Pembroke wins Mid-Season Championship at Thunder Road

Thursday, July 25th

Barre, VT – Montpelier's Kyle Pembroke survived a rear-view mirror full of defending "King of the Road" Scott Dragon to take the Country Camper Midseason Championships at Barre's Thunder Road on Thursday, July 25. Pembroke took the lead from polesitter Christopher Pelkey following the only restart on lap 25 and brought home his second Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model victory of the season.

The second-generation racer started sixth in the 75-lap main event and quickly found himself behind a side-by-side battle for second between Brendan Moodie and Boomer Morris. As Graniteville's Pelkey pulled away in the early going, Pembroke patiently waited for a lane to open up. Once Moodie finally cleared Morris, Pembroke swung to the high groove, eventually working his way up to the second position on lap 21.

Four laps later, Morris got crossed up in turn two and eventually came to a stop in turn three, bringing out the event's only caution. Pembroke lined up outside Pelkey for the restart, and after taking a couple laps to get his car wound up, he shot ahead for the top spot.

Milton's Dragon was right on Pembroke's bumper when the green flag flew, but the defending Midseason Champion needed until the halfway mark to finally follow him around Pelkey. The battle allowed Pembroke to draw out to a comfortable lead that he maintained for much of the event's second half. But with less than 15 laps to go, Pembroke suddenly found himself behind several lapped cars that were racing for position.

As Pembroke cautiously picked his way through the traffic, Dragon went full-power-down, getting almost to Pembroke's bumper with nine to go. A few laps later, Pembroke was finally able to clear the slower cars, and he kept Dragon at bay in the final circuits for his seventh career Late Model win.

Dragon took second while Wolcott's Marcel J. Gravel grabbed the third spot after more than 20 laps of dueling with Pelkey. Barre's Cody Blake also got around Pelkey late in the going for fourth. Tyler Cahoon, Jason Corliss, Matt White, Morris, and Trampas Demers finished sixth through 10th, respectively. Unofficially, Dragon takes over the point lead by two over Demers, with the top-five separated by just nine points.

Waterbury Center's Jason Woodard smoked the Lenny's Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger field to take the double-point win in their 50-lap feature. Woodard started 13th on the grid, but the two-time champion needed just 16 laps to slice through the pack and overpower polesitter Danny Doyle for the lead.

Behind Woodard, intense battles developed throughout the field. Grand Isle's Joe Steffen and East Calais's Tyler Austin were able to get around Doyle as well after a lengthy back-and-forth, and the two then put on a show of their own down the stretch. Morrisville's Brandon Lanphear and Middlesex's Logan Powers eventually broke out from the pack and chased down both Steffen and Austin, making it a four-car tussle for the second spot in the final laps. But Woodard was long gone by then, winning the caution-free event by nearly a third of a lap and unofficially taking the point lead in the process.

Steffen finished second with Austin, Lanphear, and Powers on his bumper in that order. Kelsea Woodard, Colin Cornell, Kevin Streeter, Brett Wood, and Stephen Martin completed the top-10. The Flying Tiger results remain unofficial pending further technical inspection.

Tunbridge's Gary Mullen bounced back from a tough first half of the season that included multiple hard wrecks to take the double-point win in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Mullen started third in the 35-lap main event and quickly inherited the lead when polesitter Justin Blakely shut down and spun as the field completed the first lap.

Two more cautions would follow on laps 10 and 24, allowing Waterbury Center's Tanner Woodard and later Berlin's Kasey Collins to take their shots at Mullen. But "The Flying Farmer" held steady to score his seventh career Street Stock victory.

Collins finished a career-best second while Granitville's J.T. Blanchard came from 13th on the grid to take third late. Dean Switser Jr., Woodard, Tommy "Thunder" Smith, point leader Jeffrey Martin, Bryan P. Wall, Frank Putney, and Kasey Beattie rounded out the top-10.

East Corinth's Brian Putney capped the night with his first career victory in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors. Putney was running second to Middlesex's Haidyn Pearce on lap eight of the 25-lap event when Pearce drifted up the track in turn four, along Putney to slide underneath him.

Like Pembroke before, Putney darted away from the field only to end up mired in slower traffic with the laps winding down. The rolling roadblock allowed Berlin's Kylar Davis to quickly reel in Putney in a bid for back-to-back wins. But Putney got clear just in time to hold off Davis and grab the victory.

Northfield's Josh Vilbrin finished third followed by Chris Davis and James Dopp. Fred Fleury, Pearce, Dan Garrett Jr., Jacob Hall-Larson, and Jason Kirby also earned top-10 finishes.

Thunder Road opens the month of August with WDEV/Calkins Portable Toilets Night on Thursday, August 1 at 7:00pm. All four divisions will be in action for a full card of championship racing. The evening will also feature the annual "Port-a-Potty Grand Prix" to determine the fast portalet in the Northeast.

-- Courtesy: Thunder Road