Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl returned to action Wednesday evening, resuming its Wild ‘n Wacky season following last week’s rained out event. With just two weeks remaining on the season headed into the night, champions began to receive their accolades when the racing was complete. The first to claim a title in 2011 at the track was 12 year-old Rachel Forte of Douglas, MA, who secured the track’s Bandolero championship. Later in the evening, 16 year-old Dana Dimatteo of Farmington duplicated the effort by securing the track’s Legends Cars Wednesday season championship. The X-Car and Super X-Car point battles will come down to the final week of competition next Wednesday.
Scoring victories on the night’s racing program included Dave Garbo Jr. of Stonington who took his seventh race of the Wild ‘n Wacky series in the Legends Cars, Joey Ternullo of Middletown won his second consecutive Bandolero feature, Mike Maskell of Quaker Hill used a victory in the Super X-Car feature to take the points lead headed into the final event, while Niantic’s Pete Zaikarite also used a win to tighten the championship battle in the four-cylinder X-Car division.
A caution-free Legends Cars feature was led to the green flag by Dennis Pantani and Ed Field, with Field racing into the lead when the green flag waved. Field’s lead was short-lived at the head of the pack. Multi-time winner on the season Garbo used his fourth place starting position to take over the lead by the time the race was just one lap old. Matthew Pappa came from the eighth starting position, picking cars off one at a time, until he moved past the inside of Field on lap-7.
[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto
Pappa immediately set chase on Garbo whose lead had stretched to a half-straightaway in the first half of the race. Pappa closed the gap lap after lap until he had reached Garbo’s rear bumper on lap-13.
Dimatteo raced a conservative first portion of the race before asserting himself. He took third position inside field on lap-14. Ahead of Dimatteo, Pappa caught the front chute wall with the right side of his machine that lap in his pursuit of Garbo. Pappa lost ground on the leader, spending the next laps feeling out his car before reeling Garbo back in.
Over the final two laps Pappa was in striking distance but was unable to seriously challenge Garbo, who won his seventh mid-week series feature on the year. Pappa settled for second while Dimatteo’s run for third was enough to clinch the division championship. Field and Angelo Belsito finished in the fourth and fifth positions.
Ternullo used the pole starting position to rocket into the lead in the 20-lap Bandolero feature. He cruised out to a healthy lead ahead of second place Taylor Martin. Forte held down third position until Ken Morin Jr. raced by her into the spot on lap-5. Martin began slowly pulling away from third place Morin while also cutting into Ternullo’s lead.
The race continued under the green flag past halfway with Ternullo and Martin continuing to show the way well ahead of the pack. Just as it appeared Martin could make a run before the checkered flag, caution waved on lap-14 for Corey Comeroski who spun in turn two.
Ternullo powered into the lead leaving Martin no choice but to tuck in behind in second position when racing was back under the green flag. A battle for third between Morin and Derek Debbis, having his best run of the season, lasted for a lap before Debbis battled with Forte, Jordan Churchill and Cory Dimatteo. Dimatteo made contact with Forte sending her spinning off turn two on lap-17, bringing caution back out over the field of young Bandolero competitors.
Ternullo repeated his effort on the previous restart attempt, getting back ahead of Martin by the time they reached turn two. From there, he held on to take the checkered flag. Martin ran well for second, with Debbis placing third at the finish. Morin and Churchill completed the top-five.
The X-Car race kept fans on the edge of their seats after an exciting 20-lapper went down to the wire. The three championship contenders were involved in the race’s storyline from the drop of the green flag. Chris Ivory led the opening two laps but trouble on lap-2 saw one of the point contenders, Randy Johnston, involved in a multi-car incident on the backstretch that drew the caution flag. Several cars were collected in addition to Johnston including Mike Marvin, David Lloyd, Melissa Clavette, Patrick Williams among others. Johnston slid to the infield making minor contact with an infield tire barrier and was able to resume from the rear of the field.
