Press release from the New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at 860-442-7223
WATERFORD — Their Mini Stocks looked more like corpses than race cars.
Ken Cassidy’s No. 11 Mini Stock was totally destroyed after he flipped his car over on the first lap of the 25-lap feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Charles Canfield, meanwhile, was involved in the same altercation.. His No. 25 Mini Stock had the entire right side torn off.
That was Saturday, Less than one week later, both drivers plan on returning with the same cars that were involved in the first-lap demolition.
“The car might not be pretty, but we plan on being back,” said Cassidy, a five-time champion and the division’s all-time win leader. “Just as long as we have no further hiccups, we’ll be there.”
“We’re going to come back even stronger, maybe even better,” said Canfield, the current Mini-Stock champ. “We’re going to have to play some catch-up in the standings. But last year we were trailing by 15 points and we wound up winning by one. There’s no reason we can’t do it again.”
The two drivers have had busy weeks.
“We’ve have been cranking on the car all week,” Cassidy said. “We’ve had the car on the frame machine. We also had some damage to the motor when we hit the wall. “
“That was the hardest hit I’ve ever been involved in during my entire racing career, I had a beautiful car, and in less than one lap, it turned into a pile of junk.”
Canfield’s crew, meanwhile, had to replace mounting brackets, half of the front clip, the radiator and the right-front suspension.
“We could have brought my back-up car for this week, but I like this car better,” Canfield said. “I had faith in my crew that we could bring it back. We had to overlook some of the little things on the car just so we could make it.”
Fellow competitors offered Cassidy rides for Saturday night, but hew opted to repair “The Mighty 11.”
Doug Curry offered me his back-up car, Christopher Ivory offered me his back-up car and other drivers offered me rides,” Cassidy said. “But God forbid if something happened again when I was driving someone else’s car. I don’t want to be that guy.”
Canfield and Cassidy are still trying to figure out what happened on that fatal first lap.
“Jake Christian’s No. 59 got in front of me and turned around, and I had nowhere to go,” Canfield said. “The 59 wound up being my brake. Everyone else was on the gas and it wound up being a mess. It was one of those incidents that can happen,”
Cassidy, meanwhile, blamed it on impatient drivers trying to win the race on the first lap.
“It was three wide in front of me, so I checked up and Nathan Taylor ran into the back of my car,” Cassidy said. “I hit the wall so hard that my end was up in the air, and I got hit again. That’s when I flipped it over.”
While their cars looked like natural disasters, neither Canfield nor Cassidy considered throwing in the towel. Determination outweighed the frustration.
“We’re going to be ready to go, no matter what,” Canfield said. “I had help from people like the Norman Brothers to get us going. “We are just about bundled up and ready to race.”
Cassidy was just as focused.
“We don’t give up,” Cassidy said. “It was a long week, and an expensive week, But I have too many good people, too many sponsors and too many friends that I didn’t want to let down. If it wasn’t for them, I might have said the heck with it. But I received more than 200 phone calls and Facebook texts. That type of support makes me want to get back to victory lane like we used to.”
On May 25, their cars were in the obituary page. One week later, both Cassidy and Canfield hope to be in the headlines.
The Mini-Stocks will be just one layer of a special night of motor sports scheduled for Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl, involving cars from all walks of life.
The action starts with the first “Spectator Drags” event if the season. Interested competitors can bring their street cars to participate in one-lap elimination races until a champ is determined…The night’s final event Saturday will be a Mid-Size Compact Car Enduro, which should be one of the most action packed events of the season. In between the drags and the Enduros, the SK Modifieds will be featured in a 40-lap event, the Sportsman will be in a 25-lap race, the Legends will go for 25 laps and the Vintage Open Modifieds will hit the track for the first time this year.
The drag racing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., followed by qualifying at 5 p.m. The opening ceremonies will follow qualifying…. Brody’s Seafood Market and Deli of Norwich will be selling clam fritters and clam chowder under the hospitality tent from 3 to 6 p.m…. The SK Modifieds is the only Speedbowl division that has not seen feature action in 2018. The SKs were rained out on May 6, May 12 and May 19.