Archive for the 'NEMA' Category Page 2 of 20



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’

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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Getting to Know John Zych

IMG_56881. Name: John Zych
2. Current Division: NEMA
3. Age/date of birth: 31 6/29/1983
4. Hometown: Mendon, MA
5. Occupation: District Sales Manager with The Hershey Company
6. Spouse/ girl-boyfriend: Wife Elizabeth
7. Car number and significance of number: 9 Bob McCreadie and Bill Elliott
8. Chassis: DRINAN
9. Engine builder: Esslinger
10. Owner: John Zych (father)

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Getting to Know NEMA Midget Driver Pete Pernesiglio

IMG_3737 This veteran driver has an impressive resume that spans almost 4 decades, with lots of track miles along the way.

1. Name – Pete Pernesiglio

2. Age/date of birth – 43 – 8/24/70

3. Hometown – Lake Grove, Long Island, New York

4. Occupation – Auto Parts Sales.

5. Spouse – wife/Angela

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NEMA: Cabral Takes Boston Louie

SEEKONK, MA – It was back to the egg for Randy Cabral at Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday night. 15 years ago this week, Cabral’s breakthrough victory was the Boston Louie. The four-time NEMA champion from Plymouth, MA picked up his third Boston Louie Memorial Classic trophy (2000, 2008) over teammate Todd Bertrand and points leader Avery Stoehr.

It was a historic night for the Northeastern Midget Association. Seekonk Speedway, a charter track in 1953, hosted the 18th annual Boston Louie Memorial Classic presented by Acquia. The 29-lap features are dedicated to the patriarch of the Seymour family that campaigned a championship USAC team from Marlborough, MA.

Derek Pernesiglio and the MAVTV crew filmed the event for the SPEED SPORT program (August 14, 8PM ). It will be the first television broadcast in NEMA’s 62 year history.

The high profile event featured a heavy media presence including Victory Lane Forum Radio, Vault Productions for Sid’s View.

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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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Todd Bertrand Pulls down NEMA Midget Win at Twin State  

CLAREMONT, NH — On a night honoring special guests Whelen Engineering, Todd Bertrand, (#39), claimed his first win of the 2014 season in commanding fashion as he took the lead in the early stages of the caution free feature. Following in second was teammate Randy Cabral, (#47), with Bethany Stoehr home third.

Under a perfect sky, the Twin State facility played host for an evening of food, souvenirs and racing action for the employees of Whelen Engineering, located in nearby Charlestown, N.H. At intermission, the NEMA and NEMA Lites drivers passed out 350 NEMA fan appreciation tee shirts, followed by an on track meet and greet where fans were able to collect autographs, handshakes and photos.

As the racing action began, Bethany Stoehr, (#5b), pulled out to an early lead from her outside pole starting spot, followed by Bertrand and Ryan Bigelow, (#13).

Continue reading ‘Todd Bertrand Pulls down NEMA Midget Win at Twin State  ‘

Cabral Chasing History at Twin State

CLAREMONT, NH — (June 27, 2014) — Four-time NEMA Midget champion Randy Cabral of Plymouth, MA will be in pursuit of his third consecutive victory and a series record on Saturday night at Twin State Speedway. Cabral is looking to tie the series record for most consecutive wins at one track (5). Two drivers share the record: Johnny Mann at Thompson (1972-75) and NEAR Hall of Famer Drew Fornoro at Monadnock (1982-83). Fellow inductee Dave Humphrey had four in a row at Stafford (1969-70) and Star 70-71.

“It will be tough cause I’ll be starting out back,” Cabral said. “And three in a row hasn’t been done a lot or five in a row, so I got history against me right now.”

The flat, egg-shaped 1/3 mile opened in 1947. Six-time champion Dave Humphrey won the inaugural race in 1973. Kyle Carpenter won the second event in 2005, while Bobby Santos, III scored in 2008. Cabral has won the four events since.

[Photo Gallery] by Michael Rothwell
[
Photo Gallery] by Crystal Snape

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Stergios, Cabral Claim Iron Mike Scrivani, Sr. Memorial Hardware.

DSC_5051 WINCHESTER, NH — Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH hosted the NEMA Iron Mike Scrivani, Sr. Memorial Saturday night and a star-studded field put on a classic battle, each looking to add their name to this prestigious race. In the NEMA Lites, PJ Stergios of Candia, NH started deep in the pack and wasted little time charging to the front, but it wasn’t an easy march as he had to maneuver his way by the best that the NEMA Lites had to offer.

Two young chargers, Richie Morocco of Plainville, MA and Anthony ‘Tornado’ Payne of Fairlawn, NJ paced the field to green and Morocco charged to the lead. Instantly, two and three wide battles were common throughout the field. By lap three, Morocco, Kevin Hutchens of E. Waterboro, ME and Christian Briggs of Mattapoisett, MA ran three wide for the lead with Hutchens prevailing.

The first of only two caution flags came on lap seven for a spin, and by that time Stergios had just passed teammate Ryan Krachun for second, but had to give it back because the lap wasn’t completed. The restart saw Hutchens and Krachun drag race down the front straight with Hutchins powering back into the lead. By lap 12, Stergios out powered his teammate for second and the three lead cars of Hutchens, Stergios and Krachun ran in a tight draft pulling away from the rest of the field. With the leader board showing halfway, Stergios made his move and shot by Hutchens for the lead.

Continue reading ‘Stergios, Cabral Claim Iron Mike Scrivani, Sr. Memorial Hardware.’

Monadnock’s “Iron Mike” Memorial NEMA Midget Feature to Randy Cabral

Winchester, N.H. – After 30 laps of tight racing on the banks of Monadnock Speedway, Kingston, MA resident Randy Cabral, (#47), claimed the Northeastern Midget Association’s checkers in a race slowed by four cautions on a loose race track. This race makes it two in a row for the #47. Jim Chambers, (#21), was second with 2013 NEMA champ John Zych, (#9), third.

This event was to honor and remember “Iron Mike” Scrivani, the legendary car owner from NEMA’s past who claimed feature wins and championships during his time with the club.

The special evening kicked off with a unique driver introduction as the top ten starters presented select fans with a souvenir gift bag filled with an official NEMA fan tee shirt and other gifts.

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Gateway Winner Returns to Waterford, Santos in Darling’s Ride at Seekonk

Bobby Santos, III of Franklin, MA is excited for the Mr. Rooter 161 at Waterford Speedbowl on June 21. Santos won his first NEMA Midget race, the 2002 Boston Louie Memorial, at Waterford. He would reel off three of the next six races there through 2004. “I’ve had a lot of success there with the Midgets and I’d like to go down there and try to get a win if we can,” Santos said.

The multi-groove 3/8 mile oval opened as a dirt oval in 1951 and was paved after three races. The track has been a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series member since 2000.

“It’s a fun race track,” Santos said. “You can run on the outside. You can run the bottom. You get side-by-side in a race. That’s the big thing. Right now at a lot of race tracks the cars are so close in speed you kind of just gotta slam it in there and make the passes that way, where a place like Waterford you can get side-by-side and race each other hard without too much bumping and banging, just have a good clean race. It was definitely a well-designed race track. Hopefully things work out where it’s around for a long time because a lot of guys enjoy going there.”

Points leader Doug Coby opened the season with three podiums and won the most recent race at Stafford Motor Speedway two weeks ago. Icebreaker winner Justin Bonsignore and Woody Pitkat also have opened the season with top five finishes. Pitkat is only nine points away from the lead. Santos, the Spring Sizzler winner, is fourth with one win, two top fives and two top 10s.

Continue reading ‘Gateway Winner Returns to Waterford, Santos in Darling’s Ride at Seekonk’

Wiscasset Speedway Top Five Unofficial Finish June 7, 2014

WISCASSET SPEEDWAY TOP FIVE UNOFFICIAL FINISH JUNE 7, 2014*

NEMA MIDGET (30 LAPS)
1. #47 Randy Cabral, Kingston, MA
2. #29 Ian Cumens, Lydell, PA
3. #15A Avery Stoehr, Lakeville, MA
4. #5B Bethany Stoehr, Bridgewater, MA
5. #71 Seth Carlson, Brimfield, CT

NEMA LITES (25 LAPS)
1. #32 Scott Bigelow, East Hampton, CT
2. #51 Dan Cugini, Marshfield, MA
3. #11 PJ Stergios, Candia, NH
4. #29 Ryan Krachun, Neschanic Station, NJ
5. #46X Andy Barrows, New Ipswich, NH

Continue reading ‘Wiscasset Speedway Top Five Unofficial Finish June 7, 2014′

Wiscasset Speedway & NEMA Team Up for a June 7 Show

The Northeastern Midget Association will be returning to Maine’s Wiscasset Speedway for the first time in 42 years. NEMA and the NEMA Lites will be part of the three eights-mile “NEMA Night” on Saturday, June 7.

NEMA’s last and only visit to Wiscasset was July 1, 1972 when Butch Walsh, in the Connor #58, defeated Jerry Wall and Walt Gale.

