Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday 7/17 Results
Waterford, CT (July 17, 2013) – Wild ‘n Wacky racing action returned to the shoreline on Wednesday evening as Waterford Speedbowl was back on track with a five event program. Scoring victories in the entertaining night of motorsports included Angelo Belsito of Auburn, MA in INEX Legend Cars action and Jacob Perry of Pawcatuck in the Bandoleros. Frank Alessio of Colchester picked up his first Super X-Car race win of the year while Zach Thomas of New London won his second X-Car feature this season. The night’s Wacky Race honors were shared by both Peter Pollard of Old Lyme and Michael Trask of Plainfield.
Belsito took the lead on the 18th lap of a special extra-distance 30-lap INEX Legend Cars feature. Belsito overcame an incident near the front of the field just before halfway that collected him along with several other front runners.
The race began with the field going three-wide to turn one at the drop of the green flag. Carl Blandina jumped below pole sitter John O’Sullivan Jr. and Michael Christopher Jr. as they raced to turn one. Blandina took the lead in the preferred groove to show the way on lap-1 as Christopher settled into second. Trouble exiting turn two saw Joey Ternullo spin around while battling among the top-ten, bringing out the first caution flag. Giovanni Giarratana, the hottest driver on the circuit across southern New England, was sent to the rear of the field for the restart for his involvement.
Blandina got a good jump on the restart to race back ahead, bringing T.J. Thompson with him into second around Christopher. Thompson rode Blandina’s bumper until lap-5 when he looked to the outside. As Thompson tried to find racing room, Christopher was back underneath him retaking second position on lap-6. Christopher didn’t stop there, finding room under Blandina to lead the field to lap-8. A host of competitors raced tightly behind the leaders with several heavy hitters climbing the ranks into contention. Nicholas Sowa, Brendon Bock, Dana Dimatteo, Giarratana and Belsito were among those on the move.
As the pack continued to dice for position for the second half of the race, trouble broke out on lap-12. Thompson got loose headed into turn one, spinning. He collected several of the cars directly behind that were intensely racing side-by-side. When the dust settled Blandina also spun while Giarratana, Stephen Kopcik and Colin Haley came together on the track in turn one. Dimatteo and Belsito were also involved with all drivers able to continue on after the caution flag.
The running order for the restart was shaken up behind Christopher. He had Michael Blaskey to his outside, with Sowa and Bock avoiding the mayhem to restart in the second row. Christopher broke away from Blaskey, with Sowa following his tire tracks into second. Sowa continued his momentum forward by racing inside of Christopher for the lead coming to lap-13. Kyle Ellwood, making an infrequent appearance at the track, followed Sowa to challenge the lead pack. A great battle for the top spots behind Sowa raged as the race moved past halfway.
Belsito was on a mission after his lap-12 incident. He fired his way back into the picture using the outside lane, riding the top of the track around Ellwood and Christopher. Belsito’s amazing run didn’t stop there, switching to the bottom of the track to shoot past the inside of Sowa and lead lap-18. Belsito pulled away until he was slowed by a caution on lap-23 as Bock spun in turn four after contact from Sowa as they battled for third. Both rejoined from the rear of the field.
Belsito blasted ahead of Ellwood on the final restart to power to his second win of the year. He won going away, pulling ahead by several car lengths at the checkered flag. Ellwood put forth a great run to wind up second with minimal experience at the quick three-eighths mile oval. Christopher took home a podium finish with an impressive third place effort in his first-year in the division, holding off Kopcik in the closing laps. Dennis Pantani finished behind Kopcik in fifth.
The division is in the spotlight on Saturday when it competes in a 50-lap showdown, with the race winner earning a spot in the U.S. Legend Cars Asphalt Nationals event in September at Lake Erie (PA) Speedway.
Alessio tightened the gap in the standings with his first Wednesday night victory of the year in the Super X-Car class. Alessio, the 2011 division champion, trailed R.J. Cunningham in the early going of the 25-lap race. He pressured Cunningham through the first caution flag which flew on lap-2. When racing resumed it was Alessio who edged ahead outside of Cunningham into the lead on lap-3. Alessio spent three laps trying to shake Cunningham from his inside, finally doing so by lap-5 just ahead of the next caution flag when Shawn Gaedeke spun into turn one. Behind that spin excitement between John Yagmin and Eric Finkbein Sr. saw the two come together taking the caution flag with Finkbein being towed from the speedway.
Alessio got a clean restart to pull ahead of Cunningham and Marc Shafer when racing resumed. He pulled out to a comfortable lead as the rest of the race went caution free to the checkered flag. Bill Reiman came through the top-five during the run, taking second position from Cunningham on lap-9. He couldn’t run down Alessio however, as he motored to the victory.
Alessio praised his crew in the winner’s circle, admitting some doubt if he would reach Victory Lane this season. He did so with ease, besting Reiman the rest of the way. Point leader Ken Downing took third on lap-15 and rounded out the podium finishers. Mike Maskell was fourth and Ed Ryan finished fifth. With the win, Alessio pulled within three points of Downing in the championship standings.
