Champions, Tracks Tough To Tame

Defending “King of the Road” Dave Pembroke (#44VT) looks for room between Thunder Road regular Brooks Clark (#68VT) and ACT regular Rowland Robinson, Jr. (#28ME) during the Merchants Bank 150 in April.

Barre, VT – The quest to become the Vermont State Late Model Champion begins this coming Sunday, May 27 at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road for the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 150. The four race series between Thunder Road and Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, VT will crown the Vermont State Champion of 2012. The Memorial Day Classic is also the first event in the bid to become the 2012 “King of the Road.”

Though the series has yet to begin, it has already gained prestige with its star-studded entry list alone. Multi-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud will attempt to be the next Vermont State Champion, as well as Lt. Governor Phil Scott, former Thunder Road Champions David Pembroke and Nick Sweet, former Oxford Plains Speedway Champion Ricky Rolfe, and a slew of the Northeast’s biggest names in late model racing.

Not only is the competition stellar, the tracks themselves are tough to tame. Thunder Road, the high-banked quarter mile, has a strong history of brutality on competitors with its extraordinarily talented weekly stars, and the infamous “widow maker” in turn four. Long-time promoter Tom Curley has overseen many prestigious races in his day, but this one is particularly special.

“The chance to bring back a Vermont State Championship with two of Thunder Road’s biggest seasonal events, the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic and the Vermont Lottery Commission Governor’s Cup, is very exciting,” said Curley. “Many of us remember back in the seventies when this first started with Catamount Stadium, Thunder Road and Devil’s Bowl. I would expect a number of teams will be looking at this ‘mini series’ as a great chance to do some extra long distance racing, along with their regular weekly sprint and dash kind of events. It should be a lot of fun,” he finished.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway, the flat track billed as the “fastest half mile in Vermont,” brings new elements to the series. Under new ownership and constant progression, Devil’s Bowl Speedway is quickly gaining prestige of its own. With new asphalt and an improving following of weekly competition, Devil’s Bowl Speedway will bring a neutrality to equalize competition between the “outsiders” and Thunder Road weekly competitors vying for the title.

All bets are off coming this Sunday, May 27 as the Vermont State Championship series begins at Thunder Road with the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Post time is 1:30. Admission is $15 for adults, $3 for children 6-12, $30 for a family pass, and children 6 and under are free.

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