PHOTO: John Lambert carries the checkered flag after scoring his first Tiger Sportsman win since 1996 in the We Dig Barre Tiger Heritage 100 Sunday at Thunder Road. (Alan Ward photo)

–by T.J. Ingerson

BARRE — John Lambert used his trademark patience to claim his first Tiger Sportsman win since 1996 in the We Dig Barre Tiger Heritage 100.

Lambert, of Northfield, started ninth and patiently worked his way toward the front, and resided in the fourth position on lap 25. Lambert continued his march, as he rode on the rear bumper of race leader Scott Coburn at the halfway mark.

Lambert didn’t wait long, however, as he moved inside of Coburn and took the lead on lap 53. From there, Lambert had to survive one caution flag as the race leader to score the premier race for the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen at Thunder Road.

“I’m usually very patience; I like the longer races,” Lambert said. “Tom (Curley) gave us a good pep talk before the race to use our heads and be patient. I think we did and everything worked out extremely well. In traffic, I slowed down quite a bit. The car was getting loose toward the end, so I just backed everything up and slowed down.”

Lambert, who was able to win two races as a rookie in 1995 and another in 1996, was happy to return to victory lane.

“A lot of people might forget, but I won three races back in the 90s,” Lambert said. “They think I’m just new because they might have forgotten. This is the biggest and best thing that I’ve ever done. It’s a big deal. It’s a very big deal.”

Craftsbury Common’s Mike Martin made a bold three-wide to the inside of a lap car with Coburn to the outside to secure the runner-up position. Coburn, of Barre, settled for third after leading the majority of the first 50 laps. Middlesex’s Shawn Fleury marched his way from a 19th starting position to finish fourth, with Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie fifth.

Eric Badore, Kyle Pembroke, Jason Corliss, Mike Ziter, and point leader Jason Allen completed the unofficial top ten. Two cautions slowed the event and was completed in just over 30 minutes.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — We Dig Barre Tiger Heritage 100
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, July 29, 2012

(# – denotes rookie)

1. (9) John Lambert, Northfield
2. (17) Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
3. (3) Scott Coburn, Barre
4. (19) Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
5. (16) Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
6. (15) Eric Badore, Milton
7. (7) Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
8. (12) Jason Corliss, Barre
9. (11) Mike Ziter, Williamstown
10. (20) Jason Allen, Barre
11. (18) Josh Demers, Middlesex
12. (8) David Finck, Barre
13. (14) Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
14. (5) # Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
15. (10) Dylan Payea, Henniker, N.H.
16. (22) Blair Bessett, Worcester
17. (21) Brad Bushey, Fairfax
18. (26) Brian Delphia, Waterbury
19. (23) Mark Barnier, Essex Junction
20. (4) # Chris Roberts, Washington
21. (24) Mike Billado, Essex
22. (25) Shannon Tomasovich, Colchester
23. (6) Joe Steffen, Grand Isle
24. (13) Tucker Williams, Hyde Park
25. (1) Randy Gonyaw, South Barre
26. (29) Alex Ferno, East Montpelier
27. (2) Chris Pelkey, South Barre
28. (27) # Josh Payea, Georgia
29. (28) Mike Pelkey, South Barre