Barre’s Thunder Road greets the summer solstice this Thursday, June 21 with another big night of racing. A full card is scheduled for NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Night that gives local stars at all levels their time to shine.
The Allen Lumber Street Stocks are kicking things up a notch with the first round of the Twin State Street Stock Series. Thunder Road’s weekly standouts will be joined by out-of-town invaders for a 50-lap feature to open the 4-race “home-and-home” series between Thunder Road and Groveton, NH’s Speedway 51.
“There’s been a lot of talk throughout the Street Stock pits, and a series like this is something we’ve been wanting for a little while,” Essex Jct.’s Matthew Smith said. “I think it’s going to be great, and I’m hoping it brings a lot of attention. We enjoy the longer races. I’m sure you’ll get a couple of people that want to try and win it within the first five laps, but hopefully people settle down and we’ll have some great racing throughout the whole 50 laps.”
Everyone who enters the Street Stock pits on Thursday will be chasing Smith. The young veteran has topped the point standings from the get-go and just copped his second win of the year, giving him a commanding early edge.
“We didn’t really change much this past offseason, but we threw a lot of dedication into our team,” Smith said. “I wouldn’t say more dedication than previous years, but I feel like the energy coming into this season carried a lot better from last year into the current year, and it’s something we’ve been carrying on since then.”
But plenty of other racers will look to be tops in stock. Middlesex’s Logan Powers and Derby’s Tim Hunt sit tied for second in the standings after superb starts. Defending Champion Jamie Davis of Wolcott and returning veteran Jeffery Martin of Barre have been strong as well. Williamstown’s Tommy “Thunder” Smith and Hardwick’s Will Hennequin both have wins in 50-lap events and will be looking for another. Meanwhile, Lyndonville’s Dean Switser looks to bounce back after a spectacular barrel-roll off turn 1 last time out.
The Street Stocks aren’t the only class with a big show in store. The Maplewood/Irving Late Models have double features on tap after their Casella Waste Systems main event last Thursday was cut short by rain. The final 45 laps of the Casella feature open the evening while their NorthCountry Federal Credit Union feature is set as the nightcap.
Opening Day winner Jason Corliss of Barre, 2016 “King of the Road” Scott Dragon of Milton, and point leader Trampas Demers of South Burlington will lead the field for the Casella restart. Other top runners such as Barre’s Cody Blake, Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke, and Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue have time to rebound after pre-rain misfortune.
The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers round out the program. The postponement of their Casella feature keeps Morrisville’s Dwayne Lanphear on top of the standings. Craftsbury Common’s Joel Hodgdon, Hinesburg’s Trevor Lyman, and Barre’s Jason Pelkey all are within striking distance. Sid Sweet, Kyle Streeter, and Kevin Dodge took heat race wins last Thursday and look to carry that momentum over.
Not only is the racing card brimming, but the track’s annual Kid’s Rides are scheduled for this Thursday. Youngsters get the chance to take a trip around the speedway with one of their favorite drivers from 4:00-4:40pm. All scheduled divisions will participate.
NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Night goes to post at 7:00pm this Thursday, June 21. The pits open at 3:30pm and the front gates open at 4:00pm. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). Thursday night is also Scout Night with all scouts in uniform admitted free of charge.