Joey Laquerre Holds On For ACT Dodge Tour Win At Thunder Road
For Immediate Release ACT36-052602
Barre, VT - - ACT Dodge Tour veteran Joey Laquerre, 58, of East Montpelier, held up under the persistent challenge of rookie John Donahue and won the 36th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Sunday at Thunder Road by half a car length.
Donahue made contact with Laquerre in a last ditch effort to get underneath him in the final turn on the last lap after shadowing him for more than 40 laps, but Laquerre kept control. "That was just hard racing at the end," observed Laquerre. "John loosened me up a couple of times, but he raced me clean. That's what so good about this series, there's so many talented, respectful young drivers."
Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud of Northfield was six car lengths back in third, followed by Dave Pembroke and unofficial ACT Dodge Tour point leader Phil Scott of Middlesex. Mike Bruno, Scott Dragon, Eric Williams, Todd Stone (from 22nd) and Pete Fecteau completed the top ten.
The race was halted on lap 10 when rookie Corey Pittsley flipped violently off the top of turn two. Pittsley was brought to the hospital and later released without serious injury. "The red flag actually helped me," said Donahue. "It gave me a chance to calm down. I had a fast car as I was really excited in the early laps. Later, I decided to try and stick close to Laquerre. I figured he'd lead me somewhere that would be good to go."
Dwayne Lanphear of Morrisville won the bonus points semi-feature as well as his qualifying heat, but was an early dropout in the main event with electrical problems. Other heat winners were Dave Pembroke, Dave Wilcox and Chad Wheeler. Patrick Laperle of St Denis Quebec, the point leader at the start of the day, suffered engine problems early, then narrowly missed qualifying in the last chance "B" feature.
Jerry Winch of Plattsburgh, NY and David Redmond of Montpelier finished 1, 2 nose to tail in the Mekkelsen RV Flying Tiger Trophy Dash. Joe Becker of Jeffersonville placed third. The unofficial winner of the Mekkelsen RV Street Stock trophy dash was Justin St Louis of Bolton.
The ACT Dodge Tour moves to Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH Saturday, June 1 for the New England Dodge Dealers 100.
ACT Dodge Tour
Thunder Road - May 26
Memorial Day Classic
Start in (*)
1. Joey Laquerre, East Montpelier (5)
2. John Donahue, Graniteville (4)
3. Cris Michaud, Northfield (11)
4. Dave Pembroke, Montpelier (8)
5. Phil Scott, Middlesex (21)
6. Mike Bruno, Castleton (17)
7. Scott Dragon, Milton (12)
8. Eric Williams, Hyde Park (16)
9. Todd Stone, Middlebury (22)
10.Pete Fecteau, Morrisville (3)
11.Brent Dragon, Milton (20)
12.Steve Miller, New Haven (9)
13.Chad Wheeler, Waterbury (7)
14.Brett Wheeler, Waterbury (23)
15.Fred LaGoy, Morrisonville, NY (6)
16.Eric Chase, Milton (1)
17.Tracie Bellerose, Gorham, NH (14)
18.Jamie Fisher, Shelburne (19)
19.Dave Wilcox, Swanton (2)
20.Jacob McGrath, Mendon (10)
21.Rich Lowrey, Charlotte (26)
22.Cooper MacRitchie, Williamstown (25)
23.Jean-Paul Cyr, Milton (18)
24.Ryan Moore, Scarborough, ME (13)
25.Dwayne Lanphear, Morrisville (15)
26.Corey Pittsley, Williamstown (24)