Archive for the 'NEMA Lites' Category



Zacharias, Coby Highlight NEMA Trip to Chemung

NEMA kicks off its opening weekend action at Chemung Speedrome this coming Friday night.  Two of the headline drivers taking the main stage at Chemung will be 2013 New York State NASCAR Modified Champion Jimmy Zacharias and 2012/2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Doug Coby.  Zacharias will be behind the wheel of the Motor Cars International 15B Lites car, and Coby behind the wheel of the Bertrand Motorsports #74 NEMA entry.

“I’m excited about making my first NEMA (Lites) midget start. The cars have always looked fun and racey whenever I’ve seen them run.  Being a regular at Chemung should help me and I’m looking forward to the race,” said Zacharias.

In the Lites division, one cannot count out the Bigelow family, brothers Scott & Paul, Scott, was very strong in the Lites season opener at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The Cugini family brings their two strong family owned entries to the Speedrome – Danny proving very strong at Thompson and Anthony Payne in the Scrivani 21.  NEMA Champion Randy Cabral will have his family owned #35 on hand as well.  Paul Scally has been very strong in early starts so far this season in his new Lites ride, and will be on hand at both events.

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Claremont Speedway Preview

Claremont to Open Friday Night with Granite State Pro Stocks

Claremont (NH) Speedway will be back in action this season. Four people bought the former Twin State Speedway track during the offseason. New ownership did some remodeling to make it look more presentable for fans. The track’s 4 divisions will be returning: the ACT Late Models, Super Streets, Limited Sportsman, and Wildcats.

The Granite State Pro Stock Series will open the season on Friday night with a 125 lap race. Thrillin’ Dillon Moltz won the season opening Icebreaker at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park. It will be the first race for the series since 2011, when Chris Wilk claimed the inaugural event. Several touring series will be visiting including the Valenti Modified Racing Series July 10, and the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites on August 21. The track will have the Sunday Karting Series and Mud Bog Series. The track will host four combination car shows and concerts. The acts will be announced.

It is all about nostalgia for the new owners. Phil Hayes, one of the new owners, has been going to the speedway for 35 years. “It was always in the back of my mind ever since I was a kid that I would run a racetrack,” Hayes said.

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Lee USA Speedway Season Preview

Lee (NH) USA Speedway will host the postponed Governor’s Cup 150 American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model race on Sunday. It will also be the opening event for the North East Mini Stock Tour and Northeast Classic Lites. Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. won the season opener at Oxford (ME) Plains Speedway Sunday.

“We start off with the ACT Tour, do the Bullring Bash,” Promoter Joe Bassett said. “Go into our season opener with no specials that night and then the very next week we start off with the (Mr. Rooter) New England Truck Series and then every single week up until our championship night. We have a special every week.”

With all the touring divisions coming into town, they wanted to make it an event every week. Every week the fan would come into Lee and see something new.

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Monadnock Speedway Season Preview

VMRS Season Opener May 2

Winchester, NH — Nine divisions will participate in the Monadnock Speedway season opener on May 2. The 100 lap Valenti Modified Racing Series race is the first time since 2006 that the quarter-mile oval opened their season. Rowan Pennink is the defending race winner. Kirk Alexander, the all-time winningest VMRS driver and a fan favorite, will return full-time to the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

The Valenti Modifieds will visit Monadnock two more times. The series will be back on July 4 for Fireworks night featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions and a huge fireworks display. The final appearance is Saturday August 22 for the Victor Johnson Memorial presented by Swanzey Oil.

The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will make their annual appearance on Saturday July 25. Justin Bonsignore led the final 26 laps of last year’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 to score back to back wins. The tour returned since July 2010. The program will begin at 4:00 PM.

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Scott Bigelow Roars to 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 first ever NEMA Lites appearance at the facility, taking place on a beautiful Spring day – left no doubts on the table. Scott Bigelow in his #32 Bigelow Electric / BEAST / Honda Powered entry, was victorious when it was all said and done, besting the sixteen NEMA Lites competitors in the pits.

The action started fast & furious right out of the gate. In the first heat, Christian Briggs in his RAM-Bull Racing entry jumped out into the lead from the pole, and dominated the event. Paul Bigelow came through the field to finish second, followed by Briggs’ teammate Juris Kupris. In heat 2, the racing action was wheel to wheel, right from the drop of the green. Paul Scally, debuting his new Drinan chassis jumped out into the lead, but by the end of the heat race, it was a three way race for the win between Scally, Stoehr, and Modified Tour regular Bobby Santos. Scally came out victorious by a half a car length.

Briggs and Stoehr led the field to the green in the feature. Stoehr quickly jumped out into the lead, followed by Briggs and Scally. Scally overtook second, and a short time later, both Bobby Santos III and Scott Bigelow had begun their march to the front. Briggs retired while running fourth around the halfway mark, and Stoehr, Scally, Bigelow and Santos all diced for the top positions, with Bigelow making a strong move for the lead on the back stretch, and Santos following.

Continue reading ‘Scott Bigelow Roars to Thompson Icebreaker Win in NEMA Lites’

Michalski Organizing NEMA Events at Local Hospitals

The Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) will have a local presence at pediatric hospitals in southern New England. NEMA drivers will make their first visit to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, RI, with an expanded event at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford. A date for Boston (MA) Children’s Hospital is in the works.

“I took it upon myself,” NEMA VIP Fan and Track Publicity co-chair Mariah Michalski said. “I wanted to get the local hospitals involved. … to involve the children who are sick as well as to get more of the community involved. My main goal for having these events is to give back to those who have been fighting for their life at a very young age. Also I want spread awareness about (the) Northeastern Midget Association. Getting community involvement will then drive a bigger fan base to our club.”

Michalski previously selected its VIP through a prerace event question on the NEMA Facebook page. The focus has changed this year to improve outreach.

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Lites Make Historic Thompson Appearance

Bridgewater, MA — The Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) the ultimate “separate the men from the boys” facility. While any Thompson checkered is a treasure, winning the first ever NEMA Lites feature at this year’s ICEBREAKER event will be a goal high on the list of many attendees.

Sitting at the top of that list is the all time Thompson winner – with eleven victories, Randy Cabral, who will return at the ICEBREAKER in his family owned #35 Lites car.  In addition to Cabral – former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and multi time USAC feature winner, Bobby Santos III will be wheeling the Frank Manafort #76 in the event.  In addition to Santos and Cabral – ISMA competitor and feature winner Jeff Locke will be aboard his family owned Lites car, NEMA competitor Paul Scally will be debuting his new Drinan Lites car, and 2014 NEMA runner up Avery Stoehr, a new family owned ride as well.  

With nearly a twenty car field rumored, that’s just the beginning of the list.  Teammates Christian Briggs and Juris Kupris will bring their RAM Bull racing entries to TSMP with high hopes of a feature victory.  The Cugini family brings their two strong family owned entries to the Speedway, and the always strong Andy Barrows will be debuting his new BEAST chassis at the ICEBREAKER.  The Bigelow family, with 2014 owner’s champion Scott, and multi feature winner, Paul – will undoubtedly be strong as well, with their Honda power plants.  Other rumored entrants include Kenny Johnson, multi time feature winner PJ Stergios and Dennis Potter.

Continue reading ‘Lites Make Historic Thompson Appearance’

Zacharias to Pilot NEMA Lite at Chemung

Jimmy Zacharias is unsure of his plans for this year, aside from a part-time TQ Midget ride. 
The four-time Modified track champion will race a Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) Lite at the Chemung (NY) Speedrome. The May 22 race will be the inaugural event for the club’s two divisions there. They will race the next night at Evans Mills (NY) Motorsports Park. 
 
Zacharias described the 1/3 mile oval as “tight corners, decent sized straightaways, (a) fun little track.” He expects the Midgets “will be fast there for sure.”

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NWMT: Nocella to Compete for Sunoco ROY

Anthony Nocella of Woburn, MA will move to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour full-time in the KLM Motorsports No. 64. 

“(I) want to thank Mike Murphy and Ron both for offering me the ride and having the confidence in me,” Nocella said. “So hopefully we’ll run good with them and it’s definitely a big opportunity for me. … It’s something that we can go out and have some good strong runs and get top tens and fives and hopefully better than that. Maybe get the Rookie of the Year, which would be a big deal.”

“I was pretty excited when I got the call to be able to go and try to run that. Pretty tough competition I’d say and I was excited that they thought that I’d be able to do it and giving me the opportunity. … Mike Murphy there and Ron both seem pretty excited and I thought it was a real great opportunity to be able to go out try to run.”

Mike Murphy’s car has been driven by Ron Yuhas, Jr. recently. He was injured last September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Yuhas posted on Facebook that he is still recovering from his injuries and thankful for the support. The Groton, CT driver has raced for Murphy since 2011 in the Fast Track Electric/Hughes Motors car.

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NEMA Adds Chemung Speedrome to Exciting 2015 Schedule; Coby to Compete

The Northeastern Midget Association proudly announced on Friday that it has added an inaugural event at the Chemung Speedrome to its schedule for May 22, 2015.  Chemung will start an action packed weekend for NEMA, with an event the following day at Evans Mills Speedway.  The NEMA Midgets will run extended 30 lap races at both tracks, with the Lites running 25 Laps. 

An added bonus for the fans – reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion Doug Coby will be on hand competing in the #74 Bertrand Motorsports midget.  In addition, NEMA will be providing a Lites car and are working with the Speedrome promoters to get Chemung regular Jimmy Zacharias into a car for the Lites event. 

The Chemung Speedrome was originally built as a ¼ mile dirt track in 1951 by the Bodine family of Chemung, NY it closed in 1978.  As the story goes, in an article written by Bob Johnson, “It was by sheer coincidence that the track came to fruition in the first place.  Eli Bodine Sr. was in Ithaca having his car repaired.  The mechanic working on the car asked him if he liked stock car racing.  Mr. Bodine’s reply was that he indeed did.  This led to a conversation about racing.  The mechanic, Karl Beilou, brought up the fact that the local racers from the Finger Lakes racing club had become disenchanted with the track they were running at.  The possibility of building a track on the Bodine farm was discussed.  Bodine jokingly agreed to the request not thinking it would ever come to fruition.  The next day was Saturday.  Much to Bodine’s surprise, members of the racing club came calling on the farm – and from there, the track was born.”

Continue reading ‘NEMA Adds Chemung Speedrome to Exciting 2015 Schedule; Coby to Compete’

Locke to Compete with ISMA, NEMA Lites

Jeff Locke of Raymond, NH will return to the ISMA Supermodifieds in pursuit of a championship. He finished fourth in points last year with five top fives and 11 top tens in 13 starts. One of his best performances came in the World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson. He led 41 of the 50 laps before finishing fifth.

“(We) made a lot of progress on being more consistent, better at end of races,” Locke said. “(We) finished every race last year, which was cool. (There is) still room for improvement. We need to get better. The competition level and talent of drivers is huge in the ISMA tour.”

Locke plans to enter two NEMA Lite races, the Icebreaker at Thompson (CT) Speedway Motorsports Park and the King of Wings at Oswego (NY) Speedway. His 12-year-old son Ryan will practice the car this year ahead of his rookie season once he meets age requirements.

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NEMA Celebrates Successful Racer’s Expo

Marlborough, MA — NEMA was in strong form this past weekend at The Racer’s Expo in Marlborough, MA.  A wide variety of racers and vendors were brought together by the legendary Seymour Enterprises and Bobby Seymour, making this year’s show the biggest yet.  

The NEMA Board met early in the day to discuss the upcoming season.  Topics included ensuring that the race format goes off as fast as possible and a number of ideas on that topic, picking the three “open” races for 2015, which will be announced prior to the start of the season, additional possible dates on the 2015 schedule, publicity updates, and continuing to work on the NEMA business plan for the future.  

The club then hosted its final pre-season General meeting, where new president Russ Stoehr ran a very informative general meeting, where he mentioned some revisions to the current schedule – such as a possible race at Chemung, NY on Friday May 22nd and possible additional races at Waterford Speedbowl under new owner Bruce Bemer.  Tim Bertrand then informed the membership of plans for a combination rookie orientation / safety inspection / test & tune day at a track TBD for some time in April. VIP Fan and Track Publicity co-chairs, Bill Van Slyke and Mariah Michalski ran down a list of PR / VIP plans for 2015. Mariah has taken the VIP program to a new level this year which will include armed forces involvement, involvement with local children’s hospitals, and local community involvement. 

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Boardwalk Hall Wrap-up

Atlantic City, NJ — Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY took down the win in the 40 lap TQ Midget feature at Boardwalk Hall Saturday night. Ryan Flores of Davidson, NC came in second with Jimmy Blewett of Howell, NJ third, Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY fourth and Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY rounding out the top five.

Emerling led the field to the green. Rudolph took the lead from Emerling on lap 27. Rudolph led the final 13 laps to take down the win. Rudolph won the TQ Midget championship for the overall indoor series. Rudolph and Flores were tied, but with Rudolph having a win at Trenton last month. “Three or four years ago, we were able to win this race and the championship all in one year,” Rudolph said. “Last couple of years we have been coming and we have been fast, but luck has not been on our side. This year things fell into place to get the championship and the win tonight. It’s real special.”

The cautions did not help Rudolph as he felt he was gaining on Emerling for the lead. “I was gaining on him (Emerling),”Rudolph said. “Then the yellow came out. I was stuck in second and third for a while. I was kind of getting a little impatient. I was able to set him (Emerling) up and make a move on him for the lead. I had to deal with him on the outside on restarts. He hung right in there. I don’t know what happened to him at the end. I thought we were going to finish 1-2.”

The TQ Midget that Rudolph won with on Saturday night has been sold.

[Jan. 30 Photo Gallery] by Matt Wiernasz
[Jan. 31 Photo Gallery] by Matt Wiernasz

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NEMA Releases Preliminary 2015 Schedule

BROCKTON, Mass. — Established haunts make up the 2015 Northeastern Midget Association schedule, including a return to White Mountain Motorsports Park for the Jim O’Brien Memorial race after an absence of many years and the season opener at Evans Mills Motorsports Park on May 23rd.

As NEMA President Russ Stoehr puts the finishing touches on the final schedule, there are 12 races currently on the NEMA agenda while the NEMA Lites will make 12 stops in what will be the club’s 63rd consecutive season, making it New England’s oldest sanctioning body. There is a possibility additional races will be added to one or both schedules at a later date.

Randy Cabral and owner Tim Bertrand will begin defense of their NEMA championships and the Lites will begin their eighth season at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, as they present The ICEBREAKER on April 11th and 12th. Scott Bigelow will begin defense of his Lites owner’s crown, and there will be a new Lites driver’s champion this year as Ryan Krachun will not be returning to the series in 2015.

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Seekonk Releases 2015 Schedule

Seekonk Speedway has released its 2015 schedule.

Sources: SeekonkSpeedway.com

NEMA: Payne to Pilot Bertrand No. 74

Former champion Joey Payne of Fairlawn, NJ will return to NEMA competition at Oswego (NY) Speedway July 11. The NEMA Midgets and Lites will accompany the ISMA Supermodifieds’ King of Wings VII card.  Payne recorded his most recent victory in the 2013 Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial at Monadnock (NH) Speedway. Previous drivers of the third Bertrand Motorsports entry include Cole Carter, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby, Jeff Horn, and Anthony Marvuglio.

Randy Lindblad photo“I’m really excited,”Payne said. “I’ve known them guys for a long time and I’ve never driven for the Bertrands. We always talked about it, I always hound them for a ride, and finally last summer we were at Oswego and he (Car Owner Tim Bertrand) said to me, ‘We’re coming back here next year and you’re going to drive the 74 car.’ … They have great equipment and all three of their cars are fast on any given day. It’s kind of a top quality ride for my home track is going to be a real good thing.”

Payne is open to additional races for Bertrand if the scheduling can be worked out. “We went into it as a one shot deal, but now Timmy’s talking about some more races, and once I get in that car maybe I won’t get out.”

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NEMA Board Finalizes Rules Package & Exciting Changes for 2015 Season

Bridgewater, MA — The newly elected NEMA Board wasted no time getting to work, as they met for the first time after being elected last weekend to ratify the 2015 rules proposals this past Sunday, and also agreed on a number of exciting changes for the 2015 season.

The biggest change for the NEMA series will be the addition of staggered heat race points for both divisions, as decided on by the Board. The heat winner will get 20 points, 2nd place 18 points, with 2 points between positions down to 6th place – at which all remaining cars will get 10 points. The Board felt that this change will encourage a better show for the fans during the heat races and reward those who run well in the heat races.

Also exciting for the 2015 season, the Board has adopted the inclusion of a Rookie Development program. Full details will be announced later in the winter, but the intent of the Rookie Development Program will be to provide track time, driver coaching and safety education to new teams and drivers. Drivers falling into the newly adopted age brackets (those who turn 13 during the competition season for the Lites, and 15 years old for NEMA – both with previous experience) must pass the Rookie Development Program and be approved by the NEMA Board prior to competing with NEMA.

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John McCarthy Passes at 84

NEAR Hall of Famer, NEMA President & Championship Owner

Tilton, New Hampshire – John L. McCarthy, 84 a long time resident of Tilton died at his home Saturday, December 6, 2014 after a period of declining health.

Son of Alma (Levis) and John L. McCarthy, Sr., he was born in Mount Vernon, NY on June 21, 1930. John spent his youth in Quincy, MA. He was a graduate of Boston College High School (’48), attended Boston College, and earned an MBA from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He served his country in the Army National Guard and lived for many years in Shrewsbury.

During his youth, John was a clubhouse boy for the Boston Red Sox and during breaks, often played cribbage with Ted Williams. John had a brilliantly analytical mind and was at the forefront of the Electronic Data Processing/Information Technology revolution as a Senior Executive at Wyman-Gordon Company for 29 years, retiring in 1985. He revolutionized Midget Auto Racing as well.

Upon retirement, John relocated to Tilton, NH from Shrewsbury and began a long career in public service as an active civic leader, having served as Selectman (chair), Police Commissioner, Planning Board member, and School Board member. He was hugely instrumental in the development of the Lakes Region Mall and often spoke at State House and Senate hearings on issues he felt important for the citizens of Tilton. He was involved with charitable work and served on the Board of Directors at St. Vincent Hospital and was a member of the Local Elks Lodge in Laconia and Worcester.

Inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2007, McCarthy was a championship car owner, designer/builder, and innovative promoter who brought Midget Auto Racing from the brink of extinction to the mainstream as President of the North East Midget Association during the 1960s-70s. Also in retirement, McCarthy pursued his first love – Auto Racing – at New Hampshire International Speedway where he was Vintage Coordinator for 20 years, bringing antique race cars from across America to the largest gathering of its kind in the country.

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Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Releases Innovative 2015 Short Track Schedule

Thompson, CT – Officials from Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) – the famed 5/8-mile speedway in Connecticut’s quiet corner – released a creative and innovative seven (7) event schedule today, featuring twelve different touring series and sanctioning bodies, and boasting over $500,000 in posted awards. Two weekend events, and a five event Wednesday summer series – with four rain dates – make up the calendar. The schedule is highlighted by four NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, two new Triple Crown Series, and significant enhancements to the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing.

“A lot of effort went into taking a fresh look at the schedule, and providing the best events we could for our race teams and fans. We have some traditional fan favorites that will return, and we have made some valuable additions to complement that core. We are very proud of the finished product and are excited to announce our 2015 schedule of short track events,” Josh Vanada, TSMP General Manager, remarked.

For the 29th season, the track will operate under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series banner, offering Sunoco Modified, Late Model, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stock competitors the benefits of NASCAR membership, awards, as well as state and national championship competition.

Schedule Announcement on Victory Lane Radio

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NorthEastern Midget Association & Hoosier Tire Ink Exclusive Three Year Deal

Brockton, MA — NEMA President, Mike Scrivani, announced today that the Northeastern Midget Association and Hoosier Tire East have inked an exclusive, three year deal.  Under the deal, NEMA will have exclusive rights in the Northeast to the current plated compounds (RR 7, 7.3, RF 5, LR, 5 and LF, 4, 5) and will be the only series in the Northeast running these particular tires.

Hoosier will also continue to be a major contributor to the NEMA point fund, and in addition have offered fixed pricing for the racer over the next three years. 

“NEMA has enjoyed a long history with Hoosier.  This sport is about supporting those who take care of you, and supporting each other.  We feel that we have the best product in Hoosier and look forward to a long relationship with them,” said NEMA President, Mike Scrivani.  “We have an exciting schedule brewing for 2015 and expect great car counts,” said Scrivani. 

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NEMA Closes 62nd Season with Awards Banquet

Marlborough, MA – Champions were honored and achievements recognized during the annual awards banquet for the Northeastern Midget Association Saturday night.

Hundreds of competitors, crew members, fans and their families gathered for the gala event held at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, Ma. NEMA’s announcer Pete Falconi was host for the evening assisted by Speed Sport News television announcer Derek Pernesiglio, who made the announcement that the 2015 Boston Louie Classic for NEMA will once again be nationally televised.

The crowd gave a rousing ovation to the night’s special guest, six time champion and multi-hall of famer Dave Humphrey. Humphrey’s first NEMA championship came in 1967 and his sixth in 1978 driving for Mike Scrivani.
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Teenage Rookie Logan Rayvals Looks to Continue Canadian Supermodified Tradition at Oswego

OSWEGO, NY (October 6, 2014) – Oswego Speedway, the home of the Budweiser International Classic 200 and Supermodified racing, has also been a home away from home for some of Canada’s top short track open-wheel competitors.

Beginning in 2015, young Brockville, Ontario native Logan Rayvals will open his chapter in a long standing Canadian story at Oswego, coming in as a Supermodified rookie with a familiar name.

Champions Doug Didero, Ken Andrews, and Warren Coniam lead a long list of Canadian standouts including Randy Ritskes, Dave McKnight, and Norm Mackareth, each of which has made their mark on Oswego Speedway and Supermodified racing through the Speedway’s storied history.
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Waterford Speedbowl Sunday 10/5 Finale Weekend Results

Waterford, CT (October 5, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl saw 210 racecars jam its pit area for Finale Weekend Sunday, hosting 13 race divisions for a huge day of motorsports. After rain forced the cancellation of Saturday’s scheduled events, track management crammed all racing into a full day of action Sunday. Scoring top honors was Keith Rocco of Berlin, who won the 100-lap Valenti Modified Racing Series feature. In NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races, Corey Barry of Plainfield and Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI each used a victory to cement track championships in the respective SK Light Modified and Mini Stock divisions. Ed Puleo of Branford won an entertaining SK Modified feature, Jason Palmer won the Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race, and Josh Galvin topped a thrilling Street Stock finish.

Northeastern Midget Association wins went to Ryan Bigelow of East Hampton, a first-time victor in the NEMA Midgets, and Dan Cugini of Marshfield, MA, won the companion NEMA Lite feature.

Joining them on the long list of winner’s for the day included Ray Reed of Norwich and Anthony Marvin of Colchester, each titlists in the Speedbowl’s Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday series, checkering the Super X-Car and INEX Bandolero races. Wayne Shifflett of Preston won the X-Car feature and Dana Dimatteo of Farmington took the top spot in the INEX Legend Cars. Preston native Jay Stuart won the Outlaw Stock race.

[Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape

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Waterford Produces First Time Winner, First Time Champion for NEMA

WATERFORD, CT (October 5, 2014) — Some lines were added to the NEMA history book on Sunday when the midgets ran at the Waterford Speedbowl’s Fall Finale. Ryan Bigelow of E. Hampton, CT. became a first time winner in the NEMA Midgets and Ryan Krachun of Neshanic Station, NJ became a first time champion in the Lites.

After all events were rained out on Saturday, NEMA’s weekend schedule was whittled down to features only on Sunday. The midgets shared the day with a dozen other divisions of race cars.

As it has many times in the past, The Speedbowl produced a first time winner in the NEMA Midgets.

[Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape
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Speedbowl Postpones Finale Weekend Saturday Activities; Revised Sunday Schedule Announced

Waterford, CT (October 4, 2014) – A persistent wet Saturday afternoon forced Waterford Speedbowl to postpone its racing schedule for the first of its two day Finale Weekend. A revised Sunday schedule now has thirteen divisions in action at the shoreline oval’s cap to the 2014 racing season, including the Valenti Modified Racing Series 100 and Northeastern Midget Association races along with the track’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday divisions.

The seven feature races to be completed Saturday evening were added to Sunday’s card. Track management cancelled the Pit Party originally scheduled for Sunday morning, making way for a practice session which will precede racing.

Pit gates open at 7:30am on Sunday, with spectator grandstands opening at 9:00am. Practice begins at 10:00am with each division receiving one round of warm up, including a 30-minute block of track time for the Valenti Modified Racing Series.

Continue reading ‘Speedbowl Postpones Finale Weekend Saturday Activities; Revised Sunday Schedule Announced’

Krachun Set for Busy Weekend at Ace, Hickory

NEMA Lites Rookie on Verge of Championship

Ryan Krachun of Neshanic Station, NJ, went NEMA Lites racing this season due to car count and a new challenge. The desire to race against 20-22 cars weekly compared to 8-12 at some USAC events brought the 16-year-old driver to race across New England this season for his father Mike Krachun.

“Our experience with NEMA has been great,” Krachun said. “They welcomed us with open arms. I was lucky enough to meet some great people. … The cars are a lot of fun and the racing is really good too. In NEMA we can go three, even four wide at some tracks where in other sanctions you really can’t do that and that’s what makes the NEMA Midget so much fun.

“And what’s also been great was how the full NEMA Midget drivers have mentored me like Randy Cabral. He’s taken me under his wing and he’s helped me a lot at some of the different tracks and he’s just been a great guy to me.”

Continue reading ‘Krachun Set for Busy Weekend at Ace, Hickory’

Cabral Thrills In NEMA Fast Win at Oswego

OSWEGO, NY — Randy Cabral is a one man thrill show.  He didn’t disappoint the fans at Oswego Speedway on Sunday night with his demonstration of driving skills and speed on the way to his fifth win of the season.

Cabral of Kingston, MA tracked down Mendon, MA driver John Zych and passed him on the final turn to win the 25 lap NEMA midget feature, part of the Race Of Champions Weekend at Oswego.  The midgets had waited over 24 hours to run their event, after being rained out on Saturday.  They ran an abbreviated program without heats and only one round of practice.

Zych himself had reeled in early leader Michael Barnes of Mexico, NY and wrestled the lead away on lap 15. Barnes had been the leader since the drop of the green flag and had opened a sizeable lead on a track he is very familiar with.

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Stoehr & Smith Score NEMA Victories at Oxford

OXFORD, ME — The young talent of the Northeastern Midget Association were fast and in charge Saturday night at Oxford Plains Speedway. The NEMA midgets returned to the Maine oval for the first time in several years as part of the track’s historic “250 Weekend.” Eighteen year old Avery Stoehr of Lakeville, MA won the NEMA main and 22 year old Jake Smith of Stroudsburg, PA took the checkers in the Lites feature. Both drivers had a straightaway lead at one point during their romp to victory. Both received the Marvin Rifkin Trophy for winning the race named for the late owner and operator of M & H Tire, honored for his endless support of NEMA and its competitors throughout the club’s long history.

