Dec 17, 2023

Fan favorites return to Thunder Road victory lane on Preston’s Kia Night

After the last month Vermonters have faced, Thunder Road finally got a break in the form of a perfect day for racing on Sunday, July 30. Partly cloudy, minimal humidity and a comfortable breeze made many a crew-member happy in the pit area and the filled grandstands certainly proved the same sentiment was felt on the other side of the fence. When all the dust settled, several fan-favorite drivers made the trip to Thunder Road victory lane, with the Thunder Road legend continuing in year 64.

All-time wins leader Tommy ‘Thunder’ Smith alongside Scott Weston brought the 32-car rk Miles Street Stock field to green and kicked off feature racing action on Preston’s Kia Night. While Thunder took off with the lead, he did so with a rearview mirror full of Tyler Whittemore. As the field stretched out with both Smith and Whittemore catching lap-traffic, the first real action would come on lap 17 with Jesse Laquerre broadside on the start/finish line, collecting Taylor Hoar and Kasey Collins as the field went berserk around the wreck.

Restarting the restacked field, Tommy Smith took charge on the bottom lane. While looking to ride it out to the checkered flags, Weston and Kyle MacAskill tangled on the frontstretch, skidded along the grass and collected a gaggle of cars in turn one to call out the final caution with four laps remaining. Although Whittemore kept his foot in the firewall, it was Tommy Smith taking his 37th career rk Miles Street Stock victory followed by Tyler Whittemore and a first podium finish for Todd Raymo in third.

Under the leadership of top rookies Luke Peters and Tyler Pepin, the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers thundered off into their 40-lap feature event. The white-knuckle battle at the front kept the 24-car field side-by-side behind them with just the bumper cover deciding who led which lap until Pepin confidently took over on lap 10. At the halfway point, Colin Cornell cleared himself a spot in second and began to hunt down Pepin’s lead. After smacking the widowmaker frontstretch wall in the middle of the pack, Mike MacAskill slammed hard into the turn one wall at the pit road entrance before coming to a stop against the tire barrier. After bringing out the red flag on lap 23, MacAskill was able to climb out of his machine under his own power while his ride could not say the same as it took a trip behind the Paul’s Sunoco wrecker.

Side-by-side at the restart, veteran Cornell would take it high, wide, and handsome up top to claim the lead as Cameron Ouellette followed him around Pepin. As the laps weaned off, Ouellette took to the outside lane over Cornell and drew up alongside under the white flag. In a drag-race to the line, Colin Cornell took down his fourth career Thunder Road win followed by Ouellette in his second-consecutive runner-up finish and Tyler Pepin in his first winner’s circle visit.

With Scott Coburn and Cody Schoolcraft at the helm, the Maplewood/Irving Late Models took the green flag following their fan-fare driver introductions and wave-off to the large Sunday crowd on hand. After Coburn catapulted to the lead, everyone else could only follow as point leaders made the most of the race ahead. Coming from 13 on the grid, Nick Sweet found his way to the battle for fifth within the opening 10 laps. At the halfway point, Sweet, Cody Blake and Cooper Bouchard began hot-potatoing the third-place position just before Chris Roberts’ spin on the backstretch called out the first caution.

Coburn held onto the lead under the restart green, but Schoolcraft battled back up on the outside to lead lap 30 with Nick Sweet in tow before Keegan Lamson, Scott Dragon and Tyler Cahoon went sliding into the infield. For the first time on the night, Coburn would restart on the outside and dropped back quickly, allowing Nick Sweet to fly around Cody Schoolcraft to lead lap 34. Now with pressure from Marcel Gravel and Stephen Donahue, Sweet kept up the momentum on the outside groove and rode it all the way to his second win of the season followed by Gravel and Donahue to round out the Preston’s Kia podium.

The Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors finished off the evening’s racing activity with Corey Martin and Keegan Tabor leading the insanity. Karsen Murphy would overtake Martin at the line to lead lap 7 as the field continued to stretch before a pile-up including newcomer John Prentice, David Wilder and Ryan Sayers in the turn one tire barrier brought out the first caution. Murphy looked to be shot from a cannon on the restart as both Martin and Brodie Frazier could only watch as the kid from Northfield grew his lead.

Although Murphy was declared the winner in victory lane, post-race technical inspection eliminated the win for Karsen Murphy and the third-place finish for Brodie Frazier with the discovery of illegal suspension components. Corey Martin would earn his first Thunder Road victory with Nate ‘Tater’ Brien and Neal Foster moving up to complete the podium.

The Thunder and Lightning of New England’s greatest stock car racing spectacle returns to Quarry Hill on Thursday, August 3 for Cody Chevrolet-Cadillac Night featuring the championship finale for the Myers Container Service Flying Tiger Triple Crown Series. With 100 laps on tap for the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers in the chase for the first Thunder Road championship of the season. The Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models, rk Miles Street Stocks and Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors join the night’s festivities.

For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2 = 'media' + '@'; addy1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2 = addy1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2 + 'thunderroadvt' + '.' + 'com'; var addy_text1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2 = 'media' + '@' + 'thunderroadvt' + '.' + 'com';document.getElementById('cloak1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2').innerHTML += ''+addy_text1dc72eb40f11f6518592c095e6fe05f2+''; , or visit You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.







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