Patrick Laperle wants to kiss a cow.
No, that’s not a dysphemism. The accomplished French-Canadian driver is hoping to lock lips with a nearly one ton, four-legged animal. But it’s not just any livestock Laperle wants to kiss, and it’s not his first time doing it, either.
The bovine beauty queen, a Vermont dairy cow fondly known over the years as “Miss Velvetta” is the hallmark of Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl’s one-of-a-kind event, the Milk Bowl.
On Sunday, American-Canadian Tour Late Model drivers will compete in a trio of 50-lap segments that comprise the 56th Annual Vermont Milk Bowl to try and win a date (and if they’re daring, a sloppy smooch) with the cow in victory lane.
For Laperle, it would be his fourth kiss. The three-time Milkbowl champion is traveling south of the Canada-United States border in hopes to end what has now turned into a decade long withdrawal.
“The Milk Bowl, it’s been like ten years since I’ve won it and I miss the cow,” Laperle told Speed51.com between chuckles. “I want to kiss her.”
Executing the Milk Bowl’s distinctive point-based format is no easy task and, although he found the right formula back in 2005, 2007 and 2008, Laperle is switching plans this year to try and break the perplexing winless streak.
Swapping the No. 84 decal with his signature 91, Laperle will be piloting fellow Canadian Martin Latulippe’s machine for the first time at Thunder Road.
“If I could tell you exactly what the problem was, I would,” Laperle said of his recent runs at the ¼-mile. “I wish I knew. The last couple of times I’ve been to Thunder Road, it wasn’t that good. So that’s why we’re trying something new.
“I know I can drive over there,” Laperle continued. “And it’s not that we’re not fast enough. But for the Milk Bowl, you need to qualify up front for the first segment and my car is good for the long runs. I think Martin’s car will be good for maybe a top five in time trials.”
A theoretical victory on Sunday would make Laperle one of only two drivers in the Milk Bowl’s history to become four-time champions, adding to his already extensive resume of over 40 wins between both divisions of the American-Canadian Tour.
If winning the Milkbowl for a fourth time isn’t enough though, Laperle will have a chance to sweep the weekend by running double-duty in Friday’s Pro All Star Series (PASS) North 150-lap feature.
Laperle will also jump into a Latulippe car for his first PASS North race of the year, the same car which scored him a top-five finish earlier in September during the Canadian Short Track Nationals at Jukasa Motor Speedway.
“I wish it could happen,” Laperle said about the chance to sweep the first three-day weekend in the event’s history. “Just to win one race would be nice, but there’s a lot of good guys racing who know what they need to make their cars go fast.”
Other than in his interview with Speed51.com, the veteran isn’t going to be doing much fantasizing about wins this weekend, especially when it comes to the Milkbowl.
“I’m not going to think too much about winning and stuff like that,” Laperle said. “It means a lot to win at Thunder Road— I like the history of the race, the fall foliage and all the people from ACT are like my second family— when I go there, it feels like home. But first, we need a good car for qualifying and then after that, we’ll see how it goes.”
Laperle did allude however, to an unorthodox post-race celebration. That is, if one more date with the cow is in the cards, he’s going to milk (pun intended) it for all it’s worth.
“If I win, I’m going to do something special to the cow,” Laperle laughed. “You’ll see.”
Race fans can watch Laperle on Speed51.com throughout the Milk Bowl weekend by purchasing a three-day video ticket at a discounted price.
-Story by: Melissa Strahley, Gulf Coast Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com / Melissa Strahley