BARRE, Vt. — Bobby Therrien saved his best for last to win the Optical Expressions Berlin Labor Day Classic 200 on Sunday at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl.
Therrien got the top spot for good from Jason Corliss on a lap-140 restart and stormed into the sunset for his fourth career win both at Thunder Road and on the American-Canadian Tour.
Therrien started sixth for the 200-lap endurance test and put on a charge early. The 2018 “King of the Road” moved around Matt White into the runner-up spot on lap 22 and went to work reeling in polesitter Stephen Donahue.
Therrien went around the outside of Donahue for the lead on the 42nd circuit. However, after the second caution on lap 45 for Ryan Kuhn’s broken suspension, it was Donahue who got the jump to regain the point.
The current number-two Thunder Road point driver wasn’t done, though, as Therrien snatched the lead back from Donahue on lap 56.
Defending Thunder Road champion and former Labor Day Classic winner Corliss then went underneath Donahue for second just before the fourth and fifth yellow flags on lap 68.
When the race resumed following a tangle involving Dylan Payea and Chip Grenier on the restart, Corliss outgunned Therrien to take the lead.
As the race neared the halfway point, Nick Sweet made it a three-car tango with the lead trio slicing through slower traffic.
Two more cautions on lap 111 let Milton’s Scott Dragon into the picture. Corliss drove away on the second restart with Therrien seemingly falling into the clutches of Dragon and Sweet as another pair of yellows interrupted the action — including one on lap 119 when Tyler Cahoon slammed the turn-one wall and necessitated a lengthy clean-up.
As it turned out, though, Therrien was simply leaving something in the chamber for later. After the 10th and ultimately final caution flew on lap 140 for debris, Therrien decided it was time to push the button.
He got the jump on his 2020 Thunder Road championship rival and continued to rim-ride the outside even after clearing Corliss. As the green flag run went longer, Therrien got stronger, running some his fastest laps with nearly 200 laps on the tires.
Sweet got around Corliss for second on lap 161 and tried his hardest to catch the leader in traffic. But Therrien was simply too much to handle, putting all but six other drivers a lap down as he walked away for his second win of the season.
Corliss ended up third and maintained his Thunder Road points lead with one event to go. Dragon took fourth while Christopher Pelkey had his career-best ACT effort in fifth.
Brendan Moodie, Brooks Clark, D.J. Shaw, Matt White, and ACT point leader Jimmy Hebert rounded out the top 10.
Jaden Perry completed a Labor Day weekend sweep with a win in the 40-lap Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger feature.
Perry, who also won the Flying Tiger event at New Hampshire’s White Mountain Motorsports Park the night before, started on the outside pole due to a long stretch of tough luck on the high banks.
After polesitter Tyler Austin led the first two circuits, Perry swung around him to gain the top spot.
Austin kept Perry honest throughout the caution-free race and even got back to his rear bumper late as they negotiated lapped traffic. Perry was able to shake his recent demons, though, and took the victory on a day where 35 Flying Tigers attempted to qualify.
Austin had his best run of the year in second while rookie Keegan Lamson finished a career-best third. Adam Maynard, Chris LaForest, Brett Wood, Colin Cornell, Kelsea Woodard, Sam Caron, and Bryan P. Wall completed the top 10.
Kaiden “Tropical Storm” Fisher was more powerful than a tornado en route to his third win of the season in the Allen Lumber Street Stocks. The rookie had charged from 13th on the starting grid to second just past halfway in the 25-lap feature.
However, he was still well behind Josh Lovely.
Fisher got the break he needed when Royce Lussier spun on lap 16 while trying to hold on to a top-five run. The caution wiped out Lovely’s advantage in a heartbeat, and on the restart, Fisher blazed right past.
After another yellow two laps later for Scott Weston’s spin, Fisher put the hammer down to complete the first-year trifecta.
Point leader Brandon Gray got around Lovely on the final restart to finish second. The veteran Lovely settled for third. Kyler Davis, Kyle MacAskill, Tanner Woodard, Tim Hunt, Jamie Davis, Trevor Jaques, and Michael Gay also earned top-10 finishes.
Sean “Chubby Rambo” McCarthy took advantage of some last-lap good fortune to snare his second Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior win of the season.
After getting shuffled back early from his sixth starting position, McCarthy rumbled back through the field and grabbed the second spot on lap 14.
He then went to work chasing down polesitter Luke Marcheski, who had built a huge lead while the field sliced and diced behind him.
McCarthy had moved with a few car lengths of Marcheski as they took the white flag, but a win still seemed out of reach. Coming down the back chute for the final tap, Marcheski suddenly slowed, and McCarthy alertly swung around the outside to steal the win.
Marcheski finished a heartbreaking second. Todd Raymo fended off a hornet’s nest of fellow Warriors to take third.
Justin Prescott, Josh Vilbrin, Tyler Whittemore, Dan Garrett Jr., Fred Fleury, Brian Putney, and Trevor Jaques came home fourth through 10th.