Russ Stoehr Races To ARDC/NEMA Mini-Indy Win At Flemington Flemington, NJ., June 21 - North Eastern Midget Association (NEMA) driver, Russ Stoehr, of Carver, Massachusetts started in the middle of row six and worked his way through a talented...
Russ Stoehr Races To ARDC/NEMA Mini-Indy Win At Flemington
Flemington, NJ., June 21 - North Eastern Midget Association (NEMA) driver, Russ Stoehr, of Carver, Massachusetts started in the middle of row six and worked his way through a talented field of Midget drivers to capture the exciting Mini-Indy Challenge race at Flemington Speedway on Saturday night. The much anticipated start of the race between NEMA and the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) CARQUEST Midgets included 33 cars, with 11 rows, 3 wide and all went very smoothly until the field got into turn four. ARDC starter, Ron Grater, had to turn on the red lights around the speedway when one of the cars got sideways, causing drivers to scramble. The melee left Midgets disabled all over the exit of turn four. Glen Cabral of Plymouth, Massachusetts was the only car that got upside down. Other drivers involved in this spectacular crash included Jim Miller, Donnie Trent, Jim Jackson, Mike Lugelle and Bob Botticher.
Since this first lap was not scored, officials ruled that the Mini-Indy start be repeated. This time it was without any incidents. ARDC CARQUEST Midget Series rookie, Mark Wakefoose, of Hopatcong, New Jersey was in the front of a field of the fastest Midgets in the East. The glory of leading this prestigious race lasted five laps for Wakefoose when Russ Stoer went around the Wakefoose No.12 for the top spot. Once Stoehr was in front, he began to put lapped cars between himself and some of the other front runners. Bryan Kobylarz, Gary Halteman, Phil DiMario, Drew Fornoro and Keith Botelho were all dicing for position at nearly 140 mph. These drivers got a break on lap 12 when Matt O'Brian's No.16 had sparks flying from under the car and finally came to a stop on the track, bringing out the caution. It was just what Phil DiMario needed to set the stage for a battle with Stoehr. Stoehr and DiMario raced, sometimes side by side, dodging lapped traffic. On the 25th lap, in turn one, it looked as though DiMario got the run on Stoehr that he needed. But, Stoehr was masterful in using the slower cars to his advantage.
After the race Russ Stoehr said, "We were blistering the right front tire and I was trying to save a little for the end. Then Phil showed me the nose of his car, so I really had to stay on it." DiMario's recount of the duel was similar. "I felt we had the fastest car tonight but when I got that good run on Russ and came up on a lapped car, it must have got the tire hot. I knew my chances of getting him again were dwindling." Russ Stoehr and Phil DiMario finished first and second in the 33 lap contest followed by Keith Botelho of Carver, Massachusetts, Gary Halteman of Gilbertsville, Pa. and Drew Fornoro from Newton, New Jersey who made up the top five. Mark Freeland received the ARDC Pennzoil product award with his thirteen-place finish.
The ARDC/NEMA Midget drivers meet again on July 4 at Oswego Speedway in New York.
Mason Racing Ignitions First Heat: 1. Gary Halteman 2. Drew Fornoro 3. Fred Schell 4. Lew Blair 5. Mike Lapp 6. Mark Freeland 7. Dave Kelley 8. Jim Miller 9. Mike Lugelle 10. Shawn Burke 11. Mike Ober (DNS)
Hank's Performance Second Heat: 1. Phil DiMario 2. Bryan Kobylarz 3. Monnie Wonder III 4. Walt Stearly 5. Keith Botelho 6. Doug Cleveland 7. Chuck Welling 8. Craig Rochelle 9. Donnie Trent 10. Dave Suchy 11. Pete Pernesiglio.
Sander Engineering Third Heat: 1. Russ Stoehr 2. Bob Botticher 3. Ed Stimely Jr. 4. Mark Wakefoose 5. Bill Ertel 6. Lee Bundy 7. Larry Cheetham 8. Glenn Cabral 9. Brian Cleveland 10. Hank Rogers Jr., 11. Gary Mondschein 12. Brian Suchy 13. Tom Martocci (DNS) 14. Bill Keimel (DNS)
Consi: 1. Gary Mondschein 2. Matt O'Brian 3. Dan Shelbo Jr. 4. Jim Jackson 5. Dave Suchy 6. Mike Piersig 7. Pete Pernesiglio 8. Bill Keimel
ARDC/NEMA Mini-Indy Feature (33 laps): 1. Russ Stoehr 2. Phil DiMario 3. Keith Botelho 4. Gary Halteman 5. Drew Fornoro 6. Bryan Kobylarz 7. Ed Stimely Jr. 8. Mark Wakefoose 9. Fred Schell 10. Mike Lapp 11. Doug Cleveland 12. Bill Courtwright 13. Mark Freeland 14. Bob Botticher 15. Dave Kelley 16. Larry Cheetham 17. Chuck Welling 18. Brian Cleveland 19. Craig Rochelle 20. Shawn Burke 21. Donnie Trent 22. Lew Blair 23. Lee Bundy 24. Matt O'Brian 25. Dave Suchy 26. Bill Ertel 27. Gary Mondschein 28. Dan Shelbo Jr. 29. Jim Miller 30. Mike Lugelle 31. Glen Cabral 32. Jim Jackson 33. Walt Stearly