Dragon Rules Thunder Road

Scott Dragon (Alan Ward photo)

BARRE, Vt. — Scott Dragon and Jason Corliss emerged as big winners on a wild Jet Service Envelope/Accura Printing Night at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on Thursday.

Dragon drove away from the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model field following a multi-car midrace tangle for his third victory of the year while Corliss took control of the “King of the Road” battle with his runner-up finish.

Both drivers were mired in traffic early in the 50-lap feature as Wolcott’s Brendan Moodie set the pace off the outside pole. After the first yellow on lap six when Marcel J. Gravel and Boomer Morris smacked the turn-two wall, Christopher Pelkey went to work on Moodie’s outside.

Pelkey put a bumper up for the first time on lap nine before finally clearing Moodie seven circuits later following a breathtaking battle. When the second caution came out on lap 21 for Nick Sweet’s spin, Dragon had only managed to advance three spots from his ninth starting position while Corliss was running eighth after taking the green in 14th. Meanwhile, championship runner-up Bobby Therrien was forced to pit during the yellow to try and correct an overheating issue.

On the restart, Matthew Smith moved under Moodie for the second spot while Dragon and Corliss began to slash behind him. As the field started the 26th circuit, Smith went to Pelkey’s inside in a bid for the lead.

The leaders made contact entering turn one, sending Pelkey spinning with Gravel, Trampas Demers, Craig Bushey, and Reilly Lanphear among those catching a piece. The accident meant that all three of Corliss’s closest challengers entering the night — Therrien, Demers, and Gravel — had run into trouble.

It was Moodie finding himself back on the point for the restart with Dragon second and Corliss fourth. Dragon easily outgunned Moodie at the drop of the green and set sail into the night. Corliss was able to get around Moodie for second 10 laps later, but Dragon was long gone, taking his 13th career Thunder Road victory as he tries to make a belated bid at a third Late Model championship.

Moodie hung on for a season-best third-place finish. Kyle Pembroke, Brooks Clark, Stephen Donahue, Matt White, Tyler Cahoon, Smith, and Demers completed the top 10.

Jason Pelkey had far better luck than his cousin Christopher as he finally found some good fortune to win the 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger feature.

Scott Weston withstood the thundering herd of the Allen Lumber Street Stocks down the stretch to triumph in their 25-lap feature.

Trevor Jaques went flag-to-flag to become only the second repeat winner of the year in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors.

Barre’s Tyler Whittemore filled the final spot on the podium. Josh Vilbrin, Luke Marcheski, Brian Putney, Fred Fleury, Frank Putney, Todd Raymo, and Jamie York also ended their nights in the top-10.

Chris Couture was the four-cylinder champion of the annual “Run-What-U-Brung” spectator races in a No. 44 Mini Cooper. Justin Lawrence and his Chevy Corvette triumphed in the eight-cylinder division for the second straight year.

The winners then held multiple run-offs to determine the overall champion. Couture won the first run-off on a “handicapped” start while Lawrence took the second shootout with a straight-up start.