redtop left.gif (1869 bytes)

nema title.gif (5215 bytes)

redtop right.gif (1870 bytes)









































































































home.gif (2228 bytes)






300-MENA-ALONE-Logo.jpg (12577 bytes)

175-Wirtgen-alone.jpg (3675 bytes)

3maskiner.gif (5141 bytes)

Stafford Motor Speedway
Stafford Springs, CT

Action >>
Photos by Norm Marx

Radio Broadcast
Listen to

on Gary Danko's 7/16
Speedway Line Report
archived on the internet  HERE

yellow bullet.gif (1854 bytes)

Erica Santos Makes NEMA History with Stafford Victory

By Dale Wolbrink

Stafford, CT (July 10, 2007): Tuesday was a career night for Erica Santos of Franklin, MA, a night of historical proportions for the Northeastern Midget Association (NEMA) and a great night for racing. By virtue of her victory, Santos became the first female in history to win a NEMA race. It was the first career win for Santos, who is in only her first full season of midget racing competition. After the race a gracious crowd greeted the 24-year-old driver with a prolonged ovation.

“It is very meaningful to make history with this club that involves so many great people,” said Santos with controlled enthusiasm, “but it doesn’t matter that I’m a girl. Tonight I’m a winner.”

Santos took the lead from the drop of the green flag and after losing the lead briefly to Greg Stoehr made the winning move on a daring pass in lapped traffic. Santos went unchallenged over the final four laps of the event to take down the popular win.

“Week after week my car owner Ed Breault gives me great equipment and Mike Scrivani has done a tremendous job maintaining this race car,” continued Santos. “This week, I had another advantage. My father (Bob, Jr.) and my brother (Bobby) went over the car during the week. They made some changes to the set-up in the car including a shock change. They were all the right changes I guess.”

The drama unfolded on the event even before the drop of the green flag. After NEMA’s trademark four-wide pace lap, opening day winner Lou Cicconi headed to pit road with mechanical troubles. On track it was smooth sailing for Santos, who jumped out from her pole starting position to take the early lead. Taking chase were Adam Cantor, Mark Irving and Aaron Wall. Deeper in the pack Nokie Fornoro, last week’s winner Ben Seitz, Joey Payne, and Greg Stoehr battled for track position.

Cantor relinquished the second spot when his machine lost power on the backstretch to bring out the first caution. Cantor was able to return to competition. Joining Cantor on pit road under the caution was Payne.

On the ensuing restart, Santos lined up with Mark Irving to her outside. Jeremy Frankoski and Tim Heath made up the second row. Wall lined up in the fifth position. The big guns Fornoro, Seitz, Stoehr, Randy Cabral, and Jeff Horn stalked the top five.

Irving took a quick shot at Santos’ lead but had to settle back into second. Heath moved into the third position but had his hands full with Fornoro, who had made quick work of Wall. In one sweeping move on the backstretch on lap four, Fornoro soared from fourth to second position grabbing spots from both Heath and Irving.

Heath dogged Irving for third and was able to take the spot on lap six. The Spirit of Boston #29 of Aaron Wall came to rest in turn three to bring out the event’s second caution on lap seven.

The restart pitted the high-flying Fornoro against the leader Santos. On the restart, the top five were Santos, Fornoro, Heath, Seitz and Frankoski. Payne was already back into the top ten on the restart.

A little anxious to protect her lead, Santos jumped early necessitating a false start call. Before the second attempt at green on lap seven, Seitz headed down pit road with a flat right rear tire. His crew, with the help of fellow competitor Cicconi, had the tire changed and Seitz back in competition.

This time, Santos got a great restart to retain her lead. Fornoro faltered a bit allowing Heath to briefly grab second. Fornoro was back in the runner-up position before the completion of lap nine. Stoehr was on the move and applying pressure to Heath. Stoehr took over the third position lap 10. Heath became another victim of the mounting attrition; heading to pit road on lap 12 with mechanical problems.

While Santos continued to show the way, the top three, which also included Fornoro and Stoehr, began to get strung out. The best battle on track was for fourth between Cabral and Frankoski. On lap 13, Cabral had gained the position but a single lap later Frankoski resumed his place ahead of Cabral.

