O’Donnell Crowned King Of The Road
BARRE, Vt. – Phil Scott made Kyle Pembroke pay for one mistake at the front of the field on lap 37 of the VP Racing Fuels Late Model 50 Thursday at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl and went on to his second win of the season and the 29th of his career.
Scott shot between a backmarker in the low lane and Pembroke on the rim of turn two in a go-for-broke move for the last of six lead changes.
“I knew I had to take the opportunity, when I saw it,” Scott said.
During the first half of the event, Pembroke and pole sitter Joe Becker raced side by side for more than 20 laps with Scott and eventual runner-up Joey Laquerre in close pursuit.
“I got my right side tires up in the dirt and Phil took full advantage,” Pembroke said.
Rookie Derrick O’Donnell from North Haverhill, NH, driving the Cody Chevrolet/Gary Clay Builders No. 60, had an even better night than Scott. O’Donnell rose from 18th to finish eighth and clinch the 2013 Thunder Road Late Model Championship.
O’Donnell won two races and had seven top-five finishes in 2013 to become the first rookie in Thunder Road’s 53-year history to win the headline division crown.
“This won’t settle in for a while, but I’m thrilled,” O’Donnell said after receiving a large rotating trophy from 2012 champion Nick Sweet in victory lane. Sweet became the 2013 Runner-up.
Becker hung tough to finish fourth. Jamie Fisher was fifth, followed by Cody Blake, Brooks Clark, O’Donnell, Jason Corliss and Derek Ming.
Darrel Morin of Essex Jct. was the toughest Tiger Sportsman of them all in the VP Fuels 100. Morin regained the lead from Chris Roberts in timely fashion on lap 39. On lap 65, the skies opened up and sealed the deal for Morin, who was a car-length ahead of Mike Ziter.
Morin started the main event on the pole and led the first 32 laps before Roberts nosed ahead on a lap-32 restart. Earlier, he won his heat and the semi-feature. Chris Pelkey, Ziter and John Lambert were 2-3-4 in the semi-feature.
Ziter eased by Roberts for 2nd on lap 39. Jason Allen placed third, just ahead of Jason Woodard and Roberts. Chris Pelkey, Cam Ouellette, Mike Martin, Joe Steffen and Adam Pierson completed the top ten. Ziter’s 2nd-place run from 11th on the grid unofficially moved him into the top spot in the Tiger Sportsman point standings.
Willy Hennequin trounced his Allen Lumber Street Stock rivals in the 4-cylinder 25-lap feature at the wheel of the Sanborn Machine/All Metal Recycling No. 47 It was the 7th career win for the Morrisville veteran, who made quick work of frontrunners George Butler, Kevin Dodge and Kyle Streeter on a lap 8 restart.
The restart was needed after Cassie Trendle, who had covered nearly every inch of the racing surface in the previous two laps, bounced off the wall and got hammered by Scott Weston.
Butler, a rookie from Randolph, had his second top-five finish of the season as the Runner-up. Streeter and Donnie Yates were 4-5. Point leader Bunker Hodgdon finished eighth.
Alan Derrinton claimed the Rough Rider feature win holding off Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon for his first feature victory.