WATERFORD – The reigning champion of the North East Street Stock Tour made his return to his former home track a celebratory one.
Joe Arena of Bristol ran away with victory in the 35-lap North East Street Stock Tour feature Saturday at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl.
“We didn’t have a really good car here in practice a couple weeks ago in practice,” Arena said. “I was really worried. Last Wednesday we came again and we were really close. We made a couple of adjustments today and it was not the best, but we won that’s for damn sure.”
A pair of track regulars rounded out the podium with Al Stone III of Durham finishing second and Chris Meyer of Norwich following in third.
Corey Hutchings led early but by lap 11 Arena was haunting his bumper.
On lap 13 Arena was able to make the move to clear Hutchings for the lead off of turn two and never trailed again. Stone moved to second on the same lap but never challenged Arena.
“Corey was real fast in the heat race, we had a real good battle,” Arena said. “But as the race was going on I was kind of pacing myself. He was getting really free off the corner so I just waited a few laps and the whole opened up and here we are.”
Chris Ivory left New London-Waterford Speedbowl fans with no shortage of dramatics Saturday.
Ivory put on a race long succession of side-by-side battles for the lead before scoring victory in the 25-lap Mini Stock feature.
It was the first victory of the season for Ivory, of Oakdale.
Ken Cassidy Jr. of Lisbon was second and Brad Caddick of Wyoming, R.I. third.
And it proved hard fought behind the scenes for Ivory.
“In practice we blew a rear end and we were able to get this thing together before the heat race,” Ivory said. “We got it together and came out and the thing was flawless.”
Jacob Perry went to the lead past Andrew Krzeminski on the first lap and two laps in Ivory moved past Krzeminski for second with Dave Trudeau following into third.
With 17 laps left Ivory went to the outside of Perry and a lap later he moved to the lead at the line, but there was no letting up from the 14-year old rookie Perry.
Perry stayed to the inside of Ivory in a side-by-side battle between that lasted eight laps, before contact sent Perry spinning in turn four with eight laps left.
Cassidy restarted in second next to Ivory.
With seven laps left Cassidy was able to edge past Ivory for the lead, but two laps later in the continued side-by-side battle, Ivory got back out front.
The side-by-side battle went until the final lap when Ivory cleared Cassidy off of turn two and drove to the victory.
Dana DiMatteo of Farmington won the 25-lap Legends feature.
Jake Johnson of Rehoboth, Mass., was second and Michael Rutkoski of Mattituck, N.Y. third.