Category Archives: Thunder Road International Speedbowl

Triple Crown Entries Pouring in for White Mountain & Thunder Road

Triple Crown Event Highlights White Mountain Season Opener on May 8

Daniel Holben photo

N. Woodstock, NH & Barre, VT — The Flying Tigers are about to take center stage for the first of half a dozen times in what’s shaping up as a tremendous 2021 for the class. Entries have been pouring in for both the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road and the J.P. Sicard Triple Crown Series at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park as the racers of “North America’s Best Support Division” get ready for their time in the sun.

The White Mountain Motorsports Park season opener this Saturday, May 8 is also the first round in the J.P. Sicard Triple Crown. On Sunday, May 30, the Myers Triple Crown gets underway as part of the 58th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Racers such as Jason Woodard, Jaden Perry, Joel Hodgdon, Colin Cornell, Russell Clark, and Brandon Gray will do battle in long-distance races that are never short on thrills.

“It’s just so competitive,” East Burke, VT’s Colin Cornell, a Triple Crown winner at both Thunder Road and White Mountain, said. “The plus-minus qualifying is a lot of fun for me, because it gives me that much more motivation to qualify well and pass more cars. Other than that, I love having more laps, and it’s very competitive as result — you get the best of the best.”

“I like that it’s at both tracks,” Cornell added. “White Mountain was my home track where I started out racing in the Kids Trucks. Then I brought (the team) over to Thunder Road, but I can still go back to White Mountain for these Triple Crown shows.”

The Flying Tiger Triple Crown concept began in 2017 when Cris Michaud and Pat Malone first assumed ownership of Thunder Road. Its success led the duo to add a similar series at White Mountain Motorsports Park when they took over the track in 2019.

If the entry lists are any indication, then this year will be yet another successful one for the Triple Crown. At least eight drivers plan to run both three-race series. Teenage standouts Bryan Wall Jr., Cooper French, and Tanner Woodard join Jason Woodard, Perry, Cornell, Gray, and Clark in doing the double.

Perry was last year’s Triple Crown champion at White Mountain while Jason Woodard swept the 2019 crowns. Cornell came up one spot short of a Triple Crown title in 2020 and is hungry to seal the deal. Conversely, rookies like Gray, French, and Tanner Woodard have an opportunity to gain valuable experience while possibly stealing the show.

The Myers Triple Crown entry sheet for Thunder Road has plenty of other impressive names. Mike Martin and Joel Hodgdon, who won the first two Triple Crown championships, are chasing another title in 2021. Derrick Calkins and Sam Caron both had outstanding 2020 seasons that they’re trying to build on. Chris Chambers has returned to the Tiger wars while youngsters like Stephen Martin, Kelsea Woodard, and J.T. Blanchard could get a signature win.

Each trio of Triple Crown races also counts towards the weekly championship at their respective track. This means White Mountain regulars such as three-time defending champion Shane Sicard, Michael and Matthew Potter, Jody Sicard, and David Ofsuryk will take on the Thunder Road regulars who are crossing the Connecticut River. On the Vermont side, you have Logan Powers, Tyler Austin, Cameron Ouellete, and Jason Pelkey among the phenoms who will defend their home track.

The Triple Crown format makes the field a mix of locals and invaders who are all racing for at least one championship. It’s been one of the reasons for the division’s explosive growth over the last five years. In 2020, the Flying Tigers averaged 30-plus cars a week at Thunder Road, while participation more than doubled at White Mountain. The big Triple Crown fields helped drive that, with each event drawing more cars than the weekly average.

“I was very surprised to see how many cars have been at these Triple Crown events,” Cornell said. “There’s been times where we’ve had almost 40 cars trying to qualify for events. Even last weekend (at Thunder Road), we had to send four cars home — which is unfortunate, but it’s very good to have that car count, and it brings people around. I think that people are more interested in running the higher-lap races, and they’re very competitive cars. That’s what I feel like is best about (the Triple Crowns). Everyone wants to come run them, and it’s more of an adrenaline rush when you have to try and qualify for them.”

The J.P. Sicard Triple Crown Series at White Mountain Motorsports Park begins this Saturday, May 8 at 6:00pm. The 75-lap main event for the Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers is part of the track’s 29th season opener. A packed card also includes the Foley Oil & Propane Late Models, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis, Arnold’s Wayside Diner Dwarf Cars, and Dad’s 4 By Tool & Supply Kids Trucks. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids). The day begins with the annual Car Show at the track from 10:00am to 1:00pm

The Myers Container Service Triple Crown for Thunder Road opens on Sunday, May 30 at 1:30pm as part of the 58 Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers go 100 laps in their Triple Crown feature. There’s also a 125-lap event for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models plus the RK Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Admission is $20 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12.

