|The new NEMA LITES T-Shirts are
available for purchase. The LITES shirts are available in 3
colors - white, gray and royal blue. They come with either the
NEMA LITES logo only on the front or with 2 logos - NEMA LITES
on the front and regular NEMA logo on the back. The white shirts
are $10. The gray or blue are $12. The new LITES t-shirts can be
at The Race Depot/Seymour Enterprises in Marlboro Mass or are
available from Cyndy Scrivani -
508-584-7748 - firstname.lastname@example.org
|Optimism Thrives As NEMA Lites
Series Enters Third Season
|(Brockton, MA) It all
starts at the Waterford Speedbowl’s season-opening Budweiser
Blast-Off weekend on Saturday March 27, and concludes at Seekonk
Speedway’s DAV Memorial Festival of Racing on the weekend of
October 9 & 10.
In-total, the NEMA Lites Series will appear at five different
New England speedways ranging from the Connecticut shoreline’s
Waterford Speedbowl to New Hampshire’s Twin State Speedway.
Also on the slate are trips to Seekonk, Monadnock, and Lee
Additional dates may be added to what’s already shaping-up to be
the division’s most aggressive campaign to-date.
Considered almost a “perfect venue” for the Midgets, the
Speedbowl offers-up a true multi-groove surface for the
division. The track has a long association with NEMA dating back
to 1953 when Bill Eldridge took the first-ever NEMA event staged
at the Speedbowl. Eldridge narrowly defeated Sid Cook and Elmer
Gunnerson in the 25-lap Memorial Day event.
In addition to Seekonk’s season-ending DAV Memorial Festival of
Racing and the Boston Louie Classic on August 28, the Lites will
also be part of the “Fast Friday” shows on June 4, 18, July 23,
and August 13 at the track known affectionately as the “Cement
Palace.” Like Waterford, the Seekonk Speedway has a decades-rich
history of hosting some of the best Midget racing in the
Since its inception in 2008, the Lites division has continually
provided fans with some of the most exciting open-wheel racing
in New England. Started with only a handful of competitors, the
class has served as both an economic starting-point for new
drivers to get involved in what remains one of the countries
“purest” forms of open-wheel competition, and also as a venue
for some of the most seasoned of NEMA competitors.
2009 saw Lites events drawing increased car-counts, proof that
the division has filled a niche in the realm of Midget racing.
Other than sporting a less-costly “spec-type” powerplant,
there’s little-difference between a Lites Series car and a
“full” Midget. The class offers-up the same degree of action
that fans of one of auto racing’s oldest and historically-rich
divisions have come to know and love.
The intensity of the Lites competitors is no-less than that of
their “full” Midget brethren.
2009 winners included Anthony Marvuglio, PJ & Jake Stergios,
Anthony Nocella, and Russ Wood.
|NEMA Lites Series
“More Than Ready” for
Budweiser Blastoff At Speedbowl
|(Brockton, MA) “The
NEMA Lites Series is “more than ready” for this weekend’s opener
at the Waterford Speedbowl and we’re looking forward to a banner
Those were the comments from Lites Series Race Director Steve
Grant following a successful test session for the division held
recently at the Seekonk Speedway in Massachusetts.
Entering its third-year, the Lites Series is part of the
Waterford Speedbowl’s multi-division “Budweiser Blast-Off
Weekend” set to go-green on the weekend of March 27 & 28.
They’ll run qualifying and a 25-lap feature on Saturday.
The most-recent Lites winner at the Speedbowl was Anthony
Nocella who scored last season’s “Nostalgia Weekend” 25-lap
feature on July 25.
As expected, the Seekonk pre-season “test-session” yielded
“We held a recent test-session at Seekonk with a few of the
divisions experienced drivers and it went really-well,” states
Grant. “Even-though the track surface was “green” following the
winter months, the guys turned some very impressive lap-times.
The response to the division continues to be positive, with more
people expressing interest every day. We’re expecting a healthy
field at the Speedbowl opener, and we have every reason to
expect rising car-counts as the season progresses. People
continue to realize that this division is a “win-win” situation
for teams looking to get involved in an affordable open-wheel
division. Things are really taking-off,” he says.
