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

BARRE – There likely weren’t too many drivers expecting a near perfect race weekend on Thunder Road’s new asphalt, but Bobby Therrien came as close as anyone.

The Hinesburg driver dominated the Mekkelsev RV Memorial Day Classic Late Model 100 on Sunday to capture his first career Thunder Road Late Model win.

“This means a lot,” Therrien said. “I started out in go-karts at a young age and then to go through the ranks of the Street (Stocks) and (Flying) Tigers and being successful with them, to finally get the Late Model win is a huge monkey off my back.

“It’s something I’ve wanted for a few years. To finally get it, it’s a major stress reliever.”

Therrien quickly moved from his tenth place starting spot and took the lead from polesitter Brooks Clark following a lap 16 restart. From there, Therrien cemented his dominance, opening comfortable leads despite an additional five restarts.

“(The car) was flawless all weekend,” Therrien said. “We unloaded yesterday and, right off the bat, it was just on rails. A lot of guys were having problems with tires with the new asphalt, but every time we came in, our (tire) temps stayed low and we didn’t have any problems. That made it that much more comfortable going into (Sunday).

“The (track) is just a blast to drive.”

Therrien was one of just a handful of ACT Late Model Tour competitors in the field for the first race on the new asphalt, perhaps giving him an advantage when the ACT Late Model Tour returns on Sunday, June 11. Therrien, however, is looking forward to the week prior when Thunder Road begins its regular weekly racing season with a special Sunday event and a potential chase at a Thunder Road championship.

“I’m excited to come back next week,” Therrien said when asked about the ACT Late Model Tour event. “We’re going to run as much of the Thunder Road schedule as we can. The effort that (track owners) Cris (Michaud) and Pat (Malone) have put into the place, we have every intention to support them throughout the summer.”

Defending Late Model champion Scott Dragon of Milton drove from a 14th place starting spot to finish second while Middlesex’s Shawn Fleury had an impressive drive from the 22nd place starting position to grab the final spot on the podium on the final lap. Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke finished fourth while former Flying Tiger champion Brendan Moodie of Wolcott finished a very impressive fifth place in his first Thunder Road Late Model start.

Eric Badore navigated his way from 19th to finish sixth with Clark seventh. New Hampshire driver Oren Remick scored his personal Thunder Road best with an eighth-place effort with Connecticut driver Ray Christian finishing on an up after an up-and-down day with a ninth-place result. Trampas Demers completed the top-ten finishers.

For Therrien, his name will now be etched into the Memorial Day winner’s monument that sits behind the grandstands, something that he hadn’t realized after his win.

“I didn’t even realize that,” Therrien said. “That’s pretty cool, actually.

“That crosses one off the list and let’s go after the other two.”

Thunder Road will begin its weekly racing season on Sunday, June 4 with the Harvest Equipment event. Post time is set for 3:00pm.

VtMotorMag.com will have more from the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic soon.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, May 28, 2017


1. (10) Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg
2. (14) Scott Dragon, Milton
3. (22) Shawn Fleury, Middlesex
4. (7) Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
5. (13) Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
6. (19) Eric Badore, Milton
7. (1) Brooks Clark, Fayston
8. (15) Oren Remick, Warner, N.H.
9. (25) Ray Christian III, Norwich, Conn.
10. (8) Trampas Demers, South Burlington
11. (9) Jason Corliss, Barre
12. (11) Eric Chase, Milton
13. (16) Mike Bailey, South Barre
14. (24) Christopher Pelkey, Barre
15. (2) Darrell Morin, Essex Junction
16. (23) Ricky Roberts, Washington
17. (4) Tyler Cahoon, St. Johnsbury
18. (17) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne
19. (6) Phil Scott, Middlesex
20. (30) Mike Foster, Williston
21. (26) Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott
22. (12) Josh Demers, Middlesex
23. (5) Brandon Atkins, AuSable Forks, N.Y.
24. (21) Boomer Morris, Barre
25. (20) Cody Blake, Barre
26. (18) Jason Allen, Barre
27. (3) Matt White, Northfield
28. (27) Richard Lowery III, Charlotte
29. (29) Scott Coburn, Barre
30. (28) Kip Stockwell, Randolph

Did Not Start: Stephen Donahue, Graniteville

PHOTO: Bobby Therrien celebrated his first Thunder Road Late Model win on Sunday afternoon in the Memorial Day Classic. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)