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Meet the new owners of Thunder Road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Meet the new owners of Thunder Road

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Gov. Phil Scott Gov. Phil Scott
BARRE, Vt. -

It's the end of an era at Thunder Road.

"Well, you know, everything changes," Ken Squier said.

Ken Squier and Tom Curley have sold the Barre racetrack they have co-owned since 1982. The buyers should be familiar names to racing fans, though. Cris Michaud is a three-time King of the Road and Pat Malone is a longtime fan and team sponsor.

"I mean, we have some huge shoes to fill," Michaud said. "Tom and Ken have done a remarkable job up here."

"I think we have some people that care as much as Tom and I have cared about motorsports in Vermont and that they'll do a heck of a good job," Squier said.

Michaud has spent the last several years preparing himself for the job. After stepping out of the car, he stepped into a role as an official. He feels that experience will help him in the transition.

"Helping them a few times or for a few years, you know, it's something that really intrigued me. I was very interested in it and it's something I enjoy," Michaud said.

Anytime a sports property like Thunder Road changes hands, there will be some initial concern from fans.

"I didn't really process it yet, but I know the past owners were great people. You know, they did a lot for the community," said Jan Trepanier of Barre.

"I don't know, kind of hard to believe. It's been kind of a tradition around here for a long time. But hopefully it's going to stay the same," said Jamie Clark of Barre.

Fear not, at least on the racing side of things, very little will change.

"As far as changes and the rules package, I don't foresee any," Michaud said. "They've done a great job of keeping the costs down. They've done a great job of keeping car counts up."

The new owners say they've received well wishes from many in the Vermont racing community, and now, they can add another name to that list: race car driver and Vt. Gov. Phil Scott.

"It's been a staple here, part of the social fabric of Central Vermont. But it's time for new blood, a change, and I think with Pat and Cris coming on board, this will provide for racing to the people for the foreseeable future and I think that's important for those in Central Vermont."

"He came to practice last night and he was just all smiles," Pat Malone said. "He was truly enjoying himself, which was really, he's got a very contentious job, obviously. And it was good to see him really relax."

Michaud and Malone's first season at the helm of Thunder Road begins a week from Sunday with the running of the Merchants Bank 150 as part of the American Canadian Tour.

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Thunder Road is sold

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