NEMA Lites Set To Make Historic Thompson Speedway Appearance

(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)

NEMA LogoThe Northeastern Midget Association has long considered Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (TSMP) the ultimate “separate the men from the boys” facility. While any Thompson checkered is a treasure, winning the first ever NEMA Lites feature at this year’s ICEBREAKER event will be a goal high on the list of many attendees.

Sitting at the top of that list is the all time Thompson winner – with eleven victories, Randy Cabral, who will return at the ICEBREAKER in his family owned #35 Lites car. In addition to Cabral – former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and multi time USAC feature winner, Bobby Santos III will be wheeling the Frank Manafort #76 in the event. In addition to Santos and Cabral – ISMA competitor and feature winner Jeff Locke will be aboard his family owned Lites car, NEMA competitor Paul Scally will be debuting his new Drinan Lites car, and 2014 NEMA runner up Avery Stoehr, a new family owned ride as well.

With nearly a twenty car field rumored, that’s just the beginning of the list. Teammates Christian Briggs and Juris Kupris will bring their RAM Bull racing entries to TSMP with high hopes of a feature victory. The Cugini family brings their two strong family owned entries to the Speedway, and the always strong Andy Barrows will be debuting his new BEAST chassis at the ICEBREAKER. The Bigelow family, with 2014 owner’s champion Scott, and multi feature winner, Paul – will undoubtedly be strong as well, with their Honda power plants. Other rumored entrants include Kenny Johnson, multi time feature winner PJ Stergios and Dennis Potter.

Thompson, known for its long straightaways and high banked corners presents a “mental wrestling match from mid straightaway into the turns,” pointing out to be successful “you have to pretty much keep your foot in it deep into the corner” says long time NEMA member and multi time winner Greg Stoehr.

NEMA and Thompson have a relationship that goes back to 1960, the legendary Dutch Schaefer the winner. Since then, Thompson has helped write a ton of NEMA history. Greg Stoehr, driving for John Zahar, passed brother Russ in the closing laps to win in 1994. In 2001, Joey Payne, who like Greg Stoehr started last, passed the same Russ Stoehr on the final lap en route to the checkered. The latter was the famed car owner Gene Angelillo’s 100th NEMA win. Last fall, Randy Cabral claimed the victory over another famous racing family name, Cole Carter – son of the great Pancho Carter.

The Lites kick off ICEBREAKER weekend with a 30 minute open practice beginning at 4:45PM on Friday April 10th, followed by practice on Saturday morning, 6 lap heat races Saturday afternoon and a 20 lap feature Saturday evening. One thing is for sure, with as close as some of the big track races were last season – reminiscent of Oswego, Thompson’s ICEBREAKER should be a “barn burner.”

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