Saturday 5/10 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
Waterford, CT (May 10, 2014) – Waterford Speedbowl returned to fast paced motorsports action Saturday night with a six-division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing program. Kyle James of Ashaway, RI snatched his first victory of the year in SK Modified® ranks. Keith Rocco of Berlin won his fifth straight Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature on the season and Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon continued his mastery of the Mini Stock division. Andover’s Paul French won his first SK Light Modified race on the year and Paul Bigelow of Kensington came away with the victory in the NEMA Lite feature. Josh Galvin of Franklin won the night’s Street Stock race, his second in a row.
An emotional opening ceremony began the night’s program following a brief rain delay earlier in the evening. The track honored the memory of multiple time track champion Danny Field with much of his family and closest supporters in attendance. Field, a long time Mini Stock competitor at the Speedbowl, passed away Wednesday after battling cancer. He won Speedbowl Mini Stock titles in 2005, 2006 and 2009 and posted 28 career victories at the track and was active at the track through 2013. Field’s younger brother Eddie paced the Mini Stocks with an honorary pole-position behind the wheel of his brother’s #18 machine, pulling off the track before the start of the race.
Cassidy went on to claim an emotional win in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature that followed. He took the lead from Dave Trudeau of Mansfield on lap-6. Cassidy, who has 54 career races at the track in the division, has won several big races but ranked Saturday’s win among his most memorable. After the race, Cassidy reflected on his achievement and contributed some of his successes, in part, to Field. “(The win) means a lot. Danny was a tough competitor. I think (racing against him) made me a better driver.” After dueling with Field for years, Cassidy won a national championship in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2010 and has been a dominant driver in the division. Trudeau finished Saturday’s race in second and Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI was third.
James exhibited patience over a long green flag run in the night’s 35-lap SK Modified® feature. He used the run to pick off competitors and sit third behind an escalating battle for the lead between Joe Gada and Ed Puleo. Gada, from Salem, had led nearly from the start of the race as Puleo, from Branford, and James moved in.
After two separate crashes trying to get the race underway, the top three cars broke away from the pack as the race ran without a caution flag through lap-25. James dropped back while Puleo turned up the heat on Gada. On lap-25 Puleo seized a chance to dive under Gada in turn three. The two cars came together battling off turn four bringing the caution flag out as Gada spun sideways in the middle of the track ahead of the pack, collecting Puleo and sending both to the tail of the field.
James had two heavy hitters behind him for the restart. Plainville’s Ted Christopher lined up to his outside and Keith Rocco behind him in third. Christopher got a good restart to stay with James for a lap, but James pulled ahead into the lead on lap-26. From there, James slowly distanced himself as the race ran uninterrupted through the checkered flag. Rocco was able to grab second at the finish and Rob Janovic Jr. of Waterford got by Christopher in the closing laps to take third.
Rocco’s fifth victory of the year in the 30-lap Valenti Late Model division was his toughest yet. He was battling Groton’s Bruce Thomas Jr. for the race lead in the middle of the race when the two made contact down the backstretch on lap-12, sending Rocco spinning to bring out the caution flag. Thomas was cited for aggressive driving and penalized. Both drivers resumed from the rear and Rocco marched to the front over the final non-stop 18 lap sprint to the finish. He chased down leader Jeff Smith of Old Lyme and spent two laps to Smith’s outside before pulling ahead racing to the white flag. Smith finished second and Thomas rebounded to wind up third.
Galvin was back in the winner’s circle for the second consecutive week in Street Stock action. He lived up to his nickname ‘The Comeback Kid’ after getting turned and banged around in an opening lap scuffle that involved several cars. Galvin restarted the race from the rear but was back in contention over the race’s final ten circuits. Uncasville’s Phil Evans led from the opening lap but Galvin moved in to battle with Durham’s Al Stone for second position. Those two each took a shot at Evans, who eventually spun off the back chute with seven laps remaining and relinquished the lead. Galvin pulled away from Stone on the restart to power to the victory. Stone finished runner-up and Old Saybrook’s Norm Root Jr. rebounded from a spin on lap-8 to end up third.
French won his first race of the year in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature after wiring the field. A former division champion, French held back the charges of Larry Goss of North Windham over the duration. Two cautions slowed French’s pace. Goss was second and defending division champion Randy Churchill of Oakdale finished third.
Bigelow was the benefactor of a late race caution in the 25-lap NEMA Lite race. The second yellow flag of the race was displayed on lap-22 erasing a big advantage Ryan Krachun had over the field. Krachun, from New Jersey, had led since lap-6 and pulled away as Bigelow patiently worked his way to second position. When the race restarted, Bigelow got past Krachun to lead lap-23 and closed out the win. Krachun settled for second and R.J. Tufano of West Haven was third. Bigelow became the third member of his family to race to a Lites win at Waterford, joining younger brothers Ryan and Scott.
Saturday 5/10 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 2. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 3. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 4. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 5. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 6. Paul Kusheba, Monroe; 7. Tim Jordan, Plainfield; 8. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville; 9. Joe Gada, Salem; 10. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 11. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 12. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 13. Ed Puleo, Branford; 14. Tom Pinson, Colchester; 15. Nichole Morgillo, Southington; 16. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 17. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 18. Jeff Goodale, Riverhead, NY; DNS – Shawn Monahan, Waterford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 2. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 3. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 4. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 5. Joe Gada, Salem; 6. Nicholas Sowa, Middletown; 7. Chris Garside, Waterford; 8. Glenn Boss, Danielson; 9. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 10. Anthony Ryan, Danbury; 11. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 2. Al Stone III, Durham; 3. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 4. Joe Arena, Bristol; 5. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 6. Travis Jurcik, Chaplin; 7. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 8. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 9. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 10. Bill McNeil, Preston; 11. William Hahnel, Uncasville; 12. Jake Bercham, West Greenwich, RI; 13. Greg Moran Jr., Preston; DQ – Nate Appell, Westbrook; DQ – Monte Gibbs, Higganum; DNS – Steve Barrett, Preston
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 2. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 3. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 4. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 5. Doug Curry, Groton; 6. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 7. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 8. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 9. John Bowes, Willington; 10. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 11. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 12. David Arute, Tolland; 13. Pete Zaikarite, Niantic; 14. Ray Christian III, Groton
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Paul French, North Windham; 2. Larry Goss, North Windham; 3. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 4. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 5. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 6. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 7. Crystal Serydynski, Johnston, RI; 8. Alan Benincaso, Westport; 9. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 10. Chris Ignazio, Colchester; DNS – Paul Buzel, Trumbull
NEMA Lites (25-laps): 1. Paul Bigelow, East Hampton; 2. Ryan Krachun, Neschanics Station, NJ; 3. R.J. Tufano, West Haven; 4. D.J. Moniz, New Bedford, MA; 5. Jamie Falconi, Southborough, MA; 6. Matt Swanson, Acton, MA; 7. Andy Barrows, New Ipswich, NH; 8. Jake Smith, Stroudsburg, PA; 9. Alex Bright, 10. Brandon Igo, Enfield; 11. Juris Kupris, Williamsburg, NY; 12. Anthony Payne, Fairlawn, NJ; 13. Bethany Stoehr, Bridgewater, MA; 14. Megan Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 15. Kevin Park, Foxboro, MA; 16. Logan Rayvals, Brockville, ONT; 17. R.J. Ritskes; 18. Scott Bigelow, East Hampton; 19. Dan Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 20. Christian Briggs, Mattapoisett, MA