Thunder Road Helps Barre Flood Victims
Free admission to next Thunder Road event
Thunder Road International Speedbowl has been supported by hometown Barre, Vermont fans for over 52 years. Now one of the most well-known short tracks in North America is going to give back on Sunday, June 12.
“We are inviting Barre flood victims to ‘take a break’ and join us on Sunday, June 12. The clean-up and sorrow from the most devastating floods since 1927 have shown what a resilient town Barre is. The people and city will bounce back. The folks of Barre have helped Thunder Road through some tough times over the years, and we wanted to give back in a small way. We hope a few hours of fun will be our way of saying thanks to our neighbors”, said Tom Curley co-owner of Thunder Road with Ken Squier.
Barre fans who have been affected by the flood and who have a Barre driver’s license address will be admitted free of charge to the Sunday, June 12 race at Thunder Road.
“We are asking all who attend the races to help out with a clothing drop, a non-perishable food item, or a small financial donation to assist those who have lost their belongings, cars, or in some cases their homes. Any donations will be appreciated,” said Darla Hartt, General Manager of Thunder Road. “We will make sure that the proper agencies help by distributing these items to those in need,” she concluded.

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic
Donahue, O’Donnell Take Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Doubleheader Wins
Graniteville’s John Donahue and Bradford’s Derrick O’Donnell claimed wins in Mekkelsen RV Memorial Classic doubleheader at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT on Sunday, May 29. Donahue, a former Milk Bowl champion and four time winner at Thunder Road in 2010, claimed the Late Model 100 lap feature win.
Donahue fought his way past Middlesex’s Dave Pembroke in a battle of two Fords on lap 33. The two battled hard for the first 32 laps with Donahue trying everything he could to get by leader Pembroke before finally gaining the edge. Donahue would lead the rest of the way for the most part uncontested.
Pembroke held off Vermont Lt. Governor Phil Scott to take second. Scott, 2010 King of the Road Nick Sweet and Brent Dragon rounded out the top five. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., rookie Jimmy Hebert, Matt White, Reno Gervais and Cris Michaud completed the top ten.
Donahue lapped all but the top 11 cars of the 27 car field. The 100 lap event was completed in just 29 minutes and saw just two cautions.

Serie ACT Castrol at Montmagny Postponed


The Serie ACT Castrol event scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at Autodrome Montmagny has been postponed due to rain. The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 11.

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic
Thunder Road In Good Shape After Storm
Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Remains on Schedule
Thunder Road International Speedbowl holds up in torrential storm. The grounds of the speedway held up to the massive amounts of water with little to no damage. Other than a small lake in the infield the grounds are in great condition. The Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic will be run on Sunday, May 29 as scheduled. A full schedule of events can be found here.
Camping will be allowed starting at 12 noon on Friday, May 27. Thunder Road officials ask that all campers please listen and obey workers that will be on the grounds for parking.
Admission for the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on Sunday, May 29 is just $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12 and $30 for a family of four (two kids and two adults).

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Double Header
Thunder Road practice session a bonus for many teams
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl fans will see lots of talent during the twin 100 lap events at the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic Twin 100’s on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Following a three-hour practice session under perfect weather conditions this week, there is a new corps of Thunder Road racers poised to challenge the veteran teams.
Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, VT, a rookie in 2011 with a past Thunder Road championship title in the Bond Tiger Sportsman division, set a fast time among the twenty-three Late Model teams who took advantage of the three hour practice session.
Former American Canadian Tour (ACT) US driver Scott Payea, with his crew chief Chris Companion in CP Racing, was at the front of the pack during practice and seems to have worked out many of the ‘new car bugs’ they experienced at the Thunder Road opening event earlier this month.
Veteran Jamie Aube from Ferrisburgh, VT made giant strides with his Marcotte & Sons Chevrolet.

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic History
The 49TH annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic will have a new look for 2011. The Thunder Road American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models will begin their title chase with a 100-lap event, and the popular Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman division will open the five race BOND/WIX Tiger Tour as part of the traditional holiday event.
There are 30 Late Model teams expected to qualify for one of the region’s oldest events, Thunder Road’s Memorial Day Classic. The original winner, and the 1961 King of the Road, Roy “Pappy” Forsythe from Keene, NH, brought his flathead coupe to the winner’s circle in 1961. The 2007 King of the Road, David Pembroke from Montpelier, VT has won three of the last four events in 2007, 2009 and 2010.
The history of the Memorial Day Classic is deep and varied. The coupes ran the race from 1961-1964 with four different winners. Jean Paul Cabana won in a Modified during Thunder Road’s controversial switch-over from the coupes in 1965. With the controversy also came a change from1966-1969 when the famous Flying Tiger Limited Late Model division was created and took over the race, again four different winners, including familiar names who all became champions during their careers: Larry Demars, Russell Ingerson, Ronnie ‘Red Dog’ Barcomb and Bobby Dragon all won the Memorial Day Classic. In 1970, Jimmy Gates from Hardwick won in the only year the Ltd. Sportsman division existed.

