Another Fast Five Race In The Bookswaterford
Come-from-behind win by Molleur in Fast Five
Palmer racks up fourth straight Late Model win
Burroughs holds off Charette in Lite Modifieds
Silva streaks to third Mini Stock win in a row
Byington, Guyon, Merchant, Ingves capture Nostalgia races
WATERFORD — All season long, the outside groove at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl has brought out the best in Andrew Molleur of Shelton.
So when he started on the outside against Cory DiMatteo with seven laps remaining in Saturday’s 50-lap SK Modified Fast Five feature, the 18-year-old thought he had an advantage.
“My car has been good on the outside all year,” Molleur said. “I was able to roll my car off the top and get the lead.”
After whirling to the lead, he held off DiMatteoover the final laps to grab the $4,000 first place check in the second Fast Five event of the year, sponsored by Ron Bouchard Auto Stores and the Racing Guys.
In other Speedbowl action Saturday, JasonPalmer went nose-to-nose with Ray Christian for 27 laps before pulling out a win in the 30-lap Late Model feature. Wayne Burroughs used his outside lane expertise to hold off Buddy Charette in the 25-lap SK Lite Modified race. Tom Silva remained scalding hot in the Mini Stocks, rolling to his third consecutive win.
It also was Nostalgia Night at the Speedbowl,Gary Byington won in the American Vintage Modifoed feature while Ben Levangie won the overall title. Bob Guyon won in the STAR Modifieds, Art Merchant took care of the STAR Sportsman race and Kent Ingves won the New England Antique Racers event.
Molleur captured his biggest paycheck of the season, but the win didn’t come easily. He was in second place for most of the race, trailing DiMatteo, who has rocketed to the lead on lap 19, overwhelming Todd Owen.
There was a series of restarts late in the race and DiMatteo decided to restart on the inside.
“This is a tough race to lose,” DiMatteo said. “I definitely had the fastest car. I beat Molleur on the outside a few laps earlier, but for some reason I chose to restart on the inside late in the race.”
The outside turned Molleur’s car into a lightning bolt.
“This definitely was a fun race,” Molleur said. “I have to thanks all the people responsible. I had a great time.”
There were 27 Modifieds that attempted to take the green flag, including two veteran drivers who were coming off long layoffs. Seven time SK Modified champion Dennis Gada ran inside the Top 10 for most of the race before finishing 13th. NEAR Hall of Famer Ed Flemke Jr. moved into fifth place late in the race before being involved in an altercation and finishing 11th.
Owen, the winner of the first Fast Five event, started on the pole and led for the first 19 laps before relinquishing the lead to DiMatteo. He fell back to fifth before rallying to finish third.
“I think I had a fourth place car and I finished third,” Owen said.
Mike Christopher Jr. was fourth and Matt Galkorounded out the Top 5.
The win was Molleur’s third of the season, but did not count in the point standings.
Palmer and Christian have battled all season in the Late Models, but Saturday’s race was their most ferocious confrontation yet. Palmer took the lead from Christian on a lap 3 restart, and the two drove as if they were surgically attached to each other for the next 27 laps before Palmer pulled out the win by 0.349 seconds.
“You can’t get better than that,” Palmer said. “The car was good. I just kept on doing what I was doing and it worked out.”
It was Palmer’s fourth straight win and eighth of the season. He leads Christian by 14 points in the standings.
Christian has six second-place runs this year, finishing runner-up to Palmer on all six occasions.
“I gave it everything I had,” Christian said. “I was racing so hard I took my right rear off.”
Burroughs used an outside restart to grab the lead and survive a threat from Charette, who leads Burroughs by 9 points in the standings.
“My car was terrible tonight on the inside, but it was real good on the outside,” Burroughs said. “So restarting on the outside was the key. Buddy and I have had some issues this season, but tonight we raced each other clean.”
Jason Chapman had just taken the lead, but Burroughs was able to whirlwind by on a restart.
“I think if I could have gotten to the outside, I would have chewed him up,” Charette said. “But Wayne was tough on the outside,”
Rookie R.J. Marcotte finished third.
Silva was able to widen his point lead over Chris Garside to 8 points after his six win of the season and his third straight. He took the lead early with a thread-the-needle move against leader Hailey Beal and stayed ahead of Garside the rest of the way.
“I guess I was in the right lane at the right time,” Silva said. “The 83 (Garside) was coming. He had a fast car.”
Garside, however, said he started losing his brakes at the end of the race and could not mount a serious challenge against Silva.
Racing continues Wednesday with the final Wild & Wacky Wednesday of the season. Ed Ryan Jr,has locked up the Super-X Car championship for the second straight year, but titles are up for grabs in the X-Cars, Bandoleros and Legends.
50-lap SK Modifieds Fast Five: 1. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 2. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 3. Todd Owen, Somers; 4. Mike Christopher Jr., Wolcott; 5. Matt Galko, Meridan,; 6. Matt Swanson, Acton; 7. Glenn Pressel III, Bozrah; 8.Adam Gada, Bozrah; 9. Joe Gada, Uncasville; 10. Doug Meservey, Dennisport, Mass.
25-lap SK Lite Modifieds: 1. Wayne Burroughs, Oakdale; 2. Paul Charette, Woodstock; 3. RJ Marcotte, Millville, Mass; 4. Jason Chapman, Ellington; 5. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 6. Michael McCarthy, North Oxford, Mass; 7. Jake Hines. North Haven; 8. Mike Mitchell, Cumberland; 9. Evan Bourgeois, East Haddam; 10. Cole Kugler, Bradford,R.I.
30-lap Late Models: 1. Jason Palmer, Berlin; 2. Raymond Christian, Uncasville; 3. Jaret Curtis, Rutland, Mass; 4. Randy Cole Jr, Middleton; 5. Tony Macrino, Waterford; 6. Keith Scalia, North Branford; 7. Jason Williams, Lisbon; 8. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth; 9. Chase Curtis, Rutland Mass; 10. Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. Tommy Silva, Gales Ferry; 2. Christopher Garside, Groton; 3.Charles Canfield, East Haven; 4. John Bavolacco, Stratford; 5. Jared Roy, Sterling; 6. Bill Sylvia, Preston; 7. Kevin Moore. Moosup; 8.Joe Bavolacco , Stratford,; 9. Nicholas Pappacoda, North Branford; 10. Jesse Oloski,Salem.