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Q&A: Thunder Road’s Dick Blake

Written by Sky Barsch on . Posted in Way of (Vermont) Life

Dick Blake and his wrecker. Photo by Ken Burris.

Dick Blake and his wrecker. Photographed by Ken Burris.

When the stock car racers at Barre’s Thunder Road get into trouble, it’s Dick Blake and his wrecker crew who get them out. At 84, Blake runs the tow truck at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement,” where fans of all ages enjoy fast cars, fried dough and checkered flags.

VL: How long have you been running the wrecker?
DB: This will be my 53rd year. I was going to retire after the 50th year, but Ken Squier and Tom Curley said I’ve got to stay with ’em … as long as they own the track. I said as long as I’m able, I’ll do it.

VL: Is it a job or volunteer work?
DB: We volunteer, but I get a little gas money every once in a while, and I get good advertisement after all these years, and I enjoy doing it.

VL: Have you ever had a car stuck that you couldn’t get out?
DB: Never. We’ve seen ’em over the fence into the parking lot a couple of times; they’ve been everywhere. I’ve probably picked up a car on every inch of that track over the years — on top of the wall, over the bank in the trees. We’ve seen some pretty mysterious accidents and have been lucky nobody’s been killed.

VL: Where’s the best spot to watch the races?
DB: Off the fourth turn. That’s where a lot of the action happens, or starts to happen.

VL: Do you ever get a sense before you go in for the night if it’s going to be a big wreck night or pretty mellow?
DB: Generally if you have a full moon,

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2015 Thunder Road Schedule

Written by Sky Barsch on . Posted in Q&A, Way of (Vermont) Life, Web Exclusives

In the summer issue, we interviewed Dick Blake, the wrecker driver for Thunder Road’s stock car races. If you want to see Blake in action, head to Thunder Road in Barre for a fun night at “The Nation’s Site of Excitement.”

Schedule subject to change, click here for updates.

Day Date Event
Saturday/Sunday May 2/3 ACT 150
Sunday May 24 53rd Annual Mekkelsen RV Memorial Day Classic
Thursday June 11
Harvest Equipment Night
Thursday June 18
Casella Waste Management Night
Thursday June 25 North Country Federal Credit Union Night
Thursday July 2
Weekly Event
Sunday July 5
Weekly Event
Thursday July 9
VP Fuels Vermont Governor’s Cup
Thursday July 16
Weekly Event
Thursday July 23
Times Argus Mid-Season Championships
Thursday July 30
WDEV/Calkins Night
Sunday Aug. 2
31st Enduro 200- SS Special
Thursday Aug. 6
Weekly Event
Thursday Aug. 13
Weekly Event
Thursday Aug. 20 Jet Service Envelope – Accura Printing – VT Shifter Carts Night
Thursday Aug. 27
Weekly Event
Sunday Sept. 6
37th Annual Coca-Cola Labor Day Classic 200
Saturday Oct. 10
Booth Bros/HP Hood Qualifying Day
Sunday Oct. 11
53rd Annual Milk Bowl

Most Read Stories on Vermont Life Digital

Written by Sky Barsch on . Posted in Way of (Vermont) Life, Web Exclusives

Covers.inddCovers.inddAu14 Coverwin1415As we start of 2015 and reflect on the year past, we took a look at what Vermont Life Digital stories were viewed the most in 2014.

Many of our popular stories came to us via our Vermont Life Pitch Night events, which we held in collaboration with the Vermont Office of the Creative Economy. Over several months, we listened to Vermonters tell their stories in White River Junction, Brattleboro, Springfield, Montpelier and Bellows Falls. We heard from creative entrepreneurs from various sectors, including tech, renewable energy, automotive, the arts, real estate, retail, social services and more. Thanks to these pitch nights,

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