There is More Than One Path to get to the Winners Circle at NLWSMitch Bombard
There is more than one path to get to the winners’ circle at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
Early moves paid off for Eric Berndt, Tony Macrino and Tom Silva. Late moves worked for Andrew Molleur, Evan Bourgeois and Zachary Martinez. All six drivers, however, had one thing in common — they posted victories Saturday night.
Berndt posted his second SK Modified win in the first installment of the Fast Three. Bourgeois held off Tom Abele on consecutive to win his first ever SK Light feature while an early breakaway by Tony Macrino enabled him to win his first Street Stock race. Silva, the defending Mini Stock champ, moved in front early to post his first win of the season. Molleur, meanwhile, threaded the needle through traffic with six laps remaining on his way to his second straight Late Model win. Zach Martinez rocketed his way out of turn 4 to get by Brody Monahan for his first Legends win of the season.
Berndt started fifth in the 60-lap SK feature but needed only two laps to challenge Bill Anderson for the lead. Berndt blurred by Anderson and led the rest of the way, but it wasn’t an easy win. He was threatened repeatedly by Cory DiMatteo, Todd Owen and Anthony Flannery and had three restarts against Flannery down the stretch, but was able to hold everyone off.
“That was the plan, to move ahead early to see how good the car was,” Berndt said. “All those restarts at the end sure made it tough.”
Flannery held on for second, despite several late charges by Owen. It was the second straight podium finish for Flannery.
It looked like Molleur was about to settle for a third place finish in the 30-lap Late Models when Jason Palmer and Ray Christian were fighting for the lead with six laps remaining. The two front-runners made contact and went sideways, however, blocking the track. Molleur somehow found an escape route.
“I wish I could tell you how I made it through,” Molleur said. “God only knows. I have no idea.”
Molleur’s miracle move gave him the lead, but he had to prove himself on two late restarts to wrap up the win over the late-charge of Christian, who passed more cars than anyone in the race.
Christian started sixth, faded to 11th, rallied to take the lead, was sent to the rear after the altercation and might have had the quickest car on the final lap as he bobbed-and-weaved through traffic to blast into second on the final lap.
Sami Anderson led the first handful of laps in the 25-lap SK Light feature, but Bourgeois, in only his second year in the division, roared into the lead. He needed to beat Abele on a pair of restarts down the stretch to grab his first ever SK Light victory.
“I slid into Abele a couple of times on those restarts,” Bourgeois said. “I apologize for that, but it was just hard racing.”
John O’Sullivan surged past Abele on the final lap to finish second.
Al Stone started on the pole in the 25-lap Street Stock feature but Macrino wasted no time to lightning bolt into the lead. He dominated the rest of the way for his first career Street Stock win.
“Finally,” Macrino said. “This is huge. Whether there are five cars in a race or 50, every win in this division is huge.”
Brian Norman finished second.
Silva had a disappointing opening night run in the Mini Stocks so he decided to take a few weeks off to make his car faster. He needed that speed because he was hounded by Billy Sylvia late in the race.
“Opening night left a bitter taste in my mouth,” Silva said. “So we worked on the car for a few weeks. It’s great to be back.”
Sylvia, last week’s winner, was back on the podium to finish second. “This car has been amazing,” Sylvia said.
It was an amazing move by Martinez with seven laps to go in the 25-lap Legends race to stampede past Monahan O’Sullivan made a late power move to grab second, racking up his second runner-up finish of the night.
Racing resumes Saturday with the SK Lights in the spotlight with a 30-lap feature.
60-lap SK Modifieds: 1. Eric Berndt, Cromwell; 2. Anthony Flannery, East Hampton,; 3. Todd Owen, Somers; 4. Cory DiMatteo, Farmington; 5. Timmy Jordan, Plainfield; 6. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 6. Mike Christopher Jr., Wolcott, CT; 8. Dana DiMatteo, Farmington,; 9. Rob Janovic Jr, Waterford,; 10. RJ Marcotte, Millville; 11. Paul Buzel, Trumbull,; 12. Anthony Bello, Newtown,; 13. Joe Gada, Uncasville; 14. Adam Gada, Bozrah; 15. Bill Anderson, Wolcott,; 16. Kyle James, Ashway, R.I.
25-lap SK Lite: 1. Evan Bourgeois, East Haddam; 2. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 3. Tom Abele Jr, Norwich; 4. Nickolas Hovey, Chaplin,; 5. Sami Anderson, Wolcott,; 6. Christopher Hirt, Newington; 7. Matt Brewer, Norwich,; 8. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 9. Zachery Sangermano, Plainfield; 10. Stephen Kalogiannis , New Hartford; 11. Jordan Churchill, Lisbon.
30-lap Late Models: 1. Andrew Molleur, Shelton; 2. Raymond Christian, Uncasville; 3. Charles Bailey III, Lisbon; 4. Douglas Curry, Groton; 5. Derryck Anderson Jr, Warwick; 6. Jason Williams, Lisbon; 7. Michael Benevides, Westerly, R.I.; 8. Keith Scalia, North Branford; 9. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 10. Jordan Hadley, Waterford; 11. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 12, Charles Bailey IV, Lisbon; 13. Walter Sutcliffe, East Haven; 14. Glen Thomas Jr., West Bridgewater, Mass.; 15. Jason Palmer, Berlin,; 16. Ryan Morgan, North Franklin; 17. Rich Staskowski, Hope Valley, R.I.
25-lap Street Stock: 1. Tony Macrino, Waterford,; 2. Brian Norman, Clinton; 3. Shawn Gaedeke, Groton,; 4. Aaron Plemons, Uncasville; 5. Al Stone III, Durham; 6. Ed Gertsch Jr., East Haven; 7. Zach Meade, Putnam,; 8. Jaysin Beal, Ledyard,; 9. Timothy Poulin, Thompson; 10. Jake Coutu, Moosup,; 11. Tom Musante, Naugatuck; 12. Paul Newcomb, Plymouth.
25-lap Mini Stocks: 1. , Gales Ferry; 2. Bill Sylvia, Preston; 3. Sam Mesick, East Lyme; 4. Charles Canfield, East Haven; 5. Jesse Oloski, Salem,; 6. Nicholas Pappacoda, North Branford; 7. Wayne Taylor, Moosup; 8. Erica Canfield, East Haven; 9. Hailey Beal, Ledyard; 10. Kyle Wing, Moosup; 11. Dave Trudeau, Mansfield; 12. Charles Beal, Ledyard.
25-lap Legends: 1. Zachary Martinez, North Kingstown, RI; 2. Brody Monahan, Waterford; 3. Dylan Cote, Griswold,; 4. John O’Sullivan III, Salem; 5. Dylan Freeman, Unionville; 6. Riley Paul, Ledyard; 7. Scott Limkemann, Lebanon; 8. Patrick Smith, New Britian; 9. Ron Miske, Shelton; 10. Bruce Finley, Webster; 11. Scott Kinsman , Berlin,; 12. Tyler Miske, Shelton; 13. Thomas Martucci Jr., Ellington.