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Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl News

Laperle Wins Thunder Road Labor Day Thriller

- Justin St. Louis on 06 Sep 2010

Patrick Laperle celebrates his Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 win as a rainbow shines through rain clouds at Thunder Road on Sunday. (Alan Ward photo)PHOTO: Patrick Laperle celebrates his Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 win as a rainbow shines through rain clouds at Thunder Road on Sunday. (Alan Ward photo)

It’s likely a good thing that Canada has Monday off for Labor Day, too, because Patrick Laperle has some celebrating to do. The St-Denis, Que., driver came south to Barre’s Thunder Road for the American-Canadian Tour’s Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday, and returned home with his second $5,000 victory in a week.

Laperle, who started 14th on the 30-car grid, pitted during a lap 78 caution period to put two fresh tires on his car, then patiently made his way to the front of the field. He waited through two brief rain delays and until there were just 14 laps remaining to make his move past Dave Pembroke, then held off a late charge by Phil Scott for the win.

“The car was not that good at the beginning,” said Laperle. “We found out that we had a set of tires that had less stagger and the other one had more stagger, so we started with the more stagger and if the car was loose [during the race] we were going to put the other ones on, and that’s what we did.”

Front-row starters Joey Polewarczyk and Brian Hoar dueled for the lead, often door-to-door, unofficially trading the lead seven times in the first 134 laps before Hoar’s tires faded. One lap after Pembroke took the lead from Polewarczyk on lap 166, Hoar pitted under caution for two new tires while Polewarczyk was the only driver not to pit during the race.

Pembroke, Laperle, and others that pitted at lap 78 quickly made their way past Polewarczyk. Laperle said the timing of the earlier pit stop was the key to winning the race.

Patrick Laperle (#91) passes Dave Pembroke (#44) for the lead at Thunder Road. (Leif Tillotson photo)“It was [important] because the car was not good [early],” said Laperle. “You see Brian, he pitted late and ran out of time. He had [better] tires at the end, but here the cars are able to run side-by-side in traffic and it’s hard to pass.”

For Laperle, who matched his Labor Day $5,000 winner’s purse with a victory in last week’s ACT Showdown at Autodrome Chaudiere, his biggest worry was the pair of quick rain delays in the final 21 laps.

“When it started to rain, it was kind of like, ‘No, come on, now what’s going to happen?’ but it turned out great for me,” he said. “It’s awesome to come here. The first race was the Merchants Bank 150 [in May] and we finished third, then we won today. Hopefully the Milk Bowl [in October] is going to be a top-three, too.

“We won $5,000 last week and $5,000 today,” he laughed, “so now we’ve got to pay some bills.”

Scott, who ran in third place for much of the race, pitted with Hoar on lap 167 and was the fastest driver on the track during the final stages of the race; he passed Scott Payea for fourth place on lap 190, drove under John Donahue for third place two laps later, went around Pembroke for second on lap 194, and was setting up an outside pass of Laperle as the checkered flag flew.

“We had a great car in the first 100 laps, but between 100 and 150 the car started to go away so we knew we were going to have to pit for tires,” said Scott. “With 37 laps to go it was a bit of a risk coming in, but it was worth it because we were going to win. If we had [stayed out on old tires and] held on to maybe a sixth or seventh place car, that’s no fun after running in the top three all day.”

Scott was confident that he would have passed Laperle and won if the race was a half-mile longer.

“I needed two more laps,” said Scott. “Somebody said five, and I said, ‘No, two.’ I needed one lap to set him up and one lap to get by.”

Pembroke finished third over Donahue and Payea. Hoar passed several cars after his pit stop but was only able to reach sixth place. Randy Potter was seventh while Polewarczyk faded to eighth. Joey Becker and Jean-Paul Cyr completed the top ten.

A pileup on lap 102 took out several drivers, including top-ten runners Craig Bushey, Brent Dragon, and Cris Michaud. Unofficially, the lead changed hands twelve times. Forty-two cars attempted to qualify for 30 starting positions including recently crowned Thunder Road track champion Nick Sweet, who battled brake problems and failed to make the race.

Thunder Road Tiger Sportsman winner Tony Rossi. (Leif Tillotson photo)Tony Rossi of Peacham earned his second Tiger Sportsman win of the year in a two-day, two-segment, 85-lap event scored Monza-style. Rossi won the first 35-lap segment on Saturday, then finished fourth in Sunday’s 50-lap segment for low combined score of five points. Mike Ziter finished second overall, followed by Jimmy Hebert, rookie Jason Corliss, and Brendan Moodie.

The Street Stocks ran a similar two-segment event with Randolph’s Eric Johnson emerging with his third victory of the year. Jean LeBlanc, Ron Gabaree, rookie Tom Placey, and Scott Weston rounded out the top five.

Cabot’s Ken Christman earned his track record 11th victory of the year in a three-segment Junkyard Warrior event. Christman beat out Brock Parrott, Matt LeBlanc, Fred Schroeder, and Mark LaFleche for the win.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS -- Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200
American-Canadian Tour � Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, September 5, 2010

# - denotes rookie
ACT Late Model Tour (200 laps)
1. Patrick Laperle, St-Denis, Que.
2. Phil Scott, Montpelier
3. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex
4. John Donahue, Graniteville
5. Scott Payea, Milton
6. Brian Hoar, Williston
7. Randy Potter, Groveton, N.H.
8. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, N.H.
9. Joey Becker, Jeffersonville
10. Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton
11. Eric Williams, Hyde Park
12. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
13. Brooks Clark, Fayston
14. Stacy Cahoon, St. Johnsbury
15. Cris Michaud, East Montpelier
16. # Brad Babb, Windham, Me.
17. Grant Folsom, Waitsfield
18. Jamie Aube, Bow, N.H.
19. # Dave Paya, Milton
20. Mark Lamberton, Mooers Forks, N.Y.
21. Roger Brown, Lancaster, N.H.
22. Craig Bushey, Cambridge
23. Brent Dragon, Milton
24. Brad Leighton, Center Harbor, N.H.
25. Brett Wheeler, Northfield
26. # Aaron Fellows, Croydon, N.H.
27. Jeff Zuidema, North Brookfield, Mass.
28. Glen Luce, Turner, Me.
29. Jay Laquerre, East Montpelier
30. Mark Hayward, Newport, N.H.

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (85 laps)
1. Tony Rossi, Peacham
2. Mike Ziter, Williamstown
3. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown
4. # Jason Corliss, Danville
5. Brendan Moodie, North Wolcott
6. Cody Blake, Barre
7. Josh Demers, Middlesex
8. Derrick O’Donnell, Bradford
9. George May, Barre
10. David Finck, Barre

Allen Lumber Street Stock (50 laps)
1. Eric Johnson, Randolph
2. Jean LeBlanc, Gorham, N.H.
3. Ron Gabaree, Barre
4. # Tom Placey, Bradford
5. Scott Weston, Berlin

Junkyard Warrior (37 laps)
1. Ken Christman, Cabot
2. Brock Parrott, Williamstown
3. Matt LeBlanc, Gorham, N.H.
4. Fred Schroeder, Bristol
5. Mark LaFleche, Williamstown

1. Patrick Laperle celebrates his Bond Auto Labor Day Classic 200 win as a rainbow shines through rain clouds at Thunder Road on Sunday. (Alan Ward photo)
2. Patrick Laperle (#91) passes Dave Pembroke (#44) for the lead. (Leif Tillotson photo)
3. Tiger Sportsman winner Tony Rossi. (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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