Thunder Road Fireworks Coming from All Directions at Holiday Spectacular
Barre, VT — Thunder Road celebrates the nation’s independence this Thursday, July 1 with the annual Preston’s Kia Holiday Spectacular. The fireworks will be on display literally and figuratively at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement” for a night of the country’s best stock car racing at the track or live on FloRacing.
All four Thunder Road divisions are on the card with four extra laps to honor Independence Day. Following the final race of the night, the sky above will come alive with the state’s best firework show put on by Northstar Fireworks.
The firecrackers had to take a break in 2020 due to COVID-19 safety guidelines and attendance restrictions. This year, they are back with a bang as the country gets closer to normal life. The Independence Day special has long been one of the most popular events of the year at Thunder Road, and 2021 should be no exception as fans get to enjoy being at a racetrack once again.
“I think it’s fantastic,” Danville’s Tyler Cahoon said. “Without the fans, you don’t have a place to race. We are entertainment in a sense, so the more people that come out and watch, and can actually walk away and say, ‘hey, that was a good time’, that keeps them coming back…I’m really hoping to see a big crowd as people can get out and enjoy the little things in life that we used to before this past year came upon us.”
Donahue Wins a Thunder Road Thriller on CCV Night
Barre, VT — Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue scored the closest win of the Maplewood/Irving Oil season Barre’s at Thunder Road on Thursday, June 24. “Little Irish” went back and forth with Jim “Boomer” Morris for the final 13 laps before earning the victory by a mere 0.025 seconds as part of Community College of Vermont Night. It was the third career Late Model win at Thunder Road for Donahue, who also has multiple victories at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Donahue started eighth in the 50-lap feature and spent the first half of the event staying out of trouble. He eventually got racy and was locked in a three-car battle for second with Roberts and Brandon Lanphear when Phil Scott spun in turn one to bring out the third caution with 36 laps complete.
Morris led the field to the restart with Donahue perched on his rear decklid. The youngster nabbed the second spot from polesitter Roberts just before Andy Hill spun exiting turn four to bring out another yellow.
DeGasparre & Ovitt Continue to Pace Challenge Cup Standings
Corliss Already into Top-10 After Sizzling Start at Thunder Road
Waterbury, VT — Even after a busy week in the New England Late Model Challenge Cup (NELMCC), two drivers continue to stand above the rest. Seekonk Speedway’s Gerry DeGasparre Jr. and White Mountain Motorsports Park’s Alby Ovitt sit one-two as the top weekly American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model racers of 2021 thus far.
East Providence, RI’s DeGasparre, a seven-time Seekonk Speedway champion, has led the NELMCC standings for five of the last six weeks. Raymond, NH’s Ovitt, an 8-cylinder Street Stock legend in his first full season running Late Models at White Mountain, was the only driver to interrupt that streak. Both remain players in the battle for a $5,000 top prize plus contingency awards from Port City Racecars/Crazy Horse Racing, Five Star Race Car Bodies, and ARBodies.
Both have gotten where they are by sticking to one track and putting up consistently excellent results. Ovitt has scored 40 or more points four times, more than any other driver so far. This includes last Saturday’s event where he came from eighth to second in a 19-car White Mountain Late Model field. DeGasparre, meanwhile, has three 40-plus point outings of his own. The latest was also this past Saturday where he charged from ninth on an 18-car Seekonk grid to finish runner-up.
Street Stocks in Spotlight Again at CCV Night
Barre, VT — Thunder Road holds its first official race of summer this Thursday, June 24 with Community College of Vermont (CCV) Night live on FloRacing. The full card of championship stock car racing sees the RK Miles Street Stocks take center stage for the second straight week with a pair of 4-cylinder races that are sure to be memorable.
The Street Stocks begin the program with qualifying and their 25-lap CCV feature. Point leader Tommy “Thunder” Smith, Kaiden “Tropical Storm” Fisher, Josh Lovely, Kyler Davis, Jamie Davis, Kyle MacAskill, and other standouts will get after it in pursuit of the 2021 track championship. Drivers who had a rough double-feature night last week, such as former Street Stock champion Jeffrey Martin and multi-time winner Patrick Tibbetts, will try to start their turnaround.
Later in the night, the division’s up-and-comers take center stage in the seventh annual Marvin Johnson Memorial First-Time Winner’s Race. The 19-lap event is for Street Stock drivers who have not won a Thunder Road feature or are not a previous Memorial winner.
Corliss Sails to Victory at Casella Waste Systems Night
Smith and Lovely Take Street Stock Twin Features
Barre, VT — Barre’s Jason Corliss simply could not be stopped en route to victory at Casella Waste Systems Night on Thursday, June 17. Corliss roared from 17th on the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model starting grid to take the lead from Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie with seven laps remaining in the 50-lap feature and sail away for the win.
It was the 22nd Late Model victory of Corliss’s career at Thunder Road, moving him into a tie with Nick Sweet for second all-time. His second win of the season extended his points lead as he pursues a rare three-peat as “King of the Road”.
Moodie started on the pole and set the tone for most of the main event. Behind him, the action was fierce, as the 23-car field meant the top point drivers had to hustle to get to the front. Corliss was the first to finally break the gridlock, swinging to the outside groove on lap 24 and rocketing from 10th to fourth in just three laps.
With 20 to go, the first caution flew when the lapped car of Scott Coburn got turned around as a huge pack tried to slither by. Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue got a great jump over Moodie on the restart, but a spin in the back of the pack by Connor Martell brought the caution back out and negated Donahue’s edge.
Wall Scores Tiger Triple Crown Victory at Thunder Road
Pembroke, Pelkey, and Smith Take Victories in Friday Special
Barre, VT — East Kingston, NH’s Bryan Wall Jr. captured the biggest win of his career and of the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger season at Thunder Road on Friday, June 11. Wall inherited the lead with 22 laps remaining in the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series 100 and held off Waterbury Center’s Kelsea Woodard down the stretch as part of a double-feature night for the Tigers live on FloRacing
Wall, who entered the night as the point leader, rolled off 15th for the Triple Crown feature that had been postponed a week by rain. The third-generation racer steadily climbed to fifth over the first 73 laps, dodging a half-dozen cautions for various incidents.
In the next five circuit, Wall caught two big breaks to go with his fast car. Milton’s Sam Caron had led from the start, but entering turn three, Craftsbury’s Mike Martin got into the back of Caron. The contact sent Caron spinning and put both driver to the rear of the field.
Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard, the four-time and defending Flying Tiger champion, wound up with the lead. Wall scooted underneath polesitter Kevin Streeter for second on the restart, then had the best view in the house as his teammate Woodard broke a rim with 22 laps remaining to bring out the event’s eighth caution. Woodard was able to return for the restart, but the misfortune meant the end of his winning hopes.