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Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl News

Donahue Triples Up At Thunder Road

- Justin St. Louis on 20 Aug 2010

Joey Becker (#16) and Dylan Smith (#34) slam the wall at Thunder Road on Thursday night. (Leif Tillotson photo)PHOTO: Joey Becker (#16) and Dylan Smith (#34) slam the wall at Thunder Road on Thursday night. (Leif Tillotson photo)

John Donahue says he doesn’t like being the center of attention. That is, of course, unless he’s winning races. So suffice it to say that Donahue’s been the center of attention a lot lately.

Donahue, of Graniteville, became the first repeat winner of the year in regular-season events at Barre’s Thunder Road last week, was one of the top performers in a test session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Tuesday by winning a 12-lap simulated race, and became the only three-time Thunder Road winner on Thursday by taking the Vermont ACE Hardware 50-lap Late Model feature.

“I don’t like doing this,” Donahue said of talking to the media in front of him in victory lane, “but I like to win.”

Donahue’s drive to the front from tenth starting position began without much fanfare as he picked off cars on the outside lane. As leaders Dave Whitcomb, Mike Bailey, and Jamie Fisher engaged in a game of bumper tag at the halfway point, Donahue reeled all three in. Fisher darted to the lead at lap 25 on the outside, then was dogged by Donahue for six laps.

“That [initial contact between Bailey and Whitcomb] got me caught up to them guys, and I said, ‘Now I don’t have to make up all this time, I can get a lot more laps to pick off these guys,’” said Donahue.

Donahue moved inside Fisher on lap 30 but ran out of room. A bid on the outside lane the next lap turned out to be the winning move, though, as Donahue took over on lap 32 and drove away to the win.

John Donahue in victory lane at Thunder Road. (Leif Tillotson photo)“My car was really good on the high side and I tried to go around Jamie but he kept running up the track so I went underneath. Then he slowed down and went down so I went back up. My car was really going tonight on the high side. Tonight it was easy.”

Fisher, of Shelburne, earned his third runner-up finish of the year as Bailey held on for third. Rich Lowrey was fourth with Phil Scott fifth. Only nineteen cars started the feature race, the smallest field of Late Models in recent memory. Dylan Smith and Joey Becker were involved in a hard crash in qualifying, and Smith was unable to return for the feature. Only one caution period slowed the race after a spin by outside polesitter Grant Folsom on lap 1.

Entering next week’s Late Model championship finale, Dave Pembroke leads Nick Sweet by just two points, unofficially, 971-969, with Scott only eight points behind at 963. Sweet finished sixth in the race with Pembroke eighth.

Jason Corliss (#61) and Mike Martin (#01) battle for the Tiger Sportsman win. (Leif Tillotson photo)Rookies Jason Corliss and Mike Martin turned in a clean but hard-fought performance in the 35-lap Tiger Sportsman event. Corliss, of Danville, rode the top edge of the track outside Martin for the first 23 laps of the race before breaking out and cruising to his first career win. Martin held on for second. Eric Badore rallied late on the outside lane for third place, followed by Brendan Moodie and David Finck.

Billy “Weiner” Hennequin of Morrisville earned his first Street Stock victory in more than two years, followed by Mike MacAskill, Danny Doyle, rookie Alex Whitcomb, and Lloyd Blakely. Kevin Wheatley of Brookfield was the top Junkyard Warrior driver for the first time in 2010 with Kevin Dodge and Ken Christman completing the podium.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Vermont ACE Hardware Night
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 19, 2010

# - denotes rookie

Late Model (50 laps)
1. John Donahue, Graniteville
2. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
3. Mike Bailey, South Barre
4. Rich Lowrey, Charlotte
5. Phil Scott, Montpelier
6. Nick Sweet, Barre
7. Matt White, Northfield
8. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex
9. Cris Michaud, Northfield
10. # Cody Blake, Barre

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (35 laps)
1. # Jason Corliss, Danville
2. # Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
3. Eric Badore, Milton
4. Brendan Moodie, North Wolcott
5. David Finck, Barre
6. Troy Gray, Fairlee
7. Tony Rossi, Peacham
8. Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
9. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
10. Lance Allen, Barre

Allen Lumber Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior (25 laps)
1. Billy Hennequin, Morrisville (SS)
2. Mike MacAskill, Williamstown (SS)
3. Danny Doyle, Hancock (SS)
4. # Alex Whitcomb, Montpelier (SS)
5. Lloyd Blakely, Graniteville (SS)

14. Kevin Wheatley, Brookfield (JW)
15. Kevin Dodge, Barre (JW)
17. Ken Christman, Cabot (JW)

1. Joey Becker (#16) and Dylan Smith (#34) slam the wall at Thunder Road on Thursday night. (Leif Tillotson photo)
2. John Donahue in victory lane at Thunder Road. (Leif Tillotson photo)
3. Jason Corliss (#61) and Mike Martin (#01) battle for the Tiger Sportsman win. (Leif Tillotson photo)

Season Complete


ACT Late Model
Barre, Vt.

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman
Peacham, Vt.

Allen Lumber Street Stock
Williamstown, Vt.

Junkyard Warrior
Cabot, Vt.

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