BARRE, Vt. – Bobby Therrien was nearly unstoppable on his way to victory in the 57th Vermont Milk Bowl presented by Northfield Savings Bank at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl on Sunday.
The 2017 “King of the Road” bounced back from a heartbreaking runner-up finish in the 2018 Milk Bowl by winning it from the pole with an overall score of eight points.
One year after losing the overall win on the final corner, Therrien left no doubt all weekend that he was the man to beat. The veteran got his Sunday started out on the right foot by going wire-to-wire to win the first segment from the pole.
Therrien then found the luck every Milk Bowl winner needs, when he evaded a six-car pile-up on the opening corner of the second segment that swept up contenders Scott Payea and Patrick Laperle, among others.
With the field thinned out considerably thanks to the crash, plus several more cautions that followed, Therrien sliced through the pack to finish runner-up in the second segment while Plainfield, NH’s Rich Dubeau ran away with the win.
The result gave Therrien a subtotal of three points entering the final segment – six ahead of former Milk Bowl winner Joey Polewarczyk and 10 up on Brooks Clark.
Therrien started the final segment three spots behind Polewarczyk on the grid. However, he needed only three laps to get underneath “Joey Pole”, further cementing his status as the frontrunner. As Polewarczyk remained hung up in traffic, Therrien coolly drove his way up through the field once again.
He broke into the top-five of the caution-free segment on lap 40, which was more than enough to put him in a clinching position.
Although Clark gave it his best effort and captured the runner-up spot in the final segment, Therrien’s edge was too much to overcome.
The result made Therrien the second consecutive driver to win the Milk Bowl with a single-digit score, after the Milk Bowl had previously gone 20 years without such a feat.
It also landed him more than $12,000 in unofficial total prize money, an entry on the Milk Bowl granite monument – and perhaps most importantly, a kiss with genuine Vermont beauty Ayris (a 10-year-old Ayrshire dairy cow) in victory lane.
Clark’s second-place finish in the final segment also gave him second place in the overall with 15 points. Tyler Cahoon took third overall thanks in part to a third-segment win.
Polewarczyk’s struggles in the final segment dropped him to fourth overall. Newly-crowned “King of the Road” Jason Corliss finished fifth in his bid for a third straight Milk Bowl crown.
Marcel J. Gravel, Scott Dragon, Jimmy Hebert, Dubeau, and Matthew Smith rounded out the top 10 at the finish.
Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard put the cap on a dream season by taking the victory in the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger “Mini Milk Bowl”.
Woodard won the first segment from the pole on Saturday, and on Sunday, he charged up to sixth in the caution-free 40-lap second segment.
His total of seven points gave him the overall win by two markers over Barre’s Jason Pelkey, who finished fourth and fifth in the two stanzas.
It was Woodard’s fourth win of the year in a campaign where he also won the Thunder Road track championship, Myers Container Services Triple Crown Series championship, and White Mountain Motorsports Park Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series title.
Kyle Streeter completed the podium with a total of 10 points. Cooper Bouchard, Kelsea Woodard, Mike Billado, Tyler Austin, Mike Martin, Brad Bushey, and Stephen Martin completed the overall top-10.
Kevin Streeter won the second segment.
Jason Kenison took advantage of a crazy final lap to win the Allen Lumber Street Stock Mini Milk Bowl. Kenison opened the day with a victory in a first segment that included the whole division getting a mid-race “time out” for rough driving.
In the second segment, Kenison entered the final lap in the ninth position, putting him in a tie for the provisional overall with St. Johnsbury’s Kasey Beattie – but with Beattie having the tiebreaker advantage by leading the pack they were racing in.
However, a lapped car drifted up the track into Beattie’s path exiting turn two, creating a mad scramble. Kenison saw a hole down low and filled it, gaining two spots to take the overall with a score of eight points.
Beattie settled for second with 10 total points after finishing fourth and sixth in the two segments. Tommy “Thunder” Smith came in third overall.
Justin Blakely topped a three-way tie for fourth after Ryan Ware was disqualified for being too low. J.T. Blanchard, Kyle MacAskill, segment two winner Brandon Gray, Keegan Lamson, Tom Campbell, and Darren Newland finished fifth through 10th.
Brian Putney inherited his third win of the season in the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior Mini Milk Bowl. Putney came in second overall on the track after finishing third in the first segment on Saturday and fifth in the second segment on Sunday.
He then was awarded the first-place trophy after Luke Marcheski was disqualified for tire and air intake violations.
Eric “Pork” Chase became the new second-place overall finisher, while Dan Garrett Jr. inherited third. James Dopp, Josh Vilbrin, Fred Fleurly, Paige Whittemore, Mike Mitchell, Frank Putney, and Anthony Campbell also earned top-10 finishes.
Andy Hill pulled a clean sweep in the 7-Eleven Dwarf Cars by winning both segments of their Mini Milk Bowl.
Hill, this year’s White Mountain Motorsports Park Champion, got around the outside of Jason Wyman with two laps to go to win the first 20-lap segment. He then came from shotgun on the field in the second segment to run down Norman Forest in the closing laps.
Forest finished runner-up in the second segment and the overall. Colby Bourgeois used a pair of fourth-places in the two segments to take third in the final rundown.
Bourgeois was followed by Chad Dufour, Jeff Ainsworth, Cody Wyman, Jason Wyman, Dave Gyger, Kevin Wyman, and Tom Harwood.