Austin beats Lanphear for Tiger win; Switser inherits Street Stock victory

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

BARRE — Evan Hallstrom used misfortune from one week ago to help him net his first career Thunder Road Late Model win on Thursday night.

The Northfield driver led all 50 laps from the pole position and used fresher tires than the competition to run to career win number one.

“This means a lot,” Hallstrom said. “My parents put their heart and soul into this. They started this about ten or 11 years ago when I was about four or five (years old).

“It just feels great to be in victory lane. I’m just for a loss of words.”

Hallstrom failed to start the feature event one week ago, which let him have fresher tires than his competition. With that advantage, the 16-year-old Hallstrom was forced to hold his lead through three race restarts, including two with recent feature winner Boomer Morris to his outside.

“I knew that had a pretty good car,” Hallstrom said. “I was pretty confident that I could drive away from (Morris) with it.

“I didn’t let it bother me too much. I just ran my race and had a hell of a time.”

Morris, of Barre, settled for second while Stephen Donahue finished third. Scott Dragon took control of the point lead with a fourth place finish while third place point driver Jason Corliss finished fifth.

Mike Bailey, Cody Blake, Marcel Gravel, Christopher Pelkey, and Matt White completed the top-ten finishers.

Point leader Trampas Demers suffered a flat left-front tire after contact with Pelkey on lap 12. He returned to the track, but was unable to make his way through the field and finished 14th.

Unofficially, Dragon will lead by nine points over Jason Corliss with one race remaining. Demers will sit in third, ten markers back of Dragon.

Tyler Austin came out on top of a back-and-forth battle with Brandon Lanphear to win the 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger feature.

The two drivers first locked horns following a lap 21 restart after Lanphear took the lead from Mike MacAskill following a lap 16 restart and Austin followed suit.

Austin would take the lead on the restart, but Lanphear would fight back on the outside. A lap 25 restart would reverse the roles and put Austin on the inside, but Austin would pull away.

Lanphear, however, would charge back on the outside and retake the lead on lap 32, but Austin kept pace on the inside to regain the lead on lap 34. The two drivers would continue their door-to-door battle until Austin steered clear on lap 38 and ran to the race win.

“This is just awesome,” Austin said.

Lanphear, of Morrisville, held off point leader Joel Hodgdon in the closing laps to finish second.

“We used up all the car we had,” Lanphear said. “I don’t think you can have better short track racing than battling side-by-side for the lead.”

Hodgdon, of Craftsbury, extended his point lead with a third place finish while Mike Martin finished fourth. Freshman pilot Kevin Streeter completed the top-five finishers.

Rookie Kelsea Woodard, Robert Gordon, Joe Steffen, defending champion Jason Woodard, and Brett Wood finished sixth through tenth, unofficially.

Patrick Tibbetts led all 25 laps to claim the win in the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature, but was disqualified in post-race technical inspection.

The Barre driver was disqualified for a wheel violation. That handed the win to on-track runner-up Dean Switser Jr.

On the track, Tibbetts started on the pole position and quickly ran out to a big lead from outside polesitter Paco Marshall. Tibbetts’ lead was erased by a lap 15 caution flag, but the eventual winner would hold off youngster Kasey Beattie and veteran Dean Switser Jr. to claim the win.

Switser picked up his first win of the year after a rough-and-tumble season that has seen the Lyndonville driver upside down.

All-time Street Stock wins leader Tommy Smith finished second while apparent fourth-place finisher Jamie Davis was disqualified, too, in post-race technical inspection. That moved point leader Stephen Martin to third to extend his point lead. Beattie and Will Hennequin completed the top-five finishers.

Bryan Wall, Jeff Martin, Logan Powers, Gary Mullen, and Matthew Smith finished sixth through tenth, unofficially.

Unofficially, Stephen Martin extended his point lead to 50 points over Jeff Martin with just two races left on the Street Stock point schedule.

Kyle MacAskill of Williamstown claimed the win in the 20-lap Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior feature. Eric Chase and Sean McCarthy finished second and third while Frank Putney and Rodney Campbell completed the top-five finishers.

Thunder Road’s Thursday night season will conclude on August 23 with Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing night. Thunder Road will crown its champion in the Late Model division while the fans of Thunder Road can take to the track with Run-What-U-Brung. Post time is 7:00pm.

VtMotorMag.com will have more from Premium Mortgage Night at Thunder Road soon.

PHOTO: Evan Hallstrom celebrates his first career Thunder Road Late Model win on Thursday night. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Premium Mortgage Night
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Pos.-Driver-Hometown
(# – denotes rookie)

Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models (50 laps)
1. # Evan Hallstrom, Northfield
2. Boomer Morris, Barre
3. Stephen Donahue, Graniteville
4. Scott Dragon, Milton
5. Jason Corliss, Barre
6. Mike Bailey, South Barre
7. Cody Blake, Barre
8. Marcel Gravel, Wolcott
9. Christopher Pelkey, Barre
10. Matt White, Northfield

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers (40 laps)
1. Tyler Austin, East Calais
2. Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
3. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
4. Mike Martin, Craftsbury
5. # Kevin Streeter, Waitsfield
6. # Kelsea Woodard, Waterbury
7. Robert Gordon, Milton
8. Joe Steffen, Grand Isle
9. Jason Woodard, Waterbury
10. Brett Wood, Georgia

Allen Lumber Street Stocks (25 laps)
1. Dean Switser Jr., Lyndonville
2. Tommy Smith, Williamstown
3. Stephen Martin, Craftsbury
4. Kasey Beattie, St. Johnsbury
5. Will Hennequin, Hardwick
6. # Bryan Wall, East Kingston, N.H.
7. Jeffrey Martin, Barre
8. Logan Powers, Middlesex
9. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge
10. Matthew Smith, Essex
DQ — Patrick Tibbetts, Barre
DQ — Jamie Davis, Wolcott
Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors (20 laps)
1. Kyle MacAskill, Williamstown
2. Eric Chase, Berlin
3. Sean McCarthy, Williamstown
4. Frank Putney, Graniteville
5. Rodney Campbell, Worcester