Barre, VT — The 2018 “King of the Road” fight turns up a notch this Thursday, August 2 at WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Night. With the summer racing season making the turn to the homestretch, every lap will count in the quest for the Thunder Road track championship.
Milton’s Scott Dragon, South Burlington’s Trampas Demers, and Barre’s Jason Corliss and Cody Blake are locked in one of the tightest multi-way championship battles the Barre high banks have seen in years. The four Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model titans have combined for six victories this season, finding their way to the front of the pack nearly every week.
Last week’s Times Argus Mid-Season Championships presented a prime opportunity for a contender to break things open. Instead, the clash got even closer. The quartet is now separated by just 17 points, meaning all will need to bring their “A” game every night.
Dragon currently ranks as the slimmest of favorites. The second-generation racer holds a 3-point lead over Demers and is the only driver of the four with a “King of the Road” crown to his name. The 2016 track champion has won the last two times out, taking the VP Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup and the double-point Mid-Season Championships in quick succession to surge to the top.
But the three players sitting just behind Dragon are just as hungry. Demers is looking to erase the memories of last year’s runner-up finish by doing one spot better this time around. Corliss has scored numerous big wins in the last two years and wants to prove he can take home the biggest prize. Blake has been a perennial title contender for nearly a decade and would join his father Greg on the championship monument should he seal the deal.
Thursday’s WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets program will also have a full slate of action for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. The race for the Flying Tiger championship is in the hands of Joel Hodgdon. The Craftsbury Common veteran’s consistent excellence has given him a 91-point edge over 2003 Champion Joe Steffen of Grand Isle with five point-counting events remaining.
Despite moving up to second with his double-point win last week, Steffen will have his own hands full trying to hold off the pack behind him. Rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville continues to impress and is running away with the Rookie of the Year race. Veterans Trevor Lyman and Mike Martin are both capable of ripping off a hot streak, while sophomore Kyle Streeter has overcome a miserable start to be one of the top runners the last six weeks.
In the Street Stocks, no one has been able to run down Essex Jct.’s Matthew Smith. His fifth straight top-5 finish last Thursday gave him a 65-point cushion over sophomore Stephen Martin of Craftsbury Common. Barre’s Jeffrey Martin rose to third overall with his Mid-Season triumph, but Derby’s Tim Hunt and Middlesex’s Logan Powers remain close behind.
The first race of WDEV/Calkins Night rolls to the line at 7:00pm this Thursday, August 2. In addition to four divisions of racing action, the event will also feature the annual “Port-a-Potty Grand Prix”, with the point leaders in the Late Models, Flying Tigers, and Street Stocks taking each other on to see who has the fastest potty in the Northeast. The pits open at 3:30pm and the front gates open at 5:15pm. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).
-Thunder Road Press Release
-Photo credit: Alan Ward