New pavement, new management, and a new Late Model winner. That was the theme Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont.
Teams and fans made the climb up Quarry Hill on a picture-perfect day, first to salute our fallen soldiers and the long proprietor of the “Nation’s Site of Excitement,” Tom Curley. On such a historic day at Thunder Road, it only made sense that a driver who has represented his home state on the road so well would finally get a win at home.
Bobby Therrien has seen his share of victories at Thunder Road in the Flying Tiger Sportsman division and on the road with the American-Canadian Tour Late Model. On Sunday, he finally put the two together on his way to winning the 100-lap Memorial Day Classic and shaking the monkey off his back at his home track.
“It’s awesome. We unloaded the car out of the trailer yesterday and it was unbelievably fast and to have the finish we had today is a testament to how hard these guys worked all week on it, can’t thank them enough,” Therrien told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the race Sunday.
While questions surrounding the track surface and tire wear were on the minds of many, it did not play on the mind of Therrien who was more than happy to finally check a Thunder Road championship race off his to-do list.
“It feels good to get this win off our back at Thunder Road, and to do it on new pavement is pretty special.”
Another big story on the day was Thunder Road ace Phil Scott making his first start in competition since being elected Governor of Vermont. He was one of the few who made the upper groove work, climbing as high as second and keeping Therrien honest in the race’s second half. Unfortunately, a blown right front tire put him into the frontstretch wall three laps shy of the checkered flag.
Defending track champion Scott Dragon came home second ahead of Shawn Fleury, Kyle Pembroke, and rookie Brendan Moodie who rounded the top five.
Thunder Road is busy again the next two Sundays with Harvest Equipment night this Sunday, June 4 and the American-Canadian Tour returning home on Sunday, June 11 for the Merchants Bank 150.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT