History Maker: Jon McKennedy Wins Inaugural New England Super Modified Series Event At Thunder Road

(Press release from Thunder Road International Speedbowl)

Jon McKennedy is interviewed after winning the first ever event for the New England Super Modified Series Friday at Thunder Road (Photo: Alan Ward/Thunder Road)

Friday’s 5-division card at Thunder Road opened the weekly racing series at the Barre, Vermont oval. The racing was some of the best seen at the storied highbanks this season with razor thin finishes and the fastest speeds ever witnessed at the 63-year-old speedbowl. In the end, it was Derrick Calkins who started his quest for the Myers Container Service Triple Crown on strong footing and New England ace Jon McKennedy who stole the debut show of the New England Supermodified Series. 

The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors set a blistering pace themselves, for the lipstick-on-a-pig class of cars. Their caution free event led to a dramatic crescendo in the final lap. With Milton’s Jason Kirby in the Bobby Dragon-inspired rig leading, his luck flew away with his motor expiring under the white flag, leaving the win to Graniteville’s ‘Flyin’ Fred Fleury with the #95 of Taylor Sayers taking second and Neal Foster’s #19 taking third. 

The rk Miles Street Stocks stock-piled yet another strong field of cars onto the racetrack and gave the large crowd on hand one of the best 4-cylinder races seen at Thunder Road this season. Starting off upside down was former champion Jamie Davis, who took a scary hit in the turn-two wall, ending up on his lid before the field completed one lap. After the lengthy clean up, Northfield’s James Dopp drove hard directly above Milton’s Trevor Jaques in his sophomore season through the closing laps. Dopp would edge out Jaques by just 0.035-seconds under the checkered flags with second-generation driver Taylor Hoar earning her first podium finish. 

Coming off the spectacular 125 Memorial Day Classic two weeks ago, anticipation was high for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models and they certainly didn’t disappoint. With all-time wins leader Phil Scott on the outside front row and sophomore pilot Cooper Bouchard starting on the pole, so began a wild ride. Vermont Governor Scott did not fare well on the outside, the handling getting away from him in the corners that allowed Wolcott’s Marcel Gravel to capitalize to the top spot. With a straight-away lead over nearest challengers Scott Dragon, Christopher Pelkey and Darrell Morin, Gravel nearly had it in the bag. 

It was a lap-38 caution that reset the playing field, pitting Gravel and Dragon head-to-head. In what may certainly be the best ten-laps at Thunder Road this season, Dragon held his own on the high groove while Gravel did the same below for the final circuits. In the end, Scott Dragon used the famous outside groove to secure his first Thunder Road victory since 2020, Gravel followed him for second and Pelkey for third. Montpelier’s Kyle Pembroke earned fourth with Danville’s Tyler Cahoon nabbing fifth. Rookie contender Keegan Lamson impressed with a sixth-place finish for the Berlin freshman.

The debut of the New England Supermodified Series brought the fastest speeds of any car to ever grace Thunder Road. In all, eight of these winged behemoths launched into action but not one of them had anything for Jon McKennedy. McKennedy led from the beginning, facing his only major challenge by the open-wheel ace Russ Wood who threateningly stalked the Silver #79 throughout the event. Unfortunately for Wood, his ‘lay-back-and-wait’ strategy went up in smoke with a blown motor on lap-65. At the restart, it was no contest and McKennedy drove away, posting a fast lap of 9.73-seconds on the quarter-mile. Anthony Nocella and Rob Summers joined him in victory lane with second and third, respectively. 

Finally, the first leg in the Myers Container Triple Crown Series for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers was hotly debated throughout the 75-lap affair by pole-starting Derrick Calkins and Sam Caron. Through trial and tribulation, as hard-luck struck several top Flying Tiger teams, including Rich Lowrey and rookie Kaiden Fisher, both Calkins and Caron battled hard but it was Calkins that came out ahead, in the end. After his first win at the Community Bank 150 and a Memorial Day top-5, Justin Prescott took third to remain high in championship standings. Barre’s Jason Pelkey held on for fourth with Logan Powers impressing with a hard fought fifth.

Barre, Vermont’s Thunder Road starts their annual Thursday Night events on June 16 with Casella Waste Management Night. Casella Night will feature the return of the New England Antique Racers (NEAR) along with continued championship battles for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and rk Miles Street Stocks. As with every racing event at Thunder Road, Casella Waste Management Night will be live at home and around the world with FloRacing, the Official Streaming Partner of Thunder Road. More information will be released in the coming days.

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

Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT

Myers Container Triple Crown Series #1 plus New England Supermodified Series

Friday, June 10, 2022


Myers Container Service Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series – Round #1 – 75 Laps

