BARRE, Vt. – The schedule for the upcoming season at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl is now set, with track officials revealing a 19-event campaign from mid-May to early-October.
The 62nd season atop Quarry Hill begins Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16. The annual Thunder Road Car Show is tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. on May 15, although it is dependent on the Vermont state health and safety guidelines in place come this time. Open practice for all local divisions will be held that afternoon.
The racing season gets underway Sunday, May 16 at 1:30 p.m. with the 23rdCommunity Bank N.A. 150 for the American-Canadian Tour. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Miles Street Stocks open their championship seasons that day with the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors rounding out the card.
The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models begin the King of the Road chase on Sunday, May 30 at the 58th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Memorial Day Classic returns this year with the format originally planned for 2020. The Late Models open their point-counting season in a special 125-lap event while the Flying Tigers kick off the Myers Container Service Triple Crown Series with a 100-lap showdown.
Weekly night racing then goes green on Friday, June 11 with a full card of championship action plus the annual visit from the New England Antique Racers. Thursday night action gets underway the following week on June 17 once local schools are out for the summer. The weekly racing schedule runs through Aug. 26.
During that time, a variety of special events are planned. The annual Independence Day Spectacular will take place on Thursday, July 1, making Thunder Road one of the first places in the region to celebrate the holiday. The second round of the Triple Crown Series is set for Thursday, July 8 with the championship round on Thursday, Aug. 5.
The month of July also includes the 42nd Vermont Governor’s Cup on July 15, the double-point Midseason Championships on July 22, and the annual Port-a-Potty Grand Prix on July 29. The 37th annual Bolduc Metal Recycling Enduro 200 opens the month of August on Sunday, Aug. 1. The Street Stocks run their annual 50-lap special that same night and have the annual Marvin Johnson Memorial First-Time Winner’s Race on June 24.
The Road Warriors go 50 laps as well in the third annual Road Warrior Challenge on August 12. Overall, the Warriors are scheduled to run most of the 2021 events, with nights off on June 11, July 15, and Aug. 5. The finale of the weekly racing season on Aug. 26 includes the annual Run-What-U-Brung Spectator Races.
Once weekly racing concludes, three huge events remain. The 43rd Optical Expressions Berlin Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday, Sept. 5 brings back the ACT Late Model Tour for their second visit of the year. All division champions, including the King of the Road will be crowned at Barre Granite Association Championship Night on Friday, Sept. 17.
The season wraps up with Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend from Friday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 3. Milk Bowl Friday is headlined by the Prelude to the Milk Bowl 150 for the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Models plus the North East Mini Stock Tour. The Milk Bowl field will be set at Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day on Saturday, Oct. 2 with the 59th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank on Sunday, Oct. 3. Following the conclusion of local and regional racing, Thunder Road will host its second annual Automotive Flea Market & Swap Meet on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Thunder Road’s schedule remains subject to change based on the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic at a local, regional, and national level. Certain special events and activities, such as the Kid’s Rides slated for June 17, the Driver Autograph session on July 22, and the Kid’s Poster Contest on Aug. 19, could also be rescheduled or modified based on whatever health requirements are in place.