Barre’s Chris Pelkey Takes Community Bank 150

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American-Canadian Tour Community Bank 150 Victory Lane podium finishers were, from left, Gabe Brown (3rd), winner Chris Pelkey and Chip Grenier (2nd).

BARRE – A showcase of Thunder Road tradition awaited spectators and teams alike on Saturday, as over 100 cars joined the annual car show and a celebration of the late, great Ken Squier.

What followed was nothing short of tradition, with the competition brimming with talent and the showmanship that helped Squier name his palace on Quarry Hill the Nation’s Site of Excitement.

The Street Stocks started the feature action with 2023 Rookie of the Year Ryan Foster leading the field to green. Before too long, Milton’s Trevor Jaques made his way to the front of the pack with Graniteville’s Tyler Whittemore looking underneath for some racing room. Jaques surged ahead with three laps remaining and diced through lap traffic with just enough to take an opening day win.

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Street Stock Victory Lane podium finishers included, from left, Dean Switser, Jr. (3rd), winner Trevor Jaques and Tyler Whittemore (2nd).

Longtime pilot Chris LaForest led the Flying Tigers under the green flag in the 40-lap feature event. The Barre native looked to have a career day but trouble brewed behind him. Dicing his way through the top 10, 2023 championship hopeful Brandon Gray made his way to the front and used the crossover move in turn two to steal the lead away from LaForest on lap 21. By lap 30 Gray, LaForest and Sam Caron began to criss-cross through lapped traffic with Gray getting all the breaks and pulling away at the front. Gray took the opening day victory followed by Chris LaForest and Sam Caron rounding out the podium.

A series of former Thunder Road track champions kept the invaders busy in the American-Canadian Tour Community Bank N.A. 150. Former Flying Tiger champion Jimmy Hebert paced the field throughout the majority of the event while multi-time champions Jason Corliss, Derrick O’Donnell and Scott Dragon kept on his back bumper. The side-by-side action came to a head on lap 144 when Hebert, O’Donnell and Marcel Gravel careened into the Turn Four wall for a red flag with fire under O’Donnell’s hood. Quickly extinguished by Speedway Safety Services, and following clean-up, the race was back.

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Flying Tiger Victory Lane podium finishers included, from left, Sam Caron (3rd), winner Brandon Gray and Chris LaForest (2nd).

With the final restart, Chris Pelkey, who had been mixing it up in the top-five throughout the race, made his play against ACT Tour star Gabe Brown and kept his foot mashed in the firewall. Pelkey, the 2022 King of the Road, kept the pressure on and won his first career American-Canadian Tour point-counting event at his home track. Fellow Thunder Road hot-shoe Chip Grenier took home second with Brown taking third.

Kendall Zeno and Benjamin Bushey brought out the Road Warriors to wrap up the day’s activities. The racers put on a show at the front with veterans Neal Foster, Bert Duffy and Tyler Wheatley quickly joining the early leaders at the front. All was well until coming out of turn four on lap 18, Bushey kept turning right and landing both himself and Foster into the widowmaker for a roll-over to make opening day complete.

Kendall Zeno kept pace on the restart to take his first victory with Tyler Wheatley and Bert Duffy rounding out the podium.

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Chris Pelkey climbs from his car, victorious at the Nation’s Site of Excitement with a first career American-Canadian Tour win at the Community Bank, N.A. 150.

Thunder Road roars back to life on Sunday, May 26 to the ground-pounding rumble of the mighty Monaco.

The 26th annual Community Bank, N.A. 150


(local competitors)

American-Canadian Tour

Community Bank 150 (150 Laps)

21. 86VT, Marcel J. Gravel, Wolcott

24. 01VT, Stephen Martin, Craftsbury Common

Flying Tigers – (40 Laps)

6.      15NH, Brendan Moodie, Wolcott

9.      01VT, Michael Martin, Craftsbury Common

22. 5RI, Kyle Gravel, Wolcott

24. 22VT, Travis Patnoe, Wolcott

Street Stocks – (25 Laps)

15., 34, Patrick Tibbetts, Plainfield

17., 32, Kylee Potter, Marshfield

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