BARRE, Vt. – The 56th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank is coming up fast on the Thunder Road calendar.
With three days of racing action scheduled for Sept. 28-30, this year’s Milk Bowl is setting up to be the biggest in the event’s 56-year history.
The leading names in Northeast stock car racing will be on hand for the unique 3-segment event dubbed “The Toughest Short Track Race in North America.” From the first practice session on Friday until the checkered flag in the final 50-lap segment, each must go all-out in order to secure the $10,000+ winner’s check and add their name to one of Thunder Road’s granite monuments.
Milk Bowl entries are already coming in, and the names on the early list include the best of the best Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model and American-Canadian Tour pilots. Three-time Milk Bowl Champion Nick Sweet, current ACT point leader Scott Payea, 2018 King of the Road Scott Dragon, defending Milk Bowl Champion Jason Corliss, and 2017 King of the Road Bobby Therrien are just a few of the names who have already entered the Thunder Road season finale.
The Milk Bowl is just one part of this year’s extravaganza. A total of eight local and regional divisions will compete throughout the three-day weekend. All told, 200 racers or more are expected to tackle the Barre high banks.
“We want the Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend to be one the signature events on everybody’s annual racing calendar – not just in the Northeast, but throughout the country,” Thunder Road managing partner Cris Michaud said. “The Milk Bowl is already the toughest race around to win, and with this year’s additions, we’re confident it will be bigger and better than ever.”
The weekend includes the inaugural Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl Friday on September 28 at 6 p.m. This special evening of racing brings in three of the Northeast’s top touring series. The Pro All Star Series Super Late Models make their second visit of the year to Thunder Road that Friday. PASS point leader D.J. Shaw, two-time champion Travis Benjamin, Joey Polewarczyk Jr. and Derek Griffith are among those who have already entered the 150-lap event.
Also on Milk Bowl Friday, the North East Mini Stock Tour returns to the track for the first time since 2013 for a 50-lap event. The V8 Street Stock Showdown Series will go 50 laps for $1,000 to win in their Thunder Road debut. The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors round out the program. A fireworks display provided by Northstar Fireworks will follow the evening’s racing action.
Vermont Milk Bowl Weekend will really get down to business on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. with Booth Bros./H.P. Hood Qualifying Day. For Late Model competitors, the challenging path to a Milk Bowl victory begins with just trying to get in the race. Time trials and 50-lap qualifying races will set the first 22 positions in the 26-car Segment 1 starting field, putting the pressure on competitors to set themselves up for a successful Sunday.
Then on Sept. 30, it’s time for the biggest event of the year at Thunder Road. The day kicks off at 12:15 p.m. with the Last Chance B Feature to fill the final four spots on the Milk Bowl grid. The green flag for the first of three 50-lap segments will fly at 1:30 p.m. following Opening Ceremonies. The finishing order from each segment will be inverted to start the following segment, and the overall win will go to the driver with the losing combined finishing positions in all three segments.
The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, Allen Lumber Street Stocks, and New England Dwarf Cars join the Late Models on both the Saturday and Sunday schedule. All three divisions will run time trials and Segment 1 of their 2-segment Mini Milk Bowls on Saturday with Segment 2 for each on Sunday.