Archive for the 'NEMA Lites' Category

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Releases Details for the 2018 Icebreaker

Season opener set for April 6-8

Thompson, CT (February 13th, 2018) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) revealed details about The Icebreaker, which will feature eleven divisions in the 44th running of this great tradition.

“For the past 43 years, the Icebreaker has marked the beginning of the stock car racing season in New England. This year’s rendition has even more excitement with the addition of the Valenti Modified Racing Series, giving race fans an additional 50 laps of wheel-to-wheel excitement. We look forward to welcoming our loyal fans and racers back to Thompson to begin our 78th season.” explained Josh Vanada, General Manager of TSMP.

The 2018 season of racing kicks off Friday, April 6, with a Test & Tune day. On April 7-8, the New England stock car racing season will open with eleven divisions on the Icebreaker card, which is headlined by The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.

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Todd Bertrand Launches Website

NEMA competitor Todd Bertrand launched his new website today, Visit his Squarespace site to view his 2018 schedule, learn about his team or contact him.

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J. Stergios Celebrates Milestone Wiscasset 65 Lap Victory

The Northeastern Midget Association Lites division visited the Wiscasset Speedway this past Saturday night.  A full field of Lites competitors were on hand, and beautiful weather & a standout crowd greeted the club to the Richard & Vanessa Jordan facility.  NEMA’s first attempt in many years at a 65 lap event – to celebrate the Club’s 65th year, went off with few issues, and at the conclusion, it was Jake Stergios taking his family owned #11 to victory in the feature event. 
When the Lites field came down to the green, veteran Paul Scally blasted out into the lead.  Immediately, Scally set a torrid pace, as he quickly began to distance himself from the field.  By lap ten, Scally, running some of the fastest times of the day, was already at the rear of the field and began picking off lapped cars one by one.  
Behind Scally, Danny Cugini, Ryan Locke, and Ben Mikitarian were all battling for position in a very close pack that ran under a blanket for positions two through ten. 

Continue reading ‘J. Stergios Celebrates Milestone Wiscasset 65 Lap Victory’

J. Chambers, Payne Win NEMA Rifchin Memorial Trophies at Star Speedway

Jim Chambers beat back Seth Carlson on a lap eleven restart and went on to dominate the remainder of the Northeastern Midget Association feature at Star Speedway this past Saturday evening.  In the Lites, Anthony Payne muscled his way to the front in the early stages of the race and held off a hard-charging Chambers to take down his first victory of the season in the Scrivani 21.

The race celebrated Marvin Rifchin, who was a long time supporter of NEMA.  Marvin’s contributions to the industry have been nationally recognized. In 1999, he was inducted into the NEAR Hall of Fame.  In 2003, he was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame.  Throughout the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and into the 90’s, Marvin’s tires helped deliver countless NEMA victories and championships with guys like Bill Eldridge, Al Pillion, Dave Humphrey, Lee Smith, Joey Coy, and Drew Fornoro just to name a few.

When the Lites took the track on Saturday, Jim Cataldo in the #7 Beast machine jumped out into the early lead.  Cataldo looked to be running away from the field, before a caution flew on lap five.  On the restart, Anthony Payne in the Scrivani 21 blasted by Cataldo and into the lead.  Jim Chambers, who started deep in the field, made quick work moving into the top three, and by lap eight, he was second.  Chambers pressured Payne for a number of laps as the duo ran side by side, with Payne retaining the advantage.

Continue reading ‘J. Chambers, Payne Win NEMA Rifchin Memorial Trophies at Star Speedway’

Cabral Visits Victory Lane for 50th Time

Star Speedway, Epping, N.H.  0.250 mile 7.8.2017

Exciting things can happen when NEMA is in town and Saturday, July 8, 2017 was no exception at Bobby Webbers’ Star Speedway. These mighty monsters are guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

In the NEMA feature Seth Carlson out-dragged pole-sitter Doug Cleaveland of Sudbury MA and attempted to distance himself from a hungry pack behind him. It was looking like the Brimfield CT driver was on his way to victory lane, when things went sour for him with ten laps to go as his right rear tire slowly lost air. All the while Randy Cabral of Kingston MA, who started third, took over second place from Cleaveland and drew a bead on race leader Carlson, slowly closing in as Carlson began to have handling issues.

Cabral finally caught and passed Carlson on lap 19 and went on to his 50th NEMA win.

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Zych, Duhaime Take Down NEMA’s Boston Louie Memorial

John Zych, starting fifth, piloted past Avery Stoehr and Alan Chambers, pole sitter Jim SantaMaria and outside pole sitter Doug Cleveland to take down the victory in a green to checkered finish to win his first Boston Louie Memorial this past Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway.  Dylan Duhaime, driving the Cataldo #5 pulled off an epic last lap pass on Jim Chambers, who led the majority of the race, to take his first Boston Louie checkers in the Lites portion of the event, which ran 33 laps in memoriam of the late David Steele.

In the NEMA event, for the leaders, it was a matter of holding position, as Zych and Stoehr went the distance without being passed. SantaMaria had grabbed third during the second circuit, went halfway and then was passed by Todd Bertrand. Bertrand seemed a lock on third, as he went the rest of the way – almost. Mechanical problems forced him to withdraw with one lap remaining and the position went to Coby, who had held fourth for most of the race. It also elevated Nocella in the Seymour 33 to fourth.

It was a stretched-out field by lap five in a race which ran green to checkers without caution. Zych was enjoying a half-straightaway lead by this time and Stoehr was about the same distance ahead of Bertrand. By lap eight, they were encountering lapped vehicles. SantaMaria had moved into third, ahead of Bertrand. Cabral got by Chambers into sixth.
Zych was charging so hard that his right rear was showing smoke through the corners, especially turn four and it continued, raising concerns that he might lose the shoe or at least lose the speed he had been showing. But Zych continued to press down on the pedal and keep the space open between him and Stoehr.  Zych would pass Bethan Stoehr, to put her a lap down, as the leaders closed.  Bertrand was closing on Stoehr for the second spot, and Coby was not far behind, as the trio closed Zych’s gap, and would run out of time.  Zych took down his first Boston Louie ever, followed by Stoehr, defending race winner Coby, Anthony Nocella in the Seymour 33, and Randy Cabral in the Bertrand 74.  Santa Maria, Alan Chambers, Jim Chambers, Seth Carlson and Todd Bertrand rounded out the top ten.

Continue reading ‘Zych, Duhaime Take Down NEMA’s Boston Louie Memorial’

Seekonk USAC Speed2 Eastern Midget Special Event Results

Duhaime Takes “Boston Louie Memorial” Speed2 Eastern “Special”

Seekonk, MA……..Dylan Duhaime of Loudon, N.H. scored a last-lap victory in Wednesday night’s 33-lap 21st “Boston Louie Memorial” USAC Speed2 Eastern Midget “special event” feature at Seekonk Speedway. He passed Jim Chambers on the final lap for the win over Chambers, Chad LaBastie, Ryan Locke and Ryan Bigelow. The Eastern series resumes July 14 at Wake County Speedway in Raleigh, N.C.

USAC SPEED2 EASTERN MIDGET “Special Event” RACE RESULTS: June 28, 2017 – Seekonk, Massachusetts – Seekonk Speedway – “Open Wheel Wednesday” – “21st Boston Louie Memorial”

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Seekonk Speedway to Host TTOMS Practice on June 21

Tune Up for June 28 Open Wheel Wednesday Event

Seekonk, Mass. ( June 14, 2017):  With $10K on the line, teams and drivers will want their cars dialed in for the upcoming Open Wheel Wednesday at Seekonk Speedway. Earlier this week, officials announced an open practice for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series (TTOMS) teams slated to compete in the traditional Modified event.  The practice is scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 from Noon to 5 pm. Pit entry is $20.

The 14th Annual Open Wheel Wednesday is scheduled for June 28 with over 50 cars expected to vie for the area’s largest purse in 100 laps of green flag racing.

For more information about the open practice, visit or contact the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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Todd Bertrand Set to Defend Icebreaker Victory at Thompson 125, presented by Whelen

THOMPSON, CT – One of the highlights of Icebreaker 2017 was the photo finish between NEMA Lites drivers Todd Bertrand and Dan Cugini. The two battled wing-to-wing in the waning laps of the 20-lap affair, but it was Bertrand by the length of a bumper.  The 0.038-second margin of victory was the closest recorded in a NEMA Lites race at Thompson.

