Home News and Features Sponsored Content Blake Dodges Late Carnage for Thursday Win at Thunder Road

Blake Dodges Late Carnage for Thursday Win at Thunder Road

Barre's Cody Blake avoided a major crash on his way to the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model victory on WDEV/Calkins Night July 30. Photo by Alan Ward
Four Racers Join First-Time Winner’s Club

BARRE — Local racer Cody Blake combined a little speed with a lot of luck to score the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model victory at Thunder Road on July 30. Blake took the lead for the first time from Graniteville’s Christopher Pelkey on a restart following a massive crash with 10 laps to go and pulled away to win the 50-lap feature on WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Night.

The second-generation racer spent much of the race in the back half of the top 10 while rookie Matthew Smith tried to pull the upset. Essex Junction’s Smith grabbed the point from polesitter Kyle Pembroke at the drop of the green and eventually pulled out to a straightaway lead.

Just when it seemed Smith had the race in hand, Matt White and Chris Roberts spun on the front chute to bring out the first caution on lap 30. Although Smith easily held off Barre’s Jim “Boomer” Morris on the restart, recent midseason champion Scott Dragon went for a front stretch spin eight laps later to trigger another yellow.

This time on the restart, it was Morris who got the upper hand, leading laps 39 and 40. Going into turn one on the 41st circuit, though, the two duo made contact and Morris went around in front of the field. With nowhere to go, many of the top-10 drivers piled in, drawing a red flag. Tyler Cahoon, Stephen Donahue, Nick Sweet, and Tom Sheehan were all unable to continue following the wreck, while Morris, points leader Marcel J. Gravel, Bobby Therrien, Trampas Demers, and Brendan Moodie were among those who sustained damage.

When the dust finally settled, it was Pelkey and Blake who found themselves on the new front row. Blake, who got off to a late start this season, made up for lost time by leaping out in front of Pelkey and cruising into the night for his seventh career win.

Pelkey earned his best result of the year with a second-place finish. Defending “King of the Road” Jason Corliss of Barre made it an all-Central Vermont podium by dodging the big accident and making a late charge for third. Pembroke, Dragon, Therrien, Smith, Gravel, Darrell Morin, and Chris Roberts rounded out the top 10.

Third-generation racer Bryan P. Wall of East Kingston, New Hampshire, became a first-time winner in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger 40-lap feature. The 17-year-old rookie was running second to Hardwick’s Bunker Hodgdon when the race’s second caution came out on lap 23 for an incident involving Jason Pelkey and Brett Wood.

On the restart, Hodgdon got dead sideways, and Wall darted into the lead. Hodgdon and Keegan Lamson then got into a lengthy battle for second that ended with Hodgdon getting shuffled three-wide to the back of the pack. The commotion allowed Wall to build a big lead.

Hinesburg’s Cooper Bouchard, Barre’s Cameron Ouellette, and Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard eventually broke through the logjam at the front. While Bouchard and Ouellette were able to reel in Wall as the laps wound down, the veterans ran out of time and the teenager carried the checkered flag.

Bouchard took second with Ouellette third. Points leader and defending champion Woodard came in fourth. Rich Lowrey, Mike Martin, Lamson, Tyler Austin, Chris LaForest, and Colin Cornell also earned top-10 finishes.

An even younger racer stood in Allen Lumber Street Stock Victory Lane as 13-year-old Kaiden “Tropical Storm” Fisher grabbed his first Thunder Road win. Fisher, the son of 2003 track champion Jamie “Hurricane” Fisher, followed in the footsteps of his dad by storming up the outside lane for the victory.

After starting fifth, the youngster took the long way around both two-time Street Stock champion Jamie Davis and polesitter J.T. Blanchard to get the lead just before halfway in the 25-lap feature. He went untouched from there to become the youngest feature winner in Thunder Road history.

Graniteville’s Blanchard held off Wolcott’s Davis and points leader Brandon Gray of East Thetford for second. Scott Weston, Tanner Woodard, Luke Peters, Tim Hunt, Kyler Davis, and James Dopp chased them across the finish line.

The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors doubled up with a pair of 25-lap features. In the make-up of their Vermont Governor’s Cup feature, Milton’s Trevor Jaques joined the first-time winner’s club. Jaques started on pole based on the line-up set two weeks ago and ran away early. Brookfield’s Nate “Tater” Brien got to his back bumper on multiple occasions, but Jaques found a little extra each time to win the caution-free event.

Brien finished second, with Tyler Whittemore third. Brian Putney, Justin Prescott, Dan Garrett Jr., Frank Putney, Fred Fleury, Josh Vilbrin, and Sean McCarthy completed the top 10.

In a rough-and-tumble second feature, Boston’s Luke Marcheski made the trek to central Vermont worth it by becoming the fourth first-time winner of the night. Marcheski started on the pole after mechanical problems in the first feature and was dominant for the first 24 laps through a series of crashes and spills behind him.

But as he took the white flag, Marcheski slowed, possibly thinking it was the checkered flag. Williston’s Justin Prescott swung to the outside to take the lead as both approached a lapped car. Marcheski quickly recovered, though, and muscled his way back around Prescott in the final corner to edge him at the actual checkered.

Prescott ended up second with Northfield’s Josh Vilbrin third. Jaques, Dan Garrett Jr., Brian Putney, Paige Whittemore, Fred Fleury, Rodney Campbell, and Sean McCarthy finished fourth through 10th.

The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers are back in the spotlight next Thursday, August 6, at 7 p.m. as part of Cody Chevrolet-Cadillac Night. Round two of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series means a 75-lap main event for Thunder Road’s oldest and most storied division. There will also be a full card of championship stock car racing for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models and Allen Lumber Street Stocks.

