BARRE – The 38th Vermont Governor’s Cup presented by VP Racing Fuels rolls to the line at Barre’s Thunder Road this Thursday, July 13. NASCAR Champion Kyle Busch and Vermont Governor Phil Scott are expected to lead a talented field of Late Model racers going for the victory in one of the biggest races of the year on the high banks.
Las Vegas, Nevada’s Busch will make his first visit to Thunder Road looking to add to a résumé that includes the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship, the 2009 Xfinity Series Championship, and hundreds of race wins on tracks across North America. He would be the first NASCAR driver to emerge victorious in an event that has seen stars such as Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, and Ken Schrader in the line-up over the years.
One of his biggest challenges may come from Governor Phil Scott. Thunder Road’s all-time winningest Late Model driver added to his legacy last Thursday when he became the nation’s first sitting governor to triumph in a stock car race. Despite a busy schedule, Scott continues to compete as often as he can at the historic track where he has been racing and winning since 1991, and he plans to go for his first Governor’s Cup win this Thursday.
“Thunder Road has been a part of the social fabric of central Vermont, and arguably for all of Vermont and the Northeast, for more than 50 years,” Scott said. “Racing at Thunder Road has been an important part of my life. I’m glad to have gotten a few races in this year while serving as Governor, and I’m looking forward to competing against NASCAR’s Kyle Busch and the entire field at this Thursday’s Governor’s Cup.”
Both Busch and Scott will have strong teams at their disposal. Four-time Vermont Governor’s Cup winner Nick Sweet is putting the finishing touches on the machine that Busch will pilot out of Eric Chase’s Mad Dog Motorsports shop. Scott’s car, as it has been all season, will be fielded by Pete Duto’s FastOne Motorsports with multi-time Thunder Road Champion Derrick O’Donnell serving as crew chief.
All the best Thunder Road weekly racers will also look to add their name to a trophy that includes Northeast racing legends such as Robbie Crouch, Dave Dion, Bobby Dragon, Beaver Dragon, and Joey Kourafas. Former Vermont Governor’s Cup winners Scott Dragon of Milton and Cody Blake of Barre could score a second entry in the record books. Multi-time ACT winner Bobby Therrien currently leads the Thunder Road Late Model point standings and would add to his margin with a big win. Top weekly racers such as Jason Corliss, Kyle Pembroke, Trampas Demers, Eric Chase, and Marcel J. Gravel will be on hand as well, while ACT Tour standout Rich Dubeau is among the invaders expected in attendance.
The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will be on the card as well with their own brand of spectacular action. Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie has been the man to beat in the Flying Tigers with seven straight top-ten finishes, but Morrisville’s Dwayne Lanphear, Waterbury Ctr.’s Jason Woodard and Hardwick’s Jaden Perry are all ready to pounce. Hardwick’s Will Hennequin leads a tight battle in the Street Stocks with the top six drivers separated by just 13 points.
Qualifying for the 38th Vermont Governor’s Cup presented by VP Racing Fuels gets underway at 6:30pm on Thursday, July 13. The pit gates open at 2:30pm and the front gates open at 3:30pm. Admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com.
(Alan Ward photo)