For more information about White Mountain Motorsports Park, contact the track offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.whitemountainmotorsports.com. You can also follow them on Facebook at @WhiteMtnMotorsports.

Thunder Road followers can learn more by contacting the offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visiting www.thunderroadvt.com.  Follow Thunder Road on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.

-30-American-Canadian TourMedia Director(802) 244-6963 ext. 6media@acttour.com2 Attachments

Massive Field Turns Out for Thunder Road Practice Day

Photo Alan Ward

Barre, VT — A huge field of cars filed through the pits for the Thunder Road Car Show and Practice Day on Saturday, May 1. When all was said and done, 119 drivers across 4 divisions took to the track in preparation for the Community Bank N.A. 150 on FloRacing this Sunday, May 2. The speeds were as big as the fields with racers storming out of the gates after a long, cold Vermont winter.

The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models saw 32 drivers on-hand. For many, it was their first session on the new Hoosier Racing tire. Whether it was the tire, the track conditions, or the eagerness to go racing again, the Late Models set a blistering pace. Times were noticeably quicker than last year with several drivers setting marks in the sub-12.3 second bracket.

Not only that, but the herd was remarkably close together. In the fourth of five practice sessions, the top-25 cars were less than half a second apart. It’s a recipe that points to a competitive 150-lap feature ahead on Sunday.

Still, several racers managed to stand out. Former “King of the Road” Bobby Therrien of Hinesburg, VT set the day’s fast time right out of the box, clocking a 12.266 in the first ACT session. He then ranks first and second in the following two sessions; satisfied with where they were at, the FastOne Motorsports team elected to call it a day early.

Shelburne’s Trampas Demers and Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw were also consistently near the top of the charts throughout the day. Shaw led the fourth session; Demers was strong early before his times dipped later as the team experimented with setups. Three-time defending Community Bank N.A. 150 winner Jason Corliss started the afternoon slow, but was consistently in the top-10 by day’s end.

There were also a few pleasant surprises. Northfield, VT’s Matt White led the third session with 12.317-second time that was in the top-5 for the day. West Burke, VT’s Jesse Switser and Montpelier, VT’s Kyle Pembroke gained steam as the afternoon went on while former Memorial Day Classic winner Tyler Cahoon was consistently in the top-10 each session. A lot can change over 150 laps, though, meaning the favorites for Sunday’s main event are far from decided.

In the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, 34 different drivers came to shake down their machines for the season ahead. Like with the Late Models, times were fastest early on, with Craftsbury Common’s Mike Martin setting a breathtaking 13.775-second time in the first session. Rich Lowery, Derrick Calkins, and Jason Pelkey also cracked the 14-second barrier throughout the day.

Also like the Late Models, the Flying Tiger field was incredible close together. Only half a second separated the top-24 cars in the final session of the day. Veterans like Jason Woodard, Cameron Ouellette, Jaden Perry, and Mike Billado were running competitive times — and they know a 40-lap car is more valuable than a 1-lap car.

A few newer drivers to the Tiger ranks also showed potential. Rookie Cooper French only needs two sessions before his was running within a few tenths of the leaders. Ryan Boutin had a top-10 car to start the day before going for a solo spin in the third session.

The RK Miles Street Stocks had 29 cars take time. To no one’s surprise, defending Rookie of the Year Kaiden Fisher of Shelburne, VT was the most consistently fast throughout the day. He capped it off with a 14.668-second time in the final session.

However, two returning veterans weren’t far behind. Williamstown, VT’s Tommy “Thunder” Smith, the all-time winningest Street Stock driver, unveiled a new car that was second-fastest on the day. Lyndonville, VT’s Dean Switser Jr., who took the 2020 season off, picked up right where he left off in 2019.

Two-time Street Stock champion Jamie Davis was a late arrival, but showed he didn’t need the extra practice time as he was fast right off the trailer. Josh Lovely, Kyler Davis, Will Hennequin, and Jacob Roy were among the other drivers to keep an eye on for Sunday’s race.

The Street Stocks also had the day’s only major incident, as rookie Tyler Whittemore of Barre flipped his #74 in turn four during the final practice session. Whittemore was not injured, but his time will have a lot of work to do before tomorrow’s event.

