BARRE, Vt. Milton’s Scott Dragon was just too tough to top on Thursday, July 19 at Barre’s Thunder Road, taking his second VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup win in the past three seasons. With a big crowd cheering him on and the track’s new lighting system showing the way, Dragon took the lead for good from South Burlington’s Trampas Demers on lap 28 and sailed away to the win in the 150-lap event.
Dragon earned the third starting position in his qualifying heat and quickly made his way to the number two spot while polesitter Demers set the early pace. After shadowing the defending Governor’s Cup champion for the first 21 circuits, which included a pair of cautions on laps 15 and 16, Dragon swung to the outside of Demers and put the bumper out front for lap 23.
Demers had regained the edge one lap later when the third caution flew for Patrick Laperle’s spin. When Eric Chase slid off the top of turn three one lap later, the ensuing fourth restart was Dragon’s time to shine. After swapping the top spot again, Dragon finally cleared Demers as they came to the line to complete lap 28.
Barre’s Jason Corliss followed Dragon around the outside and stayed glued to the leader’s bumper for a long green flag run, even as the two negotiated heavy lapped traffic. But after Matt White ended up off turn three to bring out the caution on lap 116, Dragon put the hammer down, running some of his fastest laps of the night. Even one last caution on lap 138 for Kyle Pembroke’s flat tire and subsequent contact with White couldn’t slow Dragon down as he motored to his fifth career Thunder Road win.
Corliss held off an intense challenge from fellow Barre racer Cody Blake in the final laps for second. Demers ended up fourth and will unofficially be tied with Blake for the point lead entering next week’s Mid-Season Championships. Sitting Vermont Governor Phil Scott finished fifth before presenting the trophy to Dragon in Victory Lane. Josh Masterson, Evan Hallstrom, Brooks Clark, Christopher Pelkey, and White rounded out the top-10.
East Calais’s Tyler Austin went flag-to-flag to earn his first career Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger victory in their 40-lap event. Austin started on the outside pole after some tough luck in recent weeks and immediately grabbed the top spot from Waitsfield’s Kevin Streeter.
Austin would open up a sizeable gap over Streeter and 3rd-place runner Jason Pelkey of Barre in the middle stages of the caution-free feature. But both Streeter and Pelkey would begin running him down in the closing circuits. Austin, however, had enough of an advantage to hold on for the win.
Streeter and Pelkey came across second and third. Rookie Kelsea Woodard of Waterbury Center held off Streeter’s son Kyle for a career-best 4th-place effort. Trevor Lyman, Brandon Lanphear, Colin Cornell, point leader Joel Hodgdon, and Mike Martin also nabbed top-10 finishes.
Craftsbury Common’s Stephen Martin became an official first-time winner in the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature. The 16-year-old sophomore competitor, who was a previous winner of the Marvin Johnson Memorial, started sixth on the grid and worked his way underneath Patrick Tibbetts of Barre for the lead on the ninth circuit of the 25-lap event.
The second and final caution a lap later put fellow sophomore Logan Powers of Middlesex on Martin’s outside. But Martin easily fended him off and pulled away in the final laps for the win.
Powers settled for second. Tibbetts fended off a 5-car pack over the event’s second half and edged point leader Matthew Smith at the line for third. Dean Switser Jr., Brandon Gray, Jeffrey Martin, rookie Trevor Rossi, Gary Mullen, and Tim Hunt completed the top-10.
The Times Argus Mid-Season Championships are coming up next at Thunder Road on Thursday, July 26 at 7:00pm. All four Thunder Road divisions will be in action with extra-distance features and double points on the line. The event also includes the annual Driver Autograph Session at intermission. Admission is just $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).
Courtesy: Thunder Road