Pembroke Saves, Pole Sails Off, at Thunder Road
Veteran Takes The Victory in Memorial Day ACT Showdown
By Mike Twist
Dave Pembroke played the role of cagey veteran well during the Memorial Day Classic ACT Late Model race at Thunder Road.  The Vermont driver has raced many laps there, he's won races and lost races there….and he knows a thing or two about saving his equipment to be there at the end of a race.  That is exactly what Pembroke did on Sunday when he won his second Memorial Day Classic.

“Track time here is huge.  You've got new guys coming in here and it's a hard place to figure out,” said Pembroke.  “Some guys do it easily and some don't.  I've logged a lot of laps here and hopefully that is why I run well here.

“I know about not saving my stuff and not being there at the end.  I've led a few of these early and not been able to finish it off.  But today we were able to and that feels pretty good.”

Meanwhile it was one of the hottest drivers in ACT competition who learned about not finishing it off on Sunday.

When Joey Pole won the recent ACT Late Model race at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME), it was the high line that made the difference.  As many other contenders feared to tread the top line of that track, Pole rose to the occasion and used it as a road to victory lane.

One race and one week later at Thunder Road, Pole learned that when it comes to the high line a racetrack, sometimes you win by the sword and sometimes you lose by it. Pole dominated the first half of the race and then kept Pembroke at bay fro much of the late part of the race.  But Pole's high line got a little too high on lap 82, when he dipped two tires off the top of the track on the backstretch and spun off into turn three.

“We knew that Pembroke was good for about 10 laps, but he kept using his stuff up,” said Pole.  “I could start to pull away and that's when it happened.  I was just getting by him when I got too high and got into the marbles.  I just lost it.  The rear end kicked out from underneath me and as soon as it dipped off into the dirt, I knew it was done.

“It was just driver error. The outside line was really working for us..  After the first restart, I thought that I had a left rear tire going down.  When I tried to go down on the bottom, the car wanted to come around on me until we ran a few laps and built the pressures back up.  I think it was just a slow leak.”

“I was fast enough to catch him, but once I got to the bottom and just being pinned down a little bit and get off the corner really slowed me down,” said Pembroke.  “I didn't have to momentum to make the pass and I wasn't going to move him up out of the way.  It was good fun racing.  It was still early in the race, so we were making it interesting and I was keeping the pressure on him. 

“I really had fun and I hope that he had fun.  We raced good together and it was tough to see him sailing off like that.”

Brian Hoar barely edged out Scott Payea for second place at Thunder Road, with Cris Michaud coming from 26th on the grid to the fourth finishing position and Randy Potter finishing fifth. will have leftovers from the Thunder Road race coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic Results

Fin. Pos. Start Pos. Car # Driver

1 5 44 Dave Pembroke
2 6 37 Brian Hoar
3 2 89 Scott Payea
4 26 6 Cris Michaud
5 9 02NH Randy Potter
6 3 11VT Jean-Paul Cyr
7 11 7VT Eric Williams
8 21 26VT John Donahue
9 23 16 Joe Becker
10 4 9VT Chip Grenier
11 16 55VT Brent Dragon
12 25 7ME Glen Luce
13 12 05 Craig Bushey
14 20 78NH Quinten Welch
15 14 41 Pete Potvin, III
16 8 85 Trampas Demers
17 30 25 David Whitcomb
18 13 40VT Eric Chase
19 24 73ME Joey Doiron
20 22 51ME Ricky Rolfe
21 19 34 Dylan Smith
22 18 68 Brooks Clark
23 28 15VT Joey Laquerre
24 7 2 Daniel Descoste
25 15 42MA Jeff Zuidema
26 1 97NH Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.
27 29 55NH Phil Scott
28 10 88 Nicholas Sweet
29 17 42VT Matt White
30 27 18 Jamie Fisher

Dave Pembroke and Joey Pole battled for the lead, but by the time that the finish rolled around, Pembroke's #44 crossed the line as the race winner - while Pole was ironically right behind him, several laps down to the damage from an off-track excursion.  (Jim Dupont Photos Photos)
Pembroke enjoys victory lane on a fine Memorial Day weekend.  (Eric LeFleche/VLF Photos Photo)
Pembroke's victory lap.   (Leif Tillotson Photo)
There was a packed house at Thunder Road.  (51 Photo)