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SAT. APRIL 11, 2015
Scott Bigelow Roars to Thompson ICEBREAKER Win in NEMA Lites
The Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) the ultimate "separate the men from the boys" facility. With times in the mid 19 second range, Saturday's first ever NEMA Lites appearance at the facility, taking place on a beautiful Spring day - left no doubts on the table. Scott Bigelow in his #32 Bigelow Electric / BEAST / Honda Powered entry, was victorious when it was all said and done, besting the sixteen NEMA Lites competitors in the pits.

The action started fast & furious right out of the gate. In the first heat, Christian Briggs in his RAM-Bull Racing entry jumped out into the lead from the pole, and dominated the event. Paul Bigelow came through the field to finish second, followed by Briggs' teammate Juris Kupris. In heat 2, the racing action was wheel to wheel, right from the drop of the green. Paul Scally, debuting his new Drinan chassis jumped out into the lead, but by the end of the heat race, it was a three way race for the win between Scally, Stoehr, and Modified Tour regular Bobby Santos. Scally came out victorious by a half a carlength.

Briggs and Stoehr led the field to the green in the feature. Stoehr quickly jumped out into the lead, followed by Briggs and Scally. Scally overtook second, and a short time later, both Bobby Santos III and Scott Bigelow had begun their march to the front. Briggs retired while running fourth around the halfway mark, and Stoehr, Scally, Bigelow and Santos all diced for the top positions, with Bigelow making a strong move for the lead on the back stretch, and Santos following.
Scally's hope for a win came to an end when an oiling issue brought out the red flag, and ended his day. On the ensuing green flag, Santos' car would not restart - and the already strong Bigelow had smooth sailing ahead of him. NEMA and NEMA Lites regular Danny Cugini made a fantastic run at the end of the feature, getting past Stoehr, but did not have the steam to catch Bigelow.

At the finish, it was Bigelow taking down the win by a comfortable margin, followed by Cugini, Stoehr, Paul Bigelow and young star Anthony Payne with a strong top five run. Juris Kupris, Meg Cugini, Kevin Park, Santos and Scally rounded out the top ten.

NEMA makes its next stop at the Waterford Speedbowl for its first inaugural test & tune session on May 3, and then kicks off the season in upstate NY at Chemung Speedrome on May 22nd and Evans Mills Speedway on May 23.
Photos by
Norm Marx
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 32 Scott Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Scott Bigelow
2 51 Danny Cugini Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
3 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
4 31 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Paul Bigelow
5 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Jennifer Scrivani
6 42 Juris Kupris Williamsburg, NY Christian Briggs
7 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
8 52 Kevin Park Foxboro, MA Kevin Park
76 Bobby Santos III Franklin, MA Frank Manafort
30b Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
44 Christian Briggs Mattapoisett, MA Christian Briggs
35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
16 Dennis O'Brien Deerfield, NH Chris O'Brien
38 Jeff Locke Raymond, NH Jeff Locke
46 Andy Barrows New Ipswitch, NH Andy Barrows
45 Brandon Igo Enfield, CT David Igo
HEAT 1:  44 - 31 - 42 - 51 - 16 - 35 - 46 - 76
HEAT 2:  30b - 15a - 76 - 32 - 38 - 21 - 52 - 41 - 45 DNS
HEAT 1 >> 
HEAT 2 >> 
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Lites Make Historic Thompson Appearance
The Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) the ultimate "separate the men from the boys" facility. While any Thompson checkered is a treasure, winning the first ever NEMA Lites feature at this year's ICEBREAKER event will be a goal high on the list of many attendees.

Sitting at the top of that list is the all time Thompson winner - with eleven victories, Randy Cabral, who will return at the ICEBREAKER in his family owned #35 Lites car. In addition to Cabral - former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and multi time USAC feature winner, Bobby Santos III will be wheeling the Frank Manafort #76 in the event. In addition to Santos and Cabral - ISMA competitor and feature winner Jeff Locke will be aboard his family owned Lites car, NEMA competitor Paul Scally will be debuting his new Drinan Lites car, and 2014 NEMA runner up Avery Stoehr, a new family owned ride as well.

With nearly a twenty car field rumored, that's just the beginning of the list. Teammates Christian Briggs and Juris Kupris will bring their RAM Bull racing entries to TSMP with high hopes of a feature victory. The Cugini family brings their two strong family owned entries to the Speedway,Anthony Payne in the Scrivani 21, and the always strong Andy Barrows will be debuting his new BEAST chassis at the ICEBREAKER. The Bigelow family, with 2014 owner's champion Scott, and multi feature winner, Paul - will undoubtedly be strong as well, with their Honda power plants. Other rumored entrants include Kenny Johnson, multi time feature winner PJ Stergios and Dennis Potter.

Thompson, known for its long straightaways and high banked corners presents a "mental wrestling match from mid straightaway into the turns," pointing out to be successful "you have to pretty much keep your foot in it deep into the corner" says long time NEMA member and multi time winner Greg Stoehr.

NEMA and Thompson have a relationship that goes back to 1960, the legendary Dutch Schaefer the winner. Since then, Thompson has helped write a ton of NEMA history. Greg Stoehr, driving for John Zahar, passed brother Russ in the closing laps to win in 1994. In 2001, Joey Payne, who like Greg Stoehr started last, passed the same Russ Stoehr on the final lap en route to the checkered. The latter was the famed car owner Gene Angelillo's 100th NEMA win. Last fall, Randy Cabral claimed the victory over another famous racing family name, Cole Carter - son of the great Pancho Carter.

The Lites kick off ICEBREAKER weekend with a 30 minute open practice beginning at 4:45PM on Friday April 10th, followed by practice on Saturday morning, 6 lap heat races Saturday afternoon and a 20 lap feature Saturday evening. One thing is for sure, with as close as some of the big track races were last season - reminiscent of Oswego, Thompson's ICEBREAKER should be a "barn burner."
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