BARRE — Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Where there’s fire, there’s Grant Folsom. With a checkered flag.

Waitsfield racer Folsom earned his first Late Model victory of the season in the Safelite Auto Glass 50 at Barre’s Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on Thursday night. Folsom started on the pole position and led every lap, but his victory celebration was interrupted by a fire under the hood of his No. 81 Gauvin Masonry/Myers Containers Chevrolet.

“A couple of weeks ago we were ready to burn it,” said Folsom, who has had some tough luck. “I think I said on the radio that I wanted to burn this thing later.”

Before the victory lane fire, Folsom was hot on the track, holding off former champion Jamie Fisher after contact on a lap 29 restart, then pulling away for his second career win over Reno Gervais.

“I was nervous on that restart, it got loose bad,” said Folsom. “I’m not trying to say I didn’t do anything wrong, but [Fisher] gave me a little bump going into turn one and all I could do was turn right and try to save it. It’s one of those racing things. It came back into it a few laps later, so I’m happy.”

Folsom opened the season with a hard flip at Devil’s Bowl Speedway and has been plagued by crashes and bad luck through the summer.

“We started upside down and that was bad, a few weeks later we got a trophy for third, and then the last few weeks were just absolutely horrible,” he said. “We just sat down and really took some time to go through this thing again and making sure everything is where it should be. It paid off.”

Gervais, of Island Pond, was the runner-up after holding off the late charges of Fisher, Phil Scott, John Donahue, and others. Donahue nipped Scott at the finish line for fourth. Point leaders Dave Pembroke and Nick Sweet finished sixth and seventh, respectively, with Rich Lowrey, Cris Michaud, and Joey Becker completing the top ten.

Tony Rossi of Peacham scored a long-awaited career-first win in the 35-lap Tiger Sportsman feature. Rossi was the championship runner-up in 2009 to Jimmy Hebert by a scant four points, and got a bit of revenge by beating Hebert for the victory on Thursday. Mike Ziter was third after an intense battle with Hebert and fourth-place finisher Derrick O’Donnell. Eric Badore finished fifth.

Elmore’s Dave Whitcomb denied Mike MacAskill a third-straight Street Stock victory in that division’s 25-lap feature. MacAskill made a last-lap bid for the win but settled for second, with Garry Bashaw third.

Ken Christman of Cabot earned his eighth Junkyard Warrior victory of the season over Kevin Wheatley and Tommy Elwood.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Safelite Auto Glass Night
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 05, 2010

# – denotes rookie

ACT Late Model
1. Grant Folsom, Waitsfield
2. Reno Gervais, Island Pond
3. Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
4. John Donahue, Graniteville
5. Phil Scott, Montpelier
6. Dave Pembroke, Middlesex
7. Nick Sweet, Barre
8. Rich Lowrey, Charlotte
9. Cris Michaud, Northfield
10. Joey Becker, Jeffersonville

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman
1. Tony Rossi, Peacham
2. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown
3. Mike Ziter, Williamstown
4. Derrick O’Donnell, Bradford
5. Eric Badore, Milton
6. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
7. Matt Potter, Marshfield
8. Tom Therrien, Hinesburg
9. Pete Ainsworth, Jr., Middlesex
10. David Finck, Barre

Allen Lumber Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior
1. Dave Whitcomb, Elmore (SS)
2. Mike MacAskill, Williamstown (SS)
3. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln (SS)
4. Scott Weston, Berlin (SS)
5. Tim Campbell, West Topsham (SS)

13. Ken Christman, Cabot (JW)
16. Kevin Wheatley, Williamstown (JW)
17. Tommy Elwood, Morrisville (JW)