Lee, NH — Randy Cabral passed Bertrand Motorsports teammate Ryan Newman coming out of turn two on lap 13 and went on to score a convincing win in Friday night’s 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature at Lee USA Speedway.
After taking second on a lap 11 restart, Cabral needed only two laps before slipping past NASCAR Sprint Cup star Newman. Only a lap 22 caution impeded his romp to a second win in as many 2009 races.
Jake Stergios’ late rally resulted in a NEMA Lites victory over Eddie LeClerc Jr.
Cabral called grabbing second on the restart as key to the win, his first ever at Lee. Lining up third, he “just stayed on it and followed Ryan. It was one of those let’s see what happens moves.”
Dropping Mike Keeler to third, Cabral was immediately on Newman’s tail. The winning move was swift. “Sure, I was aware it was Ryan Newman,” he said. “He is a tremendous, very talented driver, but I’ve raced with Nokie Fornoro and Russ Stoehr and they’re not exactly slouches.”
Russ Stoehr (Angelillo) passed Keeler on lap 17 and went on to claim third in a new chassis. Adam Cantor (Cantor 7ny) came from 12th to claim fifth.
Newman, a one-time national Midget contender, disappointed no one. After the initial start resulted in a yellow, Ryan took off from the outside pole and before yellow flew again had half straightaway on Keller. Contact between Cabral and Russ Stoehr resulted in the latter spinning in turns one and two.
“I feel like a idiot,” Cabral said of the incident with Stoehr. “I just drove it in too hard. I ran into the back of Russ rather then going around him. That is not my style.”
NEMA moves on the Thompson Speedway on Thursday, July 2.
NOTES FROM LEE:
- Car owner Tim Bertrand reports that Ryan Newman came determined to win in the Bertrand #39. “There were a lot of changes made including replacing a spring during the night and he did them himself,” said Bertrand. “He got right down on the ground working on the car.”… While this was happening somebody approached Newman with a cell phone and asked him to say hello to his wife. That is totally out of bounds …
- Newman’s best time in the feature was 13.929, a tick off winner Randy Cabral’s race-best 13.834.
- In the area with the Sprint Cup Series at nearby New Hampshire International Speedway, Newman did tell the fans he loved the opportunity to perform in New England. Bertrand says it could happen again.
- The crew played a big role in Russ Stoehr’s run from ninth to third in the Angelillo 45. The crew made several adjustments including moving the wing after an unsatisfactory heat effort.
- Adam Cantor had another fine run coming from 12th to fifth behind Mike Keeler, the latter very impressive in the first heat.
- The Cabral/Bertrand team has now conquered five tracks – Lee, Monadnock, Seekonk, Thompson and Waterford. It was the 23rd career win for Cabral.
- Between NEMA and the NEMA Lites, there were 37 Midgets in the pits.
RESULTS: 1. Randy Cabral, 2. Ryan Newman, 3. Russ Stoehr, 4. Mike Keeler, 5. Adam Cantor, 6. Eric Santos, 7. William Wall, 8. Greg Stoehr, 9. John Zych Jr., 10. Chris DeRitis, 11. Lee Bundy, 12. Mike Luggelle, 13. Andy Shlatz, 14. Aaron Wall, 15. Jim Miller, 16. Abby Martino, 17. Chris Leonard, 18. Paul Scally, 19. Neil Blatt. DNS – Doug Cleveland.
Lites: 1. Jake Stergios, 2. Eddie LeClerc, 3. Russ Wood, 4. Paul Luggelle, 5. Rick Hart, 6. Joe Cicci, 7. Todd Bertrand, 8. Randy Cabral, 9. Anthony Nocella, 10. Chris Haskell, 11. Eric Cabral, 12. Kevin Park, 13. Jake Smith. DNS – Josh Wollam, Shawn Torrey, J Spinzola.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR