Vermont Motorsports Magazine founder Justin St. Louis told me when we met in the Spring of 2011 as I was deciding to join him that he created VMM to tell stories.
Here’s one you’ve probably never heard.
In the fall of 2010, I received a message from Justin asking if I would be interested in joining VMM the following year. My first thought was “what do I know about journalism, or at the very least, storytelling”. At the time, my driving career was washed up and long over, and I didn’t have that much interest in crewing. But I wanted to stay involved in a capacity other than a fan.
I gave it some more thought and told Justin I would be interested. What did I have to lose? It was something different and something that would break me out of my comfort zone, something I struggled with.
We met in the Spring of 2011 and just a few weeks later, we were off to Waterford, Connecticut with the other new VMM writer Ricky St. Clair. A few months later, Justin informed me that Mike Bruno was buying Devil’s Bowl Speedway and that Justin would be joining Devil’s Bowl as its new media director. We had some discussions about what would happen with VMM, and it took a few weeks to convince myself I wanted to continue what was started.
Ricky stayed on board and in 2012 we had an incredible year. It was a year that I was extremely proud of with the work that Ricky and myself put forth. That continued into 2013 as I looked to expand VMM with new writers, which included Michael Stridsberg and Brandon Paul.
But toward the end of 2013, I was approached by my employer and given the opportunity to pursue a college degree. I decided to pursue that offer, and with it, the ability to finish my college degree.
Brandon, who wrote one of the most read stories in VMM history during his short stay, became a full-time employee of Speed51.com, where he still is today as its Editor. Michael’s time at VMM led him to the ACT and Thunder Road media director job. And Ricky obtained his college degree in journalism and used his experience at VMM to go from a freelance writer at the Plattsburgh Press Republican to its sports editor.
That brings us to today.
The departures of very good writers, plus my time being focused elsewhere, has led to a downturn over the past few years. With it, I get frustrated as there are many stories I want to cover but simply can’t due to time. I could keep the status quo, but that only builds on the frustration.
As a result, VMM won’t be continuing with its current format.
Tom Curley would end his drivers meeting instructing each participant to “Have a Good Ride”. Well, I’ve had a good ride, and there are a few people to thank.
Justin for giving me the opportunity to do something I could have never imagined to do and then allowing me to make it my own. Justin, along with Ricky and Brandon, have become what I consider lifelong friends and stood next to me at my wedding this past June. They’ve also become responsible for me when I get drunk.
Michael Stridsberg did some excellent work with VMM, as did former WCAX anchor Ashley Chase for a short period.
Rick Paya, Brian Hoar, Pete Duto, Mike Olsen, James Lang, Bob Fill, and Eric Chase for believing in VMM and providing us advertising dollars to put their logos on the website.
My wife, Sarah, has put up with my time to the website and allowing me to schedule my life around racing for the past eight years. She’s a saint for having to tell family members “he’s at a race” when attending family events.
I don’t know what the immediate future holds, but I’ll graduate in December with my degree in Computer & Information Systems. I know the website has been renewed for the next few years and I want to stay involved in racing at some capacity. What that means will be determined.
THOMPSON, Conn. — A wild conclusion to the Sunoco World Series 75 continued to the technical inspection line on Saturday night at Thompson Speedway.
Former Thompson Late Model champion William Will was declared the winner after apparent winner Jake Johnson, who took the lead from former ACT Late Model Tour champion Nick Sweet on the race’s final restart, was disqualified for an unspecified chassis violation in post-race technical inspection.
Wall, of Millbury, Mass., was able to follow Johnson past Sweet on the race’s final restart, but was unable to get by the 15-year-old Johnson on the track.
The win for Wall was his first career ACT Late Model Tour triumph.
Sweet, of Barre, Vt., finished second after he found himself with the lead after contact between race leaders Tom Carey III and Rich Dubeau, as well as championship contender Eddie MacDonald, saw Carey and Dubeau spin into the infield on the backstretch on a lap 71 restart.
MacDonald, who at that point had to win the event with only 13 cars on the lead lap to earn a potential championship, was penalized by race control for his involvement in the incident. He would finish 12th.
