Archive for the 'NEMA Lites' Category

Scally, Zych Rocket to Wiscasset, Ames True Value NEMA Wins

Picture perfect skies welcomed the Northeastern Midget Association to Wiscasset Speedway in Wiscasset, Maine this past weekend. An unbelievable, packed house was on hand as well, with eager fans filling every spot in the parking lot to greet the fastest winged midgets in the world.

When the double checkered flags flew at the end of the evening, the most talked about story in the pits was Paul Scally’s first NEMA win, breaking a long overdue streak for the family owned team, taking down the win in the Lites class. In the NEMA feature, John Zych proved he was the class of the field all day, coming from mid pack for a dominant victory.

In the Lites division, Scally jumped out into an early lead. Fast right from the start of the day, he paced the field, setting some of the quickest laps of the feature event. Behind Scally, youngsters Ryan Locke and Ben Mikitarian were putting on a show for the second spot, and further back, Danny Cugini was slicing his way through the pack from deep in the field.
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Avery Stoehr, Dan Cugini Take NEMA Wins on 50 Legs/PASS Night at Star Speedway

As most other Northeastern race tracks were canceling their events for last Saturday evening, Bob Webber’s Star Speedway happened to be right in a pocket of dry weather, and the show went off without a hitch. NEMA and the NEMA Lites were part of a blockbuster racing card that included the Pro All Star Series (PASS) and Star’s weekly divisions, including the 350 Supers. Avery Stoehr visited victory lane for the second year in a row on opening day for NEMA, this time with a new team in Bertrand Motorsports. In the Lites, a heartbreaking loss for Kevin Iannarelli occurred after a mistake was made on rear wheel offsets, resulting in a DQ and handing the win to Danny Cugini.

In the NEMA feature, after a track cleaning session due to oil on the racing surface from a previous division, the NEMA feature was ready to take the green. Avery Stoehr and Alan Chambers brought the field down to the green flag. After two called back start attempts by starter Bob Blanchette, Avery Stoehr jumped out into the lead.

The feature would go wire to wire, with Stoehr leading every lap. Brothers’ Jim and Alan Chambers put on an incredible battle for the second spot, with Jim coming out on top. Chambers did start to cut into Stoehr’s lead over the final laps, but ran out of time, with Stoehr winning by a straightaway. Seth Carlson, Todd Bertrand, Randy Cabral, Kyle Hamilton, John Zych, Paul Scally and Ryan Bigelow rounded out the top ten. Jim Chambers was the hard charger in the event.
Continue reading ‘Avery Stoehr, Dan Cugini Take NEMA Wins on 50 Legs/PASS Night at Star Speedway’

Star Rained Out

The race at Star has been rescheduled due to weather to next Saturday.
Continue reading ‘Star Rained Out’

Kyle Hamilton to Do Double Duty for Bertrand Motorsports at Star Speedway NEMA Openernema

On the heels of the Northeastern Midget Association announcing that it had inked a deal with Star Speedway for the opening race for the NEMA division, Bertrand Motorsports has announced that 24-year-old Kyle Hamilton of Plainfield, Indiana will do double duty for the team on Saturday May 6th.  He will run the Bertrand Motorsports #45 in the Lite division and the famed #47 in the NEMA division.  Hamilton made two appearances for Frank Manafort & Bobby Seymour in 2016, finishing 2nd and 4th, respectively, in the NEMA Lite series.

Hamilton is no stranger to the cockpit of powerful open wheel cars.  The 2009 USAC Ford Focus National Champion and USAC National midget feature winner, also has experience racing Silver Crown cars and non-wing Sprint cars.  Hamilton has driven for famed car owners such as Bob East, Don & Mel Kenyon and Steve Lewis/9 Racing.

“I’m excited to team up with Bertrand Motorsports.  They have a top notch program that demands respect from the competition and I’m looking forward to joining forces at Star Speedway,” Hamilton said. 

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NEMA Announces New Opening Date, Saturday, May 6 at Star Speedway

Epping, NH — With the cancellation of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl opening event, the Northeastern Midget Association will head to the famed Star Speedway in Epping, NH on Saturday night, May 6th. It has been a favorite stop for the midgets since the 60’s, in fact, Star has hosted more NEMA events than any other facility.

“NEMA is extremely excited to return to Star Speedway and especially as part of their PASS weekend, and further, to expand our 2017 schedule with the Webber family,” said NEMA President, Tim Bertrand.  “Some of the best races in the history of the club have gone down at Star, and we look forward to making some more memories together.  Our car counts are looking strong for 2017, and the club is on the upswing,” said Bertrand.

“We learned of the issues with Waterford, and extended the opportunity to our friends at NEMA to participate in our opening weekend,” said Bob Webber Jr.  “This show should be an unbelievable bargain for the fans, with both the PASS, NEMA and NEMA Lite cars on hand,” he went on to say.

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New London-Waterford Speedbowl to Postpone Blast Off Weekend

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Blast Off Weekend scheduled for May 6th and 7th has been postponed.

Although much progress has been done to open for our Blast Off Event the recent findings of additional work needed on the grandstands and the unforeseen weather conditions of most recent, has forced The New London-Waterford Speedbowl to postpone the 2017 Blast-Off event.

All efforts are being made to reschedule the event in its entirety as Management reaches out to those touring divisions originally scheduled to attend to possibly find a suitable weekend to run the Blast Off event.
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Thompson NEMA Lite ICEBREAKER to Bertrand

While riding on a right rear Hoosier tire that was first used in 2016, Todd Bertrand in his Bertrand Motorsports #45, dominated the 20 lapper Saturday. The New England air was cold, but the competition was hot as three wide racing was the order of the day.

Over 20 cars stuffed the pits to kick off NEMA’s long anticipated 65th consecutive racing season. The qualifiers were won by Paul Scally (30), and Chad LaBastie (14).

As veteran starter Craig Merriman threw the green for the feature, pole sitter Chris Vosey led the field to the first turn. Three wide racing started immediately but the P.J. Stergios (57), machine spun in turn one on the second lap to bring out the yellow flag.
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Waterman Leads List of Winners on Icebreaker Saturday at Thompson

The ice is breaking and racing is back at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The 43rd Annual Icebreaker got underway on Saturday with six feature races at the historic motorsports facility.

The Lite Modifieds, Street Stocks, NEMA Lites, Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series and Vintage Outlaws all ran feature races on Saturday, and for the first time a “Race of Champions” event was held featuring all four Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park track champions from 2016 in equally-prepared race cars.

The Vintage Outlaws was the first feature of the day. Jim Lowrey walked away with the win repeating his success from the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing in 2016.
Continue reading ‘Waterman Leads List of Winners on Icebreaker Saturday at Thompson’

NEMA Tentative 2017 Schedule of Events

April 2017
1st Thompson – Icebreaker – Lites only

May 2017
6th Waterford – Lites only
7th Waterford – NEMA Midgets only
20th Wiscasset

June 2017
3rd Riverhead – Alan Cantor Memorial
14th Thompson – Lites
17th Star
28th Seekonk – Boston Louie Memorial
Continue reading ‘NEMA Tentative 2017 Schedule of Events’

Coby, J. Chambers Take Down NEMA Wins in Bemer’s Big Show at Speedbowl

2016 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby charged from the sixth starting position in his Bertrand Motorsports #74 entry, after a side by side battle with teammate Todd Bertrand en route to his second Northeastern Midget Association win of the season Sunday evening at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. In the Lites division, Jim Chambers sliced his way through the pack, and dominated the second half of the feature en route to victory and the 2016 Lites championship.

The story of the evening, however, revolved around the tight NEMA points battle between Randy Cabral and John Zych. Cabral came into the event with a thirteen point lead, and extended that to seventeen after NEMA’s time trial qualifying on Sunday afternoon. As the NEMA cars were staging, Cabral was participating in the Pro Four Modified feature event, as he also had at the Sunoco World Series, finishing second the previous weekend. Cabral’s car came to a stop in turn two with handling issues, and was unfortunately hit extremely hard in the driver’s door. After extricating him from the top of the vehicle, he was transported to a local hospital, later deemed to have broken ribs, a concussion, and bruising.

The NEMA feature would go on, with Zych locking up the Driver’s Championship by virtue of starting the feature. Joey Payne, who was quickly fitted into the Bertrand 47, would start at the tail of the field. When the green flag flew, Todd Bertrand would jump out into the lead from the pole, and was followed by Seth Carlson in the Feigel #71. Further back, teammate Doug Coby in the Bertrand #74, was using the high line to slice his way to the front. Coby was second by lap three when the caution flew for a Bethany Stoehr spin in turn four.
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Coby Makes History, Wraps Up Third Consecutive Whelen Modified Title in Thompson

THOMPSON, CT — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park saved the best for last in 2016, crowning several champions on the final day of the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, presented by Xtra Mart including a champion in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

Defending series champion Doug Coby looked to earn his third consecutive title and fourth in the last five seasons after extending his points lead on Justin Bonsignore and Timmy Solomito with a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway on October 9th. Coby came into the race with a 20-point advantage over Bonsignore and a 48-point lead over Solomito and only needed to finish 16th or better to lock up the championship.

Coby started off the race on the right foot, qualifying for the outside pole next to Solomito who led the first portion of the event with Coby hot on his trail. Things changed around lap-73 however when a caution brought the cars to pit road where Justin Bonsignore made up ground and Coby lost ground setting up a battle between Solomito and Bonsignore for the second half of the event. While Coby kept his eye on the prize for a title, his closest rivals for the championship battled it out for one last win of the season. Bonsignore finally took the lead with twenty laps remaining and would hold on to win his fourth race of 2016 while Coby worked his way to a sixth place finish and a third consecutive title, a series record in the modern era which dates back to 1985.

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Tight Points Battle Highlight NEMA’s Return to Sunoco World Series Speedway of Racing

The Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway the ultimate “separate the men from the boys” facility. While any Thompson checkered is a treasure, the World Series is definitely the biggest plum. In the NEMA division, two-time champion, John Zych leads five-time champion Randy Cabral of Plymouth, by a mere twenty one points, or roughly three feature finish spots coming into this Saturday’s feature event.  The Lites will also be on hand, however in this division, Jim Chambers has a commanding lead over PJ Stergios, well over 100 points, and Danny Cugini, who is hot on Stergios’ tale in third spot.

Eleven victories, including six World Series triumphs, make Cabral the all-time Thompson maestro.  Last year, Cabral passed Zych with three laps left in the books and pulled off pass that will go down for the ages against teammate Todd Bertrand in turns three and four that had fans on their feet. Zych’s third place run capped a brilliant championship season for the JZ Motorsports team in 2015.

Thompson’s long Midget history, however, is filled with surprises. Considering the last few seasons have been one of the most competitive seasons in NEMA’s 60+year history.  Cole Carter will again be on hand in the Bertrand 74, coming out from Brownsburg, Indiana.  Carter, son of the famed Pancho Carter, has a storied career and legacy.  Avery Stoehr comes into the race just 78 points back from Zych and Cabral and always a threat to win.  Amongst other hopefuls are Todd Bertrand who finished second to Cabral last year, Seth Carlson who is overdue for a strong run, Paul Scally, and the Chambers brothers, Alan and Jim.

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Bertrand, Stergios Take Down AMES True Value Night Wins at Wiscasset

Todd Bertrand beat back two-time champion John Zych Jr. on a restart with six laps to go to take down an impressive victory at Wiscasset Speedway this past Saturday night.  In the Lites division, PJ Stergios romped through the field, and lapped all the way up to right outside of the top five, taking down an impressive NEMA Lites victory.

The evening started with time trials for the NEMA midgets.  Randy Cabral set a blistering pace with a 13.050-second lap, one 100th off of John Zych Jr’s track record of 13.040 set earlier this season.  Zych was second, followed by Avery Stoehr.  An 8 car invert would start the three at the top of the points standings toward the rear of the field.  Coming into the event, Zych had a mere 13 point lead over five-time Champion, Cabral.

Paul Scally in the Earth Movers #30 and Todd Bertrand in the K&N Engineering #74 brought the field to the green flag.  Bertrand quickly jumped out into the lead.  He quickly stretched out his lead to ten car lengths, but further back, John Zych Jr. was slicing through the field from his sixth starting spot, taking over the second position on the fourth lap from Alan Chambers.  Zych quickly went to work, and started to narrow Bertrand’s lead to six car lengths at the halfway point, and at this point, five-time champion, Randy Cabral, had worked his way to third.

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Zych, Stergios Triumph in NEMA’s Wings & Wheels

NEMA and the NEMA Lites were on tap at last Saturday’s Wings & Wheels event at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl, as part of a winged card that included the TQ midgets, the ISMA Supermodifieds and the VMRS. John Zych Jr. passed five time NEMA champion Randy Cabral at the halfway marker to take down the NEMA feature, and PJ Stergios charged through the field to take down the Lites victory.

In the NEMA feature, Paul Scally and Bethany Stoehr brought the field to the green. From his fifth starting spot, Randy Cabral rocketed into the lead on lap two. Cabral would begin to stretch out his lead, but further back in the pack, John Zych Jr. and reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Champ Doug Coby were slicing their way through the pack.

Zych took over the second spot on lap six, and began a run after Cabral that ended after a four lap side by side duel on lap fifteen, just after the halfway marker. Coby then took his aim for Cabral, but only ever made it to within two carlengths. Zych went on to take down an impressive victory, and evaded a last lap wreck that took out some of the top points runners, including Jim Chambers. Cabral would finish second, followed by Seth Carlson, as Coby’s machine expired with a broken brake caliper on the last lap. Avery Stoehr was fourth, followed by Paul Scally, Bethany Stoehr, Doug Coby, Jim Santa Maria, Kevin Park and Danny Cugini.
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McKennedy Leads Wings and Wheels Winners at New London-Waterford

WATERFORD – Jon McKennedy held off Richard Savary to win the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing feature in the main event of Saturday’s Wings & Wheels program at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

The Valenti Modified Racing Series was part of seven feature card at the track Saturday. Tyler Chadwick topped the field in the 35-lap SK Modified feature. Cory DiMatteo was the winner of the SK Light Modified feature. John Zych Jr. won the 25-lap NEMA Midget feature. PJ Stergios was the winner in the NEMA Lite feature. Geoffrey Sutton won the 25-lap ATQMRA Three-Quarter Midget feature.

It was the third career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at the Speedbowl for McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass. who also had wins in 2010 and 2012 at the track.
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Ryan Locke Captures Historic First NEMA Win at Waterford Speedbowl

A storybook ending was the scene for thirteen-year-old Ryan Locke, as he captured his first ever NEMA Lite win, becoming the youngest driver to ever win in NEMA’s sixty-three year history. Locke bested a strong field of twenty-two competitors, ranging from Indiana to North Carolina, to Pennsylvania at New England’s premier 3/8 mile oval, the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.

Although Locke may be unfamiliar with victory lane as a driver, the thirteen-year old’s family is not. His father, Jeff, operator at Locke Crane Services, a fierce ISMA Super Modified competitor, and grandfather, Ken, a long time, winning Oswego Super Modified car owner, are no strangers to the podium.

The evening started strong for the young Locke as he jumped out into the lead from the front of the pack. The win would not come easy, however, as the likes of 2015 Lites Champion, Anthony Payne, and up & comer Meg Cugini were running some lightening fast times as they worked their way through the pack. Further behind them, multi-feature winner, Danny Cugini was also working his way to the front as was Modified standout, Joey Cipriano, who started in eighteenth position.
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Stoehr, Chambers Conquer in NEMA’s Butch Walsh Memorial at Star Speedway

EPPING, NH — Avery Stoehr beat back three restart challenges from John Zych Jr. to take down an emotional win this past Saturday at Star Speedway in the Butch Walsh Memorial event. It was Stoehr’s first NEMA start since losing close friend, long time NEMA member/championship car owner, Carl Kibbe.

When the green flag flew in the NEMA feature, Alan Chambers wasted no time in jumping out into the lead. It looked as if Chambers may have been on his way to his first ever feature event win, when misfortune struck his #7 machine on lap fourteen. A broken drive belt the culprit, sidelined Chambers from the remainder of the event.

On the restart, Stoehr wasted no time taking the lead in the NEMA feature. He quickly gained command of the race until a caution for a Bethany Stoehr spin on lap nineteen. When the green flag flew, the young Stoehr was once again in command over John Zych Jr. and Jim Chambers, who had methodically worked his way through the pack.

[NEMA Photo Gallery] by Michael Rothwell
[PASS Photo Gallery] by Michael Rothwell
Continue reading ‘Stoehr, Chambers Conquer in NEMA’s Butch Walsh Memorial at Star Speedway’

Last to First: Cugini Takes Thompson ICEBREAKER Win in NEMA Lites

The Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) the ultimate “separate the men from the boys” facility. With times in the mid 19-second range, Saturday’s NEMA Lites appearance at the facility, taking place on a beautiful Spring day – left no doubts on the table. Dan Cugini in his #51 family owned Ford Focus powered entry, was victorious when it was all said and done, besting the fifteen NEMA Lites competitors in the pits. Dan Cugini in his #51 family owned Ford Focus powered entry, was victorious when it was all said and done, besting the fifteen NEMA Lites competitors in the pits.

The action started fast & furious right out of the gate. In the first heat, Ryan Bigelow in his SMG Motoring Chevy Ecotec powered entry jumped out into the lead from the pole, and dominated the event over brother Scott Bigelow. In heat 2, 2015 Champion Anthony “The Tornado” Payne scored an impressive victory running the fastest times of the qualifying events in the 19.60 range.

Ryan Bigelow led the field to green for the 20 lap feature. He quickly jumped out into the lead and stretched his lead to five car lengths. Behind him, Jim Chambers in his #21 family owned entry was closing the gap fast & furious, and within four laps he was on Bigelow’s tail. Chambers took the lead going down the backstretch on lap five, and Bigelow made a bid in turns three and four to take it back, but unfortunately the two made contact sending both hard into the turn four fence, collecting Anthony Nocella in the Seymour #29 along with them. All three drivers were OK, although Nocella was a bit bruised and shaken after a hard impact. All three cars retired to the pits.

Continue reading ‘Last to First: Cugini Takes Thompson ICEBREAKER Win in NEMA Lites’

Cugini Claims First Thompson Win on Chilly First Night for Icebreaker Weekend

THOMPSON, CT — Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park kicked off its 2016 season in style on April 9th with its first series of races as part of the 42nd Annual Icebreaker weekend. In addition to setting the field for Sunday’s events, including the season opener for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, day one of racing was highlighted by a 20-lap feature for the NEMA Lites which offered plenty of competitive racing action to kick off their 2016 season.

The event started smooth for front row starter Ryan Bigelow, who engaged in an intense battle with Jim Chambers through the first five laps of the event before their battle for the lead resulted in contact on turn four. The incident forced an early retirement for both drivers and Anthony Nocella who was also collected in the wreck and changed the complexion of an already competitive race by taking out the two strongest cars in the early going.

Their misfortune worked to the benefit of Dan Cugini who, after experiencing mechanical issues in the heat races worked his way to the front and took the lead on lap 12. Cugini would dominate the rest of the race and claim his first ever win at Thompson Speedway and what he considers one of the biggest trophies of his career so far.

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Carl Kibbe Passes at 69

Carl H. Kibbe
April 8, 1946 – January 14, 2016
Resided in Hope, RI

Carl H. Kibbe, 69, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, January 14, 2016. He was the loving husband of Debra L. (Mello) Kibbe of Hope, RI. Born in Providence, RI he was the son of the late Clayton H. Kibbe and the late Eunice Ethel (Buttle) Kibbe.

Mr. Kibbe was a member of the North Eastern Midget Association (NEMA). He won 4 championships in the late 80’s and early 90’s and 2nd place 8 times and won many individual races. He and his brother Donald began their racing endeavors around 1975 with their father Clayton, who also raced cars. The three of them had ventured into a family business together, the former Kibbe Milk Transportation Co. He then worked for Sunoco Inc. as a maintenance technician for 28 years before retiring in 2009. He was a knowledgeable and handy person to have around. He was always willing to help someone and was the ‘go-to-guy’ if you were wanting something fixed.

Besides his wife Debra, he is survived by his children: Curt H. Kibbe (his companion Rebecca) of Norwalk, CT, Russell C. Kibbe (his wife Kristen) of Smithfield, RI: Richard Mourao (his wife Sarah) of Coventry, RI and Phillip Mourao (his companion Karen) of Cranston, RI; nine grandchildren: Tiana, Kaitlyn, Brooke, Matthew, Camryn, Chrysten, Kelli, Dylan and Madisyn; three great grandchildren; a brother: Donald C. Kibbe (his wife Vivian) of Seekonk, MA; a niece Lynne A. Mello and nephew David P. Kibbe.

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Cabral, Bigelow Best in NEMA’s Shane Hammond Memorial at Thompson’s World Series of Racing

Randy Cabral pulled off “one for the ages” coming from last place in the NEMA feature to pass teammate Todd Bertrand on the last lap at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s Sunoco World Series of Racing this past Saturday evening.  In Lites action, Scott Bigelow dominated the feature event, despite a late race charge from John Zych Jr.  Zych, the night before, was crowned the NEMA champion for 2015, and his father, John Zych Sr. the owner’s champion.  In the Lites division, Anthony Payne won his first series championship and Bigelow won the car owners title.

In the NEMA feature, Todd Bertrand jumped out into the lead in the Tim Bertrand owned #74 machine.  He quickly paced the field, pulling out to nearly a half straightaway lead at one point.  Further back, John Zych Jr. had charged from his ninth starting spot to take over the second spot by lap eight.  Randy Cabral, who started scratch on the field, was also making his way through the field and would reach the third spot by lap thirteen.

Bertrand’s advantage would start to fade with ten laps remaining, as he suffered a broken brake caliper bracket, sending the caliper rocketing across the track and into the first turn wall.  Zych got to within three carlengths of Bertrand with five laps remaining, and at that point, Cabral was right in the mix as well.  With three laps to go, Cabral drove into turn one hot, on the bottom to take second away from Zych and he then set his sights on Bertrand.  Coming down the back stretch with two laps to go, Cabral made up big ground on Bertrand and then dove in between the lapped car of Alan Chambers and Bertrand, drawing even coming off of turn four to take the white flag.  The duo raced side by side into turn one, with Cabral coming out with the advantage.  He went on to take down the victory over Bertrand, putting both Tim Bertrand cars on the podium.  Zych would finish third and would lock up the series championship, and was followed by a hard charging run by Seth Carlson, Avery Stoehr, Cole Carter, Jim Chambers, Paul Scally, Alan Chambers and Jake Smith.

Continue reading ‘Cabral, Bigelow Best in NEMA’s Shane Hammond Memorial at Thompson’s World Series of Racing’

Coby Enters History Books With Repeat NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Title

The 2015 NASCAR Whelen Modified Series concluded its most competitive championship battle to date at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on October 18th to close out the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing weekend presented by XtraMart. The Sunoco World Series 150 began with the tightest championship battle in series history with three drivers within four points of winning the title and even a little early snowfall for spice right before the green flag waved.
Doug Coby and Ryan Preece entered the season finale event in a tie for the championship and Woody Pitkat sat only four points out of the lead with at least a third place finish in the points mathematically secured. Coby won the pole for the event while Pitkat and Preece started in the top five to make for a tight battle throughout the race as each sought an edge in the championship battle.
While Coby and Preece had relatively calm runs in the 150-lap feature, Pitkat had an up and down fight for his first Whelen Modified Series title throughout the event enduring an early crash, a penalty by NASCAR and issues on pit road to finish fifth. Preece ran in the top ten all race long and finished seventh after his car fell off late in the event, but it was Doug Coby who secured his second consecutive series championship and the race win after making a pass on runner-up Justin Bonsignore with five laps to go.

