BARRE, VT – Stock car drivers at Barre’s Thunder Road will feel double the pressure to perform on Thursday (July 17) with championship points doubled for the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship event, beginning at 6:30pm. Point values will be doubled for all preliminary and main events in all four divisions, including the Feature races. A Feature victory, traditionally worth 75 points, is now 150 for the Times Argus Mid-Season Championship.
“The Mid-Season Championship is a make-it-or-break-it race for just about anyone,” says Late Model point leader Eric Williams of Hyde Park, pointing out the importance of doing well with double points on the line. “Every race is important for the overall championship, but this is the one you really hope you don’t have anything weird happen or catch a bad break or crash. It’s big for everyone.”
Williams has had his hands full of former “King of the Road” Track Champion Cris Michaud of Northfield this season. In six events, the two drivers have finished within four positions of each other in all but one race. Williams’ three runner-up finishes and success in the bonus-point “semi-feature” races have given him a slight 18-point edge (393-375) over Michaud, a two-time winner this year. Multi-time champion Phil Scott of Montpelier sits third at 366 points, closely followed by Dave Pembroke of Middlesex (364) and Graniteville’s John Donahue (358).
The NAPA Tiger Sportsman division sees Cambridge driver Craig Bushey and Middlesex’s Pete Ainsworth in a virtual deadlock for the point lead, separated by just four markers (442-438). Craftsbury’s Joel Hodgdon (420 points), Tom Therrien of Hinesburg (409), and Barre’s Scott Coburn (403) complete the top five championship
leaders in order.
Hometown veteran racer Lloyd Blakely leads the Allen Lumber Street Stock division over Plainfield
youngster Jason Corliss by just 17 points (463-446). Close behind are David Allen of North Troy (435 points), Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common (397), and Jericho’s Shawn Powell and Gary Mullen of Tunbridge, who are tied in fifth place at 396 points.
The Power Shift Online Junkyard Warrior division is seemingly chasing Wolcott driver Jamie Davis in 2008, as Davis has finished no worse than eighth in nine starts this season. The division’s lone repeat winner has a 43-point advantage over Travis Hull of Graniteville (599-556). Berlin’s Scott Weston ranks third at 529 points over Mike Gay of South Burlington (526) and Donny Yates of North Montpelier (502).
The annual Thunder Road Driver Autograph Session will be held during intermission at the Times Argus Mid-Season Championships, when all drivers from all four divisions gather along the frontstretch fence to greet race fans. General admission is $9.50 for adults, $3 for children (6-12), and just $20 for a family of any two adults and two kids. Gates open at 5:00pm on Thursday, July 17, racing begins at 6:30pm. For more information, call (802) 244-6963 or visit www.thunderroadspeedbowl.com.