When the leaves start to change colors and the temperature starts to dip, that can only mean one thing. It means that fall has arrived, and with that comes the annual running of The Milk Bowl at Vermont’s Thunder Road International Speedbowl. We here at Speed51.com powered by JEGS decided to break down the Milk Bowl in another edition of By the Numbers.
1: It’s the finish that every driver looks for when they roll out to race, however at the Milk Bowl it’s different. You don’t have to win a segment to win the overall race. Nick Sweet in 2013 and Dave Pembroke in 2012 are two examples of drivers who won the overall race without winning a segment.
3: He’s been the King of the Road for three of the last four seasons and now Derrick O’Donnell is ready to win the Milk Bowl. O’Donnell has been second in each of the last two runnings of the Milk Bowl.
4: Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. has won the pole for the Milk Bowl on four occasions. Unlike any other ACT Late Model event, the top-three spots are determined by time trials that take place on Saturday. “Joey Pole” was the overall race winner in 2010. He has also finished in the top-five five times.
4: Robbie Crouch is the only four-time winner of the Milk Bowl. He won the race in 1983, 1986, 1988 and 1990.
6: Brian Hoar is one of the most decorated drivers in Milk Bowl history. He has won six poles, 10 segments and the overall race three time. The Vermont native was back in victory lane last week at the Fall Foliage 200.
11: The Milk Bowl has run 11 segments without a repeat winner. Can that streak keep going? We will find out on Sunday.
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.
14: Phil Scott is twice a winner in the Vermont Milk Bowl, but it’s not been since 2000.
17: Eddie MacDonald has done a lot in his ACT career, but never the Milk Bowl until 2014. After a DNQ in 2013 he returned to win the race in only his second start. MacDonald had a subpar track record at Thunder Road having never finished better than 10th prior to last year’s Milk Bowl.
26VT: John Donahue in the 26VT ride is one of the many former winners expected to be in the field. Donahue won the race in 2009 and followed it up with third-place runs in 2010 and 2014.
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.
54: This is the 54th running of the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl.
78: There have been 78 different winners in 158 segments of the Milk Bowl.
88: Nick Sweet drives the 88 ride and he may be very hungry for another win after taking his second Milk Bowl win last year. Sweet missed the King of the Road title by one point. Hopefully for him the Milk Bowl is not that close this year.
Not for a While Dragon: Scott Dragon looks to make his own mark on the Milk Bowl after his family’s success in the event. A Dragon has not won a segment since 2009. This year Scott Dragon won the King of the Road title and now he looks to end the season on a high note.
-By Elgin Traylor, Speed51.com Contributor
-Photo Credit: Alan Ward Photo