Barre, VT – The season may be a few events old, but no one at Thunder Road is ready to slow down. All four divisions will be in action for NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Night this Thursday, June 20 at 7:00pm. And if the first month of the season has been any sign, teams and fans can bank on another exciting night at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement”.
The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors have all given people something to talk about during Thunder Road’s 60th season of racing. This Thursday, the Flying Tigers have even more on the line. The track’s longest-running division begins the night by running the final 21 laps of their Casella Waste Systems feature that was cut short by rain last week.
The Tigers then have a full NorthCountry card of qualifying and main event action. The weather-revised program is similar to a double-point night and could go a long way towards setting up the championship chase.
“When we have double features, I usually try to take it easy in the first race to know that I’ll have a good car to get to the next one,” Flying Tiger point leader Tyler Austin said. “This one’s a little different, though, because we’re about halfway through. And we’re only starting one spot ahead of where we originally started, which wasn’t good to begin with. It’s going to be more of a crunch situation. There isn’t much time to get up through. You’ve got to try, though – you’ve always got to try!”
As a result of the weather delay, the Flying Tiger point standings remain unchanged from a week ago. Austin still sits at the top of the standings with a mix of young stars and veterans in pursuit. Waterbury Ctr.’s Kelsea Woodard, rookie Stephen Martin of Waterbury, Morrisville’s Brandon Lanphear, and Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen are among those looking to continue their strong starts.
However, with two events’ worth of points being added in a few days, the standings could soon look completely different. NorthCountry Night presents a golden opportunity for racers such as Milton’s Sam Caron, Waitsfield’s Kyle Streeter, and Chelsea’s Chris Chambers to turn around rough starts to the season. Those three will lead the field to the green for the final 21 laps of the Casella feature, giving each a golden chance to earn a good finish.
The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model standings also remained the same from a week ago as their Casella feature is yet to be run. Barre’s Jason Corliss and Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke continue to be 1-2 in points after splitting the first two point-counting wins of the season. Both will have to fight their way from the back once again to stay on top.
Meanwhile, several racers who had trouble in the first two events will have a second chance to get back in the hunt. Milton’s Scott Dragon and Danville’s Tyler Cahoon ran away with qualifying wins last Friday and now get an opportunity to do the same for a full evening. Trampas Demers, Josh Masterson, Josh Demers, and Boomer Morris also looked fast last week and will try to get the results this week to show for it.
The Allen Lumber Street Stocks saw some shuffling in their championship standings last week after a wild affair. Barre’s Jeffrey Martin now leads the points coming into NorthCountry Night after finishes of first, second, and first in the last three features. St. Johnsbury’s Kasey Beattie and Berlin’s Kasey Collins remain close behind. Meanwhile, former champion Tommy “Thunder” Smith of Williamstown and veteran Dean Switser Jr. of Lyndonville have overcome slow starts to sit fourth and fifth in the standings.
The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also return to the program this week. Berlin’s Eric “Pork” Chase earned a popular win last time out, but two-time winner Nate “Tater” Brien of Brookfield is ready to rebound. Brian Putney, Sean McCarthy, Todd Raymo, and James Dopp have been quick this year and could break into victory lane at any time.
NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Night goes to post this Thursday, June 20 at 7:00pm. A full card of racing is scheduled for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors along with the remainder of the Flying Tiger Casella Waste Systems feature. The pits open at 3:30pm and the front gates open at 5:15pm. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). It is also Scout Night at Thunder Road with all scouts in uniform admitted free of charge.