Thunder Road Speedbowl honored the top performers of the 2017 racing season at the annual Banquet of Champions on Saturday, November 4 at the Barre Elks Club. Hundreds of drivers, crew members, and officials were in attendance to present season-long and special awards.
Bobby Therrien received the honors of “King of the Road” for his first championship in the Thunder Road Late Model division, while Jason Woodard and Jamie Davis were recognized for their second career championships in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks, respectively. Mike Martin earned the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series title for the Flying Tigers.
Hinesburg, Vt.’s Therrien became the first driver in Thunder Road’s modern era to win championships in three different divisions. He previously won the Flying Tiger championship in 2012 and the Street Stock title in 2007. This past season, he won the season-opening Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic and led the standings after 12 of the 14 regular-season events. He posted five podium finishes, including a runner-up in the Vermont Governor’s Cup, and 12 top-10 results. Therrien also had five Maplewood Semi-Feature victories.
Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard claimed his second Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger Championship after previously winning the title in 2014. Woodard bounced back from a slow start to record four feature victories on the season, including two in 75-lap Triple Crown events. On June 22, he became the eighth driver in Thunder Road history to win two features in one night. Hardwick’s Jaden Perry received the Flying Tiger Rookie of the Year Award after posting 14 top-10 finishes on the season.
Wolcott’s Jamie Davis joined Woodard as two-time champions with his Allen Lumber Street Stock title. Davis overcame adversity on multiple occasions throughout the season, posting 14 top-10 finishes and two wins – the second of which came in the season finale to come out on top of a multi-way battle for the title. Craftsbury Common’s Stephen Martin was honored as the Street Stock Rookie of the Year after edging out Middlesex’s Logan Powers by just one point in the rookie standings.
Mike Martin was the Myers Container Services Triple Crown Series Champion. Martin won the second leg of the three-race series and edged Woodard by just three points in the final rundown.
Thunder Road officials also handed out several special awards throughout the evening. Marvin Galarneau received the annual Ken Squier Award for his contributions to Thunder Road. Galarneau has been the marketing director at Thunder Road for more than a decade and has worked for numerous tracks and series throughout the region.
Tina Gallison was the recipient of the inaugural Thomas M. Curley Award given in honor of the late Thunder Road co-owner and promoter. Gallison has worked at the speedway for more than 20 years as an administrator, race-day official and in other behind-the-scenes positions.
Waterbury Center’s Kelsea Woodard was named the 2017 Thunder Road Most Improved Driver. After finishing 21st in Allen Lumber Street Stock points in 2016, Woodard jumped to third in the final standings in 2017 with four podium finishes.
Late Model driver Jim “Boomer” Morris received the Thunder Road Sportsmanship Award. Morris maintained an upbeat attitude while persevering through numerous hard wrecks and other adversity throughout the season. Fairfax’s Alan Maynard was presented with the Ed Carroll Memorial Sportsmanship Award for his positive influence in the Street Stock pits and his contributions to the Race to Read program.
Carl Parton of CVTSport.net received the Pete Hartt Memorial Media Award. Parton has been the official Thunder Road videographer for the past nine seasons and his videos are viewed around the world through his web site and through partnerships with Speed51.com and other media outlets.
The Banquet of Champions officially concludes the 2017 Thunder Road season. Announcements regarding 2018 schedules, division rules, and season passes are expected in the near future.