Saturday 4/12 Budweiser Blastoff Results
Waterford, CT (April 12, 2014) – Stock car racing returned to the Connecticut shoreline Saturday as Waterford Speedbowl hosted hundreds of racers for its annual Budweiser Blastoff event, part of a two-day blockbuster of racing. In total 13 race divisions saw action on the three-eighths mile oval, with seven feature races run Saturday evening. Rick Williams of Haddam scored a first-ever victory in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modified race. Westport’s Dylan Izzo continued his domination of the INEX Legend Cars division winning for the second straight week while Zach Thomas of New London and Jon Porter of Canterbury won for consecutive weeks in the X-Car and Super X-Cars, respectively. In touring series races, P.J. Stergios of Candia, NH won the NEMA Lite feature and Chris Turbush of Riverhead, NY won the New England Truck Series race. Oakdale’s Derek Debbis checkered the INEX Bandolero feature for the youth racing class.
Williams ran strong in the 25-lap SK Light Modified race to capture his first career win, which ran from green-to-checkered flags without incident. Williams has competed in the division for five seasons at Stafford Motor Speedway. Larry Goss got the jump over Williams at the start of the race, leading the opening eight laps. Williams raced close behind while Corey Barry and Randy Churchill were also in the mix.
The top-four cars raced tightly when Williams pulled out of line and went to the outside of Goss. He seized control and began to pull ahead as Barry worked outside Goss to move into second position on lap-10. Churchill was not far behind and followed suit to third place a lap later as the field was well spaced around the speedway. Further back, former division champion Paul French was moving up from his scratch starting position.
Williams held a four-car lead at halfway as French cracked the top-five by lap-15, however he had a lot of ground to make up to the leaders. Churchill was able to get past Barry for second spot with a nifty crossover move exiting turn two on lap-17 and set his sights on Williams. Churchill was tracking down the leader but the lengthy green flag run began taking its toll on the handles of his car. His forward progress stopped about six lengths back of Williams, who cruised to close out the victory. Churchill, the defending division champion, finished in second with Barry in third. Goss was fourth and French wound up fifth.
The 20-lap INEX Legend Cars feature belonged to Izzo. He moved out to an early lead, then battled Brendon Bock following an early race restart. Bock made a surprise inside bid after restarting in third following a lap-5 caution flag. He and Izzo made contact in turn two, allowing Bock to shoot into the race lead. Izzo tucked in behind and gave a shot to Bock’s back bumper in turn three and as Bock gathered his car up, Izzo streaked past his inside back to the race lead on lap-6. That was Izzo’s only challenge as he bested Bock on a final restart and pulled away to victory over the remainder of the race. Bock came home second and Mike Christopher Jr. put forth a solid effort to finish third.
Turbush battled one of the Speedbowl’s all-time winningest drivers in Allen Coates to nail down victory in the 25-lap New England Truck Series feature. The two traded the lead before Turbush took it for good on lap-14. He held on through multiple restarts in a race slowed six times by the yellow flag. Duane Noll was able to take second away from Coates in the closing laps.
The lone caution flag in the 25-lap NEMA Lite race proved to be the break Stergois needed. He had moved to second position but was well behind leader Ryan Krachun, who had controlled the race from the early going. A spin by Richie Morrocco reset the field and enabled Stergios to move ahead of Krachun. The final hurdle for Stergios was lapped traffic in the closing stages of the race, which he mastered. Krachun wound up second and Carl Medeiros Jr. was third.
Thomas made his pass for the lead on lap-10 of the 20-lap X-Car feature, which ran caution free.. He got past Jeff Dombrowski and pulled ahead for the win, his second straight to begin the season in the division. Richard Nye stormed into second position on the final lap to end up finishing runner-up and Dombrowski was third.
Porter trailed a stunning battle for the lead between Dave Yardley and Dan Butler during another caution free race on the night for the Super X-Car class. Porter had to work his way through the top-five as Yardley and Butler battled side-by-side for several laps early in the 20-lapper. Butler had pulled ahead when Porter moved into the picture, finding room inside Yardley to be scored in second position on lap-10. Once clear of Yardley, Porter went to the outside lane to challenge Butler. He was there with four laps remaining and pulled ahead with just two to go in chasing his second consecutive victory on the year. Butler was second and Ray Reed was able to take third from Yardley at the finish.
Debbis wired the field in a non-stop 15-lap Bandolero feature. He had defending champion Anthony Marvin on his rear bumper over the duration, however Debbis was too much and Marvin was never able to pull out of line to make a move for the win. Jonathon Puleo finished third.
Qualifying for Sunday’s six big events took place Saturday afternoon. Leading the way were the Rocco brothers, as Jeff and Keith each picked up heat race wins in the Valenti Modified Racing series. Ted Christopher won the Series’ third heat race while Justin Bonsignore won the 15-lap consolation race. A star studded 24-car field is assembled for Sunday’s 100-lap feature event.
Jeff Rocco followed up his strong Valenti Modified run by earning pole position honors for Sunday’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® division’s 64-lap race which commemorates the track’s number of years in operation. He won his qualifying race in that division as well, joining Christopher and Todd Ceravolo as winners in the three qualifiers. In addition to the two events, the NEMA Midgets will compete in a 25-lapper on Sunday as well as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action for the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (50-laps), Street Stocks (30-laps) and Mini Stocks (30-laps).
A pre-racing Pit Party begins Sunday’s festivities where fans can meet and greet the cars and drivers on the track at 10:00am. Racing begins just after noon.
Saturday Budweiser Blastoff 4/12 Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Rick Williams, Haddam; 2. Randy Churchill, Oakdale; 3. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 4. Larry Goss, North Windham; 5. Paul French, Andover; 6. Crystal Serydynski, Johnston, RI; 7. Chris Ignazio, Colchester; 8. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 9. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 10. Alan Tirrell, North Stonington; 11. Joe Fraulino Jr., East Hampton; 12. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton
New England Truck Series (25-laps): 1. Chris Turbush, Riverhead, NY; 2. Duane Noll, Monroe; 3. Alan Coates, Ledyard; 4. Roger Turbush, Riverhead, NY; 5. Chris Correll, Uncasville; 6. Andy Lindeman, Poestenkill, NY; 7. Mike Parker, Uncasville; 8. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 9. Jason Lafayette, Somers; 10. Glen Noll, Naugatuck; 11. Bert Ouellette, Ellington; 12. DJ McGouran, Westerly, RI; 13. Tyler Chapman, Mystic; 14. Tom Smith, Waterford; 15. Cassie Coates, Ledyard; 16. Frank Dumicich Jr., East Quoque, NY; 17. Kendall Metcalf, North Stonington; 18. Joe Gada, Salem; 19. Brandin Chase, Concord, NH
NEMA Lites (25-laps): 1. P.J. Stergios, Candia, NH; 2. Ryan Krachun, hometown unavailable; 3. Carl Medeiros Jr., 4. Andy Barrows, New Ipswich, NH 5. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA; 6. Megan Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 7. Logan Rayvals; 8. Christian Briggs; 9. Dan Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 10. DJ Moniz, New Bedford, MA; 11. Anthony Payne, Fairlawn, NJ; 12. Jamie Falconi; 13. Juris Kupris; 14. John Bertrand; 15. Paul Bigelow, Kensington; 16. Richie Morrocco, Plainville, MA; 17. RJ Tufano; 18. Dennis O’Brien, Deerfield, NH; 19. Brandon Igo; 20. Scott Bigelow, East Hampton
INEX Legends Cars (20-laps): 1. Dylan Izzo, Westport; 2. Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, NY; 3. Mike Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 4. George Whitney, Westbrook; 5. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 6. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 7. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 8. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 9. Colin Haley, Ashford; 10. Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 11. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; 12. Mike Flynn, Hampden, MA; 13. John O’Sullivan, Salem; 14. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 15. David Lespinasse, Milford; 16. Pete DePizzol, North Franklin; 17. Tim DePizzol, North Franklin; 18. Kevin Nowak, Medford, NY; DNS – Josh Zentek, East Hartford; DNS – Michael Comforti, Uxbridge, MA
INEX Bandoleros (15-laps): 1. Derek Debbis, Oakdale; 2. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 3. Jonathon Puleo, Branford
Saturday Showdown Series Super X-Cars (20 laps): 1. Jon Porter, Canterbury; 2. Dan Butler, Waterford; 3. Ray Reed, Norwich; 4. Dave Yardley, Berlin; 5. Jim Boyle, East Windsor; 6. Matt Carlson, Griswold; 7. Shawn Gaedeke, Southington; 8. Marc Shafer, Groton; 9. Ed Flanagan, Warwick, RI; 10. Bill Reiman, Southington; 11. Erin Yerrington, West Warwick, RI; 12. James Maher, Beacon Fall
Saturday Showdown Series X-Cars (20-laps): 1. Zach Thomas, New London; 2. Richard Nye, Stonington; 3. Jeff Dombrowski, Oakdale; 4. Onie Pierce, Norwich; 5. Matthew Westover, Gales Ferry; 6. Ray Herman, Gales Ferry; 7. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 8. Mike Shaw, Oakdale; 9. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 10. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 11. Jordan Hadley, Quaker Hill; 12. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; DNS – Dave Gargaro Jr., Cranston, RI; DNS – Garrett Kuhn, Waterford