WATERFORD, Conn. – Taking advantage of the caution he was “hoping for,” Todd Bertrand captured the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Ass’n feature Sunday at Waterford Speedbowl’s Blast Off Weekend.
Bertrand described the run to his third career NEMA win, all of them at Waterford, as “methodical.”
Bertrand was in complete control after beating Anthony Marvuglio into turn one on a lap 15 restart. Marvuglio held on for second followed by Randy Cabral, Seth Carlson and Russ Stoehr as NEMA opened its 61st season.
Following three side-by-side laps with fellow front-row starter Carlson, Marvuglio took command. The patient Bertrand, second by lap five, was catching the leader.
“I wanted a restart,” explained Bertrand. “I didn’t want to wear out my tires. I knew my tires were going to be cooler than his.”
Looking at the scoreboard, Bertrand noticed teammate Cabral would line up behind him. “I knew if I didn’t go, Randy would,” he said.
Bertrand grabbed the lead with no trouble while Cabral, who started eighth, battled Marvuglio for several laps before settling into third. It was, said Marvuglio, “fun racing.”
Stoehr, who suffered extensive damage in his heat on Saturday, passed Modified star Doug Coby, in the third Bertrand Racing entry, for fifth shortly after the restart. In the tightest competition of the event, Stoehr, Coby and seventh-place Bethany Stoehr were all within a half-second of each other.
Bertrand’s Honda-powered Drinan was 2.4 seconds in front at the checkered. It also owned the fastest feature lap (13.052). That, however, paled compared to a 12.619 (106.982) posted in winning his heat on Saturday. Cabral had a 12.776 in winning his heat.