Waterford, CT — The squeaky tight Northeastern Midget Association Owners point battle moves to Waterford Speedbowl’s Town Fair Tire Finale this weekend. It’s like going home for NEMA and it’s a good bet Randy Cabral is feeling pretty good about it. “Every time I see the Speedbowl on the schedule I just smile,” he says.
Cabral’s owner Tim Bertrand trails Bob Santos Jr. by 13 in the owner standings. Bobby Santos III drives for his father. Cabral and Santos have nine wins between them this season, five for Cabral whose “dream season” includes three Speedbowl wins.
Both Santos and Cabral are “comfortable” at the Speedbowl. Santos has won four times there including his first-ever NEMA success. Cabral has a record seven wins and owns the unofficial single-lap record – a 12.74 set earlier this year.
Gene Angelillo will go into Sunday’s 25-lap feature 56 points off the lead. Angelillo’s driver Joey Payne, who has three career Speedbowl wins, has had three podium finishes this year.
“You couldn’t ask for a better place for the showdown to begin,” says NEMA President Mike Scrivani Jr. “I guess it’s been overused, the saying ‘there are no secrets left at the Speedbowl’ but it’s right on. Everybody seems to be the best they can be at the Speedbowl. Randy and Bobby have both run sub 13 seconds laps there this year. Greg Stoehr and Erica Santos have too.”
The Finale will be the 79th NEMA feature at the Speedbowl going back to the club’s initial season – 1953. The third-mile is generally considered one of the premier Midget facilities in the east.
The NEMA Lites will be at the “Finale” as well. All qualifying will be on Saturday. The Lites feature will be Saturday night while NEMA joins the Speedbowl’s SK-Modifieds, Late Models, Sportsman and Mini Stock divisions on Sunday. A Pit Party at 10:30 am precedes Sunday’s action.
“Not looking past two or three cars in this club is a mistake,” cautions Cabral pointing to Stoehr’s victory earlier this year. Erica Santos (Breault 44), Nokie Fornoro (Jarret 4) and Mike Keeler (TSR 63) have all had excellent Speedbowl runs this year. Keeler has won in the past at the ‘Bowl.
The ‘down home’ felling will continue for NEMA with stops at Seekonk Speedway’s DAV Oct. 11-12 and Thompson Speedway’s World Series Oct. 17-18-19. Rained out last weekend, the NEMA season will now end at Twin State Speedway’s New England Outdoor Furnace Open Wheel Sunday Sept. 28.
Sources:Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR