August 21, 2023
Race with a purpose
It can be tough to win a race where one of the contestants has a higher reason for victory than the average competitor. Motivation cannot make up for an ill-handling, slow race car, however, a well handling, fast race car in the hands of a driver with extra motivation to win can be hard to beat.
Thursday at Thunder Road International Speed Bowl in Barre, Vermont, that scenario played out. Upon arrival at the track atop Quarry Hill, I asked PR Director, Cale King, about what good stories were out in the pits at Thunder Road. King suggested several names including Cameron “Cam” Gadue of Highgate Center, Vermont a few minutes from the Canadian border in northern Vermont just off Interstate 89.
King mentioned that Gadue only 24-years-of-age was doing well in the Flying Tigers division similar to a Late Model/Street Stock class at other tracks in the northeast. Gadue is racing full-time at Thunder Road in 2023 after competing on the dirt tracks part-time at Airborne Speedway, Plattsburgh, New York, and Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vermont from 2017 through 2022.
In 2022 he bought Robert Gordon’s (St. Albans, VT) Flying Tiger to concentrate on Thunder Road. He did not come from a racing family and would attend Thunder Road 2 or 3 times per season as a youngster along with his father Kevin. A friendship with Swanton’s Dylan Rabtoy in high school is attributed to helping move the young Gadue from spectator to participator. At first the team consisted primarily of Cam and his father with crew members added throughout the years.
Tragically in 2019. Gadue’s father, Kevin while checking a deer food plot on some of the family land in Fairfield, Vermont was killed when he rolled his atv in a ditch, hit his head on a rock, and died from that injury. Cam was changing gears in the race car after the show at Airborne was cancelled due to rain. Kevin Gadue was only 55.
Cam Gadue works at the family business, Ray’s Dies and Tubing in Swanton, Vermont. The business was started by his grandfather 55 years ago to produce high quality wire extrusion devices and now specializes in extrusion as well as medical endoscopy and vascular access components.
A graduate of Missisquoi Valley Union High School then Vermont State University Castleton campus in 2021 where he got his degree in business management. His father was his boss for several years until his unexpected death. Cam did not make it clear if he wishes to move eventually into management level at the company.
The #23 car was being called to the pre-race grid so a post-race interview was in order. Earlier Gadue won his heat race placing him on the outside of row one in the feature.
Post-race he described it this way, ” We had a good car. We started on the outside pole and took the lead right away! A caution at lap 9 wiped out our several car length lead. But we kept the lead on the restart. Then another caution on lap 20 the mid-point, brought us back to the field.”
“I held the lead on that restart. Brandon Gray reeled us in on or around lap 33 and held on to win. I’m pretty happy with second place. That tied us with our previous second earlier this season. Thank you to all the crew lead by crew chief Robin Wood.”
Fighting back tears, Gadue said, “Tonight was the four-year-anniversary of the atv accident that took the life of my father. We think of him all the time but we are especially thinking of him tonight. Hopefully he’s looking down on us with a big ol smile on his face. No doubt about that. We kept the same paint scheme as when he was alive to help him recognize us.”
Gadue has four more points races this season plus the Milk Bowl weekend.
Thunder Road SRX experience
Cale King listed some of the exciting happenings at Thunder Road after it was announced that the track would be hosting the SRX Series in July of 2023. Though the 2023 event was cancelled due to flooding in Vermont, the track has been promised a date in the 2024 SRX Series schedule.
Upcoming races galore!!!
Some races I will be monitoring since it is impossible to be everywhere for every race:
- Big Woods Grass Drags, Ashland, Maine Saturday August 26 with 10 AM start. http://bigwoodsdrags.com/
- 50th Annual Oxford 250 August 25-27th with racing every evening. https://www.oxfordplains.com/
- Loring Timing Association Harvest Event August 30- September 1st. https://www.loringtiming.com/
- Sting Ray Robb next IndyCar race Sunday August 27th. https://www.indycar.com/Schedule/2023/IndyCar-Series/WWTR
- Kody Swanson USAC Silver Crown race also at World Wide Raceway, Madison, Illinois. https://www.usacracing.com/component/k2/item/11997-event-info-wwt-raceway-usac-silver-crown-aug-27-2023
Toyota Tacoma turns 300,000 miles
Let’s go racing,
Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)