PRACTICE NOTES: Massive Field Turns Out for Thunder Road Practice Day
Barre, VT — A huge field of cars filed through the pits for the Thunder Road Car Show and Practice Day on Saturday, May 1. When all was said and done, 119 drivers across 4 divisions took to the track in preparation for the Community Bank N.A. 150 on FloRacing this Sunday, May 2. The speeds were as big as the fields with racers storming out of the gates after a long, cold Vermont winter.
The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models saw 32 drivers on-hand. For many, it was their first session on the new Hoosier Racing tire. Whether it was the tire, the track conditions, or the eagerness to go racing again, the Late Models set a blistering pace. Times were noticeably quicker than last year with several drivers setting marks in the sub-12.3 second bracket.
Triple Crown Entries Pouring in for White Mountain & Thunder Road
Triple Crown Event Highlights White Mountain Season Opener on May 8
N. Woodstock, NH & Barre, VT — The Flying Tigers are about to take center stage for the first of half a dozen times in what’s shaping up as a tremendous 2021 for the class. Entries have been pouring in for both the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road and the J.P. Sicard Triple Crown Series at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park as the racers of “North America’s Best Support Division” get ready for their time in the sun.
The White Mountain Motorsports Park season opener this Saturday, May 8 is also the first round in the J.P. Sicard Triple Crown. On Sunday, May 30, the Myers Triple Crown gets underway as part of the 58th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Racers such as Jason Woodard, Jaden Perry, Joel Hodgdon, Colin Cornell, Russell Clark, and Brandon Gray will do battle in long-distance races that are never short on thrills.
“It’s just so competitive,” East Burke, VT’s Colin Cornell, a Triple Crown winner at both Thunder Road and White Mountain, said. “The plus-minus qualifying is a lot of fun for me, because it gives me that much more motivation to qualify well and pass more cars. Other than that, I love having more laps, and it’s very competitive as result — you get the best of the best.”
“I like that it’s at both tracks,” Cornell added. “White Mountain was my home track where I started out racing in the Kids Trucks. Then I brought (the team) over to Thunder Road, but I can still go back to White Mountain for these Triple Crown shows.”
ACT & Thunder Road Honor Best of 2020 at Banquet of Champions
Barre, VT — The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Thunder Road Speedbowl honored the top performers of their 2020 seasons at the Banquet of Champions on Saturday, May 1. Drivers, crews, officials, and special guests gathered at Thunder Road prior to the track’s season-opener for a night of celebration before throwing the green flag of 2021.
Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert was recognized as the 2020 ACT Champion. In his ninth season with the ACT Late Model Tour, the Hebert Excavation team had 2 wins and 7 podium finishes in 9 point-counting events.
Despite challenges from both fellow competitors and from navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Hebert and team were able to put everything together for their first ACT title. In his acceptance speech, Hebert credited the series for getting a season in despite the challenges and for taking care of its competitors, which helped sway his decision to defend the title in 2021.
Clark Gets First ACT Victory in Wild Community Bank N.A. 150
Perry, Martin, and Fleury Earn Wins in Support Division Action
Barre, VT — Fayston, VT’s Brooks Clark roared from deep in the field to get his first American-Canadian Tour (ACT) victory in a wild Community Bank N.A. 150 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road on Sunday, May 2. Clark took the lead for good from Shelburne, VT’s Trampas Demers with 21 laps to go and held him off for the victory after starting 21st on the grid.
The biggest victory of Clark’s career came in an event with more twists and turns than a campfire mystery tale. Several early contenders were sidelined by a spate of midrace carnage before Clark and Demers, two accomplished locals, put on a show down the stretch for both the Barre crowd and a worldwide audience on FloRacing.
Barre, VT — Thunder Road officials announced today that Scott Tapley has been appointed the track’s Race Director for the 2021 season. The respected motorsports official will oversee the action for all of Thunder Road’s local racing divisions. Tapley takes charge for a 19-event schedule that can be seen live in Barre, VT or worldwide on FloRacing.
Tapley is also the race director at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park along with New York’s Riverhead Raceway. The Maine native got his first taste of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) when late ACT founder Tom Curley ran Oxford Plains Speedway in 1994-1995. The addition of Thunder Road to his résumé completes a circle that goes back nearly 30 years for the auto racing lifer and Maine native.
“As a kid that sat in the pit stands for the very first time for a driver’s meeting in 1994 at Oxford and listened to Tom Curley speak, I instantly became a ‘Tom Curley guy’,” Tapley said. “From that moment, I have followed intently what was going on with Thunder Road and ACT, and I’ve always seen Thunder Road as one the top facilities in the country.”
Brandon Lanphear to Take Over Driver’s Seat at Richard Green Racing
Barre, VT – One of the most iconic cars of the past two decades at Barre’s Thunder Road has a new pilot. Richard Green Racing has announced that Morrisville’s Brandon Lanphear will drive the #16VT Chevolet with sponsorship from Richard Green Trucking, Green’s Ace Hardware, and Pro Driver Training during the upcoming Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model season.
Since early 2014, Milton’s Scott Dragon had been behind the wheel of the familiar blue machine. In that time, he won the 2016 and 2018 “King of the Road” titles along with 12 feature events. However, Dragon recently decided to step away from the #16VT and pursue interests outside of racing.
Now, the 26-year-old Lanphear is taking the reins. Brandon, the son of former track champion Dwayne Lanphear, is coming off a year where he won the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series title and finished fourth in Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger points.
“We had a team meeting a couple weeks ago and looked over the rosters,” team owner Richard Green said. “We felt that Brandon was probably the best choice among up-and-coming, soon-to-be Late Model drivers who were available. We had a meeting with him a week ago and told him what we were all about, and he’s excited about the chance.”