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Results for 2002 to 2015 HERE

Race 2 - Riverhead Raceway - 5-28-16-

Race 1 - Star Speedway - 5-21-16

Lites Race - Thompson Speedway - 4-9-16

TUNE IN ALERT, 2015 Boston Louie Seymour Memorial:
Take a ride with Northeastern Midget Association NEMA Lite driver Dan Cugini during the the A-Main. Remember to tune in tomorrow night as
Suzuki presents SPEED SPORT showcases the 19th annual Boston Louie Seymour Memorial from the "Cement Palace" the historical Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk Massachusetts.

From NASCAR to Formula 1, World of Outlaws to Midgets, MotoGP to Supercross, SPEED SPORT is the only publication that covers it ALL! With one of the best editorial teams in the business, and carrying on a legacy over 75 years in the making, SPEED SPORT is the ONE magazine any serious race fan needs to have. 

NEMA Merchandise:
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In 2006, Dave Shore from Southbury, CT. started VMR to help keep vintage midget racing alive. Anyone who has a caged vintage car, and would like to run with us, please contact:
Dave Shore at 203-509-2835.    
2016 VMR Dates at the VMR website.


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NEMA Releases Vintage
Slide Show on DVD
The Northeastern Midget Association announces the release of NEMA Vintage photo's on DVD. The presentation is from the collection of one of the most respected journalist, historians and statisticians in New England, Pete Zanardi.

The range of drivers, owners, tracks and race cars depicted in the collection are the who's who in Northeastern midget racing. The forefathers that laid the foundation for present day racing are illustrated in color and black and white photo's complete with captions. Bill Randall, Ray Roberts, Ronnie Evans and Jerry Russo just to name a few drivers from NEMA's infancy.

The early cage days drivers are represented by Bill Roth, Lee Smith, Hank Stevens and Len Thrall for example. And to finish out the last couple of decades are the Fornoros, Stoehrs, Scrivanis, Seymours and many many more. The cars are as big as the drivers on this DVD that range from the Badgers to the uprights, cage and cageless, even some Offy's.

The DVD is 332 pictures strong and is a must for any early day racing enthusiast.

The cost is $20 each with all proceeds going directly to NEMA to help carry on the rich traditions these early pioneers built.

Payment can be made through PayPal    HERE
to rewindles@sbcglobal.net or by sending a check or money order (payable to NEMA) as well as your name and address to Bill Van Slyke,
23 Horsestable Cir., Shelton, Ct. 06484.


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NEMA LITES T-Shirts are available for purchase. The LITES shirts are available in 3 colors - white, gray and royal blue. They come with either the NEMA LITES logo only on the front or with 2 logos - NEMA LITES on the front and regular NEMA logo on the back. The white shirts are $10. The gray or blue are $12. The new LITES t-shirts can be at The Race  Depot/ Seymour Enterprises in Marlboro Mass or are available from Cyndy Scrivani.

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NEMA and Hoosier Tire
Ink Exclusive 3 Year Deal
Brockton, MA  -  NEMA President, Mike Scrivani, announced today that the Northeastern Midget Association and Hoosier Tire East have inked an exclusive, three year deal. Under the deal, NEMA will have exclusive rights in the Northeast to the current plated compounds (RR 7, 7.3, RF 5, LR, 5 and LF, 4, 5) and will be the only series in the Northeast running these particular tires.

Hoosier will also continue to be a major contributor to the NEMA point fund, and in addition have offered fixed pricing for the racer over the next three years.
“NEMA has enjoyed a long history with Hoosier. This sport is about supporting those who take care of you, and supporting each other. We feel that we have the best product in Hoosier and look forward to a long relationship with them,” said NEMA President, Mike Scrivani. “We have an exciting schedule brewing for 2015 and expect great car counts,” said Scrivani.

As part of the arrangement, Hoosier tire has selected long time NEMA supporter Seymour Enterprises to be the exclusive dealer and service provider to the Northeastern Midget Association.


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20th Annual
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Seekonk Speedway

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Format for the 2016 Boston Louie
2-3 Warm ups (time dependent).

The driver's time trial time will be the fastest lap turned out of any of the warmups.

