Trampas Demers posted the fastest time of the weekend during Saturday’s time trials at Thunder Road to earn the provisional pole for the 57th Annual Vermont Milk Bowl; however, his qualifying time was disallowed after his car failed post-qualifying technical inspection for being too wide. Bobby Therrien inherited the top spot and will now lead the field to green for the first 50-lap segment on Sunday afternoon.
Understandably frustrated about the disqualification, Demers told Speed51 that the error in tech was simply a result of the team not checking over his No. 85 Late Model as thoroughly as they should have. He admitted to the mistake, indicating that the width of the car from wheel to wheel was too wide.
“Yeah, we were. We were definitely about a quarter inch too wide,” Demers told Speed51. “Unfortunately, we didn't check it with this set of wheels, they were brand-new Bassett wheels, which usually we don't have a problem with. We checked it yesterday with a set that we've been running this summer, and we were comfortable, so something obviously changed between yesterday and today. It's our fault, we didn't check it today.
“We were too wide, and that’s our fault. Unfortunately, that’s the way it goes. We work so hard to end up with it and we made a mistake because we didn’t go over and check it today. We haven’t made any adjustment to the car so we didn’t think we needed to.”
Demers feels that with this setback, his chances of even making the field for the Milk Bowl are drastically reduced. After finishing 14th in his 50-lap qualifying race, he will now have to transfer through the B-Feature, assuming he even decides to complete the weekend.
“I don’t know that we can get in the Milk Bowl now,” Demers stated after qualifying. “We may run the heat race and see where we end up, we may not. We may just go home. I know how tough it is to drive from the rear to the front at this race track, and the hole we dug is pretty deep. Did it ourselves, not intentionally, I can tell you that, but it happened.”
Therrien will come away from Saturday with his first ever Milk Bowl pole position, an award he has been so close to in the past but always just missed.
“It feels pretty good,” Therrien said. “After the past couple of years, I know we’ve qualified second here, we’ve qualified third for this race. Little bit of a heartbreak to begin with, to know I got second again, but somebody else’s misfortune led to our being on the pole, so we’ll take it any way we can get it.”
Therrien and fellow Vermont native Matthew Smith – a driver who was driving a Street Stock at this time last year – locked down the front row for Sunday’s race by posting the two fastest times in time trials. Brooks Clark won the first qualifying grace, inheriting the lead after Therrien completed the mandatory 26 laps needed to secure the pole position. He will start third, alongside Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke, who won the second qualifying race.
Twenty-two of the 26 starting positions have now been decided. The remaining four will join the field through the B-Feature early Sunday afternoon.
Fans who are not able to make it to the track will be able to watch all of Sunday’s action live via Speed51.com’s pay-per-view broadcast starting at 12:00 p.m. ET. Visit www.speed51.com/milkbowl to purchase your video ticket.
Results, updates, and more from Saturday’s action can be found on Race Day Now.
Milk Bowl Starting Lineup
- Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT
- Matthew Smith ( 04VT ) , Essex Jct., VT
- Brooks Clark ( 68VT ) , Waitsfield, VT
- Kyle Pembroke ( 27VT ) , Montpelier, VT
- Tyler Cahoon ( 38VT ) , Danville, VT
- Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT
- Patrick Laperle ( 91QC ) , St-Denis, QC
- Scott Payea ( 37VT ) , Colchester, VT
- Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT
- Joey Polewarczyk ( 97NH ) , Hudson, NH
- Chip Grenier ( 9VT ) , Graniteville, VT
- Nicolas Sweet ( 88VT ) , Barre, VT
- Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Plainfield, NH
- Matt White ( 42VT ) , Northfield, VT
- Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT
- Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT
- Scott Dragon ( 16VT ) , Milton, VT
- Joel Hodgdon ( 36VT ) , Craftsbury Common, VT
- Lance Allen ( 64VT ) , Barre, VT
- Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT
- Darrell Morin ( 17VT ) , Westford, VT
- Eric Chase ( 40VT ) , Milton, VT
- 1st Place – B-Feature
- 2nd Place – B-Feature
- Thunder Road 80% Provisional
- ACT 100% Provisional
-Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Alan Ward