The Berlin driver had made the decision to run full-time at the track in 2016 and started the season in style with victory.
And since that opening weekend Membrino hasn’t been beaten.
Membrino used a late race pass to win the 25-lap SK Light Modified feature.
It was the fourth victory in four SK Light Modified events this year at the Speedbowl for Membrino.
Cory DiMatteo of Farmington was second and Randy Churchill Jr. of Oakdale third.
It continued a stunning run overall to start the season for Membrino across the state’s three NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned short tracks.
Membrino has won nine of the 11 SK Light Modified features he has started in Connecticut in 2016. He has won four of the six events run at Stafford Motor Speedway and the only event run this year at Thompson Speedway.
Membrino said he never expected a start like this at Waterford.
“We had good runs here last year when we ran here once or twice,” Membrino said. “So I felt like we could do it, but foreseeing it and going through the motions, not in a million years [did I think we could].
“There’s not many people that have had this kind of a run. The one’s that have, their names are [Ted Christopher] and [Keith Rocco], guys like that. Guys that are just the embodiment of Modified racing right now. It’s really humbling to be able to put my name in that kind of a category. And I know it’s the SK Light’s and people like to rag on that, that’s it’s not the same. But you’ve got your fast guys every week, you’ve got your mid-packs guys every week and you’ve got your slow guys every week. So as far as I’m concerned it’s the same thing, just different names. It’s really unreal.”
Churchill moved to the front after a restart with 21 laps left with Brett Gonyaw going to second place and Membrino to third.
Gonyaw was penalized on a restart two laps later, moving Membrino to second.
With 10 laps remaining Membrino looked to the outside of Churchill, but couldn’t find a lane to work to snare the lead away and with six laps left Churchill was pulling away out front.
“The car started fading away a little bit,” Membrino said “I was loosing my speed in the center [of the corners].”
But the caution flew with three laps remaining and it proved the undoing for Churchill. Membrino got the jump on the outside to take over the lead on the ensuing restart.
“That’s the reason I’m here,” Membrino said in victory lane. “Restarts are always prone to accidents. That’s a position I don’t want to be, but it’s a risk you have to take to try to win races and I’m happy to be on the good side of a good luck wave.”
The caution flew again with two laps left, but Membrino got away from the field on the restart and DiMatteo was able to move to second place past Churchill.