Governor Phil Scott became the first sitting governor to triumph in a Vermont stock car race on Thursday, July 6, capturing the Late Model win at Barre’s Thunder Road on Premium Mortgage Night. It was the 30th career win for the Berlin resident and first since being elected governor of the Green Mountain State.
Scott started on the pole of the 50-lap feature after a rough beginning to his season and darted out to the lead during the first half of the event. Barre’s Cody Blake quickly worked his way to second and was beginning to shadow Scott when the race’s first caution came out on lap 28 for an accident involving Wolcott’s Marcel J. Gravel and Milton’s Scott Dragon.
Three more cautions would follow, forcing the three-time track champion to fend off the field again and again. Scott was able stay ahead of Blake on the first two restarts before Blake was caught up in the third caution, putting Middlesex’s Josh Demers alongside. After Demers slapped the wall on the race’s final restart on lap 39, Scott was able to hold off Washington’s Ricky Roberts and Westford’s Darrell Morin for the win.
Morin caught Roberts at the line for second. Trampas Demers took fourth as Eric Chase bounced off the wall in fifth. Bobby Therrien, Gravel, Scott Coburn, Eric Badore, and Kyle Pembroke completed the top 10.
Grand Isle veteran “Double O” Joe Steffen captured his 16th career Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger victory in their 40-lap feature. Steffen grabbed the lead from polesitter Jason Pelkey on a lap-seven restart before falling into the clutches of Hinesburg’s Trevor Lyman and Morrisville’s Dwayne Lanphear late in the event. But Lyman and Lanphear got into a back-and-forth battle for second, allowing Steffen to pull away for the win.
Lyman edged Lanphear by inches for second. Jason Woodard and rookie Jamon Perry completed the top-five, with point leader Brendan Moodie, Robert Gordon, Tyler Austin, Burter Spooner III, and Mike Billado also earning top-10 finishes.
In the Allen Lumber Street Stocks, Duxbury’s Peyton Lanphear took her second win of the season and fourth of her career. Lanphear grabbed the top spot from polesitter Tom Campbell at the initial green flag, but had to escape the clutches of a five-car pack over the second half of the 25-lap feature. Following the race’s only caution on lap-20, she beat out Wolcott’s Jamie Davis and Craftsbury Common’s Stephen Martin for the win.
Matthew Smith took fourth followed by Will Hennequin in fifth. Kelsea Woodard, Michael Gay, Dean Switser Jr., Alan Mayanard, and Brandon Lanphear finished sixth through 10th.
Stephen Martin became a first-time with a victory in the Marvin Johnson Memorial Non-Winners Event. Martin took the lead from Kasey Collins on lap three of the 19-lap race and cruised to the win over Brandon Lanphear and Collins.
The 38th Annual Vermont Governor’s Cup takes center stage at Thunder Road next Thursday, July 13. NASCAR Champion Kyle Busch will be on hand to take on Phil Scott, Scott Dragon, Jason Corliss, and the rest of the Thunder Road Late Model starts for 150 green-flag laps. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and Allen Lumber Street Stocks will be in action as will. Post time is 6:30 with the front gates opening at 4:30 p.m. General admission is $20 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under.