Waterford, CT — Dave Berghman of Rehoboth, Mass., passed Todd Szegedy with just 7 laps remaining in the Waterford 150 to earn his first career Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring victory at the Waterford Speedbowl on Saturday night.
Berghman was making his 98th career start in the series dating back to 1994. Before his victory at Waterford, the best finish for this second generation driver was a pair of 5th place finishes during the 2001 season. Berghman is the son of Carl “Bugsy” Stevens a former three time NASCAR national modified champion during the 1960′s.
Berghman started the event in the 11th position driving the Northeast Builders/Emanuello Excavating Chevrolet owned by Edward Emanuello. He remained just out of the Top-5 until lap 50 when he started his surge to the front. By lap 62 he was second and was chasing down leader Szegedy. Berghman was applying heavy pressure by the 100-lap mark and powered around Szegedy for the win on lap 143.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Berghman. “It feels really good to get that first win. I had a great car tonight and it seemed like all the trouble happened behind me.”
Szegedy, with a second place finish was the Butler Built rookie of the race for the third time this season. He also led them most laps of the race – a total of 124 – in the Haynes Construction Ford and earned the Gatorade Front Runner Award.
Defending series champion Mike Stefanik recorded his first Top-5 finish of the season by placing third in the Card Chevrolet Chevrolet. Robbie Summers finished fourth in the Bear Motorsports Pontiac. Nevin George rounded out the Top-5 in the Bruce George Paving Chevrolet with the best finish of his three year career on the series.
Tony Hirschman set fast time in Bud Pole qualifying with a new track record of 13.654 seconds and an average speed of 98.872 mph. in the Kamco Supply Chevrolet. The fastest 10 qualifiers drew for starting position. Hirschman drew the number four starting position but retired after an incident also involving Ted Christopher on the first lap.
Summers drew the pole and brought the field to the green flag. Summers led 18 circuits before giving way to Szegedy.
The next event for the Featherlite Modified Series is the Service Electric 100 at Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pa on May 19.
Sources: NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series PR