Stoehr came from his third starting spot to get around early leader Paul Scally within the first five laps. Scally was left to battle Avery’s cousin Bethany Stoehr for the second spot. It wasn’t long before Randy Cabral had sliced his way through the field from his eighth starting position and began to reel in the leaders. Cabral had been the fastest in practice turning the track at 13.4 and was again setting a blistering pace with a feature fast lap of 13.7. The caution waved at lap 11 when Scally slowed on the track with brake problems ending his promising run. This set up a side by side restart between Stoehr and Cabral, with Stoehr getting the jump at the green. Cabral gave chase, but a misfiring engine a few laps later allowed Stoehr to get away and cruise to his second victory of the season. Cabral held on for second, followed by Bethany Stoehr, Jim Chambers and Todd Bertrand rounding out the top five. Paul Scally and Jim Chambers were qualifying heat winners. Avery Stoehr’s feature win keeps the top of the point battle tight between he and Cabral heading into the next event at Seekonk on Wednesday.

Jake Smith notched his first ever NEMA Lite victory by dominating their portion of night’s action. Smith came from his third starting spot to battle double-duty driver Randy Cabral in the early stages. He was able to clear Cabral within a lap and set sail on a torrid pace, leading better than a straightaway over Cabral. Danny Cugini caught and passed Cabral for second in the late stages of the 25 lap main. Cabral held on for third, followed by Kevin Hutchins and Matt Swanson. Smith and Ryan Krachun were heat winners. In victory lane, Smith thanked his parents who make the long tow from Pennsylvania and crew for him at the NEMA Lite events.

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NEMA Rolls into Seekonk for the Boston Louie Seymour Memorial

Eighteen years ago the Northeast Midget Association held its first Boston Louie Seymour Memorial at Seekonk Speedway, and it rapidly became a signature event for midget racing in the northeast. On July 23 the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites will invade Seekonk Speedway again for Open Wheel Wednesday, joining the Modifieds for a night of record breaking lap speeds and three abreast racing.

This year’s Boston Louie will be special as Ralph Sheheen and the crew of MAVTV’s SpeedSport Magazine show will be on site to film the 29 lap event for broadcast on August 14. For co-founders Mike and Bobby Seymour, the broadcast of their father’s race brings the legacy of Boston Louie Seymour full circle. For years Boston Louie towed the family’s Sprint Car to the Midwest to race with USAC’s finest, and in 1976 with Billy Casella the team won the USAC Silver Crown championship.

“From 1971 to 1980,” said Bobby, “ABC’s Wide World of Sports broadcast USAC Sprint Cars from Terre Haute, and our car won the first year, the second year, and the last year.” That exposure, said Seymour, helped propel his father to a national stage.

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P. J. Stergios & Todd Bertrand Claim Twin State Victories

IMG_4332 CLAREMONT, NH — P. J. Stergios of Candia, New Hampshire raced to his third win of the year in NEMA Lites action at the Twin State Speedway. This was the second win in a row for PJ after taking down the win at Monadnock Speedway a week earlier. Richie Morocco of Plainville, Mass., was the initial leader until lap three when Andy Barrows jetted into the lead.

It looked like it might be Barrows first win of the year, but Stergios, who started deep in the pack, patiently worked his way forward, finally catching Barrows at the halfway mark. Lapped traffic kept Barrows and Stergios in tight formation, while behind them Kevin Hutchens of E. Waterboro, Maine, Scott Bigelow of E. Hampton, Connecticut and Anthony Nocella of Woburn, Mass. used every trick they could to gain the advantage on each other.

With three laps to go, Stergios in his #11 finally made the move to overpower Barrows, taking the lead for the first time. A lap 23 yellow tightened the field, but on the restart Stergios raced away with the lead and the win. Barrows turned in a stellar performance to finish second, Scott Bigelow and Anthony Nocella cross the line side-by-side with Bigelow getting the nod for third. Paul Bigelow rounded out the top five.

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