Following the caution period, Scott Limkemann took over command. He led through lap-6 when when the second caution came out over the field to keep the largest turn out of the year directly behind the leader.
After the lap-6 restart, Zaikarite began to make his presence known. He had been on a march from mid-pack up through the top-five when he moved to third position behind Limkemann and Ivory. Zaikarite wasted no time taking second outside of Ivory. He tracked down Limkemann and the two waged a spirited battle for the victory over the second half of the race, which was run caution free for the final 14 laps.
Further back, Johnston was carving his way back up into contention for both the race and the championship points. Brad Voglesong, championship standings leader headed into the race, was mired in thick traffic battling for a spot among the top-five just past halfway. While challenging for position he got bounced into the infield, dropping several positions as he gathered his machine back up placing him outside the top-ten. Johnston streaked past during the exchange.
Limkemann continued to hold back the advances of Zaikarite until the final laps. Moving through turns one and two on lap-18, Zaikarite found room to Limkemann’s inside to finally take the race lead. Zaikarite went on to his third win of the year, cutting the gap in the championship chase.
Behind Zaikarite, finishing second through fifth were Limkemann, Johnston, Jeremy Bourbeau and Mike Trask. The point standings see Johnston taking a 3-point advantage over Zaikarite and a 12-point lead over Voglesong into the final points race of the season next Wednesday.
The Super X-Car also saw one of its largest fields of the year compete in their 20-lap feature. Ed Ryan, third in points entering the night, was the early mover as he raced up to the lead on lap-3. He took the point from R.J. Cunningham and led through the first caution period on lap-13. Over that time Ryan used the run to build up a large lead while behind him, Jon Porter raced into second position and Maskell was in third when the yellow flag waved. Ken Downing went up in a plume of smoke on the speedway to cause the caution.
Ryan and Porter battled hard when the green came back out. Headed into turn three they made contact, sending both cars out of shape with each driver making a great save to keep control. Ryan held the lead while Porter dropped several spots keeping his car off the wall. Further back the action sent Robert Norman spinning, stranded on the apron to bring out the caution on lap-14.
Maskell lined up of Ryan’s outside for the restart, using the ability to pull alongside the leader as his opportunity to contend for the win when racing resumed. Maskell raced even then eventually pulled ahead of Ryan into the lead on lap-15. He was able to sneak away into a lead he would not relinquish. Porter came back to take second from Ryan with two laps to go. Ryan placed third, with R.J. Cunningham and Dan Butler each running well to round out the top-five.
With his win, Maskell took the points lead away from Frank Alessio headed into the final event. He opened a little breathing room in his quest for a first track title, however Alessio and Ryan remain within 21-points.
Hamel beat out a large field of X-Cars to win the Wacky Race of the night, a musical cars event. She continually found the cones first around the speedway to eliminate her competition one by one.
