Contributed by: ACT Staff
The 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the 49th season of stock car racing at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement,” Barre’s Thunder Road, this weekend, Sat./Sun., May 3/4. The Merchants Bank 150 is the third round for the American-Canadian Tour Championship Late Models, and raises the curtain for Thunder Road’s weekly NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior divisions.
Festivities begin on Saturday morning in Barre City with the annual Merchants Bank Car Show at 9:00 am. Racing machines from all four classes will line Main Street for judging in the car show. A pit stop contest featuring the pit crews of Thunder Road’s four defending champion drivers is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am, followed by a parade to the race track at 12:00 noon. Practice will be held at the track starting at 1:00 pm.
Sunday kicks off with the traditional Champions Practice at 11:00 am, featuring all past Thunder Road Late Model Track Champions. The popular “Class Day” ceremonies begin at 1:00 pm, with as many as 120 race cars and drivers on display in the Thunder Road infield. Following the presentation of trophies to Saturday’s car show winners, green flag racing action begins at 1:30 pm.
“The Merchants Bank 150 is a fun weekend filled with great racing,” said Thunder Road General Manager Darla Hartt. “The anticipation of the new season is very exciting and the car show and ceremonies have become highlights to our year. We’re very pleased to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Merchants Bank 150 this year.”
Dave Pembroke of Middlesex, VT is the 2007 Late Model “King of the Road,” and will try for his second Merchants Bank 150 victory. He won the race in 2005. Nick Sweet of Barre, VT will not defend his NAPA Tiger Sportsman division title, as he joins Pembroke in the ACT Late Model ranks. The Allen Lumber Street Stock and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior championships are also up for grabs, as champions Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT and Bunker Hodgdon of Hardwick, VT, respectively, have also made jumps to higher divisions.
The 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 weekend opens on Sat., May 3 at 9:00 am in Downtown Barre City, Barre, VT. Thunder Road’s 49th stock car racing season opens on Sun., May 4 at 1:00 pm. General admission is $17 for adults, $5 of children (6-12), and just $35 for a family of four. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com.