The Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic Twin 100’s at Thunder Road for American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models and the True Value Modified Racing Series will also honor generations of racing heroes who helped build the venerable quarter mile high-banked short track into one of the most famous in North America.


Flathead drivers of the 60’s like Harold Hanaford, Johnny Gammell and the Ingerson Brothers, along with the stars of the 70’s --- ‘Mod Squad’ members, Robbie Crouch, Johnny Rosati and Joey Kourafas, and favorite Bay State adopted son, Dave Dion, have all provided race fans in the Northeast with spectacular racing. Generations of Vermont Dragons, Canadians Cabana, Whitlock, and Laperle, and present champions Scott, Michaud and Williams have all helped Thunder Road earn its moniker as the ‘Nation’s Site of Excitement’.  Located in the granite capital of the world, Barre, Vermont, a new Memorial Park has been established to help celebrate the 50th anniversary year to pay tribute to the long list of Thunder Road champions.

ACT Tour

ACT Tour Returns to Thunder Road for Memorial Day Doubleheader

The 50th Anniversary Season at Thunder Road International Speedbowl will continue on Memorial Day weekend when both the ACT Tour and the True Value Modified Racing Series battle the high banks of the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.”

May 24th will mark the 47th running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100. It has become a staple of the Thunder Road season and now the ACT Tour schedule. Winners of this prestigious event include legends such as Bobby Dragon, Dave Dion, Robbie Crouch, and Jean-Paul Cabana, as well as today’s heroes, Phil Scott, Cris Michaud, Brent Dragon, Dave Pembroke and last year’s winner John Donahue among others.


Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Scores Second Career Oxford Plains Speedway Win

Joey Pole battled Ricky Rolfe during the early stages of the New England Dodge Dealers 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway as the first 84 laps were run caution free. After one of the two cautions Rolfe had carburetor issues and fell back in the pack. Pole took advantage of the opportunity and broke away from the field chased by Tim Brackett. Brackett and Pole swapped the lead with Pole running exclusively in the outside groove.

Patrick Laperle Wins St-Eustache 100

2008 ACT Tour Champion Patrick Laperle won the St-Eustache 100 and becomes the first Canadian competitor to qualify for the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Laperle battled with Donald Theetge for the second half of the race after Daniel Descoste led the first 44 laps. Descoste’s run near the front ended with a seven car pile-up on the backstretch. Also having a strong run was Brandon Watson who started ninth.

Laperle and Theetge rubbed fenders for the final 56 laps of the race as they battled for the lead. The race was slowed by 9 cautions with the final coming on lap 64. The unofficial top five was Patrick Laperle, Donald Theetge, Brandon Watson, Pete Vanderwyst and Martin Lacombe.
Laperle becomes the fourth qualifier for the ACT Invitational. He joins Brad Leighton winner at Lee USA Speedway, Eric Williams winner at Thunder Road and Scott Payea last week’s winner at Airborne Speedway.

The ACT Tour is also running today at Oxford Plains Speedway. They will be in action again next weekend at Thunder Road International Speedbowl for the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day 150.


St-Eustache 100 at Autodrome St-Eustache Postponed Due to Rain

The St-Eustache 100 at Autodrome St-Eustache has been canceled for today due to heavy rains. The car count was in the mid-twenties and all competitors are expected to return for tomorrow's post time of 12 noon. The St-Eustache 100 is the season opener for most of the Series ACT Castrol drivers although several showed up at last week's ACT Tour race at Airborne Speedway. The weather forecast looks better for tomorrow and there should be no problem getting the race in. It should be a great show with 2008 Series ACT Castrol Champion Alexandre Gingras, 2007 Champion Patrick Laperle, Claude Leclerc, Sylvain Lacombe, Karl Allard, and fourth place finisher in the Furniture World 100 last week, Donald Theetge.

Also tomorrow is the fourth event on the ACT Tour 2009 schedule. Over forty competitors are expected for tomorrow's New England Dodge Dealers 150. Last year's New England Dodge Dealer's 150 winner, Ricky Rolfe should contend for the victory as he returns to his hometrack. Also a contender at his hometrack is Glen Luce, who finished second in the 2008 Oxford 250. Scott Payea will look to continue his strong start to the season but will have to compete with Brent Dragon, John Donahue, and Randy Potter, as well as Oxford Plains Speedway regulars Shawn Martin, Scott Luce, Travis Stearns and Travis Adams. Post time for the New England Dodge Dealers 150 is 2 pm.

Thunder Road
Teams from all over New England will celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont for the traditional running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Doubleheader. It is the only time in 2009 when fans can see the stars from both the American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models and the open wheel ground-pounding monsters from the True Value Modified Racing Series racing together on one card.


Scott Payea Wins Spring Green 100


Scott Payea of Milton, VT steals the Furniture World of Vermont Spring Green 100 victory after a race long battle between Randy Potter of Groveton, NH and Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, NH. Potter and Leighton fought for the first 90 laps, swapping the lead back and forth. Potter appeared to gain the upper hand until Payea took the lead with less than ten laps remaining. Payea held off Potter during the final shootout setup by a caution with three to go.

