The King Of Barre Returns To Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Victory Lane At Thunder Road

(Press release from Thunder Road International Speedbowl)

The 60t Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic proved to be one of the most spectacular in the iconic event’s illustrious career. One-hundred-and-twenty-four cars flooded the Thunder Road pit area ranging from the top oval track masters of the Green Mountain State to some of the most nationally recognized names in Tour-type Modifieds. In the end, five deserving drivers took down impressive wins to be crowned on Memorial Day Weekend headlined by the victorious return of the ‘King of Barre’ to Thunder Road victory lane and a longtime racer from Ellington, Connecticut getting his second major Modified win of 2023.

The rk Miles Street Stocks kicked off the afternoon feature racing action with thirty 4-cylinder masters taking to the highbanks. Williamstown’s Josh Lovely proved he was the class of the field with a nearly half-a-track lead until the lap 21 caution, which ruined a strong run on the outside for defending champion Dean Switser, Jr. after lapped traffic had been plaguing the top-10 runners. The final restart set up a dogfight between Lovely and former Street Stock champion Jeffrey Martin with time running out. Although Martin had put the outside groove to good use, Josh Lovely’s rocket was the first across the line with fan-favorite Juan ‘Paco’ Marshall rounding out victory lane. Patrick Tibbetts and Kyle Gravel would complete the top-5 finishers.

Twenty-three Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models jumped in for a chance to win the iconic Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic and have their name etched in granite at Thunder Road. Second-generation drivers Scott Dragon and Chris Roberts led the field to green, quickly leading a top-7 breakaway at the front of the pack. Dragon’s early run came to an abrupt end after his rear-end grenaded leaving the lead to Nick Sweet. Sweet, the multi-time Thunder Road champion, had only made the snap decision the night before to join the event after crew-chiefing for Eric Chase and Bryan Wall Jr. at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday night and was now hotly fending off defending Memorial Day Classic winner Stephen Donahue. 

Donahue would better his position on the lap 70 restart following a scuffle between Cooper Bouchard and Darrell Morin. Rim-riding the Widowmaker frontstretch wall, Stephen Donahue would lead from the outside lane over Sweet until lap 90 with Sweet regaining the top spot once again. Marcel Gravel would join the top-3 picture after methodically battling his way up to take on Sweet, but time and laps ran out.

Nick Sweet earned his 2nd career Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic and his 25th career late model win at Thunder Road after pulling an all-nighter to prepare the car, including an engine swap that they had first fired at 6am Sunday morning. The ‘King of Barre’ returned to victory lane followed by his old rival, fellow former King of the Road Derrick O’Donnell, the ‘Black Night of the White Mountains.’ Marcel Gravel was able to pull off his second-consecutive third-place finish of the young 2023 season with Brooks Clark coming home fourth followed by Stephen Donahue for fifth.

The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers once again showcased their position as the Number One Support Division in North America for their Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day feature event. Ty Delphia showed his rear bumper to the rest of the field through the early goings, but it was Jason Pelkey who would take over the lead just before the halfway point. The big-one hit on lap 20 when cars went all sorts of ways in turns three and four, including Brandon Gray, Mike MacAskill and others collected in the melee. 

Jason Pelkey would regain the lead and never looked back to take down the holiday weekend victory followed by defending Flying Tiger champion Sam Caron for his second-consecutive runner-up finish in 2023 and Mike Billado to round out the podium. Logan Powers and Cameron Ouellette bounced back to complete the top-5.

To kick-start their 10th anniversary season, the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series returned to Thunder Road for the 2nd annual Granite City 100. Leading NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rookie Austin Beers and east coast Modified standout Anthony Nocella led the field to green. By the Grace of God and over 600 horsepower, the duo started began the charge until the first caution on lap 7 saw longtime New England standout Les Hinkley slam hard into the widowmaker to come to a standstill at the flagstand, on his side. On the restart, 6-time NASCAR champion Doug Coby took over the lead followed by Ronnie Williams, inaugural Granite City 100 winner Chase Dowling, Brian Narducci and Beers.

