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

BARRE – Jason Corliss wanted to win the Milk Bowl the right way.

The hometown driver came up short to win the three-segment race on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road. He fell three spots shy of the overall race win.

“It definitely stings,” Corliss said. “We had a shot at it and that’s all we can ask for. We had a shot.

“We drove from the back, again, and put ourselves in a good position to win it.”

Corliss entered the final segment down two points to overall leader Bobby Therrien, but was shoved into the starring role when Therrien’s car shut down midway through the segment. However, as Corliss began to make his way through the field, Nick Sweet would grab the lead of segment three and put himself in position to win the Milk Bowl. Sweet entered down six points from Therrien and just four from Corliss.

The driver of the No. 66 Burnett Scrap Metals Ford Fusion continued to roll toward the front – including more than one daring three-wide move — and caught the battle for fourth spot – the position he needed to finish – with a handful of laps remaining. Corliss would plant his car right behind that of Cody Blake’s as the duo worked past Alex Labbe. However, as the laps ticked off, Labbe would hang tough on the outside as Blake’s far began to fall back. Corliss was unable to find a way around and was forced to settle for a seventh place finish, resulting in a finish three points shy of a Milk Bowl win.

“(Blake) had a flat tire there at the end and we didn’t realize it,” Corliss said. “(Labbe) went to the outside of him and we stuck to the bottom.

“It just didn’t work out in our favor this year.”

Milk Bowl runner-up waves to the crowd during pre-race driver introductions for the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Sunday afternoon. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)For Corliss, however, the opportunity presented itself on multiple occasions to use the front bumper to get past Blake and win the Milk Bowl. Corliss, though, wanted to win his way.

“I’m not the type of driver that’s going to wreck anybody to get by them,” Corliss said. “I felt like we showed that again. We raced aggressively, but with respect.

“That’s what the Milk Bowl’s all about. You have to be aggressive as possible.”

Corliss was quick to point to his team for giving him a chance at winning his first Milk Bowl.

“(My team) gave me one heck of a car,” Corliss said. “I’m really proud of these guys. They gave me a winning car.

“But part of the Milk Bowl isn’t about who’s got the best car. A lot of times it just comes down to luck. And this year, in the last couple of laps, we just ran out of a little bit of luck.”

The runner-up finish for Corliss in the Milk Bowl complements a fourth place finish in the Labor Day Classic, as well as a third place finish in the team’s first-ever start at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway during the Fall Foliage two weeks ago.

“We really stepped it up in the last couple of weeks,” Corliss said. “I’m just glad we could come out there and put on a show.”

1 – Jason Corliss (66) makes a three-wide move over Shawn Fleury (31) and Kyle Pembroke (27) as he tried to win the Milk Bowl on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road. Corliss would fall three spot short and finish second overall. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Milk Bowl runner-up waves to the crowd during pre-race driver introductions for the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road on Sunday afternoon. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)