Smith takes first career Street Stock win

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

BARRE – Jason Corliss beat Vermont’s topmost leader on Thursday night at Thunder Road.

The Barre driver bested Vermont Governor Phil Scott on a lap 35 restart to claim his first Late Model feature win of the season.

“To be able to continue to race (Scott) and come out on top feel really, really good,” Corliss said. “This Burnett Scrap Metals team works really hard. They’ve given me good race cars for a while now.

“All last year we weren’t able to put together a win. But it feels really, really, really good to finally get that win.”

It was Corliss’ fifth career Late Model win.

Corliss started the 50-lap feature event in the 13th spot and took advantage of a few early race caution flags to move his way into the fifth spot by the midway point.

“Thankfully we avoided a lot of wreck early,” Corliss said. “It was able to gain us a lot of positions, quickly, and it put us in the position we were in to race (Scott).”

A lap 31 restart gave Corliss his first chance at race leader Scott, who led from the drop of the green flag. Corliss quickly moved into second from his third spot and was able to get to Scott’s inside when his charge was stopped for a caution flag.

“It was so disheartening,” Corliss said of the caution flag on lap 35. “But with the way the cautions have been coming out, and the wrecks we’ve been having, it’s no surprise.

“It’s disheartening, but you know it’s coming.”

Following the lap 35 restart, Corliss had to hold off Scott on a lap 36 restart, which he did and pulled way to claim the win.

“(Scott) definitely had a very, very good race car,” Corliss said. “Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of his one little weakness; he was a little bit too tight by the looks.

“We were able to get underneath him and come out on top.”

Scott settled for second after he met the checkered flag for the first time all season. Two previous races have seen Scott run in the second spot when failures – a tire during the Memorial Day Classic and an engine last week – ended high races prematurely.

“I thought we had something there in the beginning,” Scott said. “It’s tough, when you think about it – there’s probably 22 other drivers who would have liked to finish second. And to be disappointed – that’s not really the right term – but I really felt we had something there tonight.”

For Scott, while he admits being the Governor of Vermont comes first, he still feels he has something left to compete for wins on the tough quarter-mile oval.

“It feels good to race at any time at this point and be competitive, it feels good,” Scott said. “I still feel there is a win in there somewhere for us.”

Darrell Morin of Essex Junction finished an impressive third place finish with Boomer Morris fourth after a lengthy week that saw his No. 13 car be entirely rebuilt following a wreck last week. Defending champion Scott Dragon completed the top-five finishers after he battled back from an early race skirmish.

Cody Blake posted his best finish of the season with a sixth place effort with last week’s feature winner Kyle Pembroke seventh. Eric Chase, rookie Stephen Donahue, and Jason Allen completed the top-ten finishers.

Jason Woodard grabbed two Flying Tiger feature wins on Thursday night at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)Jason Woodard had a big night in Flying Tiger action as he doubled up on feature wins.

The Waterbury Center driver beat out Joel Hodgdon on the final lap to claim the win in the 75-lap Harvest Equipment Flying Tiger make-up event for the Myers Container Service Triple Crown.

Woodard led Hodgdon to the green flag on a restart with three laps to go. Woodard would open up a slight advantage, but Hodgdon hung tough on the outside and the two pulled even as they race under the white flag.

Hodgdon would pull out to a nose advantage off of turn two, but Woodard was able to close the gap on the entry of turn three. The two would make contact in the middle of turns three and four – Woodard’s nose to Hodgdon’s left side door, that caused both drivers to get loose. Woodard was able to gather it up more quickly than Hodgdon and powered to the finish line first.

“We raced to the checkers and I don’t race like that,” Woodard said in victory lane. “But we both survived and that’s all that counts.”

The win for Woodard comes week after the right rear tire completely came off his no. 68 car and ended the night for the former division champion.

Hodgdon, of Craftsbury, spun into the infield under the checkered flag to finish second.

