2012 NEMA NEWS
car owner (38 and 38b) and ARDC
and NEMA competitor passed
away on July 1st.
Thank you one and all in my dad's racing 'family',
for your kind thoughts and prayers. He loved NEMA and
everyone involved that worked so hard to make it fun. It
is with much sadness I must tell you that we lost Big
John Zahar Sunday, July 1st, to cancer. I know he will
be looking down and smiling with the waving of every
green and checkered flag. I hope to make it to a race
soon, donning a cowboy hat of course, and cheer ya'll on
for John. Drive fast, be safe, have fun!
|In lieu of
flowers, John actively supported St Jude's Children's
After an 8 year
battle with cancer,
Sue Jarret, sister of Mike
Jarret and a NEMA fan,
passed away the evening of
June 12th, 2012
Our Condolences to the Breault Family
Our Condolences to the Caisse Family
|NEMA Well Served in
NEAR “Pioneer Class”
|Waterford, CT - The
Northeastern Midget Association, currently the region’s
oldest auto racing sanctioning body, garnered six of the
20 spots on the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame
The Pioneers, all of which will
be inducted at the Thompson
Speedway Clubhouse on Sunday, Nov. 18, were
selected by a committee of auto racing historians,
officials and media members.
In addition to
drivers Al Pillion (a two-time champion), Hank Stevens
and George Monsen, the list includes noted owners Ed
Stone and Wen Kelley. Stone a three-time owner champion,
was a guiding force in the formation of NEMA. Kelley,
also a three-time owner champion, served the club as
secretary/treasurer for a quarter century.
join a group of NEAR Hall of Famers with strong NEMA
backgrounds. Among them are Gene Angelillo, Bob Bare,
Bert Brooks, Joe Ciski, Hop Harrington, Dave Humphrey,
Johnny Kay, John McCarthy, Bill Randall, Mike Scrivani,
Sr. and ‘Boston Louie’ Seymour.
In addition to
the inductions, the Thompson affair will include a
good-natured “Roast” of the Hall’s members delivered by
some of the region’s top racing media members including
Rollie Jacobs, John Spence, Pete Falconi, Ben Dodge, and
at 10:00 am with dinner to be served at 1:00. Tickets
are $35.00. Reservations may be made by sending payment
to NEAR Pioneer Banquet, Box 172, Milldale, Connecticut,
Included on the NEAR Hall of Fame
Pioneer list are drivers Eddie Casterline, George Rice,
Frank Simonetti and Charlie Ethier, all noted
Also slated for
induction are drivers Billy Tibbert, Tony Mordino,
Sparky Belmont, Ed Patnode, Johnny Georgiades, Wally
Silva, and Ray Brown; owner/builders “Beebe” Zalenski,
Bob Oliver and Gordon Ross, and Plainville Stadium
owner/promoter Joe Tinty.
|Cabral Scores on Legion
|Wentworth, NH – Three time
and defending NEMA Midget Champion Randy Cabral
abandoned his accustomed asphalt environs to win the 25
lap Outlaw Midget feature on Wingless Weekend at Legion
Speedway on Sunday afternoon. Cabral capitalized on a
lap 18 restart to pass Adam Whitney for the lead. Dana
Shaw came from sixth to finish second and Tim Gallant
Other winners included Dan Douville in
the 25 lap Sprint Car feature. Kyle Smith (750/1000 cc),
Luke Greenwood (600 cc) and Shania Covey (500cc) were
mini stock winners. NEMA regular Jeff Horn was fourth in
the 750/1000 feature.
NEMA’s Bigelow Boys
Now A Threesome
|Brockton, MA – The
Northeastern Midget Association’s Bigelow Brothers team
is now three strong. Scott will join siblings Ryan and
Paul Saturday June 2 night when NEMA’s Lites division
visits Star Speedway.
Ryan, 21, who brings
back-to-back top-fives to Star including a victory at
Waterford, and Paul, 35, are Lites veterans. Scott, 33,
a one-time stock car regular at Riverside Park and
Stafford Speedways, returns to the cockpit after a long
It is the first of two-straight “stand
alone” shows for the Lites. Now in their fifth season,
the Lites visit Lee USA Speedway on Friday night, June
8. Paul was the winner the last time the Lites visited
Paul, who actually followed his younger
brother into the sport, and Ryan, who began as a Go
Karter, came to the Lites five races into the 2010
season after several seasons at Whip City. “Moving from
dirt to asphalt was a big learning curve,” says Ryan,
pointing out “we probably wouldn’t have been able to do
it without the Lites division.”
Ryan’s win at
Waterford’s Blast Off followed 2010 checkereds at the
Speedbowl and at Seekonk. The latter two were part of
nine top 10s in 2011 including four podiums for the East
Hampton, CT resident. Paul’s victory at Lee was one of
three top five finishes.
The learning process
continues. Very few of the Lites drivers have raced at
Star. “It will be totally different,” says Ryan, “but
racing on a track for the first time has not been all
that unique for us. Even Scott has never raced at Lee.”
Owned by dad Randy, Ryan and Paul are in
Honda-powered Hawks, numbered 13 and 31respectively.
Scott will drive the 33B Focus-powered Hawk. The green
and white paint scheme is easy to identify.
had 13 for a while,” said Ryan, an electrician. “Paul
just decided to turn the numbers around.”
division, insists Ryan, “is doing what it is suppose to
do” – provide an economically reasonable route into
Midget racing. The plans are for Ryan and Paul to move
up to the full midgets, “hopefully next year,” says the
optimistic Ryan. “That’s why we are running Honda
engines. The Honda engine can be upgraded.”
Brandon Igo, the Diamond Anniversary winner at
Waterford, leads an impressive group to Star including
Anthony Nocella and Ian Cumens in the Seymour cars,
cousins Avery and Bethany Stoehr, Carl Medeiros Jr.,
Kenny Johnson, Christian Briggs and James Santa Maria.
Headed for Indy
Brockton, MA – Bertrand Motorsports will attempt to put
two cars in the field for USAC-sanctioned 50-lap Night
Before the 500 Midget race Saturday night, May 26 at the
Lucas Oil Raceway. It is one of country’s premier Midget
Randy Cabral will attempt to put the #47 Circle
Performance Esslinger-powered Drinan, his regular
Northeastern Midget Association ride, into the show.
Cole Carter will be in the Stewart Engines,
Honda-powered car (No. 39) driven on the NEMA circuit by
Todd Bertrand. It will be the Honda's debut in USAC
Carter, no stranger to Bertrand equipment, is scheduled
to make some NEMA starts later in the season.
Bertrand cars were second and fifth at NEMA’s Diamond
Anniversary event at Waterford Speedbowl May 12.
NEMA’s next show is the Carquest Super Saturday at
Stafford Motor Speedway on June 30.
The NEMA Lites will be a Star
Speedway on Saturday night, June 2.
NEMA Lites, Medeiros
|Brockton, MA –
Northeastern Midget Association Lites Division driver
Carl Medeiros Jr. believes that the elusive first win is
very close. “It is very important,” says Medeiros, “not
only for me but for the whole team.”
alone” show at Star Speedway, Saturday night, June 2, is
next for the Lites. Medeiros, completing his sophomore
year at Diman Regional High in Fall River, MA drives a
Focus-powered Stealth owned by his dad.
who turns 16 on July 24, comes to Star off an impressive
showing at NEMA’s Diamond Anniversary event at Waterford
Speedbowl. After overcoming almost a half-lap deficit,
he tangled with the leader and spun in the closing laps.
Recovering to finish sixth, he was the only Lites car in
the 13-second range.
While he is sure he could
handle a “full” midget, he understands the financial
burden of such an endeavor. The Lites and the Medeiros
team are a perfect fit.
“We ran out of motor in
the first race of the season and I ran out of patience
in the second race,” explains Medeiros, in his second
full season in a division suddenly catching national
attention. “I should have waited a little bit. I was
hungry to get that win.”
He had over a 100 wins
and four championships driving go-karts (starting at age
9), including back-to-back Northeast Pavement Series
titles. After attending Bobby Seymour’s driving school,
he made five starts in 2010. He gained “great potential”
status with a second at Waterford’s Angelillo race.
Medeiros did nothing to damage that status in 2011.
He had 10 top fives including a third and two seconds,
the latter at Waterford and Twin State. “We had a good
year,” he says. “We were very consistent. But maybe we
gave a potential win or two away.”
Division, now five years old, has a perfect
representative in Medeiros. Earning respect, he
believes, is a vital ingredient in becoming a race
driver. The fact that veteran drivers he “totally
respects” like defending NEMA champ Randy Cabral and
Joey Payne occasionally compete in Lites features,
actually strengthens the division. “We are totally
content right now,” Medeiros says. “We are learning
something every time out.”
The goal of the Lites
was to provide a route for youngsters into midgets. Joey
Mucciacciaro, third at Waterford, Kenny Johnson, Dylan
Duhaine and Avery Stoehr, all in the same age bracket,
are testimony to its success.
Star should prove
to be a great equalizer. NEMA’s last visit to Star was
2007 meaning few of the present Lites competitors have
raced there. Still, the New Hampshire oval has hosted
well over 100 NEMA events meaning it is not exactly a
secret. The Seymour team (Ian Cumens, Anthony Nocella)
and the Stoehr team (cousins Avery and Bethany) go to
Star with plenty of info.
include Scott and Ryan Bigelow, Waterford winner Brandon
Igo and James Santa Maria.
Speedbowl Midget History
With Magic Names
Midget history is as old as the track itself. Johnny
Thomson, a Lowell, MA product, won the first-ever Midget
race at the Speedbowl, a fog-shortened 15-lap ARDC event
on June 30, 1951. He was followed by Bert Brooks,
Charlie Ethier, Nick Fornoro, Cliff Riggott, Georgie
Rice and Johnny Kay, all legendary Midget names.
So, the NEMA winners at the Budweiser Blast Off March
31-April 1 join a win list that begins with the man
still regarded by many as New England’s premier
open-cockpit driver. The NEMA Lites’ 25-lap feature is
part of Blast Off’s Saturday schedule while NEMA is set
The Midgets returned to the Speedbowl
on July 14th that first year, Thomson again the winner
of a 35-lapper. The new facility, in fact, capped off
its first season with a 100-lap Triple A event won by
Art Cross, still another legendary character.
Midwesterner George Tichenor won the pole with a 17.920
run – almost five seconds off today’s top speeds on the
third-mile oval. Then, as now, it was regarded as an
outstanding Midget facility.
Like Seekonk and
Stafford Speedways, The Speedbowl is a “Charter Member”
of NEMA, the latter beginning its 60th year at Blast
Off. Bill Eldridge, en route to becoming NEMA’s
inaugural champion, won Waterford’s first NEMA feature
on May 31, 1953 in the Parmenter #55. Sid Cook and Elmer
The Speedbowl got in on the
ground floor with the Lites as well in 2008.
a half century old, Speedbowl Midget win list includes
magic names like Dutch Schaefer, Johnny Bernardi, Lenny
Boyd, Joe Csiki, Chuck Arnold, Russ Klar and Johnny Coy
Sr. Of more recent vintage, Randy Cabral, Russ Stoehr,
Lou Cicconi, Bobby Santos III, Ben Seitz, Ted
Christopher and Bobby Seymour have contributed to the
Speedowl’s midget history.
Cabral is the
Speedbowl’s all-time Midget winner with eight, one
better that Russ Stoehr. That rivalry will continue at
Blast Off. Bobby Seymour, who will field two Lites car
at Blast Off, has been very successful at the Speedbowl
both as a driver and owner.
Bobby Santos III
scored his first-ever Midget win at Waterford in a
Seymour car. Teddy Christopher’s only Midget win came at
Waterford after battling Seymour.
In addition to
Cabral and Stoehr, Todd Bertrand, Adam Cantor, Chris
deRitis, Barry Kittredge, Chris Leonard, Joey Payne, Jim
Miller and Greg Stoehr, all probable Blast Off entries,
have won at Waterford.
Randy Cabrral & Russ Stoehr
Marvuglio Moves Up
|ABrockton, MA – Anthony
Marvuglio joins a list of Northeastern Midget
Association Rookie of the Year candidates. A veteran of
NEMA’s Lites division, Marvuglio will drive Chris
DeRosiers’ #38 in NEMA action this year, beginning with
Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off March 31-April
The NEMA Lites will also be on the Saturday
night card at Blast Off while NEMA is part of the Sunday
agenda. Both divisions are scheduled for 25-lap
features. Blast Off begins NEMA’s 60th season.
Driving DeRosiers' Gaerte-powered Spike chassis is a
major step for Marvuglio who also answers to “Bug.” He
joins Seth Carlson and Jim Santa Maria, also Lites
products, on the rookie list.
Last year Todd
Bertrand and Anthony Nocella became the first Lites
products to capture NEMA features. Bertrand went on to
win Rookie of the Year honors.
believes he is on schedule. A veteran of quarter midgets
and go karts, he’s been a Lites regular over the past
three years. His resume includes an emotional Lites
victory driving the Cabral #35 at the 2009 Boston Louie.
He was third last year at Waterford Speedbowl (in the
Scrivani #21) in his late brother Shane Hammond’s
Memorial Race, counting that battle among his career
He recalls talking to DeRosiers a few
years back but things didn’t work out. They got together
at the end of last year, Marvuglio driving the car at
the DAV and World Series.
After NEMA lost Hammond
in 2008, Marvuglio recalls his mother Deb asking “hey,
do you still want to do this?” He answered “absolutely.”
He has proven himself in a number of Lites cars since.
“I know Shane is always with me and I know that he
is happy for me,” he says.
Marvuglio says the
competition he will face “fires him up.” NEMA expects a
banner season with defending champion Randy Cabral
heading up a group of contenders that includes Russ and
Greg Steer, Joey Payne, Jim Miller, Adam Cantor and
Optimism Continues High
NEMA’s Paul Scally
Northeastern Midget Association mainstay Paul Scally had
some near misses in 2011. He was running second at
Waterford Speedbowl when a radiator hose let go eight
laps from the finish. Again at Waterford, the man called
“Dangerous” was leading when, on lap 19, he “got messed
up in lapped traffic” and wound up fourth. At Seekonk
Speedway’s DAV, he was third when the drive shaft quit.
than enough to fire-up Scally’s optimism heading into
NEMA’s 60th season. It all begins at Waterford
Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off on March 31-April 1.
Both NEMA and the NEMA Lites will be on the Blast Off
It is, of course tough company
with the likes of defending champion Randy Cabral, Greg
and Russ Stoehr, Joey Payne Jr., Adam Cantor all with
something to prove in 2012.
somewhere between 20 and 25 races on the dirt,” says the
one-time Mini Sprint competitor. “I’ve won a
championship (1992 at Sugar Hill Speedway) but I haven’t
won a NEMA race yet. It’s not far away.”
Paul and his
dad, also Paul, combine equal shares of optimism and
dedication. “In the winter, we’re probably out in the
garage four nights a week,” says Scally, a construction
supervisor. In season, the two Drinan and single Hawk
chassis, the latter a Lites division entry, demand
attention every night.
A memorable crash last summer at Thunder Road
Speedway is testimony to the Scally’s dedication. He and
his dad had the car back for the next race. They have
not missed a race in two years, a major accomplishment
for a “low buck’ operation. Last year, they actually
repaired a broken rocker arm in the pits at Seekonk.
to make sacrifices,” he declares. “You’ve got to dig
deep sometimes to make things happen.”
to NEMA in 1993 (“a dream come true) and won top Rookie
honors the next season. One event from ‘94, a 50 lapper
at Seekonk, remains especially vivid. “I think about it
all the time,” says Scally who led the first 30 laps
before “coming up on lapped traffic. The guy in second
got into me and spun me out. Something broke and I
couldn’t get going again.” He remembers actually
believing “I had it won. That’s something you should
Idled for a
while by family pressures, the Scallys have been at it
Cabral pinned the “Dangerous” tag on Scally. “I broke a
rear axle, spun around in front of everybody and Randy
hit me,” says Scally. “He came over to me and said
‘you’re dangerous out there’ and it stuck.”...
NEMA Lites Begin
Year at Blastoff
|Brockton, MA – Anthony
Nocella and Ian Cumens, teammates in Seymour Enterprises
cars, top the contenders list for the 25-lap
Northeastern Midget Association Lites feature at
Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off March 31-April
The Lites feature is part of the Saturday
night (March 31) agenda. The 25-lap NEMA feature is on
the Sunday (April 1) schedule. Both divisions qualify on
A field in the mid twenties is expected
as “the Lites” begin their fifth campaign. The Speedbowl
was one of the first tracks to host the
economically-motivated division back in 2008. The NEMA
Lites have become one of the fastest growing
developmental divisions in open-cockpit racing.
Nocella, who will be driving the Seymour’s NEMA car
later in the season, won two Lites events at the
Speedbowl last season including the Blast Off. Cumens is
actually looking for two in a row having won last year’s
finale at Seekonk in the Seymour #9.
Barrows, Ryan Bigelow and Paul Luggelle were also
Waterford winners a year ago. Paul Bigelow, Christian
Briggs, Jake Sturgis, Brandon Igo, Kenny Johnson, Carl
Modeiros and Jake Smith are expected as well. Joey
Mucciacciaro will be driving Paul Scally’s No. 4.
Blast Off will also mark the debut of Avery Stoehr
who will join cousin Bethany in Lites competition. Avery
is the son of Russ Stoehr while Bethany is the daughter
of Greg Stoehr. Other newcomers include youngsters Dan
Cugini, who takes over in the car Russ Wood Jr. drove
last year, and Tyler Rivard, the latter in Jennifer
Bobby Seymour, the “unofficial”
Lites leader, points out the plan is to not only get
younger drivers into NEMA but to keep them there. It is
working. Seth Carlson, Anthony Marvuglio, Todd Bertrand
and Jim Santa Maria, all Lites graduates, will be
driving “full midgets” in 2012. They’ll be part of a
field that includes defending champion Randy Cabral,
former champions Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne and veteran
competitors Adam Cantor, Barry Kittredge and Greg
The division began with Oldsmobile Quad-4
and Ford Focus engines. Both are still being used. Honda
came aboard and now EcoTec (Chevy) joins the party,
“We’ve been adjusting all the time,” says Seymour,
“trying to level the playing field.” He admits to
“changing the rules as we go along making sure no car is
too quick.” Everybody, he adds, “wants to leave home
feeling he has a shot at winning. That makes a series
|Busy Agenda Looms
for NEMA’s Bertrand
Brockton, MA – Bertrand Motorsports had an extraordinary
2011. Randy Cabral and Tim Bertrand captured the
Northeastern Midget Association drivers and owners
championships respectively. Todd Bertrand added to the
luster, scoring his first-ever NEMA feature en route to
Rookie of the Year honors.
Bertrand and driver Randy
Cabral are set to defend their crowns. The Esslinger-powered
#47 Drinan chassis is “completely refurbished and ready to
go” Bertrand reports. Brother Todd’s car, the Honda-powered
#39, “is in good shape.”
Expect both cars when NEMA
opens its 60th season March 31-April 1 at Waterford
Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off. The NEMA Lites kick of
campaign number five at the ‘Bowl as well.
is “bullish on the upcoming season.” Both Russ and Greg
Stoehr, second and third last year in points, will be back
in 2012. Joey Payne, the 2003 champion, returns full time in
the Breault #44 and Adam Cantor is moving back behind the
wheel of 7NY. “There will be no shortage of contenders,”
adds Bertrand, hardly a stranger to the rigors of winning
So, why add what amounts to the next chapter
in the Bertrand Guest Program? “I miss it,” answers Bertrand
who in the recent past has added to NEMA prestige providing
rides for, among others, Sprint Cup ace Ryan Newman, USAC
standout Cole Carter, and Modified star Ted Christopher.
Pennsylvania open cockpit standout Ryan Smith is “a
definite” for the “Guest Car,” an AutoCraft-powered,
refurbished Drinan chassis. “I’ve wanted to put Ryan in one
of our cars for a while,” says Bertrand. Other possibilities
for the car – “definitely a short track machine” – are
Modified driver Doug Coby, Mark Buonomo, looking to return
to the Midgets after being away for five years, and veteran
Lou Cicconi Jr.
Carter, son of the legendary Pancho
Carter, will drive the #39 at Thompson and is “a
possibility” for Oswego, the latter back on the NEMA
schedule for the first time since 2005.
calls going to the Night Before The 500 show at IRP with
both Cabral in the #47 and Carter in the #39 in May “a good
and Buonomo have won in Bertrand equipment.
has three podium finishes, including one at Thompson, in
Motorsports has 30 NEMA wins, all in the last decade.
Stoehr is the only driver with wins at every track NEMA will
visit this season. Randy Cabral’s resume is missing an
Three-year old Avery Stoehr
is lending a hand on "Papa's" Midget at
in 1997. About to turn 16, Russ Stoehr's son will
cousin Bethany in NEMA's Lites Division in 2012.
|Brockton, MA - For some four
decades, the Northeastern Midget Association’s Stoehr family
has competed on the father-son and brother-verses-brother
level. It will expand in 2012 to first-cousin-verses
Expect to see plenty of Stoehr folks
when NEMA opens its 60th season March 31-April 1 at
Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blast Off. “That’s what we
do, we drive race cars,” understates Russ, who returns in
the Dumo’s Desire #45. Brother Greg is back as well in the
26b, a new Stealth chassis powered by the familiar Mazda.
On the first cousin level, Russ’ son Avery, who turns 16
in June, moves up from an impressive go kart record to join
Greg’s daughter Bethany in NEMA Lites action. The rapidly
growing Lites division begins its fifth season at the Blast
Avery, a WKA champion at Route 106 Racepark in
Pembroke, NH, will drive the car Keith Botelho drove (and
won with) in NEMA competition the past two seasons. Carl
Kibbe remains the crew chief for the now Focus-powered
The Stoehr racing genealogy begins
with Bill who crewed for, among others, the legendary Bill
Schindler. Russ and Greg’s dad Paul, a NEMA Hall of Famer,
drove for many years. Russ and Greg have 58 victories
between them, Russ sitting third on the all-time win list
with 48 including four a year ago. Greg also won last year.
The fourth generation has great promise. Bethany, who
also has a strong go kart background, ended the 2011 Lites
season with five straight top sevens including a second and
a third. “Bethany had a tough start but finished up very
competitive,” says proud Uncle Russ. She figures, in fact,
to be a strong factor in a division NEMA expects to average
20-plus cars a meet this summer. Look for Bethany’s sister
Kathryn to make some races as well.
along the next generation” is a top priority this year, the
third generation is not finished. Greg, in the championship
picture until a devastating crash at Waterford last year,
returns “determined” to run well.
Car owner Laura
Kibbe’s commitment to another season of continuing the
tradition set in motion by her dad Gene Angelillo no doubt
affects Russ. “Last year we came up a little short but had a
great season,” says Russ, who wound up second in points to
champion Randy Cabral. “It would be nice to win another
championship but it is more important that we continue to
Oswego, Star Return
NEMA’s ’12 Agenda
|Brockton, MA – The
established mainstays and a return to Star and Oswego
Speedways fill the Northeastern Midget Association’s
2012 schedule. NEMA, entering its 60th season, and the
NEMA Lites, heading into its fifth campaign, will kick
things off at Waterford Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blastoff
on March 31-April 1.
Randy Cabral and Bertrand
Motorsports will be defending their respective
owner/driver championships over a 14-race agenda that
includes five visits to Waterford including the Shane
Hammond Memorial (July 28), Wings & Wheels (Aug. 11),
Angelillo Memorial (Sept. 1) and the Fall Finale (Oct.
6-7). There are two stops at Thompson (the May 20 Marvin
Rifchin Trophy Race and Oct. 13-14 World Series), two at
Seekonk including the July 18 Open Wheel Wednesday and
two at Lee USA Speedway including the season-ending
Ocktoberfest Oct. 20-21.
NEMA continues to be
part of Stafford Motor Speedway’s Open Wheel offering
(Carquest’s Super Saturday on June 30).
Oswego trip (Aug. 28) is the first since 2005. Clearly
one of the most demanding ovals in the nation, an Oswego
checkered remains one of the most cherished laurels in
all of racing. Star, missing since 2007, returns on July
21. The tricky Star has hosted more NEMA events – 137 –
than any other facility.
The Lites, arguably the
most successful developmental division in open cockpit
racing, have 14 events planned. They’ll share seven of
those with the “full midgets” including Waterford’s
Hammond Memorial and Finale and Lee’s Octoberfest.
“In view of the economic times, it is a challenging
and varied schedule for both NEMA and the Lites,” says
NEMA President Mike Scrivani, Jr. “The traditional
events are so important and we, of course, are excited
about the return to Star and Oswego.”
Bertrand will not have an easy task. The Stoehr brothers
will be back, Russ in the Dumo’s Desire #45 and Greg in
the family-owned #26b. Former Champion Joey Payne will
be fulltime in the Breault #44 and Adam Cantor returns
to the driver’s seat in the family’s 7ny. The super
reliable Paul Scally is bent on a successful campaign as
is Mike Horn.
Seth Carlson and Jim Santa Maria
move up to the full midgets, joining two other “Lites”
graduates that won last year – Todd Bertrand and Anthony
The Lites expect continued growth with
the fields approaching the mid 20s. Among the Lites
newcomers is Avery Stoehr, the young son of Russ. Avery
will be joining his cousin Bethany, Greg’s daughter, who
showed great promise last summer.
to NEMA Big Leagues
|2011 NEMA Lite standout
Seth Carlson & Gene Feigel Motorsports have decided to
“graduate” Carlson to the big leagues, committing to the
full 2012 NEMA schedule.
