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ZYCH AND CUGINI SCORE ANGELILLO MEMORIAL VICTORIES IN NEMA ACTION AT THE BOWL 
Reigning NEMA champion John Zych was starting to worry that he hadn’t visited victory lane in 2014.  A couple of podium finishes was all he could muster more than halfway through the schedule.  That stress was relieved Saturday night when Zych of Mendon, MA won the Angelillo Memorial at the Waterford Speedbowl.
He may have had a hunch the elusive win would come on Saturday night after being among the fastest in practice, the fastest in the heats and set a blistering lap of 12.74 seconds, averaging 109 mph around the 3/8 Speedbowl.  Randy Cabral of Kingston, MA was second, followed by Seth Carlson of Brimfield, MA in third, Avery Stoehr of Lakeville, MA and Todd Bertrand of Suffield, CT rounding out the top five in the 25 lap main.
Zych had taken the lead on lap 8 after passing Paul Bigelow of Kensington, CT.  Two cautions flew late in the race with nine and seven laps to go.  Each time Randy Cabral lined up next to him for the restart.  “I didn’t want to see a caution, especially once I saw Randy next to me on those restarts,” Zych said in victory lane, “I knew I had to be perfect each time the green came out.”  And perfect he was, pulling away from Cabral each time and beating him to the finish by almost a second and a half.
Pole sitter Pete Pernesiglio of Ronkonkoma, NY was the only other leader in the feature.  Zych and Jim SantaMaria of Burlington, CT were the heat winners.
A scary moment for veteran driver Doug Cleveland of Sudbury, MA when his car caught fire at the conclusion of the race.  Cleveland got out of the car quickly but not before inhaling some of the heat and suffering second degree burns to his leg.  He was taken to the local hospital by the track ambulance and released later that night.
Danny Cugini of Marshfield, MA methodically worked his way through traffic in the NEMA Lites portion of the Angelillo Memorial event and won the 25 lap feature. Like John Zych, he was presented with trophies from the late Gene and Marylin Angelillo’s grandchildren in victory lane.
Logan Rayvals from Rockville, ONT Canada had set sail and looked to be cruising to his first career NEMA victory after taking the lead from Enfield, CT’s Brandon Igo on lap six.  His romp was cut short by a caution thrown for a multi-car incident just off turn four that ended the night for point leader Ryan Krachun of Neshanic Station, NJ and last event’s winner Juris Kupris from Williamsburg, NY.  The latter had his mount hauled off by wreckers on each end of the car.
By this time Cugini had moved up from his ninth starting spot and was ready to challenge Rayvals for the lead.  He took over with seven laps to go and never looked back.  Rayvals settled in for second, followed by Candia, NH’s PJ Stergios, Richie Morrocco of Plainville, MA and Scott Bigelow of E. Hampton, CT making up the top five. 
“I was praying for a caution because Logan was so far out in front,” said Cugini.  “The car got so much better after the caution and I tried him on the outside and it worked.”  He went on to thank his crew and especially his dad who fields cars for both Danny and his sister Megan at all of the NEMA Lite events.
The Lites ran only a feature as part of a big show that also featured the ISMA Supermodifieds, Modified Racing Series and Waterford’s SK Modifieds.
NEMA’s next stop is the famed Star Speedway in Epping, NH on August 23.
NEMA MIDGETS - 8-9-14
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
  Photos by Norm Marx 
NEMA MIDGETS - WATERFORD - 8/9/14
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon,MA John Zych Sr.
2 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
3 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
4 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
5 39 Todd Bertrand Suffield, CT Bertrand Motorsports
6 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA MCI Racing/
Greg Stoehr
7 99 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Susan Santa Maria
8 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
9 87 Doug Cleveland Sudbury, MA Doug Cleveland
10
DNF
54  Jim Santa Maria Burlington, CT Susan Santa Maria
11
DNF
21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
12
DNF
80 Pete Pernisiglio Jr. Ronkonkoma, NY Pete Pernisiglio Sr.
13
DNF
44 Russ Stoehr Lakeville, MA Ed Breault
14
DNF
79  Ian Cumens Lydell, PA Ian Cumens
15
DNF
46 Kenney Johnson Bethany, CT Jeff Johnson
16
DNF
35 Ryan Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Glen Cabral
17
DNS
50 Glen Lutz - Pete Pernisiglio Sr.
NEMA LITES - 8-9-14
     
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
NEMA LITES - WATERFORD - 8/9/14
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
2 94 Logan Rayvals Brockville, ON, CA Craig Rayvals
3 11 PJ Stergios Candia, NH Bill Stergios
4 25 Richie Morrocco Plainville, MA Richard Morrocco
5 32 Scott Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Scott Bigelow
6 46x Andy Barrows New Ipswitch, NH Jeff Johnson
7 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Jennifer Scrivani
8 45m Joey Mucciacciaro Wolcott, CT Frank Mucciacciaro
9 24 Calvin Carroll Andover, NJ Joe Carroll
10 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
11 15b Tony Colandro Islip Terrace, NY Russ Stoehr
12 16 Dennis O'Brien Deerfield, NH Chris O'Brien
13
DNF
45 Brandon Igo Enfield, CT David Igo
14
DNF
39 RJ Tufano West Haven, CT RJ Tufano
15
DNF
31 Ryan Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Ryan Bigelow
16
DNF
42 Juris Kupris Williamsburg, NY Charles Thomas Motorsports
17
DNF
29 Ryan Krachun Neschanic Station, NJ Mike Krachun
 


NEMA’S ANGELILLOS TO BE REMEMBERED WITH SATURDAY NIGHT’S RACE
The Northeastern Midget Association’s history book is a big one and you’ll find Gene Angelillo’s name all over it. He is responsible for much of the club’s history throughout the last three decades. Gene, his team and drivers amassed over 100 wins and a record 14 owner championships.