“I think I had that one,” Hodgdon said. “We were fast and my car was better on the outside.

“I’ll take second any day.”

Former champion Joe Steffen beat out Mike Martin on the final lap to take the third spot with Martin fourth. Another former champion, Brendan Moodie, battled back from an early race spin to finish fifth.

Jaden Perry, Dwayne Lanphear, Jamon Perry, Mike Billado and rookie Tyler Austin completed the top-ten finishers.

In the nightcap, Woodard started in the tenth spot and claimed the win in the 40-lap regularly scheduled event.

Jamon Perry took the lead from Billado on lap 24 and Woodard quickly followed Perry into the second spot. From there, Woodard ran down Perry and moved to his outside with just five laps remaining.

Woodard would slip ahead to lead lap 38, but Perry pulled back even as the two ran under the white flag. Woodard would slip ahead on the final lap to take his second win of the night.

“It was a great race,” Woodard said in victory lane. “I just stayed out of trouble in the beginning. I kept it going and lucked out.”

It was Woodard’s third and fourth career wins of his career in the Flying Tiger division.

Perry, of Hardwick, settled for a career best second with Billado, of Essex Junction, third. Perry’s brother, Jamon, finished fourth with Moodie fifth. Rookie Kyle Streeter, Dwayne Lanphear, Brandon Lanphear, Hodgdon, and Trevor Lyman completed the top-ten finishers.

Matthew Smith grabbed the first win of his career in the 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock feature.

The Essex Junction driver took the lead from former champion Jamie Davis as they raced under the white flag. Davis had slipped up as he attempted to pass a lapped car.

“To finally get the first win after three years of racing,” Smith said, “it’s pretty awesome.”

Davis, of Wolcott, settled for second after he ran the final two laps side-by-side with Smith.

“It’s not bad,” Davis said. “I hate to lose by a lapped car and I guess I could have roughed him up, but I didn’t want to wreck anybody.”

Cooper Bouchard of Hinesburg finished third with Dean Switser Jr. fourth. Will Hennequin completed the top-five finishers while Brandon Lanphear, Tommy Smith, Alan Maynard, Stephen Martin, and Greg Collette sixth through tenth.

Thunder Road continues its 2017 season on Thursday, June 29 with Community College of Vermont night. Post time is set for 7:00pm.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – North Country Federal Credit Union Night
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, June 22, 2017

(# — denotes rookie)

Late Models (50 laps)
1. Jason Corliss, Barre
2. Phil Scott, Berlin
3. Darrell Morin, Essex Junction
4. Boomer Morris, Barre
5. Scott Dragon, Milton
6. Cody Blake, Barre
7. Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier
8. Eric Chase, Milton
9. # Stephen Donahue, Graniteville
10. Jason Allen, Barre

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers (75 laps – 6/3 makeup)
1. Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
2. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
3. Joe Steffen, Grand Isle
4. Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
5. Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
6. Jaden Perry, Hardwick
7. Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville
8. Jamon Perry, Hardwick
9. Mike Billado, Essex Junction
10. # Tyler Austin, East Calais

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers (40 laps – 6/22 regular event)
1. Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
2. Jaden Perry, Hardwick
3. Mike Billado, Essex Junction
4. Jamon Perry, Hardwick
5. Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
6. # Kyle Streeter, Waitsfield
7. Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville
8. Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
9. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
10. Trevor Lyman, Hinesburg

Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Matthew Smith, Essex Junction
2. Jamie Davis, Wolcott
3. Cooper Bouchard, Hinesburg
4. Dean Switser Jr., Lyndonville
5. Will Hennequin, Morrisville
6. Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
7. Tommy Smith, Williamstown
8. Alan Maynard, Fairfax
9. # Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common
10. Greg Collette, Milton

1 – Jason Corliss celebrated his fifth career Thunder Road Late Model win on Thursday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Jason Woodard grabbed two Flying Tiger feature wins on Thursday night at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)