Williams, winner of the Icebreaker 125 at Thompson Speedway in April, took the lead away just after lap 30 and kept the pace at the front of the field until a lap 70 caution for Beers’ flat right-rear rubber. The leaders flew pit-side for their change tires with almost everyone electing to switch out their hard-used right-rear Hoosier Racing Tires for the final 30-lap sprint. Brian Narducci would call the final yellow flag in the iconic Boehler Racing Ol’ Blue #3 with unresponsive steering, leaving Williams to fend off Coby, Mike Christopher Jr., Woody Pitkat and Ron Silk. In the final charge, Ronnie Williams would best the field for his second $10,000 win of the 2023 season with Doug Coby able to take second followed by Woody Pitkat in third. Chris Pasteryak successfully came back from his lap 7 caution to take fourth with Matt Swanson rounding out the top-5.

To wrap up the holiday events on Memorial Day weekend, the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors entered the arena led by longtime campaigner Jason Kirby and young Ryan Sayers. Kirby would get the jump in his Bobby Dragon-inspired scheme but the pressure was on from Mini Milk Bowl winner Taylor Sayers. The final caution on lap 23 set up a green-white-checkers between the two as they battled hard side-by-side to the very end. Milton’s Jason Kirby would take his first career Thunder Road win on Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Weekend followed by Taylor Sayers and Tyler Wheatley earning his first podium at the Speedbowl.

The 64th season of stock car racing at Thunder Road continues in less than two weeks with Vermont’s Career Technical Education Centers and the Agency of Education Night on Friday, June 9th. The annual Friday Night Special will feature the New England Supermodified Series as these open-wheeled rockets return to the Barre highbanks. The Maplewood/Irving Late Models, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metal Road Warriors also join in to kick off the weekly summer racing series!

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

Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT

60th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic

Sunday, May 28, 2023


Maplewood/Irving Late Models – Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic 125

1          88VT    Nick Sweet                  Williamstown, VT

2          60NH   Derrick O’Donnell       N. Haverhill, NH

3          86VT    Marcel J. Gravel          Wolcott, VT

4          68VT    Brooks Clark                Fayston, VT

5          31VT    Stephen Donahue       Graniteville, VT

6          16VT    Brandon Lanphear      Morrisville, VT

7          18VT    #Kaiden Fisher             Shelburne, VT

8          64VT    Chris Pelkey                 Graniteville, VT

9          94VT    Brendan Moodie         Wolcott, VT

10        99VT    Cody Blake                  Barre, VT

11        8VT      Chris Roberts               Washington, VT

12        38VT    Tyler Cahoon               Danville, VT

13        04VT    #Justin Prescott           Williston, VT

14        27VT    Kyle Pembroke            Montpelier, VT

15        9VT      Chip Grenier               Orange, VT

16        7VT      Cooper Bouchard        Hinesburg, VT

17        17VT    Darrell Morin              Westford, VT

18        01VT    Stephen Martin           Craftsbury Common, VT

19        14VT    Phil Scott                     Montpelier, VT

20        31K      #Cody Schoolcraft       Claremont, NH

21        44NH   Keith Johnson              Winchendon, MA

22        0VT      Scott Dragon               Milton, VT

23        55VT    Keegan Lamson           Berlin, VT

Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series – 2nd Annual Granite City 100

1          50        Ronnie Williams          Ellington, CT

2          10        Doug Coby                   Milford, CT

3          88        Woody Pitkat              Bellingham, MA

4          5CT      Chris Pasteryak           Lisbon, CT

5          25        Matt Swanson             Harvard, MA

6          75        David Arute                 Stafford Springs, CT

7          60        Matt Hirschman          Northampton, PA

8          9          Chase Dowling            Bethlehem, CT

9          16        Ron Silk                       Norwalk, CT

10        7NY      Mike Christopher, Jr.  Wolcott, CT

11        24        Todd Patnode              Swanzey, NH

12        24MA  Mikey Flynn                 Hampden, MA

13        3          Brian Narducci            Colchester, CT

14        13        Austin Beers                Northampton, PA

15        07        Kyle Bonsignore          Hebron, IL

16        85        Dylan Izzo                    Monroe, CT

17        76        Kirk Alexander             Westminster, MA

18        50R      Sam Rameau               Westminster, MA        

19        92        Anthony Nocella         Woburn, MA

20        06        Les Hinkley                  Windsor Locks, CT

21        55B      Robert Bloxsom III      Statford, CT

22        04        Joey Jarvis                   Ascutney, VT

23        55CT    Teddy Hodgdon           Danbury, CT

Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers – (40 Laps)

