Waterford, CT — Shawn Monahan prevailed in the 35-lap SK Modified feature on Saturday evening at the Waterford Speedbowl.
Other feature winners were Bruce Thomas Jr. (Late Model), Brandon Plemons (Sportsman), Ken Cassidy Jr. (Mini Stock), Michael Gervais Jr. (Legends), and Scott Gregory (AllStar Race Trucks).
In an ultra-fast 35-lap SK Modified feature, it was hometown driver Shawn Monahan grabbing his first feature of the season. Taking the lead immediately from the pole position, he was tested only once during the events singular restart occurring when multi-feature winner Keith Rocco spun with 9-laps remaining. Handily resisting the challenges of Jeff Paul and defending champion Rob Janovic Jr. in the closing laps, Monahan cruised-home by a car-length over Paul, Janovic, Dennis Gada, and Matt Gallo.
Monahan nearly skipped the event, as he’d been fighting a virus the last few days and stated in victory lane that he was “was a little under-the-weather” this week.
“After speaking with my wife this morning, we decided to race,” said the winner. “I knew I had a pole-shot tonight, so I went for it thinking it might work-out. We’ve started from the pole a few times this season, but it was always something. Tonight we had the set-up right, and it finally worked in our favor. This is a tough division, and you have a lot of fast-guys starting near the front every week. It’s never easy here. I was told in the closing laps that my car was sparking and there was some smoke, but I never noticed it. Whatever, the car was on-rails tonight.”
Earlier in the evening the Monahan brother’s business Critical Signs, in conjunction with other contributors, made a donation of several hundred dollars to aid in the fight against cancer.
“It’s an important cause, and we were proud to be a part of it, said Monahan. “The Speedbowl and those involved with the “Wings And Wheels” show last week did a very good job for a good cause.”
On an evening that saw a large field of Late Models in action at the shoreline oval, Bruce Thomas Jr. scored his seventh of the season in 30-lap feature action. After passing early-leader Robert LeBlanc Jr. following a restart, the defending champion and current point-leader easily held-off Vin Esposito and Joe Curioso. Following was Tim Jordan, and Jeff Smith.
Finishing the race, never mind winning, was a chore that Thomas thought might be impossible.
“I feel very lucky to be here tonight,” he said. “After those last-few restarts, I was pretty sure we were going to be a DNF for the evening. The car started having a fuel-pickup problem and was really sputtering. My crew told me to keep my foot in-it, and we’d be OK. I’ll tell you, that was a close-one. I’m surprised it ran after we pulled into victory lane,”
In 20-lap Sportsman feature action Brandon Plemons came from dead-last to claim his second main event of the season. Pole-sitter Nate Appell led for several circuits before engaging in a furious duel with Josh Galvin. With only 5-laps remaining, contact ensued, with both going to the rear, Appell penalized rough-riding. Action resuming, it was Brandon Plemons and Walt Hovey Jr. battling for the lead. A final caution set the stage for a green-white-checker, with Plemons narrowly prevailing over Hovey at the stripe. Completing the top-5 was point-leader Al Stone III, Ronnie Oldham Jr., and Mark Cooper.
It was a busy week for Plemons after wrecking earlier in the week at Thompson, and then having to depend on borrowed parts to make it to the Speedbowl.
“We bent the car really badly at Thompson on Thursday, and had to hustle to get it ready for tonight,” stated the winner. “I have to thank Dan Emery for lending me a motor and Nate Appell for providing a transmission so I could make it back here. I knew the car was good in practice, but winning from dead-last isn’t what I expected to happen. I have to thank my family and crew also; they worked really hard this week.”
The first-circuit of the 20-lap Mini Stock feature began with an epic crash coming out of turn-2 that involved over half the starting field including several top-point drivers. Following a lengthy cleanup racing resumed with Jeff Mehlenbacher leading followed by Mark Panaroni. Making an amazing recovery from the lap-1 melee, Ken Cassidy moved into the lead at midway and went-on to finish ahead of Mehlenbacher, Randy Churchill Jr., Louie Bellisle, and Mark Panaroni. The evening marked the third feature victory of the season for the current point-leader and defending champion.
Cassidy’s victory was even sweeter than usual because it was a special night for the young chauffer’s family.
“From the pits to victory lane – wow,” stated Cassidy. “After the big crash I headed-in with a tire-rubbing, and a sticking throttle. Believe it or not, I think it ran better after that, or it might have been that I was so determined. It’s always great to win, but tonight is extra-special as it’s my mom Lori’s birthday. She’ll be pretty-happy with this.”
In the AllStar Race Truck 25-lap main event, Scott Gregory executed the move of the evening with a daring 3-wide maneuver to steal the lead from a battling Chris Correll and Andy Lindeman. Gregory stretched it out in the closing laps over Lindeman and Greg Butler, winning by a comfortable margin.
A former Late Model competitor and a veteran of the AllStar Truck Series, Gregory was modest when asked about his “winning move”.
“Those guys were really battling, and I saw an opening,” he said. “I took advantage of it, as I think my truck might have been a little faster. I may have drove it-in a bit-low, but there was no contact and we all kept going. No big-deal, just racing.”
Notching a 20-lap Legends feature plagued with crashes and restarts was Michael Gervais Jr. Soon after the initial green, a violent multi-car crash on the back-chute claimed several competitors, including point-leader Jay Palmer. With fourteen-laps remaining Michael Gervais Jr. moved past Shaun Buffington for the lead and survived several late yellows to triumph over Ryan Morgan in claiming his second Saturday night feature of 2008. Rounding-out the top-5 was Shaun Buffington, Mark Esposito, and Adam Gada.
Gervais won the race harboring somewhat of a handicap – his mirror broke off.