Bertrand recalls the sequence of events that day, which resulted in his first visit to Critical Signs victory lane, “The car was a little loose, meaning that I wouldn’t have as much traction on the track. I fixed that problem with using the heat tires for the featured race which really helped me out big time. I knew I had a fast car and if I got in front of Danny early than I would have a huge chance of winning. I got past him early and knew I was faster than everyone on the track so that gave me more leverage at winning. Near the end on the final three laps, my car started to become loose and that gave Danny a huge advantage, due to me loosing traction; but I held my ground and stayed on the inside of him to lead me to a Thompson victory. I have never won a race at Thompson before so winning this race meant a lot to me.”

The car that Bertrand drove to victory has quite the story behind it. The CT-native explains, “This was the first time back in the No. 45 since running it last year in the World Series. We first acquired this car back when I started running in the NEMA Lites then sold it to a close friend of mine. Me and my team reacquired this car and wanted to use it for rental rides and I personally wanted to use it for racing at big tracks such as Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. This car had some problems in the winter due to a 15-year-old motor, which we fixed with a brand new motor. These replacements to this car had a tremendous impact on my winning the Icebreaker.”

Continue reading ‘Todd Bertrand Set to Defend Icebreaker Victory at Thompson 125, presented by Whelen’

Redemption for Bonsignore at Riverhead in NEMA’s IGA Cantor Memorial; J. Chambers Dominates Lites

Justin Bonsignore left Riverhead Raceway in 2016 feeling dejected and with a number of bumps & bruises, as he was potentially laps away from winning his first Northeastern Midget Association race in his first start, as leader Jim Chambers encountered a flat right front tire.  Instead, Bonsignore found his Bertrand Motorsports #74 destroyed against the outside wall, after hopping Chambers’ right rear tire.  On Saturday evening, in the 2nd Annual Allan Cantor Memorial, sponsored by the Reichert Group/IGA, it was again Bonsignore and Chambers putting on the show.  Chambers dominated the NEMA Lite race earlier in the evening, and after an epic battle in the NEMA feature, Bonsignore scored his first ever NEMA win. 

In the Lites feature, reigning Champion, Jim Chambers, would blast his way to the front in the early stages of the race.  Chambers, running lap times of 11.8 seconds, as fast as some of the NEMA competitors – would pull to nearly a half track lead over Chad Labastie, and Danny Cugini, by the halfway point. 

A red flag at the halfway point, for a big wreck involving Paul Scally, Ryan Bigelow, and Ryan Locke, bunched up the field once the race got underway again.  All of the drivers walked away from the wreck without injuries.  Cugini, looking strong, would take second from Labastie when the green flag flew again, but could not muster up a run on Chambers. 

Chambers would stretch out his lead again in the late stages of the race, to go on and take down his first win at Riverhead Raceway. Cugini would finish second followed by Chad Labastie, PJ Stergios, Ryan Locke, Christopher Vose, John Zych, Nikki Carol, Jim Cataldo and Randy Cabral.
Continue reading ‘Redemption for Bonsignore at Riverhead in NEMA’s IGA Cantor Memorial; J. Chambers Dominates Lites’

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.
Continue reading ‘Scally, Zych Rocket to Wiscasset, Ames True Value NEMA Wins’

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.
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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. 

Continue reading ‘Kyle Hamilton to Do Double Duty for Bertrand Motorsports at Star Speedway NEMA Openernema’

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

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.

Continue reading ‘Coby Makes History, Wraps Up Third Consecutive Whelen Modified Title in Thompson’

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.

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

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.

Continue reading ‘Bertrand, Stergios Take Down AMES True Value Night Wins at Wiscasset’

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.
Continue reading ‘Zych, Stergios Triumph in NEMA’s Wings & Wheels’

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.
Continue reading ‘McKennedy Leads Wings and Wheels Winners at New London-Waterford’

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.
Continue reading ‘Ryan Locke Captures Historic First NEMA Win at Waterford Speedbowl’

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.

Continue reading ‘Carl Kibbe Passes at 69’

February 2018
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