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Dragon flies to win at Thunder Road

(WCAX)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 11:22 PM EDT
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Thursday, July 2nd

Barre, VT – Two-time “King of the Road’ Scott Dragon of Milton put on a clinic en route to his first win of the year at Thunder Road’s Aubuchon Hardware Holiday Spectacular on Thursday, July 2. Dragon took the lead for good on lap six of the special Firecracker 54 Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model feature and smoked the field from there for career win number 11 on the Barre high banks.

The veteran started on the pole after not even making it to qualifying the week before when he lost an engine in practice. However, it was outside polesitter Brendan Moodie of Wolcott putting his nose in front at the start. Moodie led the first five laps before Dragon got back around him for the top spot.

While Moodie was able to hang with Dragon for the following 10 circuits, “The Dragon Wagon” just got stronger as the caution-free race went on. While a battle raged behind him as Moodie eventually fell into the clutches of Matt White and Bobby Therrien, Dragon sailed into the holiday weekend like a jet plane. At one point, Dragon’s lead reached nearly half a lap before he tip-toed around some traffic near the end.

Behind Dragon, though, a barnburner erupted over the final 20 laps. White was able to get around Moodie on lap-38, and Therrien did the same past four laps later just as Jason Corliss and Marcel J. Gravel entered the picture. Seeing the duo coming, Therrien stayed on the outside and swung past White with five to go.

Corliss followed Therrien around White, using a lapped car as a pick, then caught Therrien coming to the white flag. But Dragon was long gone, coasting to a victory that tied him with Dave Whitcomb and Jim Cilley for 11th on the all-time list.

Corliss came from 15th on the starting grid to finish second with Therrien grabbing third. White took fourth while Gravel caught Moodie at the wire for fifth. Tyler Cahoon, Christopher Pelkey, Trampas Demers, and Jim “Boomer” Morris rounded out the top-10.

Waitsfield’s Kyle Streeter turned around a miserable start to the 2020 season by going wire-to-wire for his fifth career Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger victory. Like Dragon, Streeter started on the pole for the Firecracker 44 feature, but it was no walk in the park for the veteran. Defending Rookie of the Year Stephen Martin of Craftsbury was on Streeter like a shadow right from the drop of the green. However, when Martin started pushing Streeter harder near the halfway point, he slipped up slightly and allowing Hinesburg’s Eric Messier to get under him for second.

After the first caution on lap 25 for a turn-1 incident involving Kelsea Woodard and Derrick Calkins, the front three went at it, going full-bore inches apart. A second yellow flew four laps later when Colin Cornell spun on the backstretch, and following that restart, Messier began fading on the outside.

That allowed Cooper Bouchard, Sam Caron, and Jaden Perry to enter the fray along with Martin. All of them took their shots over the final 15 laps, but none could get around Streeter, as he led the top-5 beneath the checkered flag under a blanket.

Martin took second while Caron got below Bouchard in the final laps for third. Bouchard was able to hold off Perry for fourth. Brandon Lanphear, Jason Woodard, Messier, Mike Martin, and Cameron Ouellette completed the top-10.

E. Thetford’s Brandon Gray continued his torrid start to the 2020 campaign by taking the victory in the Allen Lumber Street Stock 29-lap (25+4) feature. Gray was dogging defending champion Jeffrey Martin for second just past the halfway point when leader Josh Lovely began slowing with mechanical troubles. Martin and Gray quickly ran Lovely down and passed him with just eight laps to go in the event.

A few laps later, Gray got underneath Martin, and he had the nose up with last week’s winner Tanner Woodard smacked the wall on lap 25 to bring out the race’s only caution. While Martin was able to stay alongside Gray for a couple laps on the restart, Gray eventually cleared him and roared to the win.

Barre’s Martin settled for second with two-time champion Jamie Davis of Wolcott took third. Juan “Paco” Marshall, Justin Blakely, rookie Kyler Davis, James Dopp, J.T. Blanchard, Kaiden Fister, and Justin Town also earned top-10 finishes.

Berlin’s Chris Davis continued to be unstoppable in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors with his third straight win. Davis started 18th in the 24-lap (20+4) feature, but needed just five of those laps to get into the top five. His charge was aided by a red flag on lap three when Zac Prescott nailed Frank Putney in the driver’s door on the backstretch. Putney was not injured in the incident.

Davis continued his climb from there, moving into the second spot on lap 10. After stalking Northfield’s Josh Vilbrin for several laps, Davis disposed of him with seven laps remaining and rolled to the win. Following the event, the division’s “Claim Rule” was invoked, likely putting an end to Davis’s winning streak.

Vilbrin came in second while Williston’s Justin Prescott had his best career run in third. Sean McCarthy, Jamie York, Brian Putney, Dan Garrett Jr., Steven Reno, and Fred Fleury finished fourth through 10th.

Thunder Road continues the summer season next Thursday, July 9 at 7:00pm with Efficiency Vermont Night. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers will have round one of the Myers Container Services Triple Crown Series with a 75-lap main event. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors are also on the card.

Limited fan attendance is permitted at the July 9 event. Admission is $15 for adults and $3 for kids ages 6-12 with advance ticket sales only. A $15 pay-per-view broadcast will also be available on the Northeast Sports Network.

-- Courtesy: Thunder Road

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