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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th
NEMA MIDGETS & NEMA LITES
ISMA Bob Webber Sr. Memorial 125
 350 Supers Randy Witkum Memorial 60
NEMA LITES Jim O'Brien Memorial 50
NEMA Midgets    Classic Lites
 
Photos by
Norm Marx
OFFICIAL - NEMA LITES - STAR - 9/7/19
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 76 Randy Cabral Kingston, MA Frank Manafort
2 38 Ryan Locke Chester, NH Ken Locke
3 8t Jake Trainor Medway, MA Mike Trainor
4 Barry Kittredge  Marlboro, MA  Barry Kittredge
5 19 Richie Coy Haskell, NJ Richie Coy
6 12 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
7 48 Matt Janisch Nazareth, PA Matt Janisch
8 35 Anthony Marvuglio Bridgewater, MA Glen Cabral
9 88 Chase Locke Chester, NH Ken Locke
10 17 Kyle Valeri Monument Beach, MA Peter Valeri
11 5 Jim Cataldo Sterling, MA Jim Cataldo
12 16  Matt O'Brien Wilmington, MA Christopher Butterweck 
13 03  Dennis Potter  - - -   Dennis Potter  
14 55 Drew Eldridge No Chelmsford, MA Drew Eldridge
15 69 Matt Merry Plaistow, NH Matt Merry
16 22  Anthony Payne  Fairlawn, NJ Jim Susi
17 3 Chris Vose Gloversville, NY Chris Vose
18 21  Logan Rayvals  Brockville, ON Mike Scrivani
19 15  Wade Matteson  Ellington, CT Wade Mattesen
20 94 Tiana Kibbe Fairfield, CT Curt Kibbe
HEAT 1: 69, 12, 38, 6, 19, 88, 5, 22, 55, 94 
HEAT 2: 48, 76, 3, 8t, 35, 17, 16, 21, 03, 15
     
Photos by Norm Marx
NEMA MIDGETS - STAR - 9/7/19
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
2 39 Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Bertrand Motorsports
3 74 Randy Cabral Kingston, MA Bertrand Motorsports
4 48 Todd Bertrand Danielson, CT Bertrand Motorsports
5 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Jim Chambers
6 17 Alby Ovitt Somersworth, NH Bertrand Motorsports
7 47 Chase Dowling  Roxbury,  CT  Bertrand Motorsports
8 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
9 A1 Mike Horn Ashland, MA Jeff Horn
10 50 Lanson Fornoro Brockton, MA Pete Pernisiglio Sr.
11 16 Matt O'Brien Wilmington, MA Matt O'Brien
12 18 Andy Lunt Marion, MA Christian Briggs
HEAT 1: 48, 74, 39, 50, 9, 16
HEAT 2: 21, 30, 17, 47, 18, A1
Photos by Mike Rothwell
Zych, Cabral Take O’Brien Memorial,
STAR Classic NEMA Wins
Saturday evening, the Northeastern Midget Association returned to the Webber Family's STAR Classic, for the first time in years. A packed crowd, and one of the biggest open wheel events of the year greeted NEMA, ISMA, the 350 Supers and a number of other divisions. Even more special, the night was dedicated to long time club member, officer, and supporter, Jim O'Brien.

Jim O'Brien was a legendary car owner and club officer who, for a span of four decades, personified the best of NEMA. At a very young age, he was introduced to the Midgets by his father, and in 1970 joined the NEMA family as a car owner. He earned feature wins with Johnny Evans, driving his Falcon-powered Kurtis, and Doug Cleveland, who powered to victory in his home-built "Pink Panther" laydown chassis.

In 1975 he won the Coca-Cola dirt track championship with Hank Stevens at the wheel.

Jim was an innovative fabricator and engine builder with his sons by his side. He always built his own cars and motors. For years he served as a NEMA contest board member, once a vice -president, and for 13 consecutive years as treasurer.

