Waterford, CT — Nostalgia Night hit the track Saturday at Waterford Speedbowl with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing joined by vintage displays and motorsports action, plus racing by the Northeastern Midget Association. Taking NASCAR wins included Berlin’s Keith Rocco, winner of both the special Charlie Mitchell Memorial SK Modified® feature plus Valenti Auto Mall Late Model race, tying yet another track record in the process. Al Stone III of Durham came away with a hard- nosed win in the Street Stocks, while Wayne Burroughs Jr. of Oakdale was victorious for the first time this season in the Mini Stocks. In NEMA action, the Shane Hammond Memorial race was won by Seth Carlson of Brimfield and the NEMA Lites feature went to Williamsburg, New York driver Juris Kupris.
Rocco’s SK Modified® triumph marked his 62nd in the division at the Speedbowl, tying him atop the division’s all-time win list with Dennis Gada, the only seven-time champion in track history. To win the race Rocco used a stellar move on another of the division’s all-time best, Ted Christopher. Christopher inherited the lead after leaders Ed Puleo and Tyler Chadwick tangled battling for the lead on lap-14. Christopher and Rocco, who were third and fourth on the track, narrowly avoided the melee and made up the front row for the ensuing restart.
Christopher successfully kept Rocco at bay to his outside for four laps after the restart before Rocco made the move, a timely cross over maneuver exiting turn four. He was to Christopher’s inside down the front chute and completed the pass through turns one and two to be the new race leader on lap-19. The remainder of the race ran caution free and Rocco went on to the victory, his eighth of the season. Christopher was able to briefly close on Rocco, but over the final laps he stretched his lead. Christopher finished in second and Tim Jordan was third. The 35-lap race paid honor to the late Charlie Mitchell, a long-time motorsports journalist and Connecticut native. Members of Mitchell’s family helped get the race started and Hall of Fame driver Don LaJoie served as the Grand Marshall in addition to presenting Rocco a special trophy following the feature win.
Rocco began the night a winner earlier in the Valenti Auto Mall Late Model ranks, winning for the second consecutive week and eighth time of the year in that division. He got by early leader Mike Sweeney Jr. with an inside pass on lap-7 and ran away after a lap-8 restart, the only one of the race, to roll to victory. While Rocco romped, a great battle for podium finishes roared behind him. Vin Esposito finished second after a long battle with Chris Garside for the spot. Garside took his first podium in the division and wound up third.
The 25-lap Street Stock feature was a slugfest over the final laps by some of the division’s heavy hitters, resulting in a thrilling finish. Stone went from third to first through the final corner to claim the win, his second of the year, but first since April. Stone was actually out front on lap-23 but got pushed up the track in turn two, getting into the backstretch wall. Chris Meyer scooted to the lead with Josh Galvin behind while Stone recovered as trio took the white flag. Meyer and Galvin got hooked together out of turn two, slowing their momentum, and enabling Stone to rally. Meyer drifted high between turns three and four taking Galvin with him, opening the door for Stone to slip by the inside of both coming to the checkered flag. Stone had to hold on as Meyer’s car clipped his just before the finish line. Meyer took second and Galvin went sliding across the finish line third.
Burroughs ran second on the rear bumper of Doug Curry for much of the 25-lap Mini Stock race. A yellow flag on lap-19, the first of the race, changed that and gave Burroughs the chance to line up outside of Curry for the restart. The two battled to the finish from there with mere inches between them most of the time. Burroughs took the lead on lap-20, and another caution put him on the bottom of the track with Curry to his outside. They ran side-by-side the rest of the way and Burroughs made a final move out of turn four to the checkered flag that gave him a half car advantage at the finish line. The win was Burroughs’ first of the season. Curry was a close second and Ray Christian finished third.
The special 27-lap NEMA Midget feature paying honor to the late Shane Hammond went non-stop and was dominated by Carlson. He led from start to finish, turned the fastest lap of the race, and was never deterred. Lapped traffic was the biggest hurdle for Carlson, which never tripped him up. Avery Stoehr charged to second position but was far behind Carlson at the finish, besting John Zych Jr. in a battle for runner-up honors over the final laps.
Kupris checkered the 27-lap NEMA Lite feature to join a long list of first-time NEMA winners at the Speedbowl. He made a power move inside of Anthony Payne in the fourth corner on lap-21 to take the lead in the race, which ran without incident from the green to checkered flags. Payne was second and P.J. Stergios was third.
Vintage exhibition race wins went to Jim Torok in the New England Antique Racers event, while Bob Seward and Richie Mosher shared the honors in the two Senior Tour Auto Racers features.
