Cooper Bouchard Takes First Responders Night Victory At Thunder Road

(Press release from Thunder Road International Speedbowl)

With a quickly turned around and rescheduled night of racing at Thunder Road following SRX’s cancellation, the Central Vermont community returned to The Nation’s Site of Excitement in droves for First Responders Appreciation Night on July 20th. The night gave way with four new winners in the 2023 season and four action-packed feature races to restart the Thunder Road championship season. 

The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers started the night off with fender-banging action at the front of the pack. After just one lap, contact between Matt Ballard and Phil Potvin started a chain reaction pile-up in Turn Three that ended the day for Cooper French with a blown radiator. On the restart Logan Powers got the quick lead over top rookie Tyler Pepin as the field stretched out behind him. A spectacular side-by-side battle from 6th through 12th saw Mike MacAskill using the outside groove to his advantage with top runners Jason Pelkey, Rich Lowrey and Sam Caron in tow. 

As the field stayed green, Pelkey began to work on third-place runner Chris LaForest as Jason Woodard dug deep and pulled up to leader Powers’ bumper under the two-to-go ‘popsicle stick’ flags. Getting quite the drive off turn two, Woodard pulled up alongside Powers on the outside before powering up to lead the white flag lap and coming back to take his first Thunder Road win since July of 2021. Logan Powers would take second after leading the majority of the feature event with Jason Pelkey rounding out the podium in third.

The wild and wacky Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors put on the show of the evening in their 20-lap dash. Milton’s Easton Garvey got the jump under the green flag while the field stacked up behind him but kept it green. Chaos would ensue up and down the 20-car field as drivers did the best with what they had underneath them. Tyler Wheatley took over the lead just three laps in with David Wilder taking the Mystery Machine into second-position as he bobbed and weaved through several rolling roadblocks. Brookfield Volunteer Firefighter Tyler Wheatley would use his lead to take his first ever Thunder Road win on First Responders Appreciation Night with David Wilder and Frank Putney in the Unofficial Thunder Road pace car rounding out the podium. 

The rk Miles Street Stocks stormed the field with longtime veterans Mike ‘The Biffer’ Gay and Scott Weston at the helm. Barre rookie Logan Farrell was getting a lesson behind the leaders before Weston started dropping back and Farrell took a charge to the outside. For the first fifteen laps Farrell looked like a seasoned pilot out beside the Biffer but smoke started to pour from underneath his Ford Mustang. The caution on lap 19 for a spinning Kyle Gravel on the backstretch confirmed the worst and Farrell was sent from his second-place position to the pits, after leading laps on the outside, with oil gushing from underneath his powerplant.

Biffer would edge out Chris Davis on the restart but a huge hit into the widowmaker frontstretch wall for Gravel and Jaime Davis brought out the final caution to stack the field once again. One final showdown between Biffer and Haidyn Pearce would see the #3 head for the front and lead the field under the checkered flags. An ecstatic Mike Gay returned to Thunder Road victory lane followed by Chris Davis, bouncing back from a hard heat race wreck on Midseason Championships night, and Pearce to round out the top-three. 

The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models were on hand to wrap up the night’s racing action with their 50-lap feature. Lead to green by Cooper Bouchard and Justin Prescott, Bouchard would stretch out his lead quickly as the battle for fifth became the hot ticket. After working each other for over twenty-laps, Brandon Lanphear finally took the position from Chris Roberts before defending champion Chris Pelkey used the outside to overtake Lanphear. The first, and only, caution came with the spinning Jean-Paul Cyr blocking off turn four.

On the restart Bouchard punched the gas to power away from outside starter Tyler Cahoon as desperation set in for the rest of the pack behind them. As laps wound down, Nick Sweet dove under Bobby Therrien and Marcel Gravel in turn three while Cody Blake would use the same move on Scott Dragon and Stephen Donahue just two laps later. While the top champion chasers worked it out behind him, Cooper Bouchard would take his first win of the season followed by Darrell Morin and Cahoon.

Thunder Road returns to action next Thursday, July 27th for two of Central Vermont’s most popular events; the 44th Vermont Governor’s Cup presented by the Vermont Lottery and the annual WDEV/Calkins Portable Toilets Porta-Potty Grand Prix! Along with the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model Vermont Governor’s Cup, the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors join the annual fan-favorite night of thrills, spills and pure family fun!

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

Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl – Barre, VT

First Responders Appreciation Night at The Road

Thursday, July 20, 2023


Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models – (50 Laps)

