Emotional Evening At The New London Waterford Speedbowl
-Point Battles Heating Up As Season Winds Down-
WATERFORD, CT (September 16, 2017): The NLWS was hit with news that nobody wanted to hear before the racing was set to begin. It was learned earlier in the day, track regular Ted Christopher was killed in a plane crash heading to the Whelen Modified Tour event at the Riverhead Raceway. The nights events were put on hold and a very special tribute was held for the late great driver. Christopher’s SK Modified was paraded around The Speedbowl by car owner Doug DiPisa as fellow drivers, officials, safety workers and teams lined up the front stretch to honor Christopher. It was a very touching moment not only for the fans but everybody who was in attendance.
Once racing resumed it was the SK Lites taking to the shoreline oval for their 25-lap feature. It was Colchester, CT’s Brian Narducci taking his second win in a row in only four starts at The Bowl. Narducci used a lap-10 restart to put himself in position to grab the lead over Andrew Molleur with thirteen laps to go in the event. As the lap were winding down the #176 Manafort Brothers sponsored machine of Dana DiMatteo tried several times to get to the inside of Narducci but was unable to make it stick and fell to third as Alan Gombos snuck under DiMatteo and took the runner up spot. Rounding out the top-5 were Andrew Molleur in fourth and Plainville, CT’s Victoria Bergenty fifth, her best finish in the 2017 campaign. With DiMatteo’s third place finish he now leads Andrew Molleur by one point in the championship hunt. In victory lane, a very emotional Narducci dedicated the win in honor of Christopher.
In the 30-lap Limited Sportsman feature it was Al Stone III taking down the win. For the Durham, CT driver it was his 50th career win at the NLWS. What was supposed to be a major accomplishment for Stone was dampened by the news of Christopher. “I just want to dedicate the win to TC and to let the family know we are thinking of them,” commented Stone in victory lane. The point leader Chris Meyer was involved in two different mishaps during the event and battled back to finish eighth. Stone who started in the eight-spot battled through the field and used a lap-23 restart to out battle the #19 of Adrien Paradis to take down the win. Paradis had one final shot at Stone as a late caution flew to set up a green-white-checkered finish. Paradis made several attempts but couldn’t get by Stone. Paradis after finishing second also commented on Christopher from the podium. “He’s going to be missed, he always had advice for me to make me a better driver, he was always there for me,” said Paradis. Rounding out the top-five were Jason Chicolas, Jordan Hadley and Brandon Plemons.
In the third race in the Connecticut Championship for the Pro-4 Modifieds, it was Brett Meservey taking down the win. Going into the 25-lap race Rob Richardi was looking to make it three in a row in the championship series. As the green flag flew it was Doug Meservey jumping out to the lead with Richardi and Brett Meservey in tow. Richardi got around Meservey on lap-five and started to pull away from the field. Richardi on a mid-race restart missed a shift giving Doug Meservey back the lead. The final caution waved as Doug Meservey slowed on the front stretch in the #67 setting up one final restart for Richardi and now the #7NY of Brett Meservey. The two-battled side-by-side until the #7NY got the lead coming out of turn four and held on for the win. Rounding out the top-five were Jacob Perry (who took the Lite win) Dan Meservey and Mark Charette. The final event in the Championship will run during the 2017 Finale event.
The 35-lap Mr. Rooter Pro Truck Series it was all Andy Lindeman. Lindeman took the lead soon the green flag waved and never looked back. The only thing to slow down Lindeman was lapped traffic he ran into while leading all 35-laps of the race. While Lindeman was in his own zip code the battle of the race was with Jim Boyle who was running in the top-5. Boyle made an aggressive move that propelled him from fourth to second in one lap. Third place finisher Frank Dumicich Jr had nothing at the finish for the duo in front. Rounding out the top-five was Allen Coates and Gerard Giordano Jr. Lindeman in victory lane followed suit and dedicated the win to Christopher. It was Lindeman’s third win of the season.
Bruce Thomas Jr made his 2017 return to the Late Models and looked poised to take down the 30-lap event. Thomas jumped out to the lead on lap-2 and was running away with the race. Thomas’s luck soon changed as on the final restart of the race, Keith Rocco would now battle Thomas for the lead. As the green waved the yellow would appear as Thomas had a tire go down sending him pit side and handing over the lead to Rocco in the #88MA Propane Plus sponsored machine. Rocco completed the last couple of laps as the fog was starting to roll onto the track as the checkered flew. In victory lane Rocco referred that he was a man of few words as you can tell the news earlier on was on Rocco’s mind. Rounding out the top-five were Ryan Morgan, Tyler Chapman, Christopher Garside and Jason Palmer.
As the 35-lap SK Modified feature was lining up the fog continued to get thicker and continued to roll in at a quick pace. As the green flag waved it was the #78 of Diego Monahan grabbing the lead as the pole position was left vacant as a tribute to Christopher. On lap-9 the Jammin 107 sponsored #21 of Kyle James got around Monahan for the lead and the moved pushed Monahan back to fourth. As the caution waved on lap-11 for the #1 of Brent Sweet sitting against the turn three wall. On the restart of the race, Todd Owen was able to push ahead in the Cooker’s Construction #81x from the outside and took over the top spot over James. Also gaining on the restart was Keith Rocco in the Wheeler Auto #88 who squeezed into the third spot. The race was halted on lap-23 as Matt Galko spun his Chris’s Lawn Care sponsored #25 into the infield which not only brought out the caution but the red / checkered came out as the fog
continued to roll in, causing visibility issues. Owen who was the leader at the time and was given the win with James and Rocco finishing second and third. Rounding out the top-5 was Rob Janovic Jr and Tyler Chadwick making his 2017 debut. Owen in victory lane left open the top spot in tribute to Christopher.
The 25-lap Mini Stocks race was postponed because of the fog and will be scheduled to be made up in the up-coming weeks.
SK Modifieds (35-laps): Todd Owen, Kyle James, Keith Rocco, Rob Janovic Jr, Tyler Chadwick, Jacob Perry, Tom Abele Jr, Andrew Molleur, Paul Buzel, Robert Georgiades, Joshua Zentek, Jeff Fialkovich, Diego Monahan, Brent Sweet, Matthew Galko, Dominic Capuano Jr, Dylan Izzo (DNS)
* Race was red / checkered on lap-23
SK Modified Lites (25-lzaps): Bryan Narducci, Alan Gombos, Dana DiMatteo, Andrew Molleur, Victoria Bergenty, Nick Anglace, John O’Sullivan, Alan Benincaso, Dennis Charette, Wayne Burroughs Jr, Glenn Griswold, Scott Witt
Late Models (30-laps): Keith Rocco, Ryan Morgan, Tyler Chapman, Christopher Garside, Jason Palmer, Michael Benevides, Anthony Flannery IV, Bruce Thomas Jr, Cornelius Flynn, Vin Esposito, Keith Chapman
Limited Sportsman (30-laps): Al Stone III, Adrien Paradis, Jason Chicolas, Jordan Hadley, Brandon Plemons, Ritt Shawn, Daniel Meyer, Chris Meyer, Bo Norman, Monte Gibbs, Phil Evans, Brandon Fisher, Joseph Arena, Darrell Carlson, Jon Porter
Pro-4 Modifieds (25-laps): Brett Meservey, Rob Richardi Jr, Jacob Perry, Dan Meservey, Mark Charette, Dana Willis, Doug Meservey, Bill Lucchesi Jr, PJ Jennifer Peterson
Mr. Rooter Pro Trucks / NLWS Trucks (35-laps): Andy Lindeman, Jim Boyle, Frank Dumicich Jr, Allen Coates, Gerard Giordano Jr, Dave Koening, Jeff Karns, Joshua Stringer, Alex Canestrari, Chris Taylor, Glen Noll, Al Stone III, Rick Ashlaw, Shayne Young, Tony Naglied, Duane Noll, Dan Butler