THUNDER ROAD
International Speed Bowl

The Nation's Site of Excitement

THUNDER ROAD MOMENTS IN TIME
Pre - 1990's Bits, Scenes, and Snatches of the Track That Define It


Courtesy of Cho Lee
A Ned Lemieux wreck. Thunder Road was not just
the superstars like Ronnie Marvin. Ned came from the Northeastern Speedway, 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
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.
 

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

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Shelburne's Jack DuBrul, a future Ken
Squier partner, would entertain the
T Road fans with a variety of his
expensive toys. [Above] a dragster used
on the Milton dragstrip. [Below] his
NASCAR Permatex  entry.

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

 


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


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
driver Paul Martell.

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 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
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 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
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].
 
TRANSITION

Photos Courtesy of Cho Lee
The Ed Pelletier #51 crew. [Above]
with driver Russell Ingerson at the end
of the coupe days. [Below] With Ingerson
and their 1957 Chevy limited late
model sportsman. Partner Doug Falzarano
[glasses] is seen in both shots.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
The loyal Hardwick, VT contingent of
Thunder Road
's hurricane division is seen
in a tangle with Guy Brown, spinning, and
Milt Wright in the 03.

 


Courtesy of Cho Lee
Veteran stock car legend Johnny
Gammell took a turn with the
Suzanne LeGault mini at both T
Road and Catamount, joining
division star, Harry, whose car
is seen at left.
 


Courtesy of Cho Lee
Barre's own Mark Rossi wins a mini
stock race at the home track. And we wonder
where son, Tony, gets the hair from ?

 

 


Courtesy of Cho Lee
Moretown's Carl Nelson was one  driver who made the transition from  full-sized hurricane car, to six - cylinder Grand Americans, and then the new Tigers.

 


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
Ford stalwarts: Dave Dion [ctr],
along with Jay Yantz and another
man.

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
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 Richard Buzzi gang, in their hurricane
period: Dennis Tucker, H.C. Harvey, Louie
Cassani, and Richard.

 


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
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
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. Click on the little
photo for a larger shot.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Harold Hanaford and his daughter,
in Victory Lane.
 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Bob Quinn hands the checkers to some unknown
B Class winner named Beaver Dragon.

Courtesy of Cho Lee
I love this B Class shot ! It is either a former
Northeastern Speedway entry or Bob Brunell,
in his first race.

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 massive Ronnie Marvin fills his car
completely as he gets checkers from a
wary Bob Quinn.

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.
 

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Thunder Road flagman Archie Blackadar
looks ready to jump as car 70 loses a
wheel on the front stretch.
LEE CARPENTER SERIES

Courtesy of Cho Lee
Lee Carpenter, of Colchester, a veteran
of 1950's racing in that town's tracks,
spent some  time at Thunder Road.


Carpenter leads fellow Colchester
racing veteran Rex Shattuck.
 


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.

 

 

 



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

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
The pit area of Henry "The Frozen Logger"
Montandon. Facing us is his brother - in -
law and car owner, my good friend Lloyd
Hutchins.

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
A Thunder Road street stock mixup back
before they were four cylinder. Popular
 John Clark is on the wall.
 
Courtesy of Mike Gilbert
The glory years of the original
Flying Tigers. Tom Tiller.
     

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