Rookie Powers claims second Street Stock win; Spaulding two-time Road Warrior Winner
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BARRE — Two years felt like an eternity for Cody Blake.
The hometown fan favorite erased a winless streak that extended over two years on Thursday night at Thunder Road.
“It’s sad, now that you say that,” Blake said of his two year winless streak. “We’ve struggled last year and the beginning of this year.
“We’re finally coming into it. It just feels good and I don’t feel like this is going to fall off any.”
Blake started the 50-lap Cody Chevrolet Cadillac-sponsored event in the sixth position and made quick work through the cars in front as he moved into the second spot by lap 20. From there, Blake set his sights on race leader Tyler Cahoon.
Blake would get to Cahoon’s rear bumper one last past the halfway point and moved to Cahoon’s outside as the duo entered turn three. The two would pull even on lap 28, with Blake gaining the lead on lap 29, and would continue to race side-by-side until Blake cleared Cahoon on lap 32.
The battle was not over, however, as Blake’s car began to lose grip as the field raced toward the checkered flag. Cahoon would look for multiple ways around Blake inside the final five laps, but Blake was able to hang on the for the win.
“When I got to second, I knew I could catch (Tyler),” Blake said. “But, I knew I had to do it slowly so I didn’t burn up the right-rear tire.
“Once I passed him, I let it all hang out and that’s when I started slowing down.”
For Blake, the win was his first since July 2, 2015. He admitted that there has been some down points along the way, but a find a few weeks ago has turned his season around.
“When you don’t do well, and you don’t get the trophy, you show up to the shop in kind of a sour mood,” Blake said. “So when you start doing well, everyone shows up to the shop in a good mood and in good spirits.
“Two weeks ago, we found stuff wrong with the car. Whenever you find something wrong, it definitely gives you a confidence boost in thinking that you’re going to do better.”
The win for Blake came with the Maplewood’s Triple Crown after he earned the win in his heat race and bonus point semi-feature.
Cahoon, of St. Johnsbury, settled for second, his second podium finish in as many weeks.
“We gave it all we had,” Cahoon said. “Five more laps, maybe? (Blake) was getting a little loose on the top side, but I was a little too tight on the bottom and using the right-rear a little bit too much coming off (the corner).
“He ran the race he needed to run to finish first. But (my team) was awesome.”
Matt White of Northfield ran inside the top-five for the entire 50-lap distance to finish third. Second place point driver Trampas Demers finished fourth with point leader Bobby Therrien fifth.
Ricky Roberts, Jason Corliss, Eric Chase, last week’s winner Chris Pelkey, and Kyle Pembroke completed the top-ten finishers.
Unofficially, Therrien extended his point lead by eight points after his better heat race finish and semi-feature appearance. Therrien will lead Demers by 21 points with just three Thunder Road Late Model point counting races remaining.
Logan Powers held on through a late race restart to claim his second career Allen Lumber Street Stock feature win.
The rookie driver took the lead on lap two of the 25-lap event and was forced to hang tough against fellow rookie Stephen Martin, who made multiple attempts to go around Powers.
Powers, of Middlesex, would then be forced to keep Martin at bay on a lap 20 restart, which he did to claim the checkered flag.
“We didn’t have the fastest car,” Powers said. “I knew on that last restart that I probably had an advantage on (Martin). I knew I had a good shot at it.
“I’m wicked overwhelmed to have two wins in my one season.”
Gary Mullen was able to get past Martin on the restart to finish second with Dean Switser Jr. third from a 13th place starting position. Martin finished fourth while Brandon Lanphear completed the top-five finishers.
Al Maynard finished sixth, one week after a nasty wreck in turn four with Kelsea Woodard seventh. Matthew Smith, point leader Cooper Bouchard, and Kevin Streeter completed the top-ten finishers.
Issac Spaudling of Wolcott earned his second straight Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warrior feature win. Edward Bowen Jr. finished second with Alex Lessard third. Frank Putney and Eric Young completed the top-five finishers.
Thunder Road continues its 2017 season on Thursday, August 17 with US Army Recruiting night. Post time is at 7:00pm.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Cody Chevrolet Cadillac Night
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 10, 2017
(# — denotes rookie)
Late Models (50 laps)
1. Cody Blake, Barre
2. Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury
3. Matt White, Northfield
4. Trampas Demers, South Burlington
5. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
6. Ricky Roberts, Washington
7. Jason Corliss, Barre
8. Eric Chase, Milton
9. Chris Pelkey, Barre
10. Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. # Logan Powers, Middlesex
2. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge
3. Dean Switser Jr., Lyndonville
4. # Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common
5. Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
6. Al Maynard, Fairfax
7. Kelsea Woodard, Waterbury Center
8. Matthew Smith, Essex Junction
9. Cooper Bouchard, Hinesburg
10. Kevin Streeter, Waitsfield
Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warriors (20 laps)
1. Issac Spaulding, Wolcott
2. Edward Bowen Jr., Morrisville
3. Alex Lessard, Randolph
4. Frank Putney, Graniteville
5. Eric Young, Barre
PHOTO: Cody Blake celebrates his first Late Model win in over two years on Thursday night at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)