–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BARRE – Scott Dragon lost a photo finish earlier this season at Thunder Road, but he didn’t lose the second one.
The Milton driver made a last corner, last ditch effort to power his way to the inside of Nick Sweet and steal the VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 win.
“I normally don’t like to trade paint, but we were racing for the Governor’s Cup,” Dragon said. “I thought it was pretty clean for the most part. We banged off each other coming to the line.
“I didn’t think I was going to get him, honestly. With three or four (laps) to go, I was digging with everything I had, but I really didn’t think I was going to get him.”
Dragon took the lead from Sweet following a lap 136 restart from the preferred outside, but lost it on lap 141 restart with Sweet in the preferred lane. Dragon held tough on the inside as he tried lap-after-lap to find grip on the bottom.
“I was trying to figure out what was working,” Dragon said. “And I guess I kind of did”
Dragon and Sweet would battle nearly side-by-side, but it appeared Sweet would be headed to his record breaking fifth Governor’s Cup win as the leaders entered the final turn.
Dragon, however, powered to Sweet’s inside and the two make contact on the frontstretch with Dragon inching ahead under the checkered flag.
“That last lap, going into (turn) three, I goosed it early,” Dragon said. “And I was able to bring it home.”
Barre’s Sweet was upset with himself for the last turn dramatics.
“That’s just racing. That’s the way it is,” Sweet said. “It’s the last lap and that what we do this for. It makes it exciting for the fans.
“I hate (expletive) losing, though.”
For Dragon, the opportunity for the last turn drama may have come about 20 laps earlier.
“I don’t want to point fingers at Nick (Sweet), but coming down the front straightaway with 20 laps earlier, he turned down into the side of me,” Dragon said. “And he didn’t need to. And he did.
“I understand that’s racing. But it took the gloves off; that’s about it. I hope he doesn’t hold it against me.”
Sweet didn’t think anything malicious of the contact.
“That’s just racing, man,” Sweet said. “You win some and you lose some. That’s a heartbreaker to lose.
“I didn’t do a good enough job in that race. I just lost it on the last (expletive) corner. My fault.”
Sweet said the finish won’t change the way the two race against each other.
“It’s a racing deal,” Sweet said. “That’s just the way it is. I understand what situation he’s in, and I was in the same situation.
“Heck, Scott’s a good guy. I just (expletive) hate losing.”
Dragon was joined by his father, Bobby, a three-time Governor’s Cup victor, in victory lane.
“That was great,” Dragon said of being joined by his father. “It was really cool. That made it even better.”
“That boy got it done,” an emotional car owner Richard Green said in victory lane. “And those (crew) guys put a good car under him every week. I couldn’t be happier.”
Dragon came from the sixth spot to win after Sweet led the first 137 laps virtually unchallenged.
Jason Corliss of Barre finished third while Memorial Day Classic winner Tyler Cahoon of St. Johnsbury was fourth. Matt White of Northfield completed the top-five finishers. Cody Blake, Mike Bailey, Brooks Clark, Josh Masterson, and Trampas Demers completed the top-ten finishers.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
(# — denotes rookie)
1. (7) Scott Dragon, Milton
2. (1) Nick Sweet, Barre
3. (8) Jason Corliss, Barre
4. (3) Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury
5. (6) Matt White, Northfield
6. (5) Cody Blake, Barre
7. (20) Mike Bailey, South Barre
8. (10) Brooks Clark, Fayston
9. (9) Josh Masterson, Bristol
10. (18) Trampas Demers, South Burlington
11. (11) Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
12. (12) Phil Scott, Middlesex
13. (15) Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
14. (2) Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown
15. (22) # Christopher Pelkey, South Barre
16. (25) John Donahue, Graniteville
17. (16) Dave Whitcomb, Essex Junction
18. (28) Darrell Morin, Westford
19. (19) Eric Chase, Milton
20. (23) # Richard Lowery III, Charlotte
21. (24) Scott Coburn, Barre
22. (21) # Marcel Gravel, Wolcott
23. (4) Kyle Welch, Newport, N.H.
24. (13) Eric Badore, Milton
25. (17) Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier
26. (26) Adam Pierson, East Corinth
27. (14) Boomer Morris, Barre
28. (27) Jason Allen, Barre
29. (29) # Mike Foster, Williston
1 – Scott Dragon celebrates his VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 win on Thursday evening at Thunder Road Speedbowl. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Scott Dragon and his Richard Green Racing crew celebrate their Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 win. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
3 – Scott Dragon shares an embrace with his father, three-time Governor’s Cup victor Bobby Dragon, in victory lane. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)