NEMA Lites Begin Fifth Year at Blastoff

NEMA Lites Begin Fifth Year at Blastoff
story courtesy nemaracing.com


Brockton, MA Anthony Nocella and Ian Cumens, teammates in Seymour Enterprises cars, top the contenders list for the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association Lites feature at Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off March 31-April 1.

The Lites feature is part of the Saturday night (March 31) agenda. The 25-lap NEMA feature is on the Sunday (April 1) schedule. Both divisions qualify on Saturday.

A field in the mid twenties is expected as “the Lites” begin their fifth campaign. The Speedbowl was one of the first tracks to host the economically-motivated division back in 2008. The NEMA Lites have become one of the fastest growing developmental divisions in open-cockpit racing.

Nocella, who will be driving the Seymour’s NEMA car later in the season, won two Lites events at the Speedbowl last season including the Blast Off. Cumens is actually looking for two in a row having won last year’s finale at Seekonk in the Seymour #9.

Andy Barrows, Ryan Bigelow and Paul Luggelle were also Waterford winners a year ago. Paul Bigelow, Christian Briggs, Jake Sturgis, Brandon Igo, Kenny Johnson, Carl Modeiros and Jake Smith are expected as well. Joey Mucciacciaro, a Speedbowl regular in the Legends Cars division, will be driving Paul Scally’s No. 4.

Blast Off will also mark the debut of Avery Stoehr who will join cousin Bethany in Lites competition. Avery is the son of Russ Stoehr while Bethany is the daughter of Greg Stoehr. Other newcomers include youngsters Dan Cugini, who takes over in the car Russ Wood Jr. drove last year, and Tyler Rivard, the latter in Jennifer Scravani’s #21.

Bobby Seymour, the “unofficial” Lites leader, points out the plan is to not only get younger drivers into NEMA but to keep them there. It is working. Seth Carlson, Anthony Marvuglio, Todd Bertrand and Jim Santa Maria, all Lites graduates, will be driving “full midgets” in 2012. They’ll be part of a field that includes defending champion Randy Cabral, former champions Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne and veteran competitors Adam Cantor, Barry Kittredge and Greg Stoehr.

The division began with Oldsmobile Quad-4 and Ford Focus engines. Both are still being used. Honda came aboard and now EcoTec (Chevy) joins the party,

“We’ve been adjusting all the time,” says Seymour, “trying to level the playing field.” He admits to “changing the rules as we go along making sure no car is too quick.” Everybody, he adds, “wants to leave home feeling he has a shot at winning. That makes a series attractive.”

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