“I’m looking forward to
running with Greg & Russ Stoehr and Randy Cabral in
2012,” said Carlson. “I think there will be a lot of
good racing in the 2012 season. I am very excited to get
the chance to run with these guys.”
A multi time
winner in 2011, Carlson will be coming to NEMA with his
familiar, exceptional handling Drinan Chassis with an
Esslinger powered “spec” engine – becoming a popular
choice for the economics involved.
counts Twin State Speedway as his favorite track, says
“The 2011 season was a great learning experience. It was
also great to get back on pavement after a few years
running Dirt (at Whip City Speedway).”
and his move to the full NEMA series - “We have always
intended for the Lite series to be a perfect ‘stepping
stone’ for the full NEMA series,” said President Mike
Scrivani. “Seth is a perfect example of this – he came
in, had a bit of a learning curve, then figured it out,
and won a bunch of races. The Lite series was a perfect
learning ground for him, and we’re confident he’ll be
one of our rising stars in the NEMA series,” continued
Carlson is quick to credit Gene Feigel,
his owner & sponsor, for helping his racing career along
– and his father, for his countless hours spent working
on the car and setting up the car at the racetrack. He
also credits mentor Greg Stoehr for teaching him the old
adage “patience is a virtue” – after some early season
DNF’s due to a little “eagerness” to get to the front
With Carlson in top notch equipment,
as well as the addition of Payne, Cantor, and Cabral
coming back in a “freshened” ride for 2012 – the
competition should be ripe in the upcoming season.
A Promotion In Store
for NEMA’s Tom
|NEMA is proud to announce
that former championship driver and race director for
the 2011 season, Tom Fox, has been promoted to its
Director of Race Operations. Fox, and a team he will be
assembling, will be responsible for all on track and off
track operations each week.
organization and showmanship. We are going to step up
our game,” said NEMA President Mike Scrivani. “Putting
on the best show we can each week, working with the
promoters and their staff while at the race track, and
coming prepared with the best possible show every week
is our goal in 2012 and beyond. Having Tom on board to
run this end of the business for us is both incredibly
helpful and welcomed,” said Scrivani.
& fabricator by trade, as well as a storied NASCAR late
model, modified and Busch East driver, Fox comes
prepared for the task at hand in 2012 with NEMA. “I have
been a fan of NEMA since the first time I watched them
compete at Waterford back in the mid 70's. I always
thought of the drivers as being true "daredevils", and
almost 40 years later I see that it's true. NEMA is a
true racers club, all of the members are passionate
about Midget racing, and most of them have ties that go
back a generation (or several),” said Fox.
believes that NEMA has a bright future ahead of itself
and that the NEMA Lite series has helped to “future
proof” the series. “The creation and adoption of the
Lite series a few years ago has created an affordable
venue for talented young racers to get Midget
experience. It's a true "feeder" division for the
Midgets, and kids coming from Quarter Midgets and Karts
can pursue their open wheeled dreams in an organized and
affordable series,” said Fox.
When asked about
his thoughts on taking on the role for the 2012 season,
Fox says that …”The "Club" is what has kept this
division arguably the strongest Midget Group in the
Country, but every one of us recognize that we need to
change the culture of the group in order to keep our
Northeast prominence, and to enhance our fan appeal. I'm
going to work hard, along with the rest of the members,
to increase our "brand" awareness, and strive to make
the NEMA program one of the most professional and
efficient Touring programs available to fans and
Promoters. We are continually looking at Rules and
Procedures to streamline our product regarding on-track
efficiency and the true cost of competing.”
will lead NEMA into the opener at the Waterford
Speedbowl, kicking off on March 31.
Cost Savings & Growth
In Store for NEMA in
- With the election of a new board &
various executive positions, the underlying
themes coming out of NEMA’s 2012 rules meeting
and elections held in December at Thompson
Speedway’s clubhouse were about stability, cost
savings & growth.
NEMA’s executive board
will once again be headed up by President, Mike
Scrivani. Scrivani will be supported by Tim
Bertrand as Vice President, Russ Stoehr as 2nd
Vice President – to focus on the NEMA Lite
series, newly elected Paul Scally as Treasurer,
and Linda Cleveland, who continues as Secretary.
Doug Cleveland and Shawn Torrey were re-elected
as board members, along with a new contingent
including Adam Cantor, Barry Kitteredge, Bob
Seymour and Joe Santa Maria.
of one of the most competitive seasons ever, we
looked – both as a club and as a Board, to
achieve stability, cost savings and focus on
growth for 2012,” stated Vice President, Tim
Bertrand. “We chose to freeze some of our
current technical rules for a period of at least
two years and adopted some new rules, such as a
new handicapping system to encourage car count.
Our old system discouraged members who were only
able to make it once in a while, and the new
system encourages anyone with a midget to come
run with us. We hope to even attract some talent
from the Midwest to our races,” said Bertrand.
Growth was also a big topic amongst the
members. The club has put together an aggressive
program around PR, Marketing and attracting new
talent to the club. Big changes will also be
announced soon regarding NEMA’s race day
operations team & procedures.
extremely excited about re-kindling
relationships with tracks such as Star Speedway
and Oswego on the 2012 schedule, and continued
support from long time relationships with
Waterford, Seekonk, Stafford, Thompson, and Lee
USA Speedway. More information on the full
schedule will be announced soon.
information will be forthcoming regarding NEMA’s
2012 initiatives, as well as additional driver &
personnel announcements over the coming weeks.
Keep your eyes peeled on www.nemaracing.com for
| Former NEMA
Champion Joey Payne Returns to NEMA Full Time in 2012
Northeast Midget Association action has been as hot in
the off season, as it was on the track in 2011. Last
week, 2003 NEMA champion and long-time open wheel
standout Joey Payne announced that he will be returning
full time to the circuit in 2012 aboard the Ed Breault
“I had a decent year in 2011,” stated
Payne. “We raced Oswego full time, finishing 6th in
points with one win. We also had some bad luck, after
falling out of the $10,000 to win Mr. Supermodified race
with a flat while leading with 20 laps to go. The
Classic was another let down, running 2nd for 100 laps
and losing the rear end. Ed Breault asked me to drive
the last three races of the year, and we didn’t have
good luck either, but we had a blast,” said Payne.
With plans to run full time schedules with NEMA, at
Oswego (Muldoon Racing) and quarter midgets with his son
Anthony at Wall Stadium, Payne will certainly have his
hands full this season. His goals are also very clear,
“I’d like to win some races at Oswego, and make it back
to victory lane with NEMA,” said Payne.
his father as his biggest inspiration in racing & his
family for their support, Payne also heads up a long
list of NEMA competitors that credit their families with
their success & passion for the sport.
the familiar, blue Breault #44, the car will carry its
flagship Crown Collision banner, in addition to Seymour
Enterprises, No Regrets Ink and Bell Helmets. Ed & Lou
Breault will continue to take care of the car during the
week, in addition to assistance from Mike Scrivani, Dave
Shore & Jason Parsons.
Payne, with the addition
of Adam Cantor, recent champions Randy Cabral & Russ
Stoehr, and 2nd year standouts Todd Bertrand & Anthony
Nocella will undoubtedly produce excitement for the fans
Driver’s Seat Marks the Spot
Cantor in 2012
|After taking the 2011
season to “learn & reflect,” 2012 will mark Adam
Cantor’s return to the driver’s seat as a championship
contender in Northeast Midget Association competition.
“I can’t wait for the green flag to drop at
Waterford’s opener in late March,” states Cantor. “I’m
really looking forward to running against the likes of
Randy Cabral, Russ & Greg Stoehr and Joey Payne all
Cantor calls the 2011 season “the
most difficult of his life,” having been the first time
in 22 years not behind the wheel of a racecar. As much
as it was difficult, Cantor also learned a great deal as
well as he spent much of his time “watching the races
unfold, learning each driver’s tendencies, strategy, and
taking the time to understand chassis set up at a much
Cantor Racing returns with its
long time sponsor of ten years, IGA Reichert Group. “It
has been a pleasure to have been able to work with
Charlie Reichert and his family. I consider us truly
blessed to have been able to have their support and
friendship,” says Cantor.
A family operation at
its core, Cantor credits his parents, Allan Cantor (team
owner) & Kim (team manager) and Joe Demonte (head
mechanic) for much of his career success. “They have
never questioned any of the decisions I have made and
have supported every single decision I have made whether
they liked it or not,” states Cantor.
also credits long time mentors, including karting legend
Charlie Cressi, for his success.
Monadnock & Twin State as his favorite tracks, he has
nothing against any of the tracks on NEMA’s schedule in
2012. “Once you dislike a track, you are better off
staying home,” says Cantor.
Cantor and NEMA kick
their season off at Waterford Speedbowl on March 31st.