The number of heats that will be run will depend on the car count, and the heat race invert will be determined after time trials. Between 80% and 90% of the field will be fully inverted for the Heat Races.

The number of transfer spots will be dependent on the number of heats. If there are 2 heats, 5 cars will transfer for a total of 10. If there are 3 heats, 4 cars will transfer for a total of 12, and if there are 4 heats, 4 cars will transfer for a total of 16.

The transferred cars will be stack ranked by their fastest overall time for the DAY, warmups and heats included. A pill will be drawn. If 10 cars transferred, the pills will be 8, 9, or 10. If 12 cars transfer, the pills will be 10, 11, or 12, and if 16 cars transfer, the pills will be 12, 14 or 16.

If, for example, a #12 invert pill is drawn in the case of 16 transfer spots, the fastest time for the day out of the qualified cars would start 12th, the second fastest 11th, the third fastest 10th, and so on. The 13th - 16th fastest, although they may have qualified through their heat, would start 13th - 16th, heads up. All cars that do not make the transfer will start heads up.

* 2016 rule addition for the NEMA LITES - any car that has won a 2016 feature event cannot start higher than 6th spot.
Photos by Norm Marx
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
2 39 Todd Bertrand Danielson, CT Todd Bertrand
3 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
4 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
5 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
6 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
7 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
8 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
50 Kevin Park Foxboro, MA Pete Pernisiglio Sr.
47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
(Photo by Tiffany Payne)
Photos by Norm Marx
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 11 PJ Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
2 12 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Jim Chambers
3 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA Glenn Cugini
4 76 Kyle Hamilton Speedway, IN Frank Manafort
5 84 Joe Cipriano Waterbury, CT Joe Cipriano
6 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Mike Scrivani
7 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
8 57 Jake Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
9 2 Jim Cataldo Sterling, MA Jim Cataldo
10 20 Jeremy Decourcy Rochester, NH Jeremy Decourcy
11 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
12 9 Ben Mikitarian Northborough, MA John Mikitarian
13 17 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
14 24 Nikki Carroll Andover, NJ Nikki Carroll
15 38 Ryan Locke Raymond, NH  Ken Locke
16 46 Andy Barrows New Ipswich, NH Andy Barrows
3 Christopher Vose Groversville, NY Christopher Vose
35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
98 Jeff Schechter Mohegan Lake, NY Jeff Schechter
Chambers, Stergios Capture
Coveted Iron Mike Memorial

NEMA Wins at Monadnock
Jim Chambers dominated the feature event in the Northeastern Midget Association's Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial, in a race that was only slowed by a single caution. In the Lites segment, PJ Stergios captured an impressive victory, coming from deep in the field to win the event. The race commemorated Iron Mike Scrivani, long time NEMA car owner, and famous open wheel owner in the Northeast.

In the NEMA feature, Paul Scally and Todd Bertrand brought the field to green. By the first turn, Jim Chambers, starting in the second row, blasted by both Scally and Bertrand in to the lead. Scally faded with handling issues, while Bertrand hung within ten carlengths of Chambers for the first half of the race. A brief caution for Randy Cabral's machine, which came to a rest with a broken front axle, didn't slow down Chambers' march to victory. He stretched out his victory over Bertrand, running an impressive 11.74 lap time, one of the fastest times ever turned by a midget at Monadnock. Behind Chambers and Bertrand, Seth Carlson charged home to finish third after a great battle with Avery Stoehr, and John Zych who finished 4th and 5th respectively. Danny Cugini, Bethany Stoehr, Paul Scally, Kevin Park, and Randy Cabral rounded out the top ten.

"It was unbelievable. We hit the track for the first practice to scuff tires and ran a 12.09, I told my dad that with the car and tires we had a good shot at the win I thought there was a tenth still left in it. So for the rest of the night we didn't chase the track or my old tires - we knew it would come to us come the race. When the green flag flew I just took the momentum and the rhythm I had going like the race never ended and I never let up for a second the entire race. My car was perfect and I never missed my marks one time, I'm so proud to put it in victory lane for Iron Mike in the 21 car and for Father's day weekend, my dad has given us great equipment all season long and it's about time we put it all together I can't thank him enough," said Chambers.