1.         7VT      Cooper Bouchard        Hinesburg, VT

2.         17VT    Darrell Morin              Westford, VT

3.         38VT    Tyler Cahoon               Danville, VT

4.         64VT    Chris Pelkey                 Graniteville, VT

5.         18VT    #Kaiden Fisher             Shelburne, VT

6.         04VT    #Justin Prescott           Milton, VT

7.         0VT      Scott Dragon               Milton, VT

8.         99VT    Cody Blake                  Barre, VT

9.         88VT    Nick Sweet                  Williamstown, VT

10.       31VT    Stephen Donahue       Graniteville, VT

11.       9VT      Chip Grenier               Orange, VT

12.       86VT    Marcel J. Gravel          Wolcott, VT

13.       14VT    Bobby Therrien           Hinesburg, VT*

14.       66VT    Jason Corliss               Barre, VT

15.       01VT    Stephen Martin           Craftsbury Common, VT

16.       16VT    Brandon Lanphear      Morrisville, VT

17.       8VT      Chris Roberts               Washington, VT

18.       27VT    Kyle Pembroke            Montpelier, VT

19.       4VT      Scott Coburn               Barre, VT

20.       31KS    #Cody Schoolcraft       Claremont, NH

21.       48VT    Jean-Paul Cyr              Milton, VT

*Sub Driver for Phil Scott

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

1.         68VT    Jason Woodard           Waterbury Ctr., VT

2.         31VT    Logan Powers              Middlesex, VT

3.         64VT    Jason Pelkey                Barre, VT

4.         07VT    Sam Caron                   Milton, VT

5.         56VT    Chris Laforest              Barre, VT

6.         8NH     Rich Lowrey                 South Hero, VT

7.         37VT    Kyle Streeter               Waterbury Ctr., VT

8.         3VT      Michael MacAskill      Williamstown, VT

9.         78VT    #Tyler Pepin                Barre, VT

10.       00VT    Brandon Gray              E. Thetford, VT

11.       20VT    Robert Gordon            Milton, VT

12.       67VT    Kevin Streeter             Waitsfield, VT

13.       45VT    Adam Maynard           Milton, VT

14.       54VT    Colin Cornell               E. Burke, VT

15.       93FL     Mike Martin                Craftsbury Common, VT

16.       8VT      Mike Billado                Grand Isle, VT

17.       33VT    Matt Ballard               Williamstown, VT

18.       23NY    Cam Gadue                 Highgate, VT

19.       22VT    Travis Patnoe              Wolcott, VT

20.       26VT    #Luke Peters               Groton, VT

21.       08VT    Phil Potvin                   Underhill, VT

22.       9VT      #Zach Audet                Morrisville, VT

23.       90VT    Cameron Ouellette     Barre, VT

24.       4ME     Cooper French             Northfield, VT

rk Miles Street Stocks – (25 Laps)

1.         3          Michael Gay                S. Burlington, VT

2.         69        Christopher Davis       Berlin, VT

3.         2          Haidyn Pearce             Chelsea, VT

4.         7          Kyle MacAskill             Williamstown, VT

5.         98        Kasey Collins               Berlin, VT

6.         0          James Dopp                 Northfield, VT

7.         57        Trevor Jaques              Milton, VT

8.         34        Patrick Tibbetts           Plainfield, VT

9.         8          Jeffery Martin             Barre, VT

10.       48        Taylor Hoar                 South Hero, VT

11.       30        Cameron Powers         E. Montpelier, VT

12.       71        Jesse Laquerre             Berlin, VT

13.       16        Dean Switser, Jr.         Waterford, VT

14.       54        Josh Lovely                  Williamstown, VT

15.       79        Juan ‘Paco’ Marshall   Pittsfield, VT

16.       55        Parker Gagne              Fairfax, VT

17.       50        Eric MacLaughlin        Milton, VT

18.       24        Todd Raymo                Swanton, VT

19.       88        #Paul Rocheleau         Georgia, VT

20.       96        Thomas Peck               Waterbury, VT

21.       08        #Ryan Foster               Waterbury, VT

22.       13        #Travis Gay                 S. Burlington, VT

23.       74        Kyler Davis                  Berlin, VT*

24.       43        Jamie Davis                 Johnson, VT

25.       33        Curtis Franks               Topsham, VT

26.       9          #Logan Farrell             Barre, VT

27.       5          Kyle Gravel                  Wolcott, VT

28.       04        Scott Weston               Berlin, VT

29.       22        Thomas Smith             Williamstown, VT

30.       73        Paige Whittemore       Graniteville, VT

DNS     39        Derek Farnham           Bethel, VT

*Sub Driver for Tyler Whittemore

Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors – (20 Laps)

1.         31        Tyler Wheatley            Brookfield, VT

2.         18        David Wilder               Barre, VT

3.         88        Frank Putney               Graniteville, VT

4.         19        Neal Foster                  Moretown, VT

5.         16        Nate Brien                   Williamstown, VT

6.         95        Taylor Sayers               Barre, VT

7.         07        Benjamin Bushey        Springfield, VT

8.         94        Ryan Sayers                 Barre, VT

9.         43        Anderson Boyd            Berlin, VT

10.       71        Jason Kirby                  Milton, VT

11.       99        Fred Fleury                  Graniteville, VT

12.       82        Jacob Hall-Larson        Northfield, VT

13.       26        Corey Martin               Northfield, VT

14.       77        Zach Garvey                Milton, VT

15.       76        Easton Garvey             Milton, VT

16.       33        Brayden Murphy         Barre, VT

17.       42        Karsen Murphy           Northfield, VT

18.       17        Brodie Frazier             E. Montpelier, VT

19.       74        Keegan Tabor              Williamstown, VT

20.       22        Jason Stewart              Williamstown, VT

DNS     7x        Christopher Cass         Jefferson, NH

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