T Road Scenes & Moments                   

                      I was trying here to capture some of the essence of the earlier Thunder Road, years through single items, through particular experiences, and maybe some familiar faces. In re - doing this page I have learning from bitter experience that I can't seem to have a page full of numerous, large photos concentrated together without memory issues that ruin the looks of it.
So, these are a bit smaller than I hoped for but still achieve the same goal.

 Courtesy of Cho Lee
A little old picklup from the East Barre Fire Dept seems to double as track cleanup. Seriously ? An Indian fire pack ? Not exactly Whelen.

      Courtesy of Cho Lee
Listening at a pit meeting around 1962. Recognizable are Lee and Russ Ingerson, Larry Granger, Ronnie Marvin, and Harold Hanford [along with one of his wild Havelock] crewmen.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Karl Lingenfelter and his Hardwick
Ambulance Service were a fixture at the
track for years and years.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Thunder Road had its own weekly radio
show - before such things were in vogue.
That is host, Bob Doyle, at right.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Harold Hanaford shares a trophy with one
of his crew - one of those wild Havelock
boys from New Hampshire.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
A Ned Lemieux wreck. Thunder Road was not just
the superstars like Ronnie Marvin. Ned came from the Northeastern Speedway [and before that - SWebster Flats, Lyndonville], which T Road was in the process of putting out of business. Low budgeteers like Ned did their darnedest to compete with the hot shots at T Road.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Young George Whitney and future
Bear Ridge promoter C.V. "Chuck" Elms were part
of the overwhelming majority of T Road
teams from the eastern side.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
T Road had something you never saw
anywhere else - a track nurse, in the
complete uniform of the day. Here she checks
on a mishap with Hanaford, Gammell and Hunt.

Courtesy of Cho Lee

One of those T Road hot shots was one
Rex Shattuck, bringing his considerable
experience in from the tracks west of
Thunder Road - especially in Colchester.
Here, he has managed to climb the
Widow Maker, onto the lawn above. The western guys were badly outnumbered by the eastern Vermont and New Hampshire drivers. This also shows how the track initially covered up those terrible railroad ties with the first Widowmaker cement wall.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The infamous Wayne Vincent wreck.
No HANS devices in those days. He
suffered serious head injuries.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Early Thunder Road was strongly defined
by these two men: Roy "Pappy" Forsyth
 and car owner George Barber, of Bradford

Courtesy of Cho Lee
No Thunder Road scenario would be complete
without Bardahl dealer and photographer

Bob Doyle. Sorry it is so blurry.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
One of the first [if not THE first] Governor's Cups. Tony Colicchio, a Walpole, MA transplant, drove Libero Buzzi's [far right] #93 to victory. That is Governor Bob Stafford. 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
This is a classic Thunder Road photo
of track co - founder Spade Cooley
[left] with prominent car owner Fred
LaPrade, likely in Ronnie Marvin's
pit area.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Rex Shattuck is joined in Victory Lane by
wife, Peg and a daughter. By this time, Rex had already been driving for more than ten years. He's likely happier than when he was walled in the photo above.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Thunder Road flagman Archie Blackadar
looks ready to jump as car 70 Meriden Nelson
loses a  wheel on the front stretch. Note the
wall is now cement.

Courtesy of Cho Lee

Thunder Road's ever - popular Chester T.
Wood was injured in this wreck. This is a
rare post - 1934 body on the X-1.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Former Northeastern Speedway runner
Perley Densmore dumped his best -
looking car ever at T Road in 1962.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
This shot of Archie Blackadar handing off to Leland Ingerson shows the dreadful railroad tie wall that was
there before the present day widowmaker cement version.


Courtesy of Cho Lee
Jack Dubrul, future partner of Ken Squier, shows
off his slingshot dragster to the crowd. This is
early - look at the wall.


Courtesy of Cho Lee
Jack Dubrul, future partner of Ken Squier, shows
off his Daytona Permatex car to the crowd.
This is later [cement wall].

Courtesy of Cho Lee
A pivotal moment in Thunder Road was the
1965 season, when the NASCAR overhead V-8
sportsman cars invaded and made life hard
for the original flathead teams. Here, Dick
Nephew, former NASCAR National Sportsman
co-Champion, is on the track with flathead star Harold Hanaford.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The Bud Messier 50 was usually driven by
some sort of star du jour. In this case, it
is Jean-Paul Cabana, looking for NASCAR
national points. Ironically, T Road regular [and flathead driver]  Ronnie Marvin outdid most
of the NASCAR hotshots in the national
standings in that 1965 season.


Courtesy of Marty Harty
fter the departed George Barber team, the next super team at Thunder Road was that of Andy Cote. Said to have made  big money in muinitions development, Cote fielded cars for icons Ron Marvin [13], Tony Colicchio [0], andPaul Martell [3J]. The team was controversial and may have been banned for a while. 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Perennial Thunder Road tow truck driver, Dick Blake, figured - if ya can't beat 'em - join 'em. He put local
drivers like  Merlin  Bean in a sportsman of their own
for a couple of seasons.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
From 1965 until about mid - 1968, the NASCAR
modifieds and sportsman stars were all rage
at T Road. Here, Ken Squier is interviewing
hardbitten racing veteran Leo Cleary. [This
happens to be a Catamount shot].

Courtesy of Cho Lee
In 1965, Thunder Road saw the newly - arrived
NASCAR overhead V-8 sportsman mixed in
[for one season] with the Road's traditional
flatheads. Here is a rare shot of Bob Bruno
in Vic Wolfe's sedan leading Ronnie Marvin.
Marvin went on to a high finish in NASCAR
national sportsman points with a car that
was decidedly underpowered. Bruno and owner
Vic Wolfe also went down to Fonda and pulled
a major upset with this sedan in 1965.

Courtesy of Mark Austin
Dick Blake labors with one of his earlier wreckers
in a 1965 mixup on the frotnstretch. While rapidly tiring of the job these days, Dick is still showing up every week and has since the track opened. Below - later Blake wrecker.

Courtesy of Mark Austin

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Thunder Road was about to have a baby
brother called Catamouint Stadium.
Here, Jack Dubrul is towing into T Road
with "Nascat", the mascot for the
new track.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
This is a classic Thunder Road photo
because no TR photos series would be
complete without a few of Bob Doyle.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Someone [likely Jack DuBrul] brought a
Studebaker Avanti to the races; so, they
put it to use as a pace car du jour.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Thunder Road's interesting 1965 points race. The flatheads had been grandfathered and were racing
against overhead V-8's. Marvin finished only 11th here but in the top ten in the nation that year.
was often off chasing national points somewhere else. 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Bob Quinn hands the checkers to some unknown
B Class winner named Beaver Dragon.
A holdover
from the old Northeastern Speedway, the B class was
a harbinger of things to come - when the track would
be forever dominated by late model type cars.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
I love this B Class shot ! It is either a former
Northeastern Speedway entry or maybe it's
Ralph Stygles, early in the career.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Some of the Thunder Road coupe stars did double
 duty in B class cars. Here Leland Ingerson [lft]
is in Victory Lane with future Groveton promoter
Mike Beattie and future LMS star George Horn.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The B Class cars - later called Flying
Tigers would become the future of
Thunder Road. Here a Kentucky transplant |
named Tom Tiller, brought to Vermont by
the US Air Force, returns the flag to
Starter Bob Quinn. Jack Paradee, himself
once a B Class driver, is behind.

Courtesy of Andy Moore
This flying car is avoiding climbing the Widow Maker behind Dickie Southworth's 43. It looks like another car [in the dust] wasn't so lucky. 
Courtesy of Mike Gilbert
The glory years of the original Flying Tigers. That same Tom Tiller, with a car that doesn't appear to be much different than the B class car at left. Tiller
would also appear in the "New Tigers" around 1988,
then at the age of around 50.

Courtesy of Melody Mattison Anukem
Ken Squier has his hands full with rough and tumble Flying Tigers stars: left -  Norm Cyr, Larry Demar, Tom Tiller, and Lennie "Tiger" Stockwell. 

Courtesy of Wayne Bettis
Ken Squier and Big John Untied conduct the pit meeting. Judging from hair styles, this is in the
earlier 1970's.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Stub Fadden, arguably the symbolic
driver in the history of the track, came
in with B class. Here, in a Flying Tiger,
he has experienced uh awful accident !

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Russ Ingerson enjoyed a second career
high point when he joined forces with the White
River Jct. team of Ed Pelletier and Doug Falzarano.

Courtesy Of Andy Boright
Russ Ingerson is in a pickle with the Pelletier / Falzarano. This 1972 shots shows some new late
model sportsman cars as well as Red Fisk's
holdover Limited [91].

Courtesy of Andy Boright

Local favorite Dennis Tucker of Washington is
biting the wall as Moretown's Carl Nelson
looks for room. The condition of the bodies
suggests the division involved a wee bit of rubbing.


Courtesy of A. and A. Ward
B.J. Willard's 33 pits in the back of the T Road pit area.  She
pitted next to Red Mead. The six cylinder Grand American class
seemed to fit the smaller T Road track like a glove.


Courtesy of Cho Lee
When Ralph Nason wanted to express
displeasure with NASCAR late model
sportsman body rules in the late 1970's,
he came out with this retro Chevelle.
Everyone else was into the Pontiac
Le Mans and similar bodies.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The Richard Buzzi gang, in their hurricane
period: Dennis Tucker, H.C. Harvey, Louie
Cassani, and Richard.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Thunder Road's longest - active driver,
Joey LaQuerre,  walks by as future
Busch Grand National North driver
Barney McRae unloads his mini
stock. Also seen are Barney's ex - wife
Fran and Mr. McRae.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The crews of Russ Ingerson and John Rosati
gather on the Thunder Road start/finish
line to celebrate fast qualifying times for
the 1972 Milk Bowl.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Ford stalwarts: Dave Dion [ctr],
along with Jay Yantz and another

Courtesy of Alex Alexander
One of Thunder Road's lesser known but
most successful female drivers was
Linda Alexander, whose career involved
multiple race classes and track surfaces.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
One of the most sour periods in the history of T Road came when the track was bought by Tommy Kalimiris shown here with Stub Fadden. Often conducting business from the New York City area, he let the
track deteriorate before abandoning it entirely Doesn't Stubby look thrilled ?.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
In the end of the Kalimiris era, the track sat,
abandoned, unmowed, and largely unattended
in 1979.

