Waterford, CT – (October 7, 2013) — Bethany Stoehr, beating back continued challenges from her uncle Russ Stoehr, won the 25-lap Northeastern Midget Association feature Sunday at Waterford Speedbowl’s Finale. It was the first Midget win for Stoehr, 18, who is only the second female winner in NEMA’s 61-year old history.
Taking the lead three laps in, Bethany, the daughter of NEMA competitor Greg, survived a series of unusual restarts to finish a tick over a second in front of Russ. It was another chapter in the Stoehr vs. Stoehr wars that are part of NEMA’s story.
“I knew [Russ] was behind me,” she said. “I just kept telling myself to hold it together.”
John Zych Jr. was third and will take a slim point lead into next weekend’s Ocktoberfest at Lee USA Speedway. Randy Cabral and Todd Bertrand completed the top five.
The final restart came with 11 laps remaining when Avery Stoehr, the fourth family member in the race, spun. Zych grabbed second on the restart but Russ quickly went around him to regain second and resumed the challenge. “I gave her everything the car had,” said Russ following his best finish of the year. “She was just better than we were today.”
Following a caution on the initial lap, Joey Payne grabbed the lead. Bethany, who started third, cleared Payne down the backstretch with three gone and two laps later Russ caught her, the tussle for the lead running ahead of a battle for third between Payne and Cabral while Greg Stoehr and Zych fought for fifth.
With 13 laps left, Greg and Seth Carlson ran into fluid dropped by Payne, their day ending in the wall between one and two. Twice the ensuing restart was called back, Bethany, with Cabral behind her, jumping the first time and getting on it too slowly the second time.
“I knew [Russ] was really good on restarts,” Bethany explained. “My father always talks about it.”
She got away on the third try with Russ again in pursuit. Two laps latter the yellow showed again.
“I was restarting off the leader,” said Zych, explaining his move on the last restart. “I saw [Bethany] go so I went.” Admitting he had nothing for Bethany, he did “protect the bottom” over the final circuits, “not wanting to go outside and leave it open.”
Bethany joins Erica Santos as the only NEMA female winners. Erica won at Stafford back in 2007.
A heat winner on Saturday as was Russ, Bethany had the fastest feature lap – a 13.119), faster than Russ’ Saturday best of 13.198.
NEMA MIDGETS – WATERFORD – 10/5/13
Pos. # Driver Hometown Owner
1 5b Bethany Stoehr Bridgewater, MA MCI Racing/
2 45 Russ Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Dumo’s Desire Racing
3 9 John Zych Jr. Mendon, MA John Zych Sr.
4 47 Randy Cabral Plymouth, MA Tim Bertrand
5 39 Todd Bertrand Suffield, CT Bertrand Motorsports
6 4 Ian Cumens Lydell, PA Bobby Seymour
7 80 Peter Pernisiglio Lake Grove, NY Peter Pernisiglio Sr.
8 44 Joey Payne Fairlawn, NJ Ed Breault
9 30 Paul Scally Raynham, MA Paul Scally
DNF 44x Avery Stoehr Lakeville, MA Ed Breault
DNF 26b Greg Stoehr Bridgewater, MA Greg Stoehr
DNF 71 Seth Carlson Brimfield, CT Gene Feigel
DNF 50 Barry Cannon Bridgewater, MA Peter Pernisiglio Sr.
DNF 99 Paul Bigelow Kensington, CT Susan Santa Maria
DNF 35 Anthony Marvuglio E. Bridgewater, MA Glen Cabral
DNS 77 Doug Cleveland Sudbury, MA Mike Luggelle
DNS 96 Jim Jackson Avoca, PA Jim Jackson
DNS 21 Jim Chambers Atkinson, NH Mike Chambers