Middlesex, VT's David Pembroke bolstered his title defense with a high-flying victory on a beautiful Sunday (June 17) afternoon at Thunder Road. Pembroke nipped South Barre's Mike Bailey at the line by just .021 seconds to claim his first feature victory of 2012.
The early stages of the race were led by Winooski driver Jerry Lesage until an early caution brought the field back to his bumper. Bailey snatched the lead on the restart and was driving away when a devastating wreck took the car of Trampas Demers. Pembroke and Bailey dueled side by side for the final 17 laps of the 50 lap race. Defending champion Pembroke pulled ahead in the final moments in the outside groove to take the checkered flag. Pembroke was ecstatic to be back in victory lane.
"We just had a great car today, I have to thank my guys. It's so great to pick up a win," said Pembroke. "I also want to thank Mike Bailey for such a great race. I really had a lot of fun," he finished.
John Donahue came home third, while former champion Nick Sweet stole fourth place in the final laps and unofficially retained the point lead. Brett Wheeler completed the top five. Jerry Lesage, Jamie Aube, Scott Payea, Brooks Clark, and Jamie Fisher rounded out the top ten.
Barre's Jason Corliss scored the victory in the Bond Auto Tigers, surviving a late-race assault from point leader Bobby Therrien to take the checkers. The early tone was set by a nasty multi-car wreck in turn one involving high point drivers Eric Badore, Shawn Fleury, and Blair Bessett on lap three of the race. Hyde Park's Tucker Williams took over the lead by the halfway point, but for the second week in a row found himself in the infield late in the race. That set up the two car battle between Corliss and Therrien for the win. Corliss was happy to have survived the melee.
"That was fun, what a wild one!" said an excited Corliss. "I had a great time racing with Tucker and Bobby there at the end. They are great drivers, but it makes this mean more. We're going to enjoy this one," he finished.
Williamstown's Mike Ziter took home the third place trophy, Joe Steffen and last week's winner Josh Demers completed the top five.
East Barre's Justin Town survived a last lap pile-up in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks to pick up his first ever feature victory. Point leader Garry Bashaw and former Junkyard Warrior Champion Ken Christman were battling for second when Bashaw slid sideways and the field collected into a brutal finish-line wreck. Rookie Dean Switser, Jr. of West Burke and Kevin Dodge of Barre claimed second and third. Bunker Hodgdon and Cameron Ouellette completed the top five.
Weekly action returns to Thunder Road with the first Thursday (June 21) night event of the year for Casella Waste Management night. Post time will be 6:30pm.
---Courtesy ACT Media, Thunder Road
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