Pembroke.jpg – Dave Pembroke celebrates his third Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic win in 2010. (Photo by Eric LaFleche)

Barre, VT – As the month of May winds down, the race teams of Barre’s Thunder Road prepare for the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic, the first race of the Vermont State Late Model Championship Series. After a three-week break, the event is the second point-counting race for the Bond Auto Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks, but for the Late Model Sportsmen it serves as their first. It represents the beginning of a grueling summer-long battle for track championships, but in 2012 the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic has a special number attached.

This year marks the 50th Annual Memorial Day Classic at Thunder Road. The legendary Roy “Pappy” Forsythe, who now is forever commemorated by Thunder Road’s “Forsythe Hill” in turn three, won the first event in 1961. The race has been won by, and created, legends of Northeast Late Model racing with names like Jean-Paul Cabana, Bobby Dragon, Robbie Crouch, and Dave Dion, who have all notched victories in the prestigious race. The Memorial Day Classic continues to be legendary today.

2011 Thunder Road Track Champion David Pembroke finished second in last year’s event, but has already recorded three wins in the race. He only trails Cabana (4 wins) and Dion (9 wins) for overall victories. He was humbled to hear his place in Memorial Day Classic history.

“It is pretty crazy to hear that. I can remember watching those guys growing up and thinking about how good they were. To hear that I’m right there with them as far as wins for this race, that’s a pretty neat thing to hear,“ remarked Pembroke. “The Memorial Day Classic is right up there, it’s one of the big ones. It always starts the year off, so it’s a great one to win to get yourself a little momentum,” he finished.

The quest to become the 50th Champion of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic begins on May 27 at 1:30 pm. It will also be the first race of the Vermont State Championship Series, a four race series with two events each at Thunder Road and at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT. Tickets for Adults are $15, Children 6-12 $3, Family Fare is $30, Children 6 and under are free.

For additional information head to or contact us at or call the Thunder Road office at (802) 244-6963.