Waterford Speedbowl 9/14 Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday Results and Standings:
Legends Cars (20-laps): 1. Dave Garbo Jr., Stonington; 2. Matthew Pappa, Nassau, NY; 3. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 4. Ed Field, Deep River; 5. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 6. Peter Cirilli, Farmington; 7. Carl Blandina, Milford; 8. Nicholas Lascuola, Brockton, MA; 9. Nicholas Sowa, Middletown; 10. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 11. Tim Heath, Lebanon; 12. Bob Weymouth, Topsham, ME; 13. Taylor Martin, Windham, NH; 14. Scott McNickle, Ledyard; 15. Richard White III, North Stonington; 16. Dennis Pantani, Branford; 17. Scott Haag, Chester; 18. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 19. Joey Mucciacciaro, Wolcott
Standings after seventeen events: 1. Dimatteo, 765; 2. Garbo, 701; 3. Belsito, 664; 4. Mucciacciaro, 638; 5. Field, 630; 6. Blandina, 590; 7. Talman, 572; 8. Palmer, 447; 9. Giovanni Giarratana, 404; 10. Lascuola, 402
Bandoleros (20-laps): 1. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 2. Taylor Martin, Windham, NH; 3. Derek Debbis, Oakdale; 4. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; 5. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; 6. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 7. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 8. Rene Morgillo, Niantic; 9. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 10. Alan Eastman, Fishers Island, NY; 11. Rachel Forte, Douglas, MA; 12. Corey Comeroski, Lebanon; DNS – Nicholas Sowa, Middletown
Standings after twenty-two events: 1. Forte, 954; 2. Martin, 877; 3. C. Dimatteo, 874; 4. Ternullo, 863; 5. Churchill, 847; 6. Morin, 758; 7. Perry, 674; 8. Jacob Urch, 636; 9. Molleur, 621; 10. Morgillo, 534
Super X-Cars (20-laps): 1. Mike Maskell, Quaker Hill; 2. Jon Porter, Canterbury; 3. Ed Ryan, Preston; 4. R.J. Cunningham, Durham; 5. Dan Butler, Waterford; 6. Frank Alessio, Colchester; 7. Dan Moon, Exeter, RI; 8. Jim Boyle, East Windsor; 9. Kevin Moon, Exeter, RI; 10. Peter Pollard, Old Lyme; 11. Mark Boisvert, Uxbridge, MA; 12. Steve LaRose, Griswold; 13. Bill Reiman, Southington; 14. Shawn Butler, Jewett City; 15. Eric Finkbein, Columbia; 16. Robert Norman, Clinton; 17. Ken Downing, Branford; 18. Bo Norman, Clinton; 19. Ralph Caddick, Hope Valley, RI; 20. Sean Lisle, Clinton
Standings after seventeen events: 1. Maskell, 705; 2. Alessio, 691; 3. Ryan, 674; 4. (tie) Boyle, Pollard, 623; 6. Downing, 612; 7. D. Moon, 606; 8. R. Norman, 510; 9. Reiman, 508; 10. Boisvert, 456
X-Cars (20-laps): 1. Pete Zaikarite, Niantic; 2. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 3. Randy Johnston, Westerly, RI; 4. Jeremy Bourbeau, Taftville; 5. Mike Trask, Plainfield; 6. Christopher Garside, Waterford; 7. Larry Loomis, Plainfield; 8. John Bowes, Willington; 9. Dan D’addario, Columbia; 10. Brad Voglesong, Middletown; 11. Wayne Shifflet, Preston; 12. Richard Mollo, Seymour; 13. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; 14. Danny Gervais, East Hartford; 15. Robert Carlson, Rockfall; 16. Javier Rivera, Willimantic; 17. Bill Giles, Stratford; 18. Josh Barrie, Voluntown; 19. Ron Dimauro, Plymouth; 20. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 21. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 22. Kristie Hamel, Jewett City; 23. Shawn Stula, Colchester; 24. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale; 25. Scott Bellisle, Griswold; 26. Onie Pierce, Norwich; 27. David Lloyd, Mystic; 28. Melissa Clavette, Bozrah; 29. Patrick Williams, Middletown; 30. Michael Marvin, Colchester; DNS –Michele Cicio, Baltic
Standings after seventeen events: 1. Johnston, 776; 2. Zaikarite, 773; 3. Voglesong, 764; 4. Garside, 680; 5. Trask, 616; 6. Limkemann, 560; 7. Stula, 546; 8. Williams, 500; 9. Shifflett, 490; 10. Ivory, 424
Wacky X-Car Race: 1. Kristie Hamel, Jewett City; 2. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 3. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; 4. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 5. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 6. Brad Voglesong, Middletown; 7. Robert Carlson, Rockfall; 8. Ron Dimauro, Plymouth; 9. Onie Pierce, Norwich; 10. Rick Mollo, Seymour
Sources: Waterford Speedbowl PR