BARRE, Vt. Hometown racer Jason Corliss dominated down the stretch to take his second consecutive Community Bank N.A. 150 at Barre’s Thunder Road on Sunday, May 5. Corliss held off a mid-race charge from reigning “King of the Road” Scott Dragon of Milton, VT to grab his third consecutive ACT Late Model Tour win at Thunder and 13th career Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model victory at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement”.
Corliss started third in the 26-car field and was content to ride in the early going as outside polesitter Trampas Demers of South Burlington, VT set the pace. But just past the 20-lap mark, Corliss jumped to the outside of his fellow Thunder Road weekly runner, completing the pass on the 24th circuit.
The second caution of the day on lap 52 for a turn-one incident involving Darrell Morin and Josh Demers set up a duel between Corliss and Dragon, who had moved into the second spot. Dragon was able to stay at Corliss’s door for several laps following the restart before eventually dropping back in behind him.
Dragon got a second chance on lap 59 when Tyler Cahoon spun after getting accordioned in traffic. This time, Dragon poked his front bumper out front for three circuits, with the two swapping the lead three more times in the next few laps before Corliss got the upper hand.
No sooner did Corliss clear Dragon than the fourth and final caution came out on lap 66 for Trevor Lyman’s spin. Dragon got the nose up for two more laps on than restart before Corliss pulled back in front and set sail from there.
Fellow Barre racer Nick Sweet flew through the field from his 21st starting position to get second from Dragon on lap 116 and seemed like a potential threat in the closing stages. But Corliss responded by putting the hammer down and sailing away late for the victory.
Sweet finished second while Dragon took third. Demers ended up fourth followed by Lebanon, NH’s Rich Dubeau in fifth, who was the highest-finishing ACT Late Model Tour regular. Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert finished sixth and unofficially takes over the early ACT point lead. Marcel J. Gravel, Stephen Donahue, Brooks Clark, and Matt White rounded out the top-10.
A total of 35 drivers attempted to earn a spot for the 26-car starting field. In a stunning development, two-time defending ACT Champion Scott Payea failed to qualify for the main event. Defending Seekonk Speedway Champion Ryan Kuhn and top-10 Thunder Road Late Model competitor Kyle Pembroke were among the other notable names who didn’t make the cut.
The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger feature results were eventually decided in the tech line more than an hour following the event. Barre, VT’s Jason Pelkey appeared to have taken a runaway win after getting underneath Milton’s Sam Caron on lap 24 of the 40-lap main event. But Pelkey was disqualified in post-race inspection for a chassis infraction. As a result, Williamstown, VT’s Micheal MacAskill inherited his first career win after crossing the finish line second.
The shuffling didn’t end there as apparent third- and fourth-place finishers Sid Sweet of Williamstown, VT and Cooper Bouchard of Hinesburg, VT were also disqualified for chassis infractions. This gave defending Rookie of the Year Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville, VT the second spot with Marshfield, VT’s Matt Potter completing the new podium. Tyler Austin, Kelsea Woodard, Jason Woodard, Brad Bushey, Kevin Streeter, Joe Steffen, and Colin Cornell completed the top-10.
Another first-time winner emerged in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks with Barre, VT’s Tyler Pepin taking the victory. Pepin started seventh and managed to avoid a massive pile-up on a lap-2 result that was triggered when two cars near the front of the field made contact on the backstretch. Pepin then got the jump on fellow sophomore J.T. Blanchard of Graniteville, VT following the third and final restart on lap-16 before pulling away for the win.
Blanchard still got a career-best second-place finish followed by Derby, VT’s Tim Hunt in third. Kasey Collins, Kasey Beattie, Jamie Davis, Michael Gay, rookies Kyle MacAskill and Derek Farnham, and Justin Blakely also earned top-10 finishes.
Brookfield, VT’s Nate Brien became the third first-time winner of the day in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors feature. Brien started on the pole of the 20-lap event and pulled away in the early stages before Hardwick, VT’s Davey Chase reeled him in down the stretch. Chase made a daring three-wide bid for the lead around a lapped-car coming to the two-to-go mark, but Brien managed to fend him off for the win.
E. Corinth, VT’s Brian Putney followed the duo across the line in third. Kylar Davis, Haidyn Pearce, Josh Vilbrin, Todd Raymo, Eric Chase, Fred Fleury, and Sean McCarthy finished fourth through 10th.
The ACT Late Model Tour travels to White Mountain Motorsports Park this Saturday, May 11 for the Caron Fabrication Spring Green 119. Post time is 6:00pm for a program that also includes the track’s Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis, Dwarf Cars, and Dads 4 By Tool & Supply Kids Trucks. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
Thunder Road will be back in action on Sunday, May 26 at 1:30pm for the 57th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models open their 2019 championship season with a 100-lap event while the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models return for a 150-lap affair. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors round out the card. Admission is $25 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
Courtesy: Thunder Road