Brockton, MA — Once again, the Northeastern Midget Association champions will be crowned at Thompson Speedway’s World Series. Russ Stoehr and the Dumo’s Desire team take a 50-point edge on Randy Cabral and Bertrand Motorsports into the scheduled 25-lap feature that will bring NEMA’s 58th season to a close.
“Thompson has always favored the veterans,” says NEMA President Mike Scrivani Jr. “It is a very fast place, the fastest track we visit. And, there’s so much history there.”
Both Cabral and Stoehr know their way around the ultra quick five-eighths oval. Cabral has eight Thompson wins including three World Series and a one earlier this year. His and owner Tim Bertrand’s 2008 and 2009 titles were secured at the World Series.
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Third-Generation Driver Continues Family Tradition
For any driver, their first track championship is special. Tony Membrino Jr. captured his first career championship at Stafford Motor Speedway during CARQUEST Fall Final weekend.
When your family has been competing on local short tracks since the 1950s, you grow up around the sport. The Membrino’s are a racing family with deep roots in New England racing history. Tony’s grandfather is Tony ‘Jap’ Membrino, a popular Modified driver that drove at West Haven Speedway and won races at Plainville Stadium and Riverside Park Speedway. He was also a track champion at the old Plainville Stadium. He drove for different car owners including Ron Berndt’s #54 and the Earl Pelletier #27 but is best known for the purple #0 0.
His father, Tony Membrino continued the tradition, competing in Pro Stocks at Riverside Park and Stafford with the #00. Uncles Marty and Tommy also competed. His cousin Tommy Membrino Jr. is a Stafford regular in the SK Light Modifieds.
Tony Membrino, Jr. is the third generation to carry on the family tradition of the purple #00. ” To carry on the family legacy with the purple #00 means the world to me, said Membrino. “It’s all I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid, and to get the chance to carry the colors is awesome. Racing is what our family does, and I’m just thankful to now be a part of that tradition. I hope to carry the legacy on for years to come.”
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Seekonk, MA — Rehoboth’s Dave Darling took the lead of the D. Anthony Venditti Memorial Pro Stock race coming off turn 4 of the eighth lap and clung steadfastly to his position for the remainder of the hundred circuits of Seekonk Speedway’s one-third mile bullring. He had started third, behind polesitter Russ Hersey, visiting from New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway. Hersey nabbed the lead off the green flag from Warwick driver Ryan Vanasse (who started the outside pole) and led through the first eight revolutions. Hersey clung to Darling’s rear bumper for the remainder of the race, providing a difficult affair for the winner. Darling’s margin of victory was just a half-second over Hersey.
Tom Scully, Jr. of Saunderstown, RI, finished third with division champ Fred Astle out of Westport, MA, on his bumper. Acushnet, MA driver Mike Brightman finished fifth. Returning drivers featured prominently in the top ten. Somerset’s Dave Hutchins, Sr. followed Brightman across the stripe. Hutch began the season with the division, but had taken most of the season off. Dick Houlihan of Bridgewater, MA, returned from retirement to drive the Ellis Racing 41 over the last few races and came home seventh. Tom Scully, Sr. joined his son in the fray and spent early parts of the race in pursuit of Hussey. Scully, Sr. claimed eighth on the day. Likewise Tiverton, RI driver Ray Parent, who also began the season, dropped out of the running then returned with a couple weeks remaining with a new car. Parent’s ninth place on the day rounded out returnees in the top 10. Tenth overall went to Pro Stock regular Jake Vanada of Berkley.
Hersey, starting alongside Vanasse, jumped quickly to the lead at the green. Darling had started immediately behind him, and moved up under Vanasse and into second. Hutchins eased under Vanasse and Vanada from his spot outside the third row and Dean Pettey, making just his second start on the season, followed into fourth. Vanada nabbed fifth spot. Darling chased Hersey through the first seven laps, when they began to lap Steve Desmaris, who was struggling with his car and headed for the pits.
[Seekonk Fri. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Seekonk Sat. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
[Seekonk Sun. Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
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