Barre, VT — Barre’s Thunder Road flies into the second half of its 2021 season this Thursday, July 29 with WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Night. With the Times Argus Midseason Championships now in the rearview mirror, the title pictures have taken shape, and fans will witness fierce battles both at the track and live on FloRacing.
All four divisions saw plenty of drama and great stories last week that carry over into the final event of July. There is plenty of time for fun, though, with the famous “Port-A-Potty Grand Prix returning at intermission. The race features the point leaders in each division — plus a special representative from the non-point Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors — piloting home-built rolling outhouses to see who is number one.
Once the engines fire up, the excitement will keep on coming. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model “King of the Road” chase was turned upside down at the Midseason Championships. Barre’s Jason Corliss, who had a commanding lead entering the night, was caught in an early crash and relegated to a last-place finish. Meanwhile, Graniteville’s Christopher Pelkey won both the double-point main event and his qualifying heat, earning the maximum 170 points.
The result is that Pelkey tops the Late Model point standings for the first time in his six-year career. He went from 67 points behind Corliss to 27 points ahead in one fell swoop. Still, as the two-time reigning champion, Corliss and his Burnett Motorsports team know how to bounce back from adversity.
Corliss’s misfortune also now has Shelburne’s Trampas Demers, Danville’s Tyler Cahoon, and Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie breathing down his neck. All three have been consistently fast throughout the year with Moodie posting two runner-up finishes. Now they look to take advantage of any opportunity to further close the gap.
The second half of the top-10 includes Wolcott’s Marcel J. Gravel, Essex Junction’s Matthew Smith, and Morrisville rookie Brandon Lanphear. Gravel authored one of the season’s feel-good stories at the Times Argus Midseason Championships. That night, Gravel finished runner-up in a car borrowed from Scott Coburn after demolishing his primary machine during opening practice. Gravel said after the event that his team will likely have to go to their back-up car for the foreseeable future. Last Thursday showed they can get up to speed quickly, and no one should count the Gravel team out just yet.
The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers are now led by the father-son tandem of Craftsbury Common’s Michael and Stephen Martin. Dad Michael has a little breathing room after a third-place feature finish and heat race win on double-points night. He’s 22 points ahead of son Stephen, who now has three runner-up results.
Midseason champion Cameron Ouellette of Barre and Woodard Racing teammates Bryan Wall Jr. and Kelsea Woodard are right behind the Martins. Milton’s Sam Caron took advantage of the tightly bunched standings to make a big leap last week, climbing from 13th to 6th in points. Thursday’s 40-lap feature is also a chance to dial cars in for the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series finale on August 5. Kelsea Woodard, Robert Gordon, and Jaden Perry are tied for the lead in that series with Stephen Martin, Tanner Woodard, and Wall in hot pursuit.
Williamstown’s Tommy “Thunder” Smith has opened some space in the RK Miles Street Stocks. The 2014 champion is 34 points up on 13-year-old Kaiden Fisher of Shelburne. Sophomore Kyler Davis and Midseason winner Dean Switser Jr. are best positioned if the front two stub their toes. Graniteville’s Justin Blakely rounds out the top-five in what has been a career-best season. The Street Stocks have their annual Bolduc Metal Recycling 50-lap Special this coming Sunday, so drivers must balance racing hard now with keeping their cars in good shape for the special.
The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors continue to wow fans with major league entertainment on a Single A budget. Milton’s Bert Duffy became the latest first-time winner last Thursday by holding off Frank Putney’s Mystery Machine with a car that was puking up its guts. Wiliamstown’s Nate “Tater” Brien and Matt Ballard, Northfield’s Josh Vilbrin, Barre’s Nick Copping, and many others are expected at the final tune-up for the Third Annual Road Warrior Challenge on August 12.
Thunder Road roars atop Quarry Hill this Thursday, July 29 at 7:00pm with WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Night. A full card of championship stock car action is scheduled for all four divisions plus the annual “Port-A-Potty Grand Prix” portable toilet race.
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.