Thunder Road Speedbowl
New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Sunday, October 08, 2006

Unlike last Sunday, a glorious day is on tap for the 43rd annual New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. Thirty ACT Late Model competitors, all looking for $10,000 to win and a kiss from Miss Milk Bowl, as well as two alternate drivers are in the pit area putting the final touches on their cars.

With the point standings close following last weekend's qualifying, the NAPA Tiger Sportsman and Allen Lumber Street Stock competitors are also bustling about looking for the hot set-up of the day. The 2006 "Kind of the Road" will be crown in each division following their added-distance main events.

Pole sitter Joey "Pole" Polewarczyk Jr of Hudson, NH spent Friday (Oct 6) on a media tour, "I felt like a star going to different radio and television stations around Vermont. It was a wonderful experience." Since it was a Friday, the 17 year-old high school student was dismissed from his studies for the day by his teachers. "I think they understood how big it is for a young guy like me to be starting on the pole for one of the biggest races in New England. It was nice they let me out of school for the day for unique experience."

White Mountain Motorsports Park driver, Quinney Welch of Lancaster NH likely had the greatest surprise of the week. When he left Thunder Road last Sunday in the pouring rain, he was one of the 33 cars who had not qualified. However, the 30th place starter, Quebec's Jean-Francois Dery had a point counting serie Castrol event which he counldn't miss since he sat second in points. This bumped Welch, the first alternate, into the field. "I'm glad I'm here racing today instead of in the stands watching," Welch said. "My car isn't handling well but I think that it'll be fine by the time the green flag waves. I was afraid of the Widow Maker when I left here (last) Saturday but we're friends now - I haven't hit it yet so that's a good start to a long friendship!"

Braintree, VT resident Cal Poulin has returned to Thunder Road as one of two alternates. "I was way down on the list but a lot of guys apparently had other things going on this weekend or didn't want to make the trip back. I had drained the water from my radiator, preparing it for the winter when I received the call. Even if I don't make it into the Milk Bowl today I will be happy to have the extra practice." Poulin is a weekly racer at the track.

Dave Wilcox of Fairfield, VT was very pleased the time he posted in last Saturday's Booth Bros/HP Hood Time Trials. "I haven't run at Thunder Road a lot this season, and the few times I did, I hit the wall. My plan is to run the full Tour in 2007 and some of the Super Series races. Qualifying for the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl is the boost we needed!"

ACTion Super Series Pit Notes #2 Thunder Road Speedbowl
New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Sunday, October 08, 2006

Milton, Vermont's Jean-Paul Cyr got together with fellow VT resident, Jay Laquerre of E. Montpelier, during the first Milk Bowl segment. The 2006 ACT Tour Champion went to the pit area reporting a sore wrist. After a check by the ambulance crew, the veteran racer and 1996 Milk Bowl Champion returned to the fray. "I think I just sprained it," he explained following the first 50 lapper. "I'm going to give it my best shot in the next segment although it certainly wasn't easy driving with a hurt wrist."

2003 Thunder Road Late Model Champion, Jamie Fisher from Shelburne, VT celebrates his 33rd birthday here at the New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl. The veteran racer charged from the 29th starting spot to an impressive 6th place finish in the first 50-lap segment. "The car is real fast today. It's more fun to come from the back to the front, who wants to start up front and walk away with it? Spending my birthday at the Milk Bowl is fun because I get to do my favorite thing- race!"

Sixteen-year-old DJ Shaw from Center Conway, NH took a hard hit in the first segment. The youngster was not injured but will not return for the second segment due to extensive damage to his car. "It's not the way I wanted to end my Milk Bowl that's for sure. I'm glad I was able to take the start. I took a hard hit here the first time I came. I'm just going to have to figure out how to avoid that front stretch wall the next time." Shaw, son of former BGNN Champion, Dale Shaw isn't the only driver who's had fits with Thunder Road's infamous fourth turn wall. Nextel Cup star, Kenny Schrader had some choice comments about the yellow and green concrete during each of his two visits to the track.

Pole sitter Joey Polewarczyk Jr of Hudson, NH was able to hold off the challenges of outside pole sitter, Brent Dragon of Milton to claim the victory in the first segment. "My car was just awesome," the youngster exclaimed following the 50-lapper. "Coming from the back to the front will definitely be a challenge but my car is just so good I'm pretty confident."

Point leader, Eric Badore of Milton, VT methodically worked his way to the front in the Allen Lumber Street Stock division's 35-lap New England Dodge Dealers main event. The young gun was able to chare ahead to lead the final circuit over Steve Quenneville and secure his third victory of the year. The victory gave the third year racer the 2006 "King of the Road" championship.

The bi-annual Political Poop Pitch followed the highly exciting Allen Lumber Street Stock finale. Some 30 election hopefuls for various local, state and federal offices participated in the cow chip toss. When the contest was over, incumbent Vermont State Auditor, Randy Brock was deemed the winner. Several protests and demands for a recount were immediately filed. Unfortunately for the protestors, the only thing left for a recount has turned in to fertilizer.

ACTion Super Series Pit Notes #3 Thunder Road Speedbowl
New England Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl Sunday, October 08, 2006

Although his race car proved to be a handful, third generation driver Jay Laquerre of E. Montpelier, VT, easily won the second segment. "My car is extremely tight in the center (of the turns), but it's something that we can fix going into the final segment," he explained. Laquerre enters the third segment in 19th place.

Joey "Pole" became reunited with the Widow Maker during the Milk Bowl's second segment. When he hit the wall he gave up two on-track positions. Milton, Vwermont''s Brent Dragon took over the lead by a single point heading into the third and final segment. "I can't believe I hit the wall," the 17 year-old exclaimed. "Luckily my car isn't torn up too badly. We'll see what we can do in the last segment. I know I have to finish in front of Brent."

Dragon says he will be cautious during the final leg of the historic event. "I'm in a great spot to win the race and I'm the only one that can mess it up at this point. I hated to see Joey (Polewarczyk) hit the wall; his car's been a rocket ship! We'll see where we are when the checkered flag drops!" Dragon was in a similar position last year but wound up losing the race to Patrick Laperle when he ran out of cars to pass.

Defending Milk Bowl Champion, Patrick Laperle from St. Denis, Quebec was busy working on the front end of his race car following a minor on track incident. "My car isn't as bad as it looks. We were overheating because there was sheet metal blocking the airflow to the radiator. I'll be back in the final segment." Laperle's hopes of becoming the fourth back-to-back Milk Bowl winner in 43 years went by the wayside when he was forced to retire for repairs on the 36th circuit.

The top three drivers in the NAPA Tiger Sportsmen point standings all had to qualify for their New England Dodge Dealers 50 through the "B" Feature which meant that no one gained (or lost) points to the other. The added distance main event was an exercise of give and take as Shawn Fleury, Pete Ainsworth and Matt White jockeyed for position. When the checkers flew, sophomore racer, Nick Sweet was the first across the line in convincing fashion. Fleury's sixth place effort earned the Montpelier, VT resident his second consecutive "King of the Road" title.

With two of the Milk Bowl segments complete, there are no less than five ties among the top 20 drivers, including a likely record of six tied for 9th place! Brent Dragon leads the way with 14 points, one ahead of wunderkind Joey Polewarczyk. Past Thunder Road Late Model and Milk Bowl Champion, Cris Michaud (17), Dennis Demers (22) as well as John Donahue, Marc Curtis and Phil Scott (a two-time Milk Bowl winner), all with 24, are still in the hunt.