Photo by David Heath
Mike Perdue Scores Upset At T-Road
Barre, VT - - Mike Perdue of Barre survived a strong bid from Eric Williams and scored his first ever Late Model feature win in the VSECU main event Friday at Thunder Road. Perdue went wheel-to-wheel on the outside of Dave Wilcox and was a nose in front, when Cris Michaud shot off the top of the third on lap 13.
For the next 20 laps, Perdue wore Cooper MacRitchie on his bumper while Williams worked his way up to them. Williams swung to the outside for the stretch run and caught MacRitchie, but came up six feet short of the win. Much of the race was a showcase for the Late Models who raced two wide inches apart deep into the field and received an ovation from the fans at the finish.
Perdue became the 12th different winner in 14 races. Wilcox was a strong and steady fourth, a car length ahead of Derek Ming. Positions 6-10 went to Trampas Demers, Joey Laquerre, Phil Scott, Jamie Fisher and Dave Pembroke.
"When I was able to get far enough ahead of Wilcox to pinch him down a bit on the bottom, that was key for me," said Perdue. "When I came up on the lapped car at the end I knew I had to make it out around or Williams was going to pin me. I was going to do what I could," Perdue recounted. "Eric's been great to me and he's accepted us, and that means a lot. We've got a car that's 12 years old and a six year-old motor. Now that we've won, we can keep on racing."
Shawn Fleury won the VSECU Flying Tiger feature, with Marcel Gravel and Reno Gervais at his heels. Fleury broke out to a long early lead that was negated when the yellow flag flew for Joe Becker's trip off the third turn. The restart put Gervais back in the hunt and he measured the leader from all sides, but was never ever to move past him. Gervais made a final move to the outside on the final lap, but broke loose and Gravel moved underneath him for second. Marc Jones and Eric Pembroke were 4th and 5th. The qualifying heat winners were Jones, Travis Calkins and Pete Ainsworth.
With three regular season point races remaining, Joe Steffen is back on top of the Flying Tiger point parade at 859. Doug Murphy is two points back at 857, with Travis Calkins third at 847. Reno Gervais sits fourth with 838 points.
In the Allen Lumber Street Stock feature, Tommy Smith failed the tech line with an engine violation after being first to the finish line. The ruling landed Matt Potter of Plainfield his second win of the season. Apparent third-place finisher Roger Hutchinson met the same fate as Smith, which made the official top-5, Potter, Justin St. Louis, Scott Coburn, Patrick Underwood and Dan Bigelow.