Excitement Level Reaching New Heights for 62nd Thunder Road Season
FloRacing Partnership, Growing Rosters Among Highlights as May 2 Opener Nears
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TR041521-04
Barre, VT — Barre’s Thunder Road is closing fast on the 62nd season opener. The Community Bank N.A. 150 on Sunday, May 2 kicks off a busy 2021 campaign at the track — all of which can be seen live worldwide on FloRacing.
The new live-streaming partnership is just one sign of the excitement that’s been building for months. After a long winter and a 2020 season that saw the challenges of navigating the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, teams and fans are ready for a fresh start.
Although health and safety guidelines will still be in effect for at least the first part of the season, it hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm among the Vermont racing community. At the end of the day, racers want to race. Local stars such as Jason Corliss, Trampas Demers, Jason Woodard, and Jamie Davis have been chomping at the bit to finally get back on the high banks.
“I’m really excited about it,” Barre’s Corliss said. “Obviously, our 2020 season went quite well for us, so we’re definitely excited to get back to the race track and hopefully see if we’ve got some of that same mojo going into this upcoming season. With the start of a new year, everything kind of resets, and no success is guaranteed. So we’ve been working hard in the shop, and we’re prepared to roll up our sleeves and go to work once we get to the track.”
“I think the FloRacing deal is great,” Corliss added. “It’s really cool to be able to bring the excitement of ‘The Road’ to people who can’t necessarily make it to Thunder Road. I know personally, I have family for whom it’s just too much of a task to travel all the way to Vermont to catch a race — and if they did, they’d only be able to catch so many. Now, (the live streaming) provides a unique opportunity for them to stay engaged and be able to watch every lap. It’s meant a lot to members of my family to keep up with my racing, and I know it’s the same for others.”
Early registrations in all four of Thunder Road’s weekly divisions are outpacing numbers from this time a year ago. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, who will battle it out to determine the 2021 “King of the Road”, are expected to see noticeable growth in their ranks.
Nearly all of last year’s weekly competitors have already signed up to return, including two-time defending champion Corliss, Demers, Tyler Cahoon, Marcel J. Gravel, and Matt White. They’re joined by incoming Late Model rookies Brandon Lanphear and Cooper Bouchard, both of whom were impressive in the Flying Tiger ranks. Andy Hill is joining the Thunder Road Late Models after winning Rookie of the Year at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park, while Mike Foster and Trevor Lyman are returning for at least partial schedules.
When the Late Model championship battle begins, many drivers will also be chasing the New England Late Model Challenge Cup. Thunder Road is one of nine tracks participating in the program, which counts the 10 best results of registered drivers. Corliss, Gravel, Cahoon, Brendan Moodie, and Kyle Pembroke are among those aiming for an additional $3,000 Challenge Cup top prize on top of the $7,500 for winning the Thunder Road title.
In the meantime, the Community Bank N.A. 150 will feature the ACT Late Model Tour plus many weekly competitors who want an early tune-up before their first point-counting event. Therrien, Demers, Bouchard, and Brooks Clark have already filed their entries. They’ll join talented touring stars such as defending ACT champion Jimmy Hebert, multi-time Pro All Stars Series champions Ben Rowe and D.J. Shaw, and ACT Rookie of the Year Derek Gluchacki. This will be the first race for most of them on the new Hoosier tire for the Late Models.
Meanwhile, the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers are approaching 50 registered drivers between Thunder Road and White Mountain. Last year kicked off the 2020s with an average of 30 Flying Tigers a week at Thunder Road putting on outstanding racing. Signs are that the streak of four straight years with rising car counts could reach year number five.
Apart from those who have moved up to the Late Models, most of the 2020 Flying Tiger class is already registered for another go-round. Jason Woodard, Jaden Perry, Cameron Ouellette, Bryan P. Wall, and Stephen Martin are all amped up for another year of door-to-door action. The incoming class includes Street Stock/Road Warrior graduates Brandon Gray, Justin Prescott, Tanner Woodard, and J.T. Blanchard.
Despite the moves up the ladder system, the RK Miles Street Stock and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior rosters are still looking strong. The Street Stocks are just shy of 30 registered names with more expected by Opening Day. The ranks are buoyed by the presence of at least nine first-year Street Stock drivers. Many new racers have also signed up for the Road Warriors, joining veterans such as Sean McCarthy, Fred Fleury, Nate Brien, and Dan Garrett Jr.
This surging interest has carried over to the sponsorship ranks with multiple new event partners now on board. Essex Equipment is the latest associate with an agreement to present the 42nd Vermont Governor’s Cup on Thursday, July 15. Efficiency Vermont is helping crown the Thunder Road championship at a special Friday night show on September 17. Longtime partner The Times Argus is returning after a two-year hiatus to sponsor the Mid-Season Championship, which this year will have both double-points and double-purse. Fans will also see several new billboards whether watching at the track or at home on FloRacing.
Thunder Road opens its 2021 season on Sunday, May 2 at 1:30pm with the 23rd Community Bank N.A. 150. The stars of the ACT Late Model Tour and Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models will go at it for 150 green-flag laps. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, RK Miles Street Stocks, and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors also have a full card of racing.
Advance ticket sales, attendance guidelines, and other information will be announced next week. The event will be broadcast worldwide on FloRacing via their website, mobile app, and most smart TV platforms. An annual FloRacing subscription is just $150 for action from dozens of tracks around North America.
The annual Car Show will be held at the track on Saturday, May 1 from 9:00am to 12:00pm. An open practice is slated for Saturday afternoon followed by the 2020 ACT/Thunder Road Banquet of Champions.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, email@example.com, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ThunderRoadVT. For more information about FloRacing, visit www.FloRacing.com or www.FloSports.tv.
Thunder Road Speedbowl
(802) 244-6963 ext. 6