Archive for the 'NEMA' Category

We Crown Champions at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, 14 Division Champions to be exact

Inside look at who is in contention for these divisions!
The most anticipated event of the year is upon us. The award-winning 55th Annual Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing presented by King Cadillac GMC will be here in only hours! 18 Divisions will be taking on the 5/8 mile high banked oval competing for the greatest treasure of them all. 14 of those divisions will also be crowning their 2017 champions after. These drivers have been neck and neck all season keeping that championship dream close. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Thompson Speedway NASCAR Whelen All American Series, American Canadian Tour, Valenti Modified Racing Series, Northeastern Midget Association, Northeastern Midget Association Lites, New England Pro 4 Modifieds, Mr Rooter Pro Truck Series, Northeast Mini Stock Tour, The Street Stock Showdown Series, and International Supermodified Association, will all be crowning a division champion this year. Let’s break down each division on who is in contention for the title!
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has a total of 5 drivers who are in points contention for the championship: Doug Coby (563 Points), Justin Bonsignore (553 Points), Timmy Solomito (551 Points), Ryan Preece (544 Points), and Eric Goodale (538 Points).
NASCAR Whelen All American Series has a total of 12 drivers who are in points contention for the championship in their respected divisions. For the Sunoco Modified Division: Keith Rocco (314 Points), Todd Owen (302 Points) and Ryan Preece (294 Points). For the Late Model Divison: Ray Parent (286 Points), William Wall (257 Points) and Woody Pitkat (231 Points). For the Limited Sportsman Division: Shawn Monahan (300 Points), Scott Sundeen (271 Points) and Brent Gleason (252 Points). Finally for the Mini Stock Division: Wayne Burroughs Jr. (307 Points), Eric Bourgeois (282 Points) and Jacob Perry (249 Points).

Continue reading ‘We Crown Champions at the Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing, 14 Division Champions to be exact’

Champion Christopher Passes Away

Connecticut Driver Involved In Plane Crash

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR champion Ted Christopher passed away Saturday after being involved in a plane crash in Connecticut. He was 59.

Christopher is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-Amercian Series national title and a touring series championship. The Plainville, Connecticut, driver won the short-track national title in 2001 and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crown in 2008. He was the winningest driver at a pair of Connecticut’s historic tracks: Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

He was one of two people on board a plane that went down in Guilford, Connecticut, Saturday afternoon. The crash claimed the life of both.
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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.

Continue reading ‘Cabral Visits Victory Lane for 50th Time’

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’

Pay-Per-View Video Stream Announced for Seekonk’s Open Wheel Wednesday

Concord, N.C. — For the first time in the event’s history, the 14th annual Open Wheel Wednesday at the “Cement Palace” of Seekonk Speedway (MA) will air live on Speed51 TV, the video arm of Speed51.com, on Wednesday, June 28th.
The Open Wheel Wednesday event is one of the biggest events of the year at the Seekonk Speedway bullring. It features a $10,00-to-win Tour-type Modified feature for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series and the NEMA Boston Louie Memorial Midget race, as well as a feature for the NEMA Lites division.
“We feel that our Open Wheel Wednesday Modified race being paired up with the Tri-Track Open Modified Series and the NEMA Boston Louie race makes it one of the premier events in short track racing throughout the country,” said Ed St. Germain, the marketing, and advertising director at Seekonk Speedway. “We’re very excited to pair up with Speed51.com to be able to bring that to everybody.”

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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 SeekonkSpeedway.com or contact the Speedway office at 508.336.9959 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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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.
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Avery Stoehr, Dan Cugini Take NEMA Wins on 50 Legs/PASS Night at Star Speedway

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

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

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

Star Rained Out

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

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

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

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

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

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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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’

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Announces 2017 Schedule

Thompson, CT (December 5, 2016) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park today announced dates for the 2017 racing schedule, celebrating its 77th season on the high-banked oval.  The 2017 seven event NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) schedule is highlighted by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and the return of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

“This year’s schedule balances our commitment to tradition and innovation,” states Josh Vanada, General Manager of TSMP.  “The 2017 schedule preserves fan favorites while introducing unique and creative events and promotions.”

The speedway will continue to showcase Sunoco Modifieds, which will compete in eight points-counting races supported by the Late Models, Limited Sportsman, and Mini Stocks, who will all have seven points-counting races. The Lite Modified Division will race in five of the seven events, but will not race under the NWAAS sanction.

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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’

Burroughs Caps Off First Thompson Season with Mini Stock Title

(THOMPSON, CT) – Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park held night two of its Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing , presented by Xtra Mart, on Saturday, October 15th, crowning several more champions as some of the greatest racers in New England and beyond turned out for an afternoon full of non-stop on track action.

One of the highlight events of the night was the conclusion of the Thompson Mini Stock season with Wayne Burroughs, Jr. making a push towards his first Thompson track title in the series, outracing reining champion Dave Trudeau all season long despite the defending champs early success. Trudeau won the first three races of 2016 at the Big-T, but ran into a string of bad luck that all started on the same night that Burroughs claimed his first Thompson win after Trudeau was wrecked out of the lead in a battle with Brad Caddick. Caddick sat third in the points coming into the final race of the season.

From that moment a series of on-track incidents and equipment failures continued to plague Trudeau while Burroughs wracked up two more wins and secured a 36-point lead on Trudeau coming into the World Series. Burroughs would hold on to the points lead in the final 15-lap feature with a third place finish to claim his first Thompson title in his first season racing the Mini Stocks at the speedway.

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

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

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

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

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

Fans Invited to Take Part in the Festivities at the 54 Annual Sunoco World Series

THOMPSON, CT — Although eighteen thrilling divisions of racing are sure to keep fans busy at the upcoming Sunoco World Series of Speedway Racing presented by Xtra Mart, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park will also be offering a variety of activities to entertain fans throughout the three-day event, October 14-16.

On Friday afternoon, fans are invited to come cheer on their favorite team as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour haulers line-up to parade into the track. The parade will leave from the Kmart on Route 44 in Putnam, CT at 3:30PM on Friday, travel north on Route 21 to Route 193, and will come through the center of Thompson to arrive at the track around 3:45PM.

A lull in activity on Sunday morning will also be the perfect time for fans of all ages to jump on the TSMP Hay Ride for a tour around the paddock area. Hay Rides will be offered to fans from 10:00 AM until 11:15 AM, leaving every 20 minutes from the main ticket booth. The Hay Rides will provide a tour around the paddock area and road course and will be hosted by a few special guest drivers.

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

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

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

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

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Zych Tops Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park NEMA Return

John Zych Jr. came from deep in the pack to take down his second win in a row last Wednesday evening when the Northeastern Midget Association joined the Whelen Modified Tour at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  A grim forecast didn’t stop Thompson’s staff from forging forward, in what turned out to be a blockbuster evening at the Speedway.

When the green flag flew, Danny Cugini blasted out into the lead from his front row starting spot.  Cugini’s Toyota Racing #51 looked very strong in the early stages, pulling away to a half straightaway lead at times.  When the caution flew, Cugini lined up beside Todd Bertrand in the Bertrand Motorsports #39.  Cugini jumped back out into the lead, until another caution flew.  On the next restart, Bertrand got the jump, and pulled along with him John Zych Jr. who had come from the tenth spot.  Bertrand continued to lead for four laps, when his machine started to falter, and Zych shot into the lead.  Bertrand retired from the event a few laps later with a faulty spark plug wire.

During the next caution period, Randy Cabral pitted from an earlier incident in the race, and a nerf bar that was badly wearing into his right rear tire.  On the green flag, Zych rocketed into the lead and was never seriously challenged.  Seth Carlson put on a strong run late in the race to finish second, and Jim Chambers rounded out the podium.  Avery Stoehr finished fourth, followed by Danny Cugini, Randy Cabral, Bobby Santos III, Paul Scally, Todd Bertrand and Pete Pernesiglio Jr.

Continue reading ‘Zych Tops Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park NEMA Return’

“Dead Heat” Points Battle & Bobby Santos III Highlight NEMA’s Return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

An epic battle has ensued at the top of the Northeastern Midget Association points standings over the first half of the season. John Zych Jr. and Avery Stoehr are currently locked in a “dead heat” at 1058 points, while five time champion, Randy Cabral trails the duo by just five points. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) is known by NEMA as the “separate the men from the boys” facility, or as NEMA’s lone female driver, Bethany Stoehr would prefer – “separate the bold, from the rest.”

Cabral, the all time win leader at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, with eleven (11) wins, brings his Bertrand Motorsports #47 to the race after a runner up finish at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl last weekend. Zych, hot of a win at the Speedbowl, has been impressive at TSMP over recent years as well, clicking off the fastest lap ever in a midget last year at the World Series of Racing, an impressive 17.60.

Stoehr, who has been consistent all season, brings his Motor Cars International 15a to Thompson. Todd Bertrand, who has struggled this year, was one lap from winning his first Thompson feature last year at the World Series when a broken brake caliper slowed him to a second place finish, while Cabral made a bold move to pass him on the final lap. Paul Scally, Seth Carlson, Danny Cugini and Jim Chambers will all be vying for a first Thompson win as well.
Continue reading ‘“Dead Heat” Points Battle & Bobby Santos III Highlight NEMA’s Return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’

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’

Whelen Modified Tour Rolls into Thompson Wednesday Night

THOMPSON, CT — The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rolls into Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Wednesday night for the 27th Annual Bug ‘King of Beers’ 150. The event is traditionally the most action-packed event of the Thompson Speedway calendar and it marks the tours’ third stop to the 5/8-mile oval this season.

This year has seen a string of first time winners in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series weekly competition at Thompson and the Whelen Modified Tour has seen some of that as well. Timmy Solomito’s Icebreaker win was his first and led to a string of 3 wins this season. Max Zachem used strategy and was on his way to victory number one during the 125-lap race in June, only to get passed on the final circuit to come home second.

“When it happens it will happen,” said Zachem who has successfully runs an independent team on a shoestring budget. “Thompson is one of my favorite tracks; I grew up racing at the Little T. We just go for broke and aim for a Top-10 every week as the only way we can keep up with (Doug Coby) and (Solomito). Maybe the golden horseshoe will leave the (Coby) car soon.”
Continue reading ‘Whelen Modified Tour Rolls into Thompson Wednesday Night’

McKennedy Leads Wings and Wheels Winners at New London-Waterford

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

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

It was the third career Valenti Modified Racing Series victory at the Speedbowl for McKennedy, of Chelmsford, Mass. who also had wins in 2010 and 2012 at the track.
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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
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NEMA President Stoehr Looks Forward to 2016

Bridgewater, MA — Second term NEMA President Russ Stoehr is looking forward to 2016, and for good reason.  NEMA came off a very strong finish to the season, with exceptional car counts at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.  One of New England’s mainstay touring series, the Northeastern Midget Association boasts of a fifteen race docket for 2016. 

“We’ve got 52 cars registered between the Lites and NEMA, more than we have had in many years,” said President, Stoehr.  “I am super excited to have been able to forge 4 strong relationships with tracks that clearly are on the upswing – Thompson will host the midgets at all 4 tour events this year, Waterford will have midget races on 5 dates and we will be back at Star 3 times.  Wiscassett also will host the midgets twice the fans there are among the most receptive we have had the pleasure of racing before all season.  All the facilities have different challenges for drivers and crews,” he went on to say.

NEMA started the year with its Lites competitors showcasing their hard work over the winter at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park’s ICEBREAKER.  Danny Cugini took down an impressive victory over PJ Stergios and last year’s champion Anthony Payne. 

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Carl Kibbe Passes at 69

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

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

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

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

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Seekonk Speedway Announces Dates for 2016 schedule

Seekonk Speedway is excited to announce its 2016 schedule. The schedule will feature 21 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events beginning with Opening Day on May 1st. NWAAS events will follow on every Saturday through September 24 except for July 2nd for the mid-season break. Seekonk NWAAS divisions Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and Sport Trucks will all be battling their way to get into Everett’s Auto Parts Victory lane in 2016.

Opening Weekend will feature the final test and tune session on Saturday, April 30 as well as the 6th annual Classic Car Show & Go featuring many of the best classic show cars around and drags on the track. The season officially opens on Sunday, May 1st with Pro Stocks, Late Models, Street Stocks and Sport Trucks all beginning their drive for the championship.

Saturday Nights at Seekonk will also feature appearances from the following regional Touring series: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (Sept 10), American-Canadian Tour (July 16), Valenti Modified Racing Series (June 4) New England Antique Racers ( Aug 13), Senior Tour Auto Racers ( July 9). Gates will open at 4 pm with the racing program starting at 6 pm. Ticket prices will remain unchanged at $14 for adults for regular NWAAS Saturdays with kids under 12 free.

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