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Top Three - L to R: Perley, 3rd; Winner Payne; & Keeler, 2nd.
Photos by Rich Hayes
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Joey Payne Wins at Star

Epping, NH – A strong field of NEMA Midgets crammed the pit area at the Star Speedway last Saturday night for the first of their two appearances in the 2005 season, and it was Pomona, NJ ace Joey Payne taking down the win aboard the Gene Angelillo #45, making it three winners in three races.

Payne and reigning ISMA Supermodified champion Chris Perley in the Don Berrio #2 took down the wins in the twin 10-lap qualifying races, setting the stage for the 25-lap main event. Shane Hammond was already on the trailer, and Ryan Dolan joined him when he encountered problems after pushing off for the feature.

Andy Schlatz and Mike Keeler got the honor of bringing the field to Steve Grant’s green flag, with Keeler immediately jumping out to the lead. Keeler had the car running like it was on rails, opening up a big lead over the first several laps of the race while the rest of the field battled for position behind.

Payne broke out of the pack on lap four to grab second, but Keeler was already long gone, and Joey couldn’t do much to
catch him in the first half of the race. The Jersey Jet was fast, but Keeler was just as fast out front, working lapped traffic to perfection and keeping Payne at bay.

With threatening weather in the area, the NEMA drivers did their part to keep the show moving along, running the first 16 circuits of the main event caution-free in just a few short minutes. When Andy Schlatz spun coming of turn four at that point, it set up an action packed nine lap dash to the checkers.

Payne lined up alongside Keeler for the restart, but he didn’t stay there long, as the veteran made a strong move when green flag racing resumed, taking over the lead. Randy Cabral came on strong after the restart and was getting ready to challenge Payne for the lead when mechanical woes dropped him from contention and moved Keeler back into second.

When Cabral dropped to the wayside, Payne was all alone out front once again, and he stayed there until the checkers, picking up his first win of the 2005 campaign. Keeler grabbed a hard-earned runner-up finish, beating out Perley, Ben Seitz and Kyle Carpenter. Pete Pernesiglio, Ed Breault, Jeff Horn, Mike Ordway, Jr. and Doug Cleveland were the sixth through tenth place finishers.

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Star Finishing Order - 6/11/05
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 45 Joey Payne rebullet.gif (1845 bytes) Pomona, NJ Gene Angelillo
2 55 Mike Keeler Danbury, CT Kevin Keeler
3 2 Chris Perley Rowley, MA Don Berrio
4 17 Ben Seitz Monument
Beach, MA
Pete Valeri
5 12 Kyle Carpenter Gloucester, MA Brad Carpenter
6 50 Pete Pernesiglio Lake Grove, NY Pete Pernesiglio
7 44 Ed Breault Lincoln, RI Ed Breault
8 A1 Jeff Horn Ashland, MA Jeff Horn
9 99 Mike Ordway Jr. Freemont, NH Chris Desrosiers
10 78 Doug Cleveland Sudbury, MA Linda Cleveland
11 11 Lee Bundy Kennebunkport, ME Lee Bundy
12 77 Mike Luggelle Hull, MA Mike Luggelle
13 35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
14 22 Andy Shlatz Enfield, CT Alex Shlatz
15 7ny Adam Cantor Dix Hills, NY Cantor Racing
16 55L Shawn Torrey Marshfield, MA Shawn Torrey
DNS 37 Shane Hammond E. Bridgewater, MA Jack Glockner
DNS 15 Ryan Dolan Acton, MA Jay Dolan
rebullet.gif (1845 bytes)Cap Cod Aggregates "Hard Charger" Award
-  Joey Payne  -

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