Barre's hometown hero Nick Sweet continued a dominating 2012 with a dazzling victory in the Vermont Governor's Cup 150 presented by the VT Lottery Commission at Thunder Road on Thursday (July 12). Sweet was hounded by defending Champion Dave Pembroke, and perennial front runner Scott Payea picked up third place. Young sensation Cody Blake crossed the line fourth, with 2011 Governor's Cup winner John Donahue rounding out the top five.
American Canadian Tour front-runner Joey Polewarczyk Jr., snatched the early lead from the second starting position, but it only took 6 laps for Sweet to pull to the front from fourth. Sweet dominated the next 46 circuits, looking well on his way to victory, when he stunned the large hometown crowd and pitted on a lap 53 caution, taking the top five with him and leaving East Montpelier's Cris Michaud at the point. Michaud spent the next 46 laps in a duel with South Burlington's Trampas Demers, but it was all for not when the familiar #88 of Sweet returned to reclaim the lead on lap 100 of the 150 lap event, and went on to power through a late race surge from Pembroke to take the Governor's Cup by just .365 seconds. Top Vermont State Championship Series runners Brent Dragon, Phil Scott, and Ricky Rolfe struggled to 16th, 22nd, and 21st place finishes respectively.
"Man, I was just happy to see it over here at the end," said a breathless Sweet. "Our strategy really worked well, it's a great night for us," he finished.
Polewarczyk recovered to take home sixth, and Eric Chase, Cris Michaud, Chip Grenier, and defending ACT Champion Brian Hoar rounded out the top ten. The race was slowed by just five cautions, one of which was for a mid-race spin on the backstretch for Hoar. The 30 car field completed the race just in 58 minutes and 55 seconds.
Sweet had already been invited to the ACT Bond Auto Invitational on Saturday, September 22 at New Hampshire International Speedway with his Memorial Day Classic win.
Milton's Eric Badore paved the way to victory in the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen, diving underneath Barre's Scott Coburn on lap 18 to charge to the checkers. High-point driver Jason Allen sliced and diced the 23-car field to continue his hot streak and unofficially reclaim the point lead with his third place finish. Wolcott's Brendan Moodie Jr. took home fourth, and Hinesburg's Bobby Therrien powered his way to round out the top five.
Badore was relieved to be back in victory lane. "We've just had so much bad luck this season. The broken transmission, the wrecks, and finally we just had an awesome ride tonight," said Badore.
Redemption finally came to Elmore, VT's Dave Whitcomb, who avenged a tough 2012 season with a dominating victory in the Allen Lumber Street Stock Division. Whitcomb expertly sliced through heavy lap traffic, fighting off a hard charge from Morrisville's Jamie Davis and top ranked rookie Dean Switser Jr., in the closing laps. Last week's victor Emily Packard came home fourth and Justin Town rounded out the top five.
"It's just been such a tough year for us, "said Whitcomb smiling. "But this just feels so good. It just makes it all worthwhile," he finished.
--Thunder Road Media Release--
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