Crowningshield wins two-segment Tiger feature; Hodgdon survives Street Stocks

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

BARRE – Matt White had some doubts if he’d ever return to victory lane after years of struggle.

But on Thursday night, he erased nearly five years of disappointments to claim the Late Model win at Thunder Road.

“This is emotional. I didn’t think I’d ever win another one,” White said in victory lane. “We’ve struggled for years and we found something last week.

“I don’t know what it did, but it definitely helped.”

The Northfield driver started in the sixth spot in the 50-lap North Country Federal Credit Union feature event and steadily made progress toward the front. White would reel in race leader Jason Allen by the midway point and make the pass for the lead around the outside.

White would then be stopped after a lap 29 caution flag as Allen would fight back on the outside on the restart. However, Allen would slip up out of turn two as they raced lap 32 and White would regain the lead.

From there, White would predominately use the outside lane that kept last week’s feature winner Eric Badore and Trampas Demers at bay to claim the win.

“(Badore) was so good on the outside that I knew if I gave him the outside he was gone,” White said. “He tried the inside a couple of times but I saw that he got a little loose.

“I had to stay out there. That was the only place I was going to do it.”

The win for White was his first in Thunder Road Late Model competition since July 28, 2011. He became the second straight driver to win the Maplewood’s Triple Crown and earn a $500 bonus in doing so.

Badore, of Milton, attempted to work to the inside of White in the final laps of the race but slipped up off of turn four coming to the white flag and settled for second.

“I needed to be on the outside of (White),” said Badore, who started in the tenth spot.

Demers, of South Burlington, raced his way from 13th at the green flag to finish third while polesitter Allen of Barre led the first 24 laps of the race, plus lap 32, to finish fourth. Point leader and hometown favorite Nick Sweet moved from 16th at the start to finish fifth.

Eric Chase and Cody Blake finished sixth and seventh, respectively, while Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott finished eighth. Scott Dragon moved from 15th to finish ninth while John Donhaue completed the top-ten finishers.

Doug Crowningshield of Barre won the two-segment Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman feature after he posted a low score of seven points.

Crowningshield won the first 18-lap segment before he was able to navigate his way to a sixth place finish in the second segment.

Jason Woodard of Waterbury Center finished second overall with a score of nine points while Stephen Donahue of Graniteville finished third overall after a win in the second segment. Mike Martin of Craftsbury and Tommy Smith of Williamstown completed the top-five overall finishers.

Cameron Ouellette, Mark Barnier, Mike Billado, Joe Steffen, and Shawn Powell finished sixth through tenth, unofficially.

Bunker Hodgdon of Hardwick earned the win in the 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock feature.

The former Street Stock champion survived to win the event after he made contact with the frontstretch wall midway through the event after he tangled with a lapped car.

Matthew Smith of Essex Junction finished second while Jaden Perry of Hardwick finished third. Last week’s winner Alan Maynard of Fairfax and Greg Collette completed the top-five finishers. Rookie driver Brandon Lanphear, Thomas Merchant, defending champion Jamie Davis, Richard Gravel, and Tyler Austin finished sixth through tenth, respectively.

Thunder Road returns to action this Sunday, June 26, for the third attempt at running the Harvest Equipment-sponsored event. Post time is set for a twilight special at 5:30pm.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – North Country Federal Credit Union Night
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, June 23, 2016

(# — denotes rookie)

ACT Late Models (50 laps)
1. Matt White, Northfield
2. Eric Badore, Milton
3. Trampas Demers, South Burlington
4. Jason Allen, Barre
5. Nick Sweet, Barre
6. Eric Chase, Milton
7. Cody Blake, Barre
8. Phil Scott, Middlesex
9. Scott Dragon, Milton
10. John Donahue, Graniteville

Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman (2 x 18 laps)
1. Doug Crowningshield, Barre – 7 pts.
2. Jason Woodward, Waterbury Center – 9 pts.
3. Stephen Donahue, Graniteville – 10 pts.
4. Mike Martin, Craftsbury – 10 pts.
5. Tommy Smith, Williamstown – 11 pts.
6. Cameron Ouellette, Barre – 12 pts.
7. Mark Barnier, Essex Junction – 14 pts.
8. Mike Billado, Essex – 15 pts.
9. Joe Steffen, Grand Isle – 16 pts.
10. Shawn Powell, Jericho – 16 pts.

Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Bunker Hodgdon, Hardwick
2. Matthew Smith, Essex Junction
3. Jaden Perry, Hardwick
4. Alan Maynard, Fairfax
5. Greg Collette, Milton
6. # Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
7. Thomas Merchant, Eden Mills
8. Jamie Davis, Wolcott
9. Richard Gravel, Wolcott
10. Tyler Austin, East Calais

PHOTO – Matt White and his family celebrate their first Thunder Road Late Model win in nearly five years on Thursday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)