With the exception of an affordable “spec” engine and a few
other differences, the Lites Series cars are identical to the
“full-midgets” of NEMA. The Helping Hands of America Foundation,
Hoosier Racing Tires, and Bobby Seymour’s Racers Depot serve as
the 2010 sponsors for the series.
With many of the Lites new driver’s recent graduates of the
“First-Turn Driving School”, and some with years of prior
experience in midgets, the class presents a well-balanced level
of competition. There were a total of 7-different feature
winners in 2009. Anthony Nocella headed-up the list with 4,
followed by Jake Stergios, PJ Stergios, and Russ Wood Jr. each
notching 2. William Wall, Anthony Marvuglio, and Paul Luggelle
Following the season-opener, the NEMA Lites Series heads to the
high-banks of Winchester, New Hampshire’s Monadnock Speedway on
May 29. It’s all part of a busy 2010 agenda that includes
fourteen events for the division.
Standout Bethany Viets
To Make NEMA Lites Debut
At Speedbowl Opener
|(Brockton, MA) Young, but already a
winning veteran racer with impressive credentials, Bethany Viets
makes her NEMA Lites debut later this month at the Waterford
Speedbowl. Part of an on-going “Youth Movement” within the
division, she’ll be wheeling the Charles Gunther-owned Drinan
The Lites are part of the Speedbowl’s Budweiser Blastoff on
March 27 & 28. The division will run qualifying and a 25-lap
feature on Saturday.
Started in 2008, the Lites Series has become a melting pot for
up & coming talent. Viets is typical of the youthful open-wheel
competitors drawn to the division with its affordable “spec”
rules, and a diverse schedule that includes an assortment of
tracks throughout New England.
“We’re looking very-forward to running the NEMA Lites Series
this year,” states East Granby, CT. resident Viets, who belying
her youthful status, has years of experience running on the dirt
of Whip City Speedway in Massachusetts. “We ran weekly at Whip
City for a number of seasons. I started driving at age-12 in the
Micro Stock class in a car owned by my older brother John,
eventually advancing to the Midgets. The Lites schedule involves
some traveling, and that’s part of the allure of the division
for us. It’s going to be great to run at some different tracks.
Our team is excited about 2010 – it’s an opportunity for new
A third-generation racer, Viets’ family has a long history in
the sport. Both her grandfather Mike, and father Scott are
Car owner Gunther of Vernon, CT. is also optimistic about the
upcoming campaign. He says enlisting the talent of the young
driver to wheel his Midget in 2006 was an easy decision. “She’s
got a tremendous degree of talent, and her record at Whip City
certainly shows that,” states Gunther, a former driver himself
with decades of experience in a myriad of divisions including
Supers, Modifieds, and of-course, Midgets. “I raced against
Bethany, and I guess I just got tired of her beating-me,” he
Lites Series Race Director Steve Grant expects a good-showing
for the division at the Bowl’ opener. “Interest in the Lites is
ever-increasing, esp. with the younger drivers that are trying
to break-into Midget racing,” he says. “It’s an affordable
opportunity for these kids to gain experience at a variety of
tracks. There’s a lot of talent out-there, and this is the
perfect place for them to start. We’re very-pleased with the way
things are shaping-up for 2010.”
|Busy Season Ahead For NEMA Lites
Following a successful 2009 campaign, the Northeastern Midget
Association’s Lites series is poised for a busy season.
The Lites will be part of the Waterford Speedbowl’s opening
event on the weekend of March 27-28. It’s the earliest season
debut in NEMA history.
“We’re very-excited about our 2010 schedule,” states Lites Race
Director Steve Grant. “It gives our drivers an opportunity to
visit many different tracks including some of the best
open-wheel venues in the Northeast.”
Ten events are scheduled with a possibility of additional shows
to be added in the future.
Started in 2008, the division’s car-counts have increased
steadily, and the prevalent feeling is that the trend will
“We stared with only a handful of cars in 2008 with those
numbers growing steadily as interest in the series increased,”
says Grant. “It’s an attractive division for competitors looking
to get-into our brand of racing, and also for those looking for
an alternative to the cost of running a “full” Midget. It’s also
a great way to get your feet-wet in open-wheel racing before
progressing-up the ranks, which we expect will be the case with
a lot of teams.”
