Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl hosted an action packed night of racing from six divisions under chilly temperatures, featuring NASCAR SK Modifieds® 35-Laps, Late Models 30-Laps, Mini Stocks 25-Laps, Street Stocks 25-Laps, the INEX Legends Cars 20-Laps and Saturday Showdown X-Cars for 20-Laps.
Earning victories on the night included a career-first for Tom Abele Jr. as he bested the field of SK Modifieds®, Jeff Smith leapfrogged into the championship points lead by virtue of a win in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature, Chris Meyer visited the winner’s circle in the Street Stocks while Phil Evans took the win in the Mini Stocks. Completing the feature winners on the night were Dave Garbo Jr. in the Legends Cars and Curt D’addario in the X-Cars.
The SK Modifieds® started their 35-lap feature with Nichole Morgillo and Joe Gada leading the twenty-one car field to green. Five laps would be led by Morgillo before the first yellow waved as newcomer William Schneider spun in turn three, collecting Diego Monahan and Wendell Dailey.
On the ensuing restart Abele would move to the front outside Morgillo through turns one and two, bringing Keith Rocco with him past Morgillo, dropping her to third. Rocco went to work on Abele right away, wasting no time sizing up the leader before diving to his inside into turn one with seven laps complete. Rocco led through lap-14 when caution waved again as Randy Churchill Jr. spun into turn three.
Rocco paced the field and was all alone in the lead by the time the pack reached turn one on the restart. Abele fought off a big by Morgillo for second to settle in behind Rocco once again. The car on the move belonged to Todd Ceravolo, as he stormed his way into the top five and raced up along the outside of Morgillo for third. Ceravolo continued his march to the front powering outside Abele out of turn four on lap-16. He took second spot and looked ahead to a gap that Rocco had placed over the field behind. Rocco’s advantage was erased when Glenn Pressel spun off the back chute on lap-19.
Rocco got the jump over Ceravolo into turn one when the green flag was back in the air, however Rocco could not shake Ceravolo, who looked every bit as strong as he did during the SK-150 two weeks prior. Ceravolo closed in, trying an inside bid on the leader entering turn one on lap-22. The two would made contact, sending Rocco spinning into wall head-on. Rocco’s night was done, while Ceravolo was penalized to the rear for rough riding.
Abele and Morgillo were back on the front row for the restart, with Mark Bakaj and Shawn Solomito in row 2. Abele would pull out front into turn one with Bakaj moving to second inside Morgillo. The final 13 laps were run through the checkered flag with Abele and Bakaj putting on as fine a battle for the win as fans could ask for.
The battle began with Bakaj closing in on Abele and making a power move to his inside on lap-25 in turn one. Abele held a quick line just off the preferred groove now occupied by Bakaj, holding onto his lead by no more than a half car length over the next 4 laps. Fans were on the edge of their seats as the two put on a classic display of hard clean racing. Bakaj would not surrender, staying planted to Abele’s, inching his way into the lead on lap-31. Abele was not done however, keeping his focus and line to rally back and reclaim the top spot on lap-32.
Out of turn two on lap-33 Abele was finally clear of Bakaj, who could not regroup for a final counter. Abele took down an exciting first career win while Bakaj settled for second, a season-best. Morgillo placed a career-best third, with Solomito and Jeff Pearl completing the top-five.
The Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models were led to green by Dennis Botticello and Joe Curioso with Botticello taking the early lead. Behind Botticello, Curioso and Smith would get in line and plan their race strategy. The first yellow in the 30-lapper flew on lap-6 when Bruce Thomas Jr. lost a tire, sending the points leader hard into the turn two wall, ending his night early.
Botticello used a great jump into the lead to take Smith with him up to second, with Rich Staskowski behind Smith in third. The best battle on the track as the race reached lap-10 was behind fourth place Curioso, between Anthony Flannery and Keith Rocco, with Flannery prevailing after multiple laps side-by-side in the battle for fifth.
On lap-12, Smith would eventually get around Botticello with Staskowski also able to move past Botticello into second on lap-13. Staskowski began tracking down Smith when the second yellow came out as Flannery and Curioso got together, causing a quick scatter of cars on lap-18.
When the green flew again Smith would roll out front as Staskowski and Botticello battled side-by-side for second with Staskowski finally settling into the spot. Botticello held third through lap-24 when Flannery made his way by. Jason Palmer and Rocco also found their way by to move into the top-five.
The final laps were run with the top-five lined up nose to tail. Rocco was the only to make a move, jumping outside Palmer to take fourth. On the final lap, Rocco challenged Flannery but fell short. At the stripe, Smith would take his second win of the year and take over the points lead after Thomas’ misfortune. Last week’s winner Staskowski finished second with Flannery, Rocco and Palmer completing the top-five.
Charles Canfield was the pole sitter for the Mini Stocks 20-lap feature, however, after two attempts to start the race something went awry on his machine allowing Sean Caron to lead the mighty Minis in the third attempt to begin the race. That one proved success and Caron would run out to lead the first five laps before caution waved for a spinning Doug Curry.
As racing resumed, Caron and Ray Christian battled side-by-side for the lead for 10 laps to thrill the crowd. After four lead changes over that span, Phil Evans, who had patiently stalked both, made a move to the inside of Christian allowing Caron to finally pull into the lead. Evans and Christian would battle side-by-side for second allowing Caron to build up a lead. That battle lasted through lap-21 when caution waved setting up the pivotal restart.
Caron got loose under Evans and spun up into the field in turn two when racing went back to green. The entire field avoided the spinning Caron, however Caron would drop to the rear and Christian’s great run ended with a flat tire under the yellow. Evans and three-time division Champion Ken Cassidy Jr. brought the field back to green.
Evans got the advantage into turn one on the restart. He would hold off one final inside charge by Cassidy coming to the finish line for the checkered flag to take down his first win on the season. Rounding out the top three would be last week’s winner Chris Williams, while points leader Glenn Colvin and Nick Pappacoda completed the top-five.
The 25-lap Street Stock feature got underway with Joe Arena leading briefly before Steve Barrett moved out front. Just three laps in caution waved when points contender Al Stone went spinning in turn two. Barrett led the restart as Meyer rolled into second position with Mike Caprio and points leader Ed Puleo in tow. Meyer eventually caught and passed Barrett on lap-9. With Myer out front and the top four of Barrrett, Caprio and Puleo in his trail, the best battle on the track was for fifth between Josh Galvin and Diego Monahan. Meyer held off the field for the win, which would finish in order with Galvin taking fifth.
The 20-lap Legends Cars race had two red flags in the first four laps, forcing a lengthy delay. The race was suspended and returned to the track later in the evening to settle the field. When racing finally resumed, Dave Garbo Jr. picked up another Saturday night victory, fresh off of his National Qualifier a week ago. Paul Kusheba, Troy Talman, Joey Mucciacciaro and Kyle Rogers chased Garbo to the checkered flag. Points leader Dana DiMatteo suffered damage from an earlier incident but managed a twelfth place finish.
The Saturday Showdown Series for the X-Cars was back on the track Saturday evening for a 20-lap feature. Chris Garside made an early move to take the lead, then watched as division veterans Brad Voglesong and Curt D’Addario closed in. Lapped traffic played a factor as the leaders went three-wide trying to navigate them, giving D’Addario the lead on lap-8. D’Addario would pull away by a straightaway to pick up another win and add to his division leading wins total. Garside would hold for second and Mike Marvin would make a late charge into the third position.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 9/17 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 2. Mark Bakaj, Lebanon; 3. Nichole Morgillo, Yalesville; 4. Shawn Solomito, Islip, NY; 5. Jeff Pearl, Salem; 6. Joe Gada, Salem; 7. Joe Perry, Ashaway, RI; 8. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 9. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 10. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 11. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 12. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 13. James Larsen, East Hartford; 14. Keith Rocco, Wallingford; 15. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 16. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 17. Glenn Pressel III, Gales Ferry; 18. William Schneider, Northport, NY; 19. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 20. Dave Gada, Bozrah; 21. Richard Duranti, Quaker Hill
