Category Archives: Weekly Paved Track Racing

American Canadian Tour Returns to Waterford

Pole Dominates as Expected

Eddie MacDonald and Ray Parent race for position during the ACT 100 lap feature race at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

The New London- Waterford Speedbowl was back in action Saturday night with 4 weekly divisions and the ACT Tour. The crowd was not that big as the weather was cloudy skies with a big rain storm staying just off the shore.

The American Canadian Tour (ACT) is one of the premier late model divisions in the Northern US and Canada. These premier drivers battled it out for 100 action packed laps at the shoreline oval. Scott Payea qualified on the pole and jumped out to the lead on the first lap. Twelve laps into the race Marc Curtis Jr., Wayne Helliwell Jr., and James Banfield all got into one another in turn 3 bringing out the first caution of the race.

Jeff “Big Country” Smith racing with William Wall during the ACT 100-lap feature at the New-London Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

Payea would lose the lead as Joey Polewarczyk Jr., was able to get ahead of Payea on the lap 13 restart. Bruce Thomas Jr., went spinning through the infield bringing out the next caution on lap 16. Payea would take the lead back from  Polewarczyk Jr., on lap 18  but would give it back one lap later on the restart from the caution brought out by Walter Sutcliffe getting loose and ending up in the turn 1 wall.  Payea would jump out front and was able to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field and would not be contested for the lead even through the rest of the restarts. On lap 54 of the race Nick Sweet spun into the infield and the caution came out. Jeff Smith spins out in front of the scoreboard on the backstretch on lap 74. Joey Polewarczyk Jr., was able to extended his lead after the restart on lap 75, he was able to win the 100 lap feature.

Two Former Legends Standouts Get First Modified Wins

The SK Modifieds were  the first and last features of the night. Their first feature was the remaining 18 laps from the rain shortened feature one week ago. It didn’t take long for the caution to fly, Paul Buzel, Tom Abele Jr., and Joey Gada spun into the turn 3 wall, all three racers were able to return. Tom Pinson and Bo Gunning got into each other only 3 laps later, both were able to drive away. Ted Christopher spins down the front stretch losing second place, also spinning during this caution were Jeff Fialkovich and Brent Sweet. Diego Monahan was able to hold off Dennis Perry to win the 18 lap feature.

Corey DiMatteo celebrates as he climbs from his car after winning his first career SK Lite feature race in only his second start of his rookie season at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

SK Lite Modifieds were the second division to race, their feature was 25 laps. John O’ Sullivan III was on the pole and was able to take the lead for 2 laps. Rick Williams was able to steal the lead away from O’Sullivan III. With 18 laps remaining in the race O’ Sullivan III was the caution car and he would return to the race and be many laps down. Nick Riso spun on the back stretch with 5 laps remaining in the race and made for an exciting final 5 laps of racing. Only 3 laps later half of the field got together into the turn 4 grass, many of the drivers were able to return to the race. The racer would end in the green white checkered fashion after the caution in turn 4. Cory DiMatteo was able to take the lead on the restart while Connor Holderbach, Calvin Therrien, Larry Goss, and Bill McNeil spun into one another in turn 4. Cory DiMatteo was able to get his first win in his second career start in the SK Lite Modifieds.

The Limited Sportsman was the 4th division to race, these racers went a distance of 25 laps. Jon Porter was on the pole and also took the lead on the first lap of the race. Jack Aquilina took the lead away from Porter with 22 laps remaining in the race. Porter takes the lead back with 21 laps remaining, after a battle with Aquilina. After a three-way battle Aquilina was able to acquire the lead, not even a lap later Monty Gibbs was able to steal the lead away. Aquilina ended up in the infield after a three-way battle with Moose Douton and Porter. Bo Norman made contact with another car and then spun out into the turn 3 wall with 9 laps left to race. Monty Gibbs was able to hold of Chris Meyer for the win. This was Monty Gibbs first career victory in the Limited Sportsman’s race.

The Mini Stocks were the next division to race and they went the distance of 25 laps. Brian Norman was the racer on the pole and also the first racer to take the lead. Charles Canfield took the lead away from Norman with 23 laps left to race. Sean Caron stole the lead away from Canfield with 17 laps remaining. With only 3 laps remaining in the race the first caution came out when Jake Christian and Doug Curry spun in turn 4. Sean Caron was able to hold off Ken Kassidy Jr., and Dave Trudeau for the victory.

Dylan Izzo crosses the finish line ahead of hard charging Ted Christopher to win his first SK Modified feature at the New London-Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, CT. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

The SK Modifieds were the last division of the night and their second race of the night was 35 laps. Ryan Morgan was the driver on the pole and Dylan Izzo was on the outside pole. Dylan Izzo took the lead on the first lap. Paul Buzel, Tom Pinson, Brent Sweet, and Justin Gaydosh all wrecked one lap into the race in turn one. Buzel, Gaydosh, and Todd Owen all spin around in turn 4 with 32 laps left to race. Paul Kusheba IV hit the backstretch wall on lap 14. Dylan Izzo was able to hold off a hard charging Ted Christopher through two final cautions and to take home his first career modified victory.


by Bob Finan  –  The Northeastern Midget Association is headed back to Long Island after a long absence Saturday May 28th when they compete in the Allan Cantor Memorial 50 at Riverhead Raceway. Riverhead GM John Ellwood announced today that the Reichert Group IGA Food Markets has signed on as the title sponsor of the race. IGA Food Markets were also a loyal sponsor on the Allan Cantor owned #7NY NEMA Midgets.

