Pair of NEMA Drivers Score First Wins of 2021 Season

The Northeastern Midget Association stormed into the sweeping, 3/8-mile Wiscasset Speedway for the second and final time of the 2021 campaign.  Saturday night’s racing saw two drivers – Jim Santa Maria in the Lites and Avery Stoehr in the Midgets– each make their first trip of the season to Victory Lane.

REPLAY: NEMA Midgets at Wiscasset

In the NEMA Lites feature, Connecticut driver Jim Santa Maria absolutely smoked the rest of the field.  The race ran caution-free, and Santa Maria led all 60 laps to win over Jake Trainor by 9.726 seconds – which, with a 14-second average lap time, equates to about three quarters of a lap.

 

Even though he clearly had the fastest car, Santa Maria still knew that it was the longest race in NEMA Lites history, and that it would require a delicate balance between outright speed and making his equipment go the distance.

 

“Yeah, it was a long race,” Santa Maria told series announcer Pete Falconi after the race.  “I was trying to figure out a good way to pace myself, when to really go on it and stuff, and I guess I just found that balance.  I knew there were some fast cars in the field tonight, so I knew I had to get a pretty big lead, I was just trying to figure out how to maintain it.”

 

The young Jake Trainor, winner at Seekonk over none other than former NASCAR Cup driver Ken Schrader, piloted his No. 29 to the second position over Paul “Dangerous” Scally in third.  Trainor and Scally battled hard for control of the second position, and although Trainor came away with the spot, he simply could not catch Santa Maria out front.  Dylan Coutu and Richie Coy rounded out the top five.

 

The NEMA Midgets then took to the track for their 25 lap feature.  Once again, the race ran caution-free, and once again one driver ran away with it.  Avery Stoehr, who finished the last race at Hudson International Speedway on the back of a flatbed, moved to the lead from fourth in just three laps, and checked out to a 4.938-second margin of victory.

Talk about fixing it,” Stoehr said.  “Last week, I welcomed my daughter into this world, and I was out, I couldn’t work on the car at all, and I really owe this whole win to Keith [my crew chief].  He put the whole car together pretty much by himself, and you guys saw, he did a phenomenal job.  He helps me every step of the way and I really couldn’t do it without him.

Randy Cabral, who finished 11th in the Lites feature, stayed in Stoehr’s wheel tracks throughout the race.  He was able to follow Stoehr from fifth all the way up to second place, but was unable to track him down for the lead.

 

“A little overheating problem in the NEMA Lite, but this one was good,” Cabral said.  “I’m only disappointed with second place right now because I love coming here and putting a show on for the fans, and I couldn’t do that for you guys so I’m sorry.  But I love coming up here, I love racing up here.

 

“I think another lap, I think I probably would have had the win on Avery.  He was only, what, a half a track ahead of me?  I think I had him.

 

“I got a little balled up behind the lapped traffic, they were kind of a road block, and I thought John [Zych] was going to get me.  Luckily we held on for second, I’m actually ecstatic about second.”

 

John Zych, Jr. held station in third place for almost all of the 25 laps.  He mounted a late charge to try to take second from Cabral, but Cabral put up a stout defense and kept Zych at bay.

 

“Yeah, a couple spots short, but these guys are really fast.  We’ll take a third place.  It’s great to be here again, we love coming up here.  It’s such a great track.”

 

The NEMA Lites are back in action for the Speed51.TV Modified Madness make-up at Seekonk Speedway on Wednesday, August 25th before heading north with the Midgets for the 65th Annual Classic Week at Oswego Speedway in New York on Saturday, September 14th.

 

Story by Ian Pettigrew, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent

Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo

 

 

NEMA Lites at Wiscasset – Full Results (Unofficial)

  1. Jim Santa Maria
  2. Jake Trainor
  3. Paul Scally
  4. Dylan Coutu
  5. Richie Coy
  6. Mike Pernesiglio
  7. Drew Eldridge
  8. Brandon Egan
  9. Ethan Dion
  10. Tiana Kibbe
  11. Randy Cabral
  12. Chris Vosey
  13. Avery Stoehr

 

 

NEMA Midgets at Wiscasset – Full Results (Unofficial)

  1. Avery Stoehr
  2. Randy Cabral
  3. John Zych, Jr.
  4. Nathan Byrd
  5. Doug Cleveland
  6. Richie Coy
  7. Mike Horn
  8. Paul Scally
  9. Matt Merry
  10. Jake Trainor

Pair of NEMA Drivers Score First Wins of 2021 Season