BARRE, Vt. There was no denying Craftsbury Common’s Joel Hodgdon at Consolidated Communications Night on Thursday, July 12, as he stormed back from a mid-race spin to take the victory in round two of the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers. The veteran was one of multiple big winners on the night, which included an inspiring triumph by one-armed racer Tim Hunt in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks.
Hodgdon started sixth in the 75-lap Flying Tiger main event and was running third on lap 26 when Morrisville’s Dwayne Lanphear made contact with Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen while fighting for the lead. This led to further contact between Lanphear and Hodgdon, sending Hodgdon around off turn 1 and dispatching both drivers to the rear.
Hodgdon and Lanphear would restart the event in 18th and 19th, respectively. But while Steffen was easily holding off polesitter Matthew Potter on two subsequent restarts, Hodgdon was flying through the field. When the fourth and final caution came out on lap 56 for Kevin Streeter’s spin, Hodgdon was sitting in fourth behind Steffen, Potter, and Brandon Lanphear.
After making quick work of Lanphear and Potter, Hodgdon swung to the outside of Steffen on lap 62. A frantic door-to-door battle ensued, which ended when Hodgdon finally cleared Steffen on lap-66. He then held him off over the final nine laps for his second victory of the season and a remarkable “spin and win”.
Steffen finished second while Potter matched his season’s best effort with a 3rd-place run. Brandon Lanphear, Kyle Streeter, Colin Cornell, Dwayne Lanphear, Cameron Ouellette, Trevor Lyman, and Mike Martin rounded out the top-10. Hodgdon will unofficially assume the point lead in both the season-long standings and the Triple Crown standings.
In the Allen Lumber Street Stocks, Derby’s Tim Hunt showed why you never let anything hold you back in taking his first career victory. The first-year competitor, who lost his left arm in a boating accident in 1991, inherited the lead on lap 19 of the 25-lap feature when Wolcott’s Jamie Davis was penalized for his involvement with J.T. Blanchard’s spin.
The restart put division point leader Matthew Smith alongside Hunt for the restart. Despite a fierce challenge, Hunt was able to hold him off over the final six laps for the win.
Essex Jct.’s Smith settled for second to maintain his advantage in the standings. Craftsbury Common’s Stephen Martin caught rookie Tyler Pepin of Barre at the line for third. Logan Powers, Tommy Smith, Brandon Gray, Dean Switser Jr., Bryan P. Wall, and Jeffrey Martin completed the top-10.
Hometown driver Jim “Boomer” Morris took advantage of a late caution to earn his first Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model win of the season and sixth of his career. Morris had run second to polesitter Kyle Pembroke of Montpelier for much of the event and was losing sight of Pembroke in lapped traffic with time winding down in the 50-lap event.
But as the field came out of turn four on lap-41, Mark Norris drifted up into Morris’s door exiting turn four and found himself facing the frontstretch wall. Stephen Donahue and Matt White had nowhere to go, plowing into Norris and flipping the #22ME on its lid. All drivers were uninjured.
On the restart, Morris worked the outside lane to perfection to snag the top spot. Pembroke tried to get back under him with five laps to go, but ending up sideways off turn four, allowing Morris to scoot away.
Pembroke made a great save to hold onto second while Milton’s Eric Chase finished a season-best third. South Burlington’s Trampas Demers came out on top of a battle with Barre’s Jason Corliss for fifth and will unofficially retake the point lead. Cody Blake, Scott Dragon, Mike Bailey, Christopher Pelkey, and Brendan Moodie all earned top-10 finishes.
Thunder Road returns to the track next Thursday, July 19 at 6:30pm with the 39th Annual VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models will go 150 green flag laps in their biggest weekly racing event of the year. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks are also on the card. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
Courtesy: Thunder Road