BARRE, VT – Hometown stock car racer Nick Sweet has been a dominant force in the NAPA Auto Parts Tiger Sportsman division at Barre’s Thunder Road this summer, and has been making strides toward winning his first Track Championship at the historic 48 year-old speedway.  Just a few weeks away from his 23rd birthday, Sweet is part of Thunder Road’s “new breed” of young, talented racers.  Entering the next-to-last Thursday night event, the VT ACE Hardware Dealers Trophy Dash this Thursday, Sweet leads veteran East Montpelier racer Joey Laquerre by a comfortable margin in the Sportsman point standings, 801-692.

       “We’re doing pretty well right now, but the goal is to just keep finishing races,” said Sweet.  “If the
race goes smoothly, we usually are able to move up and finish in the Top 10.”

      Sweet has ten Top 10 finishes in a dozen events this season, including a pair of feature victories.  His only missteps were an 18th-place result in early July, and when he failed to qualify his Fortier’s Community Care Home/SymQuest Group Chevrolet for the main event on June 28.  As the Sportsman division routinely sees 40 or more cars attempting to qualify for 26 starting positions, only two drivers – feature winner Tom Therrien of Hinesburg and former NAPA Sportsman champion
Joe Steffen of Essex Junction – have made all 12 feature races this year.

      “The car has been driving well, and a lot of that is thanks to my dad, Shayne,” Sweet explained.  “He’s doing a great job paying attention to the suspension of the car.  I try to pick up on things he does, but he’s a master at it.  We’re enjoying our time together as a team this year more than ever.”

       Sweet, Laquerre, Therrien, Steffen, and top drivers Craig Bushey of Cambridge, Matt White of Northfield, and rookie Joel Hodgdon of Craftsbury will continue their weekly battles on Thursday at VT ACE Hardware Dealers Night at Thunder Road.  Jamie Fisher of Shelburne leads the American-Canadian Tour Late Model division, while Hinesburg rookie sensation Bobby Therrien (younger brother of Sportsman racer Tom) tops the Allen Lumber Street Stock standings.  Hardwick’s Bunker Hodgdon leads the Power Shift Online Junkyard Warriors.

       Green flag qualifying action for the Street Stocks and Warriors begins at 6:30pm on VT ACE Hardware Dealers Night this Thursday.  General admission is $9 for adults, $3 for kids (6-12), and just $18 for a family ticket for any two adults and any two children.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit