MA – 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
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 extention 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 Win - Last Win
8 - Russ Stoehr - 1995 - 2001
4 - Drew Fornoro - 1990 - 2002
2 - Joey Coy - 1992 - 1993
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)