The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also had a strong turnout with 24 cars on hand. Many of them were new racers getting their feet wet before competing at Thunder Road for the first time, such as Bill O’Connor and Taylor Sayers.

Plenty of old hands were there to show them the ropes. Warrior favorites such as Sean “Chubby Rambo” McCarthy, Frank Putney, Nate “Tater” Brien, and Paige Whittemore are tuning up for another season. Putney was the most noticeable in his Scooby Doo tribute “Mystery Machine”. Mark Beaulieu, Bert Duffy, Josh Vilbrin, and Fred Fleury also turned in notable practice days.

The Hebert Motorsports team of defending ACT champion Jimmy Hebert won the pit stop competition. They changed two tires and added fuel in 38.45 seconds, beating out the Thunder Road championship teams of Jason Corliss, Jason Woodard, and Brandon Gray.

Thunder Road opens its 2021 season this Sunday, May 2 at 1:30pm with the 23rd Community Bank N.A. 150. The ACT Late Model Tour and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models have a 150-lap showdown at the 62nd Thunder road season opener. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, RK Miles Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors join them on the schedule.

Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. Tickets are available at the gate. All Vermont state attendance, health, and safety guidelines are in effect. The event will also be live streamed worldwide on FloRacing via their website, mobile app, and most smart TV platforms.

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ThunderRoadVT. For more information about FloRacing, visit www.FloRacing.com or www.FloSports.tv.

Entries Continue to Arrive for Community Bank N.A. 150

Corliss, Lanphear, Pelkey Among Latest Commitments to Season Opener

Barre, VT — The 23rd Community Bank N.A. 150 at Barre’s Thunder Road this Sunday, May 2 has gotten a little bigger for Vermont racing fans. The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) entry list swelled even further this week with six more top Thunder Road racers throwing their hats into the ring for an event being broadcast worldwide on FloRacing.

To no one’s surprise, Barre’s Jason Corliss is now officially entered for the Community Bank N.A. 150. Corliss has won the last three editions, something no other driver has done in the event’s 22-year history. He’ll look to continue the streak with another win on Sunday.

A fourth straight victory is far from in the bag, though. In addition to the elite names planning to be in Barre, five other notable locals are now locked in. Rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville, VT will make his debut with the Richard Green Racing team. The new partnership pairs the defending Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series champion with a car and crew that have won two “King of the Road” titles.

Graniteville, VT’s Christopher Pelkey has emerged from a quiet offseason to file an entry. Pelkey finished in the top-10 in points last year for both the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models and the ACT Late Model Tour, making him one to watch for Sunday’s event.

Entries have also come in from Danville, VT’s Tyler Cahoon, Montpelier, VT’s Kyle Pembroke, and Graniteville, VT’s Chip Grenier. All three are multi-time Thunder Road winners, with Cahoon and Pembroke being regular top-10 points finishers. Grenier has run select events in recent years but is reportedly planning to return to the weekly Late Model wars for the first time in nearly a decade.

They join a slew of other local and regional stock car racing standouts converging on Barre, VT this weekend. Reigning ACT champion Jimmy Hebert, multi-time Pro All Stars Series champions Ben Rowe and D.J. Shaw, defending Rookie of the Year Derek Gluchacki, and Northeast Classic podium finisher Tom Carey III lead the touring charge.

On the Thunder Road side, you have 2017 “King of the Road” Bobby Therrien, perennial title contender Trampas Demers, multi-time winners Brooks Clark and Stephen Donahue, and rookie Cooper Bouchard. They’re just some of the Late Model heavyweights who will help open Thunder Road’s 62nd season of racing.

Thunder Road opens its 2021 season on Sunday, May 2 at 1:30pm with the 23rd Community Bank N.A. 150. The stars of the ACT Late Model Tour and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models will go at it for 150 green-flag laps in the 62nd Thunder road season opener. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, RK Miles Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors join them with a full card of racing.

Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. All Vermont state attendance, health, and safety guidelines are in effect. The event will also be live streamed worldwide on FloRacing via their website, mobile app, and most smart TV platforms.

The weekend begins with the annual Car Show at Thunder Road on Saturday, May 1 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. An open practice is slated for Saturday afternoon followed by the 2020 ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions at 6:00pm.

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ThunderRoadVT. For more information about FloRacing, visit www.FloRacing.com or www.FloSports.tv.

Alan Ward photo