BARRE, VT – Thunder Road’s Late Model stock car competitors are ready to defend their home turf.  With a challenge expected from the stars of the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) at the 45th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100, the 2007 edition of the traditional holiday weekend event is the “rubber match” between the weekly warriors and the ACT big guns.

       The Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 became a stand-alone event in 2005 after spending over two decades as a stop on the ACT schedule.  Trampas Demers of South Burlington fended off the invaders to claim the victory for Thunder Road’s home crowd that season, while perennial ACT championship contender Brent Dragon of Milton evened the score with his win last year.

       “As far as our season goes at Thunder Road, it’s one of the key races you really want to win,” said
Demers.  “And my car is as good or better this year than it was when I won in 2005.”

       The Jiffy Mart Chevrolet driver proved his worth against the ACT teams at the Merchants Bank 150 earlier this month, and carried the Thunder Road torch by finishing a solid fourth and leading 50 laps.

      “Any time you can beat drivers like Brent and (six-time ACT Champion) Jean-Paul Cyr, you’ve had a good day.”

      Dragon feels that although there is a rivalry between Thunder Road and ACT teams, there is some comfort in knowing who he’s racing against.

     “There is a sense of trust racing with them (Thunder Road regulars).  A lot of us grew up at Thunder Road, and since we race there more often than places like Seekonk (in Massachusetts), we know the drivers better. They’re all a good bunch, and it’s fun to go in there and beat them on the track, but it’s nice to know you can race hard against people that will give you respect.”

       A unique twist to this year’s Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 is the random draw for starting
positions in qualifying events.  “I’m looking forward to the draw,” Dragon said.  “It will even things up for everybody – Tour regulars and Thunder Road regulars.”

      Demers agreed, adding, “I’m still getting used to the new handicap system at Thunder Road this year, but like the draw for this race, it’s a nice change for me.  It should make things interesting, that’s for sure.”

       Demers and the weekly warriors will square off against Dragon and the ACT invaders at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement,” Barre’s Thunder Road, on Sunday, May 27.  The NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Junkyard Warrior divisions will be in action along with the Late Model division’s Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100.  General admission is $12 for adults, $5 for children, and $25 for a family of four. Green flag racing action is scheduled to begin at 1:30pm.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit