Brockton, MA — Randy Cabral will be after a second straight season-opening win when the Northeastern Midget Association 2009 campaign begins Saturday night, May 23 at Monadnock Speedway. Amazingly, two-straight season-opening wins has been done only seven times in NEMA’s 57 years, Ben Seitz the last to do it in 2004-05.
Others to accomplish it were Bill Eldridge (1954-55), Dutch Schaefer (1959-60), Walt Gale (1966-67), Johnny Coy (1970-71), Armond Holley (1976-77) and Drew Fornoro (1982-83). Fornoro’s six opening wins top the list followed by Schaefer (4), Eldridge (4). Jeff Horn has three.
Monadnock is one of seven tracks on NEMA’s 17-stop agenda. Lee USA, Thompson, Stafford, Seekonk, Waterford, Twin State (Claremont) and Canaan are also on the schedule. The NEMA Lites will make 13 stops.
NEMA again will feature a mix of youth and veterans. The return of Russ Stoehr in Gene Angelillo’s #45 means that three of NEMA’s all-time top-10 winners will be in action this summer.
Stoehr, with 39 victories, sits fourth, three behind Nokie Fornoro. The top-two – Drew Fornoro (85) and Dave Humphrey (72) – are far out in front of the field. Defending champion Randy Cabral is tied for 10th (with Lee Smith) with 21 victories. Ahead of Cabral are Johnny Mann (29), Bobby Seymour (23), Bill Eldridge (23) and Joe Csiki (22).
The Stoehr brothers will be racing against each other again for the first time in five years. Russ and Greg, in the Circle Performance Machine-powered #29, are second only to the Fornoro boys when it comes to brother combinations. They have 47 wins with the Seymours – Bobby and Mike – in third with 41.
Cabral’s eight victories in 17 races last year is tied for eighth on the list of “most dominating seasons” in NEMA history. Cabral’s winning percentage in the Bertrand family 47 was a lusty .444.
First place belongs to Joe Csiki who “batted” .645 in 1963, winning 11 of 17 shows including a record six straight. Two .500 efforts – Dick Brown (five-of-10 in ’61) and Drew Fornoro (eight-for-16 in ’83) are tied for second. Nokie Fornoro’s .478 (10-of-21 for Mike Scrivani in ’81) is fourth. A trio – Johnny Mann’s five-for-11 in ’74, Dave Humphrey’s 7-for-15 in ’68 and Drew Fornoro’s 7-for-15 in ’89 share fifth with a .450 mark.
Cabral shares eighth with Bobby White who won eight of 15 starts back in 1979. NEMA’s other “.400 hitters” are Russ Stoehr (6-for-14, .428) in ’97 and Drew Fornoro (eight-for-19, .421) in ’82.
Cabral takes a streak of nine straight years (2000-’08) with at least one victory into the ’09 season. That ties him with Drew Fornoro (1982-1990) in that category behind Humphrey’s 14 (1966-1980) and Russ Stoehr’s 10 (1993-2002).
Nokie Fornoro has won NEMA features on 14 different tracks, the leader among active drivers. Russ Stoehr has won on 12. The all-time leader is Dave Humphrey with 20, one better than Drew Fornoro.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR