BARRE, Vt. – Jason Corliss remained the man to beat at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl with a dominant victory in the 57th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic on Sunday.
Corliss took the lead on lap 27 of the 100-lap event and was never challenged the rest of the way en route to his fourth straight victory on the Barre high banks dating back to the 2018 season.
After earning the second starting spot in qualifying, Corliss drifted back to fifth in the early going while polesitter Christopher Pelkey set the pace. But it didn’t take lomg for Corliss to flip the switch. As the long green flag run continued, Corliss lashed back to the front of a battle that reached nine cars at times, moving around the outside of Pelkey for the lead on the 27th circuit.
Corliss’s biggest scare came on lap 46 when Darrell Morin got into Stephen Donahue as the two fought to stay on the lead lap. Donahue spun in turn four to bring out the event’s lone caution and Corliss was able to barely miss him by moving high.
On the restart, Corliss made quick work of Fayston’s Brooks Clark and pulled back out to a straightaway lead in just six laps. Part of his big lead was erased when Corliss spent several laps waiting out a pack of lapped cars as they jockeyed for position. But when his path cleared, Corliss set sail once again, earning his 14th career Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model win and second Memorial Day Classic triumph. The fourth straight victory matched a feat last seen at Thunder Road by Clem Despault in 1983.
Clark crossed the line second but was penalized to the last car on the lead lap for a suspension violation. The penalty handed the second position to Northfield’s Matt White after he fended off Marcel J. Gravel in the closing circuits.
Jaden Perry was able to hold off a late challenge to earn his first Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger win. The former Rookie of the Year started sixth and went to the outside to take the lead from polesitter Robert Gordon on lap 10 of the 40-lap feature.
Jeffrey Martin rebounded from an opening day crash to score the victory in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. Martin started on the pole of the 25-lap feature and ran away early. He then easily held off Bryan P. Wall after two cautions, including a red flag on lap-18 when Frank Putney barrel-rolled into the turn one tire barriers, to take the win.
Nate Brien joined Corliss in being two-for-two on the season by taking his second straight Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior win. Brien started way back in 19th for the 20-lap feature but charged through the field and got past polesitter Brodie Frazier on lap 14 for the victory.