BARRE, Vt. – The leaders held serve in the opening segment of the 49th annual People's United Bank Milk Bowl.

The three fastest drivers during time trials and the three heat race winners – Brian Hoar, Nick Sweet and Dave Pembroke – finished 1-2-3 in the first 50-lap Milk Bowl segment on Sunday at Thunder Road International Speedbowl. Hoar, who earlier in the day won his fifth career Milk Bowl pole, led every lap.

Hoar is a two-time Milk Bowl champion and was last year's runner-up.

Scott Payea and Joey Polewarczyk Jr. rounded out the Top-5 finishers. Polewarczyk, who won last year's Milk Bowl with a total score of 12, started 11th before getting up to the Top-5.


The first segment's finishing order of the 30-car field will be inverted to begin Segment No. 2, a 75-lap segment.

The worst luck in the first segment hit drivers Randy Potter, John Donahue and Glen Luce. Potter pulled off midway through the event and did not return, while Donahue was forced to pit under green following a spin on the segment's first lap.

Luce stopped high in Turn 1 to bring out the third and final caution flag of the segment on Lap 37.

Phil Scott finished 12th after an eventful first segment. The polesitter for last month's ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was spun out of the seventh spot on the first lap, restarted at the back of the back and passed 14 cars to get back up as far as he did.

– TB