Gene, and wife Marilyn joined the club at a pivotal time for midget racing and made sure they kept NEMA on the map with competitive equipment and strong dedication to the organization. Both served as officers with the club, Gene as President in the 90’s.

The Angelillos will be remembered and honored by NEMA with the annual race in their name this Saturday night at the Waterford Speedbowl.

NEMA returns to “The Bowl” for their second race in as many weeks. A full field of NEMA midgets and NEMA Lites are expected to be on hand along with the ISMA Supermodifieds and Valenti Modified Racing Series for the track’s annual “Wings and Wheels” event.

Suffield CT’s Todd Bertrand could be considered the favorite heading into Saturday. He’s won the last three Angelillo Memorials, including his first ever NEMA win in 2011.

Seth Carlson of Brimfield, MA will no doubt return with the same set-up that helped him lead every lap of the last NEMA race at Waterford. He set a blistering pace early leaving only 8 cars on the lead lap at the finish to claim his second win of the year.

Avery Stoehr of Lakeville, MA rides a wave of podium finishes heading into the Angelillo Memorial. The young hotshoe scored a win, a third and a second in a week that saw three events at three different tracks. He’s been wonderful at Waterford with a win on opening day and his runner-up finish two weeks ago. Stoehr, in his first full season in the midgets is locked in a classic duel atop the point standings with four time champ and season three time winner Randy Cabral of Kingston, MA.

But, the Speedbowl is not one of Cabral’s best performance tracks. He suffered a DNF on opening day, a fifth place finish last time out. He has been shutout of Waterford’s victory lane for a handful of years and looks to change that on Saturday.

The NEMA Lites had another first time winner in Juris Kupris of Williamsburg, NY last time out. Kupris dominated the field after he methodically picked his way through the top five to wrestle the lead from NJ’s Anthony Payne with just a handful of laps to go. Payne followed Kupris across the line two seconds later to score his career best finish.

Both Kupris and Payne are out to prove their podium finishes were not a fluke. The other podium finisher, PJ Stergios of Candia, NH hopes to improve this week and claim victory #5.

Ryan Krachun of Neshanic Station, NJ looks for his first win in NEMA despite leading the point standings. Danny Cugini of Marshfield, MA, Andy Barrows of New Ipswich, NH and CT’s Bigelow brothers are also threats to bring home the Angelillo trophy in the Lites feature.

Waterford Speedbowl’s Wings and Wheels event also offers an autograph session with drivers from all the touring series between the practice sessions and qualifying.
Remembering Gene and Marilyn
It is all too easy to dismiss the mention of Marilyn and Gene Angelillo with numbers – like 115 or so wins, 107 of them with the Northeastern Midget Association. They won 14 NEMA owner championships with drivers Drew Fornoro, Russ Stoehr and Joey Payne.

Dedication is certainly fitting as well. Both were office holders, Gene serving as president and Marilyn as secretary. The club made full use of Marilyn’s secretarial and organizational skills for years. The generosity of both is legend.

Waterford Speedbowl hosts the Angelillo Memorial Saturday night, the 25-lap Midget feature part of the annual Wings & Wheels show.

Daughter Laura Kibbe continues to honor Marilyn, who passed away in September of ’07 and Gene who died in March of 2010. It has become a major NEMA event.

No doubt, they’ll be some stories told at the ‘Bowl. Over three plus decades, Marilyn and Gene touched a lot of lives. It’s safe to say, if you spent any time at all with either of them you have a story. The always patient Marilyn and the often fiery Gene left lasting impressions. They are part of NEMA folklore.

It was Marilyn who came up with the “Dumo’s Desire” that still adorns the car. It honors Gene’s father Dominic or “Dumo.” Loyalty was high on the list of priorities for them. Gene was 45 when he bought his first Midget (another great tale), reason enough, Marilyn figured, to put it on the car.

Getting back to numbers – the first win is classic folklore. It was 1981 at Hudson Speedway and Drew Fornoro had just recently joined the team. Early in the feature, Nokie Fornoro, in Mike Scrivani’s 21, went off track in turn three, bringing out the red. Drew, concerned about his brother, got out of the 45 and headed for the crash.

It was Scrivani who noticed the right rear on the 45 had gone flat. The still solid right rear was taken off the damaged 21 and, while a Scrivani crew member held the car aloft, put it on the 45. Drew then went out and won the feature beating Lee Smith and Mike Favulli.

Gene loved telling that story. It was one of many.
Marilyn, Gene & Drew - 1985
 

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