Brockton, MA – Through the month of August, the Northeastern Midget Association has featured speed – record lap times at Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY, Waterford Speedbowl and Riverside Speedway in Groveton, MA.
Saturday, Sept. 14, NEMA returns to the citadel of speed – Oswego Speedway. Jim Miller’s 16.94 lap, set en route to victory last year, will be the objective. The NEMA Lites will also be returning to the five-eighths oval.
Coming off a victory at Riverside Speedway in Groveton, MA, John Zych and son John Jr. take the leads in the owner and driver standings respectively to Oswego. John Jr. leads two-time defending champion Randy Cabral by 33 points while John Sr. has the same edge on Tim Bertrand.
The Zychs are not strangers at Oswego, Syracuse native John Sr. fondly recalling his boyhood days cheering for track hero Nolan Swift. “I’m really excited about going to Oswego,” said John Jr. who has four victories this year including the half-miles Stafford and Airborne Speedways. “I’ve been going there forever to watch The Classic.”
NEMA returned to Oswego in 2012 after an absence of six years. Russ Stoehr chased Miller home. Stoehr, who has eight Oswego victories, believes his preferred line – the outside lane – puts the track in the “easy to drive” category especially when it comes to passing.
Expect Bertrand Motorsports teammates Cabral and Todd Bertrand, the latter sitting third in points (116 off the pace) to be contenders. Oswego is one of the few NEMA haunts where Cabral or owner Tim Bertrand has not claimed victory. Randy was second to Drew Fornoro back in 2002 and has had a trio of top-fives since then including a fifth last year.
Seymour Family driver Ian Cumens, the Lites winner last year, is another threat. Cumens sits fourth in points.
Second at Airborne, NEMA newcomer Jim Chambers joins the group of other hopefuls including Paul Scally, coming off three straight strong efforts, Bethany Stoehr, two-time Oswego winner Joey Payne, Jim SantaMaria and Seth Carlson who was fourth a year ago.
A winner the last time out at Star Speedway, Carl Medeiros Jr. has a, 43-point bulge on Danny Cugini in the Lites point standings. Avery Stoehr, a two-time winner, sits third 134 behind. Stoehr, a winner at Stafford this summer, was third behind Paul Bigelow in last year’s Lites Race at Oswego.
Cumens is likely to be seeking his second Lites win of the year at Oswego. He was second at Star with D.J. Moniz third. Other contenders are P.J. Stergios, Ken Johnson, Richie Morocco, Brandon Igo and rookie Ken Hutchens.