Donahue Scores First Win at Thunder Road’s Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200

"Irish" John Donahue took his first ACT win at the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 (Stephane Lazare photo)

American-Canadian Tour (ACT) stock car racer “Irish” John Donahue of Graniteville, VT scored an upset first career win in the $50,000 ACTion Super Series 29th Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on Sunday afternoon.  Donahue battled polesitter and race leader Scott Payea of Milton, VT for 94 laps before taking over for good and driving virtually uncontested to a victory worth more than $6,000.

“It seems like we couldn’t do anything wrong all day,” Donahue beamed in the winner’s circle.  “We finally got a Tour win, and we did it at Thunder Road.  Yes!”

On a day when his main sponsor, the National Guard, swore in a group of new soldiers in a pre-race ceremony led by Vermont Adjutant General Michael Dubie, Donahue controlled his Ford Fusion through lapped traffic with ease.  Despite three restarts bunching the field after he took the lead, no other driver was able to keep pace with Donahue.

Groveton, NH veteran Randy Potter made a late charge after pitting for fresh right side tires on lap 135, and passed perennial ACT Late Model Tour Champion Jean-Paul Cyr of Milton, VT for second place with 14 laps remaining.  Cyr earned his ninth top-five finish in ten season starts with a third-place effort.  Brent Dragon, also from Milton, VT, finished a strong fourth on the outside lane.  Turner, ME’s Ben Rowe scored a career-best Thunder Road result in fifth place.

(L-R) Bond Auto Parts reps join Jean-Paul Cyr (3rd), John Donahue (1st), and Randy Potter (2nd) in victory lane on Sunday (Lazare photo)

Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, NH finished sixth ahead of Payea.  Shelburne, VT’s Jamie Fisher, David Avery of North Woodstock, NH, and Rowley, MA driver Eddie MacDonald rounded out the unofficial Top 10 drivers in the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200.  All of the top ten finishers were on the lead lap.

Hometown rookie Shawn Sicard earned his first career win in the 40-lap NAPA Tiger Sportsman division feature ahead of fellow freshman driver Kyle Tatro of Hyde Park, VT.  Tommy “Thunder” Smith of Williamstown, VT copped the 30-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock victory, while Donny Yates of Barre, VT won the 18-lap Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior event.

The ACTion Super Series is back in action at the state-of-the-art Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, ON on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6:00 pm, and back at Thunder Road on Sat./Sun., Sept. 29/30 for the 44th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit or

UNOFFICIAL FINISH – ACTion Super Series 29th Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT – Sunday, Sept. 2, 2007

Rusty Berger (59) and Jimmy Linardy (77) walked away uninjured from this spectacular crash in the "B" feature (Gene Gagne photo)

Finish-(Start)- Driver-Hometown-Laps Complete-Reason Out, if any
1. (3) John Donahue, Graniteville, VT, 200
2. (20) Randy Potter, Groveton, NH, 200
3. (4) Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton, VT, 200
4. (25) Brent Dragon, Milton, VT, 200
5. (17) Ben Rowe, Turner, ME, 200
6. (12) Brad Leighton, Center Harbor, NH, 200
7. (1) Scott Payea, Milton, VT, 200
8. (10) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 200
9. (14) David Avery, North Woodstock, NH, 200
10. (11) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, MA, 200
11. (22) Roger Brown, II, Lancaster, NH, 199
12. (8) Kip Stockwell, Braintree, VT, 199
13. (5) Mike Rowe, Turner, ME, 199
14. (6) Rich Lowrey, Charlotte, VT, 199
15. (21) Brian Hoar, Williston, VT, 199
16. (9) Dave Whitcomb, Essex Junction, VT, 199
17. (7) Chip Grenier, Northfield, VT, 199
18. (18) Dennis Demers, Shelburne, VT, 198
19. (13) Ron Henry, New Gloucester, ME, 198
20. (19) Marc Curtis, Jr., Worcester, MA, 198
21. (15) Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville, VT, 198
22. (23) Dave Pembroke, Montpelier, VT, 197
23. (27) Joey Becker, Jeffersonville, VT, 196
24. (30) Mike Gosselin, Derby, VT, 194
25. (24) Marcel Gravel, Wolcott, VT, 190
26. (29) Jamie Aube, Bow, NH, 186
27. (28) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH, 184
28. (2) Eric Williams, Hyde Park, VT, 183, Handling
29. (16) Mike Bailey, South Barre, VT, 144, Handling
30. (26) Robbie Crouch, Tampa, FL, Sway Bar

Cautions: (4) Laps 49, 136, 147, 149
Leaders: (5 lead changes among 2 drivers): Scott Payea 1-48, 50, 53-93; John Donahue 49, 51-52, 94-200
Time of race: 1:03:52

NAPA Tiger Sportsman
1. Shawn Sicard, Barre, VT
2. Kyle Tatro, Hyde Park, VT
3. Mark Barnier, Essex Junction, VT
4. Pete Ainsworth, Middlesex, VT
5. Rick Garand, Middlesex, VT
6. Trevor Lyman, Hinesburg, VT
7. Chuck Beede, Williamstown, VT
8. Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier, VT
9. Joe Steffen, Essex Junction, VT
10. Nick Sweet, Barre, VT

Allen Lumber Street Stock
1. Tommy Smith, Williamstown, VT
2. Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common, VT
3. Maynard Bartlett, Sr., Wolcott, VT
4. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, VT
5. Tim Campbell, Topsham, VT

Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior
1. Donny Yates, Barre, VT
2. Scott Weston, Barre, VT
3. Chad Brown, Jeffersonville, VT
4. Mike Gay, South Burlington, VT
5. Bunker Hodgdon, III, Hardwick, VT