Quebec driver Jean-Francois Dery earned his second straight third place finish at Thompson while Woody Pitkat capped off his Valenti Modified Racing Series championship night with a fourth place finish. Ryan Morgan completed the top-five finishers. Seekonk Speedway Late Model champion Ryan Kuhn finished sixth.
Scott Payea secured his second straight ACT Late Model Tour championship with a seventh place finish after he found himself spun around twice on the backstretch.
Mark Jenison, who won the Friday night Late Model event, finished eighth while Jimmy Hebert finished ninth after battled back from a heat race wreck and earned the final spot on the starting grid by virtue of the American-Canadian Tour 100% drivers procedure. Dubeau, who had led the first 68 laps and look en route to the win before the race’s first caution upended the event, completed the top-ten finishers.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from the ACT Late Model Tour Sunoco World Series 75 soon.
PHOTO: William Wall picked up the ACT Late Model Tour win on Saturday night at Thompson Speedway after apparent winner Jake Johnson was disqualified in post-race technical inspection. (VMM file photo)
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Sunoco World Series 75
ACT Late Model Tour
Thompson Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Saturday, October 13, 2018
(# – denotes rookie)
1. (9) William Wall, Millbury, Mass.
2. (3) Nick Sweet, Barre, Vt.
3. (4) Jean-Francois Dery, Quebec, Que.
4. (5) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn.
5. (7) Ryan Morgan, Gales Ferry, Conn.
6. (14) Ryan Kuhn, East Bridgewater, Mass.
7. (10) Scott Payea, Milton, Vt.
8. (6) Mark Jenison, Warwick, R.I.
9. (27) Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, Vt.
10. (2) Rich Dubeau, Lebanon, N.H.
11. (1) Tom Carey III, New Salem, Mass.
12. (11) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass.
13. (13) Brian Tagg, Oxford, Mass.
14. (24) Brooks Clark, Fayston, Vt.
15 . (18) Chip Grenier, Graniteville, Vt.
16. (15) # Dylan Payea, Milton, Vt.
17. (19) Joey Parker, Weymouth, Mass.
18. (22) Stephen Donahue, Graniteville, Vt.
19. (21) Claude Leclerc, Lanoraie, Que.
20. (8) Jared Materas, Westfield, Mass.
21. (17) Corey Mason, Groveton, N.H.
22. (23) Christopher Pelkey, Barre, Vt.
23. (16) Matthew Lowinski-Loh, Milford, Mass.
24. (25) # Peyton Lanphear, Duxbury, Vt.
25. (20) Buddy Charette, Woodstock, Conn.
26. (26) Jimmy Linardy, Somerville, Mass.
THOMPSON, Conn. – The American-Canadian Tour (ACT) is ready to crown its 2018 champion.
The title will be decided this Saturday, October 13 at Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway as part of the 56th Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. With a full slate of Thompson Late Model standouts and regional stars expected to take on the ACT Late Model Tour’s best in the World Series 75, the season finale could get dicey for the top contenders.
Colchester, VT’s Scott Payea sits on the verge of his second straight ACT championship. The veteran has been nearly as impressive this year as he was in winning his first title. With two wins and a perfect record of top-10 finishes for RPM Racing, he has consistently been at or near the front every time out.
But Payea’s advantage is not as comfortable as it was in 2017. He enters the event 26 points ahead of Rowley, MA’s Eddie MacDonald and 40 points up on Williamstown, VT’s Jimmy Hebert. With a maximum of 125 points possible at every ACT event, it is still a three-man dance for the title.
Furthermore, “Eddie Mac” is one of the drivers to beat every time out at Thompson. He was dominant en route to victory in last year’s World Series 75. MacDonald also earned a win at Thompson in 2005 in what was then known as the NASCAR Busch North Series.
Payea and Hebert are no slouches at Thompson themselves. The two have combined for three top-5 finishes in four starts at the historic 5/8-mile oval. Therefore, all three know they will need to be on point to bring home a well-earned championship.
