Who Will Win the Thunder Road Triple Crown?
Who Will Win Thunder Road’s Triple Crown?

Drivers Look Ahead to $50,000 Bonus

When 51 ACT Late Model stock cars arrive at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, October 14th for the 50th People’s United Bank Milk Bowl, an extra incentive will be on their minds: Curley’s $50,000 Challenge.  The challenge, put out by long-time Promoter Tom Curley, is a $50,000 bonus to any driver that can win all three segments of the year-end Milk Bowl.

The task is daunting, but three drivers have already accomplished the feat: Larry Demar in 1967, Dave Dion in 1975, and Robbie Crouch in 1986.  Brian Hoar was one position away in 1998 when he won the first two segments and finished second to his father in the third.  Several others have won two segments but failed to complete the crown.

With $50,000 on the line, drivers are more focused than ever on the Triple Crown goal.  As hard as the task may be, there is a dynamic group of drivers who look entirely capable of doing the job. 

The group is lead by eight-time American Canadian Tour Champion Brian Hoar, who won the 2011 Milk Bowl and has two others to his name.  Hoar has come closest to earning the triple in the past and, considering his racing history, is a clear favorite.  Hoar will have to best rival Wayne Helliwell, Jr to do it, who is fresh off winning a heavyweight battle with Hoar for the American Canadian Tour Championship last weekend.  The pair that dominated the Tour will bring the fight to the high banks on Sunday.

Another challenge comes from 2012 King of the Road Nick Sweet, who is riding the momentum of his second Late Model title, and is a year removed from a Milk Bowl in which he lost a tie for the win.  Sweet will be out for revenge in 2012 as the Milk Bowl remains on his short list of big races he has yet to claim.  Former Milk Bowl Champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. is another strong candidate for the $50,000, as he has a nose for big money races.  A former Bond Auto ACT Invitational winner, and the 2012 TD Bank 250 winner, Polewarczyk will have another big shot to add to his list of impressive wins. 

Série ACT Castrol Champion Patrick Laperle also has to be in the mix, after yet another Quebec Championship in 2012 and his three previous Milk Bowl wins.  For $50,000, as he said himself, “People should prepare for a good show.”

Three-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud has made a statement, winning two of the last three races in the Thunder Road Late Model season, and qualifying fifth for the Milk Bowl by way of winning his 50-lap qualifier.  That’s three of the last four 50-lappers he has participated in, and the former Milk Bowl Champ will look for four in segment 1.  Two-time Champion Dave Pembroke will look for retribution after being dethroned as “King of the Road” in 2012, and will start from first as the fastest car in time trials.  Pembroke is an 18-time winner at Thunder Road, and the 2002 Milk Bowl Champion to boot.

The gloves come off this Sunday, October 14th for the 50th Annual People's United Bank Milk Bowl at Barre's Thunder Road.  Post time is 1:00pm.