The running order at halfway found Santos leading Fornoro, Frankoski, Cabral, and a fully-recovered Cantor. Both Seitz and Payne ran outside of the top five. Fornoro was starting to reel in Santos in heavy lapped traffic.

The caution flew again when the #77 of Mike Lugelle made hard contact with the outside wall in turn four. During the caution period, Fornoro came to rest on the backstretch. He was pushed to pit road where he would remain for the remainder of the 30-lap event.

Santos now had to fend off the challenges of Greg Stoehr to maintain her lead. Stoehr took over the top spot on the lap 17 restart. Frankoski continued to run strong in the third spot. Cabral was holding a charging Joey Payne at bay. His efforts were for naught when the point leader’s Bertrand Motorsports #47 slowed on the front stretch.

Back up front, the action was beginning to heat up. In lapped traffic, Santos edged closer to the leader Stoehr. Santos made a bold move on Stoehr in lapped traffic. The crowd collectively held their breath, when Santos went weaving around a lapped car and Stoehr to retake the lead on lap 26.

“It was close,” said Santos when asked about the circumstances of the pass for the lead. “It was real close.”

To the delight of the crowd, the pass stuck. Shortly after, Stoehr ran out of fuel, dropping out of the race from second-place.

In the closing stages, Payne looked as if he was shot out of a cannon. He came screaming through traffic, taking over the second spot from Frankoski. Payne had begun to chop into Santos’ lead but ran out of time before being able to mount any serious challenge.

The victory by Santos was wildly popular for the fans and her fellow competitors. Payne was happy to settle for second, just this once, to Santos.

Jeremy Frankoski also had a career night, posting his best NEMA Midget finish in third. Jeff Horn, who always runs strong at Stafford, poured it on in the end as well to finish fourth. Ben Seitz recovered from his visit to pit road to complete the top five. Sixth-place finisher Adam Cantor salvaged a great finish after his dismal start to the night. Mark Irving, Shane Hammond, Chris Leonard and Mike Horn rounded out the top ten.

“I have wanted to win a race so badly,” said Santos in victory lane amongst her family. “The competition is stronger than ever and it gets harder and harder to win. This is so exciting. I wish that Stu Murray could have been here with us to enjoy it.”

Murray is the President of NEMA’s title sponsor and long-time Santos family sponsor, Wirtgen America.

The next stop for Erica Santos and the Northeastern Midget Association is the Seekonk Speedway on July 18, 2007. For more information on this event visit

Stafford - July 10th
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 44 Erica Santos Franklin, MA Ed Breault
2 45 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Gene Angellilo
3  99 Jeremy Frankoski Newark Valley, NY Power Point
4 A1 Jeff Horn Ashland, MA Jeff Horn
5 17 Ben Seitz Pocasset, MA Pete Valeri
6 7ny Adam Cantor Dix Hills, NY Cantor Racing
7 11 Mark Irving Bellingham, MA Charles Camosse
8  37g Shane Hammond E. Bridgewater, MA Jack Glockner
9 22 Chris Leonard Pelham, NH Dave Leonard
10 P30 Mike Horn Ashland, MA Mike Horn
11 12 Kyle Carpenter Gloucester, MA Brad Carpenter
12 35 Cory Cleary Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
13 16 Matt O'Brien Wilmington, MA Jim O'Brien
14 20 Andy Shlatz Enfield, CT Aex Shlatz
15 78 Steve Powers N. Andover, MA Linda Cleveland
16 33 Shawn Torrey Marshfield, MA Shawn Torrey
17 28L Paul Luggelle Holbrook, MA Paul Luggelle
26b Greg Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
4 Nokie Fornoro  Stroudsburg, PA Mike Jarret
77 Mike Lugelle Hull, MA Mike Lugelle
81 Tim Heath Lebanon, CT Tim Heath
30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
29 Aaron Wall Shrewsbury, MA Bobby Seymour
8 Rich Gerbe Franklin Sq., NY Lee Gerbe
48 Ryan Preece - Tim Bertrand
47b Lou Ciconni Jr. Aston, PA Tim Bertrand
DNS 52 Kevin Park Foxboro, MA Kevin Park

yellow bullet.gif (1854 bytes)

|| Home | News | Schedule | Results | Points | Roster | Sponsors | Photos | Contacts |