Woodard wins Tigers Triple Crown championship

Thursday, August 8th

BARRE, Vt. -- Barre, VT – Grand Isle’s Mike Billado and Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard both won big in the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series finale at Cody Chevrolet-Cadillac Night on Thursday, August 8. Billado held off rookie Stephen Martin of Craftsbury on a two-lap dash to the finish to claim the 75-lap main event for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers. Meanwhile, Woodard’s third-place run locked up the series title.

Martin earned the pole with a +5 in qualifying under the “plus-minus” system while Billado took the green in third. Billado had gotten beneath Tyler Austin for the second spot when fellow Grand Isle resident “Double-O” Joe Steffen cut a tire on lap four and slid into the turn-one barriers. The caution put Billado outside Martin for the restart, and the veteran slingshot past the rookie on the restart for the lead.

Martin was able to put the nose back out front for a lap following another restart on lap 23 for a turn-four incident involving Cooper Bouchard and Stephen Donahue. However, Billado quickly grabbed the lead back. Following a third caution on the 28th circuit for Colin Cornell’s spin, Billado began to pull away as the field duked it out behind him. Martin, Jason Pelkey, Micheal MacAskill, Brandon Lanphear, Jason Woodard, and others went at it for second on back, taking turns trying to roll on the outside and making several great saves after getting crossed up.

Following a lengthy duel, Pelkey was able to clear Lanphear for the third spot with 11 laps remaining. That opened room Woodard to work the high groove as he sought to both wrap up the Triple Crown title and maintain his lead in the season-long standings. Woodard put the nose up for third on lap 67, but Pelkey made a bold three-wide move in lapped traffic shortly thereafter to get the spot back.

All the while, Billado was cruising at the front – only to see Jeff Murray’s turn-two spin on the 73rd lap bring out the final caution and set up a green-white-checkered for all the marbles. Martin had the lead by a whisker at the white flag, but Billado powered back in front on the final circuit to claim the victory. Behind them, Woodard out-gunned Pelkey for the third spot and sealed the series championship.

Pelkey finished fourth while MacAskill rounded out the top-five. Lanphear, Kelsea Woodard, Logan Powers, Tyler Austin, and Donahue finished sixth through 10th.

Danville’s Tyler Cahoon earned his third career victory in the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models. Cahoon came from seventh on the starting grid to duck below Middlesex’s Phil Scott for the lead just before the halfway mark of the 50-lap feature. The veteran was walking away from the field until the second caution came out on lap 34 for Kyle Pembroke’s spin, bringing Cahoon back to the pack.

Barre’s Cody Blake was alongside Cahoon for the restart and managed to poke his bumper out front for a circuit. But Cahoon took back over the following lap and drove off for a convincing win – his first trip to Victory Lane at Thunder Road in two years.

Blake took second while Graniteville’s Christopher Pelkey came out on top of a late duel with Westford’s Darrell Morin for third. Milton Scott Dragon passed Morin on the final lap as well for fourth. Point leader Jason Corliss, Scott, Marcel J. Gravel, Trampas Demers, and Pembroke completed the top-10.

Hometown driver Justin Blakely became the latest first-time Thunder Road winner in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Blakely started on the pole of the 25-lap feature and parried everything that rookie Derek Farnham could throw at him for the first 18 laps. However, the battle took a turn when Tim Hunt and Royce Lussier got together off turn four fighting for the fifth spot. The contact triggered a multi-car pile-up that also collected Kasey Beattie, Tanner Woodard, Kyle MacAskill, and Eric MacLauglin among others.

The caution allowed Farnham to get a shot at Blakely on the outside groove. But Farnham couldn’t make the high line work and drifted backwards as Barre’s Tyler Pepin moved into the second spot. Despite multiple attempts, Pepin couldn’t find a way to the lead either, and Blakely held on for the win.

Pepin finished second while Woodbury’s Hunter King completed the podium in third. Kasey Collins, Bryan P. Wall, Tommy “Thunder” Smith, Farnham, point leader Jeffrey Martin, Juan “Paco” Marshall, and Jamie Davis also earned top-10 finishes.

Courtesy: Thunder Road