BARRE, VT - Late Model stock car driver John Donahue of Graniteville, VT scored a popular victory in the 50-lap Harvest Equipment Mother's Day Special at Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl in Barre Sunday evening.
Donahue, who started seventh in the 28-car field, was in the midst of a stellar battle for the lead with Trampas Demers before the caution flag flew for a wreck on lap 40. During the caution period, Demers' car suffered a driveline failure, ending his chances for the night.
Following the restart, Donahue was able to stretch his lead out to a three car-length margin over Hyde Park's Eric Williams. Donahue and Williams crossed the finish line in first and second, respectively. Mike Bailey of South Barre posted a career-best third-place finish after holding off Jeffersonville's Joe Becker. Bailey demolished his car in a qualifying crash at last week's Merchants Bank 150, and nearly crashed again in Harvest Equipment qualifying. Becker and his team were instrumental in the repair of Bailey's car. Jerry Lesage of Winooski finished in fifth place.Jamie Fisher finished sixth, ahead of Brooks Clark, who posted a career-best seventh-place run. Phil Scott, Rick Thompson, Jr., and Dave Pembroke rounded out the unofficial top ten finishers. The win was the third of Donahue's Late Model career.
East Montpelier veteran Joey Laquerre, 64, cruised to an easy 30-lap victory in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman division. Laquerre broke his own record for wins in the class with his 16th victory. Barre drivers Lance Allen and Josh Lovely completed the podium finishers. Chris Chambers of Brookfield and Joel Hodgdon of Craftsbury completed the top five.
William "Weiner" Hennequin of Morrisville captured a wild 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock feature after leaders Dave LaFleche and Erik Steel crashed on the final lap. Shawn Powell of Jericho tied a career-best effort as the runner-up. North Troy driver David Allen was third.
Chad Brown of Milton drove from last place to win the 15-lap Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior feature. Dale Bickford of Lyndonville and Ken Christman of Cabot finished second and third, respectively.
Thunder Road's 49th season of stock car racing continues on Sat./Sun., May 24/25 with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Doubleheader, as the American-Canadian Tour Late Models and the open-wheeled True Value Modified Racing Series converge for a twin 100-lap bill. General admission is $20 for adults, $5 for children (6- 12), and at the best racing value in New England, just $40 for a family of any two adults and two kids.
---Courtesy ACT Tour
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