Barre, VT – The 2009-2010 off season has seen an impressive number of Thunder Road stock car drivers make the jump to the next level of competition at the Barre highbanks. Nearly a dozen drivers will take the next step in the development of their racing careers at the “Nation’s Site of Excitement.”

“It’s always exciting to see drivers progress through our development divisions, and this winter has seen a lot of promising racers further their careers by transitioning to the next level,” said Thunder Road Promoter Tom Curley. “I can’t remember the last time we’ve had this many solid drivers advance across all of our divisions.”

The 2010 Rookie class will be led by 18 year old hometown star Cody Blake of Barre, VT. Blake, who will be graduating from Spaulding High School in June, is making the jump from the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman division to the Late Models. He finished his second career Tiger season tenth in the 2009 final point standings after earning six top tens, including one third place finish.

The Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen will see three Rookies from last season’s Allen Lumber Street Stock division. Jason Corliss of Danville, VT was the 2008 Allen Lumber Street Stock Champion and finished fifth in last year’s standings. He will be joined by four year Street Stock veteran Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common, VT. Martin finished second in last season’s final Street Stock standings, his third straight season in the top five. In addition, Jason Allen of Northfield, VT has made the move to the Tigers after running the majority of the 2009 Street Stock schedule. Also competing for Tiger Sportsmen Rookie of the Year honors will be 16 year old Alex Ferno of East Montpelier, VT. It will be Ferno’s first experience in a stock car after running in the Northeastern Kart Club at Thunder Road and the Kid’s Truck division at White Mountain Motorsports Park. Brian Gosselin of Littleton, NH has past experience running in the Super Stock divisions at several tracks in the region and will try his hand in a Tiger in 2010.

The Allen Lumber Street Stocks have four rookies making the jump from the Junkyard Warriors. The 2009 Junkyard Warrior Champion Donnie Yates of North Montpelier, VT will be an early favorite, but he will have to compete with Warrior veterans Alex Whitcomb of Montpelier, VT, Keith Fortier of Hinesburg, VT, and Jayme Lee of Barre, VT. Mike Gay of South Burlington, VT will also compete as a Rookie in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks after running just a couple events in 2009.

The 2010 Thunder Road season opens on Sunday, May 2 with the 12th Annual Merchants Bank 150 at 1:00p.m. The annual downtown Barre car show will be held on Saturday, May 1.