Corliss, Therrien Both Ready for Another Piece of Milk Bowl History
Barre, VT — When the 58th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank goes green at Barre’s Thunder Road on Sunday, October 4, two drivers will be on everyone’s short list of contenders. Barre’s Jason Corliss and Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien have combined to win the last three Milk Bowls, making them the early favorites as “The Toughest Short Track Stock Car Race in North America” draws closer on the calendar.
Both Corliss and Therrien have been drivers to watch every time they’ve showed up at Thunder Road over the past four seasons. Corliss has now won the last two “King of the Road” titles. Therrien captured the 2017 title and finished second to Corliss this year. The duo has six Thunder Road wins this year between them and split the track’s two American-Canadian Tour (ACT) events.
Now the pair again set their sights on one of the country’s most famous short track races. Both understand the importance of the Milk Bowl and the place it holds in Thunder Road annals.
“(The Milk Bowl) is such a prestigious race, and so much weight is put onto the race because it’s so difficult,” Corliss said. “It’s so hard to win or even just have a good run. And there’s been so much prestigious and nostalgia that’s gone along with this particular race. There’s just such a feeling going into the track on Milk Bowl Weekend. You get pumped up about it even if you’ve been in (Thunder Road) a thousand times before — there’s a certain energy the Milk Bowl brings that’s just special.”
It is no surprise these two stars have shone the brightest on one of New England racing’s biggest stages. Therrien was unstoppable in 2019, winning the Vermont Milk Bowl from the pole. His final score of 8 points was almost twice as good as runner-up Brooks Clark.
Corliss won the previous two Milk Bowls in two of the biggest thrillers the event has ever since. He captured the 2017 event in a tiebreaker with Trampas Demers after passing him with less than 10 laps to go in the final segment. In 2018, Corliss waited until the last second, stealing the overall win from Therrien on the final corner as they scrambled around a slower car.
Both have their sights set on another piece of history in the 2020 edition. Corliss could become just the seventh driver to win at least three Milk Bowls. He would join Robbie Crouch, Brian Hoar, Russ Ingerson, Kevin Lepage, Patrick Laperle, and Nick Sweet. Only Ingerson, Laperle, and Sweet have pulled the 3-wins-in-4-years feat Corliss is aiming for.
Therrien, meanwhile, would be the seventh driver to go back-to-back in the Milk Bowl if he triumphs on October 4. If not for Corliss’s late pass in 2018, Therrien could well be in position for the first Milk Bowl three-peat.
The quest for both drivers begins Saturday, October 3 with Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Milk Bowl Qualifying Day. A good performance in Saturday’s time trials and 50-lap qualifying races puts a driver in excellent position on Sunday. Therrien is one of 12 drivers to win the Milk Bowl from the pole while Corliss started sixth and third, respectively, for his two wins. Conversely, a poor Saturday effort can affect the rest of the weekend, as Corliss experienced in 2019.
“There’s no guaranteed success in this race, that’s for sure,” Corliss noted. “We came in last year, again on a championship, but quite admittedly I didn’t qualify well…even though we run 200 laps’ worth of racing between the 50-lap qualifier and the three 50-lap segments, those two laps (in time trials) do matter. We put ourselves in a hole to start the weekend and started too far back in our qualifier.”
Corliss and Therrien will also have plenty of challengers in their bid to continue Milk Bowl dominance. Two-time “King of the Road” Scott Dragon, Midsummer Classic 250 winner Dillon Moltz, multi-time Pro All Stars Series (PAS) Champion Ben Rowe, and defending ACT Rookie of the Year Ryan Kuhn are just a few of the big names that have committed to the 58th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank. Most of the Thunder Road Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models are confirmed for attendance, and several other top regional Late Model drivers are rumored to be planning their trip to Barre.
Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend begins Friday, October 2 at 6:00pm with Mekkelsen RV Milk Bowl Friday. An afternoon open Late Model practice will be followed by a four-division card featuring the PASS Super Late Models, PASS Modifieds, Honey Badger Bar & Grill Street Stock Series, and North East Mini Stock Tour.
Saturday, October 3 at 1:00pm is Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Milk Bowl Qualifying Day with the three-segment Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank on Sunday, October 4 at 12:15pm. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors, 7-Eleven Dwarf Cars, and Junior Champ Karts are also in action throughout the weekend.
Advance tickets for all three days of Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend are available now at https://happsnow.com/event/Thunder-Road-Speedbowl. Adult admission is $20 for Friday, $10 for Saturday, and $30 for Sunday. Kids ages 12 and under are $5 on Friday/Saturday and $10 on Sunday. Visit www.thunderroadvt.com for camping information plus health and safety requirements for in-person attendance. All three days of the Vermont Milk Bowl will also be broadcast live on the Northeast Sports Network. Sign up now at www.NSNsports.net/sponsors/racing.