(Press release from Thunder Road International Speedbowl)
Thunder Road International Speedbowl has a long-standing tradition of inviting NASCAR Premier Series’ athletes to test out the Barre highbanks and the stiff competition that comes with the territory. Blue collar heroes like Ken Schrader and Kenny Wallace have both tested their metal at The Road, as have former drivers Clint Bowyer and David Ragan along with Cup Series Champions Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch. Most recently, Joe Gibbs Racing up-and-comer Christopher Bell and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece have both come seeking Thunder Road glory. Now, for the 43rd Vermont Lottery Governor’s Cup, comes yet another NASCAR Cup Series champion, and a NASCAR Cup Series car owner, Brad Keselowski!
“After years of hearing so much about it, I’m so excited about the opportunity to race at Thunder Road! I understand it is one of the country’s most iconic short tracks and my buddy Bowyer told me I’m going to love the place,” said Keselowski.
Keselowski is the first in several years to have experience behind the wheel of a Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Model having competed in the 2010 Oxford 250 when the ACT Late Models were the car of choice. However, the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series Champion, and 2010 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, will have his work cut out for him, not only will these two ACT Late Model starts be twelve years apart, but the nearly flattened, massively sweeping turns of Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway are a far cry from the tight cornered, 18-degree bullring of Thunder Road. While he will be piloting a Dale Shaw Racecars Ford Mustang with a team led by the Northeast legend this time around, Keselowski will still need to tap into his experience.
The Rochester Hills, Michigan driver has 75 NASCAR wins across its three national series. With a Truck Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway, 39 victories in the Xfinity Series and 35 checkered flags in the Cup Series, Keselowski is anything but a one-track-wonder. Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway and Virginia’s Richmond Raceway seem to be Keselowski’s favorites, with seven and six NASCAR wins, respectively, while he’s also been a force on the intermediate mile-and-a-half speedways and even took down a win at the Watkins Glen road course.
The real question is, can Brad Keselowski go from the super-fast, newly reimagined Atlanta Motor Speedway to Thunder Road on Thursday then back in the Roush-Fenway-Keselowski Racing No.6 Kohler Generators Ford Mustang for the Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.
“I’m really thankful to Cris and Pat for the opportunity to participate in this event and I’m looking forward to working with Dale and his team,” Keselowski said. “I know this place is challenging and I understand my Cup Series colleagues haven’t had the best results in past years here, but I’m hoping we can change that trend and walk into the Cup garage at New Hampshire with some bragging rights.”
“We’re very excited to have Brad Keselowski come to Thunder Road for the Vermont Governor’s Cup,” said Thunder Road managing partner Cris Michaud. “Brad will be the fourth NASCAR Champion Pat [Malone] and I have welcomed to Barre and he might just be the one to steal it away from our local teams.”
Set for Thursday, July 14, the 43rd Vermont Lottery Governor’s Cup 150 is the summer’s biggest battle for the Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models. With Brad Keselowski looking to become the first NASCAR star to take the Thunder Road gold in over 40 years, the locals certainly won’t give up without a fight as other ACT Late Model invaders are sure to join the fray. The annual July spectacular will also be supported by the Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers and rk Miles Street Stocks. Post time is set for 6:30pm with other times and ticket information to be determined.
For more information, contact the Thunder Road offices at (802) 244-6963, [email protected], or visit www.thunderroadvt.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ThunderRoadVT.