2021 59th Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl

Nick Sweet Ties A Legend With Fourth Milk Bowl Win

Nick Sweet Ties A Legend With Fourth Milk Bowl Win

Nick Sweet made a late decision to race the Vermont Milk Bowl, which resulted in his fourth career win in Thunder Road's prestigious race.

Oct 18, 2021 by FloRacing Staff

Barre, VT — Hometown driver Nick Sweet capped a heavenly weekend by winning his record-tying fourth Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl at Barre’s Thunder Road on Sunday, October 17. After setting a track record during Saturday qualifying, Sweet won the first 50-lap segment and fought the rest of the way to his 23rd career Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model victory and 12th ACT-sanctioned Late Model triumph.

Sweet, who only decided to enter the 59th Vermont Milk Bowl the Monday before the event, equaled the feat of New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Robbie Crouch. To top things off, Sweet’s engine expired at the finish and had a puddle of oil underneath it following Victory Lane ceremonies — which included a very enthusiastic kiss of the Vermont dairy cow beauty queen.

From the get-go, Sweet had his work cut out against a stout field. Although Sweet went wire-to-wire in the first segment, he spent most of it with reigning track champion Jason Corliss all over him like a shadow. Corliss was able to get inside Sweet with 15 laps remaining, but Sweet used a lapped car as a pick to hold on. He then darted away in a six-lap sprint to the finish following Marcel J. Gravel’s spin.

The top Segment 1 finishers then had to come from the rear in Segment 2. Things opened up when Trampas Demers and Eric Chase got hooked battling for third just past the halfway point. As Matthew Smith ran away to win the segment, Sweet, Derek O’Donnell, and Joey Polewarczyk forged their way forward. Sweet took third for the segment in the tire tracks of Polewarczyk with O’Donnell right behind. That gave Sweet a four-point edge over O’Donnell and Corliss entering the final 50-lap segment while Polewarczyk sat fourth with 10 points.

The top-three spent the first half of the segment boxed in traffic with O’Donnell even pitting during a lap-16 caution to try and solve handling woes. That gave Polewarczyk a chance to make a move, and when Brendan Moodie looped it in turn four to bring out the caution with 23 laps to go, “Joey Pole” was up to fifth. Corliss sat eighth with Sweet ninth, setting up a showdown to the finish.

A lap after the restart, Sweet made what proved to be the winning move. Corliss tried to go around the outside of Eric Chase for seventh on the backstretch, but Sweet dove under both of them entering turn three, gaining two spots giving himself a cushion over the competition.

Polewarczyk tried to keep pace by going to the high line, but could not find the grip he needed, sliding back in the closing stages. Sweet settled into the fifth spot and seemed secure for the victory before his car started losing power on the final lap. Knowing how close he was to a Milk Bowl trophy, Sweet kept his foot in it, taking the checkered flag and then watching smoke billow from the engine after pulling into Victory Lane.

Sweet’s finishes of 1st, 3rd, and 5th gave him nine total points. It was the fourth straight year a single-digit score has won. Barre’s Corliss, who was also pursuing a fourth Milk Bowl victory, ended up second overall with a score of 15 (2, 6, 7). Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien won the final segment, which vaulted him all the way to third in the final rundown (5, 11, 1). Polewarczyk, O’Donnell, Tyler Cahoon, Christopher Pelkey, Kyle Pembroke, Demers, and Stephen Donahue completed the top-10.


VIDEO: Watch highlights from the Vermont Milk Bowl on FloRacing. 

Barre’s Cameron Ouellette was the overall winner of a wide-open Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tiger Mini Milk Bowl. Ouellette finish third in Saturday’s first 40-lap segment behind Sam Caron and Logan Powers, which put all three at the tail of the field to start Sunday’s stanza.

They, along with the rest of Saturday’s top 10, struggled mightily to break through the herd ahead. With only a single caution, which came on lap 16 for Kaiden Fisher’s turn-two spin, opportunities were few and far between. That gave no less than 15 drivers a legitimate chance at the overall win as the laps wound down.

Finally with about 10 laps to go, Jason Pelkey, Joel Hodgdon, and Ouellette were able to put a train together on the outside. They rolled up to the 10th, 11th, and 12th positions in Segment 2 by the time checkered flag flew. After stopping the field on the frontstretch to tally up the points, Ouellette was declared the Mini Milk Bowl winner with a score of 15 points. It was Ouellette’s second win of the year and seventh of his career.

Hodgdon’s 17 points (6, 11) gave him the second-place trophy while Pelkey (8, 10) won a tiebreaker with Caron for third. Kevin Boutin Jr., Powers, Justin Prescott, Robert Gordon, Bryan Wall Jr., and Matthew Potter completed the top-10. East Calais’s Tyler Austin went flag-to-flag for the second segment victory. 

Williamstown’s Josh Lovely won the second segment and the overall of the RK Miles Street Stock Mini Milk Bowl. Lovely finished fourth in Saturday’s 25-lap segment and saw one of his rivals go by the wayside early on Sunday when Dean Switser Jr.’s car shut down. From there, Lovely waited out some first-half traffic before building some distance over Jeffrey Martin and Segment 1 winner Tommy “Thunder” Smith.

A spin by Smith on lap-18 moved Lovely closer to the victory. Then with three laps to go, Taylor Hoar and Gary Mullen made contact on the frontstretch while fighting for third. Hoar slid through the infield and was nailed by Smith when she came back on the track in turn one. Both drivers walked away from the hard impact.

That moved Lovely up to fourth for the three-lap dash to the checkered flag. Michael “Biffer” Gay got the jump off the outside over Will Hennequin as Lovely followed him to third. Then coming into turn three of the final time, Gay and Hennequin got together. That crossed up Biffer, and Lovely shot around both of them to win all the marbles with five total points.

Barre’s Martin (3, 8) took second with his teammate Kyler Davis (5, 10) in third. Gay managed to hang on for third in the second segment, which gave him fourth overall in a tiebreaker over Haidyn Pearce. Jesse Laquerre, Justin Blakely, James Dopp, Hennequin, and Smith rounded out the top-10.

Fairfax’s Alan Maynard returned to racing in style by winning the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warrior Mini Milk Bowl. Mayard, a multi-time Street Stock winner, followed Barre’s Taylor Sayers across the finish line for second in the first 25-lap segment. Fred Fleury and Bert Duffy weren’t far behind, and the foursome quickly worked their way forward in Segment 2, aided by a six-car pile-up two circuits into the race.

As Mark Beaulieu and Matt Ballard diced for the segment win, the quartet behind them went at it for the overall. Following a midrace restart, Maynard got around Sayers for fifth the hard way on the outside. When another caution flew with seven laps to go, Maynard cut under Fleury, and his resulting fourth-place segment finish gave him a winning score of six points.

Duffy and Sayers both had seven points, with Milton’s Duffy getting the second spot thanks to his better second-segment finish. Fleury, Ballard, Putney, Segment 2 winner Beaulieu, Bill O’Connor, Curtis Franks, and Ryan Sayers also got top-10 finishes.

The 2021 Thunder Road racing season is now complete. The track will host its second annual Automotive Flea Market and Swap Meet on Saturday, October 30 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. General admission is $5 for adults and free for kids ages 12 and under. Vendors and exhibitors can register by visiting www.thunderroadvt.com.

Thunder Road will release the 2022 racing schedule in late November or early December. The 2021 Thunder Road Banquet of Champions will be held in the spring of 2022 with a date and location to be announced.

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, media@thunderroadvt.com, or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @ThunderRoadVT. For more information about FloRacing, visit www.FloRacing.com.