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Christopher Pelkey in victory lane at Thunder Road. (Alan Ward photo)

Pelkey Is Thunder Road Ace

BARRE, Vt. — More than 90 cars in four separate classes entered the Thunder Road pit area on Sunday to help Preston’s Kia mark the Independence Day holiday. Just four of those drivers left the gates victors among their competitors with all putting on a stellar show for the capacity crowd.   

The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models were hot to trot in their 50-lap main event. Led to point by Andy Hill and Darrell Morin, the two underdogs battled hard for the top spot until the first caution at lap 20. Hill went around in turn two leaving Rookie Keegan Lamson with no-where to go but up and over the hood of Hill’s machine. 

Brandon Lanphear took over the top spot from Morin on Lap 26 using the outside lane with his fresh Hoosier rubber. Unfortunately, a broken right-front wheel sent Lanphear into the turn four wall on lap 31, ending his strong run. On the restart, Christopher Pelkey took the top spot from Morin as Nick Sweet and Marcel Gravel followed the jet-black, bad-fast No. 64VT. Pelkey would win the feature followed by Gravel who just barely edged Sweet, sub-driver for car owner Eric Chase, at the line. 

Getting the grand introductions in front of the near capacity Fourth of July weekend crowd, the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers started off rough when an accordion affect sent several back markers into the infield. Following a quick reshuffle, the collection of Vermont’s wildest drivers went for 28 green flag laps, until the spinning Phil Potvin called up the second caution of the feature. 

Right from the onset, Adam Maynard set the pace, holding off Cam Ouellette and Colin Cornell until the very end. Having driven Flying Tigers at Thunder Road since 1999, Adam Maynard took down his first win ahead of his brother, Aaron Maynard. Ouellette and Cornell rounded out the podium.

The street stocks went flag-to-flag. Led to green by former champion Jamie Davis and longtime racer Thomas Peck, the 25-lap feature event zoomed along. Kyle Gravel made his way alongside Davis before taking over the top spot. Gravel would cross the finish line first followed by Davis and Tyler Whittemore. Post-race inspection found an illegal A-Frame in the right front of his No. 5 Ford Mustang giving Davis the win, Whittemore second and bumping up rookie Cameron Powers for third. 

The always popular Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors put on quite the show, with Frank Putney winning.


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