Russ Stoehr Joins NEMA Win List at ‘Bowl Finale
Waterford, CT – Coming from the eighth starting spot, Russ Stoehr (Dumo’s Desire 45) had the lead seven laps in and went on to win the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature Sunday at Waterford Speedbowl’s Weekend Finale. It was the first win of the season for Stoehr who became the 11th winner in 12 NEMA races this season.
Only a mid-race caution interrupted Stoehr’s run, the resulting restart providing an opportunity for point leader Randy Cabral (Bertrand 47) who finished a half second behind in second. It was Cabral’s fourth second place finish this year at Waterford.
John Zych (Zych 9) got by three cars in the final two laps to claim third. Mike Horn (Horn 93x) and Bethany Stoehr (Jarret 4x) were fourth and fifth.
Stoehr passed his niece Bethany coming out of turn two on lap five to take second. A lap later he moved past pole sitter James SantaMaria (SantaMaria 99), the only other leader, at the end of the backstretch.
His 49th NEMA career win ended a season of frustration for Stoehr and the Dumo’s Desire team. “We’ve struggled,” he said. “We’ve been a little bit off.” He added “paying attention to the program” was the key Sunday.
“I wanted to pass Horn and Zych (the sixth and seventh starters) early and we did that,” said Stoehr who is now tied with Cabral on NEMA’s all time Speedbowl win list, each with eight. He was clearly in command when rocks on the front chute, thrown up by a car heading into the infield, brought out the yellow.
On the restart, Horn followed Stoehr past SantaMaria into second while Cabral, who started 12th, moved from sixth to third down the backstretch. With eight laps left, Cabral took second from Horn out of four and the chase was on.
“Looking at my [blistered] right rear and looking at his I couldn’t have passed Russ with 100 more laps,” Cabral said in victory lane. He did, however, make every effort, “moving the car around looking to make it faster.” That, he suggested, amounted to “driver error.”
Still, Cabral, who had the fastest lap (his 13.014 slightly better than Stoehr’s 13.016) takes a 78-point bulge on Stoehr into this weekend’s World Series at Thompson.
Race Results: 1. Russ Stoehr, 2. Randy Cabral, 3. John Zych Jr. 4. Mike Horn, 5. Bethany Stoehr, 6. Greg Stoehr, 7. Adam Cantor, 8. Todd Bertrand, 9. Anthony Nocella, 10. Jim Miller, 11. Jim Santamaria, 12. Lee Bundy, 13. Phil DiMario; 14. Paul Scally, 15. Pete Pernesiglio, 16. Brian Cleveland, 17. Anthony Mavuglio, 18. Seth Carlson, 19. Joey Payne.