BARRE — On a night when all eyes were on the Thunder Road point leaders, an underdog won the most point-rich event of the season. Popular low-buck racer Mike “Beetle” Bailey of South Barre dominated Thursday’s 50-lap, double-points Times Argus Mid-Season Championship for his second career win.

Bailey started fifth on the 22-car grid and was an immediate force, moving into second place under Reno Gervais of Island Pond on lap 15. He dived inside leader Dave Whitcomb five laps later, then took the lead on lap 21. Northfield’s Cris Michaud put up a five-lap fight after a restart on lap 27, but Bailey’s No. 00 Union Mutual of Vermont/Great Energy Store Chevrolet eventually cruised to the win.

“The crew gave me a great car. Last week I kind of let them down, but they stuck with me. I owe it all to them and the people that support me,” said Bailey. “This is huge. These are the greatest drivers, they’re a class act and I’m just fortunate to be able to get this win.” The double-point score vaulted Bailey, unofficially, from 13th to 7th in points.

Point leader Dave Pembroke of Middlesex failed to earn his handicapped starting spot through qualifying heats and was forced to start 17th — behind chief rivals Phil Scott and Nick Sweet — but flew through the pack to reach the top five. After passing Cody Blake for fourth place, Pembroke was held up behind a door-to-door battle for second between Michaud and Gervais.

Pembroke swung to the outside three-wide around the pair on the final lap, but was forced to back out in turn four and settle for fourth place. Gervais nosed past Michaud for the runner-up position.

Sweet, of Barre, finished fifth, but Scott slumped to 13th place, allowing Pembroke to stretch his point lead from eight points to 22, unofficially. Sweet moved past Scott for second in the standings.

“I’m still not a huge fan of double points night,” Pembroke said. “I hate that it can change things so much, but I like that it didn’t tonight. After the heat race and the consi, you could have wrote off the whole night the way things were going, and then this turned out really good.”

Matt White finished sixth in the race, followed in the top ten by Rich Lowrey, Blake, John Donahue, and Whitcomb.

Eric Badore of Milton earned his first Tiger Sportsman event of the year, but it was not without drama. After three wrecks in the first three laps, race director Tom Curley pulled the division off the track and ran the Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior main event. Once the Tiger Sportsman race resumed at the end of the night, Badore’s No. 04 Milton Rental & Sales/A.H. Fence Co. Chevrolet put on a clinic in the outside lane.

Badore passed top-three drivers Joel Hodgdon, Mike Martin, and leader Tucker Williams in one lap for the lead, then went unchallenged to the victory.

Only one more caution period slowed the event after the break at lap 3, but it was for a hard ride down the frontstretch wall by Matt Potter. Potter was outside rookie Mike Martin trying for fourth place on lap 27 when the two made contact and Potter pounded the wall. Potter was uninjured.

“It seems like there’s a lot of impatient drivers out there trying to win the race on the first lap. That ain’t the key,” said Badore. “You’ve got to be patient and let things feather out a little bit and then when you get space to go, you go.”

David Finck of Barre was the runner-up with Middlesex driver Shawn Fleury third. Hinesburg’s Tom Therrien recovered from one of the early crashes to finish fourth, despite missing the entire right-side sheet metal on his car. Ricky Roberts made a late charge to finish fifth.

Lloyd Blakely of Graniteville picked up his first Street Stock win of the season over Hardwick’s Joe Fecteau; two weeks ago, the two were involved in a tandem flip together. Joe Blais of Orange nipped rookie Donny Yates at the finish line for third, with Greg Adams, Jr., fifth. Ken Christman of Cabot earned a Junkyard Warrior single-season record seventh victory over Fred Schroeder of Bristol and Josh Erwin of Waterbury.