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September 25th, 2017

O’Donnell to Resume Threepeat Drive Thursday Night at Thunder Road

N. Haverhill, NH's Derrick O'Donnell does celebratory burnouts after winning the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic at Thunder Road on May 24. Photo by Alan Ward

N. Haverhill, NH’s Derrick O’Donnell does celebratory burnouts after winning the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic at Thunder Road on May 24. Photo by Alan Ward

The 56th Thursday night opener at Barre, VT’s Thunder Road rolls to the line on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. with Harvest Equipment Night featuring Kids Rides. With it, N. Haverhill, NH’s Derrick O’Donnell resumes his drive for history.

The two-time defending “King of the Road” is seeking to become only the second driver in Thunder Road history to win three straight top-division championships. Chuck Beede won the first three Late Model titles from 1992-1994.

“For a team that just won the championship, I think we’ve worked harder than we ever have in this offseason to make sure we can do it again,” O’Donnell said prior to the start of the season. “We’re still getting better every year.”

O’Donnell is already atop the point standings in his three-peat quest after winning the Mekkelsen Memorial Day Classic on May 24. The event was the start of the 15-race weekly series that will decide the 2015 championship.

O’Donnell will have to contend with fellow two-time Thunder Road Late Model Champions Nick Sweet and Dave Pembroke, who both sit close behind him in the standings. Sweet recently finished runner-up in an American-Canadian Tour event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.

“A lot of it comes down to just the chemistry of how your team reacts to one another,” Sweet said. “You look at that O’Donnell team; they’re small, but they’re all family, they have good chemistry, and they understand each other.”

Scott Dragon has been strong early with two podium finishes this year. Top 2014 runners such as Shawn Fleury, Trampas Demers, Jason Corliss, and Cody Blake will like be factors again as well.

The 56th season of Thursday night racing at Thunder Road begins on Thursday, June 11 with Harvest Equipment Night featuring the annual Kids Rides. Front gates open at 3:45 p.m. with Kids Rides from 4:00-4:40 p.m. Post time is 6:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $3 for kids ages 6-12, and $25 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).

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