In the Lites race, PJ Stergios charged from 9th position, quickly working his way into the lead in the feature event. The action was fast & furious at the front of the pack, with Stergios, Jim Chambers, and Meg Cugini all leading the way through heavy lapped traffic. Further back, notable open wheel driver from Speedway, Indiana - Kyle Hamilton was bringing the Frank Manafort #76 through the field, in impressive style, coming from the 11th position. When the checkered flag flew, it was Stergios taking down the victory over Chambers, Cugini, Hamilton, Joey Cipriano, Anthony Payne, Danny Cugini, Jake Stergios, Jim Cataldo, Jeremy Decourcey.

"I started 9th, and the bottom in turns 3&4 was working really well for me. The car was perfect through there, and even though I figured Jim was coming I had enough to hold him off. It felt good to win the Iron Mike race, which is really cool because the Scrivani's have been a part of midget racing for so long," said Stergios.

NEMA picks back up its schedule in front of a National television audience on MAV TV next Wednesday June 29th, at the Boston Louie Memorial.
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Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial
On Tap this Saturday at Monadnock
This Saturday evening NEMA brings its extreme action to Monadnock Speedway for the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial, remembering the long time NEMA stalwart and father of long time NEMA President and supporter, Mike Scrivani Jr. The night will feature a 30 lap feature for the NEMA feature and 30 laps for the Lites. Last year, a classic battle went down between Joey Payne Jr. and John Zych Jr., leading up to one of the best finishes of the year.

When Saturday rolls around, all eyes will be at the top of the points standings, with Avery Stoehr, Randy Cabral and John Zych Jr. all locked into a tight battle for the top spot in the NEMA series. Similarly, in the Lites, Danny Cugini, Jim Chambers and Randy Cabral are all locked in a tight battle for the top spot.

Known as a "driver's track" - Drew Fornoro holds the all time win record at the NH quarter mile. During the late 80s when NEMA frequented the 1/4-mile oval, Fornoro, in the Gene Angelillo machine, dominated with wins at the speedway during the 1982-1986 seasons. He also won during the final two seasons that the Club visited the Speedway with triumphs in 1996 and 1997. Other winners at Monadnock in the modern era include Mike Seymour, Russ Stoehr, Greg Stoehr, Cabral and Payne.

All of that said, the real reason for Saturday night's race is to celebrate a legend - Iron Mike Scrivani.

Proprietor of the legendary "Mike's Truck Stop" in Wrentham, MA, Scrivani's car-owning career began in the 1930s with the Big Cars and it included a successful run with the Modifieds in the late 1960s and early 70s, but Midgets, were clearly his first love.

Jerry Russo drove the Scrivani car in NEMA's first race at Seekonk Speedway on Memorial Day of 1953. The first of many wins for the Scrivani team came in 1956 at West Peabody with Russo aboard.

Butch Walsh and Nokie Fornoro won NEMA championships in Scrivani cars and are part of an extended list of drivers to have won in Scrivani equipment in both NEMA and ARDC. The group includes Dave Humphrey, Ray Burke, Dick Brown, Leigh Earnshaw, Hank Williams, Al Pillion, Billy Eldridge, Al Herman, Gene Bergin, Bert Brooks and Johnny Coy Sr.

In catching up with Iron Mike's son, NEMA stalwart - Mike Scrivani Jr., ironically he said "Monadnock was like our nemesis, so its ironic that we have the Memorial race there now. I actually don't think we ever won a race there to tell you the truth." "I remember one night, Nokie (Fornoro) was in our car and Johnny Evans was in (Carl) Kibbe's car. Nokie and Johnny got together, and then the (stuff) just hit the fan after that, I think the whole race fell apart at that point," he went on to say.

No doubt, the stories will continue to be written when NEMA returns to Monadnock this coming Saturday night.
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Photos by Norm Marx
Photos by Tiffany Payne
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
2 13 Ryan Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Ryan Bigelow
3 12 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Jim Chambers
4 11 PJ Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
5 14 Chad Labastie Uxbridge, MA Chad Labastie
6 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
7 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Mike Scrivani
8 35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
9 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
10 2 Jim Cataldo Sterling, MA Jim Cataldo
11 03 Dennis Potter New Boston, NH Dennis Potter
12 9 Ben Mikitarian Northborough, MA John Mikitarian
13 38 Ryan Locke Raymond, NH  Ken Locke
14 20 Jeremy Decourcy Rochester, NH Jeremy Decourcy
17 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA Glenn Cugini
57 Jake Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
44 Christian Briggs Mattapoisett, MA Christian Briggs
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Photos by
Peter Taylor
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
2 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
3 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
4 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
5 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
6 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
7 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
8 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
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Photos by
Peter Taylor
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 13 Ryan Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Ryan Bigelow
2 11 PJ Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
3 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
4 12 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Jim Chambers
5 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Mike Scrivani
6 35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
7 29 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA Matt Seymour
8 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
9 9 Ben Mikitarian Northborough, MA John Mikitarian
10 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
11 20 Jeremy Decourcy Rochester, NY Jeremy Decourcy
12 38 Ryan Locke Raymond, NH  Ken Locke
13 17 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers

Her name is Lexi and she got the spend the day with the drivers and sit in the cars and ride in the push trucks. She also left with hero cards and a NEMA T-shirt.
Lexi cannot wait for NEMA to come back in September.
Zych Jr., Bigelow Impressive
in NEMA’s Return to Wiscasset
The Wiscasset Speedway & Ames True Value Hardware of Wiscasset put together a blockbuster evening for NEMA this past Saturday night, with packed stands, and fans eagerly awaiting the return of the Northeastern Midget Association Winged Warriors.

At the end of the night, a very happy John Zych Jr. and Ryan Bigelow took down NEMA & NEMA Lite wins, respectively.

The evening for NEMA started with time trials, to set the stage for a "two segment" 30 lap feature. John Zych Jr. blazed the trails in time trials setting quick time over Danny Cugini, with a blistering 13.040 second run.

In the first segment, by virtue of an invert, Bethany Stoehr and Randy Cabral would bring the field to green. Cabral and Stoehr would battle side by side for the first few laps of the feature, with Cabral coming out at the point. Cabral would begin to stretch his lead out over the field, and was never seriously challenged during the first segment of the feature event.

In the second segment, Avery Stoehr would take the lead early. Stoehr looked very strong, until his night changed entirely when his left side wing panel would come undone and eventually wind up off the race track. Fighting an ill handling race car, Stoehr would begin to fade, when last week's winner Seth Carlson then challenged for the lead. Unfortunately, Carlson's night would also come to an end after a brief lead, with a broken steering arm, sending him off the banking of the race track. When the race resumed, John Zych Jr. blasted into the lead, and was hotly pursued for a couple of laps by Danny Cugini. Cugini's night would come to an end with a power steering issue - and Zych was never seriously challenged after that point. Randy Cabral would finish second, followed by Avery Stoehr, Jim Chambers and Paul Scally.

"I liked the different format and the chance to go out and qualify. It was a few laps longer than we usually run so I knew we would have to save the tires for the final segment if we were to have any chance. We were fortunate that the car was perfect for both qualifying and the race. Sometime you have nights where you hit everything perfectly and Saturday was one of those nights. Wiscassett is a great track for NEMA. The fans and staff are excellent so I hoped they enjoyed the show as much as all of us," said Zych.

In the Lites feature, Ryan Bigelow and Paul Scally brought the field to green. Bigelow quickly blasted out into the lead with his SMG Motoring Ecotec. Bigelow has been historically fast at Wiscasset, running at the point for nearly the entire NEMA feature back in 2014.

Bigelow would quickly stretch out his lead, while further back behind him, PJ Stergios and Danny Cugini were fighting their way through the field.

Bigelow was never seriously challenged enroute to victory, over Stergios, Cugini, Jim Chambers, Anthony Payne, Randy Cabral, John Zych Jr., Meg Cugini, Ben Mikitarian, and Paul Scally.

"The car was absolutely awesome. My brother, Paul, made some adjustments just before practice, and the car couldn't have driven better. I need to thank my whole family for their support, and SMG Motoring for the power. Also - thanks to Wiscasset, it is one of my favorite tracks and the fans are just great!," exclaimed a happy Bigelow.
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Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Photos by
Norm Marx
Carlson Tops NEMA Field at
New-London Waterford Speedbowl
On a beautiful early June evening, Seth Carlson ended a dry spell for his Feigel Motorsports team, taking down an impressive win in a race that went "wire to wire" with no cautions this past Saturday. Carlson was never seriously challenged enroute to a dominating victory. The Lites were not on hand for the evening, which featured the NEMA cars only.

When the feature rolled around, Paul "Dangerous" Scally and Carlson brought the field to the green flag. Quickly, Carlson pulled out into the lead from his outside pole position taking Todd Bertrand in the #39 along with him, by Scally. Bertrand hung with Carlson back a few lengths for the first three circuits, and then Carlson started to pour on the heat, and pulled away.

At the halfway marker, it was all Carlson, leading by ten car lengths, with Bertrand still in second and Scally in third. Further back, Jim Chambers was holding off a hard charging John Zych Jr.

As the laps wound down, the field remained largely unchanged, even though Carlson and Bertrand were in to heavy lapped traffic. Carlson went on to take down the victory over Bertrand, Scally - who had a season best podium finish, Chambers, Zych, Randy Cabral, Avery Stoehr, Bethany Stoehr, Danny Cugini and Paul Bigelow.

"We've really been fighting the car this year," said Carlson. "We ended up so tight at Star and Riverhead, the car was almost undrivable. We made a bunch of changes coming in to Waterford, and they worked out great. I really need to thank Gene Feigel and my Dad, Paul Carlson for getting this car back on track," he said.

NEMA resumes its schedule at the Wiscassett Speedway this coming Saturday in Wiscasset, Maine as it continues its busy month of June.
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
2 39 Todd Bertrand Danielson, CT Todd Bertrand
3 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
4 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
5 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
6 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
7 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
8 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
9 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
31 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Paul Bigelow
7 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
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NEMA President Stoehr
Looking Forward to 2016
Second term NEMA President Russ Stoehr is looking forward to 2016, and for good reason. NEMA came off a very strong finish to the season, with exceptional car counts at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. One of New England's mainstay touring series, the Northeastern Midget Association boasts of a fifteen race docket for 2016.

"We've got 52 cars registered between the Lites and NEMA, more than we have had in many years," said President, Stoehr. "I am super excited to have been able to forge 4 strong relationships with tracks that clearly are on the upswing - Thompson will host the midgets at all 4 tour events this year, Waterford will have midget races on 5 dates and we will be back at Star 3 times. Wiscassett also will host the midgets twice the fans there are among the most receptive we have had the pleasure of racing before all season. All the facilities have different challenges for drivers and crews," he went on to say.

NEMA started the year with its Lites competitors showcasing their hard work over the winter at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park's ICEBREAKER. Danny Cugini took down an impressive victory over PJ Stergios and last year's champion Anthony Payne.

The club will host its annual Test & Tune and Rookie Orientation at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl on Sunday, May 1, and then open its NEMA competition schedule at Bob & Bobby Webber's Star Speedway on May 21st followed by the inaugural Allan Cantor Memorial the following weekend at Riverhead Raceway. It will be NEMA's first race at Riverhead in many years.

The schedule then moves on to the New-London Waterford Speedbowl, followed by Wiscasset Speedway and Monadnock Speedway on June 4, June 11, and June 18 - for the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial. The club then returns to action June 24th at Claremont Speedway, followed by the prestigious Boston Louie Memorial presented by MAV TV on June 29th.

July 9th, Star Speedway will play host to the annual Marvin Rifchin Memorial trophy race, and July concludes with NEMA's return to the revised Speedway 51 in Groveton, NH on July 30. August is packed with action, with a return to the New-London Waterford Speedbowl for Wings & Wheels on August 6th, followed by Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on August 10th.

NEMA will remember charter family Gene & Marilyn Angelillo on August 20th at Star Speedway for the Angelillo Memorial, and concludes with races at Wiscasset, The Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park World Series of Racing and the New-London Waterford Speedbowl's Shane Hammond Memorial.

NEMA has also been busy in the off season with planning, ensuring they will put on the best possible show for promoters. "We are once again putting strong emphasis on speeding up the show. The push offs for NEMA have been greatly improved as well as the 4 abreast to '2 and go' is a big hit with fans and promoters. Also, the prerace meet and greets as well as fan of the week will be back. I feel fortunate to have a great race day staff great people with a strong love for midget racing," he said.

As far as his own racing goes, it is unlikely to see the elder Stoehr on the track this season. "As far as my own driving goes with the passing of Carl Kibbe, my intentions are to work with Avery. I've been on the fence for a bit and now the time is right to step away from driving. I've been fortunate to have a bunch of wins, championships and most importantly memories," he concluded.

There is no doubt that NEMA is on the upswing, and President Stoehr has a lot to look forward to.
NEMA's 1000th Race - Star Speedway - 8/23/14

Recognizing Some
NEMA Milestones

The Northeastern Midget Association will open the season at Star Speedway on May 21. It will be the 1018th point-paying race in the club's 63-year history.

Passing unheralded was the club's 1,000th race at Star Speedway on August 23, 2014. Randy Cabral was the winner, besting John Zych Jr. and Seth Carlson.

New England's oldest and most enduring touring division, NEMA was formed in the late spring of 1953 at the Thompson clubhouse. Fred Meeker was the first NEMA winner at Seekonk Speedway on May 30, 1953. New England Auto Racing Hall of Famer Bill Eldridge won the next afternoon at Waterford.

The NEMA Lites open at Thompson Speedway's Icebreaker on April 9. There have been 106 races for a division that started with an exhibition run at New London-Waterford in 2008. The 100th Lites race was won by Danny Cugini at Lee on July 17 of last year.

With two victories last year, Randy Cabral is now tied with Nokie Fornoro in fourth place on NEMA's all-time win list with 47. He has 16 seasons with a least one victory tying him with Bobby Seymour on that list. They have come consecutively, equaling a NEMA standard set by National Midget Hall of Famer Dave Humphrey. Most of Cabral's wins have come in Tim Bertrand's No. 47 but it all started when an upstart Cabral captured the 2000 Boston Louie in a family car.

Star Speedway, with 103 races going back to 1968, is the leader among tracks hosting NEMA events. Randy Cabral tops active NEMA competitors with four Star wins including three of the last four. John Zych Jr. has also won at Star.

NEMA is clearly one of the most competitive open cockpit divisions in the country. Over the past six years, there have been 23 different NEMA winners and in all but one of those seasons, at least one "first-timer" appeared. Over that span John Zych Jr., Todd Bertrand, Avery Stoehr and Seth Carlson have become top contenders. Danny Cugini and Jim Chambers were first time winners in 2015. Bertrand, Stoehr and Cugini are all products of the NEMA Lites. The Lites have had 20-different winners in the past three seasons, champion Anthony Payne and Megan Cugini among the 2015 first timers. Designed with competiveness in the forefront nine years ago, the Lites are a true success story.

Nominations are now being accepted for the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame. The nomination form and procedure are available on the New England Antique Racers' website - www.near1.org. Please disregard the posted deadlines.

Those with NEMA connections already enshrined are Gene Angelillo, Chuck Arnold, Burt Brooks, Ray Brown,Joe Csiki, Bill Eldridge, Frank Ferrara, Drew Fornoro, Dave Humphrey, Johnny Kay, Wen Kelly, Rollie Lindblad, John McCarthy, George Monsen, Al Pillion, Billy Randall, Marvin Rifchin, Mike Scrivani Sr., Louie Seymour, Hank Stevens, Ed Stone and Bentley Warren.

Anthony Payne Set For Next Step

There was the first victory, then the first championship and now the first defense of that championship. It's impressive stuff for a race driver who will turn 17 in April.

Anthony Payne begins the defense of his Northeastern Midget Association Lites title at Thompson Speedway's Icebreaker April 9. Back in the Scrivani No. 21 for the third season, the Fairlawn, NJ High student is ready for the 18-race schedule that will run into October.

Another title, especially in a Scrivani car, will fit nicely into Payne's plans. It's about "living up to family names" says the son of 2003 NEMA champion Joey Payne. He is "very proud" of being part of the heralded Scrivani Midget story. Many legendary drivers - Nokie Fornoro, Dave Humphrey, Jeff Gordon - have sat in Scrivani cars.

