Local hero Nick Sweet added to his growing legend on Sunday, October 11, slicing through the field in the final laps to win the final segment and capture his second career Northfield Savings Bank Milk Bowl win in the 2015 Thunder Road season finale.
The multi-time Thunder Road Late Model Champion entered the final segment trailing rival and three-time defending “King of the Road” Derrick O’Donnell by five points in the overall tally and was running seventh to O’Donnell’s eleventh when the first of three caution flags flew on lap 37 of the 50-lap segment. Seeing the Milk Bowl within his grasp, Sweet seized the moment, needing just seven more laps to charge to the lead.
Sweet’s thrilling dash and Segment 3 win gave him a final score of 13 points, one better than O’Donnell, who could do no better than seventh in the Segment 3 rundown. The comeback victory was greeted by a thunderous ovation from one of the biggest crowds of the 2015 season.
“This is my finest moment in my career right here,” Sweet said. “There’s nothing that has ever topped this. It’s just a perfect day. Words cannot describe it.
“Derrick is obviously a great competitor, and I know how he feels right now, because I’ve lost three championships to him in the last three years,” Sweet added. “But sometimes it’s good to be on the other end.”
Polesitter and Segment 1 winner O’Donnell finished a bittersweet second. Defending American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Champion Joey Polewarczyk Jr. took third overall followed by eight-time ACT Champion Brian Hoar and top local racer Cody Blake. Phil Scott, Kyle Pembroke, Scott Dragon, Wayne Helliwell Jr., and Brad Babb completed the top 10.
Barre’s Doug Crowningshield scored his second win of the season in the Bond Auto Tiger Sportsman Mini Milk Bowl. Crowningshield finished third in the first 30-lap segment on Saturday and then knifed through the on-track carnage to a fourth-place result in Segment 2 on Sunday. His total score of seven points gave him the tiebreaker over Segment 1 winner Shawn Fleury on the strength of a better final-segment finish.
Mike Billado finished third overall followed by Joe Steffen and Mike Martin. Cameron Ouellette, Jason Woodard, 2015 Tiger Champion Brendan Moodie, David Finck, and Segment 2 winner Mark Barnier finished sixth through 10th.
Whitefield, NH’s Ben Belanger took the Allen Lumber Street Stock Mini Milk Bowl after winning the first 25-lap segment and finishing 11th in the second segment. Marcel J. Gravel won a tiebreaker with Matthew Smith for the runner-up spot. Reigning Street Stock Champion Jamie Davis, Jamon Perry, Segment 2 winner Nick Pilotte, Gary Mullen, Kevin Streeter, Garry Bashaw, and Tyler Austin rounded out the top 10.