His life-long dedication to the club was truly outstanding, and in 2003 he was inducted into the NEMA Hall of Fame. However, most notably, Jim was always one that stood- up and fought for fair competition and defended the "little guy" - racers who ran with small budgets.

In the NEMA feature, Andy Lunt and Lanson Fornoro brought the field down to the green flag. Quickly, John Zych used the bottom of the race track to get by Lunt, and passed Fornoro headed into turn three on the next lap.

Zych, who has had an abysmal start to the season, with engine woes and a badly wrecked race car earlier in the year, showed no signs of relinquishing the lead as he ripped off some torrid laps in the 11.7 range in the early stages of the feature. Behind Zych, points leader Avery Stoehr used the high line to bolt into second place early on, and Randy Cabral came from deep in the pack to third, with teammate Todd Bertrand in tow.

As the laps wound down, Stoehr made up a little ground on Zych, but over the closing laps Zych would extend his lead again, and dominate the final laps. Stoehr would finish second followed by Cabral, Bertrand, Jim Chambers, Alby Ovitt, NASCAR star Chase Dowling, Paul Scally, Mike Horn, and Lanson Fornoro.

In the O'Brien Memorial Lites Feature, Randy Cabral in the Seymour/Frank Manafort #76 used the high line to drive into the lead on the first lap. Long time TQ racer and champion Matt Janisch settled into second on lap three, and made up some ground on Cabral, but then began to fade.

By lap nine, NJ's Richie Coy, had driven from deep in the pack to third, and took second on lap ten. Coy would start to run down Cabral, and the caution would fly.

On the green flag, Coy and Cabral would go wheel to wheel for three laps, neither giving up the top spot, and at this point, rain drops started to fall onto the race track. Cabral would pull away from Coy.

As the race wound down, Ryan Locke would get by Coy, and set his sights on Cabral. Locke, running some of the fastest laps of the race, would close the gap and was on Cabral's bumper with five laps to go. Locke tried high and low, and used lapped traffic to his advantage in a masterful drive, but could not pass the veteran, Cabral.

Cabral would go on to take down the coveted O'Brien Memorial, followed by Locke, Jake Trainor, Barry Kitteridge, Richie Coy, Alan Chambers, Matt Janisch, Anthony Marvuglio, Chase Locke and Kyle Valeri.

"Jim was so good guy as he always thought about the little guy. Maybe we aren't considered to be the little guys anymore, but for many years when we were showing up with a 1979 Edmunds on a snow mobile trailer, Jim was always there to greet us with a smile. It would be such an honor to win this race," said Cabral, a five-time champion. "He did so much for the club. I'd like all of the younger generation to understand who he was and the impact he had on what we have today. Jim O'Brien was a staple in the foundation of NEMA. He was one of the pioneers who helped pave the way for pavement midget racing in the Northeast as we see it today. To win this race is an honor," said Cabral.

The O'Brien family gave out special awards to - Jeff Locke, Outstanding Innovator, Anthony Marvuglio, Outstanding Competitor, Drew Eldridge, Outstanding Racer.

NEMA picks back up at the Wiscassett Speedway on Sept 21st.
     
NEMA Returns to the STAR Classic
for the O’Brien Memorial
The Northeastern Midget Association will invade Bobby Webber's STAR Speedway in Epping, NH on Saturday night September 7th, for one of New England's largest open wheel races of the year, the annual STAR Classic. The NEMA Lites & NEMA will run along side the International Super Modified Association (ISMA) in the famed event.

Of high importance, on this evening, the NEMA Lites will take center stage for the annual Jim O'Brien Memorial Race, this year a 50 lap event for the Lites. The O'Brien family is very proud to have their father's annual memorial event at Star, a track that dates back as far as any, in conjunction with the Northeastern Midget Association.

Brothers Matt and Dennis O'Brien will both be on hand with Matt competing in the NEMA and Lites race cards. Dennis will be the crew chief on the Lites car along with son DJ, and Matt's son, Benjamin, on the NEMA car. An O'Brien Memorial win will be a coveted one on the minds of many Lites racers. One of those is NEMA Champion and Lites competitor, Randy Cabral of Kingston.

"Jim was so good guy as he always thought about the little guy. Maybe we aren't considered to be the little guys anymore, but for many years when we were showing up with a 1979 Edmunds on a snow mobile trailer, Jim was always there to greet us with a smile. It would be such an honor to win this race," said Cabral, a five-time champion. "He did so much for the club. I'd like all of the younger generation to understand who he was and the impact he had on what we have today. Jim O'Brien was a staple in the foundation of NEMA. He was one of the pioneers who helped pave the way for pavement midget racing in the Northeast as we see it today," said Cabral.

Jim O'Brien was a legendary car owner and club officer who, for a span of four decades, personified the best of NEMA. At a very young age, he was introduced to the Midgets by his father, and in 1970 joined the NEMA family as a car owner. He earned feature wins with Johnny Evans, driving his Falcon-powered Kurtis, and Doug Cleveland, who powered to victory in his home-built "Pink Panther" laydown chassis.

In 1975 he won the Coca-Cola dirt track championship with Hank Stevens at the wheel.

Jim was an innovative fabricator and engine builder with his sons by his side. He always built his own cars and motors. For years he served as a NEMA contest board member, once a vice -president, and for 13 consecutive years as treasurer.

His life-long dedication to the club was truly outstanding, and in 2003 he was inducted into the NEMA Hall of Fame. However, most notably, Jim was always one that stood- up and fought for fair competition and defended the "little guy" - racers who ran with small budgets.

In the same spirit of Jim O'Brien, the NEMA Lites were created with two principals: cost effectiveness and fair competition. While the NEMA Midgets are considered the fastest midgets in the world, the NEMA Lites boast to be "lite" on the wallet, making them the perfect fit to highlight the Jim O'Brien Memorial Race.

When NEMA returns to Star next weekend, the times will be lightening fast, and the racing action is bound to be intense.
Chase Dowling Makes NEMA
Debut with Bertrand Motorsports
at the STAR Classic 9/7
A familiar name in the New England racing circle, in Chase Dowling, will make his first ever North Eastern Midget Association start this weekend at Bobby Webber's STAR Speedway Classic event. As one of New England's most prestigious and biggest events, featuring the International Supermodified Association and NEMA, it is bound to be action packed this Saturday.

Dowling, who finished 2nd in last year's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings, and 2015 rookie of the year, picked up his first Modified Tour win at last year's inaugural NWMT Musket 250 at the New Hampshire Speedway. Dowling is excited to make his first ever NEMA start for Tim Bertrand and Bertrand Motorsports.

"I've always wanted to run midgets. After I got done go kart racing I started to go the races with Gene Angelillo and hanging out with their race team. I was pointing in that direction before going legend car racing down south, then Frank Manafort and I teamed up and ran midgets up at bear ridge on dirt. We ended up getting a NEMA lite and I tested it at Waterford and really had a great time. I never got to compete in a NEMA event though. The opportunity to drive for the Bertrand is going to be an amazing one. I'm very humbled to be offered a top tier midget at the STAR Classic - one of the biggest races around. I've been very fortunate and grateful in my racing career to drive so many different cars with great owners, and to now top it off with a Bertrand midget at the star classic is surreal," said Dowling.

"I know Chase has wanted to run a midget for a while now," said team owner Tim Bertrand. "I got a call from Ben Dodge this week, who wanted to put together a deal for Chase and it just so happened that we had an open seat. I've always admired Chase, his driving style and mild manner - so it made sense to make this happen," said Bertrand. "We'll have all 5 of our cars there this weekend at Star. It's one of our biggest shows of the year and we want to support the Webber family. Alby Ovitt will be back in the 17, and the rest of our team, - it should be a great weekend," he said.

It is the first return of NEMA to the STAR Classic in many years, and should prove to be a great show for the fans.

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