Dudley Bags Thunder Road Enduro
BARRE, Vt. – Paul Dudley expertly drove his way to a $3,000 payday through the mayhem of the 28th Annual M&M Beverage Enduro on Sunday at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl.
The first 160 laps of the event was dominated by Bill Davis, who at one point had a lead as large as five laps over second place. A heart-breaking blown tire for Davis on lap 167, however, relegated the lead to McNally.
Davis returned to the track two laps down, only to see his day end on the front stretch just one lap later. McNally and Dudley then battled it out on the track for the win, surviving two rolled-over cars and three more engulfed in flame, with Dudley passing McNally late in the event after a spin.
McNally attempted to spin Dudley on the final lap, but Dudley had already lapped him and went on to win his first Enduro.
Dudley was ecstatic to be in Thunder Road’s victory lane.
“This is a virgin enduro car, so I figured as long as we kept it out of trouble we would be okay,” said Dudley. “On about lap 142 I saw I was third and I thought ‘Whoa, we can win this thing.”
Donny Yates claimed his first Allen Lumber Street Stock win after a tight battle with Morrisville’s Jamie Davis. Waitsfield’s Troy Kingsbury stole second-place late, Davis third, and rookie Dean Switser, Jr. and point leader Nick Pilotte rounded out the top five.
Davis took the lead from pole-sitter Amanda Habel in the early laps, but it wasn’t long until the familiar 05 car of Yates had pulled to the front from the ninth starting position.
Yates and Davis engaged in a door to door battle for nearly ten laps until Yates finally took the edge on the inside lane. Kingsbury followed Yates through the hole in the closing laps, relegating Davis to third. Point leaders Switser and Pilotte sliced through the field in the 50 lap event, finishing fourth and fifth after starting 16th and 17th respectively.
Yates was speechless after taking the checkers.
“I didn’t really have any plans for today. I just wanted to stay out of trouble,” he said in victory lane. “I really don’t know what to say.”
Ben Belanger took the victory in the Riverside Street Stock 25-lap special event Sunday, winning both segments of the monza-style race. Belanger had his hands full with Riverside Speedway point-leader Keith Normand who came home second, and Bethlehem, NH’s Jeff Ainsworth rounded out the podium.
Segment one of the event saw Belanger and Normand battle side by side in the early laps, only to see Belanger take the lead away in the high groove. Belanger went on to win the caution free race, while Normand and Ainsworth came home second and third respectively.
In the second segment, Belanger and Normand flew through the 12-car starting field to regain first and second by lap three, even after a scary incident where Belanger’s car spun sideways on the front stretch. Belanger recovered to regain the lead on lap five, and go on to the perfect score.
“I knew it was going to be pretty hard to pass Keith. He’s always really fast,” said Belanger. “It feels great to get a win here, though.”
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