Thursday's temperatures might not have been very warm, but the action on the track at was hotter than ever. The following is a video of Late Model qualifying heat #3 at Barre's Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, at the Vt. State Employee's Credit Union 100 on Thursday night.
We were wishing we had two cameras during this heat, as the race for the lead between Brooks Clark (#68) and Mike "Beetle" Bailey (#00) was razor-close, and at the same time the introduction of "Bad Boy" Dwayne Lanphear (#28) to NASCAR driver David Ragan (#6). During Clark and Bailey's side-by-side duel, Ragan shoved Lanphear around a bit, prompting Lanphear to give the Sprint Cup Series racer a brake job on the frontstretch.
Although Ragan used the chrome horn a couple of times, it was Lanphear that invoked the ire of race director Tom Curley. After slamming the brakes on Ragan (the damage done to Ragan's front end is visible in the video), Lanphear was black-flagged and invited to load his race car up for the evening.
"It's simple, you write it, he's a (expletive that starts with 'F')-ing (expletive that rhymes with 'wussy')," Lanphear fumed about Ragan. "He's gonna drive under me, and then I get black-flagged? The lap before that he had me all the way sideways. Is that the biggest (F-bomb)-job you've ever seen?"
"I guess I should meet him off the race track," Ragan suggested. "I was a little impatient and I thought I had a little better car. [There was] just nowhere to go, it's a tight track."
Ragan said Thunder Road was a fun place to race, but was nothing like he was used to in his short track days in Georgia. "There's a few tracks that are real tight, there's a track down in South Georgia that was real tight, but nothing where both lanes are real equal like here. Certainly it'll be a learning experience tonight."
After his run-in with Lanphear, Ragan made the most of his "learning experience" by taking a very competitive 10th-place finish in the VSECU 100.