One of the nation’s most exciting and historic short track races takes place this weekend at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont. The Milk Bowl, a tradition like no other, consists of three 50-lap segments with lead lap cars being inverted after each segment. At the end of the three segments, the driver with the lowest score will have the honor of kissing a Vermont dairy cow, also known as the bovine beauty queen.
So, who is the favorite to lay a smooch on Miss Daisy Dalton? We at Speed51.com powered by JEGS did our best to handicap the field heading into Sunday’s big race.
Of course, there is no disrespect to any drivers mentioned in this list and odds are based solely off of past performances in the Milk Bowl, ACT Late Model racing and Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl. These odds are for entertainment purposes only.
Normally we would have a list of two or three drivers in this category, but as handicappers we would like to protect ourselves on this one. Simply put, Nick Sweet is the odds-on-favorite to win the Milk Bowl for a third time this weekend.
5 to 1 (The Contenders): Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Eddie MacDonald, Scott Dragon
A pair of former Milk Bowl winners and this year’s “King of the Road” fall into this category. MacDonald’s status is uncertain due to his plans to compete in the NASCAR K&N East race at Dover, but if he does race he’ll be a threat. Polewarczyk always seems to be around at the end of the Milk Bowl and Dragon proved this season he knows how to get to the front in 50-lap races at Thunder Road.
7 to 1 (Major Threats): Scott Payea, Alex Labbe, Patrick Laperle, Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
Payea is behind the wheel of the potent No. 37 RPM car which knows a thing or two about winning Milk Bowls. Labbe has had tough luck at the Milk Bowl in recent years but has to be considered anytime he shows up to an ACT race. It is unknown whether Laperle, a three-time Milk Bowl winner will show up this weekend. The same goes with Helliwell (sickness), but if they do show up they will be threats to win.
9 to 1 (Don’t Be Surprised): Bobby Therrien, Jimmy Hebert, Phil Scott
“The Bad Boy” Bobby Therrien turned in one of the best drives of his career a few years back in the Tiger Sportsman Milk Bowl at Thunder Road. He knows how to get up on the wheel and move to the front at Thunder Road. The same can be said for Jimmy Hebert, who has to be hungry after watching a win slip away a weekend ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. And don’t count out Lt. Governor Phil Scott, this will be his last race on the track before his big race to become the Governor of Vermont in November.
11 to 1 (Good Shot at It): Jason Corliss, Cody Blake, Brad Babb, J.F Dery, John Donahue
All of these drivers have shown speed and in some cases won big races at Thunder Road. They could surprise the crowd at the Nation’s Site of Excitement.
13 to 1 (Don’t Count Them Out): Dillon Moltz, Kyle Pembroke, Eric Badore, Donald Theetge
We wouldn’t exactly bet our money on this group of drivers, but you also can’t count them out. Anything can happen given the unique race format.
15 to 1 (Middle of the Road): Shawn Fleury, Dany Trepanier, Jonathan Bouvrette, Trampas Demers, Quinny Welch, Tyler Cahoon, Mike Bailey
Don’t be surprised if one or more of these drivers turn in a top-five performance come Sunday afternoon. While they’re not favorites, they’re also not flukes.
17 to 1 (Worth a Gamble): Jason Allen, Mike Ziter, Rich Dubeau, Rowland Robinson, Jr., Ryan Olsen, Matt White, Eric Chase
If you’re looking to make a small bet that could pay off well, this would more than likely be the group you’d want to look at. The chances of winning the race are slim, but who would have ever picked Trevor Bayne to win the Daytona 500 a few years back?
20 to 1 (In the Ball Park): Devin O’Connell, Kyle Welch, Luke Hinkley, Emily Packard, Marcel Gravel, Boomer Morris, Josh Masterson
We don’t expect these drivers to be off the pace, but we also don’t expect to see them contending for a win in the final segment. But don’t be surprised if one of these drivers could come out on top in one of the three segments.
25 to 1 (Would Pay Off Well): Todd Davis, Matt Anderson, Jason Allen, Darrell Morin, Dave Whitcomb
Looking to turn a small fortune into a big one? This would be the group of drivers to take a gamble on.
30 to 1 (Big Money Bets): Christopher Pelkey, Scott Coburn, Rick Roberts, Mark Hudson, Mark Jenison, James Linardy, Claude Leclerc
Anything is possible, but we don’t expect to see any of these drivers near the front come Sunday afternoon.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com