BARRE — Tony Rossi took advantage of a peculiar situation on Milk Bowl weekend at Thunder Road and drove off with the first Tiger Sportsman championship of his career.

Rossi, of Peacham, entered Saturday’s qualifying day trailing veteran Barre driver David Finck by five points for the title. Finck simply didn’t enter.

Finck skipped the Saturday program to attend a family wedding and put long-time competitor Gregg Lyman in his car. Despite having never previously driven the car — or any race car in more than two years — Lyman performed well and qualified in the second-round consolation race.

Rossi, on the other hand, won his qualifying heat, picked up four bonus points on Finck, and trimmed his deficit to just a single point.

Finck returned on Sunday but was forced to start last on the 30-car field. As race leader Derrick O’Donnell pulled away at the front, Rossi was involved in a pair of mid-pack scuffles that put his car in the infield twice, but he was able to continue each time without damage. Finck checked up several times for incidents and was just two positions behind Rossi late in the going before he tangled with Bobby Therrien.

Rossi was able to pull away and finish sixth, while Finck slipped to eleventh in the closing laps. The results were enough for Rossi to jump ahead and clinch the championship by nine points.

For Bradford driver O’Donnell, the win was his third of the season and of his career. Tom Therrien of Hinesburg was the runner-up over Mike Ziter, Eric Badore, Troy Gray, and Rossi. Shawn Fleury, Jason Allen, Brendan Moodie, and Jimmy Hebert completed the top ten finishers. Jason Corliss of Danville finished 15th to clinch the Rookie of the Year title over Allen.

Rookie Sid Sweet, Jr., of Williamstown posted his first career Street Stock win in spectacular fashion as he and second-place driver Ron Gabaree tangled coming out of the final corner. Sweet car caromed off Gabaree’s, crossed the finish line in first place, then slammed the frontstretch wall. Sweet was uninjured, but his car was badly damaged.

Gabaree slid across the line in second place, barely ahead of Tim Campbell. Billy Hennequin and Alex Whitcomb were fourth and fifth, respectively, followed by Jamie Davis, Mike MacAskill, Garry Bashaw, Rookie of the Year Tom Placey, and Dan Lathrop.

Three-time winner MacAskill, of Williamstown, clinched his first Street Stock championship over five-time winner Campbell.

Ken Christman of Cabot extended his new single-season track record to twelve feature wins in the Junkyard Warrior division, easily taking that division’s championship over Kevin Dodge.

Dodge, of Barre, was the runner-up to Christman in the race, followed by Mike Devino, Sr., Fred Schroeder, and Matt LeBlanc.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — People’s United Bank Milk Bowl
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, October 3, 2010

(Pos.-Driver-Hometown)
# – denotes rookie

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (50 laps)
1. Derrick O’Donnell, Bradford
2. Tom Therrien, Hinesburg
3. Mike Ziter, Williamstown
4. Eric Badore, Milton
5. Troy Gray, Fairlee
6. Tony Rossi, Peacham (2010 Champion)
7. Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
8. # Jason Allen, Barre
9. Brendan Moodie, North Wolcott
10. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown

Allen Lumber Street Stock/Junkyard Warrior (25 laps)
1. # Sid Sweet, Jr., Williamstown (SS)
2. Ron Gabaree, Barre (SS)
3. Tim Campbell, West Topsham (SS)
4. Billy Hennequin, Morrisville (SS)
5. # Alex Whitcomb, Montpelier (SS)
6. Jamie Davis, Wolcott (SS)
7. Mike MacAskill, Williamstown (SS / 2010 Champion)
8. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln (SS)
9. # Tom Placey, Bradford (SS)
10. Dan Lathrop, Hyde Park (SS)

14. Ken Christman, Cabot (JW / 2010 Champion)
15. Kevin Dodge, Barre (JW)
18. Mike Devino, Sr., Essex Jct. (JW)
22. Fred Schroeder, Bristol (JW)
25. Matt LeBlanc, Gorham, N.H. (JW)