–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BARRE – Trampas Demers knew at the drop of the green flag he had a race winning race car underneath him, but he wasn’t sure if the race would go his way.
The race did, though, go his way as Demers made a late race pass on Bobby Therrien to claim the win in the VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 on Thursday night at Thunder Road.
“This is huge,” Demers said. “We’ve got the momentum on our side right now and this is the best team that has ever been assembled with me and the best car I’ve ever driven.
“I’m looking forward to big things up here.”
The South Burlington driver restarted third on a lap 131 restart and watched as Therrien took the lead from youngster Marcel J. Gravel. Demers would then work his way past Gravel three laps later to move into second and began to track Therrien down.
Demers would jump to Therrien’s outside on lap 138 and pull even with the race leader on lap 140. Two laps later, Demers would clear the Thunder Road Late Model points leader and take the top spot for keeps.
“Bobby ran me as hard and as clean as he could all at the same time,” Demers said. “I nudged him a little bit down low by accident.
“But he raced me clean and gave me plenty of room and this thing just powered by him. Once I cleared him I knew I had it.”
Demers started in the third position in the 150-lap Late Model feature event and consistently ran inside the top-five – even leading for a brief time from lap 25 to 32 – until he went down pit road to take two new tires on lap 98 with the rest of the lead cars.
“Right from the beginning, I knew that this car was something special that I hadn’t driven up here for quite some time,” Demers said. “In the beginning, it wasn’t hard for me to stay in any position that I was in.
“It was hard for me to hold back my excitement.”
Demers would be the first car off pit road and would restart in the tenth position. Demers had worked his way up to seventh by a lap 114 restart and inside the top-five by lap 120.
“I didn’t lose faith throughout,” Demers said. “When I came back out 12th in line, I didn’t think that I would be able to make it back up through there.
“Then I reminded myself that it was basically a 50-lap race and people win them from 12th.
“Once we got through the few cautions, that’s when I knew that at least I was going to have a decent finish. But I still didn’t know that I was going to be able to get (Therrien). I had no idea that I was going to be able to get him.”
The win for Demers was the eighth of his Thunder Road Late Model career and his first Governor’s Cup win.
Therrien finished second after he worked his way back through the field from his lap 72 pit stop for his two new tires. The Hinesburg driver moved into the second spot by lap 120 and began to slowly reel in race leader Gravel. The lap 131 restart would help hand the lead, briefly, to Therrien.
Gravel, of Wolcott, finished third with Darrell Morin of Westford fourth. Defending track champion and race winner Scott Dragon led multiple times throughout the event and made a late race charge after his lap 98 pit stop to finish fifth.
Jason Corliss finished sixth with Cody Blake seventh after he was the first car to pit for tires on lap 52. Eric Chase, Eric Badore, and Boomer Morris completed the top-ten finishers.
NASCAR champion Kyle Busch had an up-and-down night as he started the 150-lap feature event in the 13th spot and fell backwards early, spinning on lap 21. Busch would make multiple pit stops early and began to make headway toward the front of the field before his lap 98 pit stop.
From there, Busch would work his way through the field to ride in the sixth spot on a lap 114 restart. Then, Busch would make contact with Ricky Roberts on the restart and make contact with frontstretch wall and spin in turn one. The contact with the wall would end Busch’s day with a 21st place finish, unofficially.
Thunder Road continues their 2017 season on Thursday, July 20 with Fairpoint Communications Night and the first race for the Road Warrior division. Post time is set for 7:00pm.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from the VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150 soon.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – VP Racing Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup 150
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, July 13, 2017
1. (3) Trampas Demers, South Burlington
2. (9) Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
3. (15) Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott
4. (16) Darrell Morin, Westford
5. (1) Scott Dragon, Milton
6. (18) Jason Corliss, Barre
7. (4) Cody Blake, Barre
8. (14) Eric Chase, Milton
9. (6) Eric Badore, Milton
10. (5) Boomer Morris, Barre
11. (21) Ricky Roberts, Washington
12. (11) Christopher Pelkey, Graniteville
13. (24) Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury
14. (10) Josh Demers, Middlesex
15. (26) Mike Bailey, South Barre
16. (12) Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
17. (25) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
18. (20) Chris Riendeau, Ascutney
19. (22) Dave Whitcomb, Essex Junction
20. (2) Jean-Francois Dery, Quebec, Que.
21. (13) Kyle Busch, Las Vegas, Nev.
22. (8) Jonathan Bouvrette, Blainville, Que.
23. (17) Scott Coburn, Barre
24. (7) Phil Scott, Berlin
25. (23) Mike Foster, Williston
26. (19) Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
Did Not Start: Rich Dubeau, Lebanon, N.H.; Jason Durgan, Morrisonville, N.Y.
PHOTO: Trampas Demers celebrates his Thunder Road Vermont Governor’s Cup win on Thursday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)