Sparks Fly at Thunder Road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sparks Fly at Thunder Road


Courtesy ACT Tour

BARRE, VT - Late Model stock car driver Chip Grenier of Graniteville provided his own brand of holiday fireworks for the huge spectator crowd at the Pepsi Independence Day Spectacular on Thursday night at Barre's Thunder Road. The 2007 Rookie of the Year fought with former Track Champions Dave Whitcomb and Dave Pembroke over the final 10 circuits of the 50-lap Pepsi event.Grenier made a move to the outside of leader Whitcomb on lap 43, but was initially unsuccessful in his bid for the top spot. Pembroke entered the fray with three laps to go, making an inside-lane move on Whitcomb. The two touched briefly, allowing Grenier to make a second surge up the outside lane. He took command on lap 48 and sped to his third career win.

"Dave (Whitcomb) was trying to hold on to what he had, and he was giving it a great run," said Grenier in Victory Lane. "But they got together and I did what I had to do to win the race."Pembroke, of Middlesex nosed ahead at the finish for second, with Essex Junction driver Whitcomb third. Trampas Demers of South Burlington and unofficial point leader Eric Williams of Hyde Park finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Cris Michaud, Phil Scott, rookie Matt White, Jamie Fisher, and John Donahue completed the unofficial top ten in order.

Ricky Roberts of Websterville posted the seventh victory of his career in the 30-lap NAPA Tiger Sportsman feature. Roberts passed early leader Tim Potter of Plainfield on lap 19, then survived a restart with two laps remaining for the win, his first since 2000. Middlesex racer Pete Ainsworth beat Potter in the final turn to take second place. Williamstown's James Hebert finished fourth over Shawn Sicard of Barre.

Hometown driver Josh LaCourse dominated the 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock event for his first career win. The race went caution-free with only two minor spins. Tommy "Thunder" Smith of Williamstown held off a serious challenge from Lincoln's Garry Bashaw for the runner-up spot. "Super" Joe Fecteau of Hardwick and Gary Mullen of Tunbridge rounded out the top five in order.

Jeff Martin, Jr. of Moretown won an exciting 15-lap Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior event. Martin held off all challengers throughout the race for the victory, and barely finished ahead of Neal Foster, point leader Jamie Davis, Justin Gay, and Fred Schroeder, who all crashed across the finish line in order to complete the top five.

Thunder Road is back in action on Thursday, July 10 with the Charter Communications Trophy Dash at 6:30pm. A full card of Late Models, NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warriors is on tap, along with the "Media Madness" rematch race between WCAX-TV Channel 3 (CBS) Sports reporter Mike McGill and writer Jesse Roman of the Stowe (VT) Reporter.


UNOFFICIAL RESULTS - Pepsi Holiday Fireworks Spectacular Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl - Barre, VT - Thu., July 3, 2008

(# - denotes rookie)


ACT Late Models (50 laps)

1. Chip Grenier, Graniteville

2. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex

3. Dave Whitcomb, Essex Junction

4. Trampas Demers, South Burlington

5. Eric Williams, Hyde Park

6. Cris Michaud, Northfield

7. Phil Scott, Montpelier

8. #Matt White, Northfield

9. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne

10. John Donahue, Graniteville

NAPA Tiger Sportsmen (30 laps)

1. Ricky Roberts, Websterville

2. Pete Ainsworth, Middlesex

3. Tim Potter, Plainfield

4. James Hebert, Williamstown

5. Shawn Sicard, Barre

6. David Finck, Barre

7. Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier

8. #Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg

9. Craig Bushey, Cambridge

10. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury

Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)

1. Josh LaCourse, Barre

2. Tommy Smith, Williamstown

3. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln

4. Joe Fecteau, Hardwick

5. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge

6. Justin Gordon, Berlin

7. Lloyd Blakely, Barre

8. Steve Mandigo, Wolcott

9. Greg Adams, Jr., Hardwick

10. Shawn Powell, Jericho

Power Shift Online Junkyard Warriors (15 laps)

1. Jeff Martin, Jr., Moretown

2. Neal Foster, Waterbury

3. Jamie Davis, Wolcott

4. Justin Gay, Barre

5. Fred Schroeder, Bristol

6. Ken Christman, Cabot

7. Mike Gay, South Burlington

8. Donny Yates, North Montpelier

9. Lance Donald, Williamstown

10. Travis Hull, Graniteville

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