“We’re very excited to have the NEMA Midgets and NEMA Lites back racing on Long Island” John Ellwood noted while making the IGA Food Markets sponsorship announcement. “To have Charlie Reichert and his Reichert Group IGA Food Markets come on board for the race that we honor Allan Cantor makes the event that much sweeter”. The Reichert Group IGA Food Markets on Long Island are located in Greenport, Southold, East Northport, Fort Salonga and Bayville.

From 2001 until 2013 Allan Cantor fielded a NEMA Midget based out of his lifelong hometown of Glen Cove with his son Adam wheeling the potent racer for many of those season. Allan was well known in the Long Island racing circle well before he went midget racing in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. He along with Tony Contarino designed and built the ultra successful Alto Chassis for the Mini Modified race cars. Allan along with his brother Barry also worked with the late “Tiger” Tom Baldwin on his NASCAR Modifieds and together operated Cantor’s Garage in Glen Cove.

When Eddie & Connie Partridge and Tom Gatz took ownership of Riverhead Raceway late in 2015 they had John Ellwood look into some new and exciting forms of racing to bring to Riverhead Raceway and one of the first John called was NEMA President Russ Stoehr. They together put together the May 28th date for the Allan Cantor Memorial. Later in the summer the New England Truck Series will also visit Riverhead on July 9th, with the Granite State Pro Stocks set to visit on July 30th.

2015 NEMA Midget champion John Zych Jr. of Mendon, MA will lead the charge to Riverhead Raceway on the 28th along with 2015 NEMA Lites kingpin Anthony Payne of Fair Lawn, N.J.

Joining NEMA on what will be a very nostalgic night are the Vintage Midget Racing Club and Vintage Race Cars as well the annual Cromarty Wall of Fame inductions. Long time car owner the late John Ambrose Sr., NASCAR Modified standout the late Chris Young and multi time Late Model champion Steve Tooker will be enshrined that evening.

The NASCAR Modifieds will run a 40-lap main event on May 28th and be joined by the Riverhead Modified Crates and Legend Race Cars, who will both run 20-lap features. Feature event racing will start at 6:30 pm.

For additional information visit
or call 631-842-RACE.

Bonsignore Set to Make NEMA Debut in Cantor Memorial at Riverhead

Joseph Fernandez Photo.

NASCAR Whelen Modified tour driver, Justin Bonsignore, is set to make his Northeastern Midget Association debut on Saturday May 28th at Riverhead Raceway in the inaugural Allan Cantor Memorial. Bonsignore will be teaming up with Tim Bertrand/Bertrand Motorsports, playing part to a three car card that evening with the team’s full time drivers, Todd Bertrand and five time NEMA champion, Randy Cabral.

A winner of six World Karting Association titles and eight NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) events, Bonsignore is no stranger to victory lane. He was also the 2010 NWMT rookie of the year, and named the tour’s most popular driver in 2011.

“I am really excited and honored to get the chance to drive for the Bertrand family, they build and prepare some amazing looking cars, and they are extremely fast as well. I have always kept up with watching the NEMA races when we are there with the modifieds and more often than not the Bertrand cars are in victory lane, it was pretty awesome to have Tim reach out and ask me to drive the car,” said Bonsignore.

“I really hope I can get up to speed quickly and feel comfortable, the only thing I have driven in comparison is a TQ midget over the winter, but I have a feeling this is going to be a totally different animal, we are hoping to get a test in next week at the Speedbowl to learn the in/out of the cars and get a feel for what I will need to be comfortable. One good thing on my side will be that Tim prepares a great car and I know once the driver is up to speed that the car will already be there. I also know I can reach out to Todd and even Doug Coby for what to look for in the car and what to expect,” he went on to say.

Bo13243899_10153952756564300_3143479317495537623_onsignore will be piloting the #74 Esslinger powered machine, which was driven to two victories last year at Chemung and Waterford by Coby, and at Monadnock by Joey Payne.

Bonsignore is also no stranger to Riverhead, a place that NEMA has not visited in many years. The 2011 Riverhead Raceway modified champion said, on the topic of the midgets coming back – “I think it should produce a great race, I personally have only seen the NEMA cars on a bigger, wider tracks where they seem to get strung out, I think you will see a really close group of cars on a tight little bullring, where there might be a bunch of lead changes, good hard nose racing. Hopefully we are right in the mix of it.”

NEMA will play part of a busy evening on the 28th at Riverhead, as it’s the track’s “Wall of Fame” night, Vintage midget series, and the regular card of racing. It will also be the first NEMA Allan Cantor Memorial race, commemorating the long time club member who passed away last year. Allan’s son, Adam, and family will be on hand, as the Master of Ceremonies as the club remember’s the devoted Cantor.

The relationship between Cantor and Bonsignore also runs deep.

“I think the coolest part of getting the opportunity to drive for the Bertrand family is that it’s going to be in the Inaugural Allan Cantor Memorial. I have known Adam and Allan Cantor since Adam and I were about 8 years old racing go karts out at Westhampton Speedway, Alan was always such a great person and always was nice to me growing up. I know it may be a tall task to win in my first start, but I really want to win this race for that reason more then any other,” he said.