2022 ACT Community Bank 150 at Thunder Road Speedbowl

Nick Sweet Still King Of Barre With Fourth Community Bank 150 Win

Nick Sweet Still King Of Barre With Fourth Community Bank 150 Win

Nick Sweet became the only four-time winner of the ACT Community Bank 150 on Sunday afternoon at Thunder Road Speedbowl.

May 2, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
Sweet Wins Another Big Thunder Road Race

Barre, VT — With 117 cars on hand for the 63rd Season Opener at Thunder Road International Speedbowl, 17 qualifying races were needed before the four feature races took the green creating some of the best stock car racing in the United States at the ‘Nation’s Site of Excitement.’ When all the dust settled Sunday afternoon, a first time winner stood amongst hardened veterans and the ‘King of Barre’ remained on his throne.

Thirty-four American-Canadian Tour Late Models from across New England and Quebec converged onto Thunder Road to qualify for one of 26 starting positions for the 24th Community Bank 150. After Cody Leblanc earned the ACT provisional and Scott Dragon earned the Thunder Road provisional, 28 cars lined the front stretch, ready to take on the second ACT Late Model Tour event for 2022.

Marcel Gravel took a +6 in heat one to start on the pole, leading the first third of the annual 150-lapper. Although stalked close behind by former King of the Road Derrick O’Donnell and 2021 Thunder Road midseason champion Christopher Pelkey. St-Denis, Quebec’s Patrick Laperle brought out the first two cautions on laps 28 and 43 for separate spins with an ill-handling car. After throwing everything they could at it, Laperle would end his frustrating day on lap 49.

After patiently making his way from 12th on the start, Barre’s Nick Sweet methodically made his way to the front and around Gravel for the lead on lap 53. Following a lap 64 caution involving Thunder Road locals Darrell Morin and Tyler Cahoon in turn four, Sweet would continue to patiently make his way through lap traffic even when completely boxed in on the bottom with O’Donnell and Pelkey gaining behind him. On lap 88, after suffering with electrical issues all day, Rookie of the Year candidate Cody Leblanc turned into the infield after his ignition quit.

The last caution on lap 116 came out for the spinning Marcel Gravel in turn two. A great day turned sour for the Wolcott driver, pulling it into the pits on lap 132 to end his day. By then, it was the Sweet show through and through, leaving only the battle for second. Sweet took his 4th Community Bank 150 win followed by O’Donnell and Pelkey for 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Thunder Road regular Kyle Pembroke and defending King of the Road Jason Corliss took 4th and 5th followed by Stephen Donahue, Jimmy Hebert, Rich Dubeau, D.J. Shaw and Evan Hallstrom to round out the top-10.

The rk Miles Street Stocks pulled an impressive 32 cars for opening day as part of the ACT Community Bank 150. Three qualifying heats set the scene for an exciting 25 lap feature that took a turn for the worst on lap 2. With outside polesitter Thomas Peck getting loose in turn two a pile-up ensnared former champions Jamie Davis and 'The Farmer’ Gary Mullen along with rookie Zach Audet in the #9.

Even with a final caution on lap 14, Waterford, Vermont’s Dean Switser Jr. led the way from the start, flying under the checkered with Jeffery Martin hot on his tail for second. Following the post-race inspection of apparent 3rd place driver James Dopp, it was determined his left-side weight was over rule requirements and Haidyn Pearce was awarded the bronze on opening day.

The Burnetts Scrap Metals Road Warriors included a strong field of 18 cars for the first of May for the large crowd on hand. A relatively clean feature event for the crash-bang division with the first caution on lap 9 as Robert Catchapaw rode the wall in his Dukes of Hazzard inspired #03. The ensuing restart took Road Warrior stalwarts Jason Kirby and Rodney Campbell out of competition with three weeks to prepare for Memorial Day weekend. ‘Barbie Boy’ Frank Putney took the win in his hot pink ride followed by Nate ‘Tater’ Brien and Flyin’ Fred Fleury to fill out the podium.

The Number One Support Division in North America rolled out 28 strong after their B-Feature for a 40 lap dash with all eyes set on the Community Bank bonus in victory lane. The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers also had trouble on lap 2 between the #66VT of JT Blanchard and #28VT of Ryan Boutin. After the cleanup, they blistered the high banks until a small scuffle on the 21st circuit with Kevin Streeter’s #67VT brought out caution number two.

After taking the green, a huge pileup started in turn three with multiple cars scrambling and spinning to avoid the mayhem. Six cars were involved but all managed to return for the closing laps. In the final 17 laps, Williston, Vermont’s Justin Prescott managed to pace the field ahead of Derrick Calkins and Mike Billado. They would remain in line under the checkered flag.

Following a post-race burnout, Prescott received huge applause from the jovial crowd with a very excited pit crew behind him. Barre’s Jason Pelkey took a strong 4th place finish while rookie driver Kaiden Fisher grabbed his first top-5 in the Flying Tiger division.

Thunder Road will roar again on Sunday, May 29th for the 59th running of the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Along with 125 laps for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnetts Scrap Metals Road Warriors, the mighty tour-type modifieds return to ‘The Road.’ The $10,000-to-win Granite Capital 100 for the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series will feature some of the biggest names in Modified racing when they hit the track, it’s a can’t miss show!

The ACT Late Model Tour continues the 2022 season with a 150 lap event alongside the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model and Modified divisions at Winchester, New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway on Sunday, May 22nd.

For more information about the American-Canadian Tour, contact the ACT offices at (802) 244-6963, media@acttour.com, or visit www.acttour.com. You can also get updates on Facebook and Twitter at @ACTTour.

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, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.