BARRE, VT – Three Vermont stock car drivers will be representing their race teams, their home counties, and their impressive resumes at the 48th Times Argus Mid-Season Championships at Barre’s Thunder Road this Thursday.  Williamstown’s Cris Michaud, a three-time “King of the Road,” will carry the Central Vermont banner for Orange County, Rich Lowrey of Charlotte will represent the Northwest for Chittenden County, and former Thunder Road Late Model Champion Pete Fecteau of Morrisville will carry Lamoille County and Northern Vermont.

       While the three veteran racers hail from different regions of the state, each has some things in common with the others: A checkered past in the Mid-Season Championship, and a desire to build upon their victory totals in the double-points event.  Together, the trio has copped the last six editions of the event – two apiece – with Fecteau gathering a third win in 1997, the year of his “King of the Road” title bid.

     “My crew and I are really looking forward to Thursday’s race,” said Michaud, the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship winner in 2002 and 2004.  “With double points on the line we’re in a good position to gain on (point leader) Dave Pembroke.  Plus, the annual autograph session is a great time.  The fans at Thunder Road are great, and I know the drivers in all four divisions love the autograph session.”  Michaud will pilot the Merchants Bank/Burrell Roofing Ford for his Kendell Legendre-led team on Thursday.

       Like Michaud, Lowrey will look to join an elite group of three-time winners in the event.  Lowrey scored his first career win at the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship in 2001, and earned a second win in the event in 2005.

       “We’re all pretty excited,” said Lowrey, driver of the océ/Blockbuster Chevrolet.  “Mid-Season has been good to us, and it was really special to get our first win in that race a few years back.  This team has been through some tough races and bad wrecks this year, and a win at Mid-Season would be a great way to get back on track.”

       Should either Lowrey or Michaud take their third Times Argus Mid-Season Championship victory, the winner would enter a five-way tie with Fecteau and Thunder Road legends Bobby Dragon, Chuck Beede, and Jim Cilley atop the all-time winners list in the event.

       “The double points at Mid-Season can make you or break you,” said Fecteau, who has had a relatively sub-par season thus far.  In addition to his 1997 triumph, Fecteau also won in 2003 and 2006.  His victory in the main event last season was part of a rare Triple Crown sweep in which he also won his qualifying heat and the bonus-point semi-feature.  The double-point score enabled Fecteau and his Riverview Garage Pontiac to leap from 13th in standings to fifth by the end of the night.  “We’ve been struggling, and we could turn it around with a win,” he said.  “We have before.”

       The Times Argus Mid-Season Championship event is scheduled for Thursday, July 26 with a post time of 7:00pm.  Preliminary events begin at 6:30pm.  Double points will also be up for grabs in the NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Junkyard Warrior divisions.  The annual Thunder Road Times Argus driver autograph session will be held during intermission.  Regular general admission prices remain in effect at only $9 for adults, $3 for children, and just $18 for a family of four.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or