BNS: Thunder Road race report

Olsen's Tangle With Lapped Car Sets Up Dion's Busch North Series Win At Thunder Road; Johnson A Close Second; Moore Edges Olsen For Third; Fadden 12th In Return BARRE, Vt. - Dave Dion inherited the lead when Mike Olsen tangled with a lapped car...

Olsen's Tangle With Lapped Car Sets Up Dion's Busch North Series Win At Thunder Road; Johnson A Close Second; Moore Edges Olsen For Third; Fadden 12th In Return

BARRE, Vt. - Dave Dion inherited the lead when Mike Olsen tangled with a lapped car on lap 117 and went on to win the True Value 150 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring race before a capacity crowd Saturday night at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Both Dion and Olsen are graduates of weekly racing at Thunder Road, where Dion dominated in the 1970's and Olsen learned his craft in the late 1980's.

Mike Johnson chased Dion through the closing laps before settling for second, while Kelly Moore held off a resurgent Olsen by inches for third. Dale Shaw was fifth, trailed by Tracy Gordon, Bryan Wall, Jamie Aube, Louie Mechalides, and Paul Richardson. The top ten cars were on the lead lap as 24 of 28 starters remained on the track at the finish.

Dion's 12th career Busch North Series win came at an average or 47.286 mph as five caution periods slowed the pace for 34 laps. Olsen won his fourth Bud Pole of the year, redrew the number one spot, and led almost unchallenged until contact with the lapped car of Tim Strojny sent him sliding across the grassy infield with 33 laps rmaining. He recovered in sixth place and gained two spots before the checker, falling a few inches short of taking third place from Moore. Those inches were the difference between a net gain or a loss in the point race, as Moore is Olsen's closest rival. Olsen's margin over Moore now stands at 189 points after 16 of 21 races.

Dion put himself in a position to win by working forward from his eighth starting spot. He broke into the top five by lap 40 and began a duel with Johnson which would last the rest of the race. Dion passed Johnson on a lap 43 restart, then Johnson returned the favor on lap 67. What was to prove the winning pass came when Dion slipped past Johnson on another restart at lap 81. It was then fourth place, but Dion would later pass Moore for third and Gordon for second before Olsen's misfortune presented him with a golden opportunity. Johnson never conceded defeat, however, and pressed Dion in traffic until the very end.

A major story of the True Value 150 was the return of Thunder Road and Busch North Series icon Stub Fadden to racing after serious health problems. Fadden, 68, drove the backup car of his grandson, Mike Olsen. He was an added starter in 27th position, but moved up to finish 12th, just on lap down. Fadden was runner-up to Dale Shaw, who advanced from 22nd to fifth, for the Flowmaster Star of the Race Award. Olsen won the Gatorade Front Runner Award, and Brian Hoar, yet another Thunder Road alumnus, was the Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race.

The Busch North Series continues Sunday afternoon, September 9, with the PTM Racing 150 at Beech Ridge Speedway in Scarborough, Me.

-nascar/bns-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Bryan Wall , Mike Johnson