Perry earns first Flying Tiger win; Smith claims 31st Street Stock win
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BARRE — Only one driver has won more than one Late Model race this season at Thunder Road.
Jason Corliss now has three of them.
The Barre driver held off Cody Blake and Trampas Demers in a thrilling finish to the Thursday night season to claim his third Late Model win of the year.
“Perfect, it means a lot,” Corliss said. “I owe it all to my (crew). They work hard. And (crew chief) Andrew Hill. The guy is smart. He keeps putting setups in this (car) and trying to make us better.
“We made some changes before the feature that we didn’t know how the car was going to go and we took a swing at it. We weren’t the best car out there tonight, but we were the best and at the front when it mattered.
“Thankfully we were able to play just enough defense and had just a fast enough car to pull it off.”
Corliss took the lead following a lap 29 restart from Eric Chase and zoomed out to the race lead. Blake, however, followed Corliss and began to quickly close the gap.
Blake would catch Corliss on lap 41 of the 50-lap event and began to work to Corliss’ outside. Each time, however, Corliss would sneak away and retain sole possession of the lead.
However, with just three laps left, Corliss would slip up off the bottom and Blake would fill the hole. The two then went side-by-side, with Corliss edging ahead.
The duo crossed under the white flag side-by-side, but had a new challengers in second place point driver Demers. Demers would look to the inside of Blake off of turn two and put the three drivers three-wide down the backstretch. Blake and Demers would make slight contact, which allowed Corliss to inch ahead, albeit still on the outside of the three wide dance.
The three would cross under the checkered flag, with Corliss earning his seventh career Late Model win.
“It was a lot of work,” Corliss said of the last ten laps. “For a 50 lap race, that was pretty crazy. I knew Cody (Blake) wasn’t going to just ride behind me and he wasn’t going to poke to the outside a couple of times and call it a race. He was going to do something to make it exciting and he did.
“I just couldn’t keep it down off of (turn) four and he was able get underneath me. At that point, it was just having to push as hard as you can. Thankfully, I was able to get enough out of my car. And I didn’t see him, but apparently (Demers) put some pressure on (Blake) and helped us out a little bit.”
Blake, of Barre, settled for second with Demers third. Late Model point leader Bobby Therrien kept Demers close with a fourth place finish while Eric Chase completed the top-five finishers.
Matt White, Chris Pelkey, Darrell Morin, Marcel J. Gravel, and Kyle Pembroke finished sixth through tenth, unofficially.
Unofficially, Therrien maintained his 31-point advantage over Demers with just one race left in the Thunder Road Late Model championship season.
Rookie driver Jaden Perry grabbed career win number won in the 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger feature. (UPDATE: Perry was disqualified from his win. Click here for more information)
The Hardwick driver took the lead on lap 14 from fellow rookie Kyle Streeter on the outside and zoomed away to the win.
Perry had led the rookie standings for much of the 2017 season, but has faced a rough and tumble season that has seen him involved in numerous incidents.
“I have to thank my crew,” Perry said in victory lane. “It’s been one, rough year and I had given up. I didn’t want to come this week.
“They’ve all stuck it out with me. We decided to get rid of the yellow, maybe it would change my luck and I (wouldn’t) get wrecked. And it worked, I guess.”
Trevor Lyman of Hinesburg finished second with point leader Jason Woodard third. Dwayne Lanphear and Jamon Perry completed the top-five finishers.
Second place point driver Brendan Moodie finished sixth with Mike Billado seventh. Mark Barnier, in his first race of the season, finished eighth with Mike Martin and Streeter ninth and tenth, respectively.
Unofficially, Woodard was able to extend his point lead from 11 points to 22 points with two Flying Tiger championship events remaining.
Tommy “Thunder” Smith earned his 31st career Allen Lumber Street Stock win in their 25-lap feature event.
The Williamstown driver led wire-to-wire, but was dogged for the entire event by Kevin Streeter, Al Maynard, and Logan Powers.
“What a car we had,” Smith said in victory lane. “In practice, we almost loaded the car (on the trailer). It didn’t run worth a crap. We started playing around with it and we hit it.
“It’s fun when you have a good car that’s handling.”
Maynard, of Fairfax, finished second with rookie Powers third. Dean Switser Jr. and Kelsea Woodard completed the top-five finishers with second place point driver Jamie Davis, Gary Mullen, Stephen Martin, Matthew Smith, and Kasey Collins sixth through tenth, respectively.
Street Stock point leader Cooper Bouchard was involved in a late race spin after contact with Smith. Bouchard, unofficially, finished 12th and will see his 18-point lead be slashed to just four points over both Davis and Maynard.
Tyler Pepin of Barre won the 20-lap Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warrior feature over Jeffrey Martin and James Dopp. Taylor Keene and Julian Gorman completed the top-five finishers.
Thunder Road will continues its season on Sunday, September 3 with the second visit by the ACT Late Model Tour for 2017 in the 39th Annual Labor Day Classic 200.
The 2017 championship season will conclude on Friday, September 8.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing Night
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 24, 2017
(# — denotes rookie)
Late Models (50 laps)
1. Jason Corliss, Barre
2. Cody Blake, Barre
3. Trampas Demers, South Burlington
4. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
5. Eric Chase, Milton
6. Matt White, Northfield
7. Chris Pelkey, South Barre
8. Darrell Morin, Westford
9. Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott
10. Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers (40 laps)
1. # Jaden Perry, Hardwick
2. Trevor Lyman, Hinesburg
3. Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
4. Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville
5. # Jamon Perry, Hardwick
6. Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
7. Mike Billado, Essex
8. Mark Barnier, Essex Junction
9. Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
10. # Kyle Streeter, Waitsfield
Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Tommy Smith, Williamstown
2. Al Maynard, Fairfax
3. # Logan Powers, Middlesex
4. Dean Switser Jr., Lyndonville
5. Kelsea Woodard, Waterbury Center
6. Jamie Davis, Wolcott
7. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge
8. # Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common
9. Matthew Smith, Essex Junction
10. # Kasey Collins, Barre
Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warriors (20 laps)
1. Tyler Pepin, Barre
2. Jeffrey Martin, Barre
3. James Dopp, Northfield
4. Taylor Keene, East Hardwick
5. Julian Gorman, Bethel
PHOTO: Jason Corliss celebrates his third Thunder Road Late Model win of the season on Thursday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)