Barre, VT – Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie joined the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model first-time winner’s club in the by taking the Aubuchon Hardware Holiday Spectacular on Tuesday, July 3 in a barnburner. By doing so, the winningest Flying Tiger driver in Thunder Road history added a Late Model victory to his résumé in his rookie year in the division.
Moodie started on the outside pole and get the immediate jump over Milton’s Eric Chase. He then pulled out to a sizeable advantage while Chase and Christopher Pelkey dueled for second. Once Pelkey got clear of Chase on lap 6, he steadily gained ground until he was glued to Moodie’s bumper on lap 17.
The battle for the point soon reached five cars as Tyler Cahoon, Marcel J. Gravel, and Cody Blake joined the fray. After Scott Dragon finally got clear of traffic, he quickly made up a quarter-track deficit and made it a 6-car fight for the win in the final laps of the caution-free event.
But try as they might, none of them could find a way around Moodie. The former Street Stock and Flying Tiger Champion held them all off to take the win in front of a big holiday crowd.
Pelkey had his best run of the season to finish second. Blake made a late move on the outside and just edged Cahoon at the line for third. Dragon finished fifth to gain some ground in the title hunt. Gravel, Evan Hallstrom, Chase, Trampas Demers, and Jason Corliss rounded out the top-10.
A tight Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger championship battle got even tighter as Craftsbury Common’s Joel Hodgdon scored the victory in their 40-lap feature. Hodgdon started 15th in the event and steadily worked his way through the field with the aid of several cautions, including a red flag on lap-11 when last week’s winner Joe Steffen flipped his machine off the turn-4 wall.
After muscling to the inside of point leader Dwayne Lanphear of Morrisville a few laps earlier, Hodgdon was running second on lap-32 when Brandon Lanphear flew off the top of turn 4. The yellow put him alongside Brookfield’s Chris Chambers, who had led much of the event. The number-two point man got the jump on the initial restart, but the pass was negated when Adam Maynard and Robert Gordon tangled on the backstretch.
Hodgdon was just as game on the second try, though, and pulled away in the closing circuits for his career Flying Tiger victory. Dwayne Lanphear eventually got around Chambers as well to finish second. Combined with the qualifying races, the result unofficially leaves Hodgdon just four points back of Lanphear for the overall lead.
Chambers settled for third, followed by two-time 2018 winner Kyle Streeter of Waitsfield and rookie Kelsea Woodard of Waterbury Center. Cameron Ouellette, Jason Pelkey, rookie Cooper Bouchard, Mike Martin, and Trevor Lyman completed the top-10.
After a tough month of June, E. Thetford’s Brandon Gray finally had some luck go his way when he inherited his second Allen Lumber Street Stock win of the season. Gray had crossed the line second after Barre’s Jeffrey Martin got underneath him on lap 16 of the 25-lap event. But while Gray was unsuccessful in getting the lead back on the track, he made the pass in the tech line when Martin was disqualified for a fuel cell height violation.
Williamstown’s Tommy “Thunder” Smith became the new 2nd-place finisher while Dean Switser Jr. completed the podium. Jamie Davis, Matthew Smith, Tim Hunt, Scott Weston, Bryan P. Wall, Tyler Pepin, and Gary Mullen finished 4th through 10th. Smith unofficially will open up a sizeable point lead as Martin had been his closest challenger.
Thunder Road is right back on track this Thursday, July 5 at 7:00pm with Renewable Energies Night. The second half of the holiday doubleheader features “Twin 25s” for the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors along with a full card of action for the Late Models, Flying Tigers, and Street Stocks. The event will also feature the annual Marvin Johnson Memorial for the Street Stocks. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.thunderroadvt.com.
-Thunder Road Press Release
-Photo credit: VTMotorMag.com / Travis John Ingerson