Joey Doiron made his way to Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl (VT) this weekend hoping to shake a reputation that he was sick and tired of having. He was sick and tired of being labeled Mr. Runner Up. He was sick and tired of being known as a driver that comes up just short in some of Super Late Model racing’s biggest races in the Northeast.
Doiron shook that reputation in a big way on Sunday afternoon by winning the inaugural Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North event at Thunder Road in front of a huge crowd on Quarry Hill.
“I can’t believe it,” Doiron said in victory lane. “Out of all the races we’re going to this year, outside of the Oxford 250, I’d say this was the second biggest race of the year.
“This is one of the toughest short tracks in the country. To come out here and win in the first time that Super Late Models have been here in almost 20 years is awesome.”
Doiron took the lead from Wayne Helliwell on lap 93 of the 150-lap event, but was forced to hold off a hard-charging Jeremy Davis during the later stages of the race. Davis applied steady pressure to Doiron throughout the final 20 laps, but Doiron was able to stay smooth and stay out in front.
“The laps couldn’t click off quite fast enough there,” said Doiron. “If I hit my parks perfect, I could maintain on him, maybe pull a half a car on him. I couldn’t seem to drive the same line around here the last 30 laps.
“I was thinking the whole time that I just can’t be that guy that loses the race with five to go because he drivers off the track or drivers into the wall.”
Throughout the final laps, Davis seemed to have a car good enough to get by Doiron. As the two made their way through slower traffic, Davis waited for his opportunity to pounce but never found that opportunity at the end.
“I didn’t expect this I guess,” said Davis, who was making his first career start at Thunder Road. “I kind of think it was the best car, but I know Joey was still really good. I wasn’t going to move him or anything. I got to his bumper a bunch of times. I was better through traffic than he was I think.
“I wasn’t going to cheat him on a lapped car or anything. I was going to try to wait until I had a chance to get underneath him and get by him. I just didn’t have quite enough.”
For Doiron, who has come up short in the prestigious Oxford 250 the last two seasons, the win means more than just winning the inaugural PASS North event at one of the nation’s most historic short tracks. It means more than besting 24 other competitors. It means that he’s finally been able to shed his reputation of being “Mr. Runner Up.”
“It’s a big deal,” said Doiron, who has seven career PASS North runner-up finishes. “I finished second last week up in Canada and led probably about half the race. It’s been the story of my career the last couple years. I think I have about 12 or 13 second-place finishes. I’m sick of being Mr. Runner Up. It’s good to finally kill that and get a big win at a race like this.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
PASS North Super Late Model Series Thunder Road 150 Unofficial Results
|9||27NH||Wayne Helliwell Jr||150|