Waterford Speedbowl Saturday 7/26 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Results:
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modifieds® (35-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 2. Ted Christopher, Plainville; 3. Tim Jordan, Plainfield; 4. Rob Janovic Jr., Waterford; 5. Jeff Rocco, Southington; 6. Kyle James, Ashaway, RI; 7. Paul Kusheba IV, Monroe; 8. Joe Gada, Salem; 9. Shawn Monahan, Waterford; 10. Diego Monahan, Quaker Hill; 11. Ed Puleo, Branford; 12. Brent Sweet, Monroe; 13. Wendell Dailey, Gales Ferry; 14. Craig Lutz, Miller Place, NY; 15. Tyler Chadwick, Ledyard; 16. Nichole Morgillo, Southington; 17. Frank Mucciacciaro Jr., Milford; 18. Jeff Gallup, Agawam, MA
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Valenti Auto Mall Late Models (30-laps): 1. Keith Rocco, Berlin; 2. Vin Esposito, Seymour; 3. Chris Garside, Waterford; 4. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 5. Bruce Thomas Jr., Groton; 6. Joe Gada, Salem; 7. Mike Sweeney Jr., Meriden; 8. Nick Sowa, Middletown; 9. Rich Duranti, Quaker Hill
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. Al Stone III, Durham; 2. Chris Meyer, North Franklin; 3. Josh Galvin, Franklin; 4. Brandon Fisher, Plainfield; 5. Monte Gibbs, Higganum; 6. Norm Root Jr., Old Saybrook; 7. Joe Arena, Bristol; 8. Greg Moran Jr., Preston; 9. Phil Evans, Uncasville; 10. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 11. Ryan Waterman, Danielson; 12. Bill McNeil, Preston; 13. Lloyd Anderson Jr., Wauregan; 14. Dwayne Dorr, Ledyard; 15. Bill Dunn, Prospect; 16. Bill Hahnel, Uncasville; 17. Kaitlyn Brice, Manchester; 18. Harvey Malbaurn, Moosup; 19. Darrell Carlson, Chester
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Mini Stocks (25-laps): 1. Wayne Burroughs Jr., Oakdale; 2. Doug Curry, Groton; 3. Ray Christian III, Groton; 4. Nick Pappacoda, North Branford; 5. Ken Cassidy Jr., Lisbon; 6. Charles Canfield, New Haven; 7. Garrett Denton, Hope Valley, RI; 8. Chris Ivory, Oakdale; 9. Ed Field, Deep River; 10. Ian Brew, Wood River Junction, RI; 11. Larry Loomis Jr., Moosup; 12. Jeff Lee, Uncasville; 13. Natalie Perrault, Woonsocket, RI; 14. Josh Galvin, Uncasville; 15. Dale Sherman, Charlestown, RI; 16. Joe Liskiewicz Jr., Preston; 17. John Bowes, Willington; DNS – Dave Sylvia, Preston; DQ – Nate Taylor, Wauregan; DQ – Dave Trudeau, Mansfield
NEMA Midgets Shane Hammond Memorial (27-laps): 1. Seth Carlson, Brimfield; 2. Avery Stoehr, Lakeville, MA; 3. Todd Bertrand, Suffield; 4. John Zych Jr., Mendon, MA; 5. Randy Cabral, Kingston, MA; 6. Paul Scally, Raynham, MA; 7. Jim Chambers, Atkinson, NH; 8. Bethany Stoehr, Bridgewater, MA; 9. Ian Cumens, Lydell, PA; 10. Jim Santamaria, Burlington; 11. Pete Pernesiglio, Ronkonkoma, NY; 12. Doug Cleveland, Sudbury, MA 13. Alan Chambers, Atkinson, NH; 14. Michael Barns, hometown unavailable
NEMA Lites Shane Hammond Memorial (27-laps): 1. Juris Kupris, Williamsburg, NY; 2. Anthony Payne, Fairlawn, NJ; 3. P.J. Stergios, Candia, NH; 4. Richie Morrocco, Plainville, MA; 5. Meg Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 6. Paul Bigelow, Kensington; 7. Scott Bigelow, East Hampton; 8. Logan Rayvals, Brockville, ONT, CA; 9. Dan Cugini, Marshfield, MA; 10. Andy Barrows, New Ipswich, NH; 11. D.J. Moniz, New Bedford, MA; 12. Tony Colandro, hometown unavailable; 13. Dennis O’Brien, Deerfield, NH; 14. Brandon Igo, Enfield; 15. Jake Smith, Stroudsburg, PA; 16. Christian Briggs, Mattapoisett, MA; 17. Ryan Krachun, Mechanic Station, NJ; 18. Anthony Marvuglio; DNS – Joey Mucciacciaro, Wolcott
-Waterford Speedbowl Press Release. Photo Credit: Rick Ibsen/Speed51.com