Thursday, August 16th
BARRE, VT – Northfield’s Evan Hallstrom added his name to the list of Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model winners at Thunder Road at Premium Mortgage Night on Thursday, August 16. The 16-year-old withstood everything the field had to offer for his first victory on the high banks while Milton’s Scott Dragon gained the upper hand in the “King of the Road” chase.
Hallstrom started on the pole of the 50-lap feature after some tough luck in recent weeks and quickly jumped out in front. South Barre’s Mike “Beetle” Bailey gave Hallstrom a brief challenge following a lap-9 caution, but slipped up and allowed Barre’s Jim “Boomer” Morris to get underneath for second.
The caution came out again on lap 12 when South Burlington’s Trampas Demers, who entered the event as the point leader, made contact with Christopher Pelkey that resulted in a flat left front tire. On the restart, Hallstrom and Morris steadily drove away from the field. Morris stayed close enough to keep Hallstrom honest, but could not mount a serious charge.
The third and final caution with seven laps remaining for Darrell Morin’s spin gave Morris one last crack at Hallstrom. But the first-year Thunder Road competitor was undaunted and sailed across the finish line for the victory.
Morris had to fend off a late charge from Stephen Donahue to take the second spot. Dragon and Barre’s Jason Corliss made moves late on the outside to take fourth and fifth, respectively. Bailey, Cody Blake, Marcel J. Gravel, Christopher Pelkey, and Matt White finished sixth through 10th.
Unofficially, Dragon’s effort makes him the new point leader by eight over Corliss with just one point-counting event remaining. Demers unofficially falls back to third in points, 10 behind Dragon, after he could only manage a 14th in the final rundown.
East Calais’s Tyler Austin came out on top of a multi-way battle to take his second Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger win of the season. Austin came from 13th on the starting grid in the 40-lap feature and was running second to rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville when the race’s fifth caution flew on lap 21 for Cameron Ouellette’s spin.
The sophomore driver had the nose up for the top spot four laps later when the final caution came out after Micheal MacAskill got turned around on the backstretch. A 15-lap barnburner followed, with both Lanphear and point leader Joel Hodgdon of Craftsbury Common breathing down Austin’s neck. Lanphear was able to poke his bumper back out front on multiple occasions, but Austin regained the lead for good with five laps remaining.
Lanphear edged out Hodgdon for second followed by Mike Martin and Kevin Streeter. Kelsea Woodard, Robert Gordon, Joe Steffen, Jason Woodard, and Brett Wood rounded out the top-10.
Lyndonville’s Dean Switser Jr. inherited his first win of the year in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Switser started ninth in the 25-lap feature and spent much of the event navigating a thrilling battle for second on back while Barre’s Patrick Tibbetts drove away from the field. The veteran had maneuvered up to third when the race’s lone caution flew on lap 16 for Justin Blakely’s spin.
Switser got underneath teammate Kasey Beattie for second on the restart and spent the rest of the event applying the pressure to Tibbetts. But while Switser crossed the finish line in second, he would be awarded the victory in post-race technical inspection after Tibbetts was disqualified for using offset wheels.
Williamstown’s Tommy Smith moved up to the second spot. Point leader Stephen Martin of Craftsbury Common jumped all the way to third in the final rundown after Jamie Davis, who came across the line fourth, was disqualified for a suspension infraction. Beattie, Will Hennequin, Bryan P. Wall, Jeffrey Martin, Logan Powers, Gary Mullen, and Matthew Smith completed the top-10.
Williamstown’s Kyle MacAskill capped the night with his second win of the season in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. MacAskill started seventh and flew around the outside of polesitter Ethan Howes as they completed lap six of the 20-lap feature. He then ran away and hid for a dominating victory.
Berlin’s Eric Chase recovered from his involvement in a hard crash during practice to take second. Williamstown’s Sean McCarthy completed the podium. Frank Putney, Rodney Campbell, James Dopp, Kylar Davis, Fred Fleury, Josh Vilbrin, and Brian Putney also earned top-10 finishes.
The final Thursday night event of the year at Thunder Road takes the green at 7:00pm on August 23 with Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing Night. The “King of the Road” will be crowned in the final point-counting event of the year for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will be in action as well.
--- Courtesy: Thunder Road