Kaiden Fisher Makes it Street Stock Win #3 at Thunder Road
Closes in on Street Stock Championship
Corliss Closes on Track Championship After Pelkey Involved in Late Crash
Barre, VT — Morrisville’s Brandon Lanphear topped one of the year’s most dramatic events at Thunder Road by taking the WDEV Radio/Calkins Portable Toilets Trophy Dash on Friday, September 10. Lanphear got the lead for good with three laps remaining in the 50-lap Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model feature, then held off Chris Roberts and Brendan Moodie for his first ever Late Model victory.
In doing so, Lanphear became the division’s third first-time winner in the last four point-counting events. He joins fellow rookie Cooper Bouchard and veteran Darrell Morin in pulling big-time upsets down the stretch of Thunder Road’s 62nd season.
For the first half of the event, Lanphear had a front row seat to a raging battle between Moodie and Roberts for the lead. Outside polesitter Moodie put a wheel in front at the initial green flag, but Roberts stubbornly refused to give up the inside groove. They took turns gaining inches from there with the lead pack eventually settling at eight cars. Chris Pelkey, the number-two point man entering the night, was nestled at the rear of the front group pack while point leader Jason Corliss was stuck in the second pack about five cars behind.
Roberts eventually fought his way back to the front, clearing Moodie on lap 28 with Lanphear following him underneath for second. The field then got shuffled on lap 31 when Trampas Demers spun entering turn one while fighting for the fourth spot with Marcel J. Gravel. Pelkey was able to sneak by on the outside, but Stephen Donahue piled in to bring out the caution. That put Roberts and Lanphear toe-to-toe for the restart with Pelkey sixth and Corliss 10th.
The new front pair again went at it just as intensely as the old pair, swapping the lead three times between laps 37 and 41. As they did so, Pelkey started to get his Chevy rolling on the outside, moving up to fourth as Corliss remained pinned in traffic.
But the biggest twist of the night was about to come. As Pelkey tried to get alongside third-place Matthew Smith with nine laps to go, the two made contact off turn four, and Pelkey slammed the frontstretch wall. The damage was severe enough to force Pelkey out of the event while Smith was sent to the rear of the field for his involvement.
Lanphear was the leader on the last completed lap, putting him down low for the restart. At the green flag, Lanphear poked his nose in front while Roberts hung tough on the outside. Eric Chase’s frontstretch spin then brought the yellow back out with five laps to go for a final shootout. Roberts was able to get the advantage for one lap, but Lanphear dug deep and swiped the spot back for the seventh and final lead change of the night.
Wolcott’s Moodie nipped Washington’s Roberts at the checkered flag for the second spot. Gravel, Phil Scott, Scot Dragon, Corliss, Kyle Pembroke, Darrell Morin, and Demers rounded out the top-10. Pelkey ended up seventh, which unofficially sets the point lead for Corliss at 43 points with one event remaining.
Pelkey’s cousin Jason had far better fortune in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers as he sped to his second win of the season. The Barre native moved into the second spot following a lap two caution for Derek Calkins’ broken wheel. Pelkey then set his sights on polesitter Kelsea Woodard. He swung to the outside and took the lead from Woodard with seven laps complete in the 40-lap feature.
Woodard kept her foot in the door, though, and the duo spent the next nine circuits re-enacting the Moodie-Roberts slugfest. Jamon Perry’s lap-16 spin brought out another caution and caused the leaders to switch lanes with Pelkey choosing the inside for the restart. Pelkey made the right decision, bolting away on the restart and leaving the field behind.
Barre’s Cameron Ouellette went door-to-door with Woodard for six laps before securing the runner-up spot. Woodard held on for third after Bryan Wall Jr.’s high-line charge fizzled out over the final 10 circuits. Rookie Tanner Woodard followed his older sister across the finish line in fourth. Point leader Mike Martin, Stephen Martin, Logan Powers, Wall, Justin Prescott, and Adam Maynard came in fifth through 10th. Mike unofficially leads his son Stephen by nine points entering the September 17 championship finale.
Shelburne’s Kaiden “Tropical Storm” Fisher all but put his signature on the RK Miles Street Stock championship picture with his third win of the season. Fisher started 17th in the 25th lap feature and moved into the top-10 on lap five when Thomas Peck and Jesse Laquerre got together while racing for the third spot. Laquerre spun coming off turn four, collecting Jeffrey Martin, Luke Peters, and James Dopp in the ensuing scramble.
Polesitter Scott Weston scooted away on the restart as Josh Lovely and Fisher continued slicing through the field. The pair of Mustangs ran down Weston just past the halfway mark. Before Lovely could make a move on Weston, Fisher beat him to the punch, rumbling around both on the outside to take the lead with nine laps to go. It was all Fisher from there as he sailed to career win number six.
Lovely eventually got past Weston, then held off a last-lap bid by fellow Williamstown resident Tommy “Thunder” Smith to finish second. Weston, Tommy Campbell, Mike “Biffer” Gay, Kyler Davis, Trevor Jaques, Haidyn Pearce, and Will Hennequin completed the top-10. Fisher unofficially increased his points lead to 61 over Davis with one point-counting event to go.
Essex Junction’s Mark Beaulieu drove the car he calls “Black Magic” to his second win of the year in the 20-lap Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior feature. Beaulieu was already putting the heat on Dan Garrett Jr. for the top spot when Matt Ballard lost a wheel to bring out the race’s only caution with three laps complete.
Garrett led the first circuit following the restart before Beaulieu swept around the outside. Graniteville’s “Flyin’” Fred Fleury and Frank Putney eventually came out of the back of the pack to run second and third. The duo was closing on Beaulieu but ran out of time to catch him. Williamstown’s Nate “Tater” Brien came home in fourth followed by Josh Vilbrin, Bert Duffy, Garrett, Neal Foster, Rodney Campbell, and Ryan Foster.
Christopher Pelkey’s team won the annual “Port-a-Potty Grand Prix”, beating out Kaiden Fisher of the Street Stocks, Mike Martin of the Flying Tigers, and Nate Brien of the Road Warriors. Fisher’s port-a-potty received the Golden Plunger Award for best appearing entry.
Thunder Road crowns its 2021 track champions next Friday, September 17 at 7:00pm with Efficiency Vermont Championship Night. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models are going 62 laps to decide the “King of the Road”. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, RK Miles Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also have a full card of racing.
Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12, $30 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids) and free for kids ages 5 and under. Advance tickets are available at www.happsnow.com/event/thunder-road-speedbowl. The event will also be televised live on FloRacing for those with a paid subscription.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also get updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.
Posted: to Racing News on Sat, Sep 11, 2021
Updated: Sat, Sep 11, 2021