BARRE, Vt. East Burke’s Colin Cornell made Thunder Road’s Victory Lane his home for the second straight week by taking round two of the Myers Container Services Triple Crown Series at Passumpsic Bank Night on Friday, July 12. The 17-year-old Cornell held off a last-lap charge from two-time Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger Champion Jason Woodard of Waterbury Center to go back-to-back just six days after picking up his first Thunder Road win.
Cornell earned the third starting position in the 75-lap main event under the “plus-minus” qualifying system. It didn’t take long for him to finishing getting to the front as he moved underneath polesitter Brian Delphia for the lead on lap four.
Hardwick’s Jaden Perry followed Cornell through to second. The two sophomores faced off after a lap-seven caution for debris and again on lap 35 when Brett Wood pounded the turn-three wall to bring out another yellow. Both times, Cornell held off the challenge. Perry attempted to cross Cornell over coming out of turn two just past the halfway mark, but Cornell was able to hold his ground and keep the top spot even as the two made contact.
Behind the lead duo, a spirited battle developed for third on back – a battle that continued following the third and final caution when Chris Chambers hit the turn two wall on lap 48. As many as seven cars ran under a blanket at the front, with Perry, Kyle Streeter, Jason Pelkey, Kelsea Woodard, Jason Woodard, and Stephen Martin all glued to Cornell’s bumper.
The top-six had gotten single file with five laps to go when Perry and Streeter touched fighting for the second spot. In the jam-up that resulted, Jason Woodard jumped to the outside from the fifth spot, and the winner of the Triple Crown opener found grip on the high side. It became a race against time as Woodard tried to get the Cornell before the laps ran out. Woodard was able to pass Perry on the final circuit for second but came up half a car length short of Cornell at the line.
Woodard’s second-place finish was still enough to pad his Triple Crown Series point lead over Perry, who took third. Streeter and Kelsea Woodard came up fourth and fifth. Pelkey, point leader Martin, Cooper Bouchard, Logan Powers, and Joe Steffen rounded out the top-10.
Milton’s Scott Dragon was both good and lucky to win his third Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model feature of the season. Dragon started 13th in the 50-lap main event and eventually worked his way to the third spot behind Josh Masterson and Brendan Moodie, who had gone wheel-to-wheel for the top-spot following a lap-five crash that collected Cody Blake, Phil Scott, Boomer Morris, and Jason Corliss.
After 30 laps of battling door handle to door handle in front of a pack that reached eight cars at times, Moodie was finally able to clear Masterson as they completed the 35th circuit. The next time they entered turn three, Masterson got into the back of Moodie, looping the leader around in front of the field. Masterson was sent to the rear for his involvement as the rest of the pack was miraculously able to avoid piling in.
As a result, Dragon suddenly found himself sitting in the top spot for the restart alongside Barre’s Nick Sweet, who was filling in as a last-minute sub for Eric Chase. Dragon was able to hold off Sweet over the final 15 laps for his ninth career Thunder Road Late Model victory.
Sweet finished second while Danville’s Tyler Cahoon chased both across the line in third. Wolcott’s Marcel J. Gravel charged from 15th on the starting grid to take fourth. South Burlington’s Trampas Demers came home fifth and unofficially retains the point lead over Barre’s Jason Corliss, who was right behind Demers in sixth. Matt White, Ricky Roberts, Darrell Morin, and Moodie completed the top-10.
Derby’s Tim Hunt got the break on a restart with five laps to go to grab his second career Allen Lumber Street Stock victory. Polesitter Frank Putney of Graniteville had dominated the 25-lap feature after the field was given a time-out on lap two following three quick cautions. However, a lap-20 yellow for a five-car frontstretch melee allowed Hunt to get alongside Putney. The second-year racer motored away on the restart for his first win of the season.
Point leader Jeffrey Martin of Barre inherited the second spot after Bryan P. Wall was disqualified for too much left-side weight. Williamstown’s Tommy “Thunder” Smith became the new third-place finisher. Putney, Hunter King, Tyler Pepin, Scott Weston, Gary Mullen, Derek Farnham, and J.T. Blanchard took fourth through 10th.
Thunder Road returns in style on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30pm for the 40th VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup. NASCAR star Christopher Bell will take on the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model regulars and several outsiders for 150 green-flap laps of heart-pounding action. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks also have a full card of championship action. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
Courtesy: Thunder Road