NEMA To Return To Star Classic And Oswego Classic In 2021


(Press Release from Northeastern Midget Association)

The Northeastern Midget Association released a sneak peek into its 2021 schedule, announcing the the first two races on the card today.

The first event that the club announced is a return to the 2021 Star Classic, also celebrating NEMA Legend Butch Walsh that evening for the Butch Walsh Memorial. NEMA has celebrated a long history with the Webber family and Star Speedway, this past year marking the 60th season of partnership between the two. Long viewed as one of the premier short track races in the Country, the Star Classic, this past season, became even more of a spectacle, spanning three days including the Granite State Pro Stocks and the Modified Racing Series. Alan Chambers took down his first ever NEMA victory at this year’s Star Classic. Among the others to score their first win at Star were three-time (’89, ’91, ’93) champ Joey Coy, Hall of Famer Mike Favulli and 1984 champ Billy Mann.

“NEMA did a great job for us at last year’s Classic, and we are excited to have them back for 2021,” said Star Speedway owner & GM, Bob Webber Jr. “Starting with us dating back over 60 years, the midgets are a great addition to the Supers and 350 Supers. This past year’s Classic Weekend was an incredible event for New England short track racing,” he said.

“We are proud to announce the Star Classic as one of the pinnacle events for our 2021 schedule,” said club President, Tim Bertrand. “This year’s event was a huge success for all, and we look forward to being part of it again in 2021.”

NEMA is also excited to announce that both divisions will return for the first time in fifteen years to the Labor Day weekend prestigious Oswego Classic, and the prestigious Marvin Rifchin Memorial. The last time the midgets competed in the Classic, ISMA regular Chris Perley defeated Lou Cicconi Jr., and Pete Pernesiglio Jr.

“We are so excited to be hosting the NEMA and NEMA Lites midgets on Saturday Labor day Classic weekend in 2021. Oswego is the open wheel capital of the East and the place to race on Labor Day weekend,” said Race Director, Chuck Handley.

“When I got the call from Chuck, I knew that returning to the Classic was a no brainer. It’s a tremendous race track and always provides exciting racing. To kick off with the Oswego Classic and head to Star the following weekend provides our teams and open wheel fans something to look forward to for 2021!,” said club President, Tim Bertrand.

The midgets share the card with the Whelen Modified Tour on Saturday of Classic weekend with a $10,000 purse up for grabs, and it is rumored that Doug Coby will do double duty for the event in both the midgets and modifieds. The Super-Modified Oswego Classic will take place on Sunday. The five-eighths-mile oval provides for some fast laps for NEMA. The last time the midgets visited Oswego, lap times were in the high 16 second range, with 3 time champion John Zych turning a blistering lap in the 16.6 second range enroute to victory the last time the midgets visited Oswego in 2016. In the Lites, Scott Bigelow was the victor over Danny Cugini, and Anthony Payne, son of Oswego legend, Joey Payne.

Many of the experienced drivers consider Oswego to be a β€œrhythm track.” If you can set a pace, get out of the groove and do your passing on the outside, you can really gain some ground. Among those that have followed that philosophy is six-time champion Russ Stoehr of Bridgewater, now handing the reins over to son, Avery who has followed in his footsteps, driving for Bertrand Motorsports. Other drivers that have run exceptionally well on the round, momentum tracks are Zych, Paul “Dangerous” Scally, with a lot of success at the fast, round Wiscassett Speedway, multi time champion Randy Cabral. In the Lites, NY’s Chris Vose will be looking forward to this race closer to his home, and hungry for a win will be NJ’s Joe Bailey in the Scrivani 21, Jim Santa Maria who came very close this year, and NJ’s Richie Coy.

The full 2021 NEMA schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.

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