Seekonk, MA – Jeff Abold became the first back-to-back Boston Louie Memorial winner Saturday night, dominating the 14th running of the Northeastern Midget Association’s headliner at Seekonk Speedway.
Coming from the 14th starting spot after setting fast time (11.071), Abold (Seymour 4) needed only 10 laps to take the lead from Anthony Marvuglio. Only a late restart and brief challenge from point leader Randy Cabral slowed the run.
It was a complete sweep for the sponsoring Seymour family, Anthony Nocella (Seymour 29) coming from ninth to win the NEMA Lites feature. Nocella also withstood a late restart threat before besting Andy Barrows (Barrows 81) and Randy Cabral (Scally 4).
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
#4 – Jeff Abold
Both features went 29 laps honoring the memory of Boston Louie Seymour.
Russ Stoehr (Dumo’s Desire 45), Chris deRitis (Cicconi/deRitis 75) and Aaron Wall (Wall 55) completed the top five behind Abold and Cabral.
“I didn’t expect to get to the front that quickly,” said Abold. He took third from Cabral on lap six, second from deRitis on eight and first from Marvuglio, the only other leader on 10. “I saw those guys in front of me and I knew I had a good car,” he said.
Abold, 21, easily thwarted a lap 19 restart challenge from deRitis before the Cabral single-file restart threat with 26 gone. “I was a little concerned but I knew how I had to drive it,” said Abold.
Cabral made it interesting but Abold quickly established a seven car length advantage. It was a strong run for Cabral, who started 11th, had third by lap six and grabbed second from deRitis on lap 21.
Stoehr, who continues to run second in points, passed deRitis on the final restart. DeRitis, Jim Miller and Anthony Marvuglio were the heat winners.
Nocella survived three cautions before taking the lead from Lanson Fornoro down the backstretch on lap seven. “Once I got in front and could run my own line it felt great,” said the 17-year old. He had a half-track lead when the last yellow fell.
“I was a little nervous about the final restart,” said Nocella. “I mean I was leading the thing.”
Barrows, second since lap 14, was more concerned. “I was content with second at that point,” he said. “Now I had Randy Cabral to contend with.”
Eddie LeClerc Jr. (LeClerc 14) and Russ Wood Jr. (Wood 51) were fourth and fifth.
Fornoro, who grabbed the pole after a second lap crash eliminated the front row, was the only other leader. He wound up seventh.
Jim Santamaria and Jesse State captured Lites heats.
#29 – Anthony Nocella
Abold was “absolutely” thrilled at being the first to win two straight “Louie” races. It was also his second straight fast time, besting last year by four tenths.
It was the largest field in the history of the race.
Great runs by Anthony Marvuglio in the feature and Lanson Fornoro in the Lites race were noteworthy.
RESULTS: 1. Jeff Abold, 2. Randy Cabral, 3. Russ Stoehr, 4. Chris deRitis, 5. Aaron Wall, 6. Mike Horn, 7. Greg Stoehr, 8. Chris Leonard, 9. Anthony Marvuglio, 10. Keith Botelho, 11. Jim Miller, 12. Dave Gruel, 13. Matt O’Brien, 14. Brian Cleveland, 15. Lee Bundy, 16. B.J. MacDonald, 17. Barry Kittredge, 18. Paul Scally, 19. Lanson Fornoro, 20. Adam Cantor, 21. Bobby Santos III, 22. John Zych Jr., 23. Britt Anderson (DNS), 24. Todd Bertrand (DNS).
Time trials (top 10): 1. Jeff Abold (11.071), 2. Greg Stoehr (11.263), 3. Wall (11.271), 4. Cabral (11.400), 5. Horn (11.407), 6. Russ Stoehr (11.421), 7. Leonard (11.425), 8. deRitis (11.435), 9. MacDonald (11.520), 10. Cantor (11.526).
LITES FINISH: 1. Anthony Nocella, 2. Andy Barrows, 3. Randy Cabral, 4. Eddie LeClerc Jr., 5. Russ Wood Jr., 6. Jesse State, 7. Lanson Fornoro, 8. Jim Santamaria,, 9. Paul Bigelow, 10. Ryan Bigelow, 11. Bethany Viets, 12. Carl Mederios Jr., 13. David Moniz, 14. Ryan Tidman, 15. Paul Luggelle, 16. Wil Wall, 17. Kevin Park, 18. Eric Cabral, 19. Jake Smith.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR