Thompson, CT - Mike Horn’s victory drought is
over. “It’s like a dream,” he said after winning the
Northeastern Midget Association Marvin Rifchin Trophy
Race Thursday night at Thompson Speedway. It was his
first-ever NEMA checkered.
After an aborted
initial start when the yellow caution lights remained on
too long, the race went green for all 25 laps. Horn
(Horn #93x), a NEMA competitor since 1993, led all of
them. He was challenged throughout by Randy Cabral
(Bertrand #47), the latter coming from sixth to second
by lap three. “I kept waiting for Randy to come by,”
said Horn. “I waited right to the checker.”
Cabral’s two best challenges came in between one and two
and in three on lap eight. “He showed me the nose and I
realized I had to step it up,” added Horn. He had, after
all, “spent a long time thinking about it [the first
B.J. MacDonald (MacDonald #49), in his
first NEMA start of the season, came from seventh to
third with point leader Russ Stoehr (Dumo’s Desire #45)
fourth and Greg Stoehr (Stoehr #26b) fifth. Russ
Stoehr’s win streak ended at three. The top three cars
all had similar Bertrand set ups.
battle raged far in front of the field. “He was way
better than me on the outside,” said Cabral, NEMA’s
all-time winner at Thompson “I was loose on the bottom.
I made him work for it though. He earned that one.”
It was a popular win for the second generation
driver who has led several times over the past couple
seasons including early this season at Thunder Road. He
took special delight in winning the event that
memorializes Rifchin, one of NEMA’s greatest benefactors
over the years. Looking for the “skip in the motor” that
has plagued him all season, he admitted to “being so
tired I felt like giving up a couple times.” He said he
found extra motivation “thinking about Marvin.”
“It doesn’t get any better than to have my son win one
of the best races there is to win,” said Horn’s dad
Jeff, a 20-time NEMA winner himself. “Mike and Marvin
were really good friends.”
Greg Stoehr and John
Zych Jr. were the heat winners.
The NEMA Midgets
and the NEMA LITES return to action Friday night, July
15th at Lee USA Speedway.
Midgets start at Thompson cira 1965.
NEMA Visits Thompson:
Stopping Stoehr Goal
Brockton, MA –
Stopping the win streak of Russ Stoehr is the objective
when the Northeastern Midget Association visits Thompson
Speedway for the Marvin Rifchin Trophy race on Thursday
night, July 7. Stoehr and the Dumo’s Desire 45 team have
run off three straight.
Several drivers, starting
with Randy Cabral (Bertrand #47), hope to reverse their
relationship with dame fortune on the super-quick
five-eights. Cabral carries a streak of bad luck into
Thompson where he has won an incredible nine races since
2001 including a couple last year.
fast time in the heats, Cabral found a broken sparkplug
just before the feature at Stafford’s Extreme Tuesday.
Lady luck deserted Greg Stoehr (Stoehr #26b), Jeff Abold
(Abold #29) and Jeremy Frankoski (Cantor #7ny) as well
at Stafford. All hope to rekindle the relationship at
Greg Stoehr, who beat Russ at Thompson
back in 1993 in one of NEMA’s most memorable races,
makes no secret about wanting to stop Russ’ streak.
“He’s tough to catch though,” understates the younger of
the racing brothers. “Still, that’s the objective.”
Mike Horn (Horn #93x), a leader at Thunder Road
before confronting motor problems, is another trying to
rid himself of demons. Other contenders include Jim
Miller (Miller #3M), John Zych Jr. (Zych #9), Chris
Leonard (Leonard #22) and Keith Botelho (Stoehr #25).
Russ Stoehr, aiming to become the first since Nokie
Fornoro in 1981 to win four in a row, refuses to be
concerned with numbers. He lost to Cabral by a few feet
in last year’s Rifchin battle. He has three Thompson
wins, none, however, since 2002.
fastest place NEMA visits, a Thompson victory looks good
on any resume. The Rifchin Trophy, honoring one of
NEMA’s greatest benefactors, is added incentive.
Success at Thompson means joining one of the most
impressive win lists in Midget history. It has been part
of NEMA since 1960, the immortal Dutch Schaefer winning
the first event.
captured Lou Fray in McCarthy #47 battling Sonny
Saunders #12 in 1969.
Kennedy shot of Thompson's first turn filled with
NEMA Midgets in 1977.
Horn Family Joins
The Horn family – father
Jeff and son Mike – joined a tight group with Mike’s
Northeastern Midget Association victory at Thompson.
They are only the fifth father-son combination on the
club’s all-time win list.
The Horns join Johnny
Coy and his sons Johnny Jr. and Joey, Johnny and Billy
Mann, Ronnie and Johnny Evans and Bob and Ricky Hart.
Mike, who started driving for owner Jack Currie back
in the early 1990s, aims to join his father on the
all-time Lee USA Speedway win list as well. NEMA makes
its first of the season and its 29th all-time Lee visit
Four of Jeff Horn’s 20 wins have
come at Lee. Drew Fornoro is the leader with six.
There are a number of sibling combinations with NEMA
wins including the current Stoehr brother’s rivalry.
Point leader Russ Stoehr, third and second in the last
two Lee races, has a couple wins on the three eights
layout. Brother Greg, presently running second in
points, is seeking his first.