Dave Pembroke Strikes Milk At Thunder Road
For Immediate Release TR65-093002
Barre, VT - - Local favorite Dave Pembroke of Montpelier won the 39th New Dodge Dealers Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Sunday by driving the Vermont State Employees Credit Union Chevrolet No.44 to 4th, 9th and 10th finishes in the events three 50-lap segments. His 23-point total was the highest winning score in history, reflected one of the most one of the most competitive Milk Bowls ever.
Pembroke began the final round just in front of two of his closest competitors, Derek Ming and Bobby Dragon, and just behind two others, first-segment winner Cooper MacRitchie and Patrick Laperle. When Jean-Paul Cyr began to slow in the outside lane after scrubbing the wall, Pembroke took a low line past Laperle and MacRitchie. He went on to finish 10th for a final tally of 23 points, three points better than Laperle and Dragon, who followed him home in 11th and 12th.
"This is huge," Pembroke said. "You make history when you win this race. I knew we were racing Laperle, MacRitchie and Dragon. The last time we got into traffic I got in the right lane and held on. I used to come here as a kid and root for bobby dragon. I wasnt rooting for him today. I was hoping hed stay right where he was."
MacRitchie began the Milk Bowl alongside pole sitter Patrick Laperle and took quick command. He drew out to a 10 car-length advantage and had no problems with the heavy traffic he came upon in the closing laps. Eric Williams raced to the outside of Pembroke for third on lap 48. Chad Wheeler, Bobby Dragon and Derek Ming were next in line.
Ryan Moore breezed to a second segment win from the pole after some early pressure from Jamie Fisher, who had fallen out of contention early in round one with tire problems. They were both safely ahead of a skirmish on lap six between Sam Caron and Dave Whitcomb that collected Jacob McGrath and ACT Dodge Tour point leader Phil Scott. Scott spent the rest of the second segment in the pits replacing a radiator. Moore, Fisher, Cris Michaud, Rich Lowrey and Dave Wilcox were the first five to the line in segment two. Derek Ming put him himself in contention with a strong run from the back to finish sixth.
The totals starting the final segment were: MacRitchie (12), Pembroke and Ming (13), Bobby Dragon (14) and Laperle (15). Scott, after a whole season of starting at the back of ACT Dodge Tour fields, knew what to do with the pole. He was soon long gone on his way to a third segment win and more than $2800 in lap leader money.
After an early caution for Sam Carons hard lick into the turn four wall, Pembroke and Laperle shared the eighth row on the restart, with MacRitchie on the outside, one row back. Jean-Paul Cyr
was quickly in trouble on the outside of row four and as he faded back, he took Laperle and MacRitchie with him. Laperle quickly found an escape route and resumed pursuit of Pembroke, but MacRitchies winning bid was ended.
Pembroke stayed in the low lane, with one eye peeled on Laperle and Bobby Dragon, took what the race gave him, and put his name in the history book. It was his first ACT Dodge Tour win of the season, following near-misses at Monadnock and Riverside, and the second of his career. Scott Dragon Brent Dragon, and Herb Drugg followed Scott home in spots 2, 3 and 4.
Laperle earned the runner-up spot by matching points with Bobby Dragon and finishing one spot ahead of him in the final segment. Ming was fourth overall, while MacRitchie with plenty of car left, had to settle for fifth. Chad Wheeler, Todd Stone, Rich Lowrey, Scott Dragon and Dwayne Lanphear completed the top ten.
Scott parlayed his final segment win into 11th place. He now holds a 75 point advantage over Laperle in the ACT Dodge Tour title chase heading into the final event of the season, the 31st Fall Foliage 200, this Sunday at Thunder Road at 1:30 pm.
Official Milk Bowl Finish
1. #44 Dave Pembroke (4,9,10=23)
2. #91 Patrick Laperle (2,13,11=26)
3. #73 Bobby Dragon (6,8,12=26)
4. #31 Derek Ming (7,6,13=26)
5. #3 Cooper MacRitchie (1,11,16=28)
6. #92 Chad Wheeler (5,16,8=29)
7. #1 Todd Stone (8,14,9=31)
8. #8 Rich Lowrey (12,4,15=31)
9. #70 Scott Dragon (9,24,2=35)
10.#40 Dwayne Lanphear (14,15,6=35)
11.#14 Phil Scott (11,26,1=38)
12.#52 Buzzie Bezanson (15,19,5=39)
13.#7 Eric Williams (3,17,19=39)
14.#2 Tracie Bellerose (10,18,14=42)
15.#90 Herb Drugg (17,22,4=43)
16.#72 Jacob McGrath (13,25,7=45)
17.#18 Jamie Fisher (26,2,17=45)
18.#55 Brent Dragon (20,23,3=46)
19.#47 Ryan Moore (25,1,21=47)
20.#15 Joey Laquerre (19,12,18=49)
21.#6 Cris Michaud (22,3,24=49)
22.#16 Dave Wilcox (24,5,22=51)
23.#07 Sam Caron (18,7,26=51)
24.#75 Pete Fecteau (16,20,20=56)
25.#25 Dave Whitcomb (23,10,25=58)
26.#64 Jean-Paul Cyr (21,21,23=65)