BARRE, VT - Shawn Sicard of Barre won the Casella Waste Management Tiger Sportsman 100 stock car race at Barre, VT's Thunder Road on Sunday night, after the car of apparent first-place finisher Pete Ainsworth of Middlesex failed post-race technical inspection. Sicard started 21st on the 30-car grid, and made a quick last-lap maneuver underneath fellow Barre driver Lance Allen while running with lapped traffic to take second place on the race track. Sicard and Dave Finck, another Barre native, had traded the third position several times in the closing laps before the move under Allen. Sicard's victory was the second of his NAPA Tiger Sportsman career. Allen, who like Sicard is in his second season in the division, held on for second place. Finck matched a season-best effort in third. Eighteen year-old Derrick O'Donnell of Bradford finished fourth over unofficial point leader Craig Bushey of Cambridge. Barre rookie Cody Blake finished sixth ahead of North Middlesex driver Chris Gendreau, who was making his first start of the year. Craftsbury's Joel Hodgdon, veteran Joey Laquerre of East Montpelier, and Mark Barnier of Essex Junction completed the revised top ten in order, unofficially.
Rookie Matt White of Northfield earned his second victory of the year in the Late Model division. White drove from ninth starting position, avoided a lap 7 wreck that eliminated the top three runners, and then won a see-saw battle with Brooks Clark for the lead in the middle stages of the 50-lap race. After Clark spun on lap 27 and front-runner John Donahue had a flat tire on lap 30, a razor-close four-car battle developed behind White. The cars of Dave Pembroke, Chip Grenier, point leader Eric Williams, and Cris Michaud ran in tight formation for nearly 20 laps. Williams made an unsuccessful bid in the low groove on the final lap under Pembroke, and that allowed Grenier, of Graniteville, to slip by for second place at the finish. Pembroke, of Middlesex, crossed the line third ahead of Northfield's Michaud and Williams of Hyde Park. Rookie Tony Andrews of Middlebury finished sixth with Gary Caron, Joe Becker, Phil Scott, and rookie Tyler Cahoon completing the unofficial top ten in order.
Hometown driver Erik Steel earned his first career Allen Lumber Street Stock victory in a 25-lap feature. Steel broke out of a duel with Barre's Josh LaCourse after the halfway mark and cruised to the win. Garry Bashaw of Lincoln took his second consecutive runner-up finish ahead of North Troy driver David Allen, LaCourse, and Greg Adams, Jr. of Hardwick.
Mark LaFleche of Graniteville and Mike Gay of South Burlington were each first-time winners as they split a pair of 18-lap Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior features. LaFleche won the Calkins Portables/WDEV Radio event, previously rained out on July 31. Del Jarvis of Barre, Travis Hull of Graniteville, Jeff Martin, Jr. of Moretown, and Jamie Davis of Wolcott completed the top five in order behind LaFleche. Gay won the regularly-scheduled Casella Waste Management feature over Hull, Barre's Justin Gay, Scott Weston of Berlin, and Donny Yates of North Montpelier.
---COURTESY THUNDER ROAD
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