Champion to be determined at CCV Championship Finale on Friday
–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
BARRE — While the Saturday morning headlines from Thunder Road will read Therrien or Demers as track champion, the track’s fiercest battle comes within its weekly entry level division.
Four driver are separated by just 13 points in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks.
Jamie Davis leads Cooper Bouchard by two points and Alan Maynard by five points entering Friday’s championship finale with teenager Kelsea Woodard in fourth, just 13 points back of Davis.
For Davis, Bouchard, and Maynard, the scenario will likely be winner-takes-all — if any of the three drivers can win on Friday night at Thunder Road, they have good possibility of earning the championship. For Woodard, she will need a little help with positions between her and her fellow contenders on Friday night to win the championship.
A championship for Davis would be the second of his career while Bouchard, Maynard, and Woodard each seek their first championship.
The 2015 Street Stock champion has used extreme consistency — nine top-five place finishes and 13 top-ten place finishes in 16 races — despite missing a feature race in June due to a heat race incident. Davis, of Wolcott, earned a big win three weeks ago that vaulted him back into championship contention after losing an engine the week prior.
Bouchard leads the championship contenders with five podium finishes, but saw his point lead dwindle after back-to-back third place finishes in early August. The second-year racer picked up his second career win during the double point counting Mid-Season championship event that launched him into the championship battle.
For Maynard, a consistent run of 14 top-ten place finishes in 16 starts has run the veteran driver into the championship hunt. The Fairfax racer saw his championship hopes nearly go upside down with a vicious crash in early August that forced the team to use a substitute driver just three days later. Maynard, however, came back strong and posted five straight top-ten finishes, including a runner-up finish two weeks ago. Unofficially, Maynard has also earned the most championship points during feature events this season.
An additional piece of motivation for Maynard, a professor at the University of Vermont, comes as the track’s lone remaining “Race to Read” driver, a program that encourages young race fans to read.
The teenager Woodard has put together an impressive sophomore season that has seen her bookend her year thus far with podium finishes. The daughter of Flying Tiger championship contender Jason Woodard, Kelsea Woodard closed the championship gap with her third place during the Labor Day Classic.
Four other drivers, Dean Switser Jr., Brandon Lanphear, Kevin Streeter, and Gary Mullen, remain in mathematical contention for the championship, but would need major help to win the championship. Switser sits 45 points out and would need championship leader Jamie Davis to finish no better than 19th. Lanphear sits 47 points off the lead, while Streeter is 54 markers out and Mullen is 67 points shy.
The Street Stocks will go 35 laps during the Community College of Vermont Championship Finale at Thunder Road will take place on Friday, September 8. Post time is set for 7:00pm.
1 – Jamie Davis (43) will be challenged by Alan Maynard (10), Cooper Bouchard, and Kelsea Woodard on Friday night at Thunder Road for the track’s Allen Lumber Street Stock championship. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Cooper Bouchard used a win in the Mid-Season track championship to vault him into championship contention. (Alan Ward photo)
3 – Teenager driver Kelsea Woodard sits just 13 points back of championship leader Jamie Davis entering the final event of the season. (Alan Ward photo)