WATERBURY, Vt. — The 13th annual Merchants Bank 150 will open the season at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Sunday.
There is no track on the American Canadian Tour schedule that presents a bigger challenge to the ACT regular touring teams than Thunder Road and its regular teams. As many as eight former Thunder Road “King of the Road” champions are expected to be at the opening event.
Defending ACT Champion and 2011 point leader coming out of the opening event at Lee USA Speedway, Brian Hoar said, “I have had some pretty good success over the years at Thunder Road, I even won the King of the Road title in 1999, but that seems like a long, long time ago.
“When you have to compete against the kind of talent we have on the Tour this year with guys like Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. (Pole), John Donahue, Randy Potter, Brent Dragon, Joey Laquerre and a whole lot of others, and then you add in Thunder Road champions like Nick Sweet (defending champion), two three-time champions: Phil Scott and Cris Michaud, guys like Fisher, Pembroke and Whitcomb, just to name a few, it really is mind-boggling. I love the competition, and this is about as good as it gets in short track racing,” concluded Hoar.
There are more than 40 entries for the Merchants Bank 150 opener. Many of Thunder Road’s top 10 from last season are threats to win at their home track — Matt White, Joey Becker, Reno Gervais, and Brooks Clark, all top 10 finishers in 2010, will participate in the opening event.
“I expect this to be the biggest opening day field of ACT Late Model cars we have ever had at Thunder Road,” said promoter Tom Curley. “There are a lot of stories with the return of Jamie Aube and Mike Bruno, along with all the new teams on the Tour this year. I even heard this week that Patrick Laperle might be at the Merchants Bank 150. Why not? The Laperle team has won nearly every major event at Thunder Road, some twice, I am sure they would like to notch one more in their belt.”