The Lites series cars rely on a different powerplant as compared
to their “Full Midget” counterparts. According to NEMA’s Bobby
Seymour, under normal-circumstances, the engines can last up-to
40 races without a major rebuild. Other than a few other minor
differences, the Lites cars very-comparable to “Full-Midgets.”
Like Grant, Seymour is pleased, but not-surprised with the
interest in the series.
“It’s a win-win situation for the novice competitor that’s
looking to enter our segment of the sport, and it’s a bit-easier
on the purse-strings,” he says. “It’s also a way to gain
experience in Midget racing, which is a unique form of racing
in-itself. With the schedule that the club has assembled, we’re
looking-forward to a great season and increased car-counts.”
In addition to drivers new to the Lites, fans can look-forward
to many returning favorites. On the “official-side” of things,
Steve Grant will serve as Race Director, while it’ll be Shawn
Torrey filling the role of Technical Inspector. Others include
Bob Blanchette (Pit Steward), and Deb Marvuglio (Scorer).
Of NEMA’s ’08 Success
|Springfield, MA -
Throughout the summer, interest in the Northeastern Midget
Association’s “Lite” division picked up. It was the first season
for the developmental division but definitely not the last
according to club President Mike Scrivani Jr.
Featuring much less expensive machinery, the Lites (powered by
Focus or Quad 4 engines) ran in conjunction with the “full”
midgets on eight occasions. They definitely contributed to
NEMA’s strong year.
The Lites season will be celebrated along with the ’08 NEMA
campaign t the club’s annual banquet Saturday night, Nov. 22 at
White of Westport in Westport, MA.
“We gained a little each time they ran,” said Scrivani. “We
ended the season at Twin State and there were a lot of people
from other divisions talking to me about the cars. I think it
was a real good start. There were a lot of promising things.”
The Lites ran at Waterford, Seekonk, Lee and Beech Ridge in
addition to Twin State. They are all “traditionally sized”
The division was designed to capture young racers before they
“go romping off” in some fendered division. Jesse State, Shaun
Torrey, Shaun Gosselin, Matt Bettencourt, Jake Stergios and Todd
Bertrand were winners. Anthony Marvuglio, Russ Wood Jr.,
Stephanie Doty and J.C. Stergios were also impressive.
“I think we have also saw the development of some outstanding
mechanics,” said Scrivani, NEMA president since 2003.
One or two of them could move up to the full midgets next year.
Equally important, Scrivani believes the division will grow by
six-to-eight cars next year. “Promoters just love that,” he
says. “There’s the prospect of 35-to-40 Midgets coming to a
While 2008 was “just about seat time,” Scrivani plans on
providing “some more incentives” for next year starting with a
sponsor-driven point fund. He also said the club will do a lot
more in “teaching the kids the right way to do things” next
Establishes New “Lite” Series
Coming off a sensational 2007 season, the Northeastern Midget
Association has decided to “invest in the future” with the “NEMA Lite
Series.” The series, approved by the NEMA Contest Board, is gaining
Called a “feeder class” by NEMA Vice President Tim Bertrand, the series
is designed to introduce new competitors to winged midgets “in very low
cost, less powerful cars.” Competitors can use any chassis that
currently meets NEMA specifications but engines will be limited to Ford
Focus and Oldsmobile Quad4. All the cars will have starters.
Plans are for the “Lites” to run in conjunction with regular short track
NEMA events. Bertrand said, “NEMA is putting in place incentives for
tracks to run the Lite Series cars. We are aware of the time factors and
economics involved. We have to make it attractive for them. We believe
we have done that.”
Bertrand says as many 20 teams have expressed intentions to compete.
“Most are Focus and Quad4 owners who can’t afford Esslinger and Gaerte
motors and are looking for a way to go,” he says. “We are talking about
$8-to $10,000 cars in this series. The equipment is definitely available
The plan allows for competitors, when they are ready, to “move up” to
the fulltime NEMA status with more powerful (and more expensive) motors.
Bertrand admits “a lot of sportsman type divisions are popping up all
over the country” claiming potential NEMA competitors. “Other divisions
were the only thing they could afford,” he says. “This is an effective
plan to keep them in winged Midgets.”
A number of “established” Midget regulars including Steve Grant and
former champions Bobby Seymour and Butch Walsh will be consultants for
the new series.