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A. Payne, Zych Lead NEMA to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park World Series of Racing

Thompson, CT — Both Anthony Payne and John Zych Jr. lead NEMA to this coming weekend’s World Series of Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, with commanding points leads.  Payne leads reining NEMA champion Randy Cabral by 49 points in the Lites division, and Zych leads Cabral by 65 points in the NEMA division.  Zych merely needs to finish his heat race and start the feature event to clinch the NEMA championship.  For the previous winner, Zych, it seems like a very accomplishable feat this Saturday, barring any mechanical issues.  In the Lites division, Scott Bigelow leads Mike Scrivani in the owners points and John Zych Sr. leads Tim Bertrand in the NEMA owner points. 

This year’s Thompson finale is a special one, in that it will be the first time that the Shane Hammond Memorial will be held at TSMP.  The young Hammond lost his life in a NEMA midget at Thompson in 2008.  Since that point, his mother, Deb Marvuglio, has been a devout supporter of the club through the Shane Hammond Memorial Foundation, and her support of the annual event, memorializing Hammond.  

For Payne, son of Joey Payne, and a multi generational racing family, a Championship is the ultimate prize.

Continue reading ‘A. Payne, Zych Lead NEMA to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park World Series of Racing’

Coby, Cabral Capture O’Brien Memorial NEMA Speedbowl Victories

Waterford, CT — Doug Coby beat back a mid-race restart challenge from reigning champion, Randy Cabral, to capture the 25 lap NEMA feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl this past Saturday night.  In the Lites division, Randy Cabral took down a thrilling victory, even as the rain started to fall throughout the final laps in the race billed as the Jim O’Brien 16 NEMA Lites Memorial event, memorializing an “anchor” club member.  O’Brien’s family were on hand to celebrate the victories with both drivers in front of a packed house. 

Jim Santa Maria and Paul Scally brought the field down for the green flag after a quick hot lap session to ensure the damp track surface was ready for action.  Reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion, Doug Coby, was sixth on the grid, but quickly blasted his way through the field.  At the end of lap two, Coby had command and quickly set a torrid pace.  Coby’s fastest laps a 12.93 and 91 respectively, came right before and right after the caution flew on lap twelve.  When the caution flew, Coby had stretched his lead out to over a straightaway. 

On the restart, Coby lined up next to teammate Cabral, and got the jump coming off of turn four.  Cabral used the momentum of the high line to draw even with Coby coming off of turn two, and the duo would run side by side for the next three laps.

Continue reading ‘Coby, Cabral Capture O’Brien Memorial NEMA Speedbowl Victories’

Joey Payne Best in NEMA’s Iron Mike Memorial at Monadnock; Meg Cugini Tops Lites Field

Winchester, NH — This past Saturday evening, NEMA made its return to the Monadnock Speedway for the continuation of the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial race for the NEMA cars, and a full program for the Lites cars.  Fierce racing throughout the pack in both divisions highlighted the evening, as NEMA continues one of its most competitive seasons ever on record.  On a track that is known as a “drivers track” due to the variable banking between the turns and high speeds, Joey Payne became the ninth different winner in 12 races for NEMA, and Meg Cugini became the second female driver to ever win in the Lites division. 

In the NEMA division, Joey Payne and Jim Santa Maria paced the field to the green.  Payne, consistently in the top three throughout the day on the time charts, blasted out into the lead.  Payne paced the field at a torrid pace, pulling out to over a half track lead at one point.  Behind him, there was close racing throughout the pack.  2014 Champion Randy Cabral, in a tight points battle with John Zych Jr. raced for the 4th position for much of the race, until Cabral got together with the #21 of Jim Chambers, sending Chambers spinning and bringing out the caution.  Cabral retired to the pits later in the race due to the incident with a broken steering arm.  

On the restart, Payne jumped into the lead, but Zych made a daring move, taking four spots away, and then set his sights on Payne.  Zych slipped by Payne into the lead, only to be negated by a Bethany Stoehr caution on that same lap.  On the next restart, Payne was ready for Zych, who is known to be very sharp on restarts.  Payne launched in the middle of turn three, and rocketed up the track, taking away Zych’s line.  The duo sliced and diced, with Zych trying both the high side and the low side of Payne to get by.  On the white flag lap, Zych made one more attempt in turn one, but Payne shut the door and went on to take down his first NEMA victory of the season, and first with Bertrand Motorsports.  Following Payne and Zych across the line were Avery Stoehr, Seth Carlson, Alan Chambers, Jim Chambers, Bethany Stoehr, Paul Scally, Randy Cabral and Andy Barrows.

