Barre, VT — Barre’s Jason Corliss began his drive for a third straight “King of the Road” title in the best way possible by winning his third Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic at Thunder Road on Friday, June 4. Corliss took the lead from Milton’s Scott Dragon with time winding down in the 125-lap Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model feature to win his first event of the year.
The Late Model feature was one of two completed before unexpected rain showers arrived in the Barre area. The precipitation persisted, ultimately forcing the postponement of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown 100 for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and the RK Miles Street Stock feature. The make-up dates for those two features will be announced on Monday afternoon.
Corliss started 11th in the main event and focused on staying out of trouble through a rash of early cautions. A total of nine yellows flew in the first 54 laps, sidelining early contenders such as polesitter Marcel J. Gravel, Brooks Clark, and Derek O’Donnell while hobbling several others.
The rough start culminated when Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien blew a right front entering turn one just after taking the lead from Milton’s Scott Dragon on a restart. Therrien slammed into the Turn 1 wall with his car catching fire before coming to a halt on the backstretch. The 2017 “King of the Road” was not injured in the spectacular crash.
When the race resumed, Corliss swung around Barre’s Cody Blake to assume the third spot behind Dragon and Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue. Corliss then swung inside Donahue to take second just before Matthew Smith slowed on the backstretch with a flat tire, bringing out the 10th and final yellow with 34 laps remaining.
Dragon easily cleared Corliss on the restart, but Corliss stuck to his back bumper like superglue. After deking to the inside multiple times entering turn three, Corliss then went to the outside groove on lap 104. The reigning champion put the nose out front the following lap and cleared Dragon three circuits later, pulling away down the stretch for his 21st career Thunder Road Late Model win. The victory also gives him sole possession of third-place on the all-time Late Model wins list.
Two-time track champion Dragon finished runner-up in the second outing with his new Todd Rueda-owned team. Graniteville’s Christopher Pelkey, minus most of the left-side sheet metal from an earlier incident, beat out Donahue in a late doorbuster for third. Donahue held off Shelburne’s Trampas Demers, who came from 21st after a major crash in qualifying. Blake, rookie Brandon Lanphear, Chip Grenier, Tyler Cahoon, and Eric Chase rounded out the top-10.
Prior the Memorial Day Classic, Northfield’s Josh Vilbrin made a three-wide pass in the closing laps to win the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior feature. Vilbrin had come from 12th on the starting grid to sit third behind Clary Badger and Paige Whittemore when Andrea St. Amour spun on the backstretch. Her misfortune brought out the caution with seven circuits remaining in the 20-lap showdown.
When the green flag came out, Badger and Whittemore went full bore, with Whittemore putting the bumper out front with four laps to go. As the leaders came out of turn two the next time, Vilbrin dove inside, shooting the gap to take the top spot. Vilbrin and Whittemore broke away in the final stages as Badger got shuffled back.
Graniteville’s Whittemore followed Vilbrin across the finish line for a career-best second place effort. Barre’s Taylor Sayers, in just his second career start, came home third. Early leader Matt Ballard, Dan Garrett Jr., Nate “Tater” Brien, Frank Putney, Bert Duffy, Jamie York, and Badger completed the top-10.
Thunder Road is back in action next Friday, June 11 at 7:00pm. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, and RK Miles Street Stocks all have a full card of championship action. The evening also features the annual appearance of the New England Antique Racers with the Modifieds and Sportsmen of yesteryear.
Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and $30 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). All Thunder Road events can also be viewed live on FloRacing with a monthly or yearly subscription.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ThunderRoadVT. For more information about FloRacing, visit www.FloRacing.com.
