Saturday 9/14 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results
Waterford, CT (September 14, 2013) – A chilly night greeted race fans in attendance for Waterford Speedbowl’s program on Saturday evening but the action on the track stayed red hot. Scoring NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victories were Frank Mucciacciaro in the SK Modifieds®, winning for the first time since 2006 while Keith Rocco of Meriden won his ninth Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature. Danielson’s Ryan Waterman won his second Street Stock feature of the year and Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon won another Mini Stock feature. Wayne Shifflett of Preston took down the checkered flag in the night’s X-Car race.
Mucciacciaro earned a hard-fought victory to end a draught that stretched back several seasons. He benefitted by way of a pole starting position but was fast from the start. He took the lead over Jeff Gallup, then endured four yellow flags for incidents which slowed his pace. After taking control over Gallup, the field settled in behind him over the opening laps. Gallup was second ahead of Joe Gada and Rob Janovic. Todd Ceravolo battled Nicole Morgillo for fifth place when on lap-5, Morgillo got loose out of turn two in the outside lane. Her car made slight contact with Craig Lutz sending both sliding off the back stretch into the grass in turn three to draw the first yellow flag. Both cars were able to resume from the rear of the field.
Mucciacciaro resumed his lead after a solid restart. Gada tried to snatch second position away from Gallup when the next caution flag was out on lap-10. Morgillo’s car slowed in turn three and after she recovered, her car went spinning out of turn four making contact against the front stretch wall. Corey Coates and Shawn Thibeault also were collected as the yellow flag flew. All three were able to resume after a visit to the pit area.
Gallup tried to wrangle the lead away from Mucciacciaro when racing went back to green, but the veteran racer was able to fight off the bid. Ceravolo darted his way into second position to get on Mucciaciaro’s rear bumper and immediately tested the outside of the track to challenge for the race lead. As the top two pulled ahead, Gallup and Gada were locked in a battle for third to lead a string of cars that battled side-by-side behind them through halfway. Janovic, Kyle James, Keith Rocco, Diego Monahan and Tyler Chadwick were all among the traffic jam behind the leaders.
That pack continued to slice and dice as Gada got third from Gallup, who tucked in line to open up the outside lane for James to try and move into contention for a second consecutive win. A three car battle for fourth position heated up on lap-19 as James pressed Gallup’s outside but Janovic saw an opening to the inside of the track exiting turn two. A three-wide scenario saw the cars race down the back chute and through turn three before calamity struck when they ran out of racing room. Contact was made and the chain reaction sent Chadwick careening into the turn four wall. The caution flag returned as the defending champion limped to the pit area, unable to return.
Mucciacciaro was able to race ahead of Ceravolo on the restart but Ceravolo refused to back down. He hounded Mucciacciario, trying both the high and low grooves but was never able to get a wheel alongside the leader to establish a passing lane. A final chance came on lap-24 when the final caution flag waved as John Montesanto spun off turn four into the grass and was unable to refire his machine.
Over the final 11 laps it was much of the same, as Ceravolo pestered Mucciacciaro. Gada and Janovic raced behind in third and fourth positions while Rocco was able to get by Gallup for fifth on lap-26. He was forced to a backup car after his primary #88 car lost an engine in practice. Up front, Mucciacciaro held back every charge Ceravolo mounted to capture the victory. Ceravolo settled for second place while Janovic was able to put a final lap move to the inside of Gada to take third. Gada was fourth and Rocco finished fifth.
Rocco was nearly flawless in the 30-lap Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature on his way to a ninth victory in 18 events for the division on the year. Rocco started the race fifth but quickly worked to third position behind a battle for the lead over the opening four laps between Jason Palmer of Berlin and Ray Christian III, from Groton. Those two cars stayed glued together at the front until Palmer worked his way to the lead on lap-4, bringing Rocco with him into second. Palmer left the smallest of openings to the inside of the track and Rocco jumped at the opportunity, racing inside of Palmer as the two raced to lap-5. Rocco had the lead on lap-6 and led through the only caution flag of the race, coming on lap-23. Rocco got a great restart, getting away from Palmer and coasting to victory. Palmer had to contend with Christian over the final laps in a battle for second position. Christian came away with the spot and Palmer settled for third.
Waterman’s victory in the 25-lap Street Stock race was a popular one with the crowd. The young driver moved through the field early on to position himself third behind leaders Dwayne Dorr of Ledyard and Joe Arena of Bristol. Arena dogged Dorr but couldn’t find a way around, eventually giving up second to Waterman on lap-15. Waterman didn’t stop there, continuing his march to the front by getting inside of Dorr into the lead on lap-17 just ahead of the only caution of the race. Waterman was power ahead of two-time champion Al Stone of Durham on the restart, keeping a two-car length advantage between him and Stone, who finished second. Salem’s Corey Hutchings, the championship point leader, was third. Waterman had the crowd behind him as he picked up an emotional win. Waterman’s mother passed away suddenly earlier this summer.
Cassidy captured his sixth win of the year in the Mini Stock division following the 25-lap feature, putting him closer to moving into the top-ten in all-time wins at the Speedbowl over the track’s 63-year history. Cassidy took the lead on lap-8 during the race, which ran without a caution flag. He was never threatened the rest of the way. Dave Trudeau of Mansfield took home a strong second place finish in a rare appearance, with Garrett Denton of Hope Valley, RI finishing third. Denton trails Cassidy in the season point standings.
Shifflett’s victory seemed improbable when he was caught up in a wild wreck in the 25-lap X-Car race. On lap-3 Shifflett tried to avoid a spinning car when he ended up sliding into the turn four wall. Others piled in and Shifflett’s car actually ended up on top of another when the dust settled. The damage didn’t prevent Shifllett from pitting, making repairs, then rebounding to slice his way through the field and ultimately the win. Shifflett took the lead following a restart when Shifflett was one of three cars battling for the lead three-wide. That didn’t work and Mark Shepard spun from contention, bringing out the final caution flag on lap-19. Shifflett outdueled Chris Thomas of Waterford over the final six laps. Larry Loomis Jr. of Moosup finished on Shifflett’s tail while Thomas grabbed third.
Saturday 9/14 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series results and standings:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Frank Mucciacciaro, Milford; 2. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 3. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 4. Joe Gada, Salem; 5. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 6. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 7. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 8. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 9. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 10. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 11. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 12. Rob Driscoll Jr., Brookfield; 13. John Montesanto, North Branford; 14. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 15. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville; 16. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 17. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 18. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 19. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; DNS – Jeff Rocco, Wallingford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Late Models (30-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 2. Ray Christian III, Groton; 3. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 4. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 5. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 6. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 7. Chris Garside, Waterford; 8. Tony Macrino, Waterford; 9. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 10. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 11. Anthony Ryan Sr., Danbury; 13. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 2. Al Stone III, Durham; 3. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 4. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 5. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 6. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 7. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard; 8. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 9. Joe Arena, Bristol; 10. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 11. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 12. Bill McNeil, Preston; 13. Steve Barrett, Preston; 14. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale; 15. Charles Beal, Ledyard; 16. Tim Morse, Waterbury; 17. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 18. Dan Darnstaedt, Durham; 19. Ronnie Oldham Jr., Old Saybrook; 20. Don Spence Jr., Oakdale; 21. Ritt Shawn, Westerly, RI; 22. Scott Sousa, Uncasville
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. Bill Leonard, Charlestown, RI; 6. Ray Christian III, Groton; 7. Doug Curry, Groton; 8. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 9. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 10. Christopher Ivory, Oakdale; 11. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 12. Jeff Moffat, Smithfield, RI; 13. Kyle Hardwick, Chaplin; 14. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville; 15. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 16. Joseph Fogarasi, Columbia
Saturday Showdown Series X-Cars (25-laps): 1. Wayne Shifflett, Preston; 2. Larry Loomis Jr., Moosup; 3. Chris Thomas, Waterford; 4. Brad Voglesong, Middletown; 5. Pete Zaikarite, Niantic; 6. Chris Clark, North Franklin; 7. Nate Bryington, Webster, MA; 8. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 9. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 10. David D’Alessandro Jr., Coventry; 11. Jeff Dombrowski, Oakdale; 12. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 13. Craig Tavernier, Moosup; 14. Ray Herman, Norwich; 15. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 16. David Gargaro Jr, Cranston, RI; 17. Melissa Clavette, Bozrah; 18. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; 19. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 20. Mark Shepard, Bozrah; 21. Richard Nye, Stonington; 22. Jordan Hadley, Quaker Hill