Top contenders shine at Thunder Road

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Thursday, June 22nd

BARRE, Vt. - Hometown racers Jeffery Martin and Jason Corliss were the big winners on a wild NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Night at Barre’s Thunder Road on Thursday, June 21. Martin earned the biggest win of his Allen Lumber Street Stock career by taking the Twin State Street Stock Series opener. Meanwhile, Corliss capped the night with a victory in the second of two Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model features after finishing runner-up in their first feature of the evening.

Martin, who returned to the Street Stock division this season after a multi-year absence, grabbed the lead from polesitter Nick Pilotte on lap 7 of the 50-lap event. But it was anything but smooth sailing en route to his third career Street Stock victory. In addition to fighting through a number of spins and cautions, Martin had point leader Matthew Smith of Essex Jct. hot on his tail for much of the event.

Smith tried everything he could to get to the top spot before Stephen Martin made a run for the lead after getting underneath Smith on lap-39 restart. Jeffrey Martin was up to the challenge every time, including on a green-white-checkered following the final yellow.

Smith got back under Stephen Martin on the final restart to finish second and maintain his point lead. Tommy Smith and Patrick Tibbets followed them across the line in fourth and fifth. Speedway 51 invader Alan Birch, rookie Shawn Teague, Dean Switser Jr., Logan Powers, and Kasey Beattie rounded out the top-10.

In the Late Model nightcap, Corliss earned his second win of the season in a rough-and-tumble affair. The breakout star methodically worked his way through the field from the 13th starting position, dodging several accidents along the way that sidelined a large chunk of the field. He finally swung around the outside of first-year competitor Evan Hallstrom on lap 29 of the 50-lap event and was never headed the rest of the way.

The 15-year old Hallstrom held serve for a career-best 2nd-place finish. Point leader Trampas Demers charged from 18th on the starting grid to finish third. Mike Bailey, Scott Dragon, Matt White, Darrell Morin, Tyler Cahoon, Scott Coburn, and Ricky Roberts rounded out the top-10.

South Burlington’s Demers had kicked off the night’s action with his ninth career Late Model victory in the Casella Waste Systems make-up feature. Corliss, who came from 12th to 1st in five laps last Thursday before the event was halted by rain, set the pace early on. But a lap-20 caution for Marcel J. Gravel’s spin allowed Demers to draw alongside. After several laps battling side by side, Demers got the edge.

That was just the beginning of their duel. The two went back-and-forth over four more restarts, with Corliss even sticking the nose back out front on lap 30. Demers was not to be denied, however, and pulled away following the final caution on lap 41 for the victory.

Corliss held off a late bid from fellow hometown driver Cody Blake for second followed by Hallstrom in fourth. Dragon, Bailey, Boomer Morris, Gravel, Stephen Donahue, and Kyle Pembroke completed the top-10.

Waitsfield’s Kyle Streeter turned around a horrid start to the season by earning his second career Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger victory. Streeter started on the pole in the 40-lap feature, but had to fend off multiple challengers on his way to the win.

His dad Kevin was the first to take a shot at the lead in the race’s middle stages. Then rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville, who was going for two wins in a row, had the younger Streeter in his sights as the laps wound down. But Streeter held on through a final 3-lap sprint to the finish for a cathartic triumph.

Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen got under Lanphear on the final restart for second with Joel Hodgdon and Tyler Austin rounding out the top-5. Dwayne Lanphear, Mike Martin, Derrick Calkins, Kevin Streeter, and Eric Messier finished 6th through 10th after a scramble to the line when Kelsea Woodard got turned around in the final corner.

Thunder Road caps off the month of June next Thursday, June 28 with Community College of Vermont Night. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers will run double features with the make-up of their Casella feature opening the program. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also have a full card of racing scheduled. Post time is 6:30pm.

--- Courtesy: Thunder Road