“The Wiscasset fans are excited, and the anticipation is growing” said track owners Vanessa and Richard Jordon. “Fan chatter is on the rise and we can’t wait until the 7th gets here.”
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First Ever Evans Mills NEMA Midget Checkers to Hot Shoe Seth Carlson

EVANS MILLS, NY — “I just love these New York tracks” Brimfield, CT resident Seth Carlson (#71) stated after his second New York state win in as many years. Seth claimed the 2013 Oswego, NY feature last fall.

The record books will forever list Seth as the first Evans Mills NEMA feature winner. He accomplished that feat with a daring three wide move from third to first coming out of turn four. At the checkers he was followed by Jim Santa Maria (#99) and Todd Bertrand (#39).

Long time club member and veteran driver Doug Cleveland (#87) took the lead from the pole at starter Steve Grant’s green flag followed by Santa Maria, Carlson, Bertrand and Ian Cumens (#29).

Continue reading ‘First Ever Evans Mills NEMA Midget Checkers to Hot Shoe Seth Carlson’

Oxford 250 Weekend Exploding with Awesome Racing Events

OXFORD, ME — Even though the 41st Annual Oxford 250 is almost two months away, race fans are already getting anxious for the Northeast’s most prestigious summer racing event scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 18th through July 20th.

“It appears that this year’s edition of the Oxford 250 has really caught the attention of race fans from as far away and North Carolina to Canada, and throughout the Northeastern part of the United States, expressed OPS General Manager, Dick Therrien. Reserved general admission ticket sales are at an all time high right now, and we are processing new ticket orders on a daily basis. We have a solid mix of pre-registered drivers as many Southern teams, and Canadian teams have entered, and are looking to enter this major event. Teams have been calling with tech questions from as far away as Ohio, and a couple of teams from Washington State are showing interest for this year’s race. 2013 winner Travis Benjamin states he is working extremely hard to get his equipment ready for a run at back to back wins, and of course who can count out the 2013 PASS North champ, Cassius Clark as he tries to get his luck turned around by winning this mega event. With over forty teams already pre-registered, Oxford Plains Speedway is the place to be on Oxford 250 weekend.”

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Gig Stephens Passes at 87

Leonard ‘Gig’ Stephens of North Reading, Mass., passed away on May 19 at age 87.

He made 12 USAC Champ Car/Gold Crown Series (IndyCar) starts from 1959 to 1972 at Langhorne, Milwaukee and Trenton. His best career finish was sixth in 1967 at Trenton in the #71 Atamian Ford for Karl Hall (Halibrand/Offy).

He raced in the Midgets from the 1940s to the 1960s. He won at Seekonk Speedway in 1949 in a UCOA sanctioned event and at Norwood Arena in 1951. He had six ARDC Midget wins from 1955 to 1960 at Hatfield, Wall, Trenton, Freeport, Danbury and Williams Grove. He won a NEMA Midget race at Catamount in 1965 in the Bahre Offy.

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NEMA Invades New York’s Evans Mills Motorsports Park May 24th

The Northeastern Midget Association will make it’s first of two treks to upstate New York May 24th to Evan Mills Motorsports Park for the second race on the 2014 schedule. The NEMA Lites will also be on hand.

The NEMA and Evans Mills managements have finalized the details of a feature packed night at the Empire State track. NEMA will join the stocks, super stocks, 4 cylinder trucks and legends for a “full” action night.

Evans Mills General Manager Leslie Keefer has worked with local TV and radio stations to promote the event and will conduct a live radio remote for driver interviews. Keefer has indicated the track will hold an extended intermission to conduct a NEMA Driver Meet & Greet. Fan giveaways are also planned.

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4th Annual Champions for Charities Race Returns to Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — Stafford Motor Speedway’s Champions for Charities race will return for a 4th consecutive season on Friday, June 27th. The event has collectively raised over $150,000 throughout the past 3 seasons for numerous charities. This year’s 15-lap feature will have a total of 11 open-wheeled championship drivers competing to raise money for the charity of their choice in Wild Thing Senior Outlaw Karts.

Each driver will be competing on and off the track in attempts to raise the most money for their charity. The driver who raises the highest amount will start on the pole, and the rest of the lineup will fall in descending order according to the total drivers have raised for their charity. Over the past 3 years, drivers have utilized different fund raising opportunities that have included an annual golf tournament, bowling events, track walk, auction items, and other challenges to increase their bottom line and give them a better starting position for the 15-lap feature event.