1.         64VT    Jason Pelkey                Barre, VT

2.         07VT    Sam Caron                   Milton, VT

3.         8VT      Mike Billado                Grand Isle, VT

4.         31VT    Logan Powers              Middlesex, VT

5.         90VT    Cameron Ouellette     Barre, VT

6.         36VT    Joel Hodgdon              Craftsbury Common, VT

7.         4ME     Cooper French             Northfield, VT

8.         45VT    Adam Maynard           Milton, VT

9.         20VT    Robert Gordon            Milton, VT

10.       23NY    Cam Gadue                 Highgate, VT

11.       54VT    Colin Cornell               E. Burke, VT

12.       56VT    Chris Laforest              Barre, VT

13.       3VT      Michael MacAskill      Williamstown,VT

14.       37VT    Kyle Streeter               Waterbury Ctr., VT

15.       8NH     Rich Lowrey                 South Hero, VT

16.       33VT    #Matt Ballard             Williamstown,VT

17.       78VT    #Tyler Pepin                Barre, VT

18.       93FL     Jeff Oeschger              Dover, FL

19.       68VT    Jason Woodard           Waterbury Ctr., VT

20.       9VT      #Zach Audet                Morrisville, VT

21.       13VT    Ty Delphia                   Duxbury, VT

22.       00VT    Brandon Gray              E. Thetford, VT

23.       22VT    Travis Patnoe              Wolcott, VT

24.       34VT    #Jim Paquette             Alburgh, VT

25.       67VT    Kevin Streeter             Waitsfield, VT

26.       5VT      Tyler Austin                 East Calais, VT

27.       26VT    #Luke Peters               Groton, VT

rk Miles Street Stocks – (25 Laps)

1.         54        Josh Lovely                  Williamstown, VT

2.         8          Jeffery Martin             Barre, VT

3.         79        Juan ‘Paco’ Marshall   Pittsfield, VT

4.         34        Patrick Tibbetts           Plainfield, VT

5.         5          Kyle Gravel                  Wolcott, VT

6.         7          Kyle MacAskill             Williamstown, VT

7.         98        Kasey Collins               Berlin, VT

8.         48        Taylor Hoar                 South Hero, VT

9.         43        Jamie Davis                 Johnson, VT

10.       30        Cameron Powers         E. Montpelier, VT

11.       74        Tyler Whittemore       Barre, VT

12.       47        William Hennequin     Morrisville, VT

13.       57        Trevor Jaques              Milton, VT

14.       2          Haidyn Pearce             Chelsea, VT

15.       0          James Dopp                 Northfield, VT

16.       39        Derek Farnham           Bethel, VT

17.       08        #Ryan Foster               Waterbury, VT

18.       55        Parker Gagne              Fairfax, VT

19.       69        Christopher Davis       Berlin, VT

20.       9          #Logan Farrell             Barre, VT

21.       3          Michael Gay                S. Burlington, VT

22.       24        Todd Raymo                Swanton, VT

23.       04        Scott Weston               Berlin, VT

24.       13        #Travis Gay                 S. Burlington, VT

25.       88        #Paul Rocheleau         Georgia, VT

26.       73        Paige Whittemore       Graniteville, VT

27.       16        Dean Switser, Jr.         Waterford, VT

28.       17        Justin Blakely              Graniteville, VT

29.       1          #Shea Wheeler           Waterbury, VT

30        33        Curtis Franks               Topsham, VT

DNS     22        Thomas Smith             Williamstown, VT

DNS     50        Eric MacLaughlin        Milton, VT

DNS     71        Jesse Laquerre             Berlin, VT

Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors – (20 Laps)

1.         71        Jason Kirby                  Milton, VT

2.         95        Taylor Sayers               Barre, VT

3.         31        Tyler Wheatley            Brookfield, VT

4.         19        Neal Foster                  Moretown, VT

5.         88        Frank Putney               Graniteville, VT

6.         99        Fred Fleury                  Graniteville, VT

7.         74        Bert Duffy                    Milton, VT

8.         50        Nick Copping               Barre, VT

9.         42        Karsen Murphy           Northfield, VT

10.       54        Dan Garrett, Jr.           Berlin, VT

11.       43        Anderson Boyd            Berlin, VT

12.       94        Ryan Sayers                 Barre, VT

13.       33        Brayden Murphy         Barre, VT

14.       23        Jennesta Garrett         Berlin, VT

15.       16        Nate Brien                   Williamstown, VT

16.       17        Brodie Frazier             E. Montpelier, VT

DNS     86        Sean McCarthy           Barre, VT

DNS     65        Connor Noyes              E. Montpelier, VT

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