9 - B. Santos
15 - J. Dolan
21- B. Kittredge
98 - M. Roselli
44 - E. Breault
16 - M. O'Brien
12x - K. Carpenter
57 - B. Bradbury
88 - D. Rosenfield
3 - T. Spada
46 - R. Boetticher
81 - T. Heath
2 - H. Bumpus
35 - R. Cabral
54 - D. Fonoro
17 - B. Seitz
47 - T. Bertrand
51 - M. Wonder III
28 - W. Arute
7x - E.J. Douville
34 - R. Durso
33 - J. Libby
45 - R. Stoehr
12w - P. DiMario
59 - N. Fonoro
1s - J. Horn
7ny - A. Cantor
50 - P Pernesiglio
77 - M. Luggelle
22 - A. Shlatz
79 - K. Botelho
4 - B. Seymour
Howie Hodge Photo
Thompson International Speedway
July 4, 2002
||E. J. Dourille
||M. Roselli Jr.
||R. Boetticher Jr.
||M. Wonder III
Howie Hodge Photo
NEMA MINI INDY WINNER
Thompson, CT - The fifth leader,
two-time defending champion Russ Stoehr, took the lead on lap 13 and went on to capture
the Northeastern Midget Association 33-lap Mini Indy on July 4 at Thompson Speedway. The
event was part of NEMA's 50th birthday celebration.
Stoehr, diving Gene Angelillo's #45, went around Nokie Fornoro coming out of turn two on
lap 13 and went on to post his 39th career NEMA win, putting him third on the all-time win
list. "I really love to win at Thompson and I don't think anybody realized just how
much Gene wanted to win tonight."
The three-abreast start (the first since the mid 1980s for NEMA) "went off without a
hitch," said Stoehr who started outside the fifth row. He got a "close-up"
view of some terrific racing, most notably a duel between teenagers Bobby Santos III and
Ryan Dolan and the veteran Nokie Fornoro.
The winning pass came shortly after the second of four cautions. Fornoro was able to get
away on the restart but it was Stoehr in front out of two. "[Nokie] was almost as
fast as I was," explained Stoehr, "but he wasn't handling as well as he need to
be. I figured if I could get by him it was going to be hard for the next guy."
A late rally gave Randy Cabral runner-up honors while front-row starter Ed Breault drove a
consistent race to claim third. Both passed a slowing Phil DiMario in the final laps.
Fornoro, Dolan and DiMario, swapped positions behind Stoehr for much of the latter stages
of the race. In the end, bad luck caught up with Dolan and Fornoro.
Dolan, who was looking for a second straight Thompson win, went out on the third restart
running second. Fornoro and DiMario then went at it until Fornoro lost an engine with two
laps remaining, resulting in the final restart. The slowing DiMario limped home from that
"There was some fast cars doing some great things out there," said Angelillo,
taking pride as both winning car owner and club president. "This was a great Midget
Pole sitter Rudy Boetticher led the 33 starters into turn one but before the second lap
was complete Santos, who started ninth in the Seymour #9, had the lead. Fornoro and Dolan
were quickly in pursuit. A daring move to the outside heading into three on lap five sent
Dolan past both Fornoro and Santos and into the lead.
"They talk about the learning curve," said Stoehr. "There is no more
learning curve. These kids are coming with lots of experience and great equipment."
Mechanical woes claimed Santos just after the first yellow showed. That put Stoehr third
behind Dolan and Fornoro. Stoehr followed Fornoro past Dolan and sat second when caution
flew again two laps later.
"I really wanted to get a Thompson win with Gene," said Stoehr. "I've been
second twice and I guess we picked the right night to get it." Stoehr won twice at
Thompson driving for Bruce Beane.
History continues to repeat as NEMA heads for events at Star (July 13) and Hudson (July
NEMA NOTES: Steve Grant started the Mini Indy from
the track. "I have complete trust in these guys," said Grant who had to jump
onto the wall and into the stand after the field passed
Promoter Don Hoenig,
professing the Midgets remain his first love, was very happy with the show and told
Angelillo, in front of the crowd, there's a standing invitation for
Interestingly enough, the top four on NEMA's all-time win list were on the
track. In addition to Drew and Nokie Fornoro and Stoehr, Dave Humphrey (who holds second
spot) paced the field in the immaculate Ken Brenn Offy, the latter part of an ACOT
50th Bash Includes Mini Indy
|Wolcott, CT The Northeastern
Midget Association will dig deep into Midget racing history and celebrate its golden
anniversary with a "Mini-Indy" at Thompson Speedway on Thursday night July 4.
The 33-lap, three-abreast start feature will be the highlight of the clubs 50th
The drivers voted overwhelming in favor of the three-abreast start before last
Saturdays feature at Waterford Speedbowl. One of the drivers speaking in favor was
Drew Fornoro, the last Thompson Mini-Indy winner.
The Atlantic Coast Old Timers (ACOT) will also be on hand with some antique racers that
will rekindle memories for NEMA veterans. ACOT will run laps during the day.
Fans can also purchase tickets to a special afternoon party that will bring them in
contact with a number of invited guests, all of which played leading roles in NEMAs
rich history. NEMA was actually born in the Thompson Clubhouse in the spring of 1953.
"Weve got all the makings of a great party," said NEMA president Gene
It has been almost 20 years since Thompson has hosted a Mini Indy. Fornoro actually came
from the last starting spot to win it after spinning in his qualifying heat.
According to Thompson owner Don Hoenig, the "Mini-Indy" concept at Thompson goes
back before World War II. Called the "Midget Classic," it ran in the fall and
contributed much to Midget lore.
Hoenig has hoping for such an event for the last few years, pointing out Thompsons
length and width make it a natural.
"This is the perfect time," said Angelillo. "The club has never been
healthier and we have so many talented drivers in good equipment.
Ryan Dolan, 16, became the youngest winner in NEMA history at Thompsons Icebreaker
earlier this year. Mark Buonomo was the World Series winner last fall.
Howie Hodge Photo
Howie Hodge Photo