The 38th running of the Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl was a race full of wild action, topsy-turvy pit strategy and a wide variety of leaders. When it was all said and done, the race saw an underdog power by a pre-race favorite with less than 10 laps to go to score his first Governor’s Cup victory.


Bobby Therrien, the Memorial Day Classic winner at Thunder Road earlier this year, had the lead on a late-race restart, leading everyone to believe he would drive away from the field when the green flag waved.


300x250 Summer Thunder 2017.07.15 GrundyHowever, that didn’t happen as Trampas Demers powered around the outside of the 1/4-mile high-banked oval to challenge Therrien.


Demers and Therrien put on a spirited battle for about five laps with Therrien doing everything he could possibly do to keep Demers behind him.  The only thing Therrien didn’t do was race Demers dirty as he tried to run Demers as wide in the corners as possible to try to keep Demers behind him.


“This track has come in to where there’s two and a half strong lanes,” explained Therrien.  “I got him out to the edge of where the rubber is. I’m not going to push him outside of it. Those guys just had a really good car in the end.”


Demers was able to clear Therrien from the outside with less than 10 laps to go and was able to stretch out to a three car-length lead.  Therrien closed the gap back to a one car-length lead, but was never able to get close enough to make a last-chance move for the win.


“The reality was my car was stuck. Wherever I put it I was able to stay there,” Demers told powered by JEGS.  “People could lean on me and try to push me around, but I could actually push back from the outside, and that was the key to the whole thing. I accepted that I was going to get washed up by him in the corners, but I’d have the drive off down the straightaway.”


Demers used that drive to take his first Vermont Governor’s Cup victory. He held off Therrien, Marcel Gravel, Darrell Morin and defending winner Scott Dragon to take the win.


A large crowd came out to watch the 38th Vermont Governor's Cup. ( photo)

A large crowd came out to watch the 38th Vermont Governor’s Cup. ( photo)

The win was also the eighth of Demers’ career in Late Model competition at Thunder Road.


“This feels exciting and tremendously rewarding,” Demers stated.  “Thunder Road is such a difficult race track and I’ve watched Nick Sweet, Derrick O’Donnell and others just make it look easy up here. This year I get to be where they’ve stood so many times and I’m so proud of that.”


For Therrien, a second-place finish was visibly disappointing, but he was classy in defeat. He immediately went to victory lane and congratulated Demers on the hard-fought win.


“My hat’s off to that team. They’ve earned it. To drive right around the outside, I used him up as much as I could, but they were able to drive right by me,” Therrien explained.  “To finish second in this race is a huge deal because it’s a good points night for us and the car is in one piece and not many people can say that.”


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch showed dramatic improvement throughout the day in his first career start at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.”  However, after cracking the top 10 late in the race he was involved in an incident that ended his night early and relegated him to a 21st-place finish.


Thursday’s race at Thunder Road was able to be seen live on as part of the Summer Thunder TV series presented by PFC Brakes. An on-demand replay of the event will be available to premium network subscribers soon.


For an on-demand replay of Thursday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by American Racer Tire, click here.


-By Rob Blount, Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount

-Photo Credit:


Vermont Governor’s Cup 150

Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vermont

Unofficial Results


Pos # Driver
1 85vt Trampas Demers
2 5vt Bobby Therrien
3 86vt Marcel Gravel
4 17vt Darrell Morin
5 16vt Scott Dragon
6 66vt Jason Corliss
7 99vt Cody Blake
8 40vt Eric Chase
9 04vt Eric Badore
10 13vt Boomer Morris
11 3vt Ricky Roberts
12 64vt Christopher Pelkey
13 38vt Tyler Cahoon
14 10vt Josh Demers
15 00vt Mike Bailey
16 27vt Kyle Pembroke
17 18vt Jamie Fisher
18 4vt Chris Riendeau
19 25vt Dave Whitcomb
20 21qc J.F. Dery
21 51 Kyle Busch
22 41qc Jonathan Bouvrette
23 72vt Scott Coburn
24 14vt Phil Scott
25 7vt Mike Foster
26 31vt Shawn Fleury
27 17ny Jason Durgan


Underdog Beats a Favorite for Vermont Governor’s Cup Victory