Over the last 365 days, Bobby Therrien has been hearing the same old story about how close he came to winning Vermont Milk Bowl one year ago; how he was the overall leader coming out of Turn 4 on the final lap but lost the race by the finish line.
But no longer will “The Bad Boy” have to be reminded of his defeat in 2018, because now – finally – Bobby Therrien is a Milk Bowl winner at Thunder Road.
“It feels amazing. To have the redemption from last year, to put on the performance we did all through the qualifying and the three segments, it feels really good,” Therrien said after the race. “It feels like we can finally put last year behind us. We don’t have to be questioned about it every time we get a reporter to us, so now we can talk about winning the Milk Bowl versus losing it.”
Therrien started from the pole position in the first segment as a result of Trampas Demers’ disqualification after qualifying on Saturday. He made good use of the track position, leading all 50 laps of the first segment.
He started dead last after the full-field inversion between the first and second segments, and he dodged a massive pileup on Lap 1 that took out key players, including Scott Payea, Nick Sweet and Patrick Laperle. Ultimately, he drove his car through the 26-car field to finish second in the second segment, giving him a six-point advantage over Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. entering the final segment.
Once again, Therrien started in the back for the start of the final segment, and once again he drove to the front. He finished the third segment in fifth, beating out Brooks Clark and Tyler Cahoon to claim the overall Milk Bowl victory.
Therrien had a dominant car all afternoon, and says he owes his team much of the credit for the victory.
“Even after the first segment that we led the whole thing, it’s like ‘Okay we have to do some adjustments’ and they’re like ‘Nope, small changes here, let’s not go too far’ and they were a hundred percent right. The car hooked the bottom really well, it rode the outside when we had to ride the outside. I don’t think those kinds of cars will come around very often, and to have that on a Milk Bowl weekend is pretty surreal.”
For Therrien, who grew up just up the road in Hinesburg, Vermont, winning the biggest race at his home track was a dream come true.
“Clicking off the Late Model championship meant a lot to me, but this is a race that I used to sit in the stands wishing that man, if I could get out there once, that would be awesome,” Therrien began. “Now, to come back and say that we won that race, and knowing that every year for the pre-race ceremonies, I’m now going to be able to walk down the front stretch with all the past champions instead of going to the back gate to wait in line, that’s going to mean a lot.”
But forget the big payday ($10,000 to be exact), and forget the prestige and glory that comes with winning “The Toughest Short Track Race in America.” What Therrien was really looking forward to – what any driver looks forward to – was laying a kiss on the nose of a Vermont dairy cow.
“I can tell you I enjoyed it! It’s just awesome. She’s a beautiful girl, and I got eager and walked towards her, and they made me back up and she followed me, and that made me feel even more comfortable. Great cow. To be able to say that you kissed a cow and bragged about it is awesome, it means a lot.”
Full results, updates, and more can be found over on our Race Day Now coverage.
Those who want to watch a replay of the 57th Annual Vermont Milk Bowl can do so now on Speed51.com by clicking here.
-Story by: Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
57th Annual Vermont Milk Bowl – Full Results (Unofficial)
Pos. Num. Driver Points
1 5VT Bobby Therrien 8
2 68VT Brooks Clark 15
3 38VT Tyler Cahoon 19
4 97NH Joey Polewarczyk Jr. 22
5 66VT Jason Corliss 23
6 86VT Marcel Gravel 25
7 16VT Scott Dragon 25
8 58VT Jimmy Hebert 27
9 30NH Rich Dubeau 31
10 04VT Matthew Smith 32
11 37VT Scott Payea 34
12 26GA Bubba Pollard 36
13 2VT Stephen Donahue 41
14 36VT Joel Hodgdon 42
15 9VT Chip Grenier 44
16 64VT Christopher Pelkey 47
17 42VT Matt White 48
18 94VT Brendan Moodie 50
19 7NH Dylan Peyea 54
20 91QC Patrick Laperle 56
21 88VT Nick Sweet 57
22 17VT Darrell Morin 66
23 40VT Eric Chase 68
24 22VT Mason Mitchell 69
25 3VT Ricky Roberts 70
26 17NH Grant Folsom 73
27 41QC Jonathan Bouvrette 74
28 24VT Blair Bassett 75
29 5MA Tom Carey III 76
30 27VT Kyle Pembroke 79