


6: Jason Corliss became the sixth driver to win back-to-back Milk Bowl titles last year.  This year, he’ll be chasing history as the first driver to win three consecutive Milk Bowls. A look at the list below will show you the drivers who have attempted the three-peat. Truth be known, only two of the previous five actually ran the feature they year following their second victory. Russ Ingerson technically won three-in-a-row in events he started, but he took a year off in between.


Russ Ingerson 1967 – Didn’t Race in 1967, Won in 1968.

Dave Whitlock 1996 – Didn’t Race

Brian Hoar 2000 – Finished 3rd

Patrick Laperle 2009 – Didn’t Race

Nick Sweet 2017 – Finished 6th

Jason Corliss 2019 – ???


8: Nick Sweet has eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts at the Milk Bowl.


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.


16: Speaking of Dragons, Scott Dragon — driver of the No. 16 Late Model — enters this year’s event as the most recent winner at Thunder Road.


23: According to track stats, Fords have won 23 Milk Bowl events with Chevys having won 18. Buick is third with nine wins and Dodge is fourth with five wins.


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


57: This is the 57th running of the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl.


2004: The last time the track champion won the Milk Bowl, current track co-owner Cris Michaud was the winner. He never won a segment or led a lap after coming form 16th that day.


Magical Win: If Jason Corliss can win on Sunday, he’d be the first three-time winner ever and the first King of the Road champion to win the race in 15 years.


A Case for Pollard: Bubba Pollard is a one-track hit the first time out. The national Late Model star from Georgia has won several times in his first trip to a speedway.  Most recently, he did it at Lucas Oil Speedway in the Speed51 Super Select.


A Case Against Pollard: Thunder Road is a different animal. Pollard only has one career win on a quarter-mile track and that was at Slinger Speedway (WI). ACT Late Models are also a different breed than Super and Pro Late Models.  But hey, we were wrong about Oxford last year.  Maybe Bubba kisses the cow at dusk.


Milk Bowl Winners

2018 Jason Corliss

2017 Jason Corliss

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

2000 Phil 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


-Story by: Elgin Traylor, Southeast Correspondent

-Photo credit: photo

By the Numbers: 57th Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road