Last year’s pole sitter, David Arute, raised an impressive total of $7,205 for the Lustgarten Foundation while last year’s feature winner, Richie Pallai, Jr., started 6th after raising a total of $4,246 for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. These drivers will be returning for the popular race event and to bring awareness to their respective charities.

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High Honors for Dykes

Dave Dykes, whose “Racing Through Time” website has become a Mecca for the growing number of auto racing nostalgia buffs, will be one of six John Wentworth Good Sport honorees at the Connecticut Sportswriters Alliance Gold Key Dinner Sunday, April 27 at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington, CT.

The award is named after long-time New Britain Herald Sports Editor John Wentworth. Each year the Alliance awards six people who have provided a service to the sporting public. “Racing Through Time” is one of New England’s most popular sites.

“A Labor of Love,” according to Dykes, it is the culmination of a lifetime of collecting historic auto racing photographs.

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Waterford Practice

[Photo Gallery] by Nicholas Teto

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Waterford Speedbowl Adds April 11th Open Practice Day

Friday March 28 Practice Halted to weather; Rain Checked to April 11

Waterford, CT — Waterford Speedbowl management announced Friday that an open practice day has been added to its event schedule for Friday, April 11th in advance of Blastoff Weekend. The track was forced to stop its open practice on Friday a little more than three hours into the day when rain showers moved in.

Rain checks from Friday will be honored at the April 11th practice date with the gate stub issued on exit. The gate stub must be presented for pit area admission on April 11th. Pit gates will open that day at 10:00am with rotating practice beginning at noon. The Valenti Modified Racing Series will hold their practice at 5:00pm. Series teams are reminded to arrive early for inspections and registration. For those not holding a rain check, April 11th pit area admission will be $30.00 per person. The grandstands will be closed.

The Speedbowl season will officially begin next Saturday, April 5th when the track hosts its opening Saturday night NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event. Management has added the Super X-Car division to the program making for a seven division program, highlighted by a 35-lap SK Modified® feature. Pit gates will open at 1:00pm, one hour earlier than originally scheduled. Teams are urged to attend to accommodate inspections for approval to race. Qualifying will get underway at 5:30pm and main events will follow at approximately 7:00pm.

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Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park and Victory Lane Radio to Partner in 2014

Thompson, CT — The historic Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park has announced that Spencer, MA based Victory Lane Radio will embark on a first-of-its-kind program which will allow fans to listen to live lap-by-lap coverage, from the drop of the first green flag to the waving of the last checker flag, free of charge.

Never before has a NASCAR sanctioned track provided live, free coverage, which is available world-wide. Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park General Manager, Josh Vanada had this to say, “We are excited about this partnership with Victory Lane Radio. Since we started discussing it, they have gone at it with a great deal of enthusiasm and professionalism. I am confident that this will be a high quality product, and a great opportunity for our fans to listen in on their smart phones while they are here, or from anywhere worldwide if they cannot make it to one of our events. All of us at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park look forward to offering this added coverage with Victory Lane Radio, beginning in a few weeks at the Icebreaker presented by Town Fair Tire.”

To listen to the live broadcast, simply go to www.victorylaneradio.com and click the ‘listen live’ button at the top of the page, or go to www.thompsonspeedway and click the link. All of these broadcasts will also be available, free of charge as a podcast, if you cannot listen live. The podcasts will be located on www.victorylaneradio.com and www.thompsonspeedway.com.

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Earl Grant Passes at 78

Earl W. Grant, 78, of Fall River passed away on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at his residence, surrounded by his family. He was the husband of fifty-six years to Ruth M. (Joynt) Grant.

Earl was born in Fall River, the son of the late Carl and Mary (Taylor) Grant. He worked as a truck driver for the Teamsters out of local #56 in Fall River for over thirty years, retiring in 1988. Mr. Grant was very active during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s with the Northeast Midget Racing Association as a flagman throughout New England and Canada, especially at the Stafford, Thompson, Westboro and Seekonk Speedways. Earl was the recipient of the D. Anthony Vendetti Memorial Award for his dedication to the sport of auto racing. Mr. Grant was also a vendor at flea markets from Maine to Florida.

Survivors besides his wife are a daughter: Earleen M. Phillips and her husband Brian of Fall River, MA; three sons: Stephen C. Grant of Fall River, MA; Scott J. Grant wife Colette of Deltona, FL; Thomas A. Grant and his wife Susan of Swansea, MA; eleven grandchildren: Kelly, Stephanie, Krystie, Katie, Scottie, Jacqueline, Rebecca, Nicholas, Stephanie, Samantha and Dorian; four great grandchildren: Tyler, Landon, Makayla and Bella; three sisters: Virginia Bledsoe and her husband Robert of Portsmouth, RI; Karen Allen and her husband Robert of Naples, FL; Sandra Seigel and her husband Thomas of Roy, WA; a brother: Ronald Grant and his wife Mary of Portsmouth, RI along with many nieces and nephews. He cherished the time he spent with his family and friends especially his friends Dave Humphrey, Pip Tavares, his friends at Town Taxi in Fall River, Nu Way Auto in Westport and at the fleamarkets he worked at.

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Earl Grant

“Hey, Poison Pen, get over here.”

Thus began my long friendship with one of the best flagmen ever to grace a starter’s stand. I forget exactly what I wrote to prompt Earl to give me the best nickname I’ve ever had, but I have no doubt that in the subsequent conversation he set me straight.

When Dick Berggren, Lew Boyd and Bruce Cohen put together the first Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway they called Earl Grant, who put his distinctive style on what would become one of the greatest annual events in New England Modified racing. It was a good choice. Earl came with a wealth of experience at Thompson, Stafford, Seekonk, and throughout New England. If guys like Bugsy, Richie, Eddie and Freddie respected you, that was as good an endorsement as any that you knew what you were doing.

And he did. Back before race directors, tour directors, yellow lights every thirty feet, the flagman ran the show. Earl laid out what he expected at the driver’s meeting and followed through on the flagstand. His signature move was turning his back on the field if he didn’t like the way they came down to take the green. The front row only got away with it once; you didn’t want Earl to turn his back on you a second time.

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NEMA Set for Racer’s Expo

 NEMA will have a general meeting at The Racer’s Expo on Saturday, February 8 from 11AM to 12:30PM. The meeting will include the schedule, safety equipment, and radios (with Waddell Communications providing info).

The Racer’s Expo is this weekend at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlborough, MA. Show hours are Friday, February 7 from 4PM to 9PM and Saturday, February 8 from 10AM to 5PM. Visit the NEMA booth or www.TheRacersExpo.com for more information.

Saturday night at 6:30 is Kart Klash IV at F1 Boston.  The cost is $79 per driver. There will be five weight clases. Visit www.TheRacersExpo.com for event information.

NEMA & NEMA Lites Rulebook  – PDF HERE

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NEMA Well Represented at Atlantic City TQ Indoor Event

Atlantic City, N.J. -Several Drivers and crew from The Northeastern Midget Association headed south for a weekend of close, fast, wheel banging indoor racing action at the beach city’s Boardwalk Hall. Even though the weather on the boardwalk resembled a freezer, the weather inside was like a pressure cooker. An astounding 99 TQ racers were on hand to fill 26 slots for the A-main feature Saturday night.

Five of NEMA’s best, both past and present, took part in the action with three racing in the TQ division; Carl Medeiros Jr, Joey Payne and Randy Cabral. In the Champ Kart’s: cousins Bethany and Avery Stoehr dusted off their machines and took to the track.

An intense qualifying procedure dictated the racers go through a series of time trails, heats, and B-mains to advance to the A-mains.

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Reino Tulonen Passes

NEAR Hall of Famer was 89

FITCHBURG — Reino Kalervo Tulonen, 89, of Fitchburg, died Jan. 26th at HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital, after an illness.

He leaves his wife of 69 years, Anna Mae (Deery) Tulonen; one son, Rodney Arthur Tulonen and his wife, Patricia Magrosky, of Springfield, VT; two daughters, Joanne Tulonen of Seattle, WA. and Elaine T. Pierce and her partner, Joel Slutsky, of Alstead, NH; six grandchildren, Gregory Tulonen, Sarah Pritchett, Melissa O’Dell, Michael O’Dell, Lucie Pierce and Jeremie Pierce and four great-grandchildren, Simone Parker, Connor and Riley Tulonen and Alina O’Dell; and many nieces and nephews, including Nancy, Ronald and David Riikonen, who became part of the family. He also leaves a close family friend, Claude Caswell, who was considered another son. He was predeceased by a daughter, Betty Tulonen, a sister, Elvi Berkio and two brothers, Urho and Toivo Riikonen.

Mr. Tulonen was born in Lunenburg, on August 20, 1924, a son of the late Emil Kaarle and Alina (Bjorbacka) Riikonen Tulonen. He was raised in Lunenburg and attended schools there. When he was young he worked for the Crocker-Burbank Company, and then moved to Custom Auto Body where he worked until starting his own business as a front end alignment specialist until he retired. But his real love was racing cars.

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