Avery Stoehr, Jake Trainor Win At NEMA Speedbowl Finale; Todd Bertrand, PJ Stergios Are 2020 Champs

(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)
Todd Bertrand celebrates with crew, family and friends after winning the 2020 NEMA Midget championship at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl over the weekend (Photo: John DaDalt/NEMA)

Avery Stoehr came from the sixth starting spot using his father (Russ)’s patented outside moves and ran away from the field to take down the NEMA victory as the Northeastern Midget Association returned to the New London Waterford Speedbowl this past Saturday evening.  In the Lites, it was a similar story as Jake Trainor dominated the feature in the Seymour 29.  Todd Bertrand finished one spot ahead of teammate Randy Cabral taking down the 2020 NEMA championship, and PJ Stergios was crowned the 2020 Lites Champion.

Thirty midgets filled the pit area as NEMA made its first visit to the Speedbowl after a three year hiatus.  In the NEMA feature, Paul Scally and Matt O’Brien led the field to the green flag.  O’Brien, a long time club veteran blasted out into the lead and would lead the first five circuits in his best ever NEMA outing.  A lap five caution for the stopped car of Lanson Fornoro which did not clear pit road bunched up the field.  On the restart, Avery Stoehr, using the outside lane, blasted into the lead.  Stoehr began clicking off blistering fast laps, his quickest a 12.975 coming on lap seven, one lap after he took the lead. 

Behind Stoehr, John Zych was moving to the front of the field, moving by Randy Cabral, and then into second past points leader Todd Bertrand on lap 23.  Stoehr would take down the victory and never be seriously challenged, winning by 3 seconds, and was followed by Zych who made a late season surge, Bertrand who would take down the 2020 championship, Randy Cabral, Matt O’Brien in his best ever NEMA finish, Jake Trainor, Paul Scally, Mike Horn, Doug Cleveland and Andy Lunt.

“I knew that it would be tough to pass running after the pro stocks on different rubber,” said Stoehr.  “I figured I had to make quick work of it if the car was good on the outside.  Tim and Keith made some solid changes before the feature, and the car was spot on.  It feels really good to close out the season with a win,” he said.

In the Lites race, pole sitter Jake Trainor jumped out into the lead from his pole starting position in the Seymour 29.  Trainor quickly went to work on the field pulling away handily, running laps in the high 13 second range.  The field was caution flagged, and then quickly red flagged on lap nine when it was learned that starter, Craig Merriman, was hit by track debris in the foot and went down on the flag stand.  Merriman was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and is recovering at home. 

When the green flag flew, Trainor took off and set sail again, and Kyle Valeri settled into second place in his best run yet this year.  As the race wound on, Trainor pulled away, and behind him Richie Coy and Joe Bailey battled for the third spot, with Bailey coming out on top.  At the checkers it was Trainor, followed by Valeri, Bailey, Coy, Jim Santa Maria, PJ Sergios, Chase Locke, Ian Cumens, Ben Mikitarian, and DJ Moniz.  Stergios is the 2020 NEMA Lites champion.

NEMA has concluded its season and will announce its 2021 schedule shortly. 


  1. 🌈🦄2020 says

    Freak incident with the flagman. Good to hear he’s home. We forget how dangerous of a job it can be.

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