NEMA – ‘Bowl Love Affair Continues at Wings & Wheels
courtesy Northeastern Midget Association
Brockton, MA – The Northeastern Midget Association loves Waterford Speedbowl. NEMA and the NEMA Lites make their third visit of the season to the ‘Bowl Saturday night, the rescheduled Shane Hammond Memorial Race part the fifth annual Wings and Wheels.
Both NEMA and the Lites will run 27 lap features as part of the Connecticut shoreline oval’s showcase of speed. The ISMA Supermodifieds, Valenti Modifieds and Speedowl SK-Modifieds are also on the agenda.
Speed is one of the key ingredients in the NEMA-Speedbowl love affair. Anthony Marvuglio posted a 12.91 (104.57 mph) seconds lap back in May. Although limited to one session, practice speeds were “impressive” three weeks ago at the rained-out Hammond Memorial.
The reason, many believe, is what veteran competitor Bobby Seymour calls “geography.” Distance, width and surface make up a perfect many-grooves facility. There are not a lot of secrets remaining at Waterford. “Often, the best you run all year is at the Speedbowl,” says Russ Stoehr.
There is just enough straightaway at Waterford for the Midgets to show their stuff and, according to club president Mike Scrivani Jr. “Wings and Wheels is the perfect stage for that.”
There is so much history at a track that hosted NEMA’s second race back on May 31, 1953. Heading into Saturday night, there have been 47 NEMA winners at Waterford, the last one being John Zych who prevailed at this year’s season opener.
The list includes Randy Cabral and Russ Stoehr, currently one-two on the NEMA/Waterford win list. Also on the list are Todd Bertrand, Adam Cantor, Jeff Horn, Barry Kittredge, Chris Leonard, Jim Miller, Joey Payne, Pete Pernesiglio and Greg Stoehr, all likely competitors Saturday night.
There is, of course, plenty of opportunity for more history to be made. There are four brother combinations on the NEMA win list – the Bertrands, Fornoros, Seymours and Stoehrs. There are no father-son combinations. Jeff Horn’s son Mike, a winner at Stafford earlier this year, hopes to start such a list Saturday night.
Zych is one of many who scored their first NEMA win at Waterford. Hoping to join that group is Marvuglio who dominated in May before mechanical woes struck.
Recent history makes Zych (a first and third this year at Waterford), Cabral (two seconds), Russ Stoehr (a third and fourth) and Greg Stoehr (a winner in May) the favorites. Zych, forced to miss NEMA’s last outing because of business commitments, is anxious to get back in the swing of things. While Cabral is the all-time Speedbowl winner with eight, he hopes to end a victory draught that now sits at 12 races.
Rookie Seth Carlson, off his first-ever NEMA win at Seekonk, brings optimism to Waterford where he hopes to become the first back-to-back winner in 16 races. Carlson reported he was “quick” in practice before the rains came a few weeks back.
The Lites also posted impressive practice speeds before the rain and expect to at least equal the 13.871 (97.325 mph) lap posted by Carl Carl Medeiros Jr. on May 12. Medeiros hopes to make a first-ever win at Waterford a fourth straight triumph.
Ryan Bigelow and Brandon Igo, winners at Waterford earlier this year, aim to stop that. Other Lites contenders include Christian Briggs, Randy Cabral, Ian Cumens, Dylan Duhaime, Bethany Stoehr and Avery Stoehr.