For Payea, the math is simple. If he finishes third in Saturday’s main event, he will be the champion no matter what anyone else does. The scenarios are more complicated for his challengers. Even if MacDonald or Hebert wins the feature and earns all possible bonus points, they will still need others to stumble. But big comebacks have happened before, and fans will be on the edge of their seats to see if one can happen again.
The trio will have to contend with more than just each other. Since being added to the ACT schedule in 2015, Thompson has regularly drawn one of the season’s largest fields. Many locals run the event following their own season finale on Friday. Invaders from around the region also make the trip for the last big ACT-type Late Model event on the calendar.
This year will be no different. All the biggest names of the ACT Late Model Tour are expected to be at Thompson, including Lebanon, NH standout Rich Dubeau, championship-winning brothers Corey and Bryan Mason of New Hampshire, and ACT rookie point leader Dylan Payea of Milton, VT. Oxford, MA’s Brian Tagg is the one Tour regular with significant local experience that could come into play.
Former ACT Champion Nick Sweet of Barre, VT will also head to Thompson. Sweet has suffered bad wrecks his last two times in a Late Model and hopes to end the year on a more positive note. Fayston, VT’s Brooks Clark will run the event in a major test for ACT’s new GM 602 crate engine option. Former NHMS ACT Invitational winner Woody Pitkat of Bellingam, MA headlines the local challengers.
Meanwhile, several Quebec racers will haul down to Connecticut. Current NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie Alex Labbé of St-Albert, QC will take advantage of an off-weekend from his national touring slate to reunite with Larue Motorsports. Lanoraie, QC veteran Claude Leclerc looks to finish off a strong season on U.S. soil while 2017 Série ACT Champion Jonathan Bouvrette of Blainville, QC has stated he will be at the event.
The World Series 75 goes green on Saturday, October 13 as part of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing. The 3-day event from Friday, October 12 to Sunday, October 14 features 18 divisions and touring series, many of which will also be deciding their 2018 champions.
Qualifying for Saturday’s program will begin at approximately 2:20pm. A 3-day World Series general admission ticket is $55 for adults and $50 for seniors, veterans, and active duty military. Kids ages 12 and under are admitted free.
For more information, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.acttour.com or www.thompsonspeedway.com.
PHOTO: Colchester, VT’s Scott Payea (#37VT) enters the season finale with a 26-point lead over Rowley, MA’s Eddie MacDonald (#17MA), who is the defending winner at Thompson Speedway. (Daniel Holben photo)
BARRE — Bobby Therrien had done what he needed to do as he crossed under the white flag.
The Hinesburg driver was in front of Jason Corliss as the two drivers battled head-to-head for the win in the 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl.
But in less than ten seconds, Therrien went from a visit with Aris the cow in victory lane to a disappointing runner-up finish.
“It’s tough, but it’s racing,” Therrien said. “We build these cars and we go through good times and we go through bad times.
“Overall, we still finished second.”
Therrien sat tied with Corliss with four points after the first two segments of the Milk Bowl with two runner-up finishes — once to Corliss and from the back to finish behind Patrick Laperle. In the third segment, the two drivers went back-and-forth in the final segment until Therrien broke free of Corliss on the race’s final restart.
“I’m pretty sure I counted all the rivets on the back of his car about ten times,” Therrien laughed. “We’d get behind him and then the caution would come out. We’d get a restart and get back ahead of him.
“It was just bouncing back and forth.”
Corliss chased him down, and then edged Therrien by 0.039 seconds after a wild final lap to steal the Milk Bowl win from Therrien.
“It burns, but, I’ve been on the other side of it too,” Therrien said. “I’ve taken wins on the last lap before. That’s a good feeling, but it’s a crappy feeling on the other end.
“Jason (Corliss) did what he had to do and I don’t blame him a bit for it. It was just good, hard racing. We’ve gone through the Streets and Tigers together. He’s great guy and great racer. He came out on top and maybe next year, it’ll be us.”
Therrien and his Derrick O’Donnell and Pete Duto-led team had a stellar weekend that saw them finish fourth on Friday night in the PASS North Super Late Model race.