Admission is $15 for adults and $3 for kids ages 12 and under with limited fan attendance. Advance tickets will be on sale until 10:00 a.m. Thursday, August 6, at https://happsnow.com/event/Thunder-Road-Speedbowl. A $15 pay-per-view is also available on the Northeast Sports Network at www.NSNsports.net/sponsors/racing.

Thunder Road Speedbowl

WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Night

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Unofficial Results

Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models

Position, Driver, (Car Number), Hometown

1. Cody Blake, (99), Barre

2. Christopher Pelkey, (64), Graniteville

3. Jason Corliss, (66), Barre

4. Kyle Pembroke, (27), Montpelier

5. Scott Dragon, (16), Milton

6. Bobby Therrien, (5), Hinesburg

7. Matthew Smith, (04), Essex Junction

8. Marcel J. Gravel, (86), Wolcott

9. Darrell Morin, (17), Westford

10. Chris Roberts, (3), Washington, Vt.

11. Brendan Moodie, (94), Wolcott

12. Trampas Demers, (85), Shelburne

13. Matt White, (42), Northfield

14. James Aube, (41), Charlotte

15. Boomer Morris, (13), Barre

16. Tyler Cahoon, (38), St. Johnsbury

17. Stephen Donahue, (2), Graniteville

18. Nick Sweet, (88), Barre

19. Tom Sheehan, (65), Bow, NH

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers

Position, Driver, (Car Number), Hometown

1. Bryan Wall Jr., (77) East Kingston, NH

2. Cooper Bouchard, (7), Hinesburg

3. Cameron Ouellette, (90), Barre

4. Jason Woodard, (68), Waterbury Center

5. Rich Lowrey, (8), Charlotte, Vt.

6. Michael Martin, (01), Craftsbury Common

7. Keegan Lamson, (55), Berlin

8. Tyler Austin, (5), East Calais

9. Chris Laforest, (56), Barre

10. Colin Cornell, (54), East Burke

11. Kyle Streeter, (37), Waterbury Center

12. Stephen Martin, (9), Craftsbury Common

13. Mike Billado, (8), Grand Isle

14. Derrick Calkins, (15), Hinesburg

15. Logan Powers, (31), Middlesex

16. Brandon Lanphear, (11), Morrisville

17. Danny Doyle, (51), Randolph Center

18. Sam Caron, (07), Colchester

19. Kelsea Woodard, (55), Waterbury Center

20. Brett Wood, (29), Georgia, Vt.

21. Jaden Perry, (92), Hardwick

22. Jason Pelkey, (64), Barre

23. Bunker Hodgdon, (83), Wolcott

24. Robert Gordon, (20), Milton

25. Kasey Beattie, (45), St. Johnsbury

26. Adam Maynard, (45), Milton

27. Eric Messier, (88), Hinesburg

Allen Lumber Street Stocks

Position, Driver, (Car Number), Hometown

1. Kaiden Fisher, (18), Shelburne

2. JT Blanchard, (66), Graniteville

3. Jamie Davis, (43), Wolcott

4. Brandon Gray, (00), East Thetford

5. Scott Weston, (04), Berlin

6. Tanner Woodard, (68), Waterbury Center

7. Luke Peters, (26), Groton

8. Tim Hunt, (93), Derby

9. Kyler Davis, (69), Berlin

10. James Dopp, (0), Northfield

11. Cooper French, (4), Northfield

12. Justin Blakey, (17), Graniteville

13. Juan Marshall, (79), Pittfield

14. Josh Lovely, (54), Williamstown

15. Michael Gay, (3), South Burlington

16. Kyle MacAskill, (7), Williamstown

17. Thomas Peck, (96), Waterbury

18. Eric MacLaughlin, (6), Milton

Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors Feature 1

Position, Driver, (Car Number), Hometown

1. Trevor Jaques, (57), Milton

2. Nate Brien, (16), Williamstown

3. Tyler Whittemore, (74), Barre

4. Brian Putney, (87), East Corinth

5. Justin Prescott, (44), Williston

6. Dan Garrett Jr., (54), Berlin

7. Frank Putney, (78), Graniteville

8. Fred Fleury, (99), Graniteville

9. Josh Vilbrin, (07), Northfield

10. Sean McCarthy, (86), Williamstown

11. Keith Normand, (28), Waterford

12. Jamie York, (68), Barre

13. Steven Reno, (00), Barre

14. Clay Badger, (9), East Montpelier

15. Jacob Hall-Larson, (42), Northfield

16. Rodney Campbell, (10), Worcester

17. Todd Raymo, (26), Swanton

18. Paige Whittemore, (47), Graniteville

19. Jonathan Hill, (35), Corinth

20. Luke Marcheski, (65), Boston, Mass.

Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors Feature 2

Position, Driver, (Car Number), Hometown

1. Luke Marcheski, (65), Boston, Mass.

2. Justin Prescott, (44), Williston

3. Josh Vilbrin, (07), Northfield

4. Trevor Jaques, (57), Milton

5. Dan Garrett Jr., (54), Berlin

6. Brian Putney, (87), East Corinth

7. Paige Whittemore, (47), Graniteville

8. Fred Fleury, (99), Graniteville

9. Rodney Campbell, (10), Worcester

10. Sean McCarthy, (86), Williamstown

11. Britney Lampro, (00), Barre

12. Jamie York, (68), Barre

13. Keith Normand, (28), Waterford

14. Tyler Whittemore, (74), Barre

15. Nate Brien, (16), Williamstown

16. Frank Putney, (78), Graniteville

17. Jonathan Hill, (35), Corinth

18. Todd Raymo, (26), Swanton

19. Jacob Hall-Larson, (42), Northfield

20. Clay Badger, (9), East Montpelier