Story By: CALE KING / AMERICAN-CANADIAN TOUR – BARRE, VT – The perfect race day greeted fans, drivers and teams Sunday morning high atop Quarry Hill in Barre, Vermont.
For the 25th consecutive year, the American-Canadian Tour teams invaded Thunder Road to launch the Speedbowl’s upcoming season in grand style, yesterday proved that was still the case.
Thirty-seven teams from across New England and Quebec were on hand to battle for the prestigious win at the hometrack of the American-Canadian Tour and battle they did.
Thirty-seven cars had made the trip to the Green Mountain State but only thirty would join the Community Bank 150 feature. A tough day of qualifying ensued from four heat races to two consolation events along with the Last Chance B-Feature to whittle them down to the starting grid. Utilizing the Plus/Minus qualifying handicap, ACT Rookie of the Year contender Bryan Wall Jr. earned the pole position with a +5 in heat two alongside 2020 ACT Champion Jimmy Hebert with his +4 from heat one.
Wall would take the early lead through the first nineteen circuits but in came multi-time ACT winner Bobby Therrien. A frequent flyer at the highbanked Vermont oval, Therrien used the outside groove to his advantage early but it was far from a runaway as the leaders began to encounter lap traffic. Lap 50 brought the first big caution of the afternoon as Jason Corliss’ power steering pump was sheared off, sending fluid across the track and cars sliding into a pile across it.
Therrien and Hebert would again face-off at the front with defending Thunder Road champion Christopher Pelkey and perennial title contender Cody Blake in tow. The second major caution flew on lap 62 as an overcorrecting Tanner Woodard plowed into the frontstretch Widowmaker wall, careening him back into traffic and blocking the lane ending his day among others.
With momentum on his side, Hebert would again get the jump and left Therrien and Blake to fight themselves, at one point nearly wrecking each other in turn one but excellent car control by the duo kept them on the straight and narrow. Over the final two caution periods, Corliss had made his way back into the top ten and quickly within the top three after repairing the power steering during his first lengthy caution and changing out a flat tire on the caution that followed.
With perhaps nothing more than a lot of luck, Jason Corliss continued to power down the straightaway and make time in the corners, even under constant fire from Blake and Hebert. Jason Corliss would cross under the checkered flags first to claim his fourth Community Bank N.A. 150 at Thunder Road, tying him for most all-time with Nick Sweet. Jimmy Hebert took home second followed by weekly standout Marcel Gravel. Shawn Swallow continued to showcase a strong Thunder Road program for the family team with a fourth-place finish followed by Cody Blake in fifth.
Next up for the American-Canadian Tour is a trip 38-years in the making as the Stars and Cars of North America’s most historic short track series returns to Stafford Motor Speedway for the first time since 1985. Joining the 51st Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler, the ACT Tour headlines Friday, May 12th alongside the NAPA Auto Parts Duels for Tour-type Modifieds, Limited Late Models, Street Stocks and Vintage All-Stars.
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT
25th Annual Community Bank 150
Sunday, May 7, 2023
American-Canadian Tour – 25th Annual Community Bank N.A. 150 (150 Laps)
1. 66VT Jason Corliss Barre, VT
2. 58VT Jimmy Hebert Williamstown, VT
3. 86VT Marcel J. Gravel Wolcott, VT
4. 04NH Shawn Swallow Groveton, NH
5. 99VT Cody Blake Barre, VT
6. 64VT Chris Pelkey Graniteville, VT
7. 60ME Gabe Brown Center Conway, NH
8. 16VT Brandon Lanphear Morrisville, VT
9. 9VT Chip Grenier Orange, VT
10. 04VT D.J. Shaw Center Conway, NH
11. 5VT Bobby Therrien Hinesburg, VT
12. 36NH Erick Sands Derry, NH
13. 41QC Jonathan Bouvrette Blainville, QC
14. 27NH Cam Huntress Rochester, NH
15. 68VT Brooks Clark Fayston, VT
16. 94VT Brendan Moodie Wolcott, VT
17. 00NH Jimmy Renfrew Jr. Candia, NH
18. 31CT #Andrew Molleur Woodbridge, CT
19. 18VT #Kaiden Fisher Shelburne, VT
20. 4NH Jamie Swallow Jr. Stark, NH
21. 03MA Derek Gluchacki North Dartmouth, MA
22. 55VT Keegan Lamson Berlin, VT
23. 68NH #Tanner Woodard Waterbury Ctr., VT
24. 0NH Quinten Welch Groveton, NH
25. 77NH #Bryan Wall Jr. E. Kingston, NH
26. 27VT Kyle Pembroke Montpelier, VT
27. 0VT Scott Dragon Milton, VT
28. 01VT Stephen Martin Craftsbury Common, VT
29. 38VT Tyler Cahoon Danville, VT
30. 48VT Jean-Paul Cyr Milton, VT
DNQ 92VT Jaden Perry Hardwick, VT
DNQ 28NH Ricky Bly Sunapee, NH
DNQ 31KS #Cody Schoolcraft Claremont, NH
DNQ 12CT #PJ Evans Uncasville, CT
DNQ 25NH Jesse Switser W. Burke, VT
DNQ 4CT #Reese Bogue Groton, CT
DNQ 60NH Derrick O’Donnell N. Haverhill, NH