Eric Williams wins the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150

Eric Williams wins the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150


Eric Williams of Hyde Park, VT dominates the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150 as the last 106 laps are completed without a caution. Williams started fifth and worked his way to first during a caution plagued opening 44 laps. Williams took the lead from Dave Pembroke on about lap 50. Scott Payea caught Williams on lap 122 as they worked their way through heavy lap traffic, but once traffic cleared Williams was too strong.

Pit Notes from the Merchants Bank 150

Pit Notes from the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road 5/2/09

  • The 50th Anniversary season at Thunder Road “The Nation’s Site of Excitement” kicks off this weekend with the 11th running of the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 3rd.
  • The weekend started with the Annual opening day car show in downtown Barre. Main Street was packed with 117 cars from Thunder Road’s four divisions. It was a beautiful day for the thousands of fans that came out to see the cars up close and personal.
  • The fans also got to witness the always-entertaining Pit Stop Contest. Cris Michaud’s crew took home the victory over the crews of Eric Williams, Craig Bushey, Jason Corliss and Travis Hull as well as a crew from Barre City.
  • A total of 39 ACT Tour Late Models showed up to take advantage of Saturday’s practice session, which totaled over two hours. More cars are expected to show up tomorrow and should push the total cars attempting to qualify for the 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150 over 40.
  • Jean-Paul Cyr looked very comfortable in his new ride for 2009. Cyr is planning on a full season at Thunder Road in an attempt to capture the “King of the Road” title in the 50th Anniversary season.
  • Scott Payea also looked fast and should be strong as he tries for a third straight Merchants Bank 150 victory. He is running the full ACT Tour again this second and will be looking to take the title after a tough second place finish last year.
  • “King of the Road” Eric Williams also looked to be a contender, as he will try for his first ever Merchants Bank 150 win.
  • Randy Potter of Groveton, NH missed some valuable practice time this afternoon as he had trouble with warped brake rotors. Competing car owner Pete Duto gets the sportsmanship award for the day as he drove to his shop to pick up new rotors for Potter. Potter completed repairs and was able to practice again.
  • Series ACT Castrol regular Daniel Descoste from Quebec went for a wild ride of the top of turns three and four. It appeared he got too high entering turn three before losing control. His crew says there was no serious damage and he should be ready to go tomorrow.
  • The NAPA Tiger Sportsman looked real sharp during their practice time. They also had a healthy field of cars as over 30 attended the car show and practice. Scott Coburn took home the opening day victory last season and will look to make it back to back this year.
  • The Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Junkyard Warriors practiced together once again. They look like they are ready to really mix it up together this season as they took it three wide a number of times in practice.
  • Other than that, only a few accidents with minor damage occurred throughout the whole day and the cars are ready for competition tomorrow.
The weather forecast looks great for the Merchants Bank 150. Practice will begin at 10:50 p.m., Class Day activities will be at 1 p.m. and post time is set for 1:30 p.m.






Schedule Subject
     to Change     
Saturday,  May 2, 2009 
8:00 - 11:00        Advance pit registration at CAR SHOW
8:00 - Noon        1st round tire(4) for car show entrants only
                             (car must be at car show and hauler in pits)
Noon                    Pit Registration
                             Balance 1st round tires (4)
           (car must be in pits-tires will be based on 1st in pits)
                             2nd round tire by draw ALL (2) tires
Noon               Safety inspection SS/PSW
12:30 - 12:50   NAPA Tiger Sportsman CAR SHOW
12:50 - 1:10     LATE MODEL CAR SHOW
1:10 - 1:30       Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior CAR SHOW
1:30 - 2:00      NAPA Tiger Sportsmen
2:00 - 2:30      LATE MODEL
2:30 - 2:50      Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior 
2:50 - 3:20      NAPA Tiger Sportsman
3:20 - 3:40      LATE MODEL
3:40 - 4:00      Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior 
4:00 - 4:20     NAPA Tiger Sportsman
4:20 - 4:50     LATE MODEL
4:50 - 5:05     Allen Lumber/Power Shift Warrior FINAL
5:05 - 5:25    NAPA Tiger Sportsmen FINAL
5:30 - 6:00    LATE MODEL FINAL
                           CLOSE TRACK
Sunday , May 3, 2009
8:00         Pit Gates Open
                Tire Compound Open
8:30        Merchants Bank 150 Inspection
10:00      Drivers Meeting
10:50                    Past Champions Practice (25,37,11,75,14,91,6,18,44,7)
11:00 - 11:15      Allen Lumber SS/Power Shift Warrior
11:15 - 11:45      LATE MODEL
11:45 - 12:05      NAPA Tiger Sportsman FINAL
12:05 - 12:35      LATE MODEL FINAL
12:35 - 12:50      Allen Lumber SS/Power Shift Warrior FINAL
                                              CLOSE TRACK
 1:00                    CLASS DAY ATIVITIES
 1:30                    ACT HEATS (15 laps)
                             Sportsman Heats (12 laps)
                             SS/PSW Heats (10 laps)
                             ACT Consi (s) TBA
                            Sportsmen Consi (12 laps)
                            SS/PSW Main Event (25 laps)
                                            5 Minute Mini Intermission
                            ACT LAST CHANCE TBA
                           Sportsman “B” Feature TBA
                           SS/PSW ‘Reserve’ Feature (25 laps)
                           Grid 11th Annual Merchants Bank 150
                          Merchants Bank 150
                          Victory Lane
                          SPORTSMAN FEATURE (35 laps)

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