Sports

Blake Turns Around Mid-Season Slump

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photo by Alan Ward
Late Model Victory Lane (L-R) Brandon Lanphear (3rd), winner Cody Blake, Scott Dragon (2nd).

BARRE – After starting off with a heavy mist just after opening the pit gates for teams on Thursday, if you can believe it, teams waited out the showers. After drying the track, the Thunder Road faithful again put on another stellar showcase of auto racing on the Barre highbanks, each vying for the double purse.

To kick-off the night Thomas Peck and Kasey Collins led down the Street Stocks to the first green flag in feature racing action. Collins took charge at the front of the pack with Jamie Davis running him down from a third-place starting spot. As laps wound down Davis began attempting to work the outside groove around Collins but couldn’t make a strong go of it as the two continued to stretch away from the rest of the field. While the battle continued through to the bitter end it would be Berlin’s Kasey Collins taking down his first career Street Stock win with two-time track champion Jamie Davis and first-time podium finisher Parker Gagne rounding out the podium.


photo by Alan Ward
Flying Tiger Victory Lane (L-R) Kyle Streeter (3rd), winner Brandon Gray, Cam Gadue (2nd).

Young-guns Luke Peters and Cam Gadue brought the Flying Tiger field to life for their 40-lap main event. Highgate’s Gadue took the lead in the high lane and began to run away from his competition before a lap nine melee in turn three saw Cooper French, Jason Pelkey and others fly across the corner and into the infield. Gadue would keep command under the return to green before the second caution at the halfway point as Jason Woodard’s blown tire sent him spinning off turn four.

While Gadue again led the charge, Brandon Gray set out on the outside lane and chased down the leader. Gray would pull outside Gadue to lead lap 33 at the line but their battle saw Kyle Streeter grow ever closer in third. Brandon Gray kept the pedal down and took his #00VT machine to Thunder Road victory lane for the second time this season with Cam Gadue and Kyle Streeter rounding out the top-three.


photo by Alan Ward
Street Stock Victory Lane (L-R) Parker Gagne (3rd), winner Kasey Collins, Jamie Davis (2nd).

Rookie competitors Cody Schoolcraft and Justin Prescott began the Late Model showdown with Prescott getting the jump on the outside lane. Following Prescott’s outside groove power-move, Darrell Morin made his bid for second around Schoolcraft with Cody Blake and Brandon Lanphear in tow. Blake kept the momentum up in the early stages, enough to steal the lead away from Prescott on lap 15 in the bid for his first win of the season.

Meanwhile mid-pack, three-wide action in turn three just before the halfway point halted a strong run for Bobby Therrien on the outside lane as he attempted to move into the top-10 while point leader Nick Sweet pitted on lap 34 after slapping the backstretch wall and losing his rear axle in the process. Keeping it green all the way to the end, Cody Blake took down his first win of what has been a trying second-half to his 2023 season followed by Scott Dragon and Brandon Lanphear to round out the podium.


photo by Alan Ward
Barre’s Cody Blake turned around a tough mid-season slump to take the double purse win at Thunder Road.

photo by Alan Ward
Road Warriors Victory Lane (L-R) Nick Copping (3rd), winner Nate Brien, Brayden Murphy (2nd).

In the final feature event of the night, Brayden Murphy and Nick Copping brought out the fan-favorite Road Warriors for their 20-lap nightcap. Murphy held the lead until lap-six when Nate “Tater” Brien overtook the greenhorn and set the pace out front. With Tater extending his lead and Murphy holding his own in second, Copping was dead-set on defending his third-place position over “Flyin’” Fred Fleury, Jason Kirby, Tyler Wheatley and Neal Foster. With laps winding down in the green-to-checkers event it would be Williamstown’s Nate Brien taking the win followed by a first-time podium for Brayden Murphy and Nick Copping rounding out the winner’s circle.

UNOFFICIAL RESULTS

(local competitors)

Late Models – (50 Laps)

9. 86VT, Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott

16. 01VT, Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common

Flying Tigers – (40 Laps)

19. 22VT, Travis Patnoe, Wolcott

Street Stocks – (25 Laps)

17. 5, Kyle Gravel, Wolcott

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