Saturday 8/31 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series & INEX Results
Waterford, CT (August 31, 2013) – A quick paced and action packed racing program was the order of the night Saturday at Waterford Speedbowl as the track played host to its ‘Thunder on the Sound’ event, highlighted by the Budweiser Modified Nationals SK 150 feature event. Keith Rocco of Meriden was the night’s big winner, picking up the $5,000 payday along with the checkered flag in the Budweiser Modified Nationals SK 150. In total, seven drivers notched victories on the evening. Joining Rocco in the winner’s circle included a first-time winner as Jay, ME competitor David Farrington Jr. picked up an impressive victory in the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model division. Corey Hutchings of Salem won another Street Stock race while Ray Christian III of Groton and Glenn Griswold of Vernon each picked up their second wins of the season in the Mini Stock and SK Light Modified divisions, respectively. In INEX racing Paul Kusheba of Monroe won an exciting Legend Cars event and Andrew Morin of Old Saybrook won his first ever race in the Bandoleros.
Rocco began the Budweiser Modified Nationals from deep in the 25-car starting field. He rose from seventeenth position at the start to take the race lead on lap-83 from Tom Abele Jr. The race began with Jeff Gallup taking the lead on the opening lap. The first caution flag of the race was not far behind however, as Adam Gada was sent to the pit area for leaking fluid on the racing surface with just one lap scored complete. When the race resumed the field quickly settled in for a lengthy run of green flag racing.
Gallup continued to lead as Ted Christopher moved to second. He challenged Gallup by lap-8, eventually racing by his outside into the lead on lap-9. Behind Gallup, Rob Janovic raced in third with Todd Ceravolo fourth. As the top cars ran single file feeling out their rides for the long race, Woody Pitkat and Tyler Chadwick were both on the move after starting the race outside the top ten. Ahead, Christopher was already placing cars at the tail of the field down a lap as the race worked towards lap-35. Moments later, John Montesanto spun off the front stretch into the grass to bring out the yellow flag on lap-38. During the caution period Ceravolo ducked to the pit area, giving up his position among the top-four.
Christopher quickly got away from Gallup on the restart. Abele lined up fourth when Ceravolo departed, getting past Janovic on lap-39 before quickly challenging Gallup. He was second on lap-40 and Janovic got by Gallup into third on lap-42. Pitkat restarted the race from fifth, climbing past Gallup on lap-43 to get to fourth. Once in line those four cars ran single file through another stretch of clean racing, remaining unchanged through the next yellow flag on lap-68. While the top four ran in order, it was Rocco was began to assert himself during the run. He ended up fifth to Pitkat for the ensuing restart at lap-71.
Rocco made his moves count from that point forward. He got past the outside of Pitkat for fourth on lap-74 and third-place runner Janovic on lap-75 just ahead of the next caution flag. The restart saw Christopher pull away from Abele and just as Rocco was challenging for second, the cars of Diego Monahan, Tyler Jackson and Frank Mucciacciaro found trouble in turn three to return the race to caution on lap-79. The complexion of the race changed when Christopher relinquished the lead to head to the pits for adjustments to his car for the final half of the event.
With Christopher restarting from seventeenth, Abele assumed control with Rocco to his outside. Rocco used a well-timed restart to race even with Abele to turn one, pulling ahead as the pair exited turn two. Rocco had the lead on lap-83 bringing Pitkat with him around the outside of the track into second. Chadwick was on the attack, clawing into third around Abele on lap-85 with his sights set on the top two. Chadwick tried to work over Pitkat for several laps to no avail, riding third until a caution on lap-99.
As Rocco got away from Pitkat on the restart, Janovic survived a wild ride from fifth place off the apron into turn one, gathering his car up to keep the race green. Chadwick found an opening under Pitkat to snatch second and pick up pursuit of Rocco. The two pulled ahead with Chadwick stalking Rocco over a stretch that brought the race to lap-120. Several times Chadwick tried to get a wheel outside of Rocco but could never quite muster the momentum to pull alongside. After Chadwick finally settled in line behind, Rocco turned it up a notch with the laps closing down, pulling away from Chadwick as the race moved to its final stretch.
With Rocco streaking towards closing out an impressive win with a near straightaway advantage, Pitkat was back on Chadwick trying to pick up second in the closing laps. When it appeared the race may continue to the checkered flag, Matt Galko saw a solid effort run sour as he went up in smoke on lap-147, stopping at the top of the track in turn two to bring out a caution. That triggered two more late incidents that forced Rocco into restarting smoothly to seal the win.
Rocco nailed each one, the first versus Chadwick and the final against Pitkat, who was able to reclaim second on lap-148 from a fading Chadwick. Pitkat had nothing left for Rocco and finished in second. Chadwick took third and Abele ran up front all night to take a hard earned fourth. Janovic recovered to take home fifth. With the win, Rocco becomes the third driver to take back-to-back wins in the prestigious event. One year ago Rocco was the winner of record after starting the race but relinquishing the seat to Ceravolo after a rain delay coupled with a penalty to Rocco sidelined him for the conclusion of the race two weeks later. No driver owns three career wins in the history of the Budweiser Modified Nationals.
Farrington won his first-ever Speedbowl race by dominating the 30-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall feature. The race, which ran without a caution flag, saw Farrington work his way to the lead on lap-11. He passed Rich Staskowski, who started in the pole position, with an inside maneuver. Once in the lead Farrington never faltered, holding a steady lead over eventual runner-up Keith Rocco the rest of the way. It was just the seventh career start at the Speedbowl for Farrington, the young driver from Maine. Staskowski ended up third.
Hutchings was back in Victory Lane for the sixth time on the season, padding his lead in the championship standings after a 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stock feature that ran from green to checkered flags without incident. Hutchings methodically picked his way through the field to move behind leader Ryan Waterman. Waterman took command on lap-12 but had Hutchings in his rearview mirror by lap-15. Hutchings spent one lap on his rear bumper before finding room to Waterman’s inside. Once out front, Hutchings cruised to the win. Waterman settled for second and early leader Phil Evans finished third.
Griswold rolled to victory in the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature, never challenged on his way to a second win of the year. Griswold returned after a hard wreck sidelined him back in July. Point leader Randy Churchill of Oakdale was second and Larry Goss of North Windham was third.
In yet another caution-free race, the fourth of the night, Christian took a convincing win in the 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock feature. He took the lead at the drop of the green flag after starting the race in second. Christian ran away from a torrid battle for second place that lasted nearly the whole race among several cars. In the end, Garrett Denton claimed the spot to finish runner-up to Christian. Point leader Ken Cassidy finished a close third after running the final ten laps door-to-door with Denton without any contact between the two.
Sharing honors in INEX racing were Kusheba, who held off a late charge from Dylan Izzo in the 25-lap Legend Cars race. The two ran side-by-side to the checkered flag. Kusheba was able to pull ahead out of the final corner. In the 20-lap Bandolero feature, Morin rebounded from a crash during practice that sent his crew scrambling to repair his car. He led the entire way to record his victory.
Unofficial Saturday 8/31 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series & INEX results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® Budweiser Modified Nationals (150-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 2. Woody Pitkat, Stafford; 3. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 4. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 5. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 6. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 7. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 8. Joe Gada, Salem; 9. Ron Yuhas Jr., Groton; 10. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 11. Ed Puleo, Branford; 12. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 13. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 14. John Montesanto, North Branford; 15. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 16. Mark Panaroni, Ivoryton; 17. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 18. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 19. Matt Galko, Meriden; 20. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 21. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 22. Tyler Jackson, Milford; 23. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 24. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville; 25. Corey Coates, Ledyard; DNS – Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Late Models (30-laps): 1. David Farrington Jr., Jay, ME; 2. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 3. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 4. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 5. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 6. Ray Christian III, Groton; 7. Chris Garside, Waterford; 8. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 9. Anthony Ryan Sr., Danbury; 10. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 11. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 12. Tony Macrino, Waterford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 2. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 3. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 4. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 5. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 6. Ronnie Oldham Jr., Old Saybrook; 7. Joe Arena, Bristol; 8. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 9. Dan Darnstaedt Sr., Durham; 10. Al Stone III, Durham; 11. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 12. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 13. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard; 14. Don Spence Jr., Oakdale
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ray Christian III, Groton; 2. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 3. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 4. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 5. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 6. Bill Leonard, Charlestown, RI; 7. Doug Curry, Groton; 8. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 9. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 10. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 11. Eric Bourgeois, East Haddam; 12. Glenn Colvin, Clinton; 13. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 14. Joe Fogarasi, Columbia; 15. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 2. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 3. Larry Goss, North Windham; 4. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 5. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton; 6. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 7. Chris Ignazio, Colchester; 8. Alan Benincaso, Westport; 9. William Benoit, Milford; 10. Paul Buzel, Trumbull
Saturday Showdown Series INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Paul Kusheba, Monroe; 2. Dylan Izzo, Westport; 3. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 4. Giovanni Giarratana, Newington; 5. Michael Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 6. George Whitney, Westbrook; 7. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 8. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 9. Stephen Kopcik, Newtown; 10. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; 11. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 12. John O’Sullivan Jr., Salem; 13. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 14. T.J. Thompson, Lisbon; 15. Joshua Zentek, East Haven; 16. Colin Haley, Ashford; 17. Calvin Therrien, Vernon; 18. Sean Fitzmaurice, Woodstock; 19. Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY
Saturday Showdown Series INEX Bandoleros (20-laps): 1. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook; 2. Derek Debbis, Oakdale; 3. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 4. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; 5. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck