BARRE, VT – Barre’s Thunder Road will host the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) championship Late Model stock car racing series on four occasions in 2008.  The newly-released ACT schedule will bring the popular series to seven race tracks from April through September, and includes Thunder Road’s Merchants Bank 150 and Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 100 in May, August’s Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200, and the season-ending Chittenden Milk Bowl in September.

      “We are very excited to have the ACT Late Model Tour back at ‘The Nation’s Site of Excitement’ for four great events next year,” said Thunder Road Promoter Tom Curley.  “The Tour racers have been stellar in the Merchants Bank, Bond Auto, and Chittenden Milk Bowl events, and it will be a nice homecoming when they rejoin the Memorial Day Classic.”

      The 10th Annual Merchants Bank 150 will lift the lid on Thunder Road’s 49th season, Sunday, May 4.
Thunder Road graduate Scott Payea of Milton picked up his first career ACT Late Model Tour victory at the event in 2007.  Jean-Paul Cyr is a three-time winner of the Merchants Bank 150, and the seven-time and current ACT Champion.  Other past winners include Scott Dragon, Ken Dufour, Tracie Bellerose, Phil Scott, and 2007 Late Model “King of the Road” Track Champion Dave Pembroke of Montpelier.  Thunder Road’s weekly championship NAPA Tiger Sportsman, Allen Lumber Street Stock, and Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior divisions will also be in action.

      The 46th Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on the weekend of May 24/25 is shaping up to be the New England race fan’s dream come true: The open-wheeled True Value Modified Racing Series and the full-fendered Late Models of ACT will each contest 100-lap events in addition to Sportsman, Street Stock, and Warrior races.  For ACT, 2008 marks the series’ first Memorial Day Classic since Joey Becker’s thrilling victory four years earlier. For the Modifieds, the event marks the division’s first appearance at Thunder Road since 1965.

       “Irish” John Donahue of Graniteville will attempt to win back-to-back Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200s on Sunday, August 31 in the 30th running of the race.  The original Labor Day Classic, run in 1960, was won by hometown driver Norm Chaloux, as he collected just over $100.  Donahue pocketed more than $10,000 for his victory in 2007.

       Canadian Série ACT Castrol Champion Patrick Laperle of Montréal will go for a third victory in Thunder Road’s 45th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl on the weekend of September 27/28.  Laperle won the cumulatively scored, three-segment race in 2005 and 2007, earning the right to plant a kiss on the most unique trophy queen in short track racing – a Vermont Ayrshire dairy cow!  Laperle outdistanced Ben Rowe of Maine and former “King of the Road” Dave Whitcomb for the win in 2007.  The Chittenden Milk Bowl was voted by American race promoters and National Speed Sport News as the “Outstanding Annual Short Track Event” in 2006.

       Thunder Road’s 2008 full-season schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.  For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit