BARRE, Vt. – Nick Sweet went home with the winner’s trophy/hardware on Aubuchon Night after a masterful performance in the Late Model 100 Friday at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl.
It was the first win of the season for the defending track champion, who came from 18th on the starting grid in the St. J Auto No. 88.
Sweet shot underneath eventual runner-up Jean-Paul Cyr for 2nd on lap 52, took the lead from Brett Gervais a lap later and then quickly drew out to a commanding advantage.
Cyr got home second just ahead of a fierce battle between Scott Payea (third) and Dave Pembroke (fourth). Cody Blake rallied late for fifth, just ahead of Brooks Clark.
Sweet drove flawlessly throughout, including two key moves in traffic that set up his surge to the front. He eased in front of Blake to stay at Pembroke’s bumper and avoid getting caught in the slower lane on lap 28. Ten laps later, he dove under lapped car Bobby Eldred to slip ahead of Pembroke and set sail for Cyr.
“I’m really excited about this,” Sweet said in victory lane. “I want to thank my Dad especially for all his help. This is a turnaround race for us. It’s good to be finishing the season this way.”
“He really closed fast,” Cyr said. “I had the car up where it was working for me. Us old men have all we can do to keep with these young guys.”
Gervais started on the outside pole. He had a five car-length lead by lap 32, before Cyr and Sweet began to reel him in. He finished 9th, just behind Derrick O’Donnell and Jamie Fisher, one spot better than Brett Wheeler (10th).
In the 35-lap Tiger Sportsman feature, Brendan Moodie of Wolcott outlasted Chris Roberts after seven lead changes during their side-by-side duel and went on to his 2nd win of the season.
Moodie had raced on the outside of Roberts in his Bernie Sanders/Nathan Brown No. 94 for 14 laps before contact between Cam Ouellette and Jason Allen – running in 3rd and 4th at the time – brought out the third and final caution. The restart reset Moodie on the inside with Roberts on the outside. Moodie quickly got the upper hand as Jason Woodard and Mike Ziter used the low line to move into 2nd and 3rd.
Adam Pierson and Mike Martin finished behind Ziter to complete the top five. Eric Badore and point leader Shawn Fleury were next in line.
Darrell Morin won the Tiger Sportsman semi-feature after winning his heat race. Randy Gonyaw, Scott Coburn, and Ziter (2-3-4) also picked up valuable points in the semi.
Jennifer Getty held off Jamie Davis, who was perched at her rear quarter panel, to post her second Street Stock win. Donnie Yates took a run on the outside after Getty, but never drew alongside. “Super Joe” Fecteau and Davis gained ground in second and third before Davis took over the runner-up spot. Yates fought back for third with Bunker Hodgdon fourth and Fecteau fifth.
The red flag was thrown for veteran Tommy “Thunder” Smith who wound up on his roof in his Allen Lumber Street Stock heat. Smith was not injured.