Bobby Therrien reminded us all last weekend just how good he is. It might have been easy to forget, too, since we haven’t seen too much of him in the last two seasons.
Therrien’s presence and performance in the Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road were reminiscent of the dominant days of Brian Hoar, Junior Hanley and Robbie Crouch: Everyone was racing for second place as soon as Therrien pulled through the gate.
True to that form, the Hinesburg racer completely dismantled the field on Sunday, making up for a devastating loss in last year’s race. He was fast all weekend, and his attitude was positive and confident — rightly so.
It’s hard to believe, then, that the Milk Bowl was his first victory since Memorial Day two years ago, since all that he’s done for his entire career, it seems, is win races and championships. He won six times as a rookie on his way to the Street Stock championship in 2007. He won 11 races as a Flying Tiger driver and the Thunder Road title in 2012, was the American-Canadian Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013 (with a win at White Mountain Motorsports Park, to boot), and won the Late Model “King of the Road” crown in his first try in 2017.
The eight-point Milk Bowl score was certainly one of the most impressive days of his career, but remember, too, that he has won races of 100 laps or longer at five different tracks, and also that he won in both a Late Model and a dirt-style Modified on the pavement at Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway on the same day five years ago.
Bobby Therrien is very good at this racing thing. Sunday’s win was proof of that, not that we necessarily needed more proof — maybe just a reminder.
There were plenty of fun tidbits at the Milk Bowl. Since there’s nowhere else to put them, here they are:
— Therrien’s Milk Bowl performance was almost identical to last year’s. In 2018, he finished second, second and fifth in the segments, in that order; on Sunday, he finished first, second and fifth.
— Brooks Clark finished third overall in 2018 with finishes of sixth, 12th and seventh. Tyler Cahoon finished third overall in 2019 with finishes of sixth, 12th and first.
— Sunday’s Milk Bowl was the first race with alternates — as far as we can tell — in 16 years. Following a massive wreck on the opening lap of the second segment that took four cars completely out of the running, the cars of Ricky Roberts, Grant Folsom, Blair Bessett and Jonathan Bouvrette were added in the final 50-lap leg. The most recent alternate had been Kenny Dufour, who tacked onto the third segment in 2003. Before that, Kip Stockwell and Gary Cunningham were added in 1999.
— Jason Woodard’s Flying Tiger win was his fifth of the year, capping a three-championship season between Thunder Road’s weekly events and the Triple Crown Series at both Thunder Road and White Mountain.
— Jason Kenison’s Street Stock win was the third of his career at Thunder Road, which is a statistic that caught us by surprise. The Groveton, New Hampshire racer previously won the division’s Mini-Milk Bowl in 2013, and he also won a Thursday night event in July 2014.
— Luke Marcheski was disqualified from the win in the Road Warrior division, but he didn’t mind one bit. The happy Boston driver was holding court in the pit area with Brian Putney and Eric “Pork” Chase after the race (Putney inherited the official win, Chase was second) and admitted that he knew his car had no chance of passing technical inspection: “It was the last race of the year and I just wanted to come have some fun. I got to keep the hat!” he said.
— Waterford’s Andy Hill once again dominated the Mini-Milk Bowl for the visiting Dwarf Car division. Hill swept both segments for the division for the second-straight year.
Bear Ridge Speedway — Bradford
LAST WEEK: No racing scheduled. SEASON FINALE: The third annual “Fun Day” is Sunday at 1 p.m.
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl — Barre
LAST WEEK: Barre’s Nick Sweet won the PASS Super Late Model 150 on Saturday. Hinesburg’s Bobby Therrien won the 57th annual Northfield Savings Bank Vermont Milk Bowl on Sunday; Therrien, Rich Dubeau and Danville’s Tyler Cahoon were the segment winners. Waterbury Center’s Jason Woodard won the Flying Tiger Mini-Milk Bowl with Woodard and Waitsfield’s Kevin Streeter winning segments. Jason Kenison and East Thetford’s Brandon Gray won Street Stock segments with Kenison taking the overall win. Berlin’s Eric Chase and Essex Junction’s Mike Mitchell won Road Warrior segments with East Corinth’s Brian Putney winning the overall. Waterford’s Andy Hill swept both Dwarf Car segments and the overall win. Thunder Road’s season is now complete.
NEXT EVENT: The championship finale is on Oct. 12 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Fonda Speedway — Fonda, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Stewart Friesen won $53,000 at Saturday’s Fonda 200 season finale. Tim Hartman Jr. won the Sportsman Modified race.
Plattsburgh Airborne Speedway — Plattsburgh, N.Y.
LAST WEEK: Nick Heywood won Sunday’s Enduro 125 season finale.
RumTown Speedway — Rumney, N.H.
LAST WEEK: Saturday’s race results were not available. Mark Cole won the Wingless Sprint Car championship, T.C. Forward was the Sportsman Modified champion, and Rutland’s John McPhee Jr. won the EX Mini Sprint title. THIS WEEK: The season finale is Saturday at 4 p.m. with five open-cockpit divisions including the Sprint Cars of New England.
Speedway 51 — Groveton, N.H.
LAST WEEK: No racing scheduled. THIS WEEK: The Fall Brawl weekend is Friday at 7 p.m. with Dwarf Cars, Bone Stocks and Youth Daredevils, and Saturday at 1 p.m. with the Late Model 151, plus Flying Tigers, Street Stocks and NELCAR Legends.
White Mountain Motorsports Park — North Woodstock, N.H.
LAST WEEK: No racing scheduled. THIS WEEK: The season finale is on Saturday at 1 p.m. with an Enduro 200, the Northeast Mini Stock Tour, and the weekly Strictly Stock Mini division.
Justin St. Louis is a motorsports journalist, publicist, broadcaster, historian and former driver. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Twitter: @Justin_StLouis