PHOTO: A ten-thousand dollar check and the coveted Milk Bowl trophy await today’s winner at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

It’s Milk Bowl Sunday at Thunder Road, and we’re ready to go.

The first 24 qualifiers were determined on Saturday through time trials and heat races. Today’s 25-lap last-chance “B” feature will decide the final six starters.

The top four finishers will transfer into the 48th annual People’s United Bank Milk Bowl. One of seven drivers will be awarded a provisional for 100% season participation in Thunder Road events, and one driver — Randy Potter — will win the American-Canadian Tour provisional.

Potter is the only driver not already qualified that meets the criteria for the ACT provisional, and will only need to take the green flag in the B feature to earn his Milk Bowl starting spot. Potter has elected to start at the rear of the 30-car B feature field.

Drivers eligible for the Thunder Road provisional are: Mike Bailey, Cris Michaud, Grant Folsom, Reno Gervais, Joey Becker, Doug Murphy, and Dave Whitcomb.

Milk Bowl “B” feature starting lineup:
1. Mike Bailey
2. Pete Fecteau
3. Cris Michaud
4. Grant Folsom
5. Reno Gervais
6. Mike Olsen
7. Alex Labbe
8. Bryan Mason
9. Ricky Roberts
10. Joey Becker
11. Aaron Fellows
12. Jamie Aube
13. Dwayne Lanphear
14. Jerry Lesage
15. Travis Stearns
16. Jay Laquerre
17. Doug Murphy
18. Daniel Bergeron
19. Dave Farrington, Jr.
20. Dave Whitcomb
21. Mike Ordway, Jr.
22. Yvon Bedard
23. Tommy Ricker
24. Brett Wheeler
25. Matt Anderson
26. Todd Aldrich
27. Marcel Gravel
28. Corey Mason
29. Tyler Alati
30. Randy Potter


Tiger Sportsman point leader David Finck is trying to win his first championship. He didn’t get off to a great start yesterday: Finck skipped qualifying day to attend a wedding, and number-two point man Tony Rossi won his heat to close the gap to just a single point.

But not all was lost. Finck tabbed veteran driver Gregg Lyman to wheel his car. Lyman, who hadn’t been in a race car in more than two years, qualified the car through the consolation race.

Finck takes back over today, where he will start last on the field. He’s not worried, though, because he has an angel riding with him. Finck’s car carries a photo of him in victory lane in 1997 after he won a 50-lap Tiger race over the late John Clark.

“Beating John for that win was the best thing I’ve ever done in racing, I’m still proud of that,” said Finck. “He’s riding with me today, and I’m gonna try to win this for him.”


How much does the Milk Bowl mean? Here are some of the top contenders in their own words.

Brian Hoar, Williston, Vt. — 1998 and 1999 winner, 2010 polesitter: “It’s so funny, my kids, yesterday when we hopped in to come camping at a race track, they said, ‘Where are we going?’ They don’t have a clue, they’re eight and nine. It’s the Milk Bowl, but they didn’t know it. We’re driving down the road and a lot of times you have to describe the track, but Thunder Road doesn’t need a description.

“‘Where are we going?’ they say. I said, ‘Thunder Road, the closest track to us.’ They say, ‘Oh, well, what race is it?’

“I said, ‘This is the Milk Bowl.’

“‘This is the Milk Bowl!?!’ They get all wound up and excited. ‘Dad, you’ve gotta kiss the cow!’

“This is that race. It’s a tough race, and it’s the one that I remember the most.’”


Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, N.H. — ACT Invitational winner, 2010 Milk Bowl outside polesitter: “It would mean so much. [New Hampshire] was huge, but it doesn’t have the history yet. This race goes back almost fifty years. You know, I’m still young, but I’ve heard about it since I was little. My dad came up here and tried to race. Just to be able to say I won it… Loudon was our biggest win, but this would be our biggest win.”


John Donahue, Graniteville, Vt. — 2009 Milk Bowl winner: “Last year meant a lot. I’ve been coming to the races for a long time. It’s the only big race here I hadn’t won. It’s not one race, it’s three segments that you have to be consistent in. Everything counts. My brother raced, my father raced, and me finally getting it, it changes everything. I’ll always be a Milk Bowl winner, they can never take that away from me.”