Waterford, CT — Dylan Duhaime wound up the Northeastern Midget Association Lites winner Saturday night at Waterford Speedbowl’s Finale when Keith Rocco, who was first under the checkered, was disqualified for excessive wing angle. It was the first-ever Midget win for Duhaime who gave up the lead following a restart with four laps remaining.
“It’s not the way I would have preferred,” said Duhaime, 15, “but I’m still pumped up with my first victory.” He came from the fifth starting spot. Rocco (Manafort 76) was looking for a second-straight Speedbowl Lites victory.
Avery Stoehr (Stoehr 15b) wound up second followed by Christian Briggs (Briggs 44), Ian Cumens (Seymour 9) and Bethany Stoehr (Stoehr 26). It was a long run for Cumens who came from the back after being involved in a first-lap mishap.
Duhaime took the lead on lap 15, going around Ryan Bigelow (Bigelow 13), the only other leader, heading into turn three. Duhaime put an end to a side-by-side battle with pole sitter Bigelow by “going into the turn full throttle” while Bigelow “had to slow for the turn.”
Rocco, who started 11th, was on the end of a six-way nose-to-tail battle by lap 11. Finding all the room he needed on the outside, he was sitting second, some seven lengths behind, when the yellow flew because of a stalled car on the grass in the front chute. It set up a single-file restart.
After beating back a first-turn inside bid by Avery Stoehr, Rocco needed one more lap to take the lead only to have Duhaime execute an impressive cross-over move that “completely surprised” Rocco. It fell short, however, and Rocco went on to take the checkered by just under a half second.
NEMA NUGGETS – “I love the top,” said Rocco, who had the fastest lap (13.799). “I told them to keep the fifth and sixth lanes open for me.”…Duhaime had the only other sub 14 seconds lap, a 13.903…There was plenty of mutual respect, Duhaime proclaiming his admiration (“I want to run like he does”) for Rocco while Rocco had high praise for both Duhaime and Avery Stoehr…Kenny Johnson and Avery Stoehr were the heat winners…The fastest lap of the day was a 12.986 by Bethany Stoehr en route to a heat win in the Mike Jarret #4x qualifying for today’s 25-lap NEMA feature. She beat her uncle Russ by 1.2 seconds. Bethany will be in the car for Sunday’s 25-lap NEMA feature.
RESULTS – 1. Dylan Duhaime, 2. Avery Stoehr, 3. Christian Briggs, 4. Ian Cumens, 5. Bethany Stoehr, 6. Kenny Johnson, 7. Danny Cugini, 8. Brandon Martinez, 9. Carl Mederios, 10. Jake Smith, 11. Paul Bigelow,, 12. Logan Rayvels, 13. Brandon Igo, 14. Dana Shaw, 15. Eric Leduc, 16. Scott Bigelow, 17. Ryan Bigelow, 18. DJ Moniz, 20. RJ Tfano, 21. Andy Barrows. DQ-Keith Rocco.
Sources: Pete Zanardi/NEMA Lites PR