Late Model stock car drivers from New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park (WMMP) aren’t ready to park their cars for the season following last weekend’s rain out of their final event at the quarter-mile stock car oval. No less than seven competitors from the N. Woodstock speedplant are expected to descend on Thunder Road, another quarter-mile oval, this weekend for the American-Canadian Tour’s (ACT) 43rd annual New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. The prestige of the historic event, as well as its $10,000 winners purse and lap leader money in excess of $8,800, likely play into the White Mountain driver’s interest in the race, in addition to their event’s rain out.

Joining St. Johnsbury, VT drivers, Stacy Cahoon, the runner-up in WMMP’s season-long standings, and his son, 25 year-old Tyler (who finished 9th), who filed entries several weeks ago, are Lancaster, NH driver Quinny Welch (5th place), and Russ Clark from Littleton, NH. Clark led the point standings at the Granite State track for the majority of the season but a mechanical failure in the final point counting event relegated the veteran racer to sixth.

Also expected to make the trip to Thunder Road for the “toughest short track stock car race in the country” is 16 year-old racing sensation and second generation driver, DJ Shaw from Center Conway, NH. As a freshman competitor, Shaw, who is the son of former Busch Grand National North Series Champion Dale Shaw, captured this year’s WMMP Championship by three points over the elder Cahoon.

Barre, VT’s Pete Potvin cut his racing teeth on Thunder Road’s high banks but more recently has been running a Late Model on a weekly basis at WMMP. He tested his car on Thunder Road’s high banks earlier in the season and reports are that he plans to attempt to qualify for the Milk Bowl. David Avery from Lincoln, NH, who finished among the top three in the unique three segment Milk Bowl a couple of years ago, looks to make a his first Late Model start of the season. Kendell Legendre from Lyndonville, VT will also reportedly attempt to qualify this weekend.

“I tried to qualify for the Milk Bowl a couple of years ago,” commented White Mountain’s Russ Clark who’s been piloting a Late Model for some 10 years. “I think the three segment and the inversions between each 50-lapper makes for a level playing field. It certainly makes it more exciting!”
He continued, “The Milk Bowl is fun to be a part of, it’s quite an experience. My crew’s been after me ever since we went to Thunder Road the last time to give it another try. Guess there’s no time like the present,” the nephew of former Thunder Road hot shoe Johnny Clark finished.

WMMP’s Quinny Welch also has a family connection to the Barre, VT high banks – his brother-in-law, Roger Brown, sits third in the ACT point standings. While Welch won’t reveal whether “The Rocketman” is offering up pointers, he did say that he’s been getting some advice on the track from some drivers who know the place quite well. “I’d consider it a victory just to qualify for the Milk Bowl,” the fourth-year Late Model competitor stated. “During practice I’m going to work on running with other cars. The last time I was there (at Thunder Road) I ran a lot by myself and I was pretty quick. That’s great for the time trials but not when you’re racing for 50 laps in one of the qualifiers or, if you’re luck, in the Milk Bowl segments,” he concluded.

Action begins Saturday with the Booth Bros/HP Hood Time Trials. A $1,000 bonus has been posted for the driver earning the Milk Bowl’s first segment pole starting position by setting the fast time of the day. Qualifying for Thunder Road’s weekly divisions as well as Triple 50 Qualifiers for the Late Models are also slated. Sunday’s racing kicks off with the Last Chance “B” Feature for drivers who haven’t yet earned a spot in the 30-car field. Post time both days is 1:00 pm.