Veteran Quebec stock car driver, Patrick Laperle has confirmed that he will be among those chasing a winner’s prize in excess of $10,000 at this weekend’s his New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl at Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl. The 30 year-old racer looks to become the first driver in six years to successfully defend his Championship at this Sunday’s 43rd annual event. In the Milk Bowl’s previous 42 years, just two competitors – Ontario’s Dave Whitlock (1994-1995) and Brian Hoar from Vermont (1998-1999) have backed up a win in the following year.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Milk Bowl,” Laperle said. “Having your name on the championship trophy, being a part of history, with all of those other drivers is great, but being part of the ceremonies on Sunday morning, taking that big milk can to the infield with Harold Hanaford, the first winner, is truly an honor. I wouldn’t miss that,” he stated adding, “And the ten grand will sure come in handy.”

(PHOTO at Right - Patrick Laperle hosts the Milk Bowl trophy for all to see following last year's win in the 42nd annual event)

(PHOTO at Left: During the 2005 pre-race activities, the inaugural Milk Bowl Champion (1960), Harold Hanaford (in hat) and the 41st and most recent winner, Cris Michaud (2004) bring the Milk Bowl trophy out to Thunder Road's center flag pole)

Laperle offered up his thoughts on how to win the unique three-segment event, “You have to be patient, pass as many cars as you can and you have to be clean.” But before the veteran racer and his fellow competitors can think about participating in the Milk Bowl they first have to qualify. In 2002, the Quebec hot shoe earned the $1,000 Booth Bros/H.P. Hood Pole Award for setting fast time in the ACT Tour’s lone time trial event of the year. Last year, he was among the top finishers in triple 50-lap qualifiers to secure a starting position.

(PHOTO at right: Patrick Laperle accepts a commemorative plaque and a $1,000 check for winning the Booth Bros/H.P. Hood Time Trial Award from Laurence Jost of the Barre, VT based Booth Bros dairy)

“I’m not going to get too optimistic about things, every time I do, something bad happens. I’m bringing the same car I won with last year with same set-up and hope we have success again,” he finished.
Laperle was the first driver from Quebec to kiss the Milk Bowl queen in some 17 years. The legendary Jean-Paul Cabana was the last from province to carry the checkers in 1987.

Late Model drivers from all six New England states, New York and Quebec will be among the contenders for the Milk Bowl title. In addition to Laperle, no less than five other previous Milk Bowl champions, Jean-Paul Cyr, Phil Scott, Dave Pembroke, Eric Williams and Cris Michaud, will be among the star-studded field looking to earn one of the 30 starting positions.

The New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl is the final race on the ACT Late Model Tour’s schedule as well as the last event of the season on Thunder Road’s high-banked, quarter-mile oval. The 2006 ACT Champion as well as the NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock and Power Shift Warrior “King of the Road” will be crowned. Post time for both days (Sat, Sept 30/Sun, Oct 1) is 1:00 pm.