Thomas took his second win of the season in the X-Cars, coming out on top in the 25-lapper. After coming close in last Wednesday and last Friday’s events for the division, Thomas prevailed after taking the lead from defending champion Scott Limkemann on lap-11.
Nate Bryington showed the way early in the race, leading lap-1 and holding the spot through the first caution flag on lap-8 when Zach Ezzell had spun off the back chute. Limkemann had moved to second and was closing on Bryington’s lead when the yellow was displayed. Limkemann rode the outside lane into the lead on lap-9 after the restart. Thomas was on the move, making his way to the front. He made the pivotal move inside of Limkemann in turn three on lap-11.
Once in the front, Zach Thomas had to hold off Chris Thomas following a final caution flag on lap-18. Chris Thomas forged his way forward to make his way to second behind Zach Thomas. The two drivers had waged a memorable war in last Wednesday’s event with Chris coming out on top of Zach. Redemption belonged to Zach this week, going on over the final laps to win by a car length at the finish line. Behind Chris Thomas, John Bowes ran a strong race to finish third. Larry Loomis Jr. and Wayne Shifflett ran with the leaders throughout to finish fourth and fifth respectively.
Jacob Perry of Pawcatuck was lifted to the win in the night’s INEX Bandolero feature. He finished second on the track to Alex McCollum of New Jersey, however McCollum’s car failed post-race inspection handing Perry his first win of the year.
Wild ‘n Wacky Wednesday 7/17 Results:
INEX Legend Cars (30-laps): 1. Angelo Belsito, Auburn, MA; 2. Kyle Ellwood, Riverhead, NY; 3. Michael Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 4. Stephen Kopcik, Newtown; 5. Dennis Pantani, Branford; 6. Nicholas Sowa, Middletown; 7. Brendon Bock, Franklin Square, NY; 8. T.J. Thompson, Lisbon; 9. Carl Blandina, Milford; 10. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon; 11. Joshua Zentek, East Haven; 12. Joe Ferrigno, East Hartford; 13. John O’Sullivan Jr., Salem; 14. David Lespinasse, Milford; 15. Giovanni Giarratana, Newington; 16. Michael Blaskey, Waterbury; 17. Dana Dimatteo, Farmington; 18. Colin Haley, Ashford; 19. Joey Ternullo, Middletown; 20. Darrel Taggart, Colchester
INEX Bandoleros (20-laps): 1. Jacob Perry, Pawcatuck; 2. Anthony Marvin, Colchester; 3. Christian Eckes, Middletown, NY; 4. Jonathon Puleo, Branford; 5. David French, Rome, PA; 6. A.J. Eastman, Fishers Island, NY; 7. Gillian Kirkpatrick, Washingtonville, NY; 8. Andrew Morin, Old Saybrook; 9. Corey Comeroski, Lebanon; 10. Ken Morin Jr., Old Saybrook; DQ – Alex McCollum, Phillipsburg, NJ;
X-Cars (25-laps): 1. Zach Thomas, New London; 2. Chris Thomas, Waterford; 3. John Bowes, Willington; 4. Larry Loomis Jr., Moosup; 5. Wayne Shifflett, Preston; 6. Brad Voglesong, Middletown; 7. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 8. Randy Johnston, Westerly, RI; 9. Jordan Hadley, Quaker Hill; 10. Onie Pierce, Norwich; 11. Jeff Dombrowski, Oakdale; 12. Scott Limkemann, East Lyme; 13. C.P. Burdick, Gales Ferry; 14. Matt Westover, Gales Ferry; 15. Nate Bryington, Webster, MA; 16. Mike Trask, Plainfield; 17. Mark Tourville, Groton; 18. Christopher Lee, Uncasville; 19. Kim Bickford, Griswold; 20. Craig Tavernier, Moosup; 21. Melissa Clavette, Bozrah; 22. Eddie Loomis, Plainfield; 23. Mark Shepard, Griswold; 24. Zach Ezzell, Plainfield; 25. Michael Marvin, Colchester; 26. Aaron Sypher-Piper, Clinton; 27. Chuck McDonald, Groton
Super X-Cars (25-laps): 1. Frank Alessio, Colchester; 2. Bill Reiman, Southington; 3. Ken Downing III, Branford; 4. Mike Maskell, Quaker Hill; 5. Ed Ryan, Preston; 6. Ray Reed, Norwich; 7. Kevin Moon, Exeter, RI; 8. Marc Shafer, Groton; 9. Matt Carlson, Griswold; 10. Shawn Gaedeke, Southington; 11. Peter Pollard, Old Lyme; 12. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 13. James Maher, Shelton; 14. R.J. Cunningham, Clinton; 15. John Yagmin, Tolland; 16. Jon Porter, Canterbury; 17. Eric Finkbein Sr., Columbia
Wacky Super X-Car Flag Pole Race (top-three): 1. Peter Pollard, Old Lyme; 2. Mike Trask, Plainfield; 3. Matthew Westover, Gales Ferry