Courtesy of Walter Newell

Two of the most thrilled people when Northern NASCAR got T Road back from Kalimiris were Tom Curley and Stub Fadden.
Ron Pittsley Photo
During an often - frustrating and under - funded career, Barney McRae occasionally grabbed the brass ring .

A & A Ward Photo
Long - time support division [and very popular]
driver Dave Gibbs tried his hand at late models.
That effort was not rewarded at T Road this night.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Gard Leavitt and Ontario's Tony Corcoran
spice up the show a littel as a brave flagger
stands in there and throws the yellow.
 Courtesy of Andy Boright
Two of T Road's most important and beloved figures.
Bob Doyle and Archie Blackadar.
Courtesy of Jason Lahue
The names Despault and Tunder Road are
synonymous. Here Clem [3] races with son,
Topo around 1989. Racing in 2017, Clem has raced at the track in five decades.
Courtesy of Andy Boright
Jean - Paul Cabana and other ACT cars enjoy
the challenges that come with driving at The Nation's Site of Excitement..



Some T Road Views 

These photos give you a good sense of what it was to be in the stands in 1963.

Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
The pace car in 1963,
with a field in tow.

Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
Silvio Bilodeau is on the pole for this heat.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
Another heat comes
up to speed.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
In this shot, you can make out the 3J of Paul Martell and the
51 of Russ Ingerson.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
This shot has one
of the George Barber
team cars I can make out.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
A great look over toward the pits. Similar view; just fewer pit buildings.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
A similar look east
maybe during intermission.
Bob Dodge Photo
Courtesy of Troy Dodge
This one shows the infield with that go - kart track they put in when they built the place.


Can you imagine the price for this program today ?

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Back Cover


Occasional Visitors in the Early Years

Courtesy of Cho Lee
This midget, carrying the ad for famed photographer Les King, has wrecked in an early T Road show.


Courtesy of Cho Lee
MIdget racers in action
at T Road circa 1961.

Courtesy of Andy Boright
Elmer Peckham gets pushed off.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Ed Clouthier under way after a push at T Road.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
A heat rface of MIdget racers
ready to take green
at T Road circa 1961.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
T Road winner Len Thrall in the Milt Smith Offy.
Bob Mackey Photo
Courtesy of Mike Watts, Sr.

Work goes on with this midget as their special flagger waits for action.

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of Mike Watts, Sr.
This midget, carrying the ad for famed photographer Les King is involved in another mixup and King heads out to check.


Important Movers and Shakers in the Early Years

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Ken Squier, the face [and co - owner] of Thunder Road with Roy "Pappy" Forsyth,
arguably the track's first superstar.

Norman McIver Photo Courtesy of Cho Lee
Archie Blackadar, first flagger
and later the pit steward.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Spade Cooley, the most visible of the owning Cooley brothers [maybe because he was so tall] interviews Rex Shattuck.  

Courtesy of Cho Lee

Huge, intimidating Ronnie Marvin
may have arguably been the track's first
villain. He definitely inherited super
 star  status after the Forsyth

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Bob Doyle was the Bardahl representativ, a speed parts retailer, and a photographer. More importantly, he was a godfather of
sorts for the track.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
George Barber, a Bradford, VT auto parts dealer, owned the first dominant team at the track. He would later establish Bear Ridge Speedway in his home town as a refuge for the flat head race cars which had been legislated out of T Road.
Courtesy of Cho Lee
Tough, charismatic, and very good at driving, the Ingerson brothers were synonymous with early T Road. A fourth brother, Don, also finished well in the 1965 standings. Left - Doug, Lee. and Russ.
Courtesy of JT Racer
Dick Blake and his familiar Blake & Loso
wrecker was at the first race program and
generally hasn't missed one since. When
needed, he sometimes doubled as a
car owner.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Patriarch of a racing family whose tragic losses rival the Allison's, Joey LaQuerre, Sr. [shown here with Ron Marvin] has raced in four decades, built dozens of cars, won
titles, and promoted his own race track in
his storied life.

Norman McIver Portrait
Courtesy of Cho Lee

Proudly posing for a 1960's driver photo,
Thomas M. "T Bone" Curley joined up
with Squier in the 1970's and devoted
a lifetime to Thunder Road and his
racing tours.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
No one has - or maybe ever will -
race as long at Thunder Road as
Waterbury's Clem  "Desperate"
 Despault. He has won track titles
and probably set records for
oldest driver.

 ACT Photo Courtesy of Cho Lee
Governor Phil Scott holds records for wins at Thunder  Road.  He has also put the
 trck on the map as having the nation's
only racing governor.

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