Archive for the 'NEMA Lites' Category



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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Story Book Ending as Stoehr, Cugini Take Rifchin Honors at LEE USA Speedway

LEE, NH — Saturday’s Northeastern Midget Association event could not ended with a more ideal finish for the young Avery Stoehr. A storybook ending topped the evening for the young, hard charger whose family has had a long affiliation with the late Marvin Rifchin and the M&H tire, who the race was in Memorial of. Rifchin, a long time NEMA supporter and owner of M&H tire, was well represented by his family, who joined the Stoehr family in victory lane.

Doug Cleveland and Paul Scally led the field to the green. Stoehr, who started third, quick blasted into the lead.

Further back, Randy Cabral – who started eighth, was on the prowl. Cabral moved into the second after a lap seven restart. When the green flag flew, Stoehr continued his run and dominated the feature event. When the checkered flag flew, Stoehr took down the victory by a half straightaway over 2014 series champion, Cabral. Seth Carlson had one of his best runs of the year to finish third, followed by a battled that raged the whole race between Jim Chambers, John Zych and Todd Bertrand for fourth – finishing in that order, Bethany Stoehr, Alan Chambers, Danny Cugini, and Paul Scally.

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Zych, S. Bigelow Conquer King of Wings Night at Oswego Speedway

The Northeastern Midget Association made its highly anticipated return to Oswego Speedway this past Saturday evening, for the King of Wings VII race along with the ISMA Super Modifieds.  A packed house was in order by the time the features rolled off, and the action was as hot as the midsummer day’s weather.   When the checkered flags flew, it was John Zych Jr. taking down the NEMA portion of the show and Scott Bigelow taking down the Lites portion of the show.

In the NEMA event, Randy Cabral set quick time in the time trial portion of the event with a lap of 16.8 seconds.  By virtue of an invert draw, Cabral would start sixth in the feature, and Todd Bertrand, an impressive heat winner would start on the front row along with young gun Avery Stoehr.  At the drop of the green, Bertrand rocketed out into the lead.  He would open up a large lead in the early stages of the event, but before the caution flew on lap twelve, Stoehr had cut Bertrand’s lead to eight car lengths.

When the green flag flew on the next restart, Stoehr rocketed into the lead, with Bertrand beginning to fade, with what was later discovered to be a flat right rear tire.  Joey Payne Jr. in the Bertrand Motorsports #74 quickly moved into the runner up spot.  On the next restart, John Zych Jr. who was slicing his way through the field, had moved into the fourth spot, behind Cabral, Payne and Stoehr.  Within two laps, Zych made a power move into the lead on the outside, and Stoehr’s machine would come to a stop exiting turn four with a broken throttle arm.

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NEMA Returns to Oswego; Points & Speed on the Minds of Competitors

Bridgewater, MA — The NEMA Midgets and the NEMA Lites will be making one of their longest tows of the season to one of most challenging tracks on the circuit. NEMA returns to the Oswego Speedway in central New York State to be part of the track’s “King of Wings VII” night this Saturday evening.

The midgets share the card with the ISMA Super Modifieds, who will run a fifty lap feature, with the Lites going a 20 lap distance and NEMA a 25 lap card.

The five-eighths-mile oval provided for the fastest laps in the history of NEMA when the club visited last September.  John Zych passed Oswego Regular Michael Barnes with fourteen laps on the board last year, setting a blistering pace, running laps nearly a half second faster than the previous track record in the 16.4 range.  Randy Cabral was “lurking” behind Zych the whole race and pulled off a heroic pass on the last lap in lapped traffic to take down a surprising win.

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Bertrand, Stergios Claim Prestigious Boston Louie Memorial Wins

Thursday night’s NEMA Boston Louie Memorial Classic did not disappoint any of the 4000+ fans in attendance at Seekonk, MA Speedway and turned out to be the perfect event for NEMA’s second nationally televised races in its 61 year history. Both the NEMA Midgets and the NEMA Lites provided all the action and drama a spectator or viewer could want and brought an impressive field of nearly fifty cars from up and down the East Coast to Seekonk Speedway.

The season’s largest field of midgets turned out for the series’ most prestigious race of the season. Something the late “Boston” Louie Seymour – the “man who traveled a million miles” would have been proud of.

In the NEMA event, pole sitter Jim SantaMaria jumped out into an early lead. He was quickly pursued by reigning NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, Doug Coby – in the Bertrand Motorports #74. Coby, a heat winner, looked to catch SantaMaria in lapped traffic on the tenth circuit, but then began fading, with what ended up being a mechanical issue that ended his night later in the race.

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Cugini Nabs First NEMA Win, R. Bigelow Take Down Big Wiscasset Lites Victory

Bridgewater, MA — The Wiscasset Speedway put together a blockbuster evening for NEMA this past Saturday night, with packed stands, and fans eagerly awaiting the return of the Winged Warriors. At the end of the evening, a very happy Danny Cugini took down his first ever NEMA victory over five time champion Randy Cabral, and Ryan Bigelow took down the Lites victory.

In the NEMA feature, veteran Paul Scally took off from the pole position. Scally looked extremely strong, stretching his lead out to ten car lengths over the first half of the race. Behind him, Danny Cugini had worked his way up to second, but had not challenged Scally at that point. Randy Cabral had worked his way by John Zych for third, by the halfway point.

With eight laps remaining, Scally, who was over heating at the time, had his worst nightmare come true – a caution for a spin by Matt O’Brien. On the restart, Cugini powered by Scally to take the lead, and Cabral quickly got by for second.

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Cabral Back to Victory Lane in Lites Speedbowl Action

Waterford, CT – Randy Cabral ended a long, multi year dry streak at the New London Waterford Speedbowl this past Saturday night, taking down the win in the NEMA Lite class in their “solo act” performance during the Bowl’s Saturdaynight program.  Cabral is NEMA’s all time winner at the Speedbowl, with 8 NEMA wins at 2 Lites wins, for a total of 10.

Cabral won his heat race, running laps down in the high 13’s, only seven tenths off of the typical NEMA top five.  He started the race from the third position, and was quickly pursued by the family “dynamic duo” of Meg Cugini and brother, Danny.  One caution halted the event, but when it went back to green, it was all Cabral to the finish.  Danny Cugini ended up besting sister Meg, but both ended up on the podium – a first for the family.  Current points leader Scott Bigelow finished fourth, followed by Jim Chambers.

The winner of the last event, Anthony Payne, finished sixth, followed by Dennis Potter, Paul Bigelow, long time Speedbowl supporter and multi time champion, Tom Fox making a rare appearance, and Dennis O’Brien rounded out the top ten.

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Bigelow Leads NEMA Lites to Speedbowl

Waterford, CT – There are no secrets left for the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) at the New London Waterford Speedbowl. A tight points race amongst the Lites between Scott Bigelow, Danny Cugini and Anthony Payne will highlight the night as NEMA’s Lite class performs a solo show back at the ‘Bowl Saturday night, the 25-lap feature part of the traditional Saturday evening program.

Bigelow, who won at Thompson earlier this year, knows that there are not many secrets left amongst the competitors at the Speedbowl.  Between open practices, and many years of history between the Speedbowl and NEMA, it tends to be a place where most of the competition run their best.

“It is a pedal to the metal place,” says long time NEMA member Joey Payne, father of last week’s winner – Anthony Payne, who has run many laps in the high 12 seconds bracket at the Speedbowl. “You don’t get to relax at the Speedbowl.”

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Zych, A. Payne Score Evans Mills Victories

After exciting races at the Chemung Speedrome on Friday evening, claimed by modified regulars Doug Coby (NEMA) and Jimmy Zacharias (Lites) – NEMA concluded its weekend at the 3/8 mile Evans Mills Speedway. Known for its distinctive flat surface and round corners, the Speedway proved challenging for many teams in terms of set up. One of the teams early in the day, who appeared to be struggling was the John Zych Racing team, who didn’t transfer through their heat race, winding up at the tail of the field.

Zych, starting scratch on the field, would have his work cut out for him. “We were terrible in the heat race. We threw a bunch of changes at the car for the feature, and were amazed at how well they worked,” the Mendon, MA driver said after the feature. When the green flag dropped, Bethany Stoehr jumped out into the lead in the Breault 44 machine. She would dominate the majority of the feature event, while Zych was methodically working his way to the front using the high line. A caution was thrown with seven laps to go, when Zych made contact with NEMA regular Paul Scally. The caution tightened up the field, and Zych made his march to the front.

With two laps to go, it appeared that Stoehr would hold on for the victory, but coming to the white flag, Zych darted to the outside of Stoehr and made a pass that stuck entering turn one. He went on to take down the victory and was followed by Stoehr, Jim Chambers, Todd Bertrand and Randy Cabral.

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Modified Aces Coby & Zacharias Invade NEMA, Score Chemung Midget Wins

The Northeastern Midget Association is a club that boasts a loyal group of drivers and owners, but on this Friday night at Chemung Speedrome (NY) it was a couple racers that have been recognized for their skills in another open wheel machine that took the victories.

2012 and 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Doug Coby has dabbled in the NEMA car on occasion when he has weekends off, and appeared to be the car to beat from the beginning after dominating his heat race. The Milford, Connecticut driver would have to start fifth in his feature and contend with a relative newcomer to the full powered Midgets for the top spot early on.

Massachusetts driver Danny Cugini fought off Coby for several laps, but when the caution displayed on lap 11 for an incident Cugini’s car would also slow and never come back to life. With Cugini on the sidelines, it was all Coby up front holding off teammate Todd Bertrand in the race that was shortened to 20 laps due to time constraints.

“(Danny) was gaining on me in certain spots and I was gaining on him, and I think in the long run I would have run him down,” Coby told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I think I was better than him in three and four, which were the critical corners here. When he broke and the track is covered in speedy dry, you don’t know who is going to be fast after that. Our car kind of settled in and it was pretty consistent the rest of the way.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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




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