MacRitchie Comes Out On Top At Thunder Road

For Immediate Release TR30-062202

Barre, VT - - Cooper MacRitchie won a Late Model thriller event at Thunder Road Thursday night with Phil Scott perched at his quarter panel and Tracie Bellerose a car length back. MacRitchie inherited the lead when leaders Bill Donahue and Dave Whitcomb, who had raced on the edge for a dozen laps, tangled and spun out of contention. From that point, MacRitchie and Bellerose raced side by side until Scott worked the low side for second with two to go. Jamie Fisher and Todd Stone in tight formation with the leaders, finished fourth and fifth.

The victory was MacRitchie's first of the year and third of his career. Scott, the point leader, recorded his second straight runner-up performance to go with a win in the regular season opener. He had started 17th, four spots ahead of Bellerose. Both benefited from the early race trouble at the front.

Early on, Sam Caron broke loose and swung across traffic on the front stretch triggering a massive nine-car collision two laps into the 40-lap Green Mountain Office Machines event. Caron and veteran Whitcomb had rubbed doors behind leader Bill Donahue on the first lap. 

Three green laps later, Tim Martin spun in turn one and left John Donahue with nowhere to go except off the top of turn two at full throttle. The red flag came out, but Donahue was not seriously injured.

Following the night's third yellow, Bill Donahue and Whitcomb were terrific at the front, racing on the edge and gaining or losing a few feet to one another as the laps ran down. It all came unglued for them however, when they made contact on the front stretch and spun out of contention.

MacRitchie and Bellerose were the new front row on the final restart with Scott in the pocket third, inside of Jamie Fisher. They were dead even at the line to complete lap 38, but Bellerose got a little high in turn one and Scott took second away from her. 

Sam Caron, Pete Fecteau and Rich Lowrey won the Late Model qualifiers. Lowrey's win was by inches over MacRitchie. Whitcomb, Bill Donahue, Todd Stone and Cris Michaud ran 1, 2, 3, 4 in the semi-feature.

Roger Brown of Lancaster, NH won the NAPA Flying Tiger feature for the second week in a row. The "Rocket" took the lead on lap 17 and quickly drew to a comfortable lead. Josh Lovely of Barre won a hard-fought battle for second over Brian Boudreau third, and Ray Stearns fourth. Pete Ainsworth held off Travis Calkins for fifth.

Ed Companion Jr of Colchester, Jeff French of Northfield and Kerry Henry of Barre, were first, second and third in the Green Mountain Office Machines Street Stock trophy dash. Chris Hedges of East Montpelier, the Allen Lumber Street Stock point leader was 10th.