Historic Night at Thunder Road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Historic Night at Thunder Road

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BARRE, Vt. -

Rookie Emily Packard thrilled the crowd with her first victory in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks in dramatic fashion over "Wild Willy" Hennequin and Jamie Davis.  Points leader Nick Pilotte's car began dumping oil in the middle of the track mid-race, leaving competitors and even Pilotte sliding sideways in the turns.  Packard had created a dominant lead, but found herself facing the field in a heartbreaking spin at the front of the pack.  She regained her spot as the leader, due to the caution being for oil on the track.

Packard was thrilled to be in victory lane.  "It's been a tough couple of weeks," remarked Packard, who was part of a massive two-car flip just two races ago.  "Had to change the engine after Tuesday and make it back here for today.  I can't believe we got it all done," she finished.

Jay Laquerre took the 50-lap late model feature by storm on his way to his second win of 2012 on Thursday night (July 5) at Thunder Road sponsored by Charter Communications.  He was followed by a late-charging "Hurricane" Jamie Fisher, and early leader Ricky Roberts. 

 Roberts looked to be on his way to victory while leading the first twenty laps of the race, but daring to drive on the high line was Laquerre, who swung high and wide near the top of the track to pass Roberts for the lead and never looked back.  He developed a sizable lead over Roberts, who in the closing laps lost second to a fast closing Fisher on the outside groove, but the former champion ran out of laps trying to catch Laquerre.  Brett Wheeler and Cody Blake chased the trio to the line in fourth and fifth.  Point leader Nick Sweet flexed muscle starting fifteenth and extending his points lead once again with a sixth place finish. Mike Bailey, Cris Michaud, defending champion Dave Pembroke, and Brooks Clark rounded out the top ten.

 Laquerre was humbled with his second win. "The track changed a lot in practice, we made a few changes that didn't work at all early in the day," recalled Laquerre.  "We just got it going at the right time," he finished.

 A three way battle for the victory earned South Barre's Chris Pelkey an emotional victory over veteran "Double O" Joe Steffen and rookie sensation Jason Woodard.  Woodard held the lead for most of the race, surviving a brutal multi-car melee on lap five destroying the car of 2012 feature winner Mike Billado on the backstretch.  Woodard looked home-free when a caution with 4 laps to go flew for top talent driver Eric Badore whose car died in turn one.  Pelkey powered by Woodard on the outside groove, with Steffen grabbing second as the checkers flew.  Top-five point driver Josh Demers climbed to fourth, and East Craftsbury's Joel Hodgdon rounded out the top five. 

 Pelkey was sentimental in victory lane "It means a lot to be here," stated Pelkey.  "They don't give these away that's for sure," he finished. 

 Championship battles continue for all divisions next Thursday night, July 12 for the VT Lottery Commission Governor's Cup 150.  It is the third event in the four-race Vermont State Championship Series. Post time is 6:00pm.

 

---Courtesy Thunder Road media

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