Waterbury, VT – The 50th anniversary of Thunder Road has been a year to remember for both race teams and fans. The best is yet to come as the ‘Nation’s Site of Excitement’ readies for the toughest short track race in America, the 47th annual Chittenden Milk Bowl.

Known as the grand-daddy race of them all for Late Model cars, the unique format of time trials, triple 50-lap qualifying dashes, and then the Milk Bowl format of three segements with inversions, sets the stage for two days of intense drama for race fans and teams.


ACT veteran racer Brent Dragon said, “The last two ACT races have been about as strange as I have ever been a part of. We go to Thunder Road for the Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 and run for 182 laps before we catch a yellow. There is only one leader, and that is not to take anything away from David Pembroke because he was super that day, he had a great car and lots of traffic to contend with, but come on, 182 laps of green! We finish with all 30 starters. I can’t ever remember a race like that. We are done 200 laps in under an hour. Then we go to my favorite track, Airborne, and we end up with 5 or 6 different leaders, nearly 20 lead changes, and a 300-lap race with few cautions and the 300-lap race was over in under 2 hours!”.


There will be no pressure on Dragon and over 40 of the other ACT Late Model teams when they arrive for the $70,000 in posted awards at Thunder Road. This year the Milk Bowl is a non-points race. The pressure to be conservative to protect point leads or gain points is off. This will be a “no holds barred” kind of shoot-out for the ACT Late Model teams.


The format of the Chittenden Milk Bowl fits the style of local race teams. Thunder Road runs all 50-lap feature events for its Late Model division throughout the season. Rich Lowery, Dave Whitcomb, Phil Scott, all veterans of the Thunder Road weekly battles will get a decided advantage with the short distance sprints that the three-segment Milk Bowl uses.


“This race is unlike any other in the country”, said newly crowned ‘King of the Road’, Milton, VT’s Jean-Paul Cyr. “This is just an old-fashioned hard-nosed battle to get in, and then the strategy takes over. First, you have to decide when you will need your tires to be good enough to win. Next, you have to put yourself into a position to win with a low score going into the final segment, then you have to know who you have to be beat, nearly lap by lap and position by position during that final segment. Finally, if you over-think all of this, you will forget to just drive the damn car and none of it will matter. It’s a tough race and I love it!”


The 47th Annual Chittenden Milk Bowl will mark the end of the 50th anniversary season celebration of Thunder Road. Throughout the 2009 season special events have become the norm in celebration of the Nation’s Site of Excitement’s 50 years of short track racing. Post time each day for the Chittenden Milk Bowl is 1:00pm. Gates open at 10:00 am and tickets are $25 for both days of racing.