Archive for June 1st, 2012

Melberg, Ladyga, Sprague, Sanchez and Lougee pick up season opener wins for Fast Friday!

Seekonk, MA — Jesse Melberg, last season’s Rookie of the Year, started 2012 off with a dominating performance. Melberg led all twenty five laps, cruising to a convincing win after holding off a late challenge from John Robidoux and Bill Chouinard.

In the Nick’s Pit Stop Legends, Nick Ladyga held firm in the top spot after passing pole sitter Tom Gray on the second lap, leading every single lap from thereon in to notch another win at Seekonk Speedway. His first since graduating from the SYRA division 3 years ago.
Rich Sprague, the man with the most wins in 2011, won his heat race after trudging through the middle of the pack, leaving SYRA graduate Jason Enos and Alan Bouchard in the dust to pick up the checkered flag. After tech inspection was completed, Devin Miranda and Henry Lavallee were second and third.

Twenty laps was the distance for the SYRA 750 feature. Austin Blais started on the pole and led the way for the first half of the race. On lap eleven, Willy Sanchez charged by the #28, as did last year’s SYRA 600 champion Curtis Rolando. Not even a green white checkered finish could stop the #5 of Sanchez, who notched the victory.

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Speedbowl launches Overdrive Radio program Saturday

Track partners with Red Wolf Broadcasting for hour-long racing news/talk show on 94.9 FM

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl has announced a partnership with Red Wolf Broadcasting has been secured to air a weekly talk radio show Saturdays at 3:00pm. Overdrive Radio will air live on Red Wolf’s WJJF 94.9 News Now and Stimulating Talk station, a CBS Radio Network affiliate. This Saturday, June 2 marks the debut for the new show. Track announcers Matt Buckler, Dave Baribeault and John Gates will co-host the show.

Overdrive Radio will broadcast from WJJF’s Ledyard studio and feature regular live discussion, interviews and more content from a studio on-site at the Speedbowl. The content will touch upon regional and national racing news in addition to information and local stories from the Speedbowl.

Included as part of Saturday’s debut show include Speedbowl historian Tom ‘Sid’ Dimaggio, racing journalist Shawn Courchesne as well as competitor Ken Cassidy Jr., the all-time wins leader in the track’s Mini Stock division and current NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division IV national points leader.

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Ted Christopher, Tommy O’Sullivan, and Jay Sundeen dominated their divisions in Thompson International Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder by leading every lap of their features to claim the first TNTT victory of the season. Ed Puleo and Jim Helger were also feature winners.

Thompson, CT — Ted Christopher held off a hard-charging Keith Rocco in the 30-lap SK Modified feature. John Catania and Shawn Thibeault brought the field back to green after an accident that collected Woody Pitkat and Andrew Charron stopped the action before the first lap was complete. Thibeault claimed the lead on the outside on the restart after running-side-by-side almost the entire first circuit, but it was Ted Christopher who officially led the lap after a turn four bid. Ryan Preece was coming up quick and moved into the second spot coming off turn two of lap three and used the inside lane to get alongside Christopher on lap four. Keith Rocco and Todd Ceravolo got in line behind Christopher and relegated Preece to the fourth spot. The four cars ran bumper to bumper until lap 10 when Preece took the outside groove to challenge Ceravolo for third. Preece fell back into line by lap 11 as Rocco looked for a way around Christopher. The action remained tight at the halfway mark with Christopher, Rocco, Ceravolo, and Preece still hooked at the bumpers. Rocco looked high and low for a way around Christopher, but the 13 machine held steady. The four cars began to lap the field by the 25th circuit as they set a torrid pace that could not be matched. At lap 28, Ceravolo shook things up by going low under Rocco for a battle that allowed Christopher to get some breathing room and take the checkered flag unchallenged.

Tommy O’Sullivan led every lap en route to a Late Model victory. John Falconi drove to the front at the drop of the green with Tommy O’Sullivan in tow. Falconi held a three-car length advantage for the first five laps, but O’Sullivan closed in to challenge on the inside at lap six. Falconi shut the door, but had his hands full, and at lap nine, O’Sullivan took the same inside groove to drive by for the lead. Marc Palmisano and Mike Scorzelli battled for third with Scorzelli’s bottom lane proving faster. Scorzelli then advanced by Falconi for the second spot and set his sights on the leader, who was a full second ahead. O’Sullivan never let his guard down and never fell off his pace, but instead extended his distance over the rest of the field even through lapped traffic. Scorzelli finished second with Marc Palmisano rounding out the top-three.

Jay Sundeen led flag-to-flag in the Thompson Modified feature after taking the lead from Chad LaBastie at the drop of the green. Glenn Boss moved his way into second on the back of Sundeen’s bumper, and put the pressure on immediately. The two ran nose-to-tail while further back in the field, a side-by-side battle between LaBastie and Danny Gamache, Jr. developed for the fifth spot. LaBastie held off Gamache when all eyes turned to Boss at lap seven, who got loose in turn four and saved it, but allowed Sundeen to pull away by a three car length advantage. At the halfway point, Boss had his hands full with John Lowinski-Loh, Jr., who was putting the pressure on for second. Boss put a car length of distance between him and Lowinski-Loh, but Sundeen had already pulled way. Boss tried to close in, but it was all Sundeen at the checkers.

[Photo Gallery] by Paul Fohlin

Continue reading ‘Ted Christopher, Tommy O’Sullivan, and Jay Sundeen dominated their divisions in Thompson International Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder by leading every lap of their features to claim the first TNTT victory of the season. Ed Puleo and Jim Helger were also feature winners.’

NEMA’s Bigelow Boys Now A Threesome

Brockton, MA — The Northeastern Midget Association’s Bigelow Brothers team is now three strong. Scott will join siblings Ryan and Paul Saturday June 2 night when NEMA’s Lites division visits Star Speedway.

Ryan, 21, who brings back-to-back top-fives to Star including a victory at Waterford, and Paul, 35, are Lites veterans. Scott, 33, a one-time stock car regular at Riverside Park and Stafford Speedways, returns to the cockpit after a long layoff.

It is the first of two-straight “stand alone” shows for the Lites. Now in their fifth season, the Lites visit Lee USA Speedway on Friday night, June 8. Paul was the winner the last time the Lites visited Lee.

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Josh Wood Enjoying Rookie Season in Stafford’s Limited Late Model Division

Stafford Springs, CT — The transition from Stafford’s DARE Stock division to the Limited Late Model division has been a smashing success thusfar for Josh Wood and the #51 R.A.D. Automachine team. After taking 5 wins and finishing fourth in the DARE Stock points standings last season, Wood has come out of the box firing on all cylinders, winning three races in a row before finishing second last week to D.J. Burnham. Wood’s results this season see him leading the Limited Late Model points standings by 10 points over another DARE Stock graduate, Cory Casagrande. While the 2012 season has exceeded Wood’s expectations, he says it’s a combination of engine and chassis that he has to thank for his success.

“This is better than I was expecting,” said Wood. “I was expecting to maybe finish in the top-5, but to be in the top-3 every week so far has been phenomenal. It’s been a combination of Barry and my Dad. Barry definitely knows what he’s doing, he’s working on Duane [Provost’s] car and he struggled last year and he brought it to Barry and now he’s finishing in the top-5 except for one week he crashed. My dad has been doing engines since the 90s and he knows what he’s doing. That combination plus a good crew that knows what they’re doing helps. Between Kevin, Shawn, Don, Barry, Corey, Norm, Gary, and Ernie, if the car doesn’t come in right, they can set it up with the scales. We’re definitely happy with how things have gone for us.”

Another factor in Wood’s success is his transition from the DARE Stock car to the Limited Late Model car. Wood hasn’t struggled with the switch in cars, and he says that moving up a division has actually been a pretty smooth proposition this year.

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Dylan Kopec Hopes to Continue Winning Ways at Stafford After White Hot Start to 2012 SK Light Season

Stafford Springs, CT — The 2012 SK Light Modified season at Stafford Motor Speedway has been a dream ride thusfar for Dylan Kopec and his #66 Kopec’s Auto & Truck Service team. They opened the 2012 season with a victory in the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler and have followed up that victory with wins in two of the next three races to put themselves into a tie with Zach Aszklar in the SK Light points standings heading into this Friday night’s USG Event Night program.

After a 2011 rookie season in which Kopec was only able to post 4 top-10 finishes with a best finish of 6th, the white hot start to his 2012 season comes as a complete surprise to Kopec.

“This season has been more of a surprise than anything,” said Kopec. “We came into the year wanting to make it better than last year and that first win at the Sizzler was a big boost and we’ve kept going from there. I was expecting to just finish races this year and keep the car in one piece. It’s wicked cool to have three out of four so far. You know it’s a big confidence boost at that point, you don’t want it to be one win at the beginning of the year and one win at the end of the year. If you win two in a row, the goal is to win three in a row, it’s a big confidence boost and it brings your self-esteem up a ton. The guys on the team are always smiling but they still pick on me.”

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Tom Fearn Ends Winless Drought at Stafford with Former Championship Winning Chassis

Stafford Springs, CT — For Late Model driver Tom Fearn, his feature victory last Friday at Stafford was his first win since the 2009 season. In ending his winless drought, Fearn took a bit of an unorthodox route. While normally newer chassis cars are the way to go, Fearn actually went backwards and picked up an older Late Model car prior to the 2012 season. With top-6 finishes in each of the first four races of the 2012 Late Model season, the move is paying dividends for Fearn and the #92 SAFCO Foam team.

“This car is actually the car that Jim Peterson won the championship with three years ago,” said Fearn. “Joe Hamm ended up selling the car to John Morgillo and we bought it from him. John’s son only drove the car a couple of times in two years, so it hasn’t been on the track that much. We had a new car and we struggled with that car for 2 seasons. No matter what we tried to do, we couldn’t get the car to work, so we decided to take a different avenue. We sold our car as a rolling chassis and we bought the car from the Morgillo’s. We have the same stuff in this Hamm chassis that we had in our previous car, RA.D. Automachine is doing our engines, and my father does the transmission, he has been doing my transmissions for 25 years, so we’re going in the same direction that we had before, just with a different chassis. It’s been satisfying to realize that what we had was capable of running up front.”

While Fearn’s equipment has been working well in the older car, another factor in Fearn’s success this season has been hooking up with his chassis specialist Jay Moore from JMR Chassis.

Continue reading ‘Tom Fearn Ends Winless Drought at Stafford with Former Championship Winning Chassis’