Saturday 9/21 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results
Waterford, CT (September 21, 2013) – A record setting night took place Saturday at Waterford Speedbowl as it hosted a six division NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race program. Leading the way was a win by Wallingford’s Nichole Morgillo in the SK Modified® feature, becoming the first woman to win a race in the track’s premier division in the 63-year history of the race track. Earlier in the night, Victoria Bergenty of Plainville captured a victory in the SK Light Modified feature to join Morgillo as winning women in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. Keith Rocco of Meriden unofficially captured the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model track championship following his tenth win of the season to become just the second driver to win titles in three different divisions at the track. Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon took one step further in his quest for a fifth championship in one division as he won the night’s Mini Stock feature and Corey Hutchings of Salem won his seventh Street Stock race of the year. In INEX racing, Dylan Izzo of Westport won his fourth Saturday night Legend Cars feature of 2013.
Morgillo’s historic run in the 35-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified® feature was hard fought down to the checkered flag. She held back a charging Ted Christopher over the final 11 laps to take the win, capping a memorable day at the track. Earlier in the night Morgillo’s long-time boyfriend and fellow SK Modified® driver Shawn Thibeault proposed to her on the track’s front stretch before the crowd as part of the evening’s opening festivities.
The race began with Diego Monahan blasting into the lead outside of pole-sitter Thibeault. Morgillo quickly worked her way to second position after starting the race in fourth to move to Monahan’s rear bumper. Tom Abele Jr. got to third around Thibeault when the first caution flag waved as Joe Gada and Tyler Chadwick came together in the back chute before the field could complete lap-3. The contact sent both cars into the retaining wall causing damage that eliminated both from the race. Adam Gada was also collected and pitted for repairs, returning at the rear of the field.
Monahan had Morgillo to his outside for the restart and was able to hold down the top spot, leading lap-3 when trouble behind saw Jeff Gallup, Keith Rocco and Zach Azklar spin off the front chute with minimal contact. All were able to resume after the second caution flag of the race. Abele was able to claim second over Morgillo ahead of the caution flag, restarting outside of Monahan. Monahan got the better of him on the restart however only one more lap could be completed before Corey Coates was spun around in turn three. Morgillo had reclaimed second place over Abele when completed took lap-4.
The field settled in once the race resumed under the green flag. Monahan showed the way over Morgillo but all eyes were on Kyle James as he marched his way into contention using the outside lane. James was up to third by lap-10 and tried valiantly to work his way to the outside of Morgillo. He was unable to do so after several laps trying, holding down third as Monahan continued to lead Morgillo. Rob Janovic Jr. held fourth while Todd Ceravolo made up the top five as the pack raced nose to tail. That changed on lap-19 when Monahan suffered a mechanical failure out of turn four while leading. The field scattered past the ailing car of Monahan into turn one, which came to rest on the track to bring out the caution flag.
Morgillo inherited the lead with James to her outside for the restart. As the field began to pick up the pace out of turn four for the restart James suffered some type of failure, backing up the outside lane. As the inside lane powered past the field completed one lap before caution waved again on lap-20 for James, stranded on the apron of the track not under his own power.
Morgillo got a strong restart over Janovic on the next restart attempt and it was Ted Christopher on the move, challenging Janovic’s inside for second position. He was securely in the spot as the race ran to lap-23 when Todd Ceravolo and Ed Puleo battled for a spot among the top-five, resulting in the two cars making contact to send Puleo around in turn one. Rocco, Craig Lutz and Jim Larsen all piled in to bring out another caution flag, the final of the race, on lap-24.
Christopher tried to stay with Morgillo on the restart but she proved too much, taking the lead away out of turn two. Christopher fought off a brief bid from Janovic for second, settling in behind Morgillo as they raced to lap-25. Christopher was not content there, immediately going to work looking for a way to pull alongside Morgillo. Christopher tried both the high and low racing grooves and a few timely wraps to the rear bumper of Morgillo over the next several laps but Morgillo would not be rattled. She held a steady line and was able to hold back the advances of Christopher through the checkered flag. He finished second while Janovic ended up third. Jeff Gallup was fourth and Ceravolo rebounded to finish fifth.
Bergenty earned her record-setting victory with an impressive performance in the 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American SK Light Modified feature. She used the outside lane to battle past early leader Larry Goss, finally getting ahead on lap-7. Once in front she pulled away, only to be run down late in the race by division point leader Randy Churchill Jr. Churchill was quick enough to catch Bergenty, but didn’t have the car to pull alongside. Bergenty, a second generation racer, held on for the win and was greeted by a hearty applause from the crowd after she exited the car. Churchill finished in second and Glenn Griswold was third. Victoria’s father John campaigned modifieds at several speedways across southern New England for several years.
Rocco visited victory lane for the 10th time of the year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature. His win in the 30-lap race was the third straight in the division, unofficially putting the final touches on the track championship with two events remaining. He took the lead outside of Jason Palmer on lap-9 and had to hold back all challengers following the only caution flag of the race on the final lap. Rocco got away on the green-white-checkered restart and won while a wild scramble for second place went to Vin Esposito. Palmer wound up third and Ray Christian took fourth after the three raced to the checkered flag three-wide. Esposito and Jeff Smith went spinning into turn one after the checkered flag. Rocco leads Palmer in the standings by 127 points following Saturday night’s win. Should Rocco’s title be confirmed by track officials, he would become just the second driver in track history to win championships in three different divisions, joining Allen Coates. Rocco won the Street Stock division title in 2004 to go along with two SK Modified® crowns. Coates won titles in the Late Models, Street Stocks and Truck series at the Speedbowl.
The 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stock feature came down to a battle among former division champions. Lloyd Anderson Jr. used a front row starting position to take the lead from Dwayne Dorr after a side-by-side battle, showing the way until Dorr battled back and took command on lap-10 after getting inside of Anderson. Hutchings looked quick as he worked his way through a traffic jam of several cars running side-by-side behind the leaders. He got to third place when the first caution flag waved on lap-12. He moved up to second after Anderson spun trying to retake the lead from Dorr on lap-14, then found room to Dorr’s inside on lap-17 to make his move for the lead. Hutchings spent two laps racing Dorr before he was finally able to pull ahead, going on to his seventh win of the year. He padded his points lead over Josh Galvin and Al Stone, who were able to finish in second and third to keep their title hopes alive.
Cassidy was in the winner’s circle after the 25-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock feature for the second week in a row and seventh time overall on the season. He was nearly caught up in an accident on lap-4 that saw the field scramble when second place Chris Ivory spun on the backstretch. Cassidy squeaked by the outside of the wrecking cars and trailed leader Bill Leonard when racing resumed. Leonard met misfortunate on lap-9 when his car had a mechanical failure, handing the lead to Cassidy. Once in front Cassidy pulled ahead to the win, adding to his points lead over Garrett Denton in the process. Joe Liskiewicz finished a career-best second while Denton was third.
Izzo’s win in the INEX Legend Cars came after a battle at the front with defending division champion Paul Kusheba. Kusheba was the second leader of the race and controlled the pace as Izzo had to work through the top-five cars. He did so, then put an inside move on Kusheba to take the lead on lap-15. Izzo had to master four restarts over the final ten laps before claiming the win, which was his fourth of the season. Kusheba finished second and Dana Dimatteo bested a spirited battle for third position. Izzo leads the division standings.
Saturday 9/21 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Nichole Morgillo, Wallingford; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 3. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 4. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA; 5. Todd Ceravolo, Gales Ferry; 6. Shawn Thibeault, Plainville; 7. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 8. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 9. Ed Puleo, Branford; 10. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 11. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 12. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 13. Jim Larsen, East Hartland; 14. Tom Abele Jr., Norwich; 15. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 16. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 17. Jeff Pearl, Salem; 18. Zach Aszklar, Wallingford; 19. Corey Coates, Ledyard; 20. Joe Gada, Salem; 21. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 22. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; DNS – Shawn Monahan, Waterford; DNS – John Montesanto, North Branford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Bob Valenti Late Models (30-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Meriden; 2. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 3. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 4. Ray Christian III, Groton; 5. Jeff Smith, Old Lyme; 6. Chris Garside, Waterford; 7. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, RI; 8. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 9. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill; 10. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; DNS – Tony Macrino, Waterford
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Corey Hutchings, Salem; 2. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 3. Al Stone III, Durham; 4. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard; 5. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 6. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 7. Joe Arena, Bristol; 8. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 9. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 10. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 11. Dan Darnstaedt Sr., Durham; 12. Steve Barrett, Preston; 13. Don Spence Jr., Oakdale; 14. Michael Caprio, New Haven; 15. Jack Aquilina, Oakdale; 16. Ronnie Oldham Jr., Old Saybrook; 17. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 18. Scott Sousa, Uncasville; DNS – Chris Meyer, North Franklin; DNS – Travis Jurcik, Chaplin
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Ken Cassidy Jr.; 2. Joe Liskiewicz, Preston; 3. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 4. Ian Brew, Hope Valley, RI; 5. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 6. Doug Curry, Groton; 7. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 8. Sean Caron, East Hampton; 9. Nick Pappacoda, Branford; 10. Mike Anzalone, Jewett City; 11. Mike Parker, Uncasville; 12. Jeffrey Lee, Uncasville; 13. Ray Christian III, Groton; 14. Bill Leonard, Charlestown, RI
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Light Modifieds (25-laps): 1. Victoria Bergenty, Plainville; 2. Randy Churchill Jr., Oakdale; 3. Glenn Griswold, Vernon; 4. Larry Goss, North Windham; 5. Jeff Fialkovich, Shelton; 6. Paul French, Andover; 7. Chris Ignazio, Colchester; 8. Paul Tommasino, Meriden; 9. Corey Barry, Plainfield; 10. Alan Tirrell, North Stonington; 11. Paul Buzel, Trumbull; 12. Alan Benincaso, Westport
Saturday Showdown Series INEX Legend Cars (25-laps): 1. Dylan Izzo, Westport; 2. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 3. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 4. Cory Dimatteo, Farmington; 5. Nick Ladyga, Voluntown; 6. George Whitney, Westbrook; 7. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 8. John O’Sullivan Jr., Salem; 9. Kyle Rogers, Waterbury; 10. Ryan Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 11. Michael Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 12. Timothy DePizzol, North Franklin; 13. Stephen Kopcik, Newtown; 14. Giovanni Giarratana, Newington; 15. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; DNS – Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; DNS – Mark Green, Waterbury