Donahue takes first win of the year
Graniteville driver edges Boomer Morris for Late Model win
BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) - The most dramatic finish of the season so far saw Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue claim checkers for the first time this season at Thunder Road.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott is still the all-time winningest driver at the High Banks, and he returned to the track Thursday night. He had a bit of an up and down evening, a spinout on lap 37 would bring out the caution flag, which was a sign of things to come in this race, but he was ok. Scott would finish 8th on the evening.
Chris Roberts of Washington would start on the poll in the #3 car, and he would hold that edge until lap 13 when he would be passed, conveniently enough, by #13 Boomer Morris of Barre.
Those yellow flags would prove to be a drag on the action as there were six of them on the evening. By the time of Scott’s spinout, Donahue had snuck past Roberts into second and would challenge Morris the rest of the way.
The #2 car of Donahue would edge in front for a couple laps, only for Morris to regain the lead with a couple to go.
But down the final stretch on lap 50, Donahue was able to find one last push to beat Morris to the line! Incredibly dramatic finish...unfortunately it ended up not mattering in the grand scheme of things as Morris would be DQ’d in inspection for a tread width violation, but that’s not going to make it any less sweet for Donahue.
“Yeah, it was a lot of fun,” Donahue said after the race. “It’s nice when you can race with guys like Boomer when you know he ain’t gonna put you in the wall or anything like that and it was a lot of fun. He got me the lap before and I really really thought he was gonna get me. But I got off turn 2 pretty well and I just kind of sent it in three and hoped it’d stick and give me that boost off and it did and we ended up beating him to the line which was a great, great relief. This is just kind of all starting to pay off, and hopefully we can keep the momentum rolling into midseason and then all the way home.”
The Tiger race wouldn’t be quite as dramatic. Craftsbury Common’s Mike Martin started 12th, but by lap 17, he was passing polesitter Rich Lowery to the high side. Lowery hung around for a while but eventually Martin would pull away and claim his 12th career win by daylight.
And in the street stocks, Jeffrey Martin of Barre claimed his second win of the season, seizing the lead right off the line from Michael Gay, then coasting to the win. There was a bit of drama as 4 cars wrecked down the front straightaway a lap behind Martin, but he was able to avoid them to secure the checkered flag.
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