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

BARRE – Mike Martin left little doubt on Thursday night at Thunder Road.

The Craftsbury Common driver earned a dominating win in the 75-lap Myers Container Service Flying Tiger Triple Crown event on Fairpoint Communications night.

Martin started in the sixth spot in and used two early race caution flags to move to third, which set him up to for the lap one restart to take the lead just two laps later.

From there, it was all Martin as he built up over a one-third track lead over second place to claim the win.

The win for Martin was his first of the year and the eighth of his Flying Tiger career.

“It’s a lot of fun to drive when a car is like that,” Martin said. “Once in a while, you just get lucky and hit everything right. The tires were just – they got a lot of laps on them – but they just worked out.

“We had a lot of breaks early on and it let us get out to that big lead. That helps a lot when you have a big cushion.”

The veteran driver Martin used tactics employed by two-time Thunder Road champion Nick Sweet during his dominating victory.

“I think of someone like Nick Sweet when they get that big lead out in front, they can just coast into the corner and take it easy on the tires. Take it easy on the car.

“But it was a lot of fun to drive.”

During the run from lap one to the lap 75 checkered flag, Martin did not know how big of a lead he had until the checkered flag flew.

“I knew when I looked in the mirror and I could never quite pick anyone out,” Martin said. “I was sure I had a good lead, but I didn’t know how big of a lead.

“Every time I looked in the mirror I couldn’t see anyone that was on the lead lap. I knew Trevor (Lyman) and Dwayne (Lanphear) was second and third from the leaderboard.”

For Martin, the win comes at a time as he sits sixth in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger weekly standings, but just with just two top-five place finishes. He earned three wins one year ago.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Martin said. “We’ve had a horrific start. We’ve had a fast car pretty much every week. I’ve made a few mistakes and I’ve been caught up in other people’s messes. And that’s part of racing.

“But for a while, you’re wondering am I ever going to get this money off my back. And finally, this feels pretty darn good to get a win like that.”

Lyman, of Hinesburg, got by Lanphear shortly after the midway point of the event to finish second while Lanphear ran his way from a ninth-place starting spot to finish third. Joel Hodgdon moved up ten spots from his 14th place starting spot to finish fourth while division point leader Brendan Moodie completed the top-five finishers.

Mike Billado, Jason Woodard, and rookies Jaden Perry, Tyler Austin, and Jamon Perry finished sixth through tenth, respectively.

The final round of the Myers Container Service Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series will run on Thursday, August 10 as part of Cody Chevrolet Night. Martin, unofficially, will enter the event as the point leader.

VtMotorMag.com will have more from Fairpoint Communication Night at Thunder Road soon.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – Fairpoint Communication 75
Myers Container Service Flying Tiger Triple Crown
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, July 20, 2017

(# — denotes rookie)

1. (6) Mike Martin, Craftsbury Common
2. (7) Trevor Lyman, Hinesburg
3. (9) Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville
4. (14) Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
5. (13) Brendan Moodie, Wolcott
6. (5) Mike Billado, Essex
7. (8) Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
8. (20) # Jaden Perry, Hardwick
9. (4) # Tyler Austin, East Calais
10. (12) # Jamon Perry, Hardwick
11. (10) # Jason Pelkey, Barre
12. (16) Joe Steffen, Grand Isle
13. (17) # Kyle Streeter, Fayston
14. (3) Robert Gordon, Milton
15. (15) Kevin Dodge, Barre
16. (2) Sid Sweet Jr., Williamstown
17. (1) # Burt Spooner, East Montpelier
18. (11) Mark Lanphear, Duxbury
19. (18) Brian Delphia, Duxbury
20. (19) Adam Maynard, Milton

PHOTO: Mike Martin celebrates his first Flying Tiger win of the season on Thursday night at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)