The 60th Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic proved to be one of the most spectacular in the event’s history. One-hundred twenty-four cars staged the Thunder Road pit area ranging from the top oval track masters of the Green Mountain State to some of the most nationally recognized names in tour-type modifieds. In the end, five drivers took down impressive wins to be crowned on Memorial Day weekend headlined by the return of the ‘King of Barre’ to Thunder Road victory lane and a longtime racer from Ellington, Connecticut, getting his second major modified win of 2023.



The rk Miles Street Stocks kicked off the afternoon’s racing action with 30 four-cylinder masters taking to the high banks. Williamstown’s Josh Lovely proved he was the class of the field with a nearly half-a-track lead until the lap 21 caution, which ruined a strong run on the outside for defending champion Dean Switser Jr. after lapped traffic had been plaguing the top-10 runners. The final restart set up a dogfight between Lovely and former Street Stock champion Jeffrey Martin with time running out. Although Martin had put the outside groove to good use, Josh Lovely’s rocket was the first across the line with fan-favorite Juan Marshall rounding out victory lane. Patrick Tibbetts and Kyle Gravel would complete the top-five finishers.


Twenty-three Maplewood/Irving Oil Late Models competed in the Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic. Second-generation drivers Scott Dragon and Chris Roberts led the field quickly leading a top-seven breakaway at the front of the pack. Dragon’s early run came to an abrupt end after his rear-end grenaded leaving the lead to Nick Sweet. Who was then fending off defending Memorial Day Classic winner Stephen Donahue.

Donahue would better his position on the lap 70 restart following a scuffle between Cooper Bouchard and Darrell Morin. Rim-riding the widowmaker frontstretch wall, Donahue led from the outside lane over Sweet until lap 90 with Sweet regaining the top spot once again. Marcel Gravel joined the top-three picture after methodically battling his way up to take on Sweet, but time and laps ran out.

Sweet earned his second career Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic and his 25th career late model win at Thunder Road after pulling an all-nighter to prepare the car, including an engine swap that they had first fired at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. The ‘King of Barre’ returned to victory lane followed by his old rival, fellow former King of the Road Derrick O’Donnell, the ‘Black Night of the White Mountains.’ Marcel Gravel was able to pull off his second-consecutive third-place finish of the young 2023 season with Brooks Clark coming home fourth followed by Stephen Donahue for fifth.



The Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel Flying Tigers showcased their position for their Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day feature event. Ty Delphia showed his rear bumper to the rest of the field through the early goings, but it was Jason Pelkey who would take over the lead just before the halfway point. The big-one hit on lap 20 when cars went all sorts of ways in turns three and four, including Brandon Gray, Mike MacAskill and others collected in the melee.

Pelkey regained the lead and took the victory followed by Flying Tiger champion Sam Caron for his second-consecutive runner-up finish in 2023 and Mike Billado to round out the podium. Logan Powers and Cameron Ouellette bounced back to complete the top-five.

To kick-start the 10th anniversary season, the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series returned to Thunder Road for the second annual Granite City 100. Leading NASCAR rookie Austin Beers and Anthony Nocella led the field to green. The duo began the charge until the first caution on lap seven saw Les Hinkley slam hard into the widowmaker to come to a standstill at the flag stand, on his side. On the restart, Doug Coby took over the lead followed by Ronnie Williams, Chase Dowling, Brian Narducci, and Beers.


Williams took the lead away just after lap 30 and kept the pace at the front of the field until a lap 70 caution for Beers’ flat right-rear rubber. The leaders flew pit-side for their tire change with almost everyone electing to switch out racing tires for the final 30-lap sprint. Brian Narducci called the final yellow flag in the Boehler Racing Ol’ Blue No. 3 with unresponsive steering, leaving Williams to fend off Coby, Mike Christopher Jr., Woody Pitkat, and Ron Silk. In the final charge, Williams bested the field for his second $10,000 win of the 2023 season with Doug Coby taking second followed by Woody Pitkat in third. Chris Pasteryak successfully came back from his lap seven caution to take fourth with Matt Swanson rounding out the top-five.


To wrap up the holiday events on Memorial Day weekend, the Burnett Scrap Metals Road Warriors entered the arena led by Jason Kirby and Ryan Sayers. Kirby would get the jump but the pressure was on from Mini Milk Bowl winner Taylor Sayers. The final caution on lap 23 set up a green-white-checkers between the two as they battled hard side-by-side to the very end. Milton’s Kirby took his first career Thunder Road win on Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day weekend followed by Taylor Sayers and Tyler Wheatley earning his first podium at the speed bowl.

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