Contributed by: ACT Staff
52ND THUNDER ROAD MILK BOWL FULL OF CEREMONY
The People’s United Bank Milk Bowl is full of ceremony, tradition, and exceptional stock car racing. The fall season in Vermont is the perfect backdrop for one of America’s greatest closing short track events of the race season.
When asked what makes the Milk Bowl so special, Tom Curley, long-time promoter at Thunder Road said, “First, the purse is over ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) to win. Also, for most teams it is the last race of the season. For many, just getting qualified and racing in a Milk Bowl is the goal. It has been billed as ‘the toughest short track race in America’ and for race fans, that has been proven year in and year out.”
The Milk Bowl is run in three 50-lap segments, with 30 of the best Late Model teams in the region. Using one point for each position, in each segment, and then combining the scores for a winner with the lowest point total over the three segments, has been the tradition for 51 years.
“You put 30 of the best Late Model drivers in the region on the high banks of Thunder Road with the best starting out back in two of the segments, it really doesn’t give the drivers a lot of time to dally about and strategize. The format of starting two out of three segments with an inversion, where the best start out back in segments two and three, is without question the best way to prove who is the best or damn lucky on that certain race day. It also is a way for race fans to get their money’s worth!” concluded Curley.
The Milk Bowl weekend will have all the pomp and circumstance that Thunder Road special events has become known for. The Milk Bowl history will be celebrated with the inaugural 1962 winner, Harold “Hard Luck” Hanaford from Plymouth, NH placing the chromed Milk Can in the center of the infield with 2013 defending Champion Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont. Many of the great champions from the past will join Ken Squier in victory lane for their predictions as to who will join the elite club of Milk Bowl winners. There are expected to be eight (8) former winners in the 2014 People’s United Bank Milk Bowl starting field. Sweet will be joined by two 3-time winners: Brian Hoar from Williston, VT and Patrick Laperle from Montreal, QC. Phil Scott and David Pembroke both from Montpelier, have each kissed the beauty queen, a prize Vermont dairy cow, on two occasions. Winners also include Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson NH, John Donahue, Graniteville, VT, and Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, VT.
Other exciting additions to the Milk Bowl weekend include the Catamount Pipe and Drum Band who will bring the 30-car starting field to the grid. Anxious politicians during an election year get to participate in the cow chip throwing contest, with their “pitching” abilities tested as they aim for an American Racer tire. The winner is almost assured a run-away election. One of Vermont’s most popular singers, Tammy Fletcher, will sing the national anthem. Speed 51, the leader in short track internet visibility has been contracted to provide live pay-per-view television of the entire weekend. Check Speed 51.com to sign up for the live broadcast on the world-wide web.
“Speed 51 is really pleased to add one of North America’s great races to our special Pay TV broadcasts. We have been very selective on where we wanted to begin this new venture at Speed 51 in 2014, and the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road was one of those events we are delighted to offer our fans around the country. We are looking forward to bringing the excitement to short track fans,” said Bob Dillner, founder of Speed 51, and noted television broadcaster for NASCAR events.
The 2014 People’s United Bank Milk Bowl will be held on Sat-Sun, October 4-5, 2014. There will be a closed practice for Late Model teams only on Friday, October 3, 2014.
Camping will open for fans on Friday at 9am and campers must be off the grounds by noon on Monday, October, 6. Admission for the two-day race is just $30 for Saturday and Sunday, or $25 for Milk Bowl Sunday only, and $10 for Saturday only qualifying. Saturday will feature triple 50-lap qualifiers for ACT Late Models, time trials for all three divisions and first segment ‘mini milk bowls’ for the Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Bond Auto Tiger divisions. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge both days. Gates will open at 10am and post time is 1:00 on Saturday and 12:30 for opening ceremonies on Sunday.