Thunder Road enters the heart of its midsummer schedule this Thursday, July 20 with FairPoint Communications Night. As the season nears its halfway point, many teams will be jockeying for championship position in what is shaping up to be an action-packed evening of racing.
Round two of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers will highlight the full card of racing. The extended distance feature will award both Triple Crown and Thunder Road weekly points, putting a premium on a good performance for all contenders.
“You have a different mindset in these longer races,” Triple Crown Series point leader Jason Woodard said. “75 or 100 laps allow you to give that extra two to three lifts if you have to – you don’t have to just go charging to the front as soon as the green flag drops. Obviously you have to make your way forward, but you don’t have to use everything up at the beginning of the race to do it. It’s more a mindset of being there at the end. I’ve got the car to do it, so we have some luck, I think we’ll be there again.”
Woodard was the winner of the Triple Crown opener on June 22, while Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie tops the weekly Flying Tiger standings on the strength of seven top-five finishes in eight events. Morrisville’s Dwayne Lanphear sits second in weekly points and is tied for sixth in the Triple Crown Series, while Hardwick’s Jaden Perry, Craftsbury Common’s Mike Martin, and Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen are also in the hunt for one or both titles. Trevor Lyman, Jamon Perry, and Jason Pelkey have all won races in 2017 and could add another trophy to their collection.
Fairpoint Night also marks the much-anticipated return of the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors to the Barre high banks. The entry-level division, which previously competed from 2003 to 2011 as the Junkyard Warriors, will make their season debut as part of a six-race schedule. A number of drivers have already registered for the division with the potential for more on Thursday.
The Thunder Road Late Models and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will be in action as well. In the Late Models, Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien holds a 14-point edge over Vermont Governor’s Cup winner Trampas Demers of South Burlington. Milton’s Eric Chase and Scott Dragon along with Barre’s Jason Corliss are within striking distance while Westford’s Darrell Morin has come on strong in recent weeks.
The Street Stock title chase remains hotly contested as five drivers sit within 11 points of the top spot. 2015 Champion Jamie Davis of Wolcott has a one-point advantage over Fairfax’s Alan Maynard with Hardwick’s Will Hennequin, Morrisville’s Brandon Lanphear, and Duxbury’s Reilly Lanphear completing the top-five.
The jam-packed Fairpoint Communications Night program goes to post at 7:00pm on Thursday, July 20. The evening will also feature a send-off ceremony recognizing United States Women’s National Ice Hockey team member Amanda Pelkey as the Montpelier native begins preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The pits open at 3:30pm and the front gates open at 5:15pm. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).