Standings after twenty events: 1. Rocco, 878; 2. Pearl, 830; 3. Janovic, 819; 4. Chadwick, 773; 5. James, 756; 6. Abele, 749; 7. Pressel, 662; 8. Morgillo, 650; 9. Perry, 628; 10. Mucciacciaro, 478
NASCAR Whelen All-American Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 2. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 3. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton; 4. Keith Rocco, Wallingford; 5. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 6. Dennis Botticello, Suffield; 7. Brian Andronaco Jr., Wilton; 8. Joe Curioso, Mystic; 9. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 10. Mark Cooper, Northford; 11. Richard Duranti, Quaker Hill, 12. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 13. John Materas, Voluntown
Standings after eighteen events: 1. Smith, 825; 2. Staskowski, 805; 3. Thomas, 804; 4. Flannery, 711; 5. Curioso, 710; 6. Andronaco, 690; 7. Palmer, 649; 8. Esposito, 624; 9. Sweeney, 570; 10. Duranti, 482
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 2. Steven Barrett, Preston; 3. Michael Caprio, New Haven; 4. Ed Puleo, Branford; 5. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 6. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 7. Al Stone III, New Haven; 8. Brandon Plemons, Uncasville; 9. Joseph Arena, Bristol; 10. Ted Dupre, Westbrook; 11. Nate Appell, Westbrook; 12. John Stuart, Preston; 13. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale; 14. Eric Bourgeois, Moodus; 15. Alan Hall Jr., North Haven; 16. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 17. Walt Hovey Jr., Chaplin; 18. Tommy Silva, Gales Ferry; 19. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 20. Paul Gaedeke, Southington; 21. Charles Beal, Ledyard
Standings after nineteen events: 1. Puleo, 918; 2. Stone, 869; 3. Galvin, 858; 4. Meyer, 836; 5. Plemons, 742; 6. Barrett, 714; 7. Appell, 602; 8. Caprio, 599; 9. Beal, 516; 10. Root, 367
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 2. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 3. Chris Williams, Waterford; 4. Glenn Colvin, Clinton; 5. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 6. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 7. Ian Brew, Wood River Jct, RI; 8. Ray Christian III, Groton; 9. Christina Kellerman, Stratford; 10. Douglas Curry, Groton;
11. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 12. Joey DeGregorio, East Haven; 13. Daniel McGouran, Westerly, RI; 14. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville; 15. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 16. David Sylvia, Preston; 17. Jeffrey Cembruch, Wallingford; 18. Charles Canfield, New Haven
Standings after nineteen events: 1. Colvin, 864; 2. Cassidy, 834; 3. Williams, 776; 4. Evans, 758; 5. Brew, 724; 6. Cembruch, 707; 7. Christian, 640; 8. Kellerman, 612; 9. Pappacoda, 600; 10. Canfield, 594
Legends Cars (20-laps): 1. David Garbo Jr., Stonington; 2. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 3. Troy Talman, Oxford, MA; 4. Joseph Mucciacciaro, Wolcott; 5. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 6. Nicholas Lascuola; 7. Angelo Belsito; 8. Joseph Parker, Weymouth, MA; 9. Taylor Martin, Windham, NH; 10. Daniel Stolte, Northbridge, MA; 11. Richard Erlandson, Moodus; 12. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington; 13. Ed Field, Deep River; 14. Danny Field, Deep River; 15. Kyle Hardwick, Chaplin; 16. George Whitney, Westbrook; 17. Nicholas Sowa, Middletown; 18. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 19. Carl Blandina, Milford; 20. Peter Cirilli, Farmington; 21. Dylan Izzo, Westport
Standings after ten events: 1. DiMatteo, 465; 2. Kusheba, 398; 3. Talman, 336; 4. Garbo, 328; 5. Vitellil, 320; 6. Rogers, 306; 7. Field, 304; 8. Izzo, 302; 9. Mucciacciaro, 298; 10. Belsito, 286
X-Cars (20-laps): 1. Curtis D’Addario, Columbia; 2. Chris Garside, Waterford; 3. Mike Marvin, Colchester; 4. Jeremy Bourbeau, Taftville; 5. Brad Voglesong, Middletown; 6. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 7. Shawn Stula, Colchester; 8. Wayne Shifflett, Preston; 9. Pete Zaikarite, Niantic; 10. Lawrence Loomis, Plainfield; 11. John Bowes, Willington; 12. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 13. Onie Pierce, Norwich; 14. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; 15. Richard Mollo, Seymour; 16. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 17. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 18. Kristie Hamel, Jewett City; 19. Patrick Williams, Middletown
Saturday Showdown Series standings (top-five): 1. Marvin, 36; 2. Williams, 34; 3. Garside, 28; 4. Bourbeau, 27; 5. Thomas, 24
Sources: Waterford Speedbowl PR