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Joey Payne Best in NEMA's
Iron Mike Memorial at Monadnock;
Meg Cugini Tops Lites Field
Winchester, NH  -  On Saturday evening, September 5th, NEMA made its return to the Monadnock Speedway for the continuation of the Iron Mike Scrivani Memorial race for the NEMA cars, and a full program for the Lites cars. Fierce racing throughout the pack in both divisions highlighted the evening, as NEMA continues one of its most competitive seasons ever on record. On a track that is known as a "drivers track" due to the variable banking between the turns and high speeds, Joey Payne became the ninth different winner in 12 races for NEMA, and Meg Cugini became the second female driver to ever win in the Lites division.

In the NEMA division, Joey Payne and Jim Santa Maria paced the field to the green. Payne, consistently in the top three throughout the day on the time charts, blasted out into the lead. Payne paced the field at a torrid pace, pulling out to over a half track lead at one point. Behind him, there was close racing throughout the pack. 2014 Champion Randy Cabral, in a tight points battle with John Zych Jr. raced for the 4th position for much of the race, until Cabral got together with the #21 of Jim Chambers, sending Chambers spinning and bringing out the caution. Cabral retired to the pits later in the race due to the incident with a broken steering arm.

On the restart, Payne jumped into the lead, but Zych made a daring move, taking four spots away, and then set his sights on Payne. Zych slipped by Payne into the lead, only to be negated by a Bethany Stoehr caution on that same lap. On the next restart, Payne was ready for Zych, who is known to be very sharp on restarts. Payne launched in the middle of turn three, and rocketed up the track, taking away Zych's line. The duo sliced and diced, with Zych trying both the high side and the low side of Payne to get by. On the white flag lap, Zych made one more attempt in turn one, but Payne shut the door and went on to take down his first NEMA victory of the season, and first with Bertrand Motorsports. Following Payne and Zych across the line were Avery Stoehr, Seth Carlson, Alan Chambers, Jim Chambers, Bethany Stoehr, Paul Scally, Randy Cabral and Andy Barrows.

"The car was really good. I had went into 'cruise mode' thinking that we had them covered, and then John surprised me after the restart when he got by. I've been doing this a long time, and knew what I had to do in order to make sure that didn't happen again. After the restart, the car loosened up a little, but I dialed it back in and hooked it back up for the finish," said Payne. "It feels awesome to win for the Bertrand team and for the Scrivani family in the Iron Mike Memorial," he said.

In the Lites race, young star, Meg Cugini jumped out into the lead from her second starting position. She set a quick pace and pulled away from the field, until a caution at the halfway point tightened up the field. Cugini would line up next to veteran, Andy Barrows. Cugini got the advantage on the restart, despite Barrows making a run at her a few times over the next couple of laps on the bottom.

"I was just thinking to myself that I needed to hit my marks over the final laps. It feels great to take down a big win like this," said Cugini. "This win goes out to my brother, Danny, who for the first time was able to watch me race versus racing along side of me. I'm glad I could make him proud. It also goes out to my Dad who works so hard on the car each week and our sponsors - Bob's Collision Center, World Wide Preowned, Bumper to Bumper Accessories and Avratin Law," she said.

Andy Barrows put in a strong run to finish second, and veteran Paul Scally had his second consecutive podium finish with an impressive run. Following them across the line were Scott Bigelow, Paul Bigelow, Anthony Payne, Jim Cataldo, Dennis O'Brien, Jeremy Decourcey and Randy Cabral.

The NEMA schedule resumes this coming Saturday at the New London Waterford Speedbowl for the Jim O'Brien Memorial, with both the full NEMA cars and the Lites taking center stage at the Bowl.
Photos by
Norm Marx
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 74 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Tim Bertrand 
2 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
3 15a Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Russ Stoehr
4 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
5 7 Alan Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
6 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers
7 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
8 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
46 Andy Barrows New Ipswich, NH Andy Barrows
99 Jim Santa Maria Burlington, CT Jim Santa Maria
87 Doug Cleveland  Sudbury, MA  Doug Cleveland  
Photos by Norm Marx
Pos. # Driver  Hometown Owner
1 41 Megan CuginI Marshfield, MA D.  Cugini
2 46 Andy Barrows New Ipswich, NH Andy Barrows
3 30b Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
4 32 Scott Bigelow E. Hampton, CT Scott Bigelow
5 31 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Paul Bigelow
6 21 Anthony Payne Fairlawn, NJ Jennifer Scrivani
7 2 Jim Cataldo Sterling, MA Jim Cataldo
8 16 Dennis O'Brien Deerfield, NH Chris O'Brien
29d Jeremy Decourcey Rochester, NH Jeremy Decourcey
35 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Glen Cabral
36 Myles Devits - Myles Devits
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