Payea Prevails in T-Road Labor Day Classic 200
Late rally lands ACT point leader 5th Tour win
Scott Payea led the final 13 laps of the 39th Annual Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road Monday after a caution on lap 185 put him on the front row with eventual third-place finisher Nick Sweet.
Scott Dragon got by Sweet with three laps left to claim runner-up honors.
Payea brought the Harrison Redi-Mix No. 37 to the pits on lap 48 after suffering damage when cars stacked up behind a fourth-turn spinout.
The race played out over eight restarts in a way that made Sweet and Dragon choose track position over fresher tires – a decision that proved costly when Payea arrived on the scene still ahead of Jason Corliss another key contender, who pitted for new rubber on lap 80.
Corliss needed a great save after contact with Phil Scott to keep his spot on the last restart. Tyler Cahoon, who started 22nd, finished fifth.
“It’s amazing!” Payea said in victory lane. “That was everything I had. I thought we were wrecking there for a bit at the end. This is my home track and now we can check this one (Labor Day Classic) off the list. My team is unbelievable!”
Sweet took the lead from Dillon Moltz on lap 126. Moltz led the most laps (54-125), pitted on lap 145 and wound up 7th.
“I tried my hardest,” Sweet said with resignation. “I think that was a good show. The yellows didn’t help me. The car really tightened up. I could hear the tires chattering.”
“That was a lot of fun,” said Dragon who spent the final 140 laps in the top five. “We talked about when we might pit, but it came down to nope, we’re going to keep going.”
Positions 6-10 went to Marcel Gravel, Moltz, Chris Pelkey, Darrell Morin and Josh Masterson.
Others who ran well only to fall by the wayside were early leader Bobby Therrien, Scott, Brooks Clark and Cody Blake, who was running fifth when he came to a stop to bring out the final caution.
Payea’s win unofficially bolstered his ACT point lead over Moltz to 38 points with one event remaining – at The Thompson Speedway World Series October 14.
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
2. (11) Scott Dragon ( 16VT ) , Milton, VT , 200 Laps
3. (5) Nick Sweet ( 40VT ) , Barre, VT , 200 Laps
4. (7) #Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT , 200 Laps
5. (22) Tyler Cahoon ( 38VT ) , Danville, VT , 200 Laps
6. (3) Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 200 Laps
7. (1) Dillon Moltz ( 5CT ) , Waterford, CT , 200 Laps
8. (15) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 200 Laps
9. (26) Darrell Morin ( 17VT ) , Westford, VT , 200 Laps
10. (18) Josh Masterson ( 11NY ) , Charlotte, VT , 200 Laps
11. (4) Phil Scott ( 14VT ) , Berlin, VT , 200 Laps
12. (8) Brooks Clark ( 68VT ) , Fayston, VT , 200 Laps
13. (16) Patrick Laperle ( 91QC ) , St-Denis, QC , 200 Laps
14. (24) Rowland Robinson, Jr. ( 28ME ) , Steuben, ME , 199 Laps
15. (20) Rich Dubeau ( 30NH ) , Lebanon, NH , 199 Laps
16. (19) Oren Remick ( 21NH ) , Warner, NH , 198 Laps
17. (14) Matthew Smith ( 04VT ) , Essex Jct., VT , 198 Laps
18. (23) Jimmy Hebert ( 58VT ) , Williamstown, VT , 191 Laps
19. (25) Mark Hudson ( 82MA ) , Norton, MA , 188 Laps
20. (6) Cody Blake ( 99VT ) , Barre, VT , 185 Laps
21. (10) Jonathan Bouvrette ( 41QC ) , Blainville, QC , 174 Laps
22. (21) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 159 Laps
23. (2) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 157 Laps
24. (9) Chip Grenier ( 9VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 109 Laps
25. (17 Matt White ( 42VT ) , Northfield, VT , 84 Laps
26. (13) Kyle Pembroke ( 27VT ) , Montpelier, VT , 0 Laps
Lap Leaders: Dillon Moltz, pole; Bobby Therrien, 1-53; Moltz, 54-125; Nick Sweet, 126-188; Scott Payea, 189-200. (4 lead changes among 4 drivers)
Time of Race: 1:30:11 Margin of Victory: 0.548 seconds
Cautions: 8 (laps 0, 48, 60, 62, 83, 144, 156, 185)
Heat Winners: Jonathan Bouvrette, Scott Dragon, Nick Sweet
Consi Winners: Jason Corliss, Patrick Laperle