John Zych, Randy Cabral Win NEMA Shane Hammond Memorials Races At Sunoco World Series At Thompson

(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)
Randy Cabral celebrates victory in the NEMA Lites feature Sunday at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/RaceDayCT)

Three time champion John Zych beat back early race charges by Randy Cabral, and a late race surge by Chase Dowling to take down the Northeastern Midget Association victory at the Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this past Saturday evening.  In the lites, Randy Cabral passed Jim Santa Maria on lap sixteen and fought off a last lap charge by PJ Stergios to take down the lItes portion

Each year, NEMA celebrates the life of fellow competitor Hammond each year, who was tragically killed at Thompson in April of 2008. ”Shane’s fatal crash was a cold April day in 2008 at Thompson. There was chaos all around the crash site and complete silence in the stands. It did not look good yet we held onto hope as many prayed. He was just 27, wheeling the car of his dreams, the #4 Mike Jarret, Nokie Fornoro NEMA midget which he had shaken down on many occasions. He felt proud and privileged that day to be chosen to wheel this ferocious machine. He was living his dream especially with Nokie as his teammate, he loved that man and how he shared all his inside information about each track they ran together. Shane was respected and loved by the NEMA family and he shared all he had heart & soul with everyone in the club,” said Hammond’s mother, Deb Marvuglio. 

In the NEMA feature, Mike Horn jumped out into the lead on lap one.  Quickly, Mendon, MA’s John Zych, who started fifth and grabbed the lead from Mike Horn just before a lap-eight caution for fluid on the race track.  Kingston, MA’s Randy Cabral moved into second on the restart and started to put the pressure on. However, during the second caution on lap 11 for Andy Lunt’s spin, Cabral suddenly shut down and went pit-side with a dead battery. Roxbury, CT’s Chase Dowling then passed Bertrand Motorsports teammate Todd Bertrand for second after the green lights came back on. Dowling tried to catch Zych as the duo pulled away from the pack, but could never mount a serious charge as Zych earned the win by .5 seconds. Bertrand held off Avery Stohr for third. Ben Seitz was fifth followed by Horn, Jake Trainor, Doug Cleveland, Richie Coy, and Paul Scally completed the top-10 finishers.

“It feels great to get this monkey off our back.  We’ve had so many issues in the last year or so, and we are back on track.  To win the world series is awesome, it’s one of the biggest crowds of the year,” said Zych. 

In the Lites, Kingston, MA’s Randy Cabral ended his busy Sunoco World Series weekend by topping an intense three-way duel for the victory in the 25-lap Shane Hammond Memorial for the Truly Hard Seltzer NEMA Lites. Jim Santa Maria ran away in the first half of the caution-free event before Cabral and Avery Stoehr reeled him in. Cabral ducked inside Santa Maria in turn three to take the top spot on lap 16.

P.J. Stergios and Richie Coy followed Cabral around Santa Maria as Stoehr stalled out. The front three then went wing-to-wing over the final five laps for the coveted World Series victory. Stergios made one last bid on the final lap, but Cabral had just enough to hang on. Coy came in third followed by Santa Maria and Stoehr.  Chase Locke, Joe Bailey, Kyle Valeri, Jake Trainor and Anthony Payne completed the top ten.

Dowling and Stoehr were heat race winners with NEMA and Jake Trainor and Jim Santa Maria were heat race winners in the Lites.

NEMA heads to the Claremont Speedway this coming weekend with open wheel legend Sammy Swindell on hand. 

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