Thunder Road drivers and fans are buzzing in anticipation of the 38th Vermont Governor’s Cup presented by VP Racing Fuels this Thursday, July 13. NASCAR Champion Kyle Busch is gearing up for his first trip to the Barre high banks and will take on the stars of the Thunder Road Late Models for 150 laps of green-flag action.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Busch has 38 victories in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and was the 2015 series champion. With more than 170 wins in NASCAR’s top three national touring series, he is one of the most accomplished drivers ever to visit the quarter-mile oval and will look for his first victory at the famed speedway.
While many current drivers in the Late Model ranks have raced against previous NASCAR drivers who made the trip to Thunder Road, others will be competing against a driver of Busch’s stature for the first time. All of them will be ready to defend their turf as Busch attempts to become the first NASCAR invader to win the historic event.
“I’ve raced against Tony Stewart, David Ragan, Clint Bowyer, and a few others, and they always raced the same as we do,” 2013 Vermont Governor’s Cup Champion Cody Blake said. “It’s a bigger name to contend with, but we’ll be prepared. We beat Clint Bowyer – we can beat Kyle Busch!”
“Kyle always runs really well when he races Late Models, and he owns a few of them himself, so I’m sure he’ll be really good,” sophomore competitor Marcel J. Gravel added. “He’s a Cup guy, and he’s got a lot of experience short-track racing. I’ll do my best to race him clean, but I’m going to give him everything we’ve got. I just hope my Toyota ends up in front of his!”
Although this will be Busch’s first visit to Thunder Road, he is no stranger to the ACT-type Late Models that compete at the track, having won the Oxford 250 in 2011 when it was an ACT-sanctioned event. For the Vermont Governor’s Cup, he will drive a car prepared by two-time “King of the Road” Nick Sweet from Eric Chase’s Mad Dog Motorsports shop.
The biggest names of Thunder Road and ACT-type Late Model racing in the Northeast will be on hand to try and claim the Cup. Vermont Governor Phil Scott has stated that he intends to enter the event after his historic win last Thursday night. Defending “King of the Road” and Vermont Governor’s Cup winner Scott Dragon of Milton will go for two in a row, while Memorial Day Classic winner Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg has proven himself in long-distance events. Barre’s Jason Corliss and Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke already have feature wins in 2017. Trampas Demers, Tyler Cahoon, Josh Demers, Darrell Morin and many others will be ready for 150 laps of action.
Qualifying for the 38th Vermont Governor’s Cup presented by VP Racing Fuels gets underway at 6:30pm on Thursday, July 13. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers & Allen Lumber Street Stocks will have a full slate of their weekly racing action as well. The pits open at 2:30pm and the general admission gates open at 3:30pm. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.