Contributed by: ACT Staff
Bond Auto Labor Day Classic- Saturday, September 2nd 2006
Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, VT –defending winner of the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 - “My car is going pretty well today; it is hard to tell when you are not in a racing situation. It seems everyone picks up speed when we start to qualify. I’m happy with my car but we will see where we are when the race is finished tomorrow.”
Patrick Laperle. St-Denis, Quebec. Previous winner of last year’s Fall Foliage 200 and New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl- “My car is really loose and I spun out on the backstretch. My crew is working hard to make it more comfortable for me to drive. I haven’t been to Thunder Road in what seems like a very long time. It’s really nice to be back here even if my car isn’t running as well as I’d like it to. Tomorrow’s race will be a lot of fun, many of the cars here are really fast, and I’m pretty sure that my set-up will be changed to my liking, so I expect a great race tomorrow.”
Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, NY, former Airborne Raceway Late Model Champion- “My car is really good, I’m happy with it which is great here at Thunder Road. It’s no secret that I’m not overly fond of this place, I’ve wrecked my car here a lot in the past but I think one great finish and I’d love it here!”
Phil Scott. Middlesex, VT. Former American Canadian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road Champion – full-time ACT Tour driver, finished 7th in Thunder Road’s weekly LM standings - “There are a lot of cars here today and I heard that there will be more coming tomorrow from surrounding tracks. We will get a lot of practice today so that’s a good thin, you can never have too much practice at Thunder Road. We will spend our practice sessions trying new things because we are worried about the longer run, 200 laps here is a lot and we will need to tune our set-up a bit more to accommodate the added distance.”
Ryan Vanasse, Warwick, RI – second-year ACT Tour competitor- “The car is just OK, we are working on it. I’m just not comfortable right now, but I have a great crew, and I know that we’ll hit the set-up before we pack up tonight. It’ll take some time to fine tune, but luckily, we have the luxury of time today to fuss with the car to make it perfect.”
Brent Dragon. Milton, VT – 2004 and second generation Labor Day Classic winner (Both his father, Beaver and Uncle Bobby previously won the race). “The winner of the 2004 Bond Auto Labor Day Classic- “The car is decent, but there are a lot of really great cars here today. My crew is doing a great job to fine tune it for tomorrow’s race. I’m parked next to Dave Pembroke and he’s made quite a few changes on his car so I feel better knowing that we aren’t the only ones making adjustments.”
Ben Rowe - Turner, ME, winner of the first $10,000 to win ACTion Super Series race of the season (July 9 at Quebec’s Sanair Super Speedway). Rowe who was scheduled to race a PASS Series race at Montmagny, Qc on Sunday turned his sights to Thunder Road’s high banked quarter-mile oval when that event was cancelled. Since the four-time ACT Tour winner was not at the track when the first practice session came up, car owner and former racer, David Avery of Lincoln, NH, took the car out for some hot laps. Rumor has it that when Rowe arrived and completed his own practice session, the crew informed Rowe that Avery’s lap times were considerably faster than his. With a grin Rowe suggested that if he couldn’t get the car to work for him, Avery should strap in for tomorrow’s race. As the practice sessions progressed, Rowe’s times became equivalent to those of Avery and the second generation racer is expected to be in the car for qualifying.
Dave Pembroke. Montpelier, VT. Past winner of the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl – runs ACT Tour and finished 10th in Thunder Road weekly LM points - “We have made some changes to the car and I’m pretty happy with it. I’m not quite as fast as Brent (Dragon) though. There are a lot of fast cars here and I would expect more cars to roll in tomorrow morning. Qualifying will be difficult for everyone because the cars are so equal but we will see what happens when things get under way tomorrow.”
Marc Curtis Jr, Worcester, MA – ACT Tour sophomore driver and Thunder Road weekly competitor - “For the third practice we put on old tires and the car was still good, so I am really happy with it. My car is going well and my crew has worked real hard to get it adjusted to my liking. Running 200 laps at Thunder Road will be tough, but I think the fans will enjoy it because it should be a great race with lots of side-by-side battles.”
Joe Becker, Jeffersonville, VT –Finished 5th in Thunder Road’s weekly Late Model standings - “I’m not going out for the final practice because I’m so happy with my car. I think that those of us who run weekly have an advantage because we know the track and we know how to adjust our cars accordingly. We haven’t changed anything major on the car all summer but this past week, we tore it apart and changed a lot. It seems to have worked in our favor. The car is probably the best that it’s been all season, but we’ll see where we are when tomorrow rolls around.
Scott Payea. Milton, VT. 2005 ACT Tour Rookie of the Year- “I heard that there are 40 cars here today, and that’s great. I’m really happy with my car. If I run like I did this past Thursday, I’ll be very happy! Since we have a lot of practice time we are testing new set-ups, trying things that we haven’t had the luxury of time to attempt before. A practice day allows us to try new things, then change the car back if we don’t like the adjustment before we need to race.”
Mark Anzalone Jr, Malden, MA – Leads ACT Tour Rookie of the Year standings - “This is only my second time here and I think my car is pretty decent. I’m not terrified of the wall, it’s not that big of a deal if your car is set up well. There are a lot of cars here and I’m still learning this track, but I think we will be OK for tomorrow’s race.”
Trampas Demers, Shelburne VT – 6th in Thunder Road’s weekly Late Model points - “I’m comfortable with my car. Can’t really complain, I’m really happy with it. There are a lot of cars here today and qualifying will be tough, but I’m confident I’ll have a good day tomorrow.”
Ryan Nolin, Georgia, VT – full-time ACT Tour driver and 2005 Thunder Road Late Model Rookie of the Year - “I am very happy with my car. We need to fine tune it a bit. We came here last Thursday (August 24th) and had a great outing, so we are going to try to build on that. We won’t be staying for the entire day because we want to save our tires for tomorrow’s race.”
Eric Williams, Hyde Park, VT – Thunder Road weekly competitor - “My car is loaded up and ready to go for tomorrow. I remember when I was younger, I turned as many laps as I could in practice, but now that I’m older, I realize that it only equals unnecessary laps on my tires. Today I really needed 20-30 laps before I could tell what the car was doing. A lot of drivers just keep running and they adjust to the car instead of having their crew adjust the car to their liking. I think we will be pretty good for tomorrow.”
Joe Perreault, Plainfield, VT – second year Thunder Road Late Model competitor hit the front stretch wall during the final practice session, the only Late Model car to have contact with Thunder Road’s infamous “Widowmaker”. He was uninjured in the incident but his car sustained heavy damage.