Michaud Returns to Glory, Sweet Crowned King
43 ACT Competitors Prepare for Labor Day Classic
Multi-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud returned to the winner’s circle in the Aubuchon Hardware Late Model 100 for the third time in 2012 after a high-flying duel with 2012 King of the Road Nick Sweet. Sweet closed out his remarkable championship campaign with a second place finish, and Essex Junction’s Dave Whitcomb rounded out the podium with third.
Jeffersonville’s Joey Becker and Whitcomb set the tone of the race early, which started on lap 17 after a rain delay last Thursday. The pair battled side by side until lap 26 when Becker assumed the point on the inside lane. Not ten laps later, Whitcomb was back in the hunt, swinging to the outside lane and reclaiming the lead on lap 40. While the pair was battling, Michaud, Sweet, and three-time track Champion Phil Scott worked their way through the field to catch the leaders. Michaud found himself in a three-car battle for the lead with Becker and Whitcomb on lap 63, before Becker fell to a determined Sweet.
Michaud was then pinned in lap traffic by Whitcomb and Sweet on lap 83 and fell back to third, while Sweet swiftly moved to the lead. Michaud gave chase, stealing second back from Whitcomb while tracking Champion Sweet. Michaud caught him using the outside lane with just 8 laps to go, and powered by to claim the victory.
Michaud was elated in victory lane. “What a race. Got picked in lap traffic there towards the end, but we recovered and it feels so great to be running this well again,” said Michaud. “These guys have busted their butts all year, and it has really paid off in the last few races. Can’t wait for next season,” he finished.
Barre’s own Nick Sweet had already locked up the 2012 King of the Road title, but was crowned in front of the crowd after the race.
“This is as good as it gets, and I have my entire team to thank,” said the ever-humble Sweet. “It was great racing with all these guys this year, now we will focus on hanging on to this trophy next year.”
The ACT Championship Late Model Tour came to town for a five- hour practice session before the Aubuchon 100 on Saturday (September 1). 43 teams were in attendance for the session, the only member of the top ten in points not in attendance was point-leader Wayne Helliwell, Jr. who was wrapping up weekly Championship honors at Canaan Fair Speedway. Barre’s Cody Blake laid down a time dangerously close to the track record early in the session, ripping off a lap of 12.937. He was followed by Eric Chase, Scott Payea, Luke Hinkley and ACT Rookie Jimmy Hebert. Other quick teams included Austin Theriault, Brian Hoar, Jean Paul Cyr, Joey Polewarczyk, and 2011 track Champion David Pembroke.
Over forty of the American Canadian Tour stars are expected to return Barre’s Thunder Road tomorrow (Sunday, September 2) for the 34th Annual Bond Auto Labor Day Classic. Post time is 1pm.
Late Model Aubuchon Hardware 100 – Unofficial Results
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Pos. (Car #) Driver, Hometown
1. (6VT) Cris Michaud, E. Montpelier, VT
2. (88VT) Nick Sweet, Barre, VT
3. (25VT) Dave Whitcomb, Essex Jct., VT
4. (14VT) Phil Scott, Berlin, VT
5. (44VT) Dave Pembroke, Middlesex, VT
6. (89VT) Scott Payea, Milton, VT
7. (16VT) Joey Becker, Jeffersonville, VT
8. (85VT) Trampas Demers, S. Burlington, VT
9. (40VT) Eric Chase, Milton, VT
10. (99VT) Cody Blake, Barre, VT
11. (18VT) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT
12. (7VT) Eric Williams, Hyde Park, VT
13. (3VT) Ricky Roberts, Washington, VT
14. (74VT) Jerry Lesage, Winooski, VT
15. (41VT) Jamie Aube, No. Ferrisburg, VT
16. (17VT) Lance Allen, Barre, VT
17. (00VT) Mike Bailey, South Barre, VT
18. (68VT) Brooks Clark, Fayston, VT
19. (42VT) Matt White, Northfield, VT
20. (1VT) Brett Wheeler, Waterbury, VT
21. (15VT) Joey Laquerre, E. Montpelier, VT
22. (22VT) Chip Grenier, Graniteville, VT
23. (21TN) John Donahue, Graniteville, VT
24. (5VT) Marcel Gravel, Morrisville,VT