“That was a tough one,” he said in victory lane. “My mirror broke-off during the race, so it was hard to gauge where I was. Fortunately, Ryan ran me clean. He’s become a really good driver, and I enjoy racing with him.”
Action resumes mid-week at the shoreline oval with Wind N’ Wacky Wednesday. On Saturday, it’s the “Double Down Shootout” presented by Mohegan Sun Casino.
For more information on future events at the Speedbowl, please log-on to www.speedbowl.com.
SK MODIFIED (35); 1. Shawn Monahan, 2. Jeff Paul, 3. Rob Janovic Jr., 4. Dennis Gada, 5. Matt Gallo, 6. Diego Monahan, 7. Keith Rocco, 8. Ron Yuhas Jr., 9. Doug Coby, 10. Tyler Chadwick, 11. Wade Mattesen, 12. Glenn Pressel III, 13. Mike Sweeney, 14. Wendell Dailey, 15. Pete Pavone Jr., 16. Bill Benoit, 17. Steve Zukowski, 18. Jeff Pearl, 19. Don Fowler.
LATE MODEL (30); 1. Bruce Thomas Jr., 2. Vin Esposito, 3. Joe Curioso III, 4. Tim Jordan, 5. Jeff Smith, 6. Allen Coates, 7. Jeff Pearl, 8. Brain Andronaco, 9. Ed Reed Jr., 10. Larry Goss, 11. Ken Bamford, 12. Mike Sweeney, 13. Rich Duranti, 14. Dan Holben, 15. Rob Andreozzi, 16. Anthony Macrino, 17. Mark Hudson, 18. Tom Metcalf, 19. Rich Staskowski, 20. Mike Lindquist, 21. Mike Kluczinski, 22. Robert LeBlanc Jr.
SPORTSMAN (20); 1. Brandon Plemons, 2, Walt Hovey Jr., 3. Al Stone III, 4. Ron Oldham Jr., 5. Mark Cooper, 6. Jack Aquilina, 7. Chuck Rogers, 8. Nate Appell, 9. Ed Lamb Jr., 10. Sean Curtis, 11. Josh Galvin, 12. John Puglisi, 13. Chris Meyer, 14. “Grandpa Jim” Procaccini, 15. Jon Porter, 16. Joe Nogiec.
MINI STOCK (20); 1. Ken Cassidy Jr., 2. Jeff Mehlenbacher, 3. Randolph Churcchill Jr., 4. Louie Bellisle, 5. Mark Panaroni, 6. Kyle James, 7. Ray Christian III, 8. Charles Canfield, 9. Nick Papacoda, 10. Sean Caron, 11. Mark Caise, 12. Christina, 13. Jack Aquilina, 14. Ryan Cipows, 15. Ian Brew, 16. Jeff “Soup” Civardi, 17. Jackie Wolfram, 18. Ben Bargnesi.
LEGENDS (20); 1. Michael Gervais Jr., 2. Ryan Morgan, 3. Shaun Buffington, 4. Mark Esposito, 5. Adam Gada, 6. Max Zachem, 7. Tom Gray, 8. Justin Rau, 9. Silas Hiscock Jr., 10. Dan McGourin, 11. William Hiscock, 12. Joe Gada, 13. Mike Blaskey, 14. Kyle Rogers, 15. David Stanton, 16. Mark Bakaj, 17. Jason Palmer, 18. Joe Cipriano, 19. Dan Bisignano, 20. Carl Blandina, 21. Silas Hiscock Jr., 22. Ricky White III, 23. Carl Bohn.
ALLSTAR RACE TRUCKS (25); 1. Scott Gregory, 2. Andy Lindeman, 3. Greg Butler, 4. Gee Perry, 5. Richard Brooks, 6. Tom Smith, 7. Mike Anazalone, 8. (no name available), 9. Derek Chriss, 10. Dan Butler, 11. Mike Carrigg, 12. Chris Correll, 13. Chris Austill, 14. Matt Ferris.
CURRENT POINT STANDINGS (TOP-10);
(SK MODIFIEDS); Dennis Gada (802), Keith Rocco (774), Rob Janovic Jr. (750), Jeff Paul (720), Ron Yuhas Jr. (704), Tyler Chadwick (690), Jeff Pearl (662), Doug Coby (592), Wendell Dailey (438), Justin Gaydish (416).
(LATE MODEL); Bruce Thomas Jr. (752), Tim Jordan (694), Vin Esposito (668), Ed Reed Jr. (588), Ron Yuhas Jr. (534), Rich Staskowski (528), Larry Goss (474), Tom Metcalf (450), Robert LeBlanc Jr. (442), Joe Curioso III (424).
(SPORTSMAN); Al Stone III (816), Ronnie Oldham Jr. (754), Walt Hovey Jr. (744), Mark Cooper (662), Jack Aquilina (610), Josh Galvin (604), John Puglisi (600), “Grandpa Jim” Procaccini (600), Brandon Plemons (586), Ed Lamb Jr. (522).
(MINI STOCK); Ken Cassidy Jr. (784), Randy Churchill Jr., 748), Lou Bellisle (730), Jack Aquilina (606), Mark Panaroni (602), Ray Christian III (600), Ben Bargnesi (582), Kyle James (574), Phil Evans (544), Jeff “Soup” Civardi (524).
(SAT. LEGENDS); Shaun Buffington (402), Michael Gervais Jr. (398), Jason Palmer (384), Adam Gada (348), Ryan Morgan (316), Mark Esposito (296), Art Moran Jr. (268), Max Zachem (224), Carl Blandina (222), Joe Gada (196).
Sources: Dave Dykes/Waterford Speedbowl PR