Waterford, CT – Russ Stoehr passed brother Greg on a restart with 13 laps remaining and went on to win Saturday night’s Northeastern Midget Association’s inaugural Shane Hammond Memorial at Waterford Speedbowl.
Emotion ruled as the brothers dominated the race memorializing Hammond who died at Thompson Speedway in 2008.
“The car (Dumo’s Desire 45) was wicked good on the outside. I knew we could pull it off,” Russ said of the winning move. He was actually battling Chris deRitis (deRitis 75) for second several car lengths behind Greg (Stoehr 26b) when the yellow flew.
Randy Cabral (Bertrand 47) filled out the podium after a late battle with deRitis. Early leader John Zych Jr. (Zych 9) claimed fifth.
Starting 14th, Cabral did win the Lites feature, taking over with 16 laps remaining from eventual runner up Chris Haskell.
“Russ just got the jump on me big time,” said Greg. “I’ve learned a lot from him but I guess he hasn’t taught me everything.”
Only a third yellow with seven left delayed Russ’ run. He had no trouble getting away, leaving Greg in a brief battle with Cabral.
“I knew Randy was there,” said Greg. “One thing Russ taught me, when they’re taking pictures in the corner, when you see the flash, you know somebody’s close. I was still trying to catch Russ.”
It was the first time since 1994 the brothers finished one-two, Greg the winner at Thompson. “We got it right this time,’ said Russ after his 41st career win.
Greg, who started third, took command from pole sitter Zych on a lap two restart. Although he opened up a half-straightaway lead and was running 13.065 laps, Greg knew “one of them, Russ or Randy would be coming.”
Russ, who started seventh, moved forward. “I was able to take a couple turns out of the weight jacker,” he explained. Still, he admitted, “I wasn’t going to catch Greg without the caution.”
Deb Marvuglio’s effort was extraordinary. Hammond’s mother, she had everything covered including lap money, making it a truly memorable and emotional event.
Russ Stoehr told the media Hammond’s death at the 2008 Thompson Icebreaker “was one of the saddest days I’ve ever spent at the race track.” It was the first win for the Dumo’s Desire team since the death of owner Gene Angelillo in March. “Hopefully this gets the monkey off our back,” added Russ who gave Angelillo his final win at Waterford last season.
Greg Stoehr had the fastest lap, a 13.032 which works out to 103 mph…Cabral put the perfect ending on the evening, the Lites winner asking the crowd to yell out Shane’s name. The crowd responded.
RESULTS: 1. Russ Stoehr, 2. Greg Stoehr, 3. Randy Cabral, 4. Chris deRitis, 5. John Zych Jr., 6. Jeff Horn, 7. Anthony Nocello, 8. Erica Santos, 9. Mike Horn,, 10. Pete Pernesigilo, 11. Paul Scally, 12. Adam Cantor, 13. Matt O’Brien, 14. Barry Kittredge, 15. Lee Bundy, 16. Jim Miller
Lites: 1. Randy Cabral, 2. Chris Haskel, 3. Todd Bertrand, 4. Ed LeCleerc, 5. Jim SantaMaria, 6. Joey Mucciacciaro, 7. Andy Barrows, 8. Bethany Viets, 9. Carl Medeiros Jr., 10. Ryan Bigelow, 11. Kevin Parks, 12. Paul Bigelow, 13. Lanson Fornoro, 14. Jay Diamond, 15. Paul Luggelle, 16. Tom Fox, 17. David Moniz.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR