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Cicconi -  Cabral - Coby

Photos by Norm Marx
Cabral Holds On To Grab
NEMA Seekonk Prize
Seekonk, MA – Randy Cabral beat back a last-lap challenge from teammate Doug Coby to capture the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature at Seekonk’s Open Wheel Madness Wednesday night. It was the 14th straight year Cabral has won at least one feature but few, if any, of his 36 career wins were closer. Coby’s late rally fell 0.163 of a second short.

Two laps remained when NASCAR Modified standout Coby, looking for a second straight Seekonk NEMA win in the Bertrand 74, took second from Lou Cicconi (Cantor 7ny) through three and four. Going down the back chute on the final circuit Cabral and Coby were side-by-side. They were still that way coming off four, Cabral (Bertrand) needing an extra effort to prevail.

Cicconi held on for third with Greg Steer (Stoehr 26b) fourth and rookie Jim Chambers (Chambers 21) fifth, the latter continuing to impress.

Cabral, who led throughout, believes Coby might have actually had a slight edge out of four heading for the checker. “I could see his wing,” said Cabral. “I saw the orange and I knew it wasn’t Cicconi.” He jumped on the throttle and moved up the track.

“Randy did kind of push me around a little bit,” Coby said in victory lane, jokingly adding “protecting the lead” was not a move unfamiliar to a Modified driver.

The race was hardly a lap old when the first yellow flew. Heading into one, Cicconi, who started fourth, dove into the first turn, actually assuming the lead. A trio of cars tangled behind him, front row starters James Santamaria and Paul Scally both eliminated.

“Don’t know how I missed it,” Cabral said, pointing out he actually made contact and initially believed he damaged the right front.

Official called for a total restart and, with the front row gone, Cabral was now on the pole with Cicconi outside. Cabral got away but Cicconi was on his tail and was still there when the leaders got into lapped traffic shortly before the halfway mark. While admitting he “kind of peddled it in traffic,” Cabral car’s “actually got better” getting through the congestion.

“We were at the same speed,” said Cicconi. “If I was going to get him, it would be in traffic.”

Coby, who started ninth, took off from an early battle with John Zych to climb to fifth by lap 10 and sat third on the 18th lap.

“I saw the last caution and said to myself ‘this is now my race to lose,” offered Cabral. “’If that happened, I said, I was going to have to give up racing.” He need not worry about that.

NEMA’s next stop is the Shane Hammond Memorial at Waterford Speedbowl Saturday night July 27. The Lites are part of the program as well.

Cabral was using a motor on loan from Paul Scally and was quick to credit the NEMA veteran.
Coby, who ended the night with a victory in the 100-lap Modified race, had the fastest lap of the night, a blistering 11.149 (107.525 mph).
Cicconi and Cabral were heat winners.
Dave Humphrey’s 16 consecutive seasons with at least one victory is the NEMA record.
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
2 74 Doug Coby Milford, CT Bertrand Motorsports
3 7ny Lou Cicconi Aston, PA Allan Cantor
4 26b Greg Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
5 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
6 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
7 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
8 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA MCI Racing/
Greg Stoehr
9 45 Russ Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Dumo's Desire Racing
10 80 Peter Pernisiglio Lake Grove, NY Peter Pernisiglio Sr.
11 77 Doug Cleveland Sudbury, MA Mike Luggelle
29s Ian Cumens Lydell, PA Bobby Seymour
44 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Ed Breault
30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
99 Jim Santa Maria Burlington, CT Susan Santa Maria
39 Todd Bertrand Suffield, CT Bertrand Motorsports
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