BARRE, Vt. — Ten days after his first late model career win, which was 14 years in the making, Eric Chase was back in victory lane on FairPoint Communications Night Sunday at Thunder Road.
Chase ruled the FairPoint Communications Night 50-lap main event after taking the lead from Joey Becker on lap eight. Jason Corliss and Phil Scott spent over 20 laps in hot pursuit before the race came apart on the frontstretch on lap 43.
As lapped car Dave Whitcomb eased up the track to let Chase slip through, he was turned by Corliss who was coming off turn four at full throttle. Scott slammed on the brakes and came to a stop against Whitcomb, only to be hammered from behind by Jamie Fisher.
The ensuing restart found Chase and Joey M Laquerre in row one, Cody Blake and Dave Pembroke in row two and Nick Sweet and Becker in row three. The inside line was the swiftest leaving Pembroke little room while Blake took over second with Sweet a few feet away in third.
Blake swung to the high side in a final bid for the win, but got no further than the numbers on Chase’s door.
“The first win was special for me, but I want to dedicate this one to all the people who stuck with me over the years,” Chase said.
Jean-Paul Cyr finished fourth, a car-length ahead of Trampas Demers (fifth). Joey M Laquerre, Derrick O’Donnell, Brooks Clark, Brett Gervais and Dave Pembroke were next in line.
Mike Ziter of Williamstown took full advantage of a restart with two laps remaining to pass Tucker Williams and win the Tiger Sportsman feature. Ziter had to hang on when Chris Roberts, who had led the majority of the race, made a daredevil dive into turn three that rattled the leaders and landed him third place, inches behind Williams.
Williams had shot past Roberts on the low side with three laps remaining. Roberts twitched, recovered and pulled off his comeback move a lap later. The win was Ziter’s first of the season and the 4th of his career.
Rookie Tommy Elwood of Morrisville was much the best in the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature. Elwood led from the opening lap and won for the second time this season. When fellow rookie George Butler spun out while in close pursuit of the leader, Elwood opened up a comfortable advantage and was never headed.
Sixteen year-old Tyler Austin of East Calais – another rookie – had a strong showing as the runner-up. Jamie Davis moved past point leader Bunker Hodgdon after several laps of door-to-door racing to claim third. Alan Maynard completed the top five.