The month of June picks up speed this Thursday, June 14 at 7:00pm with Casella Waste Systems Night at Barre’s Thunder Road. Some 100 cars are expected for the first Thursday night event of the year, with both the old guard and a number of new personalities looking for their time in the spotlight. The track’s local stars will be joined by the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) as the vintage flathead coupes, modifieds, and sportsmen roar to life once again.
Racing families stole the show last Friday to kick off the weekly racing season. Fayston’s Brooks Clark held off the top drivers in the Maplewood/Irving Late Model division to take his first win in nearly five years, while Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville scored his first victory ever in their 75-lap Myers Container Service Triple Crown event.
Both have every intention of continuing their winning ways this Thursday. But they will have to beat the very best of Thunder Road in order to do so. Clark will attempt to go back-to-back while carrying the Casella decals on the quarter panel of his #68VT machine. The company supports several teams at Barre high banks who look forward to a strong showing Thursday.
“All the Casella employees will be over in turn 3, and when they see ‘Casella’ on the side of the car, they’ve got someone to cheer for,” Fayston’s Brooks Clark said. “If you can pull off a win for them, it just gets them that much more excited. We’ve got a good car, but there’s other good cars out there too, so a lot of it is just getting the right breaks. Going back-to-back would be pretty cool though – I’ve never done that before, so it would be really special.”
The Maplewood/Irving Late Models have seen a different winner at each event so far this season. But all of them are chasing South Burlington’s Trampas Demers in the overall standings. The veteran has posted back-to-back 3rd-place results to take the early lead. Memorial Day Classic winner Cody Blake, Community Bank N.A. 150 winner Jason Corliss, and 2016 “King of the Road” Scott Dragon sit right behind.
Many pre-season favorites are off to strong starts, but a few young bucks are making their presence felt as well. Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue sits sixth in the early standings, while 15-year-old Evan Hallstrom of Northfield has top-10 finishes in both point-counting events.
While Dwayne Lanphear’s Flying Tiger winning streak ended last Thursday, he is still the man to beat in the race for the championship. Lanphear currently has a 21-point lead over Craftsbury Common’s Joel Hodgdon. Veteran Trevor Lyman of Hinesburg and sophomore Jason Pelkey of Barre sit close behind in third and fourth. The rest of the top-10 has both veterans and newcomers who could easily break into Victory Lane at any time.
The Allen Lumber Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors are sure to put on a thrilling show of their own on Thursday. Essex Jct.’s Matthew Smith has topped the Street Stock division from the get-go, but veterans such as Jeffery Martin of Barre, Dean Switser Jr. of Lyndonville, and Justin Town of Barre are in hot pursuit. The Road Warriors go under the lights for the first time this year after outstanding action at the season’s first two events.
The first green flag of Casella Waste Systems Night will fly at 7:00pm on Thursday, June 14. The front gates open at 5:15pm and the pits open at 3:30pm. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).