Seven Past Milk Bowl Champions Qualify for 47th
Seven former Milk Bowl Champions have secured a spot in the starting grid for the 47th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl rescheduled for this Sunday (October 4) at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Brent Dragon, Dave Pembroke, Eric Williams, Cris Michaud and Jean-Paul Cyr each have their name etched in the Milk Bowl Champions granite monument once, while Phil Scott and Brian Hoar have two wins apiece. This leaves 23 drivers aiming for their first career Milk Bowl win.
Two favorites will start segment one from the front row. Barre’s Nick Sweet starts on the pole after earning the Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Pole award last Saturday. His lap was the fourth fastest to earn the pole since Late Models took over the Chittenden Milk Bowl in 1996. Sweet will attempt to become the tenth driver in the history of the Milk Bowl to win from the pole. It is only his second career start in the prestigious event. His ninth place finish in last year’s event helped him earn the 2008 ACT Tour Rookie of the Year honors.
“I was really surprised. We were just looking for a strong time that would get us somewhere near the front, because last year we were way off,” said Sweet of his pole winning lap. “Now the key is to finish every segment. There are 20 cars in this that could win it. You just have to have better luck and not wreck. We ran 50 lap features all year and the whole Thunder Road season has been building up to this.”
However, the 25 year-old Sweet will have his hands full early as 20 year-old Joey “Pole” Polewarczyk, Jr. of Hudson, NH will be starting on his outside. Pole was just 54 one-thousandths of a second away from becoming the third driver in history with four pole awards and the second with four straight. None of Pole’s pole awards translated into a Milk Bowl win, as his best finish remains third.
While the front row is a demonstration of the youth movement in ACT Late Model competition, they had better keep an eye out for 66 year-old veteran Joey Laquerre from East Montpelier. Sunday will be Laquerre’s 12th career Milk Bowl start, none resulting in a kiss with the cow. The only competitor in the field with more career Milk Bowl starts will be Senator Phil Scott (Sunday will be number 13). Laquerre has been around Thunder Road for all 50 years of its existence and has been winning for almost as long. But the Chittenden Milk Bowl remains elusive. His best finish was ninth, which he earned in his first career Milk Bowl start in 1996. Laquerre will start from sixth position in segment number one on Sunday.
“I think we have a very good chance on Sunday,” said Laquerre. “Winning the 47th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl would rank right up there with running at New Hampshire (Motor Speedway), as highlights of my career. I would love to kiss the cow if it means I’ve won the race.”The 47th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl will cap off the 50th Anniversary Season celebration at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Pre-race ceremonies will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 4th, followed by all three segments of the Milk Bowl and features to decide the 2009 Champions of the NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Power Shift Junkyard Warriors.