-Thunder Road Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward
MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC UNOFFICIAL RESULTS
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 11 ) Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT , 125 Laps
2. ( 3 ) Scott Dragon ( 0VT ) , Milton, VT , 125 Laps
3. ( 4 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 125 Laps
4. ( 6 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 125 Laps
5. ( 21 ) Trampas Demers ( 85VT ) , Shelburne, VT , 125 Laps
6. ( 9 ) Cody Blake ( 99VT ) , Barre, VT , 125 Laps
7. ( 13 ) #Brandon Lanphear ( 16VT ) , Morrisville, VT , 125 Laps
8. ( 24 ) Chip Grenier ( 62VT ) , Orange, VT , 125 Laps
9. ( 8 ) Tyler Cahoon ( 38VT ) , Danville, VT , 125 Laps
10. ( 17 ) Eric Chase ( 40VT ) , Milton, VT , 125 Laps
11. ( 7 ) Darrell Morin ( 17VT ) , Westford, VT , 125 Laps
12. ( 15 ) Matthew Smith ( 04VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 125 Laps
13. ( 14 ) #Cooper Bouchard ( 7MA ) , Hinesburg, VT , 125 Laps
14. ( 12 ) Matt White ( 42VT ) , Northfield, VT , 119 Laps
15. ( 20 ) Scott Coburn ( 72VT ) , Barre, VT , 109 Laps
16. ( 19 ) Trevor Lyman ( 25VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 71 Laps
17. ( 10 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 54 Laps
18. ( 16 ) Chris Roberts ( 3ME ) , Washington, VT , 48 Laps
19. ( 2 ) Derek O’Donnell ( 60NH ) , N. Haverhill, NH , 40 Laps
20. ( 23 ) Boomer Morris ( 7VT ) , Barre, VT , 33 Laps
21. ( 1 ) Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 25 Laps
22. ( 18 ) Anthony Hill ( 8VT ) , Waterford, VT , 25 Laps
23. ( 5 ) Brooks Clark ( 68VT ) , Waitsfield, VT , 17 Laps
DNS ( 22 ) Brendan Moodie ( 94VT ) , Wolcott, VT
DNS ( 25 ) Kyle Pembroke ( 27VT ) , Montpelier, VT
Lap Leaders: Marcel J. Gravel, 1-17, Scott Dragon, 18-53; Bobby Therrien, 54; Dragon, 55-104; Jason Corliss, 105-125. (4 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Time of Race: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 32 seconds Margin of Victory: 1.273 seconds
Cautions: 10 (laps 17, 25, 25, 25, 33, 41, 41, 53, 54, 91)
Heat Winners: Christopher Pelkey, Brooks Clark, Scott Dragon
Consi Winner: Matthew Smith
BURNETT SCRAP METALS ROAD WARRIORS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Josh Vilbrin ( 07 ) Northfield, VT
2. Paige Whittemore ( 47 ) Graniteville, VT
3. Taylor Sayers ( 95 ) Barre, VT
4. Matt Ballard ( 33 ) Williamstown, VT
5. Dan Garrett Jr. ( 54 ) Berlin, VT
6. Nate Brien ( 16 ) Williamstown, VT
7. Frank Putney ( 88 ) Graniteville, VT
8. Bert Duffy ( 74 ) Milton, VT
9. Jamie York ( 68 ) Barre, VT
10. Clay Badger ( 9 ) E. Montpelier, VT
11. Neal Foster ( 19 ) Waterbury, VT
12. Jacob Hall-Larsen ( 12 ) Northfield, VT
13. Mark Beaulieu ( 1 ) Essex Jct., VT
14. Rodney Campbell ( 10 ) Worcester, VT
15. Andrea St. Amour ( 20 ) Chelsea, VT
16. Ryan Foster ( 8 ) Waterbury, VT
17. Jason P. Kirby ( 71 ) Milton, VT
18. Fred Fleury ( 99 ) Graniteville, VT
19. Bill O’Connor ( 96 ) South Washington
20. Nicholas Copping ( 50 ) Barre, VT
21. Cole Badger ( 6 ) E. Montpelier, VT
DNS Kendall Zeno ( 21 ) Middlesex, VT