JUPITER, FL – No stock car driver in the history of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, and perhaps theentire history of Barre’s Thunder Road, has had more success than “Dynamite” Dave Dion.  The Hudson, NH native,now living in Florida, won the spring holiday race a record nine times during his storied career.

“The Memorial Day Classic always had great meaning to the entire team,” Dion said. “We always felt that
the fact that all of us were military veterans played a big part in our magical, and often unlikely, success that
day. Memorial Day in Vermont has always been one of the fondest days in my life and will continue to be so.”

Dion’s first win the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic came in 1975, a year in which he dominated Late Model Sportsman racing at Thunder Road. The Vietnam veteran won a second time the following year, and continued through 1978 for four consecutive victories. A fifth win came in 1982, followed by another unprecedented four-year streak from 1989 to 1992.

“I realized not too long ago that while you’re a young kid and you’re racing, typically all you can think about is tomorrow, and getting to the next race,” said Dion. “You never see the bigger picture, and you never
take time to enjoy your success. You ham it up in victory lane when you win, but it’s over after that. I sat down a while back and realized that my brothers and I won nine Memorial Day Classics, and that we won four in a
row twice. That’s an incredible thing to do, especially given the competition during the second time we did it with ACT (American-Canadian Tour) in the early 1990s. We’re very proud of our accomplishments in that race, they really mean a lot to us.”

Dion laughed about the Memorial Day Classic appearing as an oasis during tough times. Success in the event would often propel the team out of winless streaks and bad finishes.

“We used to say ‘Man, if we can just make it to Memorial Day at Thunder Road, we’ll be okay,’” he joked. “It always seemed like a turning point for us, things always seemed to get better after a good run on
Memorial Day.”

Thunder Road’s weekly Late Model competitors and several drivers from the ACT Late Model Tour will try to follow in Dave Dion’s footsteps on Sunday in the 45th running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100. NAPA Tiger Sportsmen, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and Power Shift Junkyard Warriors will also be in action, with green flag racing set begin at 1:30pm. Gates open at 10:00am. General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children, and just $25 for a family of four. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com.