Hinesburg, VT’s Bobby Therrien heads to the “Nations Site of Excitement” as the American Canadian Tour (ACT) points leader this weekend for the 57th season opener of Barre, VT’s Thunder Road. Therrien, with a dominating win in the season opener at Oxford Plains Speedway and a 7th place finish last Sunday at Lee USA Speedway, leads three-time ACT Tour Champion Wayne Helliwell Jr. by just two points heading into the 18th Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday at 1 pm.
Helliwell, with a fourth-place finish in the opener at Oxford and a strong second last week at Lee, is looking to carry the checkered flag around the high banked ¼-mile track again like he did in 2014. Brad Babb, driving the Joey Laquerre owned 15NH, stole the show in last year’s Merchants Bank 150 with Helliwell settling for second place. Babb became the 12th different winner in 17 editions of the event.
The ACT Tour drivers will not only be competing against each other but will also have to battle many of the weekly Thunder Road Late Model competitors. Second generation driver Cody Blake, Jason Corliss and Trampas Demers have filed entries to compete and Lt. Governor Phil Scott attended an open practice session at Thunder Road on April 20.
Thunder Road’s 57th season-opening weekend begins on Saturday, April 30 with the annual Thunder Road Car Show on Main Street in Barre from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by the race car parade up Quarry Hill to the track featuring the Catamount Pipe Band, the “Warpipes of Thunder Road.” An open practice session for all divisions will follow and is open to the public. Post time for the Merchants Bank 150 on Sunday, May 1 is 1 p.m. Admission is $25 for adults with kids 12 and under admitted free.