Club President Mike Scrivani and
Master of Ceremonies Peter Falconi covered past, present and
future. Falconi reviewed the 2007 season race by race noting the
highlights and hardships.
Scrivani called ’07 "a hell of a year," pointing to eight
different winners, a strong rookie class and a point battle that
went right to the checker. Seitz (who won a fourth straight
driver’s championship) and Valeri bested the Joey Payne Jr./Gene
Scrivani noted NEMA's momentum, pointing out "a couple years ago
we had to struggle to get races. Right now, the promoters are
calling us. That’s how good we are."
Trophies and checks
recognized the efforts of the top-15 owners and drivers.
While thanking each other, Champions
Valeri and Seitz praised their crew including crew chief Dickie
Bean and sponsor Cape Cod Aggregates. It was the third owner's
crown in four years for Valeri.
The top two NEMA teams complimented
each other. Seitz called the Gene Angelillo team "the toughest
I’ve ever competed against" while Valeri praised the team’s
performance in the face of the adversity it faced, notably the
passing of Angelillo’s wife Marilyn, a long-time NEMA stalwart.
Angelillo along with his daughter and
son-in-law Laura and Curt Kibbe were part of the presentation of
the Marilyn Angelillo Woman-Behind-The-Man Award that went to Lu
Jarret, wife of club sponsor and car owner Mike Jarret. Ed and
Rachael Breault are the originators of the new for 2007 award.
The coveted Johnny Thomson Award,
selected by an independent committee, went to Seekonk Speedway’s
Irene Venditti, the announcement receiving a standing ovation.
Venditti, a long-time friend of NEMA who later received a
lifetime membership as well, remembered Thomson as "a dear
person and a beautiful racer."
Mrs. Venditti was the second woman (joining Marilyn Angelillo)
and the second promoter (joining Oxford Plains) to win the
Thompson Award, part of the NEMA festivities since 1961. Bill
Estabrook Sr. and Jr., Bruce Beane and Sam Weisberg make up the
The equally prestigious Wen Kelley
Memorial Award for outstanding dedication and service to NEMA
went to Mike Scrivani.
Jeremy Frankoski, a feature winner
who wound up sixth in the driver standings, received the Ed
Clotheir Rookie of the Year Award.
Mechanic of the Year honors went to
Lou Breault, who wrenched the Erica Santos’ driven #44 to fifth
in the owner ranks with zero DNFs.
Erica Santos, a winner at Stafford
and fourth in the final driver stats, received the Joe Csiki
Most Improved Driver trophy.
The Pat Thibodeau Youth and Determination prize was shared by
rookies John Zych Jr. and Chris Leonard, both posting top-15
finishes in the driver rankings.
Others getting special recognition
were Greg Stoehr (Evans/Thrall Top Owner/Driver), B.J. MacDonald
and Robert Kuiken (Never Say Die Award) and Shawn Torrey (Ray
Roberts Award). Stoehr finished fifth in the driver points and
sixth in the owner listings.
Eleven owners were recognized for
"perfect attendance" – Peter Valeri, Gene Angelillo, Tim
Bertrand, Mike Jarret, Ed Breault, Power Point Racing, Mike and
Paul Luggelle, Glen Cabral, Paul Scally and Shawn Torrey.
Also recognized were club sponsors
Mike Jarret (Helping Hands of America) and Stu Murray (Wirtgen
America). Appreciation awards went to Deb Fornoro, Angela
Pernisiglio, Linda Cleveland and Deb Marviglio and to push truck
operators Jack Gianinni, Pete Pernesiglio, John Greenhalgh, Mike
Luggelle, Glen Cabral, and Mike Jarret.
– "She was a racer, she will always be a racer," Gene Angelillo
said of wife Marilyn. He pledged that he along with Laura and
Curt Kibbe will continue on in her name. The team won its 111th
NEMA feature last year…Randy Cabral, third in driver points, had
words of praise for the NEMA officials, pointing out "We can’t
run without them." He said he races with several clubs but none
is more fun that NEMA.…Drivers
extending win totals in ’07 were Payne (18 since 1994), Cabral
(13 since 2000) and Stoehr (six since 1992)…Nokie Fornoro and
Greg Stoehr added to the brothers’ win list as well.....Thanks
to Erica’s’ triumph at Stafford, NEMA can now start
brother-sister win stats as well…Drew Fornoro, who drove in the
last two races of ‘07, holds the NEMA record for season-opening
wins with six. Second on the still active list is Jeff Horn with
three. Payne and Seitz have two apiece.
1. #17 Pete Valeri, 1710; 2. #45 Gene Angelillo, 1670;
3. #47 Tim Bertrand, 1529; 4. #4 Mike Jarret, 1415;
5. #44 Ed Breault, 1389; 6. #26b Greg Stoehr, 1296;
7. #99 Power Point Racing, 1282; 8. 7NY Adam Cantor Racing,
9. #29 Bobby Seymour, 1214; 10. #80 Pete Pernesiglio, 1009;
11. #47b Tim Bertrand, 972; 12. #35 Glen Cabral, 939;
13. #77 Mile Luggelle, 918; 14. #30 Paul Scally, 858;
15. #33 Shawn Torrey, 839.
2007 DRIVER POINTS
1. Ben Seitz, 1710; 2. Joey Payne Jr., 1670;
3. Randy Cabral, 1529; 4. Erica Santos, 1389;
5. Greg Stoehr, 1389; 6. Jeremy Frankoski, 1282;
7. Adam Cantor, 1274; 8. Nokie Fornoro, 1235;
9. Shane Hammond, 1199; 10. Lou Cicconi Jr., 1044;
11. Cory Cleary, 873; 12. Paul Scally, 858;
13. Chris Leonard, 837; 14. John Zych Jr., 837;
15. Shawn Torrey, 805.