Pit Notes: Thunder Road Car Show and Practice
The annual Thunder Road Car Show and open practice were held on Saturday, May 2. A fleet of stock cars from all three Thunder Road racing divisions lined Barre, VT's Main Street from 9:00am-12:00pm, with the 2014 track champions leading the race car parade up Quarry Hill.
The Pit Stop Challenge featured the crews of last year's Thunder Road and ACT Champions: ACT Tour Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Late Model “King of the Road” Derrick O'Donnell, Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen Champion Jason Woodard, and Allen Lumber Street Stock title holder Tommy “Thunder” Smith. Williamstown, VT's Smith and his #50 One Credit Union Tiger Sportsman team won the challenge by changing two tires in 28.04 seconds.
In the practice that followed, Thunder Road locals dominated the charts. O'Donnell and Barre, VT's Nick Sweet shared the mark for fastest lap with a time of 13.304 seconds. Another Barre driver, Cody Blake, ranked third with a 13.328-second fast lap. Jason Corliss, Eric Badore, and Trampas Demers also ran laps in the sub-13.4 second range. Brad Babb was the fast of the ACT Tour drivers with a 13.437-second time, with Eddie MacDonald close behind at 13.443.
The day started poorly for two-time “King of the Road” and former Vermont State Late Model Champion David Pembroke. The Middlesex veteran lost control in turn 4 in the first practice session and backed into the wall, causing severe damage to the rear of his #44 Lamoille Valley Ford machine. The Pembroke team left the track shortly afterwards to make repairs in hopes of returning on Sunday.
Tiger Sportsmen veteran Brendan Moodie also had an inauspicious start. Mere laps into the first Tiger session, the Wolcott, VT driver found himself on his roof in turn 4. Moodie was able to get his #94 K. Bellevance Chevrolet back together in time for the third session, and ended up turning the fourth-fastest lap of the day.
Milton, VT's Dylan Payea set the pace in the Tigers with a fast lap of 14.499 seconds. Barre's Christopher Pelkey was just behind with a 14.504-second time, followed by Jeffrey Bousquet, Moodie, and Mike Martin.
Garry Bashaw was the fastest in the Street Stocks, putting down a fast lap of 15.916 seconds. 2009 Street Stock Champion Gary “The Farmer” Mullen was second with a 15.952-second time in a new car built for the 2015 season. Jaden Perry, Donny Yates, and Jamon Perry rounded out the top-five on the speed charts.
The 56th Thunder Road season begins with the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 3. Post time is 1:00pm. Admission is $25 for adults and free for children 12 and under.