ACT Spring Green 111 at Devil's Bowl
Brian Hoar Earns Second Straight ACT Spring Green Win
 Seven-time and defending ACT Late Model Tour Champion Brian Hoar of Williston, VT claimed his second straight Spring Green and his second win of the 2011 season at Devil’s Bowl Speedway on Sunday, May 21. Hoar won a hard fought battle with leader Craig Bushey and later John Donahue to lead the final 36 laps and earn the win. Hoar’s win came in his first event in his new Ford powered ride out of the Rick Paya stables.
Shelburne, VT’s Jamie Fisher and Windham, ME’s Brad Babb swapped the lead early in the event as they sat on the front row after earning +6’s in ACT’s +/- handicap system. Bushey took over from his sixth place starting position on lap seven and would swap the lead with several drivers for the majority of the event including Ricky Rolfe and Fisher before giving up the lead for good to Hoar on lap seventy five and faded to eighth.
Donahue claimed second followed by Claremont, NH’s Todd Davis in third, Glen Luce from Turner, ME in fourth and rookie driver Ben Ashline from Pittson, ME rounding out the top five. Babb, Fisher, Bushey, Randy Potter and Quinny Welch completed the top ten.

Serie ACT Castrol Season Opener
Patrick Laperle Wins Série ACT Castrol Season Opener at Autodrome Chaudiere
St-Denis, QC’s Patrick Laperle wins the Série ACT Castrol season opener at Autodrome Chaudiere on Saturday, May 21. Laperle started on the pole position after earning a plus four in the plus-minus handicap system. The former Série ACT Castrol and ACT Late Model Tour Champion battled for the majority of the event with defending Série ACT Castrol Champion Karl Allard from St-Felicien, QC.
The two swapped the lead several times until Laperle took over for good on lap 63. Allard still fought on the outside on multiple restarts before spinning on a lap 144 restart and hitting the wall coming out of turn four.
Laperle earned his 10th career Série ACT Castrol win and his fourth win at Autodrome Chaudiere including two “Showdown at Chaudiere” wins. He now joins ACT Late Model Tour winners Brian Hoar (Lee USA Speedway) and Nick Sweet (Thunder Road) as the first three qualifiers for the third annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24.

Spring Green 111 at Devil's Bowl
The American Canadian Tour (ACT) will make its first ever appearance at the fast ½ mile Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT this Sunday afternoon. The 38th running of the Spring Green 111 is expecting to have over 30 teams converge on the scenic, newly paved speed plant, built and operated by the Richards family since 1967. The inaugural event one year ago opened the renovated semi-banked progressive track with the Thunder Road ACT Late Models. The battle between local favorite Mike Bruno from nearby Rutland and former Thunder Road Champion David Pembroke was a classic 100-lap battle seen by a full house and a very enthusiastic crowd.
“It was a return to the asphalt Late Models for me and really turned out to be one of the most fun races I have ever been a part of,” said Mike Bruno.
“The track raced great and trading the lead for most of the 100 laps with Pembroke was a great way to begin the process of changing from 30 plus years of dirt racing to the asphalt at Devil’s Bowl. I am really looking forward to going back there this weekend,” concluded Bruno.
The change from a Thunder Road point race to a full ACT event will see lots of new faces taking on the ½ mile. Only 6 of the 27 teams that opened the 2010 season are expected to return with the ACT US Tour this coming Sunday. One of the returning teams includes 7-time ACT Champion Jean-Paul Cyr from Milton, Vermont. Cyr is a former dirt racer from Devil’s Bowl, and after an experiment as a driver only for various teams over the past couple years, he has returned to running his own team on the ACT in 2011.

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Double Header
Mekkelsen RV from East Montpelier, VT has been supporting Thunder Road for many of the fifty-two years of the track’s history. The 49th edition of the Memorial Day Classic will host a 100-lap Thunder Road ACT Late Model event and a 100-lap opening event on the 2011 Bond/WIX Tiger Tour.
 “This should be one of the most exciting Memorial Day Classics for fans and competitors in years. My guess is that the competition in 2011 among the Late Models is going to be the best we have seen in recent memory, and the addition of the Bond Tigers, which many of us graduated from, certainly adds another dimension to this traditional holiday weekend,” said three-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud from Northfield, VT.
The Thunder Road Late Model division has enjoyed unusual growth during the off-season. Returning contenders will begin the run for the “King of the Road” title, beginning with the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic. Coming back to race the full season are veteran racers Scott Payea from Milton, VT, former NASCAR North drivers Jamie Aube, or Ferrisburgh, VT and Mike Bruno from Rutland, VT. Thunder Road already has some of the best Late Model racers in the country with former Champions Jamie Fisher, Phil Scott, Dave Whitcomb, Dave Pembroke and defending Champion Nick Sweet all ready to start the 2011 campaign at the Memorial Day Classic, Sunday, May 29.
The list of Late Model winners at Thunder Road who will join the impressive field include: multi-time winner John Donahue, Graniteville, VT; Joey Becker, Cambridge, VT; Matt White from Northfield; Brooks Clark and Grant Folsom from Waitsfield, VT; and Reno Gervais, of Island Pond, VT. The newcomers are equally as strong, led by sophomore driver Cody Blake, Barre, VT, and Rookie of the Year contender Jimmy Hebert from Williamstown, VT.