Stafford, Springs, CT — Inheriting the lead, Russ Stoehr (Dumo’s Desire 45) made it three straight victories capturing the Northeastern Midget Association 30 lapper at Stafford Motor Speedway’s CARQUEST Extreme Tuesday. His 46th career triumph, it was Stoehr’s first at Stafford.
Stoehr had climbed from seventh to second when brother Greg, who had led since lap three, spun in lapped traffic on the 21st circuit. He out-dragged Jeremy Frankoski (Cantor 7ny) into one on the restart and quickly established a comfortable edge.
Jeff Abold (Seymour 29) and Greg Stoehr (Stoehr 26b) both came back from trouble to complete the podium. Chris Leonard (Leonard 22) and Mike Horn (Horn 93x) were fourth and fifth.
The win put Stoehr into sole possession of third place on the all-time win list, passing Nokie Fornoro. “The third straight is something special,” he said. “I had never done that in my career.”
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
Greg Stoehr moved past early leader Keith Botehlo starting lap three. By lap six, Abold, Frankowski and Russ Stoehr were lined up behind the leader. On lap eight Abold, pushed wide by lapped traffic, hit the wall between three and four setting up the first caution.
Russ Stoehr followed his brother past Frankoski into second on the restart with Randy Cabral now fourth. A broken spark plug forced Cabral to just make the initial green, starting in the rear. A lap after the restart Cabral, who had the fastest lap in the heats, was out, one of several heartbreak victims.
Lapped traffic was a definite factor throughout.
“I overshot it a little bit,” explained Greg Stoehr who spun in heavy traffic in turn two. “It was my own fault.”
“Greg had it won, no queston,” said Russ Stoehr. Considering the 30 lap distance, he told his crew he was looking to make “the easy passes early.” He was “surprised” Frankoski stayed with him so far into one on the final start.
Staying outside, Abold, who had the fastest lap in the feature, (17.75) moved from sixth to third following the final restart. He and Frankoski were battling for second when the latter spun in heavy traffic on the final circuit.
“Maybe I got into somebody’s oil. It just came around on me,” said a dejected Frankoski.
“I really thought we had the car to beat,” offered Abold. He said it was the “most moment filled” race of his career.
Russ Stoehr passed Nokie Fornoro on the all-time list. He said he wanted the third straight because son Avery had won three straight in kart competiton in Pembrook, NH. “I would never have lived down not winning three straight too,” he said.
The Marvin Rifchin Trophy Race at Thompson Speedway Thursday July 7 is next for NEMA.
RESULTS: Russ Stoehr, 2. Jeff Abold, 3. Russ Stoehr, 4. Chris Leonard, 5. Mike Horn, 6. Erica Santos, 7. Keith Botelho, 8. Paul Scally, 9. Lee Bundy, 10. Jeremy Frankowski.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA PR