Brockton, MASS – Russ Stoehr, who has won eight times there, Joey Payne Jr., a two-time winner, and Randy Cabral, who has some near misses, are among the favorites when the Northeastern Midget Association returns to Oswego Speedway Saturday night. NEMA last visited the historic five-eighths oval back in 2005.
The NEMA Lites will be making the trip as well, Oswego looming as the ultimate test for the five-year old division.
While many competitors will be on Oswego’s asphalt for the first time, there are some experienced hands. Current competitors Adam Cantor, Payne, Cabral and Doug Cleveland were all on hand when supermodified ace Chris Perley won the last NEMA race at Oswego in Don Berrio’s #2.
Considering Payne, an old hand at Oswego, turned 17.1 seconds laps en route to a victory in 2004, speeds in the 16 seconds bracket are probable.
Stoehr’s last win came in 2001. Still, the strategy that carried him to all those wins no doubt remains the same.
“It’s a big rhythm track,” he offered a decade ago. “I’ve had a lot of success there because I pass on the outside. Guys that get down in the groove can’t do that. Actually, it’s a pretty easy place to drive. If you make a mistake at Oswego, there’s usually room to get out of it.”
And, sometimes there isn’t. Stoehr had a devastating crash at Oswego in 2002, a race won by Drew Fornoro.
Stoehr’s Dumo’s Desire team, an extension of the Angelillo operation, also has eight Oswego checkereds.
Cabral, locked in another point battle with Stoehr, came within a whisker of an Oswego win in 2003, crashing while in the lead. The three-time and defending champ was second in ’02, fourth in ’04 and 11th in ’05.
John Zych Jr., Greg Stoehr, Mike Horn, Cantor, Seth Carlson, Cabral and Anthony Marvuglio all hope to become NEMA’s first two-time winner this season. Horn has been impressive on big tracks with wins at Thompson and Stafford Speedways in the last two seasons.
Other contenders include Jim Miller, Paul Scally and Todd Bertrand.
It will be a first-time experience for most of the Lite cars. The division has been dominated by youngsters like most recent winner Avery Stoehr (Russ’ son), three-time winner Carl Medieros Jr., Ian Cumens, Dyan Duhaime, Bethany Stoehr and Danny Cugini.
NEMA Winners at Oswego
No. Driver First Last
8 Russ Stoehr 1995 2001
4 Drew Fornoro 1990 2002
2 Joey Coy 19921993
2 Nokie Fornoro 1991 1999
2 Joey Payne 2003 2004
One-time winners: Howie Bumpus (1999), Lou Cicconi Jr.(1996), Chris Perley (2005), Bob Resco Jr. (1999), Mike Roselli Jr. (2000)