Donahue Take Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Win
ACT Type Late Models Put on a Show at Thunder Road
Series PR
Graniteville’s John Donahue and Bradford’s Derrick O’Donnell claimed wins in Mekkelsen RV Memorial Classic doubleheader at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, VT on Sunday, May 29. Donahue, a former Milk Bowl champion and four time winner at Thunder Road in 2010, claimed the Late Model 100 lap feature win.

Donahue fought his way past Middlesex’s Dave Pembroke in a battle of two Fords on lap 33. The two battled hard for the first 32 laps with Donahue trying everything he could to get by leader Pembroke before finally gaining the edge. Donahue would lead the rest of the way for the most part uncontested.

Pembroke held off Vermont Lt. Governor Phil Scott to take second. Scott, 2010 King of the Road Nick Sweet and Brent Dragon rounded out the top five. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., rookie Jimmy Hebert, Matt White, Reno Gervais and Cris Michaud completed the top ten.

Donahue lapped all but the top 11 cars of the 27 car field. The 100 lap event was completed in just 29 minutes and saw just two cautions.

Derrick O’Donnell earned his second win of the season in the first two events at Thunder Road. O’Donnell followed up his opening day win on May 1 with a win in the Bond/WIX Tiger Tour season opening Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day 100. The Bradford native took the lead from leader Bobby Therrien to lead the final 50 laps without a challenge.

Therrien would hold on for what appeared to be a second place finish before being penalized for rough riding. He was dropped to the final car on the lead lap in seventh. Eric Badore inherited second, while 2010 Bond Auto Tiger Sportsmen Champion Tony Rossi took third. Joe Steffen and Joey Roberts completed the top five.

Josh Demers, Therrien, Mark Barnier, David Finck and Mike Ziter completed the top ten. O’Donnell managed to lap all but the top seven cars as the 100 lap event saw just two cautions. The race took just over 34 minutes to complete. A total of 37 cars attempted to qualify for the first of five Bond/WIX Tiger Tour events to be held in 2011. The starting grid had 28 cars.

The Allen Lumber Street Stocks saw Jefferson, NH’s Nick Pilotte, a former White Mountain Motorsports Park Champion, earn his first career win at Thunder Road. Sid Sweet, Jr., Greg Adams, Bunker Hodgdon and Martin Ingram all claimed top fives.

Williamstown’s Brock Parrott earned the win in the Junkyard Warriors. He was followed to the line by Jason Woodard and Danny Brassard.

Thunder Road has the next two weeks off before its first Sunday twilight event on Sunday, June 12. All four divisions will be in action for a regular event presented by Ferguson Waterworks. The event will also feature the New England Antique Racers.

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Doubleheader
Thunder Road International Speedbowl – Barre, VT
Sunday, May 29, 2011

Thunder Road Late Model Unofficial Results
Fin. (Start) Driver, Hometown, Laps Completed
1. (4) John Donahue, Graniteville, VT, 100 Laps
2. (2) Dave Pembroke, Middlesex, VT, 100 Laps
3. (3) Phil Scott, Berlin, VT, 100 Laps
4. (10) Nick Sweet, Barre, VT, 100 Laps
5. (9) Brent Dragon, Milton, VT, 100 Laps
6. (19) Joey Polewarczyk, Jr., Hudson, NH, 100 Laps
7. (15) #Jimmy Hebert, Williamstown, VT, 100 Laps
8. (8) Matt White, Northfield, VT, 100 Laps
9. (1) Reno Gervais, Island Pond, VT, 100 Laps
10. (5) Cris Michaud, E. Montpelier, VT, 100 Laps
11. (12) Chip Grenier, Graniteville, VT, 100 Laps
12. (21) Cody Blake, Barre, VT, 99 Laps
13. (16) Jamie Aube, N. Ferrisburgh, VT, 99 Laps
14. (23) Jamie Fisher, Shelburne, VT, 99 Laps
15. (11) Mike Bruno, Rutland, VT, 99 Laps
16. (7) Grant Folsom, Waitsfield, VT, 99 Laps
17. (18) Brooks Clark, Fayston, VT, 99 Laps
18. (14) Joey Becker, Jeffersonville, VT, 99 Laps
19. (20) Eric Chase, Milton, VT, 99 Laps
20. (22) Dave Whitcomb, Essex Jct., VT, 99 Laps
21. (6) Scott Payea, Milton, VT, 99 Laps
22. (24) Brett Wheeler, Waterbury, VT, 98 Laps
23. (17) Ricky Roberts, Washington, VT, 98 Laps
24. (25) Brad Mattson, Graniteville, VT, 98 Laps
25. (26) #Jim Morris, Barre, VT, 98 Laps
26. (13) Mike Bailey, South Barre, VT, 97 Laps
27. (27) Marcel Gravel, Wolcott, VT, 35 Laps
Time of Race: 29:32                                         Margin of Victory: 3.86 seconds                
Cautions: 2 (Laps 10, 50)                                                                               
Leaders: Dave Pembroke, 1-32; John Donahue, 33-100                                                                  
Heat Winners: Mike Bruno, Chip Grenier, Grant Folsom                                                                

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Three wide going into the turn as  #99 Cody Blake goes low and #18 Jamie Fisher is high.  #25 David Whitcomb is stuck in the middle.  (Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com)                      
The field goes all over to avoid this mess.  (Leif Tillotson Photo)                      
John Donahue on his victory lap. (Eric LaFleche/VLFPhotos.com)