1.         15VT    Derrick Calkins             Hinesburg, VT

2.         07VT    Sam Caron                   Milton, VT

3.         44VT    Justin Prescott             Williston, VT

4.         64VT    Jason Pelkey                Barre, VT

5.         31VT    Logan Powers              Middlesex, VT

6.         92VT    Jaden Perry                 Hardwick, VT

7.         68NH   Tanner Woodard         Waterbury Ctr., VT

8.         68VT    Jason Woodard           Waterbury Ctr., VT

9.         20VT    Robert Gordon            Milton, VT

10.       8VT      Mike Billado                Grand Isle, VT

11.       5VT      Tyler Austin                 East Calais, VT

12.       01VT    Michael Martin           Craftsbury, Common, VT

13.       36VT    Joel Hodgdon              Craftsbury Common, VT

14.       90VT    Cameron Ouellette     Barre, VT

15.       3VT      Michael MacAskill      Williamstown,VT

16.       35VT    Colin Cornell               E. Burke, VT

17.       56VT    Chris Laforest              Barre, VT

18.       66VT    JT Blanchard               Graniteville, VT

19.       67VT    Kevin Streeter             Waitsfield, VT

20.       08VT    Phil Potvin                   Underhill, VT

21.       45VT    Adam Maynard           Milton, VT

22.       23NY    Cam Gadue                 Highgate, VT

23.       73VT    Larry Underwood        Fairfax, VT

24.       33VT    Matt Ballard               Williamstown, VT

25.       18VT    #Kaiden Fisher             Shelburne, VT

26.       11VT    Jacob Roy                    Danville, VT

27.       13VT    Ty Delphia                   Duxbury, VT

28.       28VT    Ryan Boutin                 Fairfax, VT

29.       2NC     Eric Johnson                Barre, VT

30.       8NH     Rich Lowrey                 South Hero, VT

New England Supermodified Series (NESS) – 75 Lap

1.         79        Jon McKennedy

2. 97            Anthony Nocella

3.          5            Rob Summers

4.  11            Michael Barnes

5.  41        Russ Wood

6.  77        Mike Collins

7.   51        David Duggan

8.  25        Dan Bowes

Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models – 50 Laps

1.         0VT      Scott Dragon               Milton, VT

2.         86VT    Marcel J. Gravel          Wolcott, VT

3.         64VT    Chris Pelkey                 Graniteville, VT

4.         27VT    Kyle Pembroke            Montpelier, VT

5.         38VT    Tyler Cahoon               Danville, VT

6.         55VT    #Keegan Lamson         Berlin, VT

7.         3VT      Chris Roberts               Washington, VT

8.         4VT      Scott Coburn               Barre, VT

9.         17VT    Darrell Morin              Westford, VT

10.       14VT    Phil Scott                                             

11.       01VT    #Stephen Martin         Craftsbury Common, VT         

12.       2VT      Stephen Donahue       Graniteville, VT

13.       40VT    Eric Chase                   Milton, VT       

14.       7VT      Cooper Bouchard        Hinesburg, VT

15.       9VT      Chip Grenier               Orange, VT      

16.       68VT    Brooks Clark                Fayston, VT     

17.       04VT    Matthew Smith           Fairfax, VT

18.       8VT      Anthony Hill                Waterford, VT

19.       99VT    Cody Blake                  Barre, VT

20.       16VT    Brandon Lanphear      Morrisville, VT 

21.       94VT    Brendan Moodie         Wolcott, VT

rk Miles Street Stocks – 25 Laps

1.         0          James Dopp                 Northfield, VT

2.         57        Trevor Jaques              Milton, VT

3.         48        Taylor Hoar                 South Hero, VT

4.         8          Jeffery Martin             Barre, VT

5.         71        Jesse Laquerre             Berlin, VT

6.         68        Kyler Davis                  Berlin, VT

7.         5          Kyle Gravel                  Wolcott, VT

8.         3          Michael Gay                S. Burlington, VT

9.         16        Dean Switser, Jr.         Waterford, VT

10.       7          Kyle MacAskill             Williamstown, VT

11.       54        Josh Lovely                  Williamstown, VT

12.       26        Luke Peters                 Groton, VT

13.       9          #Zachary Audet           Morrisville, VT

14.       98        Kasey Collins               Berlin, VT

15.       96        Thomas Peck               Waterbury, VT

16.       79        Juan ‘Paco’ Marshall   Pittsfield, VT

17.       2          Haidyn Pearce             Chelsea, VT

18.       17        Justin Blakely              Graniteville, VT

19.       30        #Cameron Powers       E. Montpelier, VT

20.       73        #Paige Whittemore     Graniteville, VT

21.       33        Curtis Franks               Topsham, VT

22.       74        Tyler Whittemore       Barre, VT

23.       6          Eric MacLaughlin        Milton, VT

24.       47        William Hennequin     Morrisville, VT

25.       11        #Mark Beaulieu          Essex Jct., VT

26.       12        Mekaylah Bowen        Morrisville, VT

27.       04        Scott Weston               Berlin, VT

28.       43        Jamie Davis                 Johnson, VT

Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors – 20 Laps

1.         99        Fred Fleury                  Graniteville, VT

2.         95        Taylor Sayers               Barre, VT

3.         19        Neal Foster                  Moretown, VT

4.         8          Ryan Foster                 Waterbury, VT

5.         16        Nate Brien                   Williamstown, VT

6.         10        Rodney Campbell       Worcester, VT

7.         88        Frank Putney               Graniteville, VT

8.         68        Jamie York                   Graniteville, VT

9.         77        Josh Vilbrin                 Northfield, VT

10.       50        Nick Copping               Barre, VT

11.       71        Jason Kirby                  Milton, VT

12.       44        Chris Couture              Barre, VT

13.       96        Bill O’Connor               S. Washington, VT

14.       94        Ryan Sayers                 Barre, VT

15.       44        Chris Couture              Barre, VT

16.       1          George Hoyt                Braintree, VT

17.       03        Robert Catchapaw      Waterbury, VT


  1. Eight cars, saw a couple blow engines during the night and McKennedy winning pretty much like he always does. As a modified driver McKennedy is a great Super Modified driver.
    I don’t get it. Is it seeing them go so fast. 10 seconds around Thunder Road with almost no real competition as far as I can see.
    Where’s the beef???

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