Barre, VT — Hometown racer Jason Corliss left NASCAR’s Ryan Preece and everyone else behind on the way to his second straight Essex Equipment Vermont Governor’s Cup victory at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday, July 15. Corliss took the lead from three-time track champion Derrick O’Donnell on lap 41 of the 150-lap event and dusted the 27-car field en route to a statement win.
Former Essex Equipment Vermont Governor’s Cup winner Brooks Clark earned the pole and led the first 34 laps. Behind him, the only early drama came on lap 11 when Wolcott’s Marcel J. Gravel cut a tire and slid into the turn one tire barriers, forcing his retirement from the race.
Clark pulled away at first on the restart but came back to the field just as O’Donnell and Corliss were making their moves. O’Donnell swung to the outside of Clark and took the lead on lap 35 with Corliss right behind him. The reigning champion made the former champion’s stay at the front short-lived at Corliss, who started seventh, blasted around O’Donnell on the high line to take the lead with 41 circuits complete.
The second and final caution on lap 45 for Andy Hill’s encounter with the turn three wall was the only thing that slowed Corliss from there. When the green flag came back out, Corliss was gone, showing why he is one of the most accomplished racers in Thunder Road’s modern area. O’Donnell fell behind Clark for a stretch, but even after retaking the second spot on lap 92, he had trouble making the #66VT larger in his windshield.
The action was fierce from fourth on back, with Kyle Pembroke and Scott Dragon fighting their way from deeping in the field. Preece, Chip Grenier, Tyler Cahoon, Matthew Smith, and others were part of a huge pack battling for every position and point they could get. But Corliss was so dominant that he caught this pack in the closing laps. With a straightaway and four laps cars between himself and O’Donnell, Corliss chose not to force the issue. Instead, he cruised to the Governor’s Cup win, which was presented by Governor Phil Scott and Preece after they climbed out of their race cars.
North Haverhill, NH’s O’Donnell was second followed by Fayston’s Clark in third. Pembroke came from 20th on the starting grid to swipe fourth from Grenier in the final laps. Scott Dragon, Trampas Demers, Brendan Moodie, Bobby Therrien, and Preece rounded out the top-10.
East Kingston, NH’s Bryan Wall Jr. got his second win of the year in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers. Wall started third for the 40-lap feature due to a recent bad luck stretch. After the race’s only caution on lap seven for Colin Cornell’s spin, leader Mike MacAskill pushed a little high out of turn two. Wall dove underneath him for second as Barre’s Cameron Ouellette went to the point.
Wall shadowed Ouellette for a few laps before swinging to the high groove. The pair then dueled side-by-side for more than a dozen laps, swapping the lead three times before Wall finally cleared him with 12 laps to go. Derrick Calkins and Brandon Gray then began an onslaught on Ouellette for the second spot, which gave Wall some breathing room to take his fourth career Flying Tiger victory.
Ouellette eventually escaped the pressure to earn a runner-up trophy. Gray finished a Flying Tiger career-best third as Calkins faded in the closing circuits. Robert Gordon, Kelsea Woodard, Calkins, Mike Martin, Keegan Lamson, Tanner Woodard, and Jason Woodard were fourth through 10th.
Berlin’s Christopher Davis celebrated his 50th birthday by winning an RK Miles Street Stock barnburner. Davis started second in the 25-lap feature and quickly got the lead from polesitter Jared Rouleau. He was comfortably up front when a trio of cautions flew at lap 10. The calamitous lap began when point leader Tommy “Thunder” Smith tangled with Tyler Whittemore, and it ended with a seven-car pile-up after Rouleau lost it off turn four.
Shelburne’s Kaiden “Tropical Storm” Fisher was able to avoid the carnage, and after two separate crashes on lap 15, Fisher lined up alongside Davis for the restart. Davis was able to fend him off at first before Fisher put another charge on the outside with five laps to go.
The 13-year-old lead laps 21-24 by a bumper while Smith thundered back into the picture. Davis found a little something extra on the final lap, and in the drag race to the checkered flag, he beat Fisher by just 0.020 seconds.
Williamstown’s Smith unofficially retained his point lead with a third-place effort. James Dopp, Jamie Davis, Jeffrey Martin, Kyle MacAskill, Justin Blakely, Gary Mullen, and Michael Gay completed the top-10.
The Thunder Road season hits halfway next Thursday, July 22 at 7:00pm with the Times Argus Midseason Championships. Added distance, double points, and double prize money are on the line for all four Thunder Road divisions. The annual driver autograph session also returns at intermission.
Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and $30 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). Advance tickets are available at http://www.happsnow.com/event/
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.
THUNDER ROAD SPEEDBOWL — Barre, VT
42ND ESSEX EQUIPMENT VERMONT GOVERNOR’S CUP
THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2021
MAPLEWOOD/IRVING OIL LATE MODELS
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 7 ) Jason Corliss ( 66VT ) , Barre, VT , 150 Laps
2. ( 4 ) Derrick O’Donnell ( 60NH ) , N. Haverhill, NH , 150 Laps
3. ( 1 ) Brooks Clark ( 68VT ) , Waitsfield, VT , 150 Laps
4. ( 20 ) Kyle Pembroke ( 27VT ) , Montpelier, VT , 150 Laps
5. ( 3 ) Chip Grenier ( 62VT ) , Orange, VT , 150 Laps
6. ( 17 ) Scott Dragon ( 0VT ) , Milton, VT , 150 Laps
7. ( 16 ) Trampas Demers ( 85VT ) , Shelburne, VT , 150 Laps
8. ( 6 ) Brendan Moodie ( 94VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 150 Laps
9. ( 21 ) Bobby Therrien ( 5VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 150 Laps
10. ( 13 ) Ryan Preece ( 47NH ) , Berlin, CT , 150 Laps
11. ( 10 ) Matthew Smith ( 04VT ) , Fairfax, VT , 150 Laps
12. ( 2 ) Tyler Cahoon ( 38VT ) , Danville, VT , 150 Laps
13. ( 12 ) Christopher Pelkey ( 64VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 149 Laps
14. ( 8 ) #Brandon Lanphear ( 16VT ) , Morrisville, VT , 149 Laps
15. ( 18 ) Cody Blake ( 99VT ) , Barre, VT , 149 Laps
16. ( 25 ) Darrell Morin ( 17VT ) , Westford, VT , 149 Laps
17. ( 5 ) #Cooper Bouchard ( 7VT ) , Hinesburg, VT , 149 Laps
18. ( 23 ) Phil Scott ( 14VT ) , Berlin, VT , 149 Laps
19. ( 26 ) Connor Martell ( 21MT ) , Williston, VT , 149 Laps
20. ( 9 ) Ryan Kuhn ( 72MA ) , E. Bridgewater, MA , 149 Laps
21. ( 24 ) Scott Coburn ( 72VT ) , Barre, VT , 88 Laps
22. ( 22 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 74 Laps
23. ( 27 ) Jamie Swallow Jr. ( 4NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 45 Laps
24. ( 11 ) Anthony Hill ( 8VT ) , Waterford, VT , 44 Laps
25. ( 19 ) Chris Roberts ( 3ME ) , Washington, VT , 35 Laps
26. ( 15 ) Marcel J. Gravel ( 86VT ) , Wolcott, VT , 11 Laps
DNS ( 14 ) Eric Chase ( 40VT ) , Milton, VT
Lap Leaders: Brooks Clark, 1-34; Derrick O’Donnell, 35-40; Jason Corliss, 41-150. (2 lead changes among 3 drivers)
Time of Race: 43 minutes, 9 seconds Margin of Victory: 2.157 seconds
Cautions: 2 (laps 11, 45)
Heat Winners: Cooper Bouchard, Brendan Moodie, Jason Corliss
Consi Winner: Tyler Cahoon
LENNY’S SHOE & APPAREL FLYING TIGERS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Bryan Wall Jr. ( 77NH ) East Kingston, NH
2. Joel Hodgdon ( 90VT ) Craftsbury Common, VT
3. Brandon Gray ( 00VT ) Thetford, VT
4. Robert Gordon ( 20VT ) Milton, VT
5. Kelsea Woodard ( 55VT ) Waterbury Ctr., VT
6. Derrick Calkins ( 15VT ) Hinesburg, VT
7. Michael Martin ( 01VT ) Craftsbury, Common, VT
8. Keegan Lamson ( 55NH ) Berlin, VT
9. #Tanner Woodard ( 68NH ) Waterbury Ctr., VT
10. Jason Woodard ( 68VT ) Waterbury Ctr., VT
11. Jason Pelkey ( 64VT ) Barre, VT
12. Kevin Boutin Jr. ( 25NH ) Fairfax, VT
13. Stephen Martin ( 9VT ) Craftsbury, Common, VT
14. Sam Caron ( 07VT ) Milton, VT
15. Mike Billado ( 8VT ) Grand Isle, VT
16. Jaden Perry ( 92VT ) Hardwick, VT
17. Logan Powers ( 31VT ) Middlesex, VT
18. #Justin Prescott ( 44VT ) Williston, VT
19. Colin Cornell ( 54VT ) E. Burke, VT
20. Ryan Boutin ( 28VT ) Fairfax, VT
21. Michael MacAskill ( 33VT ) Williamstown, VT
22. Chris Chanbers ( 20CT ) Chelsea, VT
23. Rich Lowrey ( 8NH ) South Hero, VT
24. #JT Blanchard ( 66VT ) Graniteville, VT
RK MILES STREET STOCKS
Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown
1. Christopher Davis ( 69 ) Berlin, VT
2. Kaiden Fisher ( 18 ) Shelburne, VT
3. Thomas Smith ( 22 ) Williamstown, VT
4. James Dopp ( 0 ) Northfield, VT
5. Jamie Davis ( 43 ) Wolcott, VT
6. Jeffrey Martin ( 8 ) Barre, VT
7. Kyle MacAskill ( 7 ) Williamstown, VT
8. Justin Blakey ( 17 ) Graniteville, VT
9. Gary Mullen ( 29 ) Tunbridge, VT
10. Michael Gay ( 3 ) So. Burlington, VT
11. #Tyler Whittemore ( 74 ) Barre, VT
12. Eric MacLaughlin ( 6 ) Milton, VT
13. William Hennequin ( 47 ) Morrisville, VT
14. #Jared Rouleau ( 60 ) Warren, VT
15. Tom Campbell ( 85 ) Middlesex, VT
16. Scott Weston ( 04 ) Berlin, VT
17. Kyler Davis ( 68 ) Berlin, VT
18. #Todd Raymo ( 24 ) Swanton, VT
19. Josh Lovely ( 54 ) Williamstown, VT
20. Luke Peters ( 26 ) Groton, VT
21. #Trevor Jaques ( 57 ) Milton, VT
22. #Haidyn Pearce ( 2 ) Chelsea, VT
23. Dean Switser Jr. ( 16 ) Waterford, VT
24. #Taylor Hoar ( 48 ) South Hero, VT
25. Thomas Peck ( 96 ) Waterbury, VT
26. Trevor Rossi ( 94 ) Washington, VT
DNS Derek Farnham ( 5 ) S. Royalton, VT