Press release from New London-Waterford Speedbowl
Contact Mike Serluca at firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERFORD — It wasn’t the first time Ray Christian III had won at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl. This one, however, might have been the sweetest.
Christian passed Ben Rowe with 20-laps remaining to win his first ever Granite State Pro Stock Series race here Saturday. The fact that Christian won the race at his hometown track made the victory even more significant. Christian came into Saturday’s race with 13 Speedbowl wins — nine in the Mini Stocks and four in the Late Models.
“I had this race circled months ago,” Christian said. “This was the one I wanted to win. We had a great car and the right motor and we were able to get it done.
Christian’s win in the 100-lap Granite State feature was one of the highlights of Day 1 of The Finale at the Speedbowl.
Devin O’Connell, another former Speedbowl regular, finished 16th in the race, but it was enough to wrap up the Granite State title.
Other winners were John Zych in the 25-lap NEMA feature, Danny Cugini in the 25-lap NEMA Light race and Randy Cabral in the Ct. Pro Four Modified by 0.002 over Doug Meservey. The win clinched the title for Cabral.
Alby Ovitt won the 375-Pro Sportsman feature, but Shawn Monahan finished second to wrap up the title. Brody Monahan won the Bandolero race. T.J. Racicot captured the 36-lap X-Car feature and Ed Ryan Jr. staged a come-from-behind effort to win in the 25-lap Super X car win.
Christian’s victory, however, was a definite crowd pleaser.
“This was just a testament to the great car I had and the great team,” Christian said. “This never gets old.”
Rowe led for most of the race until Christian roared by with 20-laps to go.
“My car just got way too free,” Rowe said.
O’Connell, however, was involved in an fracas on lap 9, but was able to come back out, finish the race and wrap up the title.
“All we did was push hard,” O’Connell said. “We just came in the pits, ripped the fenders off and prayed as hard as we could that we could finish the race. And we did.”
The closest finish of the day was by Cabral, who won by 0.002 over Meservey to wrap up his first Pro 4 crown.
“When I crossed the line, I thought I won, and I’m sure Doug thought he won,” Cabral said. “I have to thank the crew. They gave me the car I needed.”
Zych took the lead from Mike Horn late in the race to won his second straight NEMA Midgets feature.
“I didn’t think we had a good car, but I guess we were better than anyone else,” Zych said.
Cugini went from the middle of the pack to the lead after a restart with nine laps to go to win the 25-lap NEMA Light feature. Cugini had already wrapped up the title.
“We had one more good restart left in us,” Cugini said. “I wanted to end the season with a bang.”
Ovitt dominated the 35-lap 375 Pro Sportsman series.
“The track was a little slick, but it was a good clean race,” Ovitt said.
Shawn Monahan, meanwhile, survived a tooth-and-nail battle with Jimmy Renfrew to win the Chase and the title. Monahan was second and Renfrew third.
“This was an 18-year old car we brought out of retirement,” Monahan said. “We had garbage and we were able to beat superior equipment.”
Ryan Jr. came alive on the outside with five laps to go to win the 25-lap Super X car race while Doug Benoit finished fourth overall to win the Pure Stock division.
“The car just had another life on the outside,” Ryan said.
TJ Racicot, meanwhile, ended his season with a flourish by winning the 35-lap X-car feature.
“I’m happy,” Racicot said. “It was a heck of a race to win.”
Brody Monahan dominated to win the final Bandolero race of the year.
Before the race, Speedbowl Operations and Facilities Manager Rich Turcotte told the crowd that the Speedbowl would definitely be open for business in 2019.
“You can make your plans,” Turcotte said. “We will be racing.”
100 lap Granite State Pro Stock Series: 1. Ray Christian III; 2. Gabe Brown; 3. Ben Rowe; 4. Joey Doiron; 5. Mike O’Sullivan; 6. Jacob Dore; 7. Dave Darling; 8. Keith Casper; 9. Scott MacMichael; 10. Bobby Peland.
25-lap Ct. Pro 4 Modifieds: 1. Randy Cabral; 2. Doug Meservey; 3. Rob Richardi; 4. PJ Peters; 5. Steve Dumas; 6. Dick DuBois; 7. Bill Luchese; 8. Greg Phillips; 9. Dion Doyle; 10. Ben Ashford.
25-lap X Cars: 1. TJ Racicot, Quaker Hill; 2. Eric Finkbein Jr., Vernon; 3. Dylan Cabral, Richmond RI; 4. David Westgate, Taunton, Mass.; 5. Chuck McDonald, Groton; 6. Raymond Herman Sr., Groton; 7. Matthew Menders, Niantic; 8. Jason Poitras, Fall River, Mass.; 9. Mercedes Caron, East Hampton; 10. Rick Mollo, Seymour.
25-lap Super X Cars: 1. Ed Ryan Jr., Preston; 2. Dave Yardley, Berlin; 3. Aaron Plemons, Uncasville; 4. Doug Benoit, Swansea, Mass.; 5. Devin Tate, Preston; 6. Amy Arsenault, Smithfield, RI; 7. Marissa Morgan, Tiverton RI; 8. Mitch Bombard, Willimantic; 9. Cody Lambert, Westport, Mass.; 10. Donald Berge, Uncasville.
35-lap 375 Pro Sportsman: 1. Alby Ovitt; 2. Shawn Monahan; 3. Jimmy Renfrew; 4. RJ Surdell; 5. Scott Serydynski; 6. Rick Charette; 7. Gerry DeGasparre; 8. Paul Newcomb; 9. Phil Evans; 10. Kyle Casoer.
25-lap NEMA: 1. John Zych Jr.; 2. Paul Scally; 3. Alby Ovitt; 4. Todd Bertrand; 5. Avery Stoehr; 6. Randy Cabral; 7. Jim Chambers; 8. Mike Horn; 9. Chris Deritis; 10. Keith Rocco.
25-lap NEMA Lights: 1. Dan Cugini; 2. Avery Stoehr; 3. Jake Trainor; 4. Kevin Ianarelli; 5. Jim Cataldo; 6. Richie Coy; 7. Kyle Valeiri; 8. Ryan Locke; 9. Ben Mikitarian; 10. Randy Cabral.
20-Lap Bandoleros: 1. Brody Monahan, Willimantic; 2. Isaiah Newcomb, Plymouth, Mass.; 3. Anthony Bevilacqua, Newington; 4. Conor Jencik, Canton; 5. Nickolas Hovey; Chaplin; 8. Madelyn Hovey, Chaplin; 7. Aiden Sullivan, East Hampton; 8. Colin Floyd, North Kingston RI.
Photo courtesy of Passingbird Photography