BROCKTON, Mass. – The Northeastern Midget Ass’n has now run 20 straight races without a back-to-back winner.
Russ Stoehr, who checkered at Waterford Speedbowl’s Finale last Sunday, aims to end that this weekend when NEMA makes its annual visit to Thompson Int’l Speedway’s World Series. Qualifying is part of the Saturday agenda while the 30-lap feature is tabbed for Sunday.
NEMA comes to the World Series with 11 winners in 12 races, making the 2012 campaign one of the most competitive in the club’s 60-year history. There has not been a back-to-back winner since Russ Stoehr won the first three races of 2011.
Point leader Randy Cabral, working on a streak of six straight top-fives, leads NEMA into Thompson. The only two-time winner this season, he is NEMA’s all-time winner at Thompson.
The Stoehr threat will be three deep. In addition to Russ (Dumo’s Desire 45) and Greg (Stoehr 26b), Keith Botelho will be driving the No. 4 the Stoehr family recently purchased from Mike and Lu Jarret. All three are familiar with Thompson’s demands. “Passing cars at 125 plus miles per hour, you’ve got your hands full,” says Russ, last year’s World Series winner.
It is speed at Thompson. Cabral, en route to a second last year, turned a 18.076 lap which converts to 129.453 mph. Stoehr’s best lap (18.163) was only a tick off.
Greg sees it as 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.”
Botelho, who has been successful in the past in Stoehr equipment, will be steering the car Nokie Fornoro drove to victory in the 2010 World Series – the last win in the legendary driver’s career.
The return of the Jarret car enhances what has been an extraordinary year competition wise.
“There is good equipment everywhere and passing cars is not that easy anymore,” explains Cabral who had a couple of seconds last year at Thompson.
Veteran Jim Miller (first at Oswego and third behind Mike Horn at Stafford) has been impressive on the “big tracks” this summer and earns contender status at Thompson. Horn, a Thomson winner last year, runs a setup very similar to that of Bertrand Racing teammates Cabral and Todd Bertrand.
In addition to the Stoehrs, Cabral, Horn and Miller, 2012 winners include Bertrand, John Zych Jr., Adam Cantor, Anthony Marvuglio, rookie Seth Carlson and Anthony Nocella.
Counting out Joey Payne and Jeff Horn, both Thompson winners in the past, would be a serious mistake as well.