“The car was really good.  I had went into ‘cruise mode’ thinking that we had them covered, and then John surprised me after the restart when he got by.  I’ve been doing this a long time, and knew what I had to do in order to make sure that didn’t happen again.  After the restart, the car loosened up a little, but I dialed it back in and hooked it back up for the finish,” said Payne.  “It feels awesome to win for the Bertrand team and for the Scrivani family in the Iron Mike Memorial,” he said.

In the Lites race, young star, Meg Cugini jumped out into the lead from her second starting position.  She set a quick pace and pulled away from the field, until a caution at the halfway point tightened up the field.  Cugini would line up next to veteran, Andy Barrows.  Cugini got the advantage on the restart, despite Barrows making a run at her a few times over the next couple of laps on the bottom.  

“I was just thinking to myself that I needed to hit my marks over the final laps.  It feels great to take down a big win like this,” said Cugini.  “This win goes out to my brother, Danny, who for the first time was able to watch me race versus racing along side of me.  I’m glad I could make him proud.  It also goes out to my Dad who works so hard on the car each week and our sponsors – Bob’s Collision Center, World Wide Preowned, Bumper to Bumper Accessories and Avratin Law,” she said.  

Andy Barrows put in a strong run to finish second, and veteran Paul Scally had his second consecutive podium finish with an impressive run.  Following them across the line were Scott Bigelow, Paul Bigelow, Anthony Payne, Jim Cataldo, Dennis O’Brien, Jeremy Decourcey and Randy Cabral.

The NEMA schedule resumes this coming Saturday at the New London Waterford Speedbowl for the Jim O’Brien Memorial, with both the full NEMA cars and the Lites taking center stage at the Bowl.  All of NEMA’s standings and action can also be followed on the series website at www.nemaracing.com 

NEMA MIDGETS – MONADNOCK – 9/5/15
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 74 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Tim Bertrand
2 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon,MA John Zych Sr.
3 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
4 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
5 7 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
6 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
7 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater,MA Greg Stoehr
8 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
9 DNF 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
10 DNF 46 Andy Barrows New Ipswich, NH Andy Barrows
11 DNF 99 Jim Santa Maria Burlington, CT Jim Santa Maria
12 DNF 87 Doug Cleveland Sudbury, MA Doug Cleveland

NEMA LITES – MONADNOCK – 9/5/15
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA D. Cugini
2 46 Andy Barrows New Ipswich, NH Andy Barrows
3 30b Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
4 32 Scott Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Scott Bigelow
5 31 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Paul Bigelow
6 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Jennifer Scrivani
7 2 Jim Cataldo Sterling, MA Jim Cataldo
8 16 Dennis O’Brien Deerfield, NH Chris O’Brien
9 DNF 29d Jeremy Decourcey Rochester, NH Jeremy Decourcey
10 DNF 35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
11 DNS 36 Myles Devits – Myles Devits

Sources: Tim Bertrand/NEMA PR

Cabral Sweeps NEMA’s Return to Star Speedway

Epping, NH — Randy Cabral ended a victory lane dry spell in convincing fashion this past Saturday evening in NEMA’s triumphant return to the Webber family’s Star Speedway. Cabral won the NEMA Lites feature in dramatic fashion with two laps to go, and captured the NEMA feature in convincing fashion.

In the Lites race, a first lap altercation between Dennis O’Brien and Danny Cugini sent Cugini’s badly damaged race car off on the hook, and Cugini was badly bruised up in the incident. When the race resumed, Paul Scally, looking for his first Lites victory, stormed out into the lead. Scally would be hotly pursued by Cabral in his family owned #35.

As the laps wound down, and the duo approached lapped traffic, Cabral began to catch Scally, as they caught the #41 of Meg Cugini. With two laps to go, Scally looked high on Cugini, and Cabral stormed to the bottom, taking both Cugini and taking over the lead from Scally. Hard charger, Anthony Payne inserted into the mix, also getting by Scally for second. Cabral would take down the victory, and would be followed by new points leader Payne, Scally, Scott Bigelow and ISMA Super Modified Standout, Chris Perley.

[Photo Gallery] by Michael Rothwell

Continue reading ‘Cabral Sweeps NEMA’s Return to Star Speedway’

Magical Night for Chambers, Captures First NEMA Win at Claremont; Nocella Wins Lites

Bridgewater, MA — This past Friday evening, NEMA made a return to Claremont Speedway.  Beautiful weather, despite a grim forecast, and a professionally run operation greeted the winged warriors at the Speedway.

“I’m still at a loss for words.  I don’t even know what to say,” were the first words from Jim Chambers on Saturday, following his first ever NEMA win at Claremont Speedway.

In the NEMA feature, Chambers bolted out into the lead on lap one.  A caution for an altercation involving Paul Scally, brought the field back to its original formation.  On the restart, which would be the only one of the race, Chambers quickly took command again.

Continue reading ‘Magical Night for Chambers, Captures First NEMA Win at Claremont; Nocella Wins Lites’

New London Waterford Speedbowl Wings and Wheels Results 8/8

Waterford, CT — Saturday marked the return of Wings and Wheels to the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for the 8th consecutive season. The Valenti Modified Racing Series, along with 6 other divisions were on the card for the annual event.

Starting the night off, the SK Modified division took to the track for 35 laps of open wheeled action. Leading the field to the first green flag of the night was Jeff Gallup. Gallup led the first 5 laps until Rob Janovic used a move to the inside to take the lead, with Tyler Chadwick and Joey Gada following. The yellow flag came out on lap 7, when Tim Jordan made contact with Craig Lutz, sending Lutz into the Turn 3 wall. On the ensuing restart, Chadwick used the high side to power by Janovic, and never looked back. Chadwick came into the night trailing Diego Monahan by 7 points. Monahan, who started the race in 10th, had to pit early for a loose fuel cap and had to battle back through the field, where he finished 6th. Lutz came into the night tied for fifth in points with Keith Rocco, a points race that was separated by just 15 points from 5th to 1st. Gada, Rocco, Janovic, and Paul Kusheba rounded out the top 5. Monahan still holds a slim 1 point lead over Chadwick heading into next week.

In the SK Light feature, Christopher Gombos led the first 2 laps, but could not hold off Paul French. French took the lap on lap 3 and dominated the race, surviving 3 restarts to do so. Josh Galvin, Corey Barry, David Arute, and Randy Churchill capped off the top 5. After post-race inspection, French’s transmission was found to be illegal and he was disqualified from the event. The DQ gave Josh Galvin the win, his 1st win of the season and 1st win in the SK Light division. Galvin is the defending Limited Sportsman champion, who moved up to the SK Light ranks this year. Barry continues his string of top 3 finishes and remains the points leader.

Continue reading ‘New London Waterford Speedbowl Wings and Wheels Results 8/8’

Carlson, A. Payne Take Wings & Wheels NEMA Victories

 

On a beautiful late summer New England evening, Seth Carlson ended a dry spell for the Feigel Motorsports team this past Saturday evening in front of a giant crowd at the New London Waterford Speedbowl for its annual Wings & Wheels event. In the Lites division, Anthony Payne captured his second win of the season, and of his career, in a hard fought race against veteran Anthony Nocella.

In the NEMA race, Carlson started fourth on the grid, while Doug Cleveland and Russ Stoehr brought the field to the green. Carlson wasted no time, blasting past Cleveland for the lead on the third lap. Right behind Carlson, reining NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, Doug Coby was on the move as well. Coby moved into second on the third lap, and the two would run in that order for the majority of the race. Further back, Randy Cabral and John Zych were battling for the third spot, when a caution flew with six laps remaining for a Pete Pernesiglio spin.

On the restart, Coby struck and moved briefly into the lead at the line, but Carlson would fight back and draw even in turns one and two. The duo would run side by side for three laps, with Coby eventually settling back into second. With three laps remaining, the caution would fly again, this time lining up a single file restart. In the meantime, Zych had moved into the third spot past Cabral. On the final restart, Carlson’s car hesitated causing Coby to hook his rear bumper, both getting loose on the front stretch. Zych ducked under Coby for second, but Coby rocketed around the top of turn one, while Carlson stretched out his lead. Carlson would cross the line first ahead of Coby, Zych, Cabral, Avery Stoehr, Jim Chambers, Russ Stoehr, Alan Chambers, Bethany Stoehr, and Paul Scally.

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Lee USA Speedway 7/17/15 Race Report

Lee, NH – Lee USA Speedway hosted the Mighty Midgets of NEMA and the NEMA Lites on Friday night, along with a full program of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action to fill out the night’s racing action at “New Hampshire‘s Center of Speed“.

Third-generation racer Avery Stoehr of Lakeville, MA was the class of the field in the NEMA main, jumping out to the lead early and going the distance to post the win and collect the coveted Marvin Rifchin Memorial trophy. Five-time NEMA champ Randy Cabral of Plymouth, MA was the best of the rest and scored runner-up honors, with Seth Carlson of Brimfield, CT rounding out the podium in third.

One of several drivers doing double duty for the night, Jimmy Chambers of nearby Atkinson picked up a solid fourth place finish, with former champ John Zych of Mendon, MA, Todd Bertrand of Suffield, CT, Bethany Stoehr of Bridgewater, MA, Alan Chambers of Atkinson, Danny Cugini of Marshfield, MA, and Paul “Dangerous” Scally of Raynham, MA rounding out the top ten.

Continue reading ‘Lee USA Speedway 7/17/15 Race Report’




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