Austin nails down second straight Street Stock season opening win

–by T.J. Ingerson (@TJIngerson)
VMM Editor

BARRE – Cameron Ouellette worked past leader Doug Crowningsheld on lap nine of the 30-lap Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman feature event to claim the win in the Merchants Bank season opener at Thunder Road.

After Ouellette grabbed the lead, he pulled out to a comfortable lead and dominated the rest of the way. He held on easily following a lap 18 caution flag and cruised to the win.

“We had a really fast car today,” Ouellette said in victory lane. “This is an awesome day.”

The win for the Barre driver was the fourth of his Tiger Sportsman career.

Ouellette was followed under the checkered flag by Grand Isle’s Joe Steffen. Barre’s Crowningshield, who led laps five to eight, finished third. Mike Martin of Craftsbury Common and defending champion Jason Woodard of Waterbury Center finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Joel Hodgdon, Stephen Donahue, Brendan Moodie, Mark Barnier, and rookie Kyle Streeter completed the top-ten finishers.

Street Stock winner Tyler Austin. (Alan Ward photo)

Street Stock winner Tyler Austin. (Alan Ward photo)

Tyler Austin of East Calais took the lead from Reilly Lanphear following a lap 14 restart and built up an insurmountable lead to earn his second straight opening day victory in the 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock feature.

The lead Austin created for himself put him out of harm’s way during a last lap, last turn melee began with contact between Lanphear and Jamie Davis that saw Davis go off the top of turn three. Lanphear’s cousin, rookie Brandon Lanphear of Morrisville, went from sixth to second to claim the runner-up spot. Reilly, of Duxbury, held on for third.

Greg Collette of Milton and Mike Gay of South Burlington also avoided the last lap melee to complete the top-five finishers.

Kevin Streeter and Bunker Hodgdon finished sixth and seventh, respectively, while Alan Maynard bounced back from his own mid-race trip off the top of turn 3 to finish eighth. Rookie Kelsea Woodard and Garry Bashaw rounded out the top-ten, unofficially.

Thunder Road will continue its 2016 season on Sunday, May 22 with the Harvest Equipment Trophy Dash. Post time is set for 2:00pm.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Merchants Bank Season Opener
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, May 8, 2016

(# — denotes rookie)

Bond Auto Parts Tiger Sportsman (30 laps)
1. Cameron Ouellette, Barre
2. Joe Steffen, Grand Isle
3. Doug Crowningshield, Barre
4. Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
5. Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
6. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury Common
7. Stephen Donahue, Graniteville
8. Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
9. Mark Barnier, Essex Junction
10. # Kyle Streeter, Waitsfield

Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Tyler Austin, East Calais
2. # Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
3. Reilly Lanphear, Duxbury
4. Greg Collette, Milton
5. Michael Gay, South Burlington
6. Kevin Streeter, Waitsfield
7. Bunker Hodgdon, Hardwick
8. Alan Maynard, Fairfax
9. # Kelsea Woodard, Waterbury Center
10. Garry Bashaw, Lincoln

PHOTO: Cameron Ouellette celebrates his Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman win on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road in the Merchants Bank season opener. (Alan Ward photo)