Throughout Thursday’s Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl (VT), a battle raged between a four-time Governor’s Cup winner and a driver looking for his first win in the prestigious Late Model event.
After a restart with seven laps to go, it was the latter taking the win, as Brooks Clark outdueled Nick Sweet to claim the biggest win of his racing career.
Brooks Clark started up front and dominated the early stages of the 150-lap Late Model event. However, Sweet quickly worked his way through the field after starting 11th, taking the lead just past the 50-lap mark and pulling away.
However, late-race cautions kept Sweet from checking out with his fifth Governor’s Cup. Clark and Sweet exchanged the lead following a lap 96 restart, but Sweet once again prevailed. Ultimately, a caution with seven laps to go gave Clark the last shot he needed.
On the final restart, Clark rallied around Sweet, stretching out a lead while Sweet held off the field. With the better short-run car, Clark secured the monumental win.
“Yeah, it’s definitely our biggest win,” said Clark in victory lane. “Thank God we had a short-run car and we had that restart with seven to go. That’s what saved us, obviously.”
Sweet’s car was too tight on the short runs, especially the pivotal final restart, to contend with Clark, but he was pleased to ultimately come home with a runner-up finish and happy for Clark’s win.
“Yeah, we were just a little too tight in the race,” said Sweet. “I knew we were too tight from the get-go. To go out and finish second with a tight race car, I’m pleased with that.
“I’ve got to congratulate Brooks, he did an excellent job on the outside lane,” added Sweet. “We put on a heck of a race for the fans.”
Vermont Governor – and eighth-place finisher, one spot better than NASCAR Xfinity Series star Christopher Bell – Phil Scott presented Clark with the event trophy in victory lane, pleased to be able to honor a good friend with the hardware.
“Congratulations to Brooks,” said Scott. “If I couldn’t win this race, it’s a race for him. He’s worked hard at this, he’s a clean racer, he’s got a great family.”
Race fans who missed Thursday’s Vermont Governor’s Cup can click here to watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV broadcast. They can also visit Race Day Now by clicking here to view results from the race.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo