Waterbury, VT –Mekkelsen RV from East Montpelier, VT has been supporting Thunder Road for many of the fifty-two years of the track’s history. The 49th edition of the Memorial Day Classic will host a 100-lap Thunder Road ACT Late Model event and a 100-lap opening event on the 2011 Bond/WIX Tiger Tour.
“This should be one of the most exciting Memorial Day Classics for fans and competitors in years. My guess is that the competition in 2011 among the Late Models is going to be the best we have seen in recent memory, and the addition of the Bond Tigers, which many of us graduated from, certainly adds another dimension to this traditional holiday weekend,” said three-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud from Northfield, VT.
The Thunder Road Late Model division has enjoyed unusual growth during the off-season. Returning contenders will begin the run for the “King of the Road” title, beginning with the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic. Coming back to race the full season are veteran racers Scott Payea from Milton, VT, former NASCAR North drivers Jamie Aube, or Ferrisburgh, VT and Mike Bruno from Rutland, VT. Thunder Road already has some of the best Late Model racers in the country with former Champions Jamie Fisher, Phil Scott, Dave Whitcomb, Dave Pembroke and defending Champion Nick Sweet all ready to start the 2011 campaign at the Memorial Day Classic, Sunday, May 29.
The list of Late Model winners at Thunder Road who will join the impressive field include: multi-time winner John Donahue, Graniteville, VT; Joey Becker, Cambridge, VT; Matt White from Northfield; Brooks Clark and Grant Folsom from Waitsfield, VT; and Reno Gervais, of Island Pond, VT. The newcomers are equally as strong, led by sophomore driver Cody Blake, Barre, VT, and Rookie of the Year contender Jimmy Hebert from Williamstown, VT.
“The list of teams who will compete at Thunder Road this year is certainly impressive. From the response we have gotten there appear to be another dozen or so who will join the list with the same kind of racing credentials. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated and skilled group of teams. I think it is a fair estimate to say that around 70% of the Thunder Road Late Model teams have come from the Bond Tiger division over the years. That will continue to be the case with the outstanding drivers we have in the Tiger Sportsman division,” said Darla Hartt, Vice President of ACT and General Manager of Thunder Road.
Bond Sportsman Tiger favorites to watch in the 49th annual Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic doubleheader are defending Champion Tony Rossi from Peacham, opening day winner Derrick O’Donnell of Bradford, former Thunder Road Champions Shawn Fleury from Middlesex, VT and Joe Steffen from Essex Jct, VT.
The Tiger division has an outstanding corps of young talent with Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, VT; Tucker Williams, Hyde Park; Jason Allen, Barre; and Jason Corliss from Danville.
Jason Bonnett from St Albans is the defending Champion of the Bond/WIX Tiger Tour. He will defend his title beginning at Thunder Road. Veterans Eric Badore, Milton, Josh Demers, Middlesex, George May and David Finck from Barre, and Troy Gray of Fairlee are veterans who will join 40 teams as they try to qualify for the first of the BOND/Wix Tiger Tour 100-lap events.
The limited Late Model Tiger division has been racing at Thunder Road since 1964. The Bond Tigers will have five (5) 100-lap ACT touring events at five different race venues during the 2011 season. The tracks include: Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, VT; White Mountain Motorsport Park, Woodstock, NH; Canaan Fair Speedway, Canaan, NH; Riverside Speedway, Groveton, NH; and Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, NY. The races will be spread from May until October.
Gates will open at 10:00am on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Tickets for the Memorial Day Classic Twin 100’s are only $15 for Adults, $5 for kids 6-12 and a special family ticket for two adults and two kids will cost just $30.
Post time is slated for 1:30.