Lites Play Major Role
In NEMA Birthday Party
Brockton, MA -
The Northeastern Midget Association has, from its very inception, been one of racing’s most forward-looking sanctioning bodies. Formed in 1953, NEMA has been part of major moves that have changed the sport.
NEMA celebrates its 60th birthday Saturday night, May 12 at Waterford Speedbowl with 60 laps of feature racing – 30 for the full Midgets and 30 for NEMA Lites. Blast Off winners John Zych Jr. (NEMA) and Ryan Bigelow (Lites) lead an expected bumper field back to the Speedbowl.
Randy Cabral, Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne, champions all, head up the NEMA contention seeking the Marvin Rifchin Trophy. “Although it is only three years old, the Rifchin Trophy is one of the coveted prizes in NEMA,” says President Mike Scrivani Jr. “Marvin did so much for so many of us.”
Scrivani believes the Rifchin Trophy, the Lites and an impressive list of innovators, including six-time champion Dave Humphrey, are a recipe for a “great party.” While the club’s glorious past will be in the spotlight, the Lites light the way toward a bright future.
Waterford actually hosted the second NEMA race (in 1953) and the second Lites race (2008).
“If the Speedbowl is a great Midget track, and it is” says NEMA veteran Bobby Seymour, “it is an even greater place for the Lites. There is all kinds of room there, so many different grooves, so many opportunities to pass. You can win from the front and you can win from the back. It’s wide open.”
Seymour, who has had great success at the Speedbowl as both a driver and an owner, brings a pair of contenders for Lites honors – Anthony Nocella and Ian Cumens. Other threats include Paul Bigelow, cousins Avery and Bethany Stoehr, Christian Briggs, Brandon Igo, Kenny Johnson, Carl Medeiros Jr., Andy Barrows and Joe Mucciacciaro. Cabral is a likely Lites starter as well.
Four Lites graduates will be in the NEMA field – Todd Bertrand, Anthony Marvuglio and rookies James Santa Maria and Seth Carlson. Also expected are Greg Stoehr, Jimmy Miller, Matt O’Brien, Lee Bundy, Paul Luggelle, Paul Scally, Barry Kittredge, Adam Cantor, Mike Horn, Chris Leonard and Chris deRitis.
NEMA NUGGETS – Bobby Seymour has names for Waterford’s lowest and highest grooves. The lowest is the Bobby Santos III grove and he describes the outside as “where I liked to run.” Seymour’s success as a driver has continued as an owner. In the high groove, Seymour explains, up near the apex of the turn, “you are able to get the car straight sooner than usual” which makes the straightaways longer...A 16-year old Santos “followed the conture of the turns” with a sensational win at the Boston Louie in 2002, the first of four Waterford wins for Santos, three in Seymour equipment...Anthony Nocella continues the Seymour Waterford presence with at least one victory in each of the last three years. Both Nocella and Cumens expect to be driving NEMA “full” Midgets by midseason.