Bethany Stoehr Beats Waterford Weather

Bethany Stoehr (5b) battles Joey Payne during Sunday's Northeastern Midget Ass'n race at Waterford Speedbowl (John DaDalt Photo)
Bethany Stoehr (5b) battles Joey Payne during Sunday's Northeastern Midget Ass'n race at Waterford Speedbowl (John DaDalt Photo)
Bethany Stoehr (5b) battles Joey Payne during Sunday’s Northeastern Midget Ass’n race at Waterford Speedbowl (John DaDalt Photo)

WATERFORD, Conn. – Waterford Speedbowl had to battle Mother Nature on Sunday of its Finale Weekend, getting interrupted by rain once before completing three of its scheduled six races for the afternoon.

A persistent and increasing mist forced track officials to suspend the event and the remaining racing until next Saturday, Oct. 12.

Picking up wins in the completed races included Bethany Stoehr in the Northeastern Midget Ass’n (NEMA) feature, Ken Cassidy Jr. in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stock race and Dylan Izzo in the INEX Legend Cars event.

The Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race was suspended part-way through and the SK Modified and Street Stock races were unable to be completed due to the weather

Stoehr continued a trend of late at the Speedbowl – winning ladies. She became just the second female winner in the 61-year history of the series. Victoria Bergenty and Nichole Morgillo became the first-ever open wheel race winners in Speedbowl history on September 21 in modified competition, and Stoehr matched that effort just two weeks later.

Stoehr, 18, had to fend off a stiff challenge by her uncle Russ Stoehr, a six-time NEMA series champion. She turned the quickest lap of the race, a blistering 103 mile-per-hour effort. Russ Stoehr couldn’t top his niece and settled for second while John Zych Jr. finished third. Erica Santos was the first to win a NEMA series race in July 2007.

Cassidy was on his game once again in Mini Stock competition, rolling to his ninth victory of the year – and fourth in a row to conclude the season. The five-time Speedbowl champion endured a rain delay that lasted nearly ninety minutes, interrupting the race just seven laps in. Cassidy started the race in eleventh position and worked his way into contention while early caution flags plagued the race.

He took the lead after the delay on lap-10 from Sean Caron, who led from the beginning. The final 39 laps were run without caution and after a brief challenge from teenager Garrett Denton, Cassidy pulled ahead to lead the final 33 laps. He did not falter in lapped traffic and closed out the win. Denton finished second and two-time division champion Glenn Colvin was third.

The INEX Legend Cars race was well contested with eight lead changes among five different drivers over the 25-lap feature. Izzo came away with the win after a late race battle with Nick Ladyga. Izzo first made his way to the front on when leader Paul Kusheba slipped in turn two on lap 16. Ladyga was able to work by the inside of Izzo on lap 18 to take the lead but Izzo would not back down.

He stayed outside Ladyga for three laps in a tight battle before making a great move. Izzo dropped in behind Ladyga down the back chute of lap 21, making room underneath Ladyga in turns three and four to come away with the lead. Izzo, the division champion for 2013, pulled ahead for his sixth win of the year and third straight. Brendon Bock, the Riverhead Raceway track champion was second and Ladyga finished in third.

The 50-lap Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Model feature was suspended with Keith Rocco in the lead with a heavy mist falling. It will resume on October 12, along with the Street Stock 50-lap feature and SK Modified 50-lap feature. Exact event times, prices and details will be released by the track.