While being a second generation athlete is a challenge - "everybody knows who you are and ask a lot of questions"- Payne has handled it well. He expects a full midget ride will come soon.

The first win at Evans Mills, NY was key. "I felt more confident after that win," he says, "confident that I could win a championship. I won against adults in real race cars. And to win in a Scrivani car was really special. The No. 21 had not been in victory lane for a while."

A veteran of eight years in Quarter Midgets, Payne had nine top-fives in 15 starts a year ago including a second win at Waterford. He finished 41 points in front of Randy Cabral.

Winning a NEMA title means mastering a wide variety of tracks - from the 5/8ths Thompson to the quarter miles. Payne loves that challenge but admits he had a head start in achieving it.
"My dad was with me a lot last season," he explains. "He has pretty much raced on every track in the northeast. He had a lot of pointers, especially showing me the line at each track." Joey Payne has 21 NEMA victories, the last coming a year ago at Monadnock in Tim Bertrand's No. 74.

Still, if it hadn't been his father, it would have been someone else. "You have a problem, you have people willing to help," Payne continues. "You are running a little high or a little low or you're not getting off quick enough, somebody is willing to talk to you. NEMA has a real family atmosphere."

Being noticed is how he got the ride. Coming around with his dad a few years back, he was helping out in pits, working with several operations including the Ed Breault team. Long-time NEMA supporter and Scrivani confidant Mike Jarret noticed and brokered the ride in the No. 21.

Payne gave notice with things to come with a second at Waterford in 2014.

The NEMA Lites, usually a second to a second-and-a- half off the full midgets, are about to start their ninth season. It all started with an exhibition run at Waterford on April 12, 2008.

Zych Set to Defend NEMA Championship

John Zych Jr. has been a Northeastern Midget Association champion twice but he will be a defending champion for the first time in 2016.

"We didn't run a full season after the 2013 championship and we knew that going in," explains Zych, part of one of NEMA's many father-son operations. "We missed a race early in the year and that did it so we were not disappointed in not defending."

They head into this 16-race season, which begins May 21 at Star Speedway, with another mindset. "This is different," Zych says. "The first championship was kind of a surprise, kind of surreal. The second sort of solidifies we are not flashes in the pan."

Father and son have been at it since 2007 but it was the purchase of a '99 Drinan chassis that turned fortunes around; that has produced two championships and nine features including two last year. The first win was at Waterford in 2012. Five came in 2013.

Defending a title is another step. "You are on top and you don't want anybody to take it away," continues Zych, a former high and college basketball player. "You want to prove something by maintaining the spot." He is quick to point out, however, it is not an easy goal in a club that had nine winners in 2015.

There is one major change for 2016. An executive with the Hershey Company, Zych is now "office based" meaning more time first for the family (wife Elizabeth and daughters Brooklyn and Anna) and for the car.

Some things will not change. "Preparation will continue to be our strong point," Zych says, pointing out the No. 9 had no DNFs in 2015. "That is a rarity, especially in Midget racing and it is a credit to my father. He spends a lot of time on the car."

The main opposition will be the five-time champion Randy Cabral-Tim Bertrand team Zych has dethroned twice. "I really appreciate what they've done," Zych says. "Maybe because we run so close and frequently finish near each other people see a great rivalry. I don't feel that way. I enjoy racing against them."

Bertrand has been a major help in Zych's gaining the status they now have in NEMA. He and Cabral are among NEMA's all-time great owner/driver combos.

There's more than Cabral/Bertrand. Zych points to Cabral's teammate Todd Bertrand, Seth Carlson and youngster Avery Stoehr, all winners in 2016, as definite championship contenders.

They'll battle into October, the season ending at Waterford. Sixteen races is "about the right number" says Zych.

The variety of tracks NEMA visits, from the lightning-quick Thompson to the traditional bullrings including 2016 addition Riverhead, LI, remains a challenge for the "always learning" Zych. He believes being able to master them all is the mark of an accomplished driver. He, of course, has done that including winning on tracks on his first visit.

Now, it's about defending a championship.
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