MacRitchie Holds Off Bellerose For T-Road Win

For Immediate Release TR39-072102

Barre, VT - - Cooper MacRitchie took the lead from John Donahue by inches at the halfway mark of the Fisher/Federated Auto Parts 40-lap Late Model feature Thursday at Thunder Road and never trailed again, despite late pressure from Tracie Bellerose.

MacRitchie and Bellerose were side by side on the front row of a restart with eight laps left, but MacRitchie got the jump he needed to keep Bellerose and third-place Phil Scott at bay. It was MacRitchie's second win of the year in the Lowery's Auto/Chevrolet and it broke an eight-race string of new winners.

Bellerose made a run at MacRitchie, then dropped to the bottom to slow Scott's advance. Two car lengths back, Eric Williams caught Rich Lowrey in a photo finish for fourth. "I was on the outside of Cooper, but my car was much better down low and I had to take care of business there to keep second from Phil." "I was glad when Tracie tucked in, because I had a push and I wanted to run a higher line," MacRitchie said.

Rookie John Donahue grabbed the lead from Dave Wilcox on the first of three restarts on lap seven. The yellow was out for a second time on lap 18 when Tim Martin got out of shape and collected Joey Laquerre as the field poured out of turn four. Donahue held off his new front-row partner MacRitchie for two more laps, then had to try and protect second place from Rich Lowrey and Bellerose.

Dave Wilcox, Donahue, Jamie Fisher, Dave Pembroke and Dave Whitcomb completed the top ten. MacRitchie and Donahue had an earlier wheel-to-wheel duel in the semi, which MacRitchie won. Phil Scott, Jamie Fisher and Dave Wilcox won the Late Model heats.

Flying Tiger Sportsman rookie Fred Dezan of Moretown, drove to his first career win in the Fisher/Federated Auto Parts trophy dash. Dezan, the pole sitter, was hounded by Brian Boudreau much of the way, but he began to draw away after a chain reaction crash on lap 16 that was triggered when fifth place Chuck Perkins spun broadside across traffic. Point leader Joe Steffen, Roger Brown, Kris Grout and Pete Ainsworth were among the victims of the front stretch collision that resulted.

Josh Lovely was a strong third for his second top-5 of the season, just ahead of Reno Gervais and Jimmy Young. Doug Murphy, from 18th, got home sixth , followed by Travis Calkins, Chip Grenier, Adam Pierson and Wild Bill Sawyer. Dezan, Grenier and Shawn Fleury were the Tiger heat winners.

Rookie Tim Spooner seemingly matched Dezan's example in the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature win, but saw the win go away in the tech line. Scott Coburn, second to the stripe, also took a dsq for the same infraction as Spooner, illegal springs. That made a winner out of Dan Bigelow who had been swapping positions all night with Kerry Henry, the official runner-up, and third-place Ryan Nolin. Rusty Dewees and Renee Beede moved up to 4th and 5th. Brendan Moodie Jr was sixth to hold onto the Street Stock point lead (541-526) over David Allen.