Dave Pembroke Breaks Into T-Road Win Column
Barre, VT - - Dave Pembroke won a four-lap shootout by three feet over veteran Joey Laquerre for his first win of the year, in the McDonald's Late Model 40-lap feature Thursday at Thunder Road. It was the first win of the year for the hard-luck Montpelier driver, who had just begun to step away from the field when the caution came out on lap 36. That bunched Pembroke, Laquerre, Jamie Fisher and Phil Scott and they raced to the checkers in tight formation. Fisher finished at Laquerre's door for third, just ahead of Scott and fifth place Dave Whitcomb.
"I didn't need that last caution, but I had a strong car and I hadn't used it up," Pembroke said. "I was quicker at the end and just stayed with it. With Joey Laquerre, Jamie Fisher and Phil Scott right there, they are some of the best. It wasn't easy, but it feels good."
Pembroke swung the VSECU/Cabot Chevrolet up into the high lane and took the lead from Jerry Lesage on lap 25, then narrowly avoided the spinning cars of Dave Simpson and Jay Caron, which brought out the caution on lap 26. "I just rode there behind the 74 car to see what he was going to do. I knew I was a little quicker, and I ended up going outside him," Pembroke said.
Lesage started alongside the new leader, but was quickly under attack on the bottom from Laquerre and Fisher. Scott, the Late Model point leader, was ninth at that point and continued to gain positions at the drop of the green.
Pembroke previewed what was to come with a hard-fought semi-feature win over Tracie Bellerose and Joey Laquerre. Bellerose, Fisher and John Donahue won the Late Model heats.
The NAPA Flying Tigers turned in an outstanding performance that resulted in Joe Becker's second win of the year. Once Becker overtook early leaders Travis Lyman and Adam Pierson, he had his hands full with Chip Grenier and David Redmond, who pressed him throughout. Grenier outlasted Redmond for the runner-up spot, six car lengths ahead of another close-knit group headed up by Lyman (4th), Kris Grout (5th), Roger Brown (6th) and Pete Ainsworth (7th).
Jamie Rabideau of Mooers Forks, NY won the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature with a late rally up the outside. Rookie Ryan Nolin of Georgia, VT was second. Gary Bashaw, point leader Brendan Moodie and Tim Potter completed the top five.