BARRE, VT - Late Model stock car racer Robbie Crouch of Tampa, FL added another chapter to his storied career with a 50-lap victory in the Fisher/Federated Auto Parts Trophy Dash at Barre's Thunder Road on Friday night. Crouch, a six-time American-Canadian Tour Champion with nearly 100 feature wins to his credit, earned his first Thunder Road win since the 1988 Chittenden Bank Milk Bowl.
Crouch abruptly retired from racing midway through the 1997 season, and made a comeback last year following a bout with prostate cancer. He was inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2006.
"In all my years of racing and winning, I don't think I've ever appreciated a win as much as this one," Crouch told the thousands in attendance. "Maybe the very first win back when I was a kid with long hair in the ‘70s, but this one is a close second."
Phil Scott of Montpelier raced to Crouch's rear bumper from an eight-car length deficit during the middle of the race, and restarted alongside Crouch following the race's final caution on lap 43. Crouch was able to hold off both Scott and sophomore competitor Chip Grenier of Graniteville, who finished a tight second and third, respectively. Hyde Park's Eric Williams made a major gain in the point standings with a fourth-place finish as his closest pursuer, Cris Michaud, crashed out and finished 20th. Unofficially, Williams now leads Scott 598-569, with Michaud third at 563.
John Donahue finished fifth in the race, with the balance of the unofficial top ten Trampas Demers, Shawn Fleury, Doug Murphy in a career-best eighth, Pete Fecteau, and Joe Becker.
Hometown driver Josh Lovely earned an emotional NAPA Tiger Sportsman win the 30-lap Fisher/Federated Auto Parts event, driving a car numbered 54 in honor of his late father, former competitor Steve Lovely. Josh Lovely led every lap of the race for his ninth career win. Sixteen year-old rookie Cody Blake of Barre finished a career-best second or Ricky Roberts of Graniteville, Doug Crowningshield of Barre, and North Wolcott's Brendan Moodie.
Rookie driver Archie "Bunker" Hodgdon of Hardwick earned his first career Allen Lumber Street Stock victory in the division's 25-lap event. Hodgdon started from the pole, then held off a late charge from Craftsbury Common driver Mike Martin for the win. David Allen of North Troy finished third ahead of Graniteville's Dave LaFleche and Jason Corliss of Plainfield.
Scott Weston of Berlin posted his second Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior win of the season in a 15-lap race. Weston started 14th and made his way to the lead by the halfway point. Mark LaFleche of Graniteville finished second with Milton's Brad LaFountain third. Travis Hull and Del Jarvis completed the unofficial top five.
UNOFFICIAL REUSLTS - Fisher/Federated Auto Parts Night
Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl - Barre, VT - Friday, July 25, 2008
(# - denotes rookie)
Late Model (50 laps)
NAPA Tiger Sportsman (30 laps)
Allen Lumber Street Stock (25 laps)
Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior (15 laps)
---Courtesy Thunder Road
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