“These (crew) guys busted their butts all weekend on this car,” Therrien said. “We had the Pro Stock here Friday night and that was fast. Hats off to these guys.
“They deserved a win, but second is still a really good finish.”
PHOTO: Bobby Therrien (5) races ahead of Jason Corliss (66) as the duo cross underneath the two laps remaining indicator. Corliss would get by Therrien in a last lap thriller in the Milk Bowl. (Alan Ward photo)
BARRE — Jason Corliss exited his car in victory lane and, while sitting on the door, just looked around.
Moments earlier, he was celebratory on the backstretch. But at that moment in victory lane, the thrill of winning his second straight Milk Bowl appeared to be overcome with disbelief.
He was likely asking the same questions the thousands of people in attendance were. How did he win that?
“This race is just so amazing,” Corliss said. “To be able to win it, but win it again, is so hard. It’s just so much work.
“You have to have such a great race car. You never know what is going to happen in this race. You just never know and we were able to make something happen.”
The story has been told. Corliss took advantage of Jimmy Hebert’s misfortunate, which allowed him to dive to Bobby Therrien’s inside in the final corner of the final lap of the final segment, and beat Therrien by 0.039 seconds for the Milk Bowl.
“I stayed pretty calm the whole time because you never know what is going to happen,” Corliss said. “The last lap, I was just focused on digging, trying to hit my marks, formulating a game plan as I came off turn two what I was going to do in (turn) three to make a miracle happen when it probably wasn’t going to happen.
“And then an opportunity opened and chaos ensued in front of us. We just seized an opportunity that somebody gave for us.”
Corliss and Therrien have grown together on the race track for over the past ten years. They both won championships in the Thunder Road Street Stock division and moved up from Flying Tigers to Late Models at similar times.
“Bobby Therrien is a terrific race car driver,” Corliss said. “They had the Milk Bowl won. Jimmy Hebert’s problems helped create us an opportunity to win the Milk Bowl on the last lap.
“I’ve got a ton of respect for Bobby. I know he’s frustrated with me and not happy with me and I completely understand. If I was in his position I’d feel the same way.
“An opportunity arose on the last lap of the Milk Bowl and I had to do what I had to do and I know he would have done the same. I’m sure we’ll talk about it and I’m sure we’ll be good. We’ve always raced each other great. He’s a great person and a great race car driver.”
For Corliss, the win puts him on an exclusive list of multi-time Milk Bowl winners, which includes Jean-Paul Cabana, Robbie Crouch, Harold Hanaford, Kevin Lepage, Dave Pembroke, and Phil Scott, and an even shorter list of back-to-back winners, which includes Brian Hoar, Russ Ingerson, Patrick Laperle, Nick Sweet, and Dave Whitlock.
“It’s crazy. It really is,” Corliss said. “I never thought I would win one.
“But to win two? It’s..it’s crazy. It’s surreal.”
1 – Moments before Jason Corliss sat in appeared disbelief for winning his second straight Milk Bowl, he celebrated in turn three at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Jason Corliss sits in apparent disbelief after winning his second straight Milk Bowl on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
3 – Jason Corliss makes the pass that earned him his second Milk Bowl victory on the final lap on Sunday at Thunder Road. (Alan Ward photo)
BARRE — Joel Hodgdon capped a successful season off on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road.
The Craftsbury driver ran from back to the front in the second 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger Northfield Savings Bank Mini-Milk Bowl to post the perfect score for the overall win.
“We wanted to seal the deal this weekend,” Hodgdon said. “We’ve raced three days in a row and it’s been pretty awesome.”
Hodgdon dodged some early race cautions — including one in which he received minimal contact — and sliced his way through the 26-car field to earn the win.
The 2018 Flying Tiger champion had worked his way into the top ten by the midway point and continued his charge toward the front as he took the lead on lap 35 from Brian Delphia.
The 2017 Flying Tiger champion Jason Woodard finished third in the second segment to finish second overall with five points. Freshman driver Cooper Bouchard ran to a ninth place finish in segment two to earn 13 points overall for third.
Tyler Austin finished fourth overall with Brandon Lanphear fifth. Newly crowned Street Stock champion Stephen Martin, Robert Gordon, Kelsea Woodard, Mike MacAskill, and Jaden Perry completed the top-ten finishers.
Will Hennequin paired finishes third and a fourth to win the Allen Lumber Street Stock Mini-Milk Bowl.
Hennequin was on his way to the runner-up finish in the overall when a late race spin saw then overall leader Dean Switser Jr. get turned off of turn two. That handed the battle to segment one winner Kasey Beattie and Hennequin.
Beattie and Hennequin would restart nose-to-tail. Hennequin was able to get in front of Nick Pilotte on the final lap and secured the overall win.
It was Hennequin’s second straight win in the Street Stock Mini-Milk Bowl.
“I’ve won it two years in a row,” Hennequin said in victory lane. “I can’t believe it.”
The 14-year-old Beattie settled for second while Bryan Wall used a segment two runner-up result to finish third overall. Pilotte and former champion Gary Mullen completed the top-five overall finishers.
Sixth through tenth overall went to Jeffrey Martin, Tyler Pepin, Switser, Kyle MacAskill and Jody Sicard.
White Mountain Motorsports Park Dwarf Car champion Andy Hill dodge a first lap incident in segment two and sliced his way through the field to claim the win in the second segment to score the perfect overall score in the New England Dwarf Car Mini-Milk Bowl. .
“This is a really deal for me,” Hill said. “I love this place and the more I race here, the more I like it.”
The win for Hill was his second straight Dwarf Car Mini-Milk Bowl triumph.
Hill took the lead just before the midway point in the second 20-lap segment and held off frontrunner Jason Wyman over the course of the final laps of the segment and the overall win.
Wyman, of Franconia, N.H., settled for second in the segment and second overall.
“Andy (Hill) is a tough one,” Wyman said. “That was all that I had. I had nothing more for him. I tried, but that was it. Andy is a good wheelman.”
Ethan Tyrell of Worcester finished third overall by virtue of his better segment two finish, with Jarred Ainsworth fourth. Jeff Ainsworth completed the top-five overall finishers.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from the 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl soon.
1 – Joel Hodgdon carries the checkered flag after his segment one win on Saturday at Thunder Road. Hodgdon would go onto to win segment two and claim the overall Flying Tiger Mini-Milk Bowl win. (Alan Ward photo)
2 – Will Hennequin celebrates in victory lane after his second straight Allen Lumber Street Stock Mini-Milk Bowl win. (Alan Ward photo)
3 – Andy Hill earned his second straight New England Dwarf Car Mini-Milk Bowl win. (Alan Ward photo)
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Northfield Savings Bank Mini-Milk Bowls
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
That’s how one will describe how Jason Corliss won the 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl.
The hometown driver snuck past Bobby Therrien through turns three and four on the final lap of the final segment to steal the overall win. Therrien went high to avoid Jimmy Hebert’s car after it had shut down off of turn two on the final lap. Corliss dove to Therrien’s inside once past Hebert and beat Therrien by 0.039 seconds — mere inches.
“It’s hard…it’s hard (to find words),” a speechless Corliss said. “It’s surreal to be standing in victory lane again with another Milk Bowl.
“This race is just so unbelievable and it shows again this year.”
Corliss and Therrien entered the final segment tied at the top of the overall Milk Bowl standings with four points. The two drivers went back-and-forth for much of the segment until the final restart of the race, when Therrien broke free and left Corliss chasing him.
Therrien worked to move past Kyle Pembroke for the fifth spot, which benefited Corliss as he ran the two cars down. Therrien was then able to get out past Corliss, but Corliss began to reel Therrien in.
The two crossed under the white flag with little space between the two, which continued through turns one and two. Therrien stayed high as Hebert’s car drastically slowed, as did Corliss, but Corliss cut down to Therrien’s inside and got beside him.
The duo would make contact off of turn four, which allowed Corliss to sneak ahead as Therrien got sideways.
“I was just going to try to make something on the last lap,” Corliss said. “Coming off of turn two, I saw the 58 slow and about dead. I think (Therrien) kind of took it by surprise and didn’t know which lane to go. He lifted for a second and then decided he was going to the outside.
“By then, I was already on his quarter-panel. I don’t know if it was trying to get to the outside of (Hebert) or also trying to keep me behind him on the last lap. We kind of touched and it got him free and he went up the hill and the bottom opened up. I turned to the bottom and drove it for all it was worth.”
Therrien gave his perspective of what transpired on the final lap.
“I saw (Herbert) had shut down,” Therrien said. “I started to go around the outside of him. I didn’t want to go on the bottom and gave him turn down to get out of people’s way.
“We got into turns three and four and (Corliss) was right up beside me. As Thunder Road goes, it gets real tight out of turn four, regardless, and he beat us to the line.”
Corliss said the contact between the two was regretful, but that the win for the Milk Bowl was on the line.
“It’s racing for the Milk Bowl,” Corliss said. “That opportunity opened up when I didn’t think there would be an opportunity.
“We had to cash in and thankfully we did.”
Therrien, of Hinesburg, finished second while Brooks Clark of Fayston finished third overall. Graniteville’s Stephen Donahue and Milton’s Scott Payea completed the top-five finishers.
Joey Polewarczyk, Trampas Demers, Patrick Laperle, Josh Masterson, and Pembroke finished sixth through tenth overall.
VtMotorMag.com will have more from the 56th Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl soon.
1 – Jason Corliss plants a kiss on Aris after his second straight Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl win on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Jason Corliss exits his car in disbelief after he made a last lap pass to win the 56th Milk Bowl on Sunday at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl
American-Canadian Tour Late Models
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
BARRE — They may not be on the front row, but qualifying race winners Jason Corliss and Scott Payea are leaving Milk Bowl qualifying day with confidence.
The two drivers claimed the wins in their respective Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Milk Bowl 50-lap qualifying races on Saturday at Thunder Road. Corliss and his Burnett Scrap Metals Ford Fusion took the lead on lap nine from Cody Blake while Payea and his Harrison Redi-Mix Dodge Charger grabbed the lead from outside polesitter Bobby Therrien on lap 28.
“It takes a lot of pressure off and puts you in a good mindset for (Sunday),” Corliss said. “It also shows us that the car is driving just as good as we had hoped.
“We’re real excited where we’re at.”
“We’re putting ourselves in an awesome position to start the first segment,” Payea said. “It’s better than we have ever started.
“I feel good about it and we’ll sleep good tonight, and we’ll come out strong tomorrow.”
The two drivers faced vastly different backgrounds in 2018 as the defending Milk Bowl champion Corliss nearly ran to a championship in Thunder Road weekly competition while Payea currently sits at the top of the ACT Late Model Tour point standings with one race left. That left the two drivers with varying viewpoints on their 50-lap qualifying races.
“It didn’t feel a lot different than a normal Thursday night race,” Corliss said. “Except that we started a lot closer to the front than we normally do.
“It’s just a matter of taking care of business. I feel like we’re pretty close. I think we’re in good shape.”
“It’s not like a 12-lap heat race and then you go to the feature and no idea how long a run will be,” Payea said. “The (qualifying race) is like a segment. The time of the day, everything is similar is how it will be tomorrow.
“I think we’re going to have a good piece.”
For Corliss and Payea, the wins in their qualifying races give themselves and their team a morale boost and confidence headed into Sunday’s 56th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl.
“It definitely helps. Starting third is a big help,” Corliss said. “(The qualifying win) is good for the guys, good for the sponsors, good for everybody.
“We’re happy with where we are. We didn’t get the (front row), but we got the next best thing. I’m real excited for tomorrow.”
“I have a great team,” Payea said, “and they give me a good car.
“We’re going after it.”
Sunday’s 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl will begin at 1:00pm with opening ceremonies. The last chance qualifier will go green at 12:15pm.
BARRE — Jimmy Hebert earned the pole position for Sunday’s 56th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road.
The Williamstown driver set the quickest time in time trial qualifying with a lap of 12.305 seconds. That bested 2017 Thunder Road Late Model champion Bobby Therrien’s quick time of 12.323 that was set just three cars earlier.
“It’s something you dream about when you’re a kid,” Hebert said. “I never thought we’d be sitting on the pole.
“You hope, but it takes quite a bit to do it.”
The pole for Hebert earned him the $1,000 bonus from Booth Bros. and H.P. Hood. He becomes the 34th different pole winner in the legendary race and looked forward to his attempt to capture his first Milk Bowl win.
“ I’ve been coming here since I was a baby,” Hebert said. “This race means a lot to me and my guys.”
Hebert credited his Keith Clark-led crew for the car that led him to the pole position.
“I just can’t thank my guys enough,” Hebert said. “The car was basically ready to go two weeks ago and they spent that time two weeks trying to make it perfect.”
Therrien, of Hinesburg, will start second after Hebert knocked him off the pole position.
“(Hebert) and I grew up (at Thunder Road) racin go-karts together,” Therrien said. “We’ve gone through everything (together), Tigers and Late Models.
“If I had to lose it to anybody, he’s the best guy to do it to.”
For Therrien, the guaranteed spot in Sunday’s Milk Bowl eases the tension of knowing where he’ll be starting in the $10,000-to-win race.
“To come out and sit on the outside pole is a huge honor,” Therrien said. “It takes a lot of stress of qualifying later.”
Defending Milk Bowl winner Jason Corliss earned the win in the first 50-lap qualifying race and will start third in Sunday’s Milk Bowl.
The Barre driver took the lead on a lap eight restart from Cody Blake and held on through multiple race restarts to claim the win.
Brooks Clark of Fayston finished second with Blake third. Stephen Donahue and Josh Masterson completed the top-five finishers in the first qualifying race.
Apparent sixth place finisher Marcel Gravel was disqualified for a tire violation after he suffered an apparent flat tire on a late race restart while running second. That handed the final transfer positions to Jonathan Bouvrette, Mike Bailey, and Darrell Morin.
The defending ACT Late Model Tour champion Scott Payea claimed the win in the second 50-lap qualifying race.
The Milton driver took the lead on lap 27 when polesitter Therrien entered the pits after he completed the minimum requirements for being the outside polesitter in the Milk Bowl.
Scott Dragon finished second after he ran Payea down late while Trampas Demers finished third. Joey Polewarczyk ran from a ninth place starting position to finish fourth with Matt White fifth. Kyle Pembroke, three-time Milk Bowl winner Nick Sweet, and Brendan Moodie completed the qualified cars.
Quebec driver Steve Cote, Tyler Cahoon, Gravel, and Hallstrom transferred into the Milk Bowl based on their time trial results as being the fastest non-qualified cars remaining.
Three-time Milk Bowl winner Patrick Laperle is slated to lead a filled last chance qualifier that will feature former Milk Bowl winner John Donahue, Seekonk Speedway standout Ryan Kuhn, and Thunder Road race winner Boomer Morris.
The last chance qualifier will go green at 12:15 on Sunday, September 30 with opening ceremonies beginning at 1pm.
1 – Jimmy Hebert (left) and Bobby Therrien (right) will start on the front row for Sunday’s 56th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
2 – Jimmy Hebert accepts the Milk Bowl pole position award from representatives from Booth Bros. & H.P. Hood. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
STARTING LINEUP — 56th Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl
American-Canadian Tour Late Models
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Sunday, September 30, 2018
1. Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, Vt.
2. Bobby Therrien, Hinesburg, Vt.
3. Jason Corliss, Barre, Vt.
4. Scott Payea, Milton, Vt.
5. Brooks Clark, Fayston, Vt.
6. Scott Dragon, Milton, Vt.
7. Cody Blake, Barre, Vt.
8. Trampas Demers, Shelburne, Vt.
9. Stephen Donahue, Graniteville, Vt.
10. Joey Polewarczyk, Hudson, N.H.
11. Josh Masterson, Bristol, Vt.
12. Matt White, Northfield, Vt.
13. Jonathan Bouvrette, Blainville, Que.
14. Kyle Pembroke, Montpelier, Vt.
15. Mike Bailey, South Barre, Vt.
16. Nick Sweet, Barre, Vt.
17. Darrell Morin, Richmond, Vt.
18. Brendan Moodie, Wolcott, Vt.
19. Steve Cote, Ile-Bizard, Que.
20. Tyler Cahoon, Danville, Vt.
21. Marcel Gravel, Wolcott, Vt.
22. Evan Hallstrom, Northfield, Vt.
23. Last Chance Qualifier P1
24. Last Chance Qualifier P2
25. Last Chance Qualifier P3
26. Thunder Road 100% Provisional
BARRE — Joel Hodgdon stayed hot in Flying Tiger competition at Thunder Road.
The recently crowned champion took the lead from Jason Woodard on the initial start of the first 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger Northfield Savings Bank Mini-Milk Bowl to claim the win on Saturday afternoon.
Hodgdon held off Woodard and freshman pilot Cooper Bouchard through multiple race restarts to secure the win.
Woodard got past Bouchard on a late race restart to finish second and brought Brandon Lanphear long with him to finish third. Bouchard settled for fourth while Jaden Perry finished fifth in his first start of the season.
Jason Pelkey, Kelsea Woodard, Robert Gordon, Mike Martin, and Tyler Austin completed the top-ten finishers.
Fourteen-year-old Kasey Beattie used a pole position start to secure the win in the first 25-lap Allen Lumber Street Stock Mini-Milk Bowl segment.
Beattie ran ahead of his teammate Dean Switser Jr., who settled for second. Longtime division driver Will Hennequin finished third with former Street Stock champion Nick Pilotte fourth. Jeffrey Martin completed the top-five finishers.
Sixth through tenth went to Bryan Wall, Brandon Gray, Gary Mullen, Tyler Pepin, and Danny Doyle.
Andy Hill of Lower Waterford claimed the win in the 20-lap New England Dwarf Car segment one. Hill started from the pole position to secure the win.
Jason Wyman finished second with Jarred Ainsworth third. Ethan Tyrell and Howie Switser completed the top-five finishers.
The second segment for the Flying Tigers, Street Stocks, and Dwarf Cars will take place during the 56th Annual Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl. Post time is set for 1:00pm.
PHOTO: Joel Hodgdon carries the checkered flag after his win in the first Flying Tiger segment on Saturday afternoon at Thunder Road. (T.J. Ingerson/VMM photo)
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS — Northfield Savings Bank Mini-Milk Bowl
Thunder Road Speedbowl, Barre, Vt.
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers Segment #1 (40 laps)
1. Joel Hodgdon, Craftsbury
2. Jason Woodard, Waterbury Center
3. Brandon Lanphear, Morrisville
4. Cooper Bouchard, Hinesburg
5. Jaden Perry, Hardwick
6. Jason Pelkey, Barre
7. Kelsea Woodard, Waterbury Center
8. Robert Gordon, Milton
9. Mike Martin, Craftsbury
10. Tyler Austin, East Calais
Allen Lumber Street Stocks Segment #1 (25 laps)
1. Kasey Beattie, St. Johnsbury
2. Dean Switser Jr., Lyndonville
3. Will Hennequin, Hardwick
4. Nick Pilotte, Jefferson, N.H.
5. Jeffrey Martin, Barre
6. Bryan Wall, East Kingston, N.H.
7. Brandon Gray, East Thetford
8. Gary Mullen, Tunbridge
9. Tyler Pepin, Barre
10. Danny Doyle, Rochester
New England Dwarf Cars Segment #1 (20 laps)
1. Andy Hill, Lower Waterford
2. Jason Wyman, Franconia, N.H.
3. Jarred Ainsworth, Bethlehem, N.